And the Winner is…2018 Goodreads Choice Awards

Goodreads Choice Awards 2018The Best Books of 2018 as announced by the 10th Annual Goodreads Choice Awards are “the only major book awards decided by readers.” There were 5,027,741 votes gathered from three voting rounds for 21 categories. Winners were recently announced. Did any of your choices make the grade? 

The Outsider by Stephen KingBecause I read a majority of the Mystery and Thriller genre, that is the first category I checked out and was astounded to see a total of 328,570 votes of which 62,170 votes went to category winner The Outsider by Stephen King. He also won the category in 2016 for End of Watch and came in second in 2015 with Finders Keepers and number one in 2014 for Mr. Mercedes.

Apparently, it is possible to win against Mr. King in the category as proven in 2015. I thought, however, Mr. King was a horror writer and yes, he also took a number one spot in that category with Elevation. That would be his eighth Goodreads Choice Award.

The Woman in the Window by A J Finn

Number two winner in the Mystery and Thriller category is The Woman in the Window by A J Finn at 55,003.

 

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

Number three winner is Lethal White by Robert Galbraith at 39,2987 who also trailed at #3 right behind Stephen King in 2015 and a winner before that in 2014 with The Silkworm. Galbraith is a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling. The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkkanen

Number four winner is The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen at 26,711 votes.

Indianapolis by Lynn Vincent and Sara Vladic

Another book that caught my eye is Indianapolis, No. 18 with 1,105 votes in the History and Biography category. I mention that as it came in No. 1 for Best History Book of 2018 on Amazon. This was also a 2016 movie with Nicholas Cage,  USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage, based on a true story of the worst sea disaster in U.S. naval history.

 

By the way, The Woman in the Window was also named Best Mystery and Thriller of 2018 on Amazon.

How many of these winners had I read?

Zero, Nada, Ništa, Nula

Was I living under a rock or busy reading cozy mysteries? I saw two of the books above listed on NetGalley during the year. I coulda, woulda, shoulda, and didn’t. Evidently, I need to start paying more attention. But Robert Galbraith? How many of you also knew that was from the pen of J. K. Rowling?

How did you fare? Any of your winners here? I appreciate your heads’ up suggestions. Obviously I need them.

©2019 V Williams V Williams

Advertisements

Rosepoint #BookReviews – December Recap – Welcome to 2019!

Rosepoint Reviews - Recap - Welcome 2019

Welcome 2019 and Happy New Year to You All!

So thrilled you are here to celebrate the beginning of a new year with me and hoping yours gets off to a wonderful start with excitement for things to come.

My December, as yours, was fast and furious. I got in some great reads, however, including cozies, a children’s book, literary fiction, a domestic thriller, and a sci-fi for a total of ten book reviews, as well as a couple spotlights.

My book reviews for December:

If you missed any of my full reviews, just click the link below.

Dec 2 – A Midwinter’s Tail by Bethany Blake

Dec 4 – Violet Tendencies by Kate Dyer-Seeley

Dec 7 – The Kooky Kids’ Club by Robbie Yates

Dec 9 – Tandem Demise by Duffy Brown

Dec 14- Quantum Marlowe by Glenn Lazar Roberts

Dec 16- Chasing the Blue Sky by Will Lowrey

Dec 23- The Water Tower Club by B K Mayo

Dec 25- Oh Holy Fright by Teresa Trent

Dec 28- Justice Gone by N. Lombardi, Jr 

Dec  31- Live and Let Pie by Ellie Alexander

I found new authors to follow and learned another lesson, that of trying a different series by the same author of a series you are not wholly thrilled with. I’ll mention Ellie Alexander, as I reviewed one of her Sloan Krause Mystery series, The Pint of No Return, and loved it. Guess I’m just not that into baking, but I know there are plenty readers out there who would love her Bakeshop Mystery series. You can’t go wrong with the children’s book, The Kooky Kids’ Club, while reading went serious (big time) with both The Water Tower Club and Justice Gone. (Raising awareness.)

If you joined a Goodreads Challenge, this is the fun time of year where they take all your stats and feed them back to you in interesting little chunks.

my year in books
According to Goodreads Stats

A Book With No Pictures by Brent Jones

Goodreads Totals Stats

(My Longest Book didn’t fare well. Most Popular was a book my associate read!)

My Shortest Book – 27 pages – by Brent Jones A Book With No Pictures

Goodreads Highest RatingHighest Rated on Goodreads – Yes, same book!

This little book really packs a punch and the success obviously acknowledged by more than myself. Take a look at your Goodreads stats. Mine have been skewed because of the contributions from my husband, which after some investigation discovered I couldn’t separate because we established one account on Amazon years ago which has now locked in our email addresses. And have you signed up for your Goodreads Challenge for 2019? Now’s the time!

Clink cocktail glassesMartini glassHere is hoping all who read and support my blog have a happy and healthy New Year! And, as always, thank you! I appreciate your participation and comments! ©2018 (signing out) V Williams V Williams

Welcome to My Top Ten Favorite Reads of 2018

My Favorite Reads of 2018

So many wonderful books this year it was near to impossible to narrow down this list to my Top Ten Favorite Reads. Obviously, a heroic effort, as I can list many more than ten at 4.5 stars or better and judging from your likes and comments, were books you recognized and appreciated too! They appear in no particular order below. I am combining the two Dean Koontz’s books as they are part of the same series and came in within several months of each other. (I’m a sucker for the Jane Hawk series.)

Frosty's toyThe books wend their way over a broad range of genre’s and once again, I’ve found some amazing books in a genre that stretched the reading chops. Among my favorites are psychological thrillers, literary fiction, humorous novels, cozy mysteries, and (what you say??) doggie stories! (Well, I guess no surprise there.) These are books that feed your soul, provide food for thought or chuckles that are share-worthy. I found so many delightful little passages, I began to share them in my Quick Quotes.

Once again, I leaned heavily on NetGalley for new reads as well as accepted a number of author requests and beta reads. I signed up for the NetGalley Challenge on a platinum level (75 books) and according to my count (and my Reading Challenge page) nailed that one. I fell short on the Alphabet Challenge, however, failing to find an “X”.  Found some great new authors that I’ll want to follow as well as continue with a few of my favs which I’d rabidly follow any time they present a new offering.

Follow the link in the title to explore my full review as well as additional links from the books and the link on the cover to the purchase link at Amazon. You’ve probably read your share of these same books and I’d love to hear which ones you also loved that are included in your favorite reads list of the year.

Five Stars of Five Rating 5 starsA Dog's Way Home by W Bruce Cameron

A Dog’s Way HomeLiterature & Fiction, Family Life It’s a dog story–I’ll love it. And written by acclaimed and sympathetic author of canine narratives, W Bruce Cameron, you know it will be excellent.

The Crooked StaircaseLiterature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense The Dean Koontz Jane Hawk series has it all and is very popular. I’m dialed in and looking forward to the next (and final?) installment.

The Forbidden Door by Dean KoontzThe Forbidden Door – See comments above for the Jane Hawk series. If you haven’t checked it out, may want to begin with book 1, but in any case, these can work as standalone gripping thrillers.

Ray vs The Meaning of Life Literature and fiction Ray vs the Meaning of life by Michael F. StewartThis is one of those annoyingly great narratives, full of laughs and outrageous situations, but one that packs quite the moral punch. A new author for me but one I’ll continue to follow!

A Pirate’s Road to Key WestA Pirate's Road to Key West by Michael ReisigAction/adventure, historical fiction The Hole in the Coral Wall Gang always does the right thing. Fast-paced non-stop action. One of my favorite authors and apparently yours too!

4.5 of five stars 4.5 stars

The Last Homecoming The Last Homecoming by Dan ChabotLiterature & Fiction, Contemporary Fiction Christmas-time story of a poignant look at a house that stayed in the hearts of the last four generations of its occupants.

Lethal in Old LaceLethal in Old Lace by Duffy BrownCozy mystery Written by one of my new favorite authors, quirky characters and Old Southern charm and locale.

Dirty Who?Mystery, thriller and suspense Dirty Who? by Jerry KennealyStep back into the crime noir genre and enjoy this Dirty Harry kind of guy as he goes about solving the crime.

The Colonel and the BeeThe Colonel and the Bee by Patrick CanningLiterature & Fiction, Literary Fiction, Action & Adventure with more than a little fantasy. What a wild and wonderful ride this was! Fun, fast-paced, amazing characters. (Think Around the World in 80 Days.)

Burning Ridge Burning Ridge by Margaret MizushimaMystery, Thriller & Suspense Written by Margaret Mizushima spotlights our K-9 partners and this one is a solid, riveting tale in this successful canine series.

The Long Paw of the LawThe Long Paw of the Law by Diane KellyThriller & Suspense, Cozy, Animals, Police Procedural How can you go wrong with a canine crime-solving companion in a topical well-plotted narrative.

Which of the above did you read? Did I miss something fantastic this year that you’d love to tell me about? Do you have a suggestion (book or author) for my 2019 reads?

Happy New Year!

Have a safe and Happy New Year’s Eve and a healthy, successful 2019!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Book Beginnings and The Friday 56–HELLO Friday!

Book Beginnings on Fridays and The Friday 56

In October I began participating in Book Beginnings who is hosted by Gillian at Rose City Readers. Every Friday you have the opportunity to share the first sentence of the book you are currently reading. Include the title of the book and the author’s name. You may wish to share your impression of the book to date as well. Also please share your post with Mister Linky on her blog site. This week I am spotlighting Oh Holy Fright by Teresa Trent.

“What would possess Joe Nelson to give the Christmas solo to a woman who sings like a washing machine full of rocks?”

(And because there is a natural tie-in to The Friday 56, it is common to combine the two.)

The only rules are for participation in The Friday 56 is to grab a book, any book or the one you are #currentlyreading, turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader, and find a sentence (or a few, but don’t spoil it!), post it, and then add your post URL to the Linky on the host site Freda’s Voice – there yah go! How’s that for easy!

Book Beginnings and The Friday 56

Friday 56:

Ruby spun around in front of me. “I know you’re looking at my jacket, Betsy. Like it?”

The white fur of the jacket was lustrous. I would never have bought it for myself, and I also thought it was more suited for a woman much younger than Ruby. She was running the risk of looking like the famous abominable snowman from the claymation version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. “Very nice,” was all I could manage to say.

Add to Goodreads

So what am I thinking?

Nice to get into a slightly unusual scenario for a cozy mystery! I can relate to a choir member hurting your ears since I was part of several choirs for more than fifteen years. And there is always one…

This review is scheduled for Christmas Day. Don’t you just love that cover?

©2018 V Williams V Williams

2019 NetGalley-Edelweiss Reading Challenge – It’s Time to Sign Up!

Reading Challenges

It’s time to sign up for the 2019 NetGalley-Edelweiss Reading Challenge.

You’ll remember there was a host change mid-year and it was moved to Tina at Reading Between The Pages. Take a look at the Challenge Guidelines (don’t worry–they are simple!) and pick your Level (see below). I think I’ll make my challenge this year but it will be tight. Last year I chose Platinum (75 books) and it’s been a struggle, but will sign up for Platinum again! (Wish me luck!!)

NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge-2019 The challenge runs from January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2019. There is no deadline to signup.

  • Everyone is welcome to participate – you do not need to have a blog.

  • Any genre, release date, length, etc. counts, it just needs to be a book from NetGalley or Edelweiss.

  • Books can count for more than one challenge that you are participating in.

  • If you want to move up or down a level – go for it!

  • The first day of each month I will post a monthly “link-up” for you to link your reviews. If you forget one month, no worries, just catch up the next month.

The Levels…

Bronze – 10 Books

Silver – 25 Books

Gold – 50 Books

Platinum – 75 Books

Diamond – 100 Books

You can see my 2018 progress on my Reading Challenges page. For complete information and your sign up instructions, be sure to join everyone at Reading Between the Pages. Mr. Winky

And don’t forget to use the hashtag #NGEW2019 and use Tina’s  Mr. Linky! 

V Williams

The Naughty Or Nice Tag

Internet connection woes have set me back and I missed my usual Tuesday post, but I did see this tag on Abigail’s blog post and thought I’d plug it in. Hoping then to clear my backlog, catch up with everyone, and get back to posting reviews on schedule!

The Naughty or Nice Tag

Thank you, Abigail, and here are the questions. You’ll have to read to the bottom to see my score.

  1. Received an ARC and not reviewed it

Nope! If I’ve gotten an ARC, I’ve read and reviewed it! Score one for me!

  1. Have less than 60% feedback rating on NetGalley

My (current) score is at 93%. Once I got it back above 80%, I’ve been very, very careful with it.

  1. Rated a book on Goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did)

Actually, I think it’s more closely the opposite. If I get the blog review done, I reduce the word count and post on Goodreads, Amazon, and NetGalley the following day.

  1. Folded down the page of a book

Not since I started reading on my Kindle and cell phone and it doesn’t say “ever.” I have received a few printed books, but have bookmarks for those.

  1. Accidentally spilled on a book 

NOPE! Am very careful around my cell phone–pretty much my entire life is on it.

  1. DNF a book this year

Oops, I have had to do this. I usually try to get through it, but would rather level with the author privately that I cannot.

  1. Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it 

Nope.

  1. Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else (like homework) 

Absolutely! All the time. It’s either that or Words With Friends2.

  1. Skim read a book

Unfortunately, I have had to resort to this solution to finish a book on deadline, or when it is really dragging and I’m trying not to DNF it!

  1. Completely missed your Goodreads goal

Have my Goodreads goal met. Now if I could just likewise meet the NetGalley Challenge and the Alphabet Challenge!

  1. Borrowed a book and not returned it to the library

They’ve all gone back. My library alerts me when it’s expired and updates it for me, usually another two weeks. Talk about accommodating!

  1. Broke a book buying ban 

My books fortunately come via NetGalley, author requests, or BookBub free to me for an honest review. So, no.

  1. Started a review, left it for ages then forgot what the book was about 

Unfortunately, yes, but usually read and not reviewed right away, rather than started and not finished.

  1. Wrote in a book you were reading

That’s the neat part about reading on my cell phone (or Kindle). I can mark stuff up and color code it depending on whether it is an edit problem, something I want to remember, or a comment I can use as a quote. Does that count?

  1. Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads

My books are usually added to my tbr on Goodreads as soon as I get it.

  1. Borrowed a book and not returned it to a friend 

I don’t borrow books, unless from the library, and they always go back.

  1. Dodged someone asking if they can borrow a book 

No

  1. Broke the spine of someone else’s book

Hope NOT!

  1. Took the jacket off a book to protect it and ended up making it more damaged 

The jackets can be a pain when you are actively reading the book. I may remove it, but hope it isn’t “more damaged.”

  1. Sat on a book accidentally

No

Final Score: 5/20 I think that puts me in the “nice” category. Please feel free to use this tag. I’d love to see your answers!

The Kooky Kids’ Club by Robbie Yates

Title: The Kooky Kids’ Club by Robbie Yates

Publication Date: November 10, 2018

Source: @Shalini_G26 at Digital Reads Blog Tours

What a delightful invitation!

My Invitation - The Kooky Kids' Club by Robbie Yates

I am now an honorary member of The Kooky Kids’ Club and as such, it is suggested, or requested, that I divulge any kooky quirks I might have. As a book blogger, however, you know that I wouldn’t have any of those–quirks? Nah. But there are just a couple idiosyncrasies (among the others) that I might disclose.

First, years ago I began a collection of frogs. Yes, frogs. There is a long story behind that, one that included “live” frogs. Needless to say, I won’t go into detail, but it soon got around (you know how those things happen!) and soon I was getting frogs for my birthdays, Christmases, and for any little celebration between. Big ones (giant sized, concrete garden frogs), little ones, collectibles, and even one from both our French exchange students and our Croatian exchange student who soon became our Croatian “son.” Here are just a few that are left.

Froggies from collection

Then if you’ve followed my blog for any period of time know that I took up riding a motorcycle at 55 years of age. Not the brightest thing I’ve ever done, but certainly one of the most fun. It so happened at the time that I had an ever-growing Victorian Christmas Village. You’ve seen those? Beautiful little snowy miniatures of old-time snowy Christmas village scenes. My daughter found a Harley-Davidson building. Didn’t exactly fit the Victorian time frame but of all the churches, libraries, homes, and theatres, quickly became my favorite piece and the one building I still have after winters in an RV and several moves. (And no, I didn’t ride a Harley. I rode a BMW. You know what they say about BMW motorcycles? “I didn’t know they also made cars until I passed one!”)

HD Christmas

But are those actually quirks? Maybe, but we all have collections. What are some of your most treasured collections? Is there a quirky story tied to that collection? I know they probably have a heart connection, right?

The Kooky Kids' Club by Robbie Yates

The Kooky Kids’ Club. A children’s book. Really? Isn’t there a lesson in there for all of us?

Coming Friday, my review of The Kooky Kids’ Club and as you may have guessed, this has been a fun one!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Rosepoint #BookReviews – Welcome December – November Recap

Welcome December-November Recap

Oh my gosh! I got SOOO busy I totally spaced on getting out the recap for October. I got in some great reads in October and November, however, including cozies, crime fiction, paranormal, psychological thrillers, and even some sci-fi! I posted a total of twelve reviews for the November–as well a couple spotlights. Definitely ramped up the book tours and have greatly benefited by utilizing NetGalley almost exclusively as I achieved my 100 Reviews Badge!

Still learning whatever I can about Instagram and bookstagram, though obviously have a long way to go. Since I pretty much shoot from the hip, there is little in the way of actual scheduling other than the night before (wink, wink). It’s not a business–it’s for fun. And it is. I’ve seen some amazing technology and would love to pass it on, but “regramming” is also something I’ve yet to learn. (Another app download? — not when my poor ole Galaxy 5 is already maxxed.)

My book reviews for November (many of which included Giveaways):

If you missed any of my full reviews, just click the link below.

Nov 2  – A Different Kind of Reunion by Joann Guidoccio (Spotlight)

Nov 4  – Yeast of Eden by Sarah Fox

Nov 6  – Thread Herrings by Lea Wait

Nov 7  – Harvest of Secrets by Ellen Crosby

Nov 9  – House of Ashes by Loretta Marion

Nov 11-  Murder in Her Stocking by G. A. McKevett

Nov 13- A Vintage Death by Mary Ellen Hughes

Nov 15- The Darkness Prequel Tour by C. S. Duffy (Spotlight)

Nov 16- A Cold Brew Killing by Lena Gregory

Nov 18- Murder at Harbor Village by G. P. Gardner

Nov 20- Purls and Poison by Anne Canedeo

Nov 23- Zephyr by Andrew Cooke

Nov 25- Love You Gone by Rona Halsall

Nov 27- The Body in the Attic by Judi Lynn

At this point, I’ve achieved my personal goal for Goodreads of 100 reviews. I’ll need one more for the NetGalley Challenge of 75 reviews, but missing Q (currently reading Quantum Marlowe), J, W, and X for the Alphabet Challenge. There are three books scheduled so far for December and none of those will fill the missing letters. If you fail to add the #NGEW2018 tag for the reviews, are they still included in the tally?

How are you doing on your challenges? Anyone have a J, W, or X book for me?

A big thank to all my new followers and as always so appreciate you who continue to read and comment! Thank you!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Happy Thanksgiving! How Did I Get Here?

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving (Thursday) to all my U.S. blogger friends and to those around the world!

We in the U.S. are indeed made up all of “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” and many have done very well for themselves (not quite so for my own family). While you who are outside of America may be able to point with pride to your five times removed grandfathers, we’ve been on a long quest to discover just who we are and where we came from. For many of us–that’s a mystery!

I started that search as a girl after my grandfather (Patrick J Rose aka Stanley McShane) passed away, for whom I’ve since published his manuscripts. It was after he was gone that I realized I knew nothing about his history, nor did my mother really, and the only hints to his origins were buried in his books. Unfortunately, they contain so many contradictions, it’s impossible to nail down exactly where he did originate and how he came to be in the United States. (However, I do remember his rich Irish brogue and the beautiful way he pronounced my name.) But I hit one wall after the other and gave up.

William and HattieNow my son has taken up the torch and has found some amazing connections! First, I can say one of us may have come over on the original three ships–if not the Nina, Pinta, or Santa Maria, one very soon after and was then in both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War (some interesting history there as well). The grandmother I remember on my dad’s side was born on the Chippewa Reservation of the Cherokee Reservation of OK (Oklahoma) in Indian Territory. It was her husband, William (left), that is our link to early America.

Grandma Rose and Aunt ElviraThe grandmother on my mother’s side was 100% Swedish (standing on the left), first generation to be born in America. Anders’ sons have been traced back to Sweden, the family living approximately six miles from the North Sea. She had beautiful red hair and along with my husband’s father’s red hair contributed to my grandson’s red hair.

Tangled with what we believe may originally have been German (and Swedish) are French, Irish and English.

We are a melting pot of many tribes, perhaps made stronger for it, but the wonder of it all is that we are here and celebrating our thanks today. Not just for our current blessings, but for all those brave souls who crossed the pond in unkindly conditions seeking a better life. We are truly blessed. Have you been on an ancestor quest? What delightful mysteries have you discovered?

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Purls and Poison by Anne Canadeo #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Purls and Poison by Anne Canadeo

I am so delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for Purls and Poison (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery) by Anne Canadeo on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Scroll down to enter your chance to win the Giveaway!

Book Details

Purls and Poison (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Kensington (October 30, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496708636
ISBN-13: 978-1496708632
Digital ASIN: B079KT54BW
Book Blurb

When a fellow Black Sheep Knitter is suspected of poisoning her coworker, the group puts down their needles and takes up their friend’s defense . . .

Suzanne Cavanaugh has just about had it with her office rival at Prestige Properties. It’s bad enough that Liza Devereaux is constantly needling her at work, but when she shows up at one of Suzanne’s open houses to poach potential buyers, it’s the last straw. No one in the office fails to hear the two snarling at each other.

When Liza is later found dead in her office cubicle—poisoned by a diet shake—Suzanne becomes the prime suspect. It’s soon discovered, though, that Liza had double-crossed so many around town and stashed their dark secrets in her designer handbags that anyone could be the culprit.

The Black Sheep Knitters have no doubt their friend has been framed—but they need to prove it. Stirred to action, they get together to catch a sneaky killer who’s trying to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes . . .

My Review

I’m a big knitter at heart, so seeing the title and blurb sold me on signing up for the opportunity to read this little cozy. (Well, I must confess to messing with some crocheting as well, but knitting is my fav.) The idea of a group of lady knitters, best friends, sitting around with a glass of vino, trying to solve a murder mystery definitely piques the interest, huh? Well, obviously, these are not the ladies you’d normally imagine in a knitting group.

This particular entry to the series has Suzanne as a prominent character, although Maggie imparts some wisdom as well. The group consists of Suzanne, Maggie, Dana, Lucy, and Phoebe. Each has their own backgrounds, stories to tell, and fields of expertise. Suzanne is an upper-level real estate agent, dealing in better homes, and apparently has some serious office competition in Liza Devereaux. Liza is very good at what she does and manages to take a client and a sale from Suzanne that would have earned her a douzy commission. They fight, publicly, big time.

After meeting with her Black Sheep Knitting group (and mellowing out some), she is ready to offer an apology only to be the one who discovers Liza’s body. Suzanne is naive and easily admits to having the big fight with Liza. Suzanne has an amazingly sweet, understanding, and patient hubby in Kevin, and Maggie has a significant other in Detective Charles Mossbacher. It is Charles along with his partner Frank who take the emotional Suzanne in for questioning.  She is also her own worst enemy and opens her mouth one too many times until one of her group finds her an attorney.

I particularly appreciated Maggie, the owner of the knitting shop. She has attained an easy-going manner in life and created a successful business with a good head on her shoulders. I also liked Lucy. Charles is a good guy just trying to do his job. The ladies are trying to do theirs–not for the first time apparently.

The well-plotted storyline moves along at an even pace. The knitters do an impressive job of creating donated baby and toddler items. The group enjoys each other’s company and exchange ideas and offer encouragement and backing to Suzanne and it’s a pleasure to partake, even if vicariously, in their get-togethers. There are red herrings, diversion of possible perps, investigated and dismissed or pursued. The dialogue is easy and natural and the conclusion swings in unexpectedly, though not wholly a surprise.

(Unfortunately, once again, I’ve come in at the second in the series* and get the feeling I may have missed some important developing going on in the first of the series. So you might wish to begin with the first.)

I was given this ebook download by the publisher and NetGalley for this book tour and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for those who enjoy cozy mysteries, crafting hobbies including knitting, and women sleuths.

*[Goodreads note: Starting with book #9, the series changed publishers and are published with a slightly different series name of “A Black Sheep & Company Mystery,” but they are a continuation of the Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries series.]

Add to Goodreads

Giveaway

Sign up for your chance to win one of (3) Autographed Copy of Purls and Poison (A Black Sheep & Co. Mystery) by Anne Canadeo (U.S. Only) in this  Rafflecopter giveaway 

About the Author

Anne Canadeo is the best-selling author of more than 30 books, including the Black Sheep & Company Mysteries, and as Katherine Spencer, the Cape Light and Angel Island series. She somehow manages to write a lot,  despite many and much-loved distractions — such as digging up the garden, hanging out with her dog, trying new recipes, drinking copious amounts of mint tea, eating chocolate and volunteer work in the community. She lives in Northport, NY, a village on the Long Island Sound very much like the settings of her stories. Anne loves to hear from readers. Answering their messages is definitely another favorite distraction in her day.

Author Links  

Website: annecanadeo.com
Facebooks: www.facebook.com/AnneCanadeoAuthor
Instagram:    www.instagram.com/annecanadeo

Purchase Links
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Powell Books

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants:

November 8 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 8 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST

November 9 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 10 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

November 11 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 12 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 12 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

November 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 13 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

November 14 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

November 15 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 16 – The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT

November 17 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

November 18 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 20 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

November 20 – Reading Is My SuperPower – GUEST POST

November 21 – My Reading Journeys – SPOTLIGHT Great Escapes Book Tours

Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Overused Tropes and Clichés – Can We Get a Break?

Overused Tropes and Cliches

OMG, I’m Soooo tired of reading these same tropes and clichés. They’ve been used and abused well past the point of beating that poor horse to death. (Uh oh) Nothing new or original under the sun? (Oops!) We’re doing this again, are we?

Trope, as in commonly used theme or device–

Cliché, as in phrase or expression used for the gazillionth time into ad nauseum.

Well, is it a trope or a cliché? Has the trope been used so many times it’s beyond predictable? Past the point of boredom? Then it’s a trope that has become a cliché!

I’ve gathered a few “just off the top of my head” (chuckle), that is really beginning to set my teeth grinding (adding insult to injury). (A triple!-don’t get me started.)

Dump the Tropes:

  1. Damaged female protagonists – with or without ginger-colored hair and all male protagonists over 6′ and hunky.
  2. Capable female protagonists suddenly incapable or worse in the presence of the 6′ hunk (see #1).
  3. Bad boy sheriff – but always gets his man even if he has to fight the whole town to do it.
  4. Back to the old, small home town–couldn’t wait to get away–come crawling back.
  5. Cop in love with the criminal–because they aren’t really guilty, you see.
  6. Cop with troubled past, abuses alcohol and his connections, still gets his man (or woman).
  7. The old love triangle–who to choose, eenie, meanie…
  8. Insta-love (’nuff said)
  9. The average, normal everyday guy (girl) who turns lucky and wins the big one–whatever that is.
  10. The ugly one who turns beautiful. (Took their glasses off?)
  11. Dystopian–depressing, just flat depressing.
  12. Conspiracy theory but there’s one in the world (the protagonist) who can see and solve it.
  13. The evil one, well, mostly evil until…
  14. Secret witch, magician, possesses magical powers
  15. Bad, abusive childhood, one parent household
  16. Super conflict between male/female resulting in “heated arguments” that result in protagonist passion.
  17. The nerd with IT that can invade any computer or the kids with more tech-savvy than their parents.
  18. Children with witty mouths obviously smarter than adults.
  19. Vampires, zombies
  20. Amateur sleuths who must solve the case because the police can’t (or won’t).
  21. The amnesiac, can’t remember or won’t?
  22. Only child discovers they are the long lost relative of a maga-rich uncle (aunt?).
  23. The crotchety old mentor who turns sweet and nurturing. (see #21)

Animal slap

Of course, along with the tropes, I began gathering overused clichés (in addition to the above):

  1. He/she scrubbed her fingers through his/her hair–used his/her fingers to rake her hair.
  2. Grabbed an errant strand of hair and tucked it behind her ear.
  3. Is that all you got?
  4. I’m just doing my job.
  5. What part of [fill in the blank] don’t you understand?
  6. Did I just say that out loud?

I know you can add many to the above lists. I actually found a website that listed almost 700 clichés not to use in your manuscript (or that are found in the books you are reading). These clichés are getting mighty tired for those of us reading the books. Going forward, can we avoid these like the plague? (Oops.)

There was a recent meme discussion that Shanah of Bionic Book Worm circulated that she included in her Top 5 Tuesday for October. You may wish to catch a few of those as well. I’ve also gleaned a number of the above suggestions from The Writing Cooperative by Zoe Nixon. Lively discussions! Do you have your particularly egregious list as well?

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Hello October! Are We Reading #Thrillers?

Hello October!

Welcome October! Surely it can’t be already! Halloween, followed closely by Thanksgiving, and then we’re into the holidays. When my two babies were little, I couldn’t wait to tear into decorating for Halloween, but my daughter was born on October 14th, so I always tried to make sure we celebrated her birthday first! However, Harvest time and October can be a beautiful month with clean, crisp air, and a great time to start ripping into thrillers, horror, paranormal, and mysteries. Leave the lights on!

As you may have guessed from noting the covers in the above photo, I’ll be participating in a number of cozy mystery book tours, including Assault and Beadery by Mollie Cox Bryan, Glitter Bomb by Laura Childs, and The Ghost and the Bogus Bestseller (A Haunted Bookshop Mystery #6) by Cleo Coyle (sounds perfect, huh?).

Heavier reads are interspersed with the cozies, including Open Your Eyes by Paula Daly (a thriller), The Enigma Source by Breakfield and Burkey (you’ll remember I started that last week about crypto-currency and got distracted), and Time’s Up, Afton by Brent Jones, which is the fourth and final in his spine-tingling, nerve-jangling Afton Morrison series (See my reviews for the first three on this blog). Then I’ll wrap the month up with The Long Paw of the Law (Paw Enforcement #7) by Diane Kelly. That cover is too cute to ignore and you know how much I love K-9 books!

All books noted above are from NetGalley with the exception of Time’s Up, Afton which is an author request. That’s a good start but you know I’ll be adding to the TBR as I still have a few slots to fill. I know, right?I can’t believe it either! Seems so many of the cozies are scheduled for November book tours. (In the meantime, before the temps drop I have a quilt to finish!)

Do you have any of these novels on your TBR also? Are you recommending thrillers for Halloween? Send me your recommendations–please–and thank you!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

 

Rosepoint #BookReviews – September Recap

Review Recap - September

Oh my gosh! Got into some super reads in September, (eleven!) stretched my reading chops with a horror, a couple thrillers, political conspiracy, and K-9 (service dog) mysteries. I really love the stories about those valiant, stout-hearted canines who do so much for us without so much as a clue what it all means. (Or maybe they do! Long as we’re happy–they’re happy.)

Greatly enjoy working on graphics and sometimes when I see a particular cover love to stretch the imagination into a bookstagram. And it’s fun heading into fall to switch themes now with harvest colors and later, Halloween. I stay on the lookout for new tutorials, but so often when I’ve tried the technique discover it’s for business or paid accounts only. (Either that or my programs are just way too old.) And “stories”? Gees, I could write a book on what I DON’T know about stories. So, no I don’t know what I’m doing, but at least I can still deliver a review on a timely basis.

My book reviews for September:

How many have you read? Did you agree with my analysis? Click the links below to read any reviews you might have missed.

Sept 2 – The Forbidden Door – a #BookReview – #greatreads – Dean Koontz

Sept 4 – Nice Try, Afton – a #BookReview – Brent Jones

Sept 7 – Deadly Dram: A Whisky Business Mystery by Melinda Mullet #BookTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Sept 9 – A Borrowing of Bones – a #BookReview – Paula Munier

Sept 11-Cast No Shadow: A Short Story #Review – Brandon Dragan

Sept 14-Malice at the Manor – a #BookReview – J Marshall Gordon

Sept 16-Read and Gone – a #BookReview #BookTour #Giveaway – Allison Brook

Sept 18-Lackbeard – a Children’s Fantasy Pirate Adventure #BookReview – Cody B Stewart and Adam Rocke

Sept 21-In Cold Chocolate by Dorothy St. James #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Sept 25-Malice by Jennifer Jaynes – a #BookReview

Sept 27-High Crimes by Libby Fischer Hellmann – a #BookReview

The books above came from author requests, NetGalley, and/or part of book tours. The ole October TBR is stacking up to include a number of cozy mysteries from NetGalley for reviews and book tours as well as an author request. The Throwback Thursdays have included books published more than a year ago but reviewed this year by the CE. My conundrum has become the skewed stats on Goodreads and Amazon accounts as I receive his books through BookBub but they appear on both Amazon and Goodreads. (EEK!) Taking his reviews out of my numbers, I’m still five short of achieving my Goodreads Challenge. Yes, I’m working on fixing that…in the meantime

A big thank to all my new followers and as always so appreciate you who continue to read and comment! Thank you!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

#TBR – What’s Up Next? Crypto-Currency and Crime – or Is That Redundant?

#TBR

Just a little respite from the cozies to get into some serious, intelligent reading. I’m as ignorant of crypto-currency as I am of the Amazon algorithms, but thinking I’d tackle that subject downloaded The Enigma Source by Charles V Breakfield and Roxanne E Burkey from NetGalley. Holy Moly Batman, what have I gotten myself into!? Because the blurb is almost as long as the book, I’ll just mention that so far I am greatly enjoying a very intriguing, intricate, and solid technothriller. The Enigma Sourcce by Breakfield and Burkey

The world is almost ready for fiat currency to be replaced by a superior digital currency.  The trouble is, which one and who will own it? The R-Group is back and trying to guide the players to a safe destination in the complex world of cryptocurrency.  The Global Bank has tasked Tonya to find and hire a cryptologist to create a new global cryptocurrency, though sometimes it seems she may not be up to the task. Along the way it appears she is the one getting played.

If you’ve heard the term and wondered what is going on with our greenbacks, you might tap into this, the tenth (yeah–the 10th!!–it’s possible I’ve missed something important in the first nine! Gees, always late to the party...) The Enigma Series Book 10 released August 11, 2018. Check it out.

Add to Goodreads

Malice by Jennifer JaynesAnd I was ready for a rollicking good psychological thriller again and chose Malice by Jennifer Jaynes also from NetGalley. This one will release on September 25th, which means I’ll have to switch books temporarily.

The perfect life becomes the perfect nightmare in a twisting novel of psychological suspense from #1 USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Jaynes…

Dr. Daniel Winters is living a fairy-tale life. He has a beachfront home in Malibu, a career as a respected pediatrician at a thriving Los Angeles practice, and a gorgeous new wife, Mia. For a man whose past was rife with mental illness, addiction, and thoughts of suicide, it seems too good to be true.

This little ditty has already gotten 85 reviews on Goodreads at 4.62 stars. That’s pretty good for Goodreads and I’m looking forward to tearing into it.

Add to Goodreads

High Crimes by Libby Fischer HellmannAnd just in case I haven’t had enough on the thriller side of political conspiracies, I also downloaded from NetGalley High Crimes by Libby Fischer Hellman, the Georgia Davis PI Series Book 5. Oh good grief! When will I learn to start with Book 1? This one will be released on November 10, 2018. From the blurb…

How do you solve a murder when there are 42,000 suspects? 
That’s the task facing Chicago PI Georgia Davis, hired to hunt down those ultimately responsible for the assassination of Resistance leader Dena Baldwin at a demonstration fourteen months after the 2016 election. The gunman, on a nearby hotel rooftop, dies within minutes of the shooting.  As Georgia sifts through Dena’s 42,000 Facebook followers, she discovers that unknown enemies hiding behind fake profiles have infiltrated the group… 

Add to Goodreads

Reviews upcoming. After that, I’ll be ready to tackle those cozies I have lined up beginning in October. I’ll get back to you on those. Stay tuned…

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Rosepoint #BookReviews – August Recap

dog days header

50th Anniversary QuiltSo great to welcome our Navy buddies in August and must admit Northwest Indiana was exceedingly cooperative with beautiful, comfortable temps. As always, Kitra was a dynamo, bundle of energy who helped me get in and FINALLY put together the 50th Anniversary quilt that sister-in-law Ann’et made for us in 2012. Yes! Can you say “winter project?” Ted made his world-class ceviche (yum!) and he and the CE shared their old Navy stories (again) and quite a number of new ones! I posted a pic of the two of them trying to sink a sub at the Science Museum in Chicago. Kitra baked a new favorite–biscotti–and the boys put together a couple flower boxes for the fairy garden!

Catching up has taken the better part of a week; the blog, reading and reviews, social media, my veggie and fairy garden. Oh my goodness! The tomatoes!! Kitra got in and froze a bunch of them for me–they’ll make a great addition to stews and soups. (Never tried freezing them before, so we HOPE they’ll work well!) When the fairy garden doesn’t look quite so desolate, I’ll take another pic to share (discovered another downed snag today).

SO!  What I read before they arrived is pretty much it for August, although I was able to get in some great reads.

Aug 3 – Knot My Sister’s Keeper by Mary Marks

Aug 7 – Death Over Easy (A Country Store Mystery #5) by Maddie Day 

Aug 12 – Midnight Snacks are Murder by Libby Klein

Aug 14 – Death on the Menu by Lucy Burdette

Aug 21 – Burning Ridge – a #BookReview by Margaret Mizushima

Aug 28 – Samhain Secrets – a #BookReview by Jennifer David Hesse

The Forbidden Door by Dean KoontzNice Try, AftonAll of the above were downloaded from NetGalley and/or were book tours. In the meantime, I #AmReading The Forbidden Door by Dean Koontz (number 4 of 5) and will be posting my review this Sunday, September 2nd. I read and reviewed The Crooked Staircase (#3) here and The Whispering Room (2) here. Following on Tuesday, the 4th, my review of Nice Try, Afton by Brent Jones. That is the third of four in his Afton Morrison series and will release September 17th. Be aware that this gritty series profiles protagonist Afton Morrison in a frank assault of adult situations and language. Author Brent Jones paints an abstract of “moral ambiguity.” Dark and disturbing, crime fiction, vigilante justice–Afton style. I reviewed the second in the series, See You Soon, Afton in July and Go Home, Afton (#1) here.

I have a line up of cozies scheduled for September (book tours), as well as my fav (thrillers), and as always Throwback Thursdays, Cee’s Fun Fotos, or other features as captures my attention.

Hope this summer is going well for all of you: Blue Skies, Easy Breezes, Green Gardens, and nothing but GOOD books coming your way!

A big thank to all my new followers and as always so appreciate you who continue to read and comment! Thank you!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Tag – This Is My Genre Book Tag

This is My Genre Book Tag

I was tagged by Shalini at BOOKS, REVIEWS ET AL BY SHALINI to participate in the This Is My Genre Book Tag! Thank you so much! If you haven’t followed Shalini yet, you owe it to yourself to check out her blog and enjoy the biting wit and wisdom she bestows in her reviews, posts, and interviews.

The Rules

  • Answer the questions
  • Tag as many people as you want

The Questions

What is your favorite genre?

I don’t think I can pin that down to one genre. I tend to read all over the board. However, I do love thrillers, psychological thrillers, mysteries, suspense, crime, police procedurals, yadda, yadda, yadda…hey, I list all that, including genres I won’t normally read on my “Submission” page.

Who is your favorite author from that genre?

The Forbidden Door by Dean KoontzArgh! Well, that could change, but right now I’m reading book 4 of the Jane Hawk series, The Forbidden Door, by Dean Koontz. Gees, can that man write!! (And, btw, I’ll be reviewing his book this Sunday, September 2nd, which is also my 56th anniversary with the CE. How the man has hung in this long is beyond me.)

What is it about that genre that keeps pulling you back?

Are you kidding? The nail-biting, edge of your seat, can’t put it down to fix a meal or go to the bathroom, glued to the page reading. These books leave you spent at the finish line and looking for the next one. They are the “crack” of books. And like Lay’s Potato Chips, you can’t read just one.

What is the book that started your love for the genre?

Blood Orchids by Toby NealUh huh, at my age, I can’t remember that far back. When I told my son I was reading a Dean Koontz book, he mentioned that Koontz wrote horror. (He knows I wouldn’t read that.) But I was hooked. Years ago I discovered Toby Neal and her Lei Crime series. After reading Blood Orchids, yeah, I was hooked.

If you have to recommend one book from your favorite genre to a non-reader–that genre, what book would you choose and why?

Just Add Salt by Jinx SchwartzYeah, no. I don’t generally recommend books, although I discovered that I had no problem recommending books to my recent visitor–an avid reader (who seems to prefer books of more than 300 pages). She also reads a fairly wide variety of genres. I introduced her to Toby Neal and Jinx Schwartz. If you don’t know that latter name, Jinx writes the kitschy Hetta Coffey Mysteries. I got started with her books because she writes sea stories (and you know where that interest stemmed from).

Why do you read?

I’ve always read. Books have the power to transport you to exotic places, exercise super powers, teach, empower, and write. Which I also wanted to do!

I tag –

Mischenko

Carla

And many of you don’t do tags, so anyone else who wants to do this tag, please do! I’d loved to read your answers!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts

Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts

Welcome to Thirsty Thursday & Hungry Hearts, an original weekly meme hosted by Lexxie at (un)Conventional Bookviews. She realized that many of the books she read (must have been cozies!) had food or drinks in them and thought it would be interesting and fun to share some food and/or drink quotes.

Few rules with this meme, just share the food or drink quote, and note whether or not it’d be something you’d be interested in yourself. Share the title of the book and the character who introduced the delicacy! Easy! You are welcome to use her logo or create your own but please link back to her blog.

This week I want to share Ropa Vieja, as “some people consider this to be the national dish.” Author Lucy Burdette shared her recipe in the book I just read and reviewed called Death on the Menu. Sounds to me like a variation of beef stew, yes, I’d try it.The dish name is dropped by protagonist  Hayley Snow, the Key West food critic for the Key Zest Magazine. She translates the name of the recipe as “old clothes.” Yum!

Death on the Menu by Lucy Burdette

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Rosepoint #Reviews – July Recap

Dog Days of Summer

Navy buddies didn’t make it in July–now we are looking forward to their visit in August–ah, the dog days of summer. I must admit, so far NWI has been gorgeous and for July–couldn’t complain. I did spend some time out in the garden where my tomato plants went nuts. Must have been all that good fertilizer the C.E. insisted they needed! I’ve got enough zuccini to feed an army, but it appears the bunnies beat me to the carrots and beets.

July reads

These are all fun and several will be going on my favorites list!  Clockwise beginning at one o’clock: The Colonel and the Bee by Patrick Canning  Murder Made to Order by Lena Gregory  Dirty Who? by Jerry Kennealy  S’More Murders by Maya Corrigan  A Soufflé of Suspicion by Daryl Wood Gerber  Shelved Under Murder by Victoria Gilbert  See You Soon, Afton by Brent Jones  The Perfect Friend by Barbara Copperthwaite

In July, I reviewed the above eight novels, most of which were for book tours and the C.E. reviewed another four, which if you consider his review of The Invisible Mind entailed his reading #1 and 2 of the series prior to #3-The Invisible Mind, he actually contributed a great deal more (for which I’m extremely grateful!).

Lion on Fire – a #BookReview

The Other Vietnam War by Marc Cullison #BlogTour #BookReview

The Invisible Mind by M. T. Bass #BlogTour #BookReview

#ThrowbackThursday – The Dying Hour by Rick Mofina – a #BookReview

These books covered a wide variety of genres from cozy mysteries to sci-fi and police procedurals and wartime biographies. The books were gleaned from NetGalley and author requests, though having been overwhelmed with author requests have had to become increasingly selective.

So what’s up next? SOOO many, but in August have already reviewed Knot My Sister’s Keeper (a #MustRead)!! First half of August:

Upcoming book reviews for August

Due to publish in September, am looking forward to the new Margaret Mizushima book, Burning Ridge, A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery. (Can’t wait!) I read Hunting Hour last year and loved it. You might wish to check out that book about her K-9 service dog (Robo)–sooo good.

Hope this summer is going well for all of you: Blue Skies, Easy Breezes, Green Gardens, and nothing but GOOD books coming your way!

A big thank to all my new followers and as always so appreciate you who continue to read and comment! Thank you!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

#NGEW2018 Reading Challenge Host Change

Liza - vertigo

Yikes! How many of you knew that Bookish Things gave up their hosting of the NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge? I went looking for the posts from my most active blogging buddies, as I seem to have a continual problem with WordPress deciding on my notifications, and discovered a post from Novel Deelights about the change-over. I quickly caught up my July reviews, but the word needs to get out regarding the change. Tina at Reading Between the Pages is taking the helm.

If this is a Challenge you’ve been participating in, take notice and hook up with Tina. Then help to get the word out. She’ll appreciate it! The following from Tina:

NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge August Link-Up #NGEW2018

NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2018My name is Tina and I welcome you to the new home for the
NetGalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge!

Emily@Falling for YA created this challenge and passed the torch to Katrina@Bookish Things & More. Katrina has decided to step away from her book blog and pursue her passion for writing. I joined this challenge for the first time this year and have been enjoying it immensely. I was sad to see Katrina leave her love of blogging about books behind, but am quite excited for her to have more time to dedicate to writing. I wish her the best of luck!

Being that this challenge is now being hosted on a new site and the year is more than half over, I think this would be a great time to check in with all of you. I would love to hear from you in the comments below. How is the challenge going for you? What is your goal? How many have you reviewed?

My goal is 25 (Silver) and I have reviewed 18. I have no doubt I will complete my goal, so I’m pretty excited about that!

August Link-Up…

  • Submitting format: Title of book reviewed (Your Name and Blog).
  • Inlinkz will remain open until August 31.
  • Questions: Leave me a comment below, email me – readingbetweenthepagesblog@gmail.com, or use my contact page.
  • Hashtag: #NGEW2018

For the first time since starting my blog I am asking for your help in getting the word out. I could really use your help with spreading the word about this midyear host change for this challenge. Any sharing you can do on social media would be deeply appreciated!

Thank you for stopping by and I look forward to seeing what fabulous NetGalley and Edelweiss books you read and review the remainder of the year!

Let’s get social…

Goodreads
Twitter
Instagram

Yes, you’ll need the link to your reviews, if you haven’t already started the challenge, but read the rules and regs. Check out my Reading Challenges page or see my original Reading Challenges post here.

©2018 V Williams V Williams

S’more Murders by Maya Corrigan #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

S'more Murders by Maya Corrigan

I am so delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for S’more Murders by Maya Corrigan on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Scroll down to register for your chance to win the Giveaway!

Book Details

S’more Murders (A Five-Ingredient Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Kensington (July 31, 2018) Happy Release Day!
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496709196
Digital ASIN: B0776HN51M

Book Blurb

S'more Murders by Maya CorriganManaging a fitness club café and collaborating on a cookbook with her grandfather are Val Deniston’s usual specialties, but she’s about to set sail into nearby Chesapeake Bay—straight into a murder case . . .

Since catering themed events is a good way to make extra cash, Val agrees to board the Titanic—or at least cater a re-creation of the doomed journey on a yacht. The owner of the yacht, who collects memorabilia related to the disaster, wants Val to serve the last meal the Titanic passengers ate . . . while his guests play a murder-mystery game. But it is the final feast for one passenger who disappears from the ship. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Now Val has to reel in a killer before s’more murders go down . . .

Includes delicious five-ingredient recipes!

My Review

Definitely a different and unique premise, I believe, to write a cozy mystery about the last meal of the special guests on the Titanic! In this case, it is Val Deniston, who manages the Cool Down Café at the Bayport Racket and Fitness Club. She has reluctantly agreed to cater a ten-course meal of the famous last meal of the Titanic passengers for yacht owner Otto Warbeck. She has catered other theme events with success, but this one entails preparation and service on a yacht as it motors out of Chesapeake Bay with an unusual cadre of guests.

Val moved in with her grandfather who is throwing her some catering jobs and taking an online PI course, but tries to talk her out of this one feeling it’s over the top creepy and inviting of disaster. To add to the creepy factor, Otto has scheduled the voyage for the anniversary of the sinking. Val’s BFF and assistant at the Café is Bethany, who agrees to work with her in this different and unusual onboard experience. Val has a boyfriend, Gunnar, who is rather a dud and not a good match. (He may be moving–goodbye and good luck.)

Otto has designed a murder mystery game to entertain his guests while on board during the course of the elaborate meal. The theme party goes awry when there is an obvious disappearance and the kid piloting the craft is found to be under the influence.

As this is the fifth installment of the series and my first experience with this author, I did not find the protagonist fully fleshed, although there is sufficient backstory to allow viewing this as a standalone novel. Her grandfather can be a bit strong, but contributes to the investigation with Val on the mystery to help clear the young man who was acting as captain.

Red herrings are flying over the bow, twists and turns, and it would seem most on board had a motive. Still, the scenario worked out in my mind turned out to be darned close, but didn’t address a few aspects of the whodunit that was ironed out well in conclusion. For some reason, I couldn’t fully engage with the protagonist and Gunnar was just a clink. Grandpa was a forceful personality as was Otto, whose trophy wife was sympathetic. I enjoyed references and tidbits about the Titanic and had no idea there was such a large cult following collection of all things Titanic, the tragic circumstances apparently stirring limitless fascination even 106 years later. The storyline moves along at cozy pace and the foodie stuff will be of interest.

I received this ebook download from the publisher and NetGalley through Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended as a cozy with an unusual premise for those who enjoy a Five Ingredient Mystery, culinary thrillers, and clean suspense novels.

 Add to Goodreads

Giveaway

Be sure to sign up for your chance to win one of two print copies of S’More Murders in this Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Maya Corrigan - authorMaya Corrigan blends her love of food and detective stories in her Five-Ingredient Mystery series set in a fictional historic town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The first book in the series, By Cook or by Crook, was published in 2014. It was followed by Scam Chowder in 2015, Final Fondue in 2016, and The Tell-Tale Tarte in 2017.

Before taking up a life of crime (on the page), she taught university courses in writing, detective fiction, American literature, and drama. She won the 2013 Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Unpublished Mainstream Mystery / Suspense. Her short stories, written under the name of Mary Ann Corrigan, have been published in anthologies.

When not reading and writing, she enjoys theater, tennis, trivia, cooking, and crosswords. Her website features trivia about food and mysteries.

Author Links:

WebPage: mayacorrigan.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Maya-CorriganBooks/305167769636032

Purchase Links:

Amazon – B&N   Kobo  Google Play   BookBub

Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!

Tour Participants:

July 30 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

July 31 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

July 31 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

August 1 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 1 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

August 2 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

August 2 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

August 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST

August 3 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

August 4 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

August 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

August 5 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

August 6 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 6 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

August 7 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

August 8 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 9 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 9 – Mysteries with Character – SPOTLIGHT

August 10 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW  

August 10 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

August 11 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

August 12 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW Great Escapes Book Tours

Thanks to Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review this cozy mystery!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Series Sampler-What’s Your Pleasure? Crime Thriller or Sci-Fi-Fantasy

#AmReading - series

OMG, it’s not often I get in depth in a single series, let alone two!

This time, however, I began The Afton Morrison series with #1 and glad I did! This one is just plain hardcore.  I am now reading #2, See You Soon, Afton by Brent Jones. While there are some series in which the individual novels could function as a standalone, these two series, as widely different as they are, should both begin with numero uno, number one. Fortunately, it’s not too late into this series to start reading number one as the author plans to release number two August 7, 2018.

See You Soon, Afton #2 Afton Morrison series

I will be presenting my review of See You Soon, Afton on Friday, July 27, 2018, and I’ll warn you up front, this series is not for the faint of heart, tender ears, or PG eyes–it is definitely “R” rated. Amazon classifies as mystery, thriller, and suspense. The thing about Brent’s books–despite the delayed gratification is that there is generally a surprising, often shocking, moral to the story–and the reading is worth it. If you missed my review of Go Home, Afton, number one in the series, you can find it here, or see it on Amazon here.

See You Soon, Afton – Book Blurb:

Somebody is watching. Somebody is always watching.

A teenage girl in Wakefield has been abducted, and tracking her down not only tests Afton’s moral limits, but threatens her freedom and her life.

Suspected of murder by local police, and under the watch of a menacing figure in the shadows, Afton’s search and rescue effort unravels dark secrets from her own past. Familial secrets her mother took to the grave, more than a decade ago.

See You Soon, Afton is the second of four parts in a new serial thriller by author Brent Jones. Packed with grit and action, The Afton Morrison Series delves into a world of moral ambiguity, delivering audiences an unlikely heroine in the form of a disturbed vigilante murderess.

Add to Goodreads

Thank heavens I had a little help with this one–the C.E. taking the helm at the sci-fi police procedural techno-thriller, The Invisible Mind – Murder by Munchausen #3 by M.T. Bass . OOH! That’s a mouthful, huh? Seems I have a habit of coming into a series at #3 or even #7–it’s happened before. Amazon classifies it as sci-fi-fantasy and cyberpunk, and I’ll just mention here that it is definitely some hardcore science. Electron Alley plans to release the novel on August 25, 2018.

The Invisible Mind-Murder by Munchausen #3

The C.E. was asked as a condition of the book review for Sage’s Blog Tours that he read number one and two prior to reading number three, which is the subject of the book tour. That was quite the undertaking! I will be presenting the C.E.’s review of The Invisible Mind on Sunday, July 29, 2018.

The Invisible Mind – Book Blurb:

A police procedural thriller ripped from future headlines!

Now unleashed, the “Baron” is resurrecting history’s notorious serial killers, giving them a second life in the bodies of hacked and reprogrammed Personal Assistant Androids, then turning them loose to terrorize the city.  While detectives Jake and Maddie of the police department’s Artificial Crimes Unit scramble to stop the carnage with the Baron’s arrest, the cyberpunk head of the Counter IT Section, Q, struggles to de-encrypt his mad scheme to infect world data centers with a virus that represents a collective consciousness of evil.

Add to Goodreads

I’ve argued the whole series or standalone novels before, and will just point out that the Afton Morrison series are novellas. You can whip through them–just possibly not late at night, alone, quiet. Or maybe quiet is good–you’ll want to be able to hear.

Tired of reading your same-o-same-o? Look into one of these. They are not one of your average cozy mysteries. You’ll thank me (or not).

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Rosepoint #Reviews – June Recap

Hello Summer!Holy Moses! Half of the year gone–poof! Waiting all this time for decent weather to grow my vegetable garden and see what survived or didn’t in the fairy garden, and now we’re into summer and spring blooms are dying. What is up with that? I’m not a fan of July heat, but with it may come more visitors and we had such fun showing our grandkids around the area, we may just do that again! (With proper heat protection this time of course.) If I suddenly go quiet, just picture the CE and I on our quaint senior deck enjoying the company of our old Navy buddies. We spent the last portion of dear hubby’s tour in Taiwan where I contracted amebic dysentery and the other wife worse. They now live in Texas where none of us have to wonder what we’re eating or whether the water was properly purified. Ahh, the good ole days!

Less you think I’m making excuses (again), I took part in Cee’s Fun Foto Challenges and #ThrowbackThursdays, as well as spotlights and book tours during the month resulting in a net of seven book reviews for June.

A Steep PriceDark LavaAs the Christmas Cookie CrumblesConfound It

America on PurposeTail of the DragonI’ve Been Watching You

So the question is, do you start a favorites list from the beginning of the year, then of necessity keep rearranging, or tackle the task at the end of the year? No, I didn’t start an Excel spreadsheet, maybe I should have. Maybe Goodreads is a good place to start? How do you go about the mission? Any suggestions?

Indie Author DayI keep scanning my resources for any information on Indie Author Day set for Saturday, October 13, 2018. Registration is now open. So far, the closest library that appears to be participating is in Lafayette, some 90 miles away. Even my previous little town of Goodyear AZ is participating and this area is far larger. We have several gorgeous, new libraries within ten miles, so I find it difficult to believe no one is organizing a local (NWI) event. There are currently more than seventeen states involved as well as three locations in Canada.

A worldwide event, libraries and organizations will welcome local Indie authors and writers for a day of education, networking, panels and more. And according to their website–free registration to all participants! Anyone participating in this event? Have you been to one before? I’d love to hear about it!

A big thank to all my new followers and as always so appreciate you who continue to read and comment! Thank you!

©2018 V Williams V Williams

What is the Fascination of the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son? Do Seven Daughters Count?

The Seventh Son of a Seventh Son - Is it Magic?

Yes! The fascination of the seventh son of a seventh son! Is it more than folklore? More than the 1988 Iron Maiden album that stemmed from the folklore? I suspect there may have been more seventh sons born last century than this, but still, it conjures powerful visions of mystical or even biblical significance, doesn’t it? According to Wikipedia, it can go so far as to be broken down by regions:

  1. Ireland – believed to be a healer
  2. France – believed to have curative properties
  3. Latin America – believed to be a werewolf
  4. Italy – believed to be a charmer of snakes
  5. U.S. – believed to garner riches

Well, that last was borne of a book written in the year 1807-08 by Edward Kendall regarding his visit to the Newgate copper mine. Indeed, a radio drama aired in 1980 on the CBS Mystery Theatre called “The Iron Horse” by Sam Dann played off that account of mining discoveries. Jimmy Stewart starred in a 1940 movie called “The Philladelphia Story” that noted the legend and as recently as 2014 the fantasy-adventure film Seventh Son has as the main character a seventh son of a seventh son that featured Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore. (Gees, never heard of it!)

Theatrical poster for Seventh Son from Wikipedia

To be authentically a seventh son of a seventh son, however, there must not be a female sibling separating the numbers. (Therefore, singer Perry Como could not legitimately claim the distinction. Lyle Lewis Aley, radio announcer was an unproven seventh, and Len Dawson, quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs claimed the distinction without acknowledging where his dad stood in the family line. Como, however, could make musical magic with the best of them.)

Still, there are many books written that include the folklore theme as a plot–all fiction in the fantasy or science fiction genres, so who is to say it may or may not magically bestow super-human properties, cause I could find no non-fiction references.

Several popularly noted fiction books with the theme include:

harry potterAnd, of course, the granddaddy, blockbuster of them all–the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowlings, including Deathly Hallows (#7) 2009, which includes the 7th child of the 7th child (Ginny Weasley), a girl! (And the females have magical powers of their own.) These books were written for the 9-12 years age group. That’s fine–it got ALL ages to reading again!

  • And if you really want to have some goosebumps, try Comic book superhero Johnny Thunder who obtained his magical birthright by virtue of being the seventh son of a seventh son and was also born at 7 am on July 7 (the seventh day of the seventh month), 1917. Unfortunately, it didn’t have quite the fire of the Potter series.

With all the time and research, however, I was not able to find one non-fictional account of a real seventh son biography, memoir, or story. Still, we do love our folklore and stories handed down and wonder how the stories got started. If you’ve come across some true accounts, I’d love to hear them!

©2018 V Williams (Photo attribution for title pic: Pexels, Theatrical poster for Seventh Son from Wikipedia)V Williams

Reading on the #Cozy Side with a Little #Sci-Fi, #K-9, or #HistFic for Spice

#TBR - #Cozies

It’s not true that I’ve gone to the Cozy side, but sometimes it does appear that way, huh.

Take for instance these five on my current #TBR pile. It would appear at least four are cozy, and you’d be part right. Obviously, however, Bad Time to be In It by David Burnsworth is a Blu Carraway mystery, actually classified by Amazon as “hard-boiled.” You may remember I used that term in the discussion on Family Noir.

A Souffle of Suspicion by Daryl Wood GerberThat would leave three with the cozy, women sleuth, and amateur sleuth designation, because (**surprise**) Soufflé of Suspicion by Daryl Wood Gerber has the additional distinction of also being classified as culinary. (Do you see more recipes in my future? The cover even SAYS “Includes Recipes.” But Nope!)

I really do enjoy a cozy mystery or two, particularly between heavier genres, such as the Irish historical fiction I recently reviewed or the sci-fi, or even the hysterically funny, campy, and definitely unique Ray vs the Meaning of Life by Michael F Stewart. If you missed it, see my review here.

At most, there may be a conceived pattern. If you detect the upcoming pattern is filled with food or decadent desserts, it would appear that food or desserts are a necessary ingredient for the genre. But please, no more recipes for me, unless it includes a pleasing classic cocktail.

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Rosepoint #Reviews – May Recap

Review Recap

June is heating up here in NWI! (OMG, did it turn hot!–from freezing to frying!) It was a semi-productive May month with books taking a back seat to the yard and garden while I could. News reports Chicago land received record-setting rainfall this year. We must have missed all that as I’ve had to water my slow-growing vegetables. The fairy garden, on the other hand, has been overrun with WEEDS far exceeding any bushes I planted, many of which are unidentifiable. Fortunately (knock on wood) no poison ivy (or ticks), so far. I’ve hit it with shovels, saws, and clippers, but the fairies are winning! Stay tuned…

In May I took part in spotlights, book blasts, and book tours during the month resulting in ten book reviews. 

  

(May) 2 – Micromium-Clean Energy from Mars 4 – Better Off Read 6 – The Mirror Shop 8 – Pick and Chews 13- Go Home, Afton 18-Dying Truth 20-Area 51: Redemption 22- Charlie Mac 27-Ray vs the Meaning of Life 29-Confessions of a Red Herring

My associate, The CE, read several and we accommodated five author requests in addition to Spotlights and #ThrowbackThursdays. Many of the book tours included Giveaways in which I hope you participated! Several of these titles stretched my reading chops and proved absolutely outstanding and will eventually go on a “Favorites” list I’ve yet to begin.

So what book tours can you anticipate coming in the near future? Here’s just a few (in hue compatible colors, of course). Please let me know if you are reading one of these as well! 

Upcoming Blog Tours

And just a little ditty I wrote for one of  my blogger buddies (who’d also spent a busy month):

Grab a cup, corral the pup, and set the puter churning,

then lift the book, correct the specs, and start the pages turning!

As always, I welcome my new followers, and sincerely appreciate the ones who continue to read and comment! Thank you! ©2018 V Williams V Williams