Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Review: Fatality By Firelight by: Lynn Cahoon

Title: Fatality by Firelight
Author: Lynn Cahoon
Publisher: Kensington
Series: Cat Latimer Mystery #2
Pages: 320
Format: e-book ARC
Source: GEBT & NetGalley


Cat Latimer’s Colorado bed-and-breakfast plays host to writers from all over. But murder is distinctly unwelcome . . .

To kick off a winter writing retreat, Cat and her handyman boyfriend, Seth, escort the aspiring authors to a nearby ski resort, hoping some fresh cold air will wake up their creative muses. But instead of hitting the slopes, they hit the bar—and before long, a tipsy romance novelist named Christina is keeping herself warm with a local ski bum who might have neglected to tell her about his upcoming wedding.

Next thing Cat knows, her uncle, the town sheriff, informs her that the young man’s been found dead in a hot tub—and Christina shows up crying and covered in blood. Now, between a murder mystery, the theft of a rare Hemingway edition, and the arrival of a black-clad stranger in snowy Aspen Hills, Cat’s afraid everything’s going downhill . . .

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in the Cat Latimer series in this one another writing retreat is happening, so we have to wait to learn more about what happened with Cat's ex-husband who died and in the last book we learned her may have been murdered.

In this one she is working with new authors taking them skiing hoping the side trip will awaking the writer in all of them what she didn't count is one of them hooking up with a local whose engaged to someone else.  When Cat tries to intervene the writer in question gets very upset with Cat.

The local college who Cat has contracted with has decided unless she can produce the contract and it's legal that the local college won't allow speakers to speak at the retreat unless she pays the speaker fee.  

When a local man winds up dead and one of Cat's retreaters is found to be the last one with him, it's up to Cat to find out what is going on.  Who wanted Tommy killed and why?  Was it his  fiancĂ©e he was going to marry or her father for making a fool of his daughter or could it have been the writer who he flirted with that wanted nothing to do with him once Tommy told her what he was really after?

I am such a huge fan of Lynn Cahoon's writing style I loved every book she's written so far and this one didn't disappoint.  It was full of ups and downs and wondering where Cat would wind up next and what she would learn whether it be about her ex-husband Michael or someone close to the current mystery going on.

I can't wait to see what is next for Ms. Cahoon her characters remind me of good friends you get to catch up with once the next book is out.  I look forward to reading all about Cat's latest adventures and mysteries she has to figure out!

Author Bio:

Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today best-selling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series.
Guidebook to Murder, book 1 of the series won the Reader’s Crown for Mystery Fiction in 2015. She’s also pens the recently released, Cat Latimer series. A STORY TO KILL, book 1, came out in mass market paperback September 2016.She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies. Sign up for her newsletter at www.lynncahoon.com

Author Links:

Purchase Links:
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Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Marked Excerpt - Myka by Emerald Barnes

The Marked Excerpt—Myka
“So how long have you been an artist?” Milo asked. 
“I’m hardly an artist,” Myka said, “but I started drawing and painting seriously around fifteen.” 
“What were you working on the other day?” 
“Just the mountains behind the school.” 
“Could I see it sometime?” 
“It’s not good.” 
“That’s not what I asked.” His voice was light. 
“You can see it right now if you want,” she tried to shrug it off as nonchalant, but her stomach twisted in knots. 
“I do.” 
She grabbed her bag and pulled out her sketchbook. Opening it to the drawing, she handed it to him. 
He studied it and said, “It’s good.” 
He searched through the other pictures without asking and stopped at one before she could get it back. She turned her head away, staring at a painting of a brown coffee mug on an ivory background hanging on the wall of the coffee shop. She knew exactly which portrait he stopped at. She’d forgotten about that one. 
“Me?” he asked. 
“I’m sorry. I’ll throw it out.” Her stomach fluttered wildly. 
“Why?” She faced him, confused. 
“Because I like it.” 
“I’m . . . glad?” She suddenly found the table interesting. 
Last night, Myka had been alone in her dorm room while Olivia was out with friends. She didn’t want to run into Preston again after the incident in the gym with Milo, so after she’d finished her homework, she pulled out her sketchbook and drew what was on her mind. Milo. In the picture, he didn’t look angry, but he wasn’t smiling either. He was more thoughtful and concerned; the same look he always wore. 
“Do you want it?” she asked. 
He raised his eyebrows. 
“The picture. You can have it.” 
He sat in silence for a moment. “I’d love it.” 
He handed the book back to her. 
“I’ll give it to you when we get back to school,” she said, slipping the sketchbook into her bag. She checked her phone while she had her hands in her bag. Preston had sent her a message, but she didn’t reply. 
“Is everything all right?” Milo asked. 
Putting on a smile, she said, “Everything’s fine.” 
“Is it Preston?” 
“What did he say?” 
“He asked where I was.” 
“You didn’t reply?” 
Milo nodded, but his eyebrows knit together. 
“Don’t worry. I won’t tell him,” she said. 
“Thank you.” 
Myka wasn’t keeping this secret from Preston solely for Milo’s sake. She had a feeling it would be a lot better—and safer—to hide this from Preston. 
They fell into an awkward silence as her phone continued to sound in her purse. 
Milo said, “He’s relentless.” His eyebrows formed an even deeper line as they drew in together. Was he angry that he was texting her? She wasn’t sure why he would be unless he was jealous of Preston. But he had nothing to be jealous of. What should have made him angry, like it did her, was the fact that he was so possessive. 
“Yeah. He is.” 
She turned off her phone. He shouldn’t be so possessive of her. She didn’t like him acting that way, and it was beginning to anger her. 
“Maybe you should message him.” 
“And tell him what? You don’t want him knowing we’re out.” 
“You’re right.” 
“I’ll deal with him later.” She didn’t want to ruin a perfectly good evening with Milo simply because Preston was blowing up her phone. He could deal without talking to her for a while. It wasn’t even like they were dating. He didn’t own her. 
When Myka finished off her coffee and cinnamon roll, Milo asked, “Are you ready to go?” 
“I am.” They threw away their paper cups and plates then headed outside, turning left. Milo held out his arm for her, and Myka looped hers through his. They walked arm in arm down Main Street, looking into the store windows. 
“Can I ask you a question?” Myka said. 
“Won’t you get in trouble for jumping the wall at school, or since you’re in good with Headmaster Knight, can you get away with it?” Myka hoped her voice was light enough for him to figure out she was joking about the last part. She was still curious to know the answer, though. 
Milo laughed. “I don’t usually get caught.” 
“So why do you jump over the wall?” 
“To escape.” 
“Escape from what?” 
Milo fell silent, a contemplative look overcame his face, and Myka wondered just what he was running from. But sometimes you didn’t need an excuse to run away and hide from life. She could relate. 
He was different than when she’d first met him. She thought he was this broody jerk, and although he was still broody, he wasn’t a jerk. She couldn’t explain it, but she might be able to relate to him more than she first thought. 
“Sometimes, I feel the same way. I would run outside at random and hide in the woods back home. There is this tree that has huge roots. I’d climb those roots and sit there for hours, watching the small creek run beneath it. It’s relaxing.” 
“Do you miss that?” he asked. 
“Yeah. Sometimes things feel overwhelming, like the walls are closing in on me. I think it’s claustrophobia, but I don’t know for sure.” 
“I understand that feeling well. It’s like the academy isn’t big enough for me, like I need to be somewhere else.” 
She nodded. “I can’t imagine that being raised there made it any easier on you.” 
“It didn’t.” 
He fell silent again, and Myka knew that was the end of the story. At least for now. 
When they arrived at the boutique shop, Myka asked, “Do you mind if we go in here?” 
“Of course. Anything you want to do.” 
He opened the door for her, and she walked inside. The cool air felt good on her skin, and an apple pie candle burned on the counter a young woman leaned against. 
“If you need any help, let me know,” she said in a heavy, Southern accent. 
“Thank you,” Myka answered. 
She supposed Milo would be bored with shopping, but she found the store quite charming. There were lots of brightly-colored clothes, purses, and big jewelry Olivia would love. She walked to the jewelry first and browsed through it. She could hear Milo’s quiet breathing behind her. “I didn’t figure you for a jewelry type of girl,” he said playfully. 
“I’m usually not,” she answered with a nervous laugh. 
She looked at the necklaces; one, in particular, caught her eye. A silver necklace with a large turquoise crescent moon charm hung on the shelf. Myka held the cool stone between her thumb and index finger, admiring it. 
“Do you like it?” Milo asked. 
“So much.” 
“It’s beautiful, fitting,” Milo said, inching closer to her. 
As he moved behind her, the heat of Milo’s body warmed her, along with the whisper of breath against her ear. Her stomach fluttered, and she took in a deep breath. He reached for the necklace, and his fingers brushed hers as he took it in his hand. She let her hand linger before she pulled it away. She turned to face him as he watched her every move. She leaned closer to him, and he inched closer to her. She wanted to kiss him, to feel his hands on her, and to taste his lips. 
She pulled away quickly and fumbled through, “I saw a cute purse. Over there.” 
Myka backed away and bumped into a rack of clothing. She turned around and walked across the store to the purses and looked through them, regretting not kissing Milo when she had the chance. Embarrassed didn’t even touch how she felt about what had just happened. There was no reason why she had pulled away from him. She wanted to kiss him, but when he was close to her, she freaked out. 
Milo walked up behind her, keeping his distance. She had just succeeded in pushing him away. 

Yep. She was an idiot.

Link to the official book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AlXDgxjHAs
Link to the official Knight’s Academy Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLLmodANrY5a0gKQiqfZR9koZbFb7SQqMw
About The Marked: Knight’s Academy Book 1:
Myka Williams has never fit in with her peers, and although her adoptive parents are loving and supportive, she feels most at home alone in the woods.

When she's offered a full scholarship to Knight's Academy in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, she takes the opportunity for a fresh start. She soon learns that Knight’s Academy is more than just a school. Within the stone walls of the institution, humans and vampires are mixing, and their offspring are going unnoticed.

As Myka falls prey to the evil plan of the school, she makes a chilling discovery about her own heritage and realizes that she’s at the Academy for more than just an education. Myka must yield to her birthright at the risk of losing everyone she loves or succumb to the fate that Knight’s Academy has in store for her—a fate worse than death.
Where to Buy The Marked:
About Emerald: 
Emerald Barnes resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it. She’s an auntie, a youth leader, a Whovian, a little bit of a nerd, a reader, a writer, and a family-oriented person. God is number One in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor. She’s addicted to tv and binge-watching shows, and she has a thing for superheroes.
Connect with Emerald:
Website: www.emeraldbarnes.us
Blog: ebarnes23.wordpress.com
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/emeraldbarnes 
Street Team: www.facebook.com/groups/emeraldbarnesstreetteam

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/emerald_barnes

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Review: Murder by The Book by: Devorah Fox

Title: Murder By The Book
Author:  Devorah Fox
Publisher: Mike Byrnes and Associates, Inc.
Pages: 27
Format: e-book ARC
Source: GEBT


An ordinary work day at the western Massachusetts Sugarloaf Inn turns more chilling than the winter weather when staff member Candy Wadsen makes a gruesome discovery. Her day goes from bad to worse when Candy realizes that Detective Sergeant Dan Petrowski suspects her of committing the crime.

My Thoughts:

This book follows Candy Wadsen who works at the Sugarloaf Inn.  When Candy goes into work she discovers her boss Mr. Sleink has been murdered with a letter opener that he collected.  The Sergeant Dan Petrowski is quick to place blame on Candy.  Candy knows from reading many mysteries that the suspect is always quick to assert their innocence regardless of the truth.  Did Candy really kill her boss and why?  Or was it someone Mr. Sleink upset in some way?  Will Candy find out the truth or will the Sergeant have her convicted before the real killer makes their presence known?

This was a cute novella and in it we meet Candy her boss and the Sergeant in charge of the case.  This book takes place in Massachusetts which is always fun to head to a New England town.  Then there is learning about Candy's co-workers and the possibility that one of them is the murderer.  There are no shortage of possibilities especially with all the co-workers pointing fingers at one another.  Will Detective Dan figure it out in time or will the murderer go free?  This book was a lot of fun can't wait to see what is next by this author.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Review: Stu Stories: The Adventure of Dirt Clod and His Sidekick Bird Bones by: Patrick Hueller

Title: Stu Stories: The Adventures of Dirt Clod and His Sidekick Bird Bones
Author: Patrick Hueller
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Pages: 160
Format: Pdf Arc
Source: Cedar Fort Book Tour


Stu Sanderson is no ordinary eighth-grader. Not only is he seven feet tall, but he also vanishes into thin air, duels knights and ninjas, lifts the downtrodden, and woos the best-calved girl in school. Become a middle-grade legend with Stu and his sidekick, Bird Bones, on the journey of a lifetime in “Stu Stories.”

My Thoughts:

This book follows Stu Sanderson and his best friend Bird Bones as they travel through 8th grade with their ups and downs that they travel together, anything from Stu missing in class to battling kidnppers in school and so on.

I loved this book it was cute and reminded me of so many books I read when I was a kid.  I think adults and kids alike with love the story along with the antics that went along with 8th grade. Definitely a great trip down the ins and outs of school and things kids will do.

Author Bio:

Patrick Hueller has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota. His fiction and humor have been published fairly widely (sometimes under the pen names “Paul Hoblin” or “P.W. Hueller”). Fun fact: he’s Cedar Fort author Andy Hueller’s identical twin brother. They like to do readings together whenever they can. He’s been a middle school teacher and is currently a college English professor at Hamline University.
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Monday, February 20, 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Review: The Munich Girl by: Phyllis Edgerly Ring

Title: The Munich Girl
Author: Phyllis Edgerly Ring
Publisher: Whole Sky Books
Pages: 391
Format: Kindle
Source: Virtual Book Tours


Anna Dahlberg grew up eating dinner under her father’s war-trophy portrait of Eva Braun. 
Fifty years after the war, she discovers what he never did—that her mother and Hitler’s mistress were friends. 

The secret surfaces with a mysterious monogrammed handkerchief, and a man, Hannes Ritter, whose Third Reich family history is entwined with Anna’s. 

Plunged into the world of the “ordinary” Munich girl who was her mother’s confidante—and a tyrant’s lover—Anna finds her every belief about right and wrong challenged. With Hannes’s help, she retraces the path of two women who met as teenagers, shared a friendship that spanned the years that Eva Braun was Hitler’s mistress, yet never knew that the men they loved had opposing ambitions. 

Eva’s story reveals that she never joined the Nazi party, had Jewish friends, and was credited at the Nuremberg Trials with saving 35,000 Allied lives. As Anna's journey leads back through the treacherous years in wartime Germany, it uncovers long-buried secrets and unknown reaches of her heart to reveal the enduring power of love in the legacies that always outlast war.

My Thoughts:

This book follows Anna Dahlberg who use to eat dinner under the famous portrait of Eva Braun which her father acquired after the war ended.  What Anna didn't realize was the connection between Anna's mother Peggy and Eva Braun.  When she works with Hannes Ritter at the magazine he encourages her to do papers on women and more specifically Eva Braun the girl who become Adolph Hitler's wife for about 40 hours until they both committed suicide at the end of the war.

As Anna learns more about the lives of these two women she also learns things about her husband she didn't know.  Things he was doing that he shouldn't have been and how little he cared about her.

This book was such a journey between the past and present.  We learn so much about Anna and those she deals with.  Anna also learns things about her mother she didn't know about.  This book travels from New England to Germany where the story ends.  I really enjoyed this story of three women and changes they dealt with.  Definitely a great book and I would recommend it to anyone who loves learning about women during World War II!

Author Bio:

Author Phyllis Edgerly Ring lives in New England and returns as often as she can to her childhood home in Germany. Her years there left her with a deep desire to understand the experience of Germans during the Second World War. She has studied plant sciences and ecology, worked as a nurse, been a magazine writer and editor, taught English to kindergartners in China, and served as program director at a Baha’i conference center in Maine.

She is also author of the novel, Snow Fence Road, and the inspirational nonfiction, Life at First Sight: Finding the Divine in the Details. Her book for children, Jamila Does Not Want a Bat in Her House, is scheduled for release by Bellwood Press in early 2017.

Buy Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring:

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