November 30, 2016

Crime and Catnip by T.C. LoTempio - Review and Giveaways

I voluntarily reviewed this book

Published: December 16, 2016
Number of pages: 304
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Nick and Nora Mystery #3

Nick and Nora aren’t just pussyfooting around this time as they deal with a missing person’s case and murder.

While catering a gala for the Cruz Museum, Nora Charles agrees to look into the disappearance of director Violet Crenshaw’s niece, a case previously undertaken by her frisky feline friend Nick’s former owner, a private eye whose whereabouts are also currently unknown.

As Nora and her curious cat Nick pull at the string of clues, they begin to unravel a twisted tale of coded messages, theft, false identities, murder, and international espionage. Nora dares to hope that the labyrinth of leads will not only help them locate the missing young woman, but also solve the disappearance of the detective. That’s if Nora can stay alive long enough to find him…


My thoughts:
This is the third book in this series but the first book that I have read and I was able to enjoy it without feeling lost.  I really liked that Nick "helped" Nora find clues to solve the crime. Nora seems to get herself into a few little situtations that sometimes threaten her own safety. Along with Nick looking for clues he also protects Nora when she gets into these scraps. Nick the cat has a bigger part in this book than most pets do and I thought it was a nice addition to the story. The author gave us little tidbits along the way but just enough to keep me guessing until the end of the story. A fun new to me series. I look forward to reading more books by this author. 

About the author:
While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – and in Spring 2017, the new CAT RESCUE msyteries from Crooked Lane! She, Rocco and company make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at and

Author Links
Where to find them:
ROCCO’s blog:




Purchase Links
Amazon B&N

This giveaway is for the US only. The winner will be drawn randomly via rafflecopter. Once the winner has been drawn they will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond. If you do not respond a new winner will be chosen. It is mandatory that you leave a comment on this post. This will be verfied and if you do not leave a comment then your entry will be thrown out. Thank you and good luck.

Tour Participants

November 30 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
November 30 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
December 1 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
December 1 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW
December 2 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
December 2 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
December 3 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
December 3 – The Power of Words – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
December 4 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
December 5 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
December 5 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
December 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
December 6 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
December 6 – Readeropolis – REVIEW
December 7 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
December 7 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
December 7 – Varietats – Review
December 8 – Book Babble – REVIEW
December 8 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
December 8 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
December 9 – Books Direct – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY
December 9 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

One of Windsor by Beth M. Caruso - Review and Giveaway


Published: October 29, 2015
Number of pages: 358
Genre: Historical Fiction

Alice, a young woman prone to intuitive insights and loyalty to the only family she has ever known, leaves England for the rigid colony of the Massachusetts Bay in 1635 in hopes of reuniting with them again. Finally settling in Windsor, Connecticut, she encounters the rich American wilderness and its inhabitants, her own healing abilities, and the blinding fears of Puritan leaders which collide and set the stage for America’s first witch hanging, her own, on May 26, 1647.

This event and Alice’s ties to her beloved family are catalysts that influence Connecticut’s Governor John Winthrop Jr. to halt witchcraft hangings in much later years. Paradoxically, these same ties and the memory of the incidents that led to her accusation become a secret and destructive force behind Cotton Mather’s written commentary on the Salem witch trials of 1692, provoking further witchcraft hysteria in Massachusetts forty-five years after her death.

The author uses extensive historical research combined with literary inventions, to bring forth a shocking and passionate narrative theory explaining this tragic and important episode in American history.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble
My thoughts:
This was an interesting historical fiction book.  I felt as if the author really did her research before giving us this story of the first woman hanged for witchcraft. We all know about the Salem Witch Trials but this horrific event came quite a few years before all of that. The characters were very well developed and real. It was nice to read some of the descriptions in how Alice heals people with herbs and such. It always boggles my mind how people can say you are a witch when you are just helping, but then I guess in their minds if it can't be explained then it is not real. While reading this you become more attached to Alice and wish you could help her out. From the time she lived in England to the time she was wrongfully hanged her life was not a good one. Which for me made this an emotional book. It really gives you something to think about regarding our history. I also learned that due to Alice's death influenced the Salem trails in later years. An interesting book.

Book Excerpt:

The elderly reverend knew it was crucial to stop Satan. As if in unison with the Dark Lord’s latest antics, tremendous bolts of lightning and deafening thunder heralded the ensuing rainstorm of that early autumn day in Boston. The reverend’s dedicated son would have preferred that he stay home by a fire and rest. Still feisty in his later years of life, he refused. He was fervently determined to discuss pertinent matters at hand concerning the witchcraft calamities in Salem and surrounding towns. As a minister, albeit a retired one, he felt responsible for guiding younger ministers, such as Cotton Mather, to make their congregations understand the menacing threats of witchcraft.

The aged minister was someone who had personally suffered through a de- monic incursion in Windsor, a river town of the Connecticut Colony, back in 1647. He was fully cognizant of its evil impacts. Satan had infiltrated Windsor through a consort and witch whom he knew all too well. The Great Demon had been stealthy in his trickery. But this time, the respected pastor hoped to arrest the Devil’s mischief before the same level of destruction and harm could occur. Accordingly, he was there to offer his assistance to Cotton Mather in dealing with witchcraft presently taking hold in Massachusetts Bay towns and villages. The young minister welcomed him into his home.

“Good day, dear Reverend. You must come in quickly out of the rain and take comfort by the hearth. I will have my servants bring you my fin- est cider and freshly baked, delicious cakes to eat. I have so much to share with you. By your experience, you have been the inspiration I have needed to start the work that we were speaking of the other week,” spoke Cotton Mather.

“Thank you, Cotton. It will warm my body as well as my heart to sit by the fire and hear of the inspirations that took hold of your soul. I hope it helped you to do the honorable task of warning our people of the great wrath of Satan,” replied the elderly reverend.

With that pronouncement, the old reverend took off his soggy cloak and sat down at a table next to the hearth. He paused and grew distinctly somber before continuing.

“Satan must not be allowed to advance further into our New England wil- derness, for we have painstakingly worked at taming it over the years. Yet our young people lapse into disobedience of the commandments of Jesus Christ. Our current admonishment by the Lord through the events in Salem and be- yond act to bring us back to the righteous path,” explained the aged pastor as the rain poured down.

He looked wide-eyed and serious at Cotton.

Cotton Mather nodded at the old reverend in agreement and replied, “You see, honored Reverend, by your histories of the very earliest acts of war first waged upon these colonies by Lucifer, I have been able to put the current dif- ficulties in Salem into a broader view of understanding for our present govern- ment. I hope it will aid those justices that would weigh their opinions upon such cases of bewitchments. It is also for the benefit of younger generations. I know you prefer not to be mentioned by name, but hear what it is that I have reiterated concerning those times,” he implored.

Cotton quickly pulled out a satchel full of papers written upon with a righteous and eloquent hand and requested, “Please tell me what you think, Reverend. This is from the introduction of my commentary. These words were taken directly from our lengthy conversations of what is transpiring now at Salem and in our congregations in relation to the Devil and his armies’ frustration of
defeat in Connecticut so many years ago. I am naming this commentary Wonders of the Invisible World.”

“Wonders of the Invisible World,” nodded the old reverend, speaking loudly over the storm.

A servant came in and poured warm cider for the two ministers. At being interrupted, the elderly pastor pursed his lips, staying silent, but met Cotton’s eyes with a secret understanding. They waited until the servant left before con- tinuing their discussion.

Cotton continued, “This is part of the Introduction, Enchantments Encountered”.

He read, “We have been advised by Credible Christians still alive, that a Malefactor accused of Witchcraft as well as Murder, and executed in this place, more than Forty years ago, did then give Notice of An Horrible PLO T against the country by W I TCHCR A F T, and a foundation of Witchcraft then laid, which if it were not seasonably discovered, would probably Blow up and pull down all the Churches in the Country.”

“ Yes. Yes!” agreed the agitated old minister, and added, “ The young people need to know how, if we had not ferreted out the witch that spawned all oth- ers on the shores of the Great Connecticut, all of our churches in the colonies would have failed indeed. Nothing would have pleased Satan and his legions more than to see those intent on building a godly and pure Utopian state in this wilderness beaten down and forced by evil to return to England. We, the people of Windsor, agonized much in bringing to light of day the bewitchments brought upon us by a naughty and wayward woman. She who made a pact with the Devil allowed him to nearly destroy us. By the Grace of God he did not, thanks to the watchful vigilance of God’s dedicated and steadfast servants!” he howled with the tempest.

The aged pastor continued, enraged, “No one likes to speak her name. She deserves no recognition for her defamation of this country by unleashing devils that would dare claim this corner of the earth for their own in an affront to the Lord Jesus Christ. By her hand, a great pestilence of disease infiltrated the daily life of the fledgling colony of Connecticut, especially in the town of Windsor. We had settled into our homes only about twelve years when the Devil was over- come with venomous jealousy that we had claimed formerly heathen territory and tamed wilderness for our Lord Jesus. Satan saw a prime opportunity to permeate and upset our small community through the wickedness and unfaith- fulness of that woman,” he spoke as the sky rumbled.

The old reverend took a sip of cider, wetting his dry lips.

“Such was the power that Satan infused her with that a great many people died, including many young children, for the Devil has no conscience and no compassion. Upon her death, she did swear in a fit of lies that she was innocent. She cursed those whose testimonies and swift actions led her to the hangman’s noose. The good Reverend Thomas Hooker was presiding at the First Church in Windsor for the Reverend John Wareham during the time of her bewitch- ments,” recounted the old cleric.

He clenched his fists as he took a deep breath.

“He helped to expose her and was touched by her wickedness in such a way that he died less than one month later of the same dreaded disease that she helped to proliferate and use to kill other devout soldiers of Christ,” the old reverend said.

Cotton Mather spoke again intensely, “Yes, I understand, Reverend. I pref- ace the first reading I recited just now with this...The New Englanders are a People of God settled in those, which were once the Devil’s Territories; and it may easily be supposed that the Devil was exceedingly disturbed, when he perceived such a People here accomplishing the Promise of old made unto our Blessed Jesus, that He should have the Utmost parts of the Earth for his Possession.”

Cotton continued, “I believe that never were more Satanical Devices used for the Unsettling of any People under the Sun, than what have been employed for the Extirpation of the Vine which God has here Planted, Casting out the Heathen, and preparing a Room before it, and causing it to take deep Root, and fill the Land, so that it sent its Boughs unto the Atlantic Sea Eastward, and its Branches unto the Connecticut River westward, and the Hills were covered with the shadow thereof. But in all those attempts of Hell, have hitherto been Abortive and Having obtained Help from God, we continue to this Day. Where fore the Devil is now making one Attempt more difficult, more Surprising, more snarled with unintelligible circumstances than any we have hitherto encountered.”

The senior cleric nodded his head approvingly. Their conversation contin- ued for the better part of two hours. The time was interspersed with prayers as well, imploring the Almighty Father to empower them in their fight against the Prince of Darkness. Cider was refilled several times. They discussed the importance of weeding out all of Satan’s imps and witches in Salem and other nearby villages and towns so that New England could be as pure again as that first generation of godly wayfarers who led the ultimate religious Utopian ex- periment into the wilderness.

When the conversation eased, the thoughtful and grave old minister stared into the fire. He wondered if she were burning in hellfires in that very moment. And what of the souls of the family who had forever fractured in their defense or blame of her, the first colonial witch? He was becoming quite old now. Soon, he hoped to be called to God’s kingdom. Until that time, he would continue to be of service to the younger generations of ministers trying to guide their lost flocks away from Satan.

Abruptly, there was a knock on the door that jerked the ministers from their pious imaginings. It was the elderly reverend’s son. He had come to re- trieve his father. He paid his respects to the Reverend Cotton Mather and then gently guided his father out into the streets of Boston, newly drenched from the rain. The elderly pastor turned around and shouted to Reverend Mather.

“Please feel free to call for my assistance again. For an old man such as I delights in nothing more than making his last acts upon this earth ones that are dedicated to bringing God’s people closer to Him and away from the wretches of the Devil. I shall be honored to continue to help you with your mission,” of- fered the old cleric.

“Thank you, honorable Reverend,” answered Cotton with a slight bow.

About the Author
Beth M. Caruso grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and spent her childhood writing puppet shows and witches’ cookbooks. She became interested in French Literature and Hispanic Studies, receiving a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Cincinnati. She later obtained Masters degrees in Nursing and Public Health.

Working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand, she helped to improve the public health of local Karen hill tribes. She also had the privilege to care for hundreds of babies and their mothers as a labor and delivery nurse.

Largely influenced by an apprenticeship with herbalist and wildcrafter, Will Endres, in North Carolina, she surrounds herself with plants through gardening and native species conservation.

Her latest passion is to discover and convey important stories of women in American history. One of Windsor is her debut novel. She lives in New England with her awesome husband, amazing children, loyal puppy, and cuddly cats.


Giveaway Details:

Terms & Conditions:
By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive both books
This giveaway ends midnight November 30.
Winner will be contacted via email on December 1.
Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

November 29, 2016

Shades of Wrath by Karen Rose Smith - Spotlight

Published: November 29, 2016
Number of pages: 352
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Caprice De Luca Mystery #6

Between her booming business, her family, and her work rescuing stray animals, home stager Caprice De Luca’s life is packed. But when a murder unsettles peaceful Kismet, Pennsylvania, she adds amateur sleuth to her resume.

Thanks to a wealthy patron, Kismet’s women’s shelter, Sunshine Tomorrow, has inherited a run-down mansion. Now the shelter’s director, Wendy Newcomb, wants Caprice’s decorating expertise. Caprice is happy to help, but when she glimpses a few heated encounters between Wendy and some locals, she fears that Wendy may be in need of protection herself.

When Wendy is found dead inside the old house, Caprice is compelled to poke around in her affairs—and discovers she had her share of enemies. Now, with countless clients, a TV gig that could make her a household name, and rumors of a marriage proposal on its way, Caprice must find time to design an investigation that will lure a crafty killer into the wide open—before someone else winds up in a state of permanent disrepair…

Author Bio:
Hi! I'm Karen Rose Smith. I write mystery, romance and women's fiction. My 97th novel will be released in 2017. Besides writing, my passion is caring for my four rescued cats--Zoie Joy, Halo, her daughter Paddy, senior London...and siblings--Bonnie & Clyde--who are strays who come twice a day at least for wet food. My hobbies are gardening, cooking, watercolor painting and photography. An only child, I've always delved into books as an escape. But as part of a large Italian family, I had cousins and relatives around me often. Families are a strong theme in my novels, both mysteries and romances. In my Caprice De Luca mystery series, my sleuth Caprice takes in stray cats and dogs and finds them homes. I love to chat with readers so feel free to search my Facebook pages--lots of cat photos--and join in.

Social links:
Romance Website:
Mystery Website:

Message from the author:
SHADES OF WRATH is a special book to me for two reasons. I tackled the subject of domestic violence. I hope I did it in such a way that I brought an honest glimpse to this crisis for women. I've interwoven this plotline with healthy relationships too to bring warmth and joy to the novel. The second reason SHADES is heartfelt is the dedication to Sunnybud and his inclusion in the book. He was a yellow tabby that I befriended for 3 years. He was a wanderer but he came to trust and depend on me and my husband. We lost him last February to an FIV complicated infection. But I'll never forget how he trusted me to feed him, warm him with heat bags in winter, and simply give him love.

I hope you enjoy every bit of SHADES OF WRATH. This novel was more than a mystery to me. It was a labor of love.

November 28, 2016

An Enlightening Quiche by Eva Pasco - Spotlight

Title: An Enlightening Quiche
Author: Eva Pasco
Release Date: August 22, 2016
Publisher: Infinity Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction
Format: Ebook/Paperback

Dysfunctional. Deceptive. Demure. More than meets the eye at face value, Augusta Bergeron, stuck in a holding pattern, engages in morally destructive behavior she attributes to maternal abandonment. In for a rude awakening upon eggs-huming her mother's quiche recipe, she unravels its significance and forsakes erroneous assumptions. Enlightened, Augusta feels compelled to redress all the havoc she's wrought in the aftermath of a tragedy.

Augusta:Tarry in northern Rhode Island with us unpretentious French-Canadians, eh?

Tried-and-true friendships tested. Quest for Mr. Right. Impoverished mill. Unleashed secrets. Enriched by geographic entities, historic references, and regional culture--Blackstone Valley beckons.


Augusta: Just as a note from Mrs. Blais had enticed me to sift through stowed away sagas inside a leather crypt and revived my dormant flair for writing, Tante’s recent memoir had me scrambling inside the keepsake box for the index card bearing the brunt of a quiche recipe whose basic ingredient of spinach packed a Popeye punch to knock the wind out of a brute. I glided my fingers over the scanty fragments of my mother’s legacy, absorbing her wretchedness through parched ink still resolute in its faded glory.

Genetically endowed with Simone’s temperament, exotic features, and allure, I followed in her footsteps. Both of us derailed off righteous paths and marginally skirted brinks of disaster from having suffered the scourges of maternal abandonment.

Tante’s memoir illuminated the significance of a recipe I intended to follow exactement in revival for my birthday gathering. Though a breakthrough for me at the time, it hadn’t yet sliced all the way through the custard as to why Monique felt compelled to salvage this from a trash basket at my mother’s last known whereabouts for me to warrant its reclamation an enlightening quiche with far-reaching effects.

An arrow’s fly shy of America’s fowl tradition, a presidium of pulchritudinous birds of a feather flocked together at my place to feast and frolic in observance of my birthday sans gifts per my request, same as last year and every year since turning the screws past thirty. Engraved-in-stone inductees Estelle and Paul held court at the heavyset dining room table while Noel and Jenny set up camp in the adjoining parlor, away from the adults and in control of the television set with chips and dip all to themselves. The honorable Marchands, add-ons by ultimatum as in “you’re coming or else,” seated themselves accordingly according to chivalric order with Norm and Oncle prevailing as heads of state at opposite ends of the mahogany ball & claw. Though Lindsay made the A-list of invitees, she reserved weekends for spending time with her dad whom she affectionately tagged an absentminded professor. Monique, permanently exiled from attending family functions, prevented Tante from squaring off with the gal she squarely blamed for exerting her libationary influence on me through our pigs-in-a-poke camaraderie.

Oncle prefaced the sit-down repeating aloud his last year’s wish for me to make an honest woman of myself by getting married well in advance of my setting down chocolate mousse cake with dulce de leche cream and truffle ganache, another triumph by Pâtisseries Évocatrices. Everyone with the exception of Norm let his comment slide by rewinding their stalled conversations.

Crediting my landlord with the memory of a non-Republican elephant and a disposition to get even, I believe he expelled an untoward remark as overdue payback for my having bested him in front of Lindsay when I divulged his struggles to squeeze into an army uniform and blabbed about his scrapbook. While placing a serving platter of bite-sized slices of French bread hors d’oeuvres alongside a large bowl of salade verte, his jab stopped me in my tracks en route to the pantry for the quiche, stingily allocating a split second for me to reload and fire back a retort of last resort.

“The other day Bernard Paquin mentioned he saw you and some fella leavin’ Chuggers by the light of the moon makin’ a run for it. Maybe he’s the one!”

Well, if that didn’t divert their attention again! “Oh, was Bernard oot and aboot making one of his special deliveries at the Post?”

My Vancouver Canuck slapshot summoned the hokey expression, “the eyes have it” through the blank stares of those dumbfounded and confounded by an innuendo. Norm’s eyes threw daggers at me, confirming his wife hadn’t confronted him about the girlie mags. Yolande’s eyes darted everywhere and ultimately fixated on her hostess. “Tabarnak! What are you waiting for? Bring out the quiche!”

Undergoing a midlife renaissance, Eva Pasco rekindled her passion for storytelling by featuring flawed and feisty women over forty who grapple with, confront, and overcome their personal dilemmas to become empowered in making profound life changes for the better.



A Killer Location by Sarah T. Hobart - Spotlight and Guest Post

Published: November 22, 2016
Number of pages: 216
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Home Sweet Home Mystery #2

As this captivating cozy mystery series featuring real estate agent Sam Turner continues, a dream home turns into a crime scene when murder intrudes on an open house.

Thanks to a few sales and a self-help book on becoming a super-agent, Sam Turner is well on her way to becoming real estate royalty in Arlinda, her eccentric hometown on the Northern California coast. And after settling into her new house with her teenage son, she’s finally a homeowner, too. Sure, things aren’t perfect—for example, her sister still doesn’t know that Sam is dating her ex, police chief Bernie Aguilar—but perfect is boring. And Sam’s life is never boring.

When Sam’s boss, Everett Sweet, assigns her an open house in Arlinda’s most exclusive neighborhood, she brushes up on her super-agent tips, hoping to wow potential buyers. But there’s nothing in the manual about stumbling upon the owner’s dead body halfway through the tour. When suspicion falls on her boss, Sam and her co-workers are suddenly out of work, their real estate licenses suspended. Now, with her job on the line and a mortgage to pay, Sam will need every trick in the book to clear Everett’s name.

About The Author:

Sarah Hobart is a real estate agent and former newspaper reporter in Northern California, where she lives with her husband and two children in a majestic fixer-upper overlooking State Highway 101.

Purchase Links:
Amazon B&N

Guest Post:
The Tao of the Refrigerator

It seems that just when I find the time to settle in and do some serious writing, life intervenes.

First was the prolonged political sideshow that seemed to drag on and on. The phone rang constantly, and a few stalwart canvassers even came to the door, despite eighty pounds of grumpy old retriever behind the gate.

Then someone in the family – possibly me, it’s all a blur – decided a puppy should join our menage. Haven’t slept in three weeks, and one of my Birkenstocks is inexplicably missing.

But Fate delivered a crushing blow when we recently lost an old and treasured family member: our 1978 Maytag refrigerator. Appliances built during that glorious era were made to last, and ol’ May was no exception. Through marriage and childbirth and over six presidencies, she’d soldiered on, sporting her avocado-green exterior with timeless elegance.

But time, alas, caught up with her. First came the ice that built up in the freezer compartment, drifting down like snow flurries every time we opened the door; then the drips that turned into rivulets, forming vast lakes on the kitchen floor each morning. We vacuumed out the coils and defrosted religiously, but we knew in our hearts our longtime companion was telling us loud and clear: “This is the end, mate.” She was thirty-eight, after all, which is 186 in appliance years.

Fortunately our sorrow was tempered by the excitement of picking out a new fridge. My sweetheart turned the whole purchase over to me, speaking those tender words so dear to every woman’s heart: “Don’t worry about the price, just get something.”

In my mind’s eye, I could already see our new refrigerator: a major brand name, 22-cubic foot side-by-side in glossy black with an ice and water dispenser in the door. It was beautiful.

I roped my sons into accompanying me on a trip to the big-box store, where there was a huge appliance sale taking place. The first blow came when the salesclerk told me all the side-by-sides were backordered until approximately the end of time, and I was forced to settle for a freezer-on-the-bottom model in glossy black. “Kids, here it is,” I called out.

Both boys examined the refrigerator top to bottom. “Does it come in stainless?” my teenager said.

“What’s wrong with black?”

“Mom, black is so five years ago,” he said. “And look how it shows fingerprints.” His younger brother demonstrated by planting a grubby thumb on the finish. Yikes.

“And it’ll show dog drool too,” my eldest said.

That was it. “Fine. We’ll get stainless.” We placed the order and I reflected that at least I had gotten my name brand, though no one outside the Honduras would recognize it. Delivery was scheduled for the following day.

Back home, our old fridge was already starting to reek of decomposition. We unloaded the foodstuffs that had not yet started down the slippery slope to salmonella and packed them into picnic coolers.

The exterior was harder. A refrigerator is much more than a place to store food: it’s the social and emotional hub of the home. Over the years, our fridge had become the family historian and message board. Into a box went the following pieces of our lives:

– our son’s 2nd grade school day schedule, starting with “Opening Circle” and continuing through “snack time” and “Closing Circle” (he’s now a sophomore in college).

– a pair of gift certificates for a romantic hot tub weekend, given to Mr. H and me before we had kids, in a city we moved away from sixteen years ago.

– a 4th grade Spelling Bee achievement award our youngest earned (he went down on the word “achievement”). Also, a certificate honoring his perfect attendance (he was absent the day of the ceremony).

– a family reunion photo featuring my relatives from a past Christmas. Mr. H’s hair is all brown and he’s wearing it in a ponytail. My niece (married) and my nephew (married, with a baby) are there as cute little kids, as is my other nephew (driving under a learner’s permit). My other niece, just six months old at the time of the reunion, has boobs now (disconcerting).

– a business card from a “holistic chiropractor” in Portland, who helped us cure our youngest of a debilitating condition before we realized she was actually a veterinarian (true story).

– a rabies certificate showing our big brown retriever is current on her vaccination through 2007.

– a gift certificate from a local tattoo parlor Mr. H gave me for my birthday fourteen years ago, when I declared I wanted to get my nipple pierced (all the nursing mothers were doing it).

– an application for an AARP credit card offering a terrific initial interest rate, because they know you’re not going to live all that long anyway.

– a clipping of a Tom and Ray (“Click and Clack”) column: “Who’s hardest on cars anyway?” (men or women – do you even need to ask?)

– plus every award and accolade ever received by our children and every piece of artwork they’d ever created, even if the macaroni had long since been nibbled off by dogs.

Once the exterior was sadly bare, Mr. H and our eldest pushed ol’ May out onto the porch for disposal. Sounds harsh, I know.

I suppose the glossy modern look of our new fridge, with its automatic icemaker and freezer compartment illumination, will provide a modicum of comfort in times like this. But change can be hard to take.

Especially if you’re a Democrat.

Tour Participants

November 21 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
November 22 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW 
November 22 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT
November 23 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW 
November 23 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
November 24 – THANKSGIVING U.S.
November 25 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
November 25 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
November 26 – Booklady’s Booknotes – REVIEW
November 26 – LibriAmoriMiei
November 27 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
November 28 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW
November 28 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
November 29 – Readeropolis – INTERVIEW
December 1 – Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes – REVIEW
December 1 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
December 2 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
December 2 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
December 3 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

November 27, 2016

Giver of Wonders by Roseanna M. White - Review

I voluntarily reviewed this book

Published: November 1, 2016
Number of pages: 322
Genre; Christian Historical Fiction

A miracle once saved her life ~ will another give her a future?

Cyprus was little more than a child when a fall left her paralyzed...and when the boy known as the wonder-worker healed her. Ever since, she has wondered why the Lord spared her, what he has in store for her. But her pagan father thinks she was spared solely so she could be introduced to the wealthy wonder-worker, Nikolaos.

Nikolaos has never questioned that his call in life is to dedicate himself to the church and to God. Never, that is, until he and his cousin Petros meet the compelling Cyprus Visibullis. For years he struggles with the feelings she inspires...and with the sure knowledge that Petros loves her too.

Petros knows he will never be good enough for Cyprus's father to consider him as a match for his favorite daughter not as long as Nikolaos is there. But when tragedy strikes the Visibullis family, he will do anything to save his beloved. Unfortunately, his beloved is determined to do anything to save her sisters ~ even at the cost of herself.

As the festival of lights bathes their Greek city in beauty, Cyprus, Petros, and Nikolaos celebrate the miracle of their Savior s birth together one last time. And in remembrance of their Lord's greatest gift, one of them will make the ultimate sacrifice for the others...and a centuries-long tradition will be born.

My thoughts:
I have to say I really enjoy all of this author's books but for some reason I did not like this one as well. It is nothing to do with the writing style I just had a hard time getting into this time period and the story. It is really hard for me to say this as I do not like giving less than great reviews. This is a nice book to read during the Holiday season. While you read it it will help you to understand  how the Christmas tradition started.The characters were well developed in this story and it was nice getting to know each of them. It was also nice to hear about Nikolaos' story before he became a saint. There was a lot of good descriptions in this book so you could really get a sense of where it takes place as well as the feelings of each of the characters. 

About the author:
Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna has a slew of historical novels available, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. She lives with her family in West Virginia. Learn more at

Give Me Chocolate by Annie Hansen - Review

I voluntarily reviewed this book

Published: November 3, 2014
Number of pages: 192
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Kelly Clark Mystery #1

Give Me Chocolate, the first in the Kelly Clark Series, from mystery author, Annie Hansen! In the quaint river town of Geneva, Illinois, Kelly Clark flees California and returns to her hometown to re-start her life after a horrific divorce from an abusive husband. She accepts her sister’s generous offer to live in the apartment above Chocolate Love, her sister’s specialty dessert shop in the Historic District of Geneva. Kelly’s life starts to turn around when she reconnects with an old flame. Just when it looks like she's getting her life back on track, she stumbles over a dead body. The suspicious death sends her hopes for a better future plummeting. Has her violent past and the danger she faced in California followed her home to Geneva? "Annie Hansen’s novel Give Me Chocolate received the highest scores from this year’s panel of judges because of the promising writing ability she demonstrated." -Mystery Writers of America Annie Hansen is a graduate of The University of Illinois with a B.S. in Biology. She is a partner with Hansen Search Group, a staffing firm she co-founded with her husband and business partner, Brent Hansen, in 2001. She was named the winner of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America Scholarship in 2011 for her submission of Give Me Chocolate. Annie is the author of the Kelly Clark Mystery Series and can be reached through her website. She lives with her family in the western suburbs of Chicago. Give Me Chocolate is her first cozy mystery novel.

My thoughts:
What could be better than chocolate and a mystery all rolled into an enjoyable new series. I am happy I got a chance to read this debut book by this author. The writing style was very nice and made and just flew through the book. I thought the characters were enjoyable and real. It was neat how the author included a lot of local areas in the book. It gave me a real sense of the city. There is also a bit of romance in this story which for me adds to the story. I liked how she kept me in suspense of who did it until the end. I will be looking foward to the book in this series. 

About the author:
Annie Hansen is a graduate of the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Biology. She is a partner with Hansen Search Group, a staffing firm she cofounded with her husband and business partner, Brent Hansen, in 2001. She was named the winner of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America Scholarship in 2011 for her submission of “Give Me Chocolate.” Annie is the author of The Kelly Clark Mystery Series and can be reached through her website: She lives with her family in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Scandal's Splendor by Collette Cameron - Spotlight

Title: Scandal's Splendor (Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Book 4)
Author: Collette Cameron
Release Date: November 30, 2016
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing, LLC
Genre: Regency Romance
Format: Ebook

A determined Scottish lady

Seonaid Ferguson, a lady of Craiglocky Keep, is through with London’s Marriage Mart. After learning she has the second sight, the haut ton attempts to exploit her abilities. Even though it means she condemns herself to spinsterhood, Seonaid sets a desperate course to rid herself of her gift turned curse. As she rushes home from England, a snowstorm strands her in a crowded inn with the last man she ever wished to see again. A handsome French baron who once thought her a courtesan. And just her misfortune, only he stands between her and certain harm.

An honorable French nobleman

Jacques, Monsieur le baron de Devaux-Rousset, ventures to Scotland to oversee his new investment; a silver mine near Craiglocky. Only a handsome profit will save his family's destitute estate in France. But when the mine is beset with one problem after another, Jacques must instead search for an heiress to wed. He certainly should not be falling in love with the lovely, spirited sister of Laird Ewan MacTavish, a lass whose dowry is insufficient to restore his ancestral home. Nor should he consider, even for a moment, her risqué, but deliciously tempting scheme to rid her of the second sight.

A danger most dire

Matters are torn from their hands when a dangerous adversary vows to expose Seonaid as a witch, just as Jacques's problems at the mine escalate into deadly violence. Is it by chance, or a dark design, that both of them are beset at once? Dare Jacques and Seonaid throw caution aside and forge a future together?In this follow-up to the acclaimed military science fiction thriller.

Meet the Author:

An escapee from the Pacific Northwest’s rainy, gray coast, COLLETTE CAMERON believed teaching her destiny until she dared to tap out her first novel.

She’s been enthralled with writing ever since.

Blessed with three spectacular children, fantastic fans, and a compulsive, over-active, and witty Muse who won’t stop whispering new romantic romps in her ear, she still lives in Oregon with her mini-dachshunds, though she dreams of living in Scotland part-time.

A bestselling, award-winning author, Collette pens Scottish and Regency historicals featuring rogues, rapscallions, rakes, and the intelligent, intrepid damsels who reform them. You’ll always find dogs, birds, occasionally naughty humor, and a dash of inspiration in her sweet-to-spicy timeless romances.

A member of Novelist Inc., Romance Writers of America, as well as several RWA chapters including The Beau Monde, Hearts Through History, Celtic Hearts, Rose City Romance Writers, and the Greater Seattle Romance Writers, Collette admits to a quirky sense of humor, enjoys trivia and inspiring quotes, adores castles and anything cobalt blue, and is a self-confessed Cadbury chocoholic.

Her motto for life? You can’t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, too many flowers, or too many books. She’s thinking about adding shoes to that list.

November 25, 2016

Blood Magick by Nora Roberts - Review

Published: October 28, 2014
Number of pages: 304
Genre: Romance
Series: The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy #3

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts comes a trilogy about the land we’re drawn to, the family we learn to cherish, and the people we long to love…

Book Three of The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy
Blood Magick

County Mayo is rich in the traditions of Ireland, legends that Branna O’Dwyer fully embraces in her life and in her work as the proprietor of The Dark Witch shop, which carries soaps, lotions, and candles for tourists, made with Branna’s special touch.

Branna’s strength and selflessness hold together a close circle of friends and family—along with their horses and hawks and her beloved hound. But there’s a single missing link in the chain of her life: love…

She had it once—for a moment—with Finbar Burke, but a shared future is forbidden by history and blood. Which is why Fin has spent his life traveling the world to fill the abyss left in him by Branna, focusing on work rather than passion.

Branna and Fin’s relationship offers them both comfort and torment. And though they succumb to the heat between them, there can be no promises for tomorrow. A storm of shadows threatens everything that their circle holds dear. It will be Fin’s power, loyalty, and heart that will make all the difference in an age-old battle between the bonds that hold their friends together and the evil that has haunted their families for centuries.

My thoughts:
This book was everything I expected it to be and more. The only problem I had with this book is I wanted to read it faster so the battle between the cousins and the evil that haunted them to happen so I could see who would win.  It was nice to see all the cousins working together and each of them becoming stronger as well as their partners. I liked how we got to see more of the cousins from a previous time. For me the who witch theme added to the story. The descriptions were so good you could feel the fog creeping in, feel the fire burn and see the beautiful landscapes as they were our riding and hawking. I felt like the romance was a good part of the story but it did not take over the story which I liked. The ending was satisfying for me and had me holding my breath for awhile. This is the third book in this trilogy and I suggest you read all the books in order. 

About the author:
Nora Roberts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels, including The Liar, The Collector, Whiskey Beach, The Witness, and many more. She is also the author of the bestselling In Death series written under the pen name J. D. Robb. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print.

November 22, 2016

A New Way to Dinner by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs - Review

I voluntarily reviewed this book

Published: October 18, 2016
Number of pages: 288
Genre: Cookbook

A smart, inspiring cookbook of 100+ recipes from the founders of the powerhouse web site Food52 showing just how they--two busy working parents--actually plan, shop, and cook for delicious dinners (and breakfasts, lunches, and desserts)--all through the week. The secret? Cooking ahead.

Finally, anyone can learn how to maximize (and enjoy) time in the kitchen. Food52 founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs start with flexible base dishes they make on the weekend, then use them in multiple ways for quick weekday meals--exactly the way they really cook for themselves and their families. Both authors tackles every month of the year, providing seasonal recipes and clever tips and strategies that yield delicious, dependable results. This indispensable cookbook lays out the building blocks of modern meal planning, encouraging readers to be creative, confident, and resourceful in the kitchen all year-round.

My thoughts:
I liked the concept of this book and the idea that you can plan your meals for a week at at time as well as cook them ahead of time. But for me the recipes were made with foods I have never heard of nor do I know where to find them. In fact I had to look up some of the things to find out what they were. There may be a recipe or two that I will try but as a whole this book was not for me. I hope that some people find this book helpful and the recipes tasty. For me I will be passing this book on to a friend who may use it more than me so it does not sit and collect dust. I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.

About the author:
Amanda Hesser is the co-founder of Food52 and was previously a writer and editor at the New York Times. She wrote the award-winning books Cooking for Mr. Latte and The Cook and the Gardener. Her last book, a Times bestseller and the winner of a James Beard Award, is The Essential New York Times Cookbook. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and twins.

Merrill Stubbs is the co-founder of Food52 and has written for many food and lifestyle publications, including the New York Times. She cut her teeth in the test kitchen at Cook’s Illustrated and behind the counter at Flour Bakery in Boston before she worked with Amanda Hesser on The Essential New York Times Cookbook. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children.

Cat Got Your Diamonds by Julie Chase - Spotlight and Giveaway

Published: November 15, 2016
Number of pages: 304
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Kitty Coutoure

Grandeur and opulence are everything in the famed New Orleans Garden District where pets are family and no bling is too big. Opening Furry Godmother, pet boutique and organic treat bakery, is Lacy Marie Crocker’s dream come true–until the glitter gun used to make her Shih Tzu tutus becomes a murder weapon. And Lacy becomes public enemy #1.

Now Detective Jack Oliver is hounding Lacy, and her Furry Godmother investor wants out before his name is tarnished by association. To make matters worse, a string of jewel heists with suspicious ties to the murder case has New Orleans residents on edge. To save her dream, Lacy must take a stand, put her keen eyes to work, and unravel what really happened at her shop that night. But can Lacy sniff out the killer cat burglar in time to get her tail-raising designs on the catwalk?

About The Author
Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency. Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey.


Purchase Links:
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Tour Participants

November 15 – The Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW
November 15 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW
November 15 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
November 16 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW, GUEST POST
November 16 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner – REVIEW
November 16 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT
November 17 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
November 17 – Grace. Gratitude. Life. by Marie McNary – REVIEW
November 18 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW, GUEST POST
November 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 18 – The Power of Words – REVIEW 
November 19 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
November 19 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW (not posted), SPOTLIGHT
November 20 – Michelle’s Romantic Tangle – GUEST POST
November 20 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
November 21 – Bea’s Book Nook – REVIEW
November 21 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
November 21 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
November 22 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – REVIEW
November 22 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
November 22 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
November 23 – Book Babble – REVIEW
November 23 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
November 23 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
November 24 – THANKSGIVING
November 25 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
November 25 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 26 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
November 26 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
November 27 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GUEST POST
November 27 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
November 28 – Classy Cheapskate – REVIEW
November 28 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
November 28 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
November 29 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
November 29 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

For Duty and Honor by Leo J. Maloney - Spotlight and Giveaway

Published: November 22, 2016
Number of pages: 96
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Series: Dan Morgan 5.5

In this action-packed novella, Black Ops veteran Leo J. Maloney delivers a heart-pounding tale as fast, cold, and sleek as a 9mm bullet...

For Duty And Honor

The unthinkable has happened to operative Dan Morgan. Captured by the Russians. Imprisoned in the Gulag. Tortured by his cruelest, most sadistic enemy. But Morgan knows that every prisoner has a past—and every rival can be used. With the most unlikely of allies, Morgan hatches a plan. To save what’s important, he must risk everything. And that’s when the stakes go sky-high. Dan Morgan’s got to keep fighting. For duty. And honor. And even certain death...

About the author:
Leo J. Maloney is a proud supporter of Mission K9 Rescue,, which is dedicated to the service of retiring and retired military dogs and contract dogs and other dogs who serve. Mission K9 rescues, reunites, re-homes, rehabilitates, and repairs these hero dogs. Leo donates a portion of the proceeds from his writing to this organization. To find out more about Mission K9 Rescue, or to make your own donation, please visit or go to

Catch Up with Mr. Maloney on his Author's Website , on Author's Twitter , and on Author's Facebook

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Leo J. Maloney. There will be 1 winners of one (1) eBook copy of For Duty and Honor by Leo J. Maloney. This giveaway is limited to US & Canadian residents only. The giveaway begins on November 19th and runs through November 26th, 2016.

Click here to view the 'For Duty and Honor by Leo J. Maloney' Tour Participants

November 21, 2016

Five Dog Voodoo by Lia Farrell - Review and Giveaway

I voluntarily reviewed this book

Published: November 15, 2016
Number of pages: 266
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Mae December Mystery #5

As Halloween approaches, engaged couple Mae December and Sheriff Ben Bradley have devoted all their energy to Ben’s campaign for reelection as sheriff of Rose County, Tennessee. The race is already too close to call when the sheriff’s office is hit with yet another maddeningly tricky murder case. In recent years the town of Rosedale has had more than its fair share of murders, a fact Ben’s smarmy opponent is all too eager to exploit.

Investigator Dory Clarkson and her friend, Counselor Evangeline Bon Temps, are visiting the mysterious Voodoo village when a resident tells them her granddaughter, Zoé Canja, is missing. Her dog, a Weimaraner nursing four pups, escapes the house and finds the young woman’s body in a shallow grave. Evangeline becomes Sheriff Ben Bradley’s unofficial consultant because her grandmother in Haiti and later her mother in New Orleans practiced Voodoo. A threatening symbol is left on the pavement by Dory’s front door, effectively banning her from the case. Evangeline and the sheriff’s office ask too many questions, and Evangeline soon wears out her welcome. Voodoo curses aside, Ben’s job is at stake, and no one associated with the case is safe until the killer is found.

Book 5 in the Mae December Mystery series, which began with One Dog Too Many.

About The Authors
Lia Farrell is the nom de plume for a mother/daughter duo of writers. Mom Lyn Farquhar and Daughter Lisa Fitzsimmons have been collaborating on the Mae December mystery series for four years.

Lyn Farquhar taught herself to read before starting school and honed her story telling abilities by reading to her little sister. Ultimately, her mother ended the reading sessions because Lyn’s sister decided she preferred being read to over learning to read herself. She fell in love with library books at the age of six when a Bookmobile came to her one-room rural elementary school. The day the Bookmobile arrived, Lyn decided she would rather live in the bookmobile than at home and was only ousted following sustained efforts by her teacher and the bookmobile driver.

Lyn graduated from Okemos High School in Michigan and got her college and graduate degrees from Michigan State University. She has a master’s degree in English literature and a Ph.D. in Education, but has always maintained that she remained a student for such a long time only because it gave her an excuse to read. Lyn holds the rank of Professor of Medical Education at Michigan State University and has authored many journal articles, abstracts and research grants. Since her retirement from MSU to become a full time writer, she has completed a Young Adult Fantasy trilogy called Tales of the Skygrass Kingdom. Volume I from the trilogy is entitled Journey to Maidenstone and is available on Lyn has two daughters and six step children, nine granddaughters and three grandsons. She also has two extremely spoiled Welsh Corgi’s. Her hobby is interior design and she claims she has the equivalent of a master’s degree from watching way too many decorating shows.

Lisa Fitzsimmons grew up in Michigan and was always encouraged to read, write and express herself artistically. She was read aloud to frequently. Throughout her childhood and teenage years, she was seldom seen without a book in hand. After becoming a mom at a young age, she attended Michigan State University in a tri-emphasis program with concentrations in Fine Art, Art History an Interior Design.

Lisa, with her husband and their two children, moved to North Carolina for three exciting years and then on to Tennessee, which she now calls home. She has enjoyed an eighteen year career as a Muralist and Interior Designer in middle Tennessee, but has always been interested in writing. Almost five years ago, Lisa and her mom, Lyn, began working on a writing project inspired by local events. The Mae December Mystery series was born.

Lisa, her husband and their three dogs currently divide their time between beautiful Northern Michigan in the summertime and middle Tennessee the rest of the year. She and her husband feel very blessed that their “empty nest” in Tennessee is just a short distance from their oldest, who has a beautiful family of her own. Their youngest child has settled in Northern Michigan, close to their cabin there. Life is good.

Author Links:
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Purchase Links
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My thoughts:
This is the first book I have read in this series and by these authors. I thought it was a good book and did not feel lost even though I would like to go back and start from the beginning. The authors did a good job of describing the setting of this story. It made me want to visit the little town. I also thought they did a good job of describing voodoo for those who do not know anything about it or are like me and know just a smidge. Another thing that I really liked is that the dogs are a major part of the storyline. With all the different suspects the author kept me guessing until the end of the book. That makes it a good mystery book to me. There was just enough going on with the mystery and some side stories that I could not put this book down as I wanted to see what was going to happen next. This is going to be a good series to add to my collection.

Guest Post:
On Writing

So you’d like to be a writer. I get it. I have written eleven books in the last eight years and as I was walking my dog in a large park the other morning I met a couple who were also walking their dogs. They approached me and said, “We know you. You are Lia Farrell, aren’t you?” That’s about as good as it gets. I was thrilled.

I wanted to be a writer for decades before I wrote anything other grants for work, entries in my journal or short bits of poetry. Once I retired and had time to write, I had to face a bitter truth. Becoming a writer means actually having to (sigh…gulp) write!

But perhaps what you really want is to be an author, to have your picture on the back of your books, travel around signing your books, being on Oprah, consulting with the Hallmark mystery channel about who should play the parts of your characters. Here’s the rub. In order to be an author, you have to first be a writer.

Before you begin, you will need to ask yourself some hard questions as you’re driving to work, doing dishes, making a meal, or making plans for an upcoming holiday. If your life is already packed (husband, kids, parents, pets, friends) you might not have time to write. Writing is a craft like fine carpentry, painting, or the practice of medicine. And any craft requires time. Do you have extra time in your life for writing? Are you sufficiently committed to your goal that you will make the time to make it happen? The second question you need to ask yourself is—are you a reader? I sold my books this summer at an art fair in my local small town. As people came up to our booth I would ask them, “Do you like to read?” I was horrified by the number of women who looked faintly embarrassed and then said, “No, I don’t have time.” I am an obsessive reader (I read at least one book a week) and whatever you plan to write, whether it’s historical fiction or murder mysteries, you must read in your genre.

Then there is that tricky bit about drive and ambition. Do you have it for writing? Many of us have had years of schooling and then working full or part-time as we raise our families, keep our houses and tend our gardens. I was married twice, had two children and then re-married a man with six children. Working part-time during those child-raising years was simply not an option. I was in my sixties when I finally started writing, actual writing as opposed to thinking or dreaming of becoming a writer. I could have just retired when I stopped working full-time, but I am ambitious and driven to succeed. So I read obsessively and I write every day. Even if when I read it again later and realize it’s crap.

Okay, so you’ve committed to the part. Some of the members of my writing group asked me to write about how to deal with procrastination. Australia’s Bryce Courtenay coined this phrase. “Bum Glue”—that which keeps one’s bum firmly attached to the chair at the computer. Obviously that’s not all there is to it, but a lot of what keeps writers productive is just putting in the time. Remember the old adage that 90% of success in life is just showing up? If you want to write, you have to write.

Start by carving out the time. For those of us who are morning people, mornings spent at the computer work well. For you night people, you may need to write once the family is tucked in bed. How much time should you allot? I normally write for two or three hours a day, at least five days a week. When I am under a deadline, however, that might not be enough. So, stop right here. If you aren’t going to devote the time every day to it, especially in the beginning, you are unlikely to succeed. In the past there were editors, agents and writers who were looking for talent they could help nurture. Today there are so many books out there that 96% of the job of agents and editors is rejection. That’s what they do. Every day they say “no.” And they say it a hundred times, maybe a thousand times before saying “yes”.

So in summary, buck up! Decide what you want to write. There are hundreds of genre in writing; non-fiction, fiction, movie or tv scripts, essays, etc. If you decide to write fiction keep in mind what sells. The bestseller lists are dominated by thrillers/mysteries, romance novels, and YA interspersed with literary fiction. Focus on one area, read in depth in that genre, write every day and don’t give up. Good luck!

“It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.” E. Hemmingway


Tour Participants

November 9 – Readeropolis – REVIEW
November 10 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
November 11 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
November 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
November 13 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
November 14 – T’s Stuff – REVIEW
November 15 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
November 16 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
November 18 – fuonlyknew – REVIEW
November 19 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST
November 20 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
November 21 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST
November 22 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST