Assault and Beadery by Mollie Cox Bryan #BookTour #BookReview #Giveaway

Assault and Beadery

I am so delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for Assault and Beadery by Mollie Cox Bryan on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Scroll down the page to enter this exclusive Giveaway!

Book Details

Assault and Beadery (A Cora Crafts Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Kensington (September 25, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1496716442
ISBN-13: 978-1496716446
Digital ASIN: B078QM4V66  

Book Blurb

All of Cora Chevalier’s dreams are coming true. Since moving to Indigo Gap, North Carolina, the busy crafting maven has been blessed with a great boyfriend, a lovely home, and a booming craft retreat business. But on the eve of her first Crafty Mom’s Escape Weekend, tragedy strikes again in Indigo Gap. This time, it’s curtains for Stan Herald, the disagreeable director of the local theater group, who’s murdered on the opening night of their new production. Worse, Cora’s friend Zee is accused of the crime.

Cora is determined to prove her friend’s innocence, but Zee’s mysterious past is making that difficult. And with a list of suspects longer than a double spool of satin cording, getting a bead on the real culprit won’t be easy. With her friends Jane and Ruby at her side, Cora must string together the clues and solve Stan’s murder before the killer gives an encore performance.

Includes crafting tips!

My Review

Once again, my first experience with the author and the series. This being the fourth in the series, however, is not a real problem as it could easily function as a standalone, characters and location are well developed.

Indigo Gap is described as a small mountain community and tourist destination offering beautiful scenery, quaint B&B’s, cafes, and streets all named in exotic blue colors. As I viewed Cora, Jane, and Ruby, partners in the Kildare House in Indigo Gap, NC, it seems to me Jane is the stronger and would be prime protagonist, although it appears that Cora is supposed to be primary lead. Cora lives in the attic apartment of the historic Victorian home of Irish immigrants and former forest barons with her cat, Luna. Jane and her young daughter, London, live in the carriage house adjacent, although for this special retreat weekend, their third, the little girl is away visiting grandparents.

They fill their investment by holding specialized retreats, this one with special guest leader, Lena, who will introduce projects in beading (including French beads, clay beads, and rose beads) along with other crafting ideas involving felting and author cards. The home is apparently enormous and in addition to the bedrooms have rooms specifically designed and dedicated for specific crafts. The description of the home had me wishing I could take a tour! That is, until you get to the kitchen, which in their rehab process was put on the back-burner (a serious no-no in rehabbing). The retreat has invited moms to a special after-summer getaway and respite from their children and they’ve ended up with an eclectic group of women, some preferring to knit. (I’d love to know how much they paid and what it included!)

In addition to preparing to receive their guests, they got involved with the local community playhouse and helped to paint backgrounds for the production slated to open. Unfortunately, the director is found deceased on the stage and their B&B neighbor and friend Zee found beside him with a bloody knife. They know Zee couldn’t have done it, but how well do they know her–really?

I had these observations: I appreciated the atmosphere of the little town, the pride of the locals in their community, and even some of the (over) descriptive instructions of the projects. The protagonists had made major changes in their lives and appear to be conquering difficult histories. The projects, many with detailed instructions given at the back of the book, take up a lot of the narrative. However, Cora emerges as a rather weak-kneed protagonist fighting panic attacks, revisiting situations, and conversations once too often. They tended to call their officer friend, Detective Brodsky–a lot–no secrets–nothing held back there! He’s married, but Cora has a boyfriend who is always among the missing except for one sneaky night (huh?). The weekend retreat seemed to last more than a Saturday/Sunday, there was a lot of free time where the girls could go sleuthing, and no one ever fixed a meal. (Lots of restaurant referrals.)

It is cozy paced and well-plotted, just a little slow for me. Red herrings are thrown in, then dissed, and the antagonist was not a surprise. The craft moms are all aware of what is going on and no one seems to slow their attendance in the next class or appear concerned over whether or not the antagonist is someone in their midst.

I was given this download by the publisher and NetGalley for this book tour and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for any heavy into crafting, particularly beading, or for someone you know would appreciate those hints and ideas–a little mystery with the craft projects!

Giveaway

Enter here for your chance at winning one of three (3) print copies of Assault and Beadery (U.S. only). Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Mollie Cox Bryan - authorMollie Cox Bryan is the author of the Cumberland Creek Scrapbooking mystery series and the Cora Crafts mystery series. She is also author of two cookbooks, the regional bestseller Mrs. Rowe’s Little Book of Southern Pies and Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant Cookbook: A Lifetime of Recipes from the Shenandoah Valley. An award-winning journalist and poet, she currently blogs, cooks, and scrapbooks in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband and two daughters. Scrapbook of Secrets was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Visit her on the web at molliecoxbryan.com.

Author Links:

Website – http://molliecoxbryan.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/molliecoxbryanauthor

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/molliecoxbryan/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/molliecoxbryan?lang=en

Purchase Links – Amazon   B&N   IndieBound   Kobo   BookBub

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

Tour Participants:

September 25 – The Power of Words = REVIEW

September 25 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

September 25 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers -SPOTLIGHT

September 26 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 26 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

September 26 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – REVIEW

September 27 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 27 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

September 28 – T’s Stuff – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 28 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 29 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

September 29 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 30 – cherylbbookblog – REVIEW, RECIPE

September 30 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

October 1 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 1 – Varietats – GUEST POST

October 2 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

October 2 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 3 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 3 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW  

October 4 – Valerie’s Musings – GUEST POST

October 4 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT  

October 5 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 5 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

October 6 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

October 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

October 7 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

October 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

October 8 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT

October 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT/RECIPE 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

Advertisements

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Substitute – CFFC – Small

Cee's Fun Foto Challenge

(From Cee) Debbie over at Twenty Four blog has decided to post a CFFC (Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge) for this week. Feel free to play along.

Cee-Cee's Fun Foto ChallengeAll my challenges will return next week. Thanks for all your patience. I’ve needed this break.

Hugs, Cee

Twenty Four

“While Cee’s having a well-earned break I thought I would post some photos which I thought encapsulated the idea of fun – this week we have SMALL.”

teleportingweena

Ghostmmnc also participated in this week’s fun fotos–see her contributions here.

Mine follow next:

Finch (?)
Finch (?)

bug  butterfly

Cee is expecting to resume her weekly challenge on Sunday, August 12th! Check out her site for the current topic and then gather your photos. It’s a challenge, but a fun and rewarding one!

Please check out my Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge to check out more of what this challenge is about. ©2018 V Williams V Williams

 

 

A Soufflé of Suspicion by Daryl Wood Gerber #BlogTour #BookReview #Giveaway

A Souffle of Suspicion by Daryl Wood Gerber

I am so delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for A Soufflé of Suspicion: A French Bistro Mystery by Daryl Wood Gerber on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Don’t miss this unusual PRIZE package giveaway. Scroll down to Giveaway link.

Book Details  

A Soufflé of Suspicion: A French Bistro Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (July 10, 2018)
Hardcover 296 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683315865
Digital ASIN: B075QMR44B

Book Blurb

The buoyant mood at Bistro Rousseau deflates when Chef Camille’s sister, Renee, turns up dead in the chef’s kitchen, and Mimi Rousseau must tease the real killer out of a mélange of menacing characters.

Crush Week in Nouvelle Vie is a madhouse—in a good way. Tourists pour into town for the pressing of the Napa Valley’s world-renowned grapes and all the town’s businesses get a nice lift, including Bistro and Maison Rousseau. Mimi is raising the ante this year with a Sweet Treats Festival, a wonderland of croissants, cakes, tarts, and soufflés crafted with expert care by the area’s top talents.

Chef Camille’s sister Renee is managing the festival with a cast-iron fist, upsetting everyone, including her sister. Which is bad for Camille when Renee turns up dead in the chef’s kitchen. Mimi is still building her business, so her first course of action is to whip up answers and catch the unsavory perpetrator before Camille takes a dusting and gets burned.

My Review

A Souffle of Suspicion by Daryl Wood GerberI love the locale of the Napa Valley wineries and all the picturesque little villages that comprise the famous California vineyards. Those quaint and charming little towns boast everything from prize-winning wines to delicious local mustards, hot springs, and wonderful boutique cafes.

So the setting of this second offering of the series caught my attention as the fictional town of Nouvelle Vie explodes with (more) tourists than usual for Crush Week. Protagonist Mimi Rousseau has dialed up the tannins with her participation in the Sweet Treats Festival in which the local cafe’s, restaurants, and bakeries offer up their exclusive sweets and pair with the appropriate red or white. (They will offer cakes, pastries, and soufflés as well as competitions.) Her own Bistro Rousseau boasts Chef C (Camille) and an array of accomplished personnel all catering to an exclusive French dining cuisine. (Fortunately for me, the recipes follow the conclusion of the novel and doesn’t interrupt the steady progression of the plot.)

As the second in the series, Mimi is not wholly fleshed, although some backstory is offered to bring the reader up to speed. Her support characters provide a solid well-rounded venue, including pets, and a possible romantic interest (so soon, my dear?) for the recently widowed MC. Her mother is a local vintner and besides her own employees, Mimi has a strong network of locals to provide validation.

Unfortunately, Renee, the sister of Chef C, is found murdered in the kitchen. Renee was organizing and managing the festival with an iron fist. Mimi becomes fully involved in protecting and watching over Chef Camille as well as providing some investigation on her own–not the first time she’s performed sleuthing as well as haute cuisine duties. The well-developed mystery proceeds through red herrings, misdirection, and plot twists offering up several suspects and the arguments for or against each possible person of interest.

In the meantime, aspects regarding the management of an exclusive restaurant run rampant, as well as menu suggestions replete with flowery French names. As Mimi struggles with the detailed services of her sister business, the Maison Rousseau, as well as the Bistro, the Festival, and the local cafes involved, the reader gets a peek into the local European styled architectural castles boasting vast wine cellars and elite varietal wines as well as their own to-die-for desserts.

The protagonist begins to experience strange little “accidents,” and although reluctant to share concerns with the local gendarme, appears to confirm she’s making progress with her own investigation. Her relentless pursuit of the truth helps to clear her chef as a suspect.

I had a little problem with the limited fleshing of Mimi coming into the second of the series. Although she appears to be a strong and independent figure, she didn’t feel three-dimensional to me. She is textbook capable of not only owning and running a French cafe, but employing a decent sized support group. Mimi has obviously attained a successful following and possesses a smart sense of organization. She can allow her support staff as well as the chef she brings in temporarily to cover for her absences when she’s busy following leads and juggling cafe critics.

Recommended for foodies and fans of cozy mysteries in a particularly beautiful and unique setting. So, for me, this was more of a locale-driven plot than that of character and it was easy to be swept up in the excitement of the exquisite wine and food industry.

Add to goodreads

Giveaway

One Prize Package (U.S. only) in the Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

Daryl Wood Gerber - authorAgatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries and CHEESE SHOP MYSTERIES, which she pens as Avery Aames. She will soon debut the new French Bistro Mysteries. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense: DAYS OF SECRETS and GIRL ON THE RUN. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Author Links:

Visit Daryl or Avery at www.darylwoodgerber.com.

Daryl’s Blog – Avery’s Blog – Mystery Lover’s Kitchen – Killer Characters –

Facebook:   Daryl      Avery 

Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber

Goodreads:    Daryl Wood Gerber     Avery Aames

Purchase Links:

Amazon  B&N   BookBub  Kobo

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

Tour Participants:

July 6 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT
July 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
July 6 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
July 7 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
July 7 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
July 8 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
July 8 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
July 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
July 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
July 10 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
July 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
July 11 – cherylbbookblog  – REVIEW
July 12 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 12 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST
July 13 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
July 13 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
July 14 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
July 14 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
July 15 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW
July 15 – Lisa Ks Book Review – REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 16 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 16 – That’s What She’s Reading – GUEST POST
July 17 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
July 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
July 18 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW*
July 18 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 19 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
July 19 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, GUEST POST 

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

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Ray vs the Meaning of Life – a #BookReview

Ray vs the Meaning of LifeTitle: Ray vs the Meaning of Life by Michael F. Stewart

Genre: Currently # 147 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Genre Fiction, Metaphysical

Publisher: The Publishing House

Publication Date: May 15, 2018

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Ray vs the Meaning of Life – Fantastic cover–totally gets the subject

When I read the review by Nicole over at The BookWorm Drinketh for Ray vs the Meaning of Life, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. (TY, Nicole, you nailed it!) Fortunately, it was still available (now archived) on NetGalley, though it was termed Humor, Teens, and YA. What?! Heaven knows I’ve violated several of my rules recently, why not this one? Well, I’m so glad, once again, that I stepped beyond my own comfortable genres to sample this “YA” novel. But really, YA? Amazon classifies the genre as Metaphysical and Visionary (oh, and Coming of Age).

Too bad.

It should have just stopped at Brilliant Literature. Continue reading “Ray vs the Meaning of Life – a #BookReview”

Pick and Chews – a #BookReview

Pick and Chews by Linda O JohnstonTitle: Pick and Chews (Barkery and Biscuits Mystery #4) by Linda O. Johnston

Genre: Currently #695 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Cozy, Animals

Publisher: Midnight Ink

Publication Date: Release date: May 8, 2018 Happy Publication Day!

Source: Midnight Ink and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Pick and Chews – Beautiful cozy cover complete with dogs and kitty

First, let me thank the publisher and NetGalley for granting me an ARC of this book. I was thrilled to receive the download and went into the book with high expectations, happy with checking out a new author (to me) and her series that promised to be amazing. And, of course, it features dogs. How could you go wrong? Well, ***spoiler*** alert, something went very wrong. First, I’ll quickly list what I did appreciate here in the “upper fold.”  

Looking at the cover (and there I go again…must repeat mantra…cannot judge a book, blah, blah, blah). Absolutely too cute. Appeals to both dog and cat lovers. And the blurb? Well, okay, it sounded interesting. A woman who owns two howlingly successful businesses? Could happen. Her also being a part-time vet tech. Hmmm, now we may be stretching things a bit.

The Barkery and Biscuit is definitely a unique name for a bakery catering to healthy food and treats for animals. Also appreciated that she wrote about holding rescue animal adoption events. Super.

However, you should be warned that I periodically invoke my rule not to note less than three stars and, therefore, will not rate the book on this blog, although I’m compelled to leave a short review for Goodreads and the publisher.

So what set up the hackles? Continue reading “Pick and Chews – a #BookReview”

Valley of Time – #BookReview

Valley of Time by Jeremy D. HoldenTitle: Valley of Time: The Greatest Journey Ever Taken by Jeremy D Holden

Genre: Currently #4105 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, International Mystery & Crime

Publisher: Clean Publishing

Publication Date: November 5, 2017

Source: Smith Publishing, Cleaning Publishing, and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Valley of Time – Ethereal cover offers hints of subject

I can’t keep smacking my forehead with the palm of my hand and asking “What is this guy thinking??! Surely someone as smart as Mal couldn’t be this gullible twice?!

Is Valley of Time presenting much the same scenario as was posed in his first book offering, Sea of Doubt in which he barely escaped with his life? Much of the first half of this book is uncomfortably close. He has written about those experiences attaching threads to this sequel. Continue reading “Valley of Time – #BookReview”

#AmReading – The Yanks Are Starving: A Novel of the Bonus Army by Glen Craney

#AmReading - The Yanks Are Starving by Glen Craney

Welcome to my #AmReading feature! I am highlighting an author and their book currently visible in the “Fair Weather” widget celebrating blue skies, following seas, and my Goodreads (currently reading) list.

This week I am presenting Glen Craney and his book The Yanks Are Starving. This was a direct review request received from the author at a time my TBR was redlining but it sounded really good! Not wishing to miss a worthy book, I asked my ever intrepid hubby, the CE (newly installed associate reviewer), if he’d please, please, please read it for me. It wasn’t a hard sell after I read the blurb to him. Thinking this just might be a great collaboration, I’ll be bringing him back from time to time to read and review books that I think he might like. This book was released on December 5, 2013, by Brigid’s Fire Press. Amazon classifies the novel a History, Military, Regiments, Military History (WWI), and Veterans and is (ahem!) 563 pages. Continue reading “#AmReading – The Yanks Are Starving: A Novel of the Bonus Army by Glen Craney”

Thank You – 1,000 Followers!

Thank you for 1000 followers!

This blog has now achieved 1,000 followers! Thank you to each of every one of you who has read and followed my reviews, posts, and rambling observations. I could not have reached this milestone without your support. I am grateful for all the likes and each and every one of your comments!

Thank you new visitors and regular blogging buddies!

I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

#AmReading – No Turning Back by Nancy Bush (aka Nancy Kelly)

Welcome to my #AmReading feature! I am highlighting an author and their book currently visible in the “Fair Weather” widget celebrating blue skies, following seas, and my Goodreads (currently reading) list.

#amreading - No Turning Back by Nancy Bush

This week I am presenting Nancy Bush (previously published as Nancy Kelly) and her book No Turning Back. This was a download from the publisher and #NetGalley. The book was released on December 26, 2017 by Zebra as an updated reprint of the original twenty years ago. Amazon classifies the novel as a mystery, thriller & crime, and kidnapping and is only 304 pages.

I will be presenting my review on Tuesday, January 2, 2018, as the last book of 2017. In the meantime (from Amazon), here is the

Book Blurb:

They find the body deep in the woods, lying beneath a carpet of wet leaves, eyes still open in a sightless stare. Three dark stains across his chest, and another bullet hole in his forehead.
Child psychologist Liz Havers made a mistake sixteen years ago, and she’s ready to face it. That means confronting Detective Hawthorne “Hawk” Hart, who’s come back to Woodside, Washington, after a case in LA went tragically wrong. His teenage son, Jesse, is finding it difficult to adjust, and stumbling across a dead man doesn’t help.

Bad things never used to happen in the small town of Woodside. Now no one is safe. And the more Hawk tries to untangle a terrifying web of greed and murder, the more desperate his adversary becomes to hide the truth, even if that means killing again and again . . .

Nancy Bush - authorAbout the Author: (From Amazon)

Nancy Bush is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 30 novels, including The Killing Game, Nowhere to Run, I’ll Find You and Hush. She is the co-author of the Colony series, written with her sister, bestselling author Lisa Jackson, as well as the collaborative novels Sinister and Ominous, written with Lisa Jackson and Rosalind Noonan. A former writer for ABC’s daytime drama “All My Children,” Nancy now lives with her family and pug dog, The Binkster, in the Pacific Northwest. Please visit her online at nancybush.net. ©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

#AmReading – Another One Bites the Crust by Ellie Alexander

Welcome to my #AmReading feature! I am highlighting an author and their book currently visible in the “Fair Weather” widget celebrating blue skies, following seas, and my Goodreads (currently reading) list.

Another One Bites the Crust by Ellie Alexander

This week I am presenting Ellie Alexander and her book Another One Bites the Crust. This is a download from the publisher and NetGalley. The book will be released on January 2, 2018 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks. Amazon classifies the novel as a mystery, thriller & suspense, culinary, and amateur sleuths and is only 316 pages.

I will be presenting my review on Sunday, December 24, 2017, and can tell you that so far it’s a cozy mystery very different than I’ve read before. In the meantime (from Amazon), here is the

Book Blurb:

Torte—the beloved small-town bakeshop run by Jules Capshaw—is set to hit the stage. But who would have guessed that murder would makes a surprise appearance?

It’s the role of a lifetime for Jules. The Shakespeare Festival has returned to Ashland, Oregon, for the season and Torte has been cast as the supplier of Elizabethan-era treats for the main event. But on the eve of opening night, a brawl between Jules’s friend Lance, the artistic director, and a strapping young thespian named Anthony almost brings down the house. . .and the next morning, Anthony is dead. Jules knows that Lance loves his drama—and his just desserts—but she also knows that murder is way off-script for him. Now it’s up to Jules to cut through a bevy of backstage betrayals and catty co-stars who all have their own secrets—before the curtain drops on someone else. . .

Ellie Alexander - authorAbout the Author: (From Amazon Author Page)

Ellie Alexander, author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin’s Press), is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research. Another One Bites the Crust is the seventh in the Bakeshop mystery series.”

Find out more about Ellie and her books by visiting her here:
Blog: http://www.bakeshopmystery.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elliealexanderauthor
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/BakeshopMystery
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ellie_alexander

©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

#ThrowbackThursday – Tom Lowe – Book Review

#ThrowbackThursday - Christmas time

Renee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, It’s Book Talk to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! I’ll be going back over some of my oldies but goodies, my favorite authors, and some of my favorite stories from authors you might not have previously experienced. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out.

A False Dawn by Tom LoweThis week I am highlighting Tom Lowe, another terrific, prolific author who has produced eight in the Sean O’Brien series of which I reviewed A False Dawn on Goodreads. If you don’t recognize the name of the author, perhaps you have heard of his eighth in this series, A Murder of Crows. A False Dawn, #1 of the series, was published by Kingsbridge on March 8, 2012. Lowe consistently runs approximately 4.5 stars for any of his books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted October 8, 2014 Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – Tom Lowe – Book Review”

The Wild Road to Key West – a Book Review

The Wild Road to Key West - The Cave of the Stars Book 8 by Michael ReisigTitle: The Wild Road to Key West-The Cave of the Stars by Michael Reisig

Genre: (Historically listed as Literature & Fiction, Historical Fiction, Men’s Adventures, Travel, and Sea Adventures)

Publisher: Clear Creek Press

Publication Date: December 15, 2017

Source: ARC from Author

Title and Cover: The Wild Road to Key West – Cover continues the series brand

You know you can’t go wrong with a new offering from Michael Reisig in his Key West series and I’m excited to present: The Wild Road to Key West, The Cave of the Stars. This is the eighth of the series and finds the Hole in the Coral Wall Gang scrambling once again to duck in and out of the richly descriptive jungles of South America in one piece.

Reisig always sets a frantic pace in chapter one that will continue through his latest adventure. This one begins with the rescue an old friend, Captain O’Neal now of the South Florida DEA. He has tangled in the Venezuelan jungles with a powerful gem-mining warlord, Santiago Talla. They discover Arturio, who is given to unhealthy games of Russian Roulette in the local bar. He knows the area and becomes their guide. Continue reading “The Wild Road to Key West – a Book Review”

#Author Spotlight – Dean Koontz

author spotlight

Rumored to be worth over $145 million, Dean Ray Koontz is most definitely a successful author. Born in Everett, PA in 1945 (72 years of age), his novels are generally described as suspense thrillers, although he frequently infuses his stories with horror, fantasy, and sci-fi aspects as well.

His official website notes he has sold over 450 million copies of his works, sixteen (paperback) of which were included on the NY Times bestseller list as number one. He used numerous pen names early in his career including Brian Coffey.

His childhood less than standard 50’s Cleavers, Koontz was the product of an abusive alcoholic father and his defiant “physically diminutive mother.” Koontz discovered the Catholic faith and converted while in college. Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton(And btw, he gives a shout out to English writer and Catholic convert G.K. Chesterton who wrote about the fictional Roman Catholic priest and amateur detective Father Brown. Father Brown is a featured English series on NetFlix.) I find this connection fascinating since I innocently wandered into Mayhem & Mass recently and the review brought a comment from fellow blogger, Angela of Books and Opinions, LLC who also noted G. K. Chesterton as being a favorite ol’ English author. (Freaky, huh?)

Graduating in 1967, Koontz went on variously teaching English in high school and working for a federally funded poverty program. It was during this time that he began writing in earnest and in ten years his major breakthrough novel, Whispers, was published in 1980. Of course, since I’m usually late to the party, was just introduced to Koontz through NetGalley with a book I recently read and reviewed called The Whispering Room. It was just released on November 21, 2017 and I still think the newest of his books.

When I mentioned to my son that I was reading a Dean Koontz book, his eyebrows shot up. “I’m surprised you’re reading Koontz, mom, he’s a horror writer.” (Not considered my usual genre. True.) And, perhaps this might be considered that, but more so psychological thriller and suspense. (Also, gripping, thoughtful, and perhaps sci-fi coming true.) After I posted my review, one of our old Navy friends, Kitra, saw the review on Facebook and noted, Just an FYI he grew up in Ted’s little town, donated a lot to the library in honor of his English teacher. Was happy to see that.”

Dean Koontz - author - Happy Holidays photoDean Koontz is currently living in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, and their golden, Ms. Elsa. You’ll have to read her story, which is related in typical humorous Koontz style here.

Mr. Koontz has joined my favorite authors list and I’m looking forward to his next well-crafted novel. Have you looked into his books lately? Which was your favorite? (Info gleaned from Wikipedia and the Dean Koontz website.) ©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

Mayhem & Mass – a Book Review

Mayhem & Mass by Olivia MatthewsTitle: Mayhem & Mass (A Sister Lou Mystery) by Olivia Matthews

Genre: Currently #623 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Cozy, Crafts & Hobbies (and Animals) (huh?)

Publisher: Kensington Books

Publication Date: To be released November 28, 2017 – Happy Release Day!

Source: Kensington Books and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Mayhem & Mass Simple cover includes a church in the background; not representative of the novel location setting, nor is there a cat in the book that I remember. “For a plain clothes nun, sleuthing is a habit…”

Yes, I must admit to being Protestant. My husband is the Catholic. After more than 50 years with him, I still scratch my head over some of the rituals, beads, saints (some that have been desainted), but must also admit to many practices and ceremonies that I’ve enjoyed as well. My hubby and I were extremely privileged to sing in a choir for (Saint) Pope John Paul II in 1989 at Castle Gondolfo. (You can’t deny that holy aura.) So it was when I saw the title and read the blurb that I had to request and read this book. Continue reading “Mayhem & Mass – a Book Review”

#AmReading – The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz

#AmReading - The Whispering Room by Dean Koontz

Welcome to my #AmReading feature! I am highlighting an author and their book currently visible in the “Fair Weather” widget celebrating blue skies, following seas, and my Goodreads (currently reading) list.

This week I am presenting Dean Koontz and his book The Whispering Room. I received an ARC from the publisher, Bantam, and NetGalley. The book will be released on November 21, 2017. Amazon classifies the novel as literary fiction and a mystery, thriller & suspense, and is 528 pages. Even so, I see where some advanced readers flew through it in one sitting. (I’m not one of those.)

I will be presenting my review shortly, but in the meantime (from Amazon), here is the

Book Blurb:

“No time to delay. Do what you were born to do. Fame will be yours when you do this.” These are the words that ring in the mind of mild-mannered, beloved schoolteacher Cora Gundersun—just before she takes her own life, and many others’, in a shocking act of carnage. When the disturbing contents of her secret journal are discovered, it seems certain that she must have been insane. But Jane Hawk knows better. In the wake of her husband’s inexplicable suicide—and the equally mysterious deaths of scores of other exemplary individuals—Jane picks up the trail of a secret cabal of powerful players who think themselves above the law and beyond punishment. But the ruthless people bent on hijacking America’s future for their own monstrous ends never banked on a highly trained FBI agent willing to go rogue—and become the nation’s most wanted fugitive—in order to derail their insidious plans to gain absolute power with a terrifying technological breakthrough. Driven by love for her lost husband and by fear for the five-year-old son she has sent into hiding, Jane Hawk has become an unstoppable predator. Those she is hunting will have nowhere to run when her shadow falls across them.

Author:

(Amazon) Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirits of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.

I might also note that Goodreads has his average rating pegged at 3.91. Remember Goodreads ratings generally run slightly lower because of their own interpretation of star ratings, which is not the same as those of Amazon. Out of 2,054,464 ratings, he’s garnered 77,801 reviews and his books have been shelved over three million times. I figure that at around 3.8%. It’s difficult even for him to get reviews, huh?!)

©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

#AuthorsTalkAboutIt – 2018 Book Award Contest

Authors Talk About It

Whether or not you are heavily embroiled in your NaNoWriMo quest at the moment, you will finish your manuscript. What will you do when that WIP is finished? What is your next step?

You worked hard and put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into writing your book. In fact, you may have already invested a good deal of money into an editor, cover designer, online marketing and more.

Remember those book award contests I wrote about last year? I wrote one in January about the ATAI 2017 Book Award Contest! I wrote again in February about a number of additional book award contests. There will be LOTS of them surfacing and each vying for your attention after the first of the year. Most will cost money. Every contest is different; therefore, it’s important to do some research and make sure that you’re entering a valid contest, especially if there’s an entry fee. (However, free contests may not benefit you as much as those with an entry fee. You get what you pay for–right?)

If your pulse quickens with a touch of excitement mixed with a hint of fear, you are not alone! It’s akin to laying your soul bare to put your work out there. What’s next in your journey to publish? What will it really do for you? Continue reading “#AuthorsTalkAboutIt – 2018 Book Award Contest”

Outside the Wire – a Book Review

 

Outside the Wire by Patricia SmileyTitle: Outside the Wire (a Pacific Homicide #2) by Patricia Smiley

 

Genre: Currently #4329 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, and Police Procedurals

 

Publisher: Midnight Ink

 

Publication Date: To be released November 8, 2017 – Happy Release Day!

 

Source: Midnight Ink and NetGalley

 

Title and Cover: Outside the Wire – Love the cover–striking colors

 

Outside the Wire features Davie Richards as a LAPD Homicide Detective. At last–a female protagonist not damaged beyond saving or sporting model-like height and classic features! Her Kung Fu will worry no one, but she is packing. This lady sounds real and with her years on the force as an officer and detective, she has history. This is the sophomore release of this series by Ms. Smiley and is an intelligent, thoughtful, and reflective narrative on our military back from ‘Nam. (Some fared better than others. Few were exempt from memories best left in the jungle.) Continue reading “Outside the Wire – a Book Review”

Mad Librarian – a Book Review

Mad Librarian by Michael GuillebeauTitle: Mad Librarian

Genre: Currently #9422 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Humor & Satire, General Humor

Publisher: Madison Press

Publication Date: To be released November 16, 2017

Source: Madison Press and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Mad Librarian – It’s the cover, huh, that gets you

I can’t deny it–both the cover and the title made me pick it up. The cover is compelling and I truly loved it. Reading it was another matter. Continue reading “Mad Librarian – a Book Review”

Rosepoint Reviews-September Recap and #Bookstagram Fun

September was busy! Reading and writing furiously, nine new books including many ARC’s, #ThrowbackThursdays highlighting some of my old favorites, and a new #Bookstagram feature I created called “Wharf Reads.” (I love that tree!)

Wharf Reads - Hello Again by Brenda Novak

Well, I didn’t really name it, but looking to ramp up Instagrams, got myself into yet another project consuming WAY too much time! Continue reading “Rosepoint Reviews-September Recap and #Bookstagram Fun”

Hello Again – a Book Review

Hello Again by Brenda NovakTitle: Hello Again (Dr. Evelyn Talbot Novels)

Genre: Currently #639 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank for Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Women Sleuths

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Publication Date: To be released October 3, 2017

Source: St Martin’s Paperbacks and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Hello Again Nice cover, not sure it conveys the location or the genre

Apparently there is nowhere you can hide if someone really wants to find you. This book is textbook serial killer, psychological profiling at it’s best. Continue reading “Hello Again – a Book Review”