Davida – a Book Review

Davida-Model & Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens by Karen IngallsTitle: Davida: Model & Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens by Karen Ingalls

Genre: Currently #1258 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Biographies & Memoirs, Leaders & Notable People, Rich & Famous

Publication Date: March 21, 2016

Source: Review requested by author Karen Ingalls

Title and Cover: Davida – Beautiful cover depicting sculpted model

Traveling to the U.S. in 1876 with her mother, Albertina (Davida), a young Swedish girl will become a beautiful woman and later model for talented and well-known American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The eventual union between artist and model, the author’s great-grandmother and Augustus Saint-Gaudens produced a son, Louis. Saint-Gaudens, however, is married. Indie Excellence Winner - Karen Ingalls Continue reading “Davida – a Book Review”

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Rosepoint #Reviews – January Recap

Congratulations to you for surviving the holidays and making it through January! Isn’t that considered the worst of winter is over? We can only hope! It’s certainly been a frantic month for me, back to reading, reviewing, and concentrating on “stats.” (Yes, I know. I’m not supposed to think about those, but…)

I have achieved some goals: 

Books to Cell
Photo attribution: Shutterstock

Blog stats (hit 1,000 followers–Thank you all–again!), Goodreads stats (made my Book Challenge!), Amazon reviewer status (now down under 15K), and NetGalley stats achieved 80%–gonna keep it that way and pushing for my 50 reviews badge. (As a new reviewer on NetGalley, it’s easy to fall into that trap–BOOKS! All those BOOKS! I want them all–no, wait…oops!)

So, besides the ARC’s from NetGalley, there was #ThrowbackThursdays highlighting two of my favorite authors (Jodie Bailey and Linda McDonald). Spent some heavy time doing #AmReading posts, #TBR posts, and #Bookstagrams, the latter of which has fired up new ideas for “staging” books and that’s been fun.

Eleven January reads, most ARC’s through NetGalley and one read (#11) by my associate, the CE (If you haven’t caught his review yet, check it out!):

  1. January 02 – No Turning Back by Nancy Bush
  2. January 04 – The Last Homecoming by Dan Chabot (author request)
  3. January 07 – Grist Mill Road by Christopher J Yates
  4. January 09 – Strangers by Ursula Archer and Arno Strobel
  5. January 10 – Need to Know by Karen Cleveland
  6. January 14 – An Engineered Injustice by William L Myers Jr
  7. January 16 – Dark Ocean by Nick Elliott (author request)
  8. January 21 – Deep Zero by V S Kemanis
  9. January 23 – An Eye for an Eye by Caroline Fardig
  10. January 28 – Curses, Boiled Again by Shari Randall
  11. January 30 – The Yanks Are Starving by Glen Craney (author request)

See anything here that catches your eye? These run the gamut from historical fiction to psychological and legal thrillers and I know you’ve read at least one of them.

I’m having a tough time keeping up with reading and commenting on all your reviews! I comment when I can and I enjoy receiving all your comments here as well as the likes and comments on Bookstagram.

Photo attibution: lifewithdogsandcatsMaybe you CAN teach an old dog new tricks, it just takes us longer. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them! ©2018 V Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

#ThrowbackThursday – author Melissa Stevens – Book Review

#ThrowbackThursday

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! Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out. And, if you’d like to join the fun, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. Just provide the link back to her please).

Change by Melissa StevensThis week I am highlighting author Melissa Stevens and stepping considerably beyond my comfort zone in genres (shape-shifting, fantasy). I met Melissa when I also had a table at the craft fair in Yuma at the Country Roads RV Park, probably my favorite of the delightful RV parks where I sold my grandfather’s books during the winters of 2013/14 and 2014/15. Melissa published Change, the first in the Kitsune series in January 2012 (which I reviewed on Goodreads), and was light years ahead of me in promotion. She obviously had a solid marketing plan and knew how to manipulate the ins and outs of Kindle and Smashwords. Change was newly revised in 2017. She is a prolific author who has gone on to writing stand alones, another series, as well as collaborating with another author. She was part of Wicked After Dark, a paranormal romance anthology that hit #13 on the New York Times Bestseller’s list in October of 2015. It would appear she is progressing nicely!

Originally posted April 1, 2014 Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – author Melissa Stevens – Book Review”

The Yanks Are Starving: A Novel of the Bonus Army – A Book Review

The Yanks Are Starving by Glen CraneyTitle: The Yanks Are Starving: A Novel of the Bonus Army

Genre: Currently #51 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, History, Military, Regiments

Publisher: Brigid’s Fire Press

Publication Date: December 5, 2013

Source: Direct request by author Glen Craney

Title and Cover: The Yanks Are Starving – Cover beautifully depicts historical scene

The Yanks are Starving is a masterfully written saga of pre and post World War 1. Glen Craney explores the lack of loyalty of officers in battle for their troops and government’s abandonment of the welfare of the troops who fight for their country. Herbert Hoover fought brilliantly for food for the pre-war citizens of France and Belgium but abandoned our own veterans during the great depression. This rather lengthy but insightful book explores the lives of eight individuals from wildly differing experiences and backgrounds whose clash in July 1932 culminates in a poignant and sad story of American history.

Yanks Facebook ad
Photo from Glen Craney website.

Continue reading “The Yanks Are Starving: A Novel of the Bonus Army – A Book Review”

#CursesBoiledAgain – a #BookReview

Curses, Boiled Again! by Shari RandallTitle: Curses, Boiled Again!: A Lobster Shack Mystery by Shari Randall

Genre: Currently # 507 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Cozy, Culinary, amateur sleuths

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Publication Date: To be released January 30, 2018

Source: St. Martin’s Paperbacks and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Curses, Boiled Again! – Cute cozy mystery cover

Welcome to Mystic Bay and the Lazy Mermaid Lobster Shack where the proprietor, Aunt Gully, is a combination of your favorite aunt and feisty grandmother (my favorite character)–and her lobster rolls are to die for. Protagonist Allegra (Allie) Larkin has returned to this small New England hamlet to help Gully Fontana with the Memorial Day Lobster Roll contest and to rest an ankle now in a boot from a ballet dance injury. Her Aunt Gully recently opened her lobster shack to accolades with her lobster roll with secret sauce and was invited to participate in the contest covered by the YUM Food Network. Winning the contest would more than boost her little endeavor. Unfortunately, one of the four judges doesn’t make it alive to the next contestant. Continue reading “#CursesBoiledAgain – a #BookReview”

Deep Zero – a Book Review

Deep Zero by V. S. KemanisTitle: Deep Zero by V. S. Kemanis, a Dana Hargrove Legal Mystery

Publisher: Opus Nine Books

Publication Date: To be released January 26, 2018

Source: Opus Nine Books and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Deep ZeroCover covers scene from book

It’s 2009 and prosecutor Dana Hargrove is managing a full caseload while balancing husband Evan Goodhue, also an attorney, and their two teenage children. Social medium is growing, luring disaffected youngsters into experimenting with online communication in a new and torturous manner. Dana is a newly elected DA in a small town in New York who ran on a successful ticket of controlling youthful drinking, driving, substance abuse, and domestic violence. Continue reading “Deep Zero – a Book Review”

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!

Instagram vs WordPress – Want More From Your Pics?

Rob Moses PhotographyRob Moses at Rob Moses Photography started his blog about the same time as I, was one of the first to follow me, and I’ve followed with interest his beautiful and unique pictures. I’ve mentioned him before. He takes a lot of pictures; a lot of different types of pictures. Street photography and city skylines are some of his most favourite things to shoot, but he also finds himself shooting more landscapes than he thought he would.

Most recently, he ran a rant about Instagram vs WordPress which I found so exactly echoed my own sentiments, as well as recent discussions with many of my own followers, that I thought I’d share with you. No doubt you agree. Instagram is too much fun, gets too much attention, and so rewarding that’s it’s difficult to get back to the WP blog subject of the day. For me, of course, the time is spent in crafting “bookstagrams.” (And you have my invitation to follow my efforts in the widget column on the right or @rosepointpub.)

New Review!

For me, Instagram is an attractive alternative to either Pinterest or Facebook. The two image-sharing platforms were both released approximately 2010 and I’ve yet to really figure out Pinterest. According to Digital Guide, there were approximately 400 million Instagrammers to 100 million Pinteresters back in 2016. Currently, there are almost 75 million WordPress sites out there with over 50% of those (or 37 million) on the free WordPress.com. There are articles on WP vs Tumblr, WP vs Squarespace and Instagram vs Flickr. (And I did try Flickr.) But Instagram–and further–Bookstagram really caught my attention.  Now that Instagram has the “story” capability, the ability to add dialogue has expanded dramatically. I love books and they make some gorgeous pictures and now stories (posts) as well!

Time is at such a premium–especially at my age–and I no longer have a full-time job. As jmeyersforeman noted in part, “I think both Instagram and WordPress have their purpose, as you said, Instagram is great for it’s immediacy, while WordPress gives you a longer format to explore topics and it takes time to develop those posts…we only have so much time in the day and we have to decide where we get the most reward for our time.”

And everyone loves pictures! What do you think? Love to work your pictures into your Instagram and blog? ©2018 V Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

#ThrowbackThursday – author Sylvia Nobel – Book Review

#ThrowbackThursday

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 posted on Goodreads a while ago, 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. And, if you’d like to join the fun, Renee invites you to use her #TT pic. Just provide the link back to her please).

This week I am highlighting Sylvia Nobel, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Deadly Sanctuary, which I reviewed on Goodreads. She has actually written eight in the Kendall O’Dell series. This novel was published in April 28, 1998 by Nite Owl Books. She consistently runs approximately four stars or better for any of her books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted March 21, 2014

Deadly Sanctuary by Sylvia NobelBook Blurb:

Beautiful, strong-willed reporter, Kendall O’Dell, is drawn into an evil web of conspiracy beyond anything she could have ever imagined when she accepts a position at a small newspaper in isolated Castle Valley, Arizona. Her assignment: Find out why her predecessor mysteriously vanished while working on a story concerning the unsolved deaths of two teenage girls. Why is the sheriff so hostile to her inquiries? Why is the woman operating the local shelter for homeless girls so secretive? And how is attractive rancher Bradley Talverson involved?

When the body of a third girl is discovered in the desert not far from a private mental institution, Kendall’s life hangs in the balance as she strives to uncover the horrifying secret.

RoadrunnerDeadly Sanctuary is the first title in Sylvia Nobel’s popular mystery series, featuring spirited, flame-haired reporter Kendall O’Dell. The author’s trademark style is to produce exciting, well-written, edge-of-your-seat, adventures with “knock your socks off” surprise endings. Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – author Sylvia Nobel – Book Review”

Dark Ocean – a #BookReview

Dark Ocean by Nick ElliottTitle: Dark Ocean (The Angus McKinnon thrillers Volume #2) by Nick Elliott

Genre: Currently #2589 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Espionage

Publisher: Seaward Publishing

Publication Date: August 16, 2017

Source: Review request by author

Title and Cover: Dark OceanBeautiful cover, sunken vessel subject of recovery

No stranger to the South China Sea or sunken ships, marine claims investigator Angus McKinnon gets a summon to Hong Kong to investigate a WWII wreck that lies in the depths. The claim on the cargo, however, involving a local ship owner, may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Suddenly, an old friend is murdered in Greece and Angus must return to Greece. Continue reading “Dark Ocean – a #BookReview”

An Engineered Injustice – a #BookReview

An Engineered Injustice by William L Myers, Jr.Title: An Engineered Injustice (Philadelphia Legal #2) by William L. Myers, Jr.

Genre: Currently #31 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers & Suspense, Legal

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: To be released January 23, 2018

Source: Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley

Title and Cover: An Engineered Injustice – Great cover

What’s worst than a plane crash or train wreck that can kill or maim hundreds at a time? In this particular event, a passenger train crashes in North Philadelphia resulting in multiple fatalities with hundreds injured. It’s not long before criminal defense attorney Vaughn Coburn gets a call regarding his cousin Eddy, the engineer, and a survivor. He and his cousin share a shameful secret caused when they were both young and dumb. Vaughn owes Eddy, and both their families–big time, and he is forced to accept his defense. Continue reading “An Engineered Injustice – a #BookReview”

“Secret Writing Rules” and Why to Ignore Them – Reblogged from Chris at TSRA

Reblog

Christopher Graham over at The Story Reading Ape’s Blog has a mission to introduce authors to readers and authors to introduce themselves. The man has a massive following and with good reason, he delivers. He refers to his blog as TSRA and recently guested an article by Anne R. Allen who wrote “Secret Writing Rules” and Why to Ignore Them.

The article posted on January 4, 2018. I loved it, found it most appropriate, had a good laugh, and commented to Chris that I’d be reblogging. (Only one problem–no reblog button! So I’ve resorted to the link below.) He no doubt believes I’d forgotten–but there is no chance–I’m sure you’ll find the article as fun and informative as did I! She leads the article with this quote from Somerset Maugham, “There are three rules for writing. Unfortunately, nobody knows what they are.” Yeah–you gotta read it. BTW, Anne’s latest book is called “Easy Blogging for Busy Authors.”

“It’s good to learn these rules—because it’s way more fun to break them when you know what they are. But then go ahead and smash them with gleeful abandon.”

 

Anne R Allen - author
Anne R Allen Blog with Ruth Harris

 

The Story Reading Ape

©2018 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

 

#ThrowbackThursday – #author Linda McDonald – Book Review

#ThrowbackThursday

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. I hope that you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out.

In the Lion's Mouth by Linda McDonaldThis week I am highlighting Linda McDonald, another terrific author who wrote In the Lion’s Mouth, one of two I reviewed for this author on Goodreads. And of course you know it is a mystery, suspense thriller. This one was published by Pure Gumption Press.

Originally posted March 31, 2014

Book Blurb:

A young couple, a friendly beachcomber, lots of bullets and plenty of death. It all starts innocently enough with Carrie and her new boyfriend driving her father’s RV to south Texas. When they get stuck in the sand on Boca Chica beach, Leo, a seemingly easy-going local, comes to their rescue and pulls them out. But after midnight, a wounded and far more intense Leo returns, now hunted by killers. Gun in hand, he forces the couple to help him escape. Once they’re back on the road, the danger–and the number of enemies–grows. Leo and Carrie, tightly held In the Lion’s Mouth, face a harrowing gauntlet of secrets stretching from Texas to the streets of Matamoros. A fast-paced thriller with colorful characters from both sides of the border.

My Review:

Carrie Jo Murray is not your average 20-something and Linda McDonald is not your average author, spitting out whodunits or suspense novels with the usual list of good and bad characters. There is nothing average in her books. This novel also involves a Winnebago, also not your average get-away vehicle.

I love the character Leo Marvins (nice play on a very well known action hero there) as well as his Viet Nam cronies and Leo proves to be more than a good guy; a great guy with a lot of post-Marine survival smarts, something her boyfriend, Jason, definitely is not. But Leo is complicated, many-faceted and more than your average beach bum from Boca Chica in Texas.

More scenes heat up than the Texas temperatures. Don’t take anyone at face value. No one and nothing is as it seems…lots of interesting characters, plot twists–I didn’t trust any of them. I don’t think I was supposed to!

Here Comes the Night by Linda McDonaldThis is the second McDonald book I’ve had the opportunity to download. I also read “Here Comes the Night” (excellent). See my Goodreads review here. The two can’t really be compared. What stays consistent is the quality of her writing, the depth of the story, and the insight into the characters. You don’t see most of these plot twists coming–and if you can’t predict the storyline–you gotta stay tuned to find out what really happens. I recommend you do!

About the Author: (From the Goodreads Author page)

Linda McDonaldLinda McDonald’s first novel, CRIMES OF REDEMPTION, was awarded the 2013 Oklahoma Book of the Year in Fiction by the Center for the Book. She has also written COLD, IN THE LION’S MOUTH and HERE COMES THE NIGHT, all available as e-books on Amazon. Coming soon – a new mystery set in the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma, DEATH IN COMANCHE COUNTY.Linda grew up on the western plains of Oklahoma and holds Master’s degrees in Theater from Kansas University and in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she also taught for many years. Her plays have been produced in Oklahoma City, Dallas, Northampton, MA, and New York City. She still acts and directs with regional theaters. She has also written over a dozen screenplays which have been honored in writing competitions by Fade In magazine, Oklahoma Film Institute, National Broadcasters Association, Austin Film Festival, Best of the West, and Lone Star.

More Throwback Thursday Blogs

Renee at Its Book Talk

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Rebecca at The Book Whisperer

Lynn at Fictionophile

Sam at Clues and Reviews

Holly B at Dressedtoread

©2018 V Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

#NeedtoKnow – a #BookReview

Need to Know by Karen ClevelandTitle: Need to Know by Karen Cleveland

Genre: Currently #98 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers & Suspense, Espionage

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Publication Date: To be released January 23, 2018

Source: Ballantine Books and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Need to Know – Simple cover, but conveys interior

Ms. Cleveland has done a pretty admirable job with her debut novel, Need to Know, or as my hubby, Navy veteran used to say the “NTK.” She has crafted a spell-binding psychological-political espionage plot that gains momentum as the protagonist Vivian Miller gets ever deeper in do-do. (I understand that this book has been optioned for a movie.) Continue reading “#NeedtoKnow – a #BookReview”

#Strangers – a #BookReview

Strangers - by Ursula Archer and Arno StrobelTitle: Strangers by Ursula Archer and Arno Strobel

Genre: Currently # 3042 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, International Mystery & Crime

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Publication Date: To be released January 9, 2018 – Happy Publication Date!

Source: Minotaur Books and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Strangers – Cover conveys plot scene

Set in Germany, Joanna Berrigan confronts a stranger in her home who alleges to be her fiancé. There is only one problem with that–she doesn’t know him, and though he is adamant that he lives with her in the house, has nothing of his in the home to support that claim. Erik Thieben maintains he belongs there and, terrified, she begins the journey to either escape, prove him wrong, or together sort through what has happened. Continue reading “#Strangers – a #BookReview”

#AmReading – Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates

#amreading - #GristMillRoad

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 Christopher J. Yates and his book Grist Mill Road. I requested this download from NetGalley. The book will be released on January 9, 2018, by Picador. Amazon classifies the novel as a mystery, thriller & suspense, and crime and is only 352 pages.

I will be presenting my review on Monday, January 8, 2018. Krysten Ritter, whose book Bonfire I read and reviewed last year, had this to say about Yates sophomore novel, “Dark, intense, and disturbing, Christopher Yates’ Grist Mill Road begins with a shock and keeps the suspense burning page after page. A thriller with imagination to spare. Highly recommended.”

It’s beginning to sound pretty scary and the book blurb on Amazon isn’t quelling the nerves. Gulp…but looking again…it’s not supposed to be horror…right?

Book Blurb: Christopher J. Yates’s cult hit Black Chalk introduced that rare writerly talent: a literary writer who could write a plot with the intricacy of a brilliant mental puzzle, and with characters so absorbing that readers are immediately gripped. Yates’s new book does not disappoint.

Grist Mill Road is a dark, twisted, and expertly plotted Rashomon-style tale. The year is 1982; the setting, an Edenic hamlet some ninety miles north of New York City. There, among the craggy rock cliffs and glacial ponds of timeworn mountains, three friends―Patrick, Matthew, and Hannah―are bound together by a terrible and seemingly senseless crime. Twenty-six years later, in New York City, living lives their younger selves never could have predicted, the three meet again―with even more devastating results.

Christopher J Yates - authorAbout the Author:

(From Goodreads author page) Christopher J. Yates was born and raised in Kent and studied law at Oxford University before working as a puzzle editor in London. He now lives in New York City with his wife and dog. ‘Black Chalk’ is his debut novel. You can read his blog posts on his website

Grist Mill Road has been named in Goodreads’ best six books of the month for January 2018. Find the complete list here. ©2018 V Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

The Last Homecoming – a #BookReview

The Last Homecoming by Dan ChabotTitle: The Last Homecoming by Dan Chabot

Genre: Currently #41837 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Publication Date: October 12, 2017

Source: Request from author

Title and Cover: The Last Homecoming – Beautiful cover relates story setting

Chabot’s book is divided into sections that tell the story of each of the four families that lived in this 90-year-old house they called home. It’s a heavily nostalgic book mourning innocent times in a quickly changing country set in a rural area of Michigan they call the U.P. (Upper Peninsula). Nettie, the current and last owner, has invited one of each generation who has strong, loving memories of their childhood home to celebrate a last Christmas there before it is demolished for a bridge. Continue reading “The Last Homecoming – a #BookReview”

My Favorite Reads of 2017-Rosepoint Publishing

My Top 12 Favorite Books for 2017

Welcome to my version of The Bloggers Dozen–twelve of my favorite reads during 2017.

These are laid out in chronological order, and please don’t ask me to narrow it down any further. I didn’t choose these by the rating I gave them, though most came in between 4.5 and 5 stars. They all resonate with me–still. Lest you think they may all be thriller and suspense (since I seem to lean that way), I’ll mention that they were actually all over the board from Literary Fiction to Cozy Mysteries and Animals. I did have a number of other five stars reads–just that these were special for me.

Okay, it’s no secret I’m a sucker for a story that includes (especially) dogs animals. Also, if I had to count–and even I was curious–of the twelve listed here, free BookBub books only accounted for one this year as I discovered NetGalley and got serious about their offerings to the tune of 58.3% of those I downloaded. That doesn’t add up to 100% though, does it? That’s because I devoted 33.3% to author requests and beta-reads.

Follow the link to explore my full review and give you additional links to the books. Perhaps you might find one you missed that looks particularly exciting for you as well–I HOPE SO!

Stone Song by Wil BlevinsStone Song by Wil Blevins

This is the story of the Lakota Sioux warrior, Crazy Horse, a man who lived—and died tragically—on his own terms. HistFic 5/5 Stars

Dining and Driving with Cats by Pat PattersonDining and Driving with Cats-Alice Unplugged by Pat Patterson 

Travelogue from Mexico to the “Boudin Capital of the World” with two kitties loose in the car. (Doncha just love that cover?!) Foodies will love! Travelogue-food 5/5 Stars

Telemachus by Peter GrayTelemachus by Peter Gray

Interpret this anthropomorphic metaphor as a Greek tragedy, engaging all the elements of love, challenge, loss, and triumph as seen through the POV of a protagonist bird and his flock. Literary Fiction 5/5

Hunting Hour by Margaret MizushimaHunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima 

Loved, loved, loved, this Timber Creek K-9 Mystery and K-9 drug-sniffing German shepherd, Robo. Cozy mystery-5/5 Stars

Fender by Brent JonesFender by Brent Jones

This emotionally packed literary saga will have you grabbing for a hankie. (But it is a “good” cry.) Fender is a Beagle, btw. Literary Fiction 5/5 Stars

Snap Judgment by Marcia ClarkSnap Judgment by Marcia Clark

If you thought a novel by an attorney (yes, “that” Marcia Clark) would be stale, dry, and unappealing, then look again. Suspense-crime 4.5/5

Sea of Doubt by Jeremy D. HoldenSea of Doubt-The Greatest Story Ever Sold by Jeremy D. Holden

You know by the title that you are in for an intelligent and socially unacceptable ride and after the hook at the beginning, that’s how this book proceeds. So how would you announce to the world the Second Coming? Mystery-suspense 4.5/5 Stars

Her Last Secret by Barbara CopperthwaiteHer Last Secret by Barbara Copperthwaite

Loved the way this brilliant author took you to the week prior to the tragic Christmas day event, seamlessly introducing each of the major characters using their own POV. Gripping psychological thriller 5/5 Stars

Bonfire by Krysten RitterBonfire by Krysten Ritter

I’ve said it before, will say it again–how is this fair? Ritter is a successful actress–pretty, intelligent, and now an author? Yes, she can grow, but really, try reading this and visualize Jessica Jones. Psychological thriller 3.5/5

Outside the Wire by Patricia SmileyOutside the Wire by Patricia Smiley

At last–a female protagonist not damaged by an abusive childhood or sporting model-like height and classic features! This lady sounds real. Sympathetic commentary on ex-military. Suspense-thriller 4.5/5 Stars

The Whispering Room by Dean KoontzThe Whispering Room (A Jane Hawk Novel) by Dean Koontz

Jane is the ubiquitous former FBI agent gone rogue. She’s smart, she’s dangerous, and she’s on a mission. Uh oh Suspense-thriller 4.5/5 Stars

The Wild Road to Key West by Michael ReisigThe Wild Road to Key West (The Cave of the Stars) by Michael Reisig

The Hole in the Coral Wall Gang always does the right thing. One of my favorite authors; this book includes some HistFic-Men’s Adventures 5/5 Stars

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 2018 reads?

Have a safe and Happy New Year’s Eve and a successful 2018!

Happy New Year!

The Blogger Recognition Award

Blogger Recognition AwardI am thrilled to announce that I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award before Christmas by The Cozy Pages.  Surprise Christmas gift, thank you! The Cozy Pages enjoys reading, writing, coffee in the morning, and mysteries! And she posts about her odyssey on her dynamic website. She is also open to review requests, but you should check out her Review Policy to see that your genre is one she accepts. You will love her blog; read and follow.

So what’s this Award about?

Blogger Recognition Award

Once you are nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award, if you wish to accept your nomination, you must follow these rules:

  • Generate a post about the award.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you, and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a brief story about how your blog began.
  • Provide two pieces of advice to newbie bloggers.
  • Select 15 blogs to nominate.
  • Comment on each nominee’s blog and provide a link to the post that you created about the award.

How My Blog Began

As most of you know, I began my blog as a way to create a social media presence following the publication of my grandfather’s manuscripts. With no clue what I was doing, it took me several years to gear up and find a niche, although it seems the niche found me. I was getting a lot of free books from BookBub, but so many of those books already had a large following. Joining author groups, I was able to participate personally with debut authors. As a side benefit from participating with authors, I began receiving review requests. My posts shifted specifically to #bookblogging, #bookreviewing, and all things books from #blogtour to #booklaunch.

Blogging Advice from Me:

I continue to get more review requests than I can manage to read, and have much to learn in the way of social media promotion. Computers remain a mystery to me, but there are so many sources of information on so many platforms, that (thankfully) it’s easier than ever to find answers.

  1. The biggest education in my growth goals was membership in the Phoenix Book Marketing and Promotion Meetup in Phoenix, Az. Laura Orsini always had wise words for us newbie bloggers, the biggest of which was to blog early, often, and intelligently, introducing us to the 30-day challenge and blog prompts. It’s tough to get your website out there. Competition is extreme. Expect to give it a lot of dedicated time and effort. Hang in there–it’s worth it!
  2. The other two most helpful sources of growth for me has been Twitter and now Instagram (Bookstagram), replacing Facebook, where I never really caught on and probably blew my initial setup. There was more than enough push to participate in Pinterest, but that never got me any traffic and I’m still scratching my head over what the whole thing is about.
  3. Seek other bloggers in your niche and cultivate followers or subscribers. They can teach you so much! Find a platform you can work with and search for bloggers with whom you can exchange information, guest posts, or sources of photos or graphics. You’ll need them.

As with The Cozy Pages, I feel 15 is more than I can manage with my current schedule, so I’ve provided these few below in no particular order. These are all excellent #bookbloggers who provide excellent reviews. Check them out and follow!

Adventures of a Bibliophile

Book Journey

Books Beyond the Story

Books Teacup and Reviews

Chat About Books

Clues and Reviews

Novel Gossip

The Geeky Bibliophile

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#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!

Smoke – a Book Review

Smoke by D. B. BortonTitle: Smoke by D. B. Borton

Genre: Currently #19277 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Women Sleuths

Publisher: Boomerang Books

Publication Date: November 20, 2017

Source: Direct request by author

Title and Cover: Smoke – Great cover showing frame painting

Backstory during the Iranian revolution at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art sets the plot of stolen masterpieces, some of which later turn out to be fakes.

Decades later, Marge Smith, as an active agent of Quixote, Ltd. is sent to The Elms to recover from a broken leg received in a motorcycle accident when she is swept up in a geriatric production of Macbeth. The production introduces her to three friends starring as witches, each on short term in the nursing facility, when suddenly one of the witches dies unexpectedly. Continue reading “Smoke – a 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”

Stowed Away – a Book Review

Stowed Away - A Maine Clambake Mystery by Barbara RossTitle: Stowed Away (A Maine Clambake Mystery) by Barbara Ross

Genre: Currently #30 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery

Publisher: Kensington Books

Publication Date: To be released December 26 2017

Source: Kensington Books and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Stowed Away – Cover promises cute cozy mystery

I love it when the cute and compelling book cover delivers on its promise to be a fun, sweet little ride. This sixth book in the series also makes you envy what appear to be a gorgeous Maine, Atlantic Coast blue skies, fair winds location and seaward lifestyle. And you know I’m all over that!

This little romp in the Maine Clambake Mystery series by Barbara Ross features versatile and capable Julia Snowden as protagonist and amateur sleuth. She is low-key, perceptive, and quick to catch any nuance. She is part of the Snowden family that offers an annual sail and clambake to their little tourist retreat on Morrow Island twice a day for the summer season. During the off-season, she is part owner of a little diner with Quentin Tupper in Busman’s Harbor, Maine. Continue reading “Stowed Away – a Book Review”

A Murder for the Books – a Book Review

A Murder for the Books by Victoria GilbertTitle: A Murder for the Books: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery

Genre: Currently #2672 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Amateur Sleuths

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

Publication Date: To be released December 12, 2017

Source: Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley

Title and Cover: A Murder for the Books – Cozy Mystery cover hints at library setting

Seems like this is the third book I’ve read recently with a library setting. I had no idea that libraries could be such a hotbed of intrigue!

This particular plot centers around Amy Webber who has moved in with her aunt in rural, historic Taylorsford, Virginia where she becomes the library director. She is escaping a disastrous affair. She’s found a good friend at the library in Sunny, and is introduced to the new man in town, choreographer Richard Muir, who inherited the farmhouse next door. He’s on a quest to uncover some old history involving his great-uncle, Paul Dassin, from whom he inherited the old house. He engages Amy to help with research and she soon realizes some of the history may include her family history as well. Together, they shortly discover a murder victim in the archive section of the library. Continue reading “A Murder for the Books – a Book Review”

#AmReading – A Murder for the Books by Victoria Gilbert

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-A Murder for the Books by Victoria Gilbert

This week I am presenting Victoria Gilbert and her book A Murder for the Books: A Blue Ridge Library Mystery. I received an ARC from the publisher Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley. The book will be released on December 12, 2017. Amazon classifies the novel as a cozy mystery, thriller & suspense, and women sleuths and is 336 pages.

I will be presenting my review on Sunday, but in the meantime, here is the

Book Blurb: (Blurb from Amazon)

Fleeing a disastrous love affair, university librarian Amy Webber moves in with her aunt in a quiet, historic mountain town in Virginia. She quickly busies herself with managing a charming public library that requires all her attention with its severe lack of funds and overabundance of eccentric patrons. The last thing she needs is a new, available neighbor whose charm lures her into trouble.

Victoria GilbertAbout the Author: (From the Amazon Author page)

“Victoria Gilbert, raised in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, turned her early obsession with reading into a dual career as an author and librarian. She holds a B.A. in Theatre, a M.A. in Library Science, a second M.A. in Liberal Studies, and is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and Mystery Writers of America. When not writing or reading, she likes to spend her time watching films, gardening, or traveling. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and some very spoiled cats.” ©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!