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 #BlogTour #BookReview

I am so delighted today to provide a review for you at my blog stop for The Kooky Kids’ Club by Robbie Yates on the Digital Reads Blog Tours.

Digital Reads Blog Tours presents The Kooky Kids' Club by Robbie Yates

Book Details

The Kooky Kids’ Club by Robbie Yates

86 pages

Published: November 10, 2018

ASIN: B07KDVSNKG

ISBN-10: 173080604X

ISBN-13: 978-1730806049

Genre: Literature & Fiction, Children’s Books, Young at Heart

Book Blurb

Maxine is smart, quirky, and a bit of a misfit. One day, she receives a mysterious invitation to a meeting of the “Kooky Kids’ Club.”

Things are looking bright. It’s nice to finally have a real group of friends. Then Maxine’s teacher disappears.

Maxine doesn’t know what happened to her beloved teacher, or how she can help. But if anybody has the smarts to help Miss Thompson, it’s Maxine and the Kooky Kids’ Club…

My Review

The Kooky Kids' Club by Robbie YatesI just love it when I discover that the real story lies behind the lines of the narrative printed and that’s what happens when you read The Kooky Kids’ Club by Robbie Yates. It’s the lesson to be learned, the moral of the story that is sneaked in, and the nod of the head that, yes, this was good.

Little protagonist Maxine is struggling with school. She just doesn’t fit in and it doesn’t help when she tries to fit in as those always seem to lead to “Maxine Moments.” Her bright light is her teacher, Miss Thompson, and her aunt Izzie. And then Maxine receives a mysterious invitation. Afraid to check it out, but too curious not to, she discovers a club with other members just like her. They are sweet and thoughtful, smart and talented. And she fits in just fine. Blossoms. Finds her own power and with her new friends…

Strength.

But then suddenly, Miss Thompson is gone and Maxine enlists the help of her new friends and The Kooky Kids’ Club to discover what happened and bring her back.

I’d wager many of us see ourselves in Maxine and fervently wish we’d had our own quirky club. What a difference it might have made in those school years! Here we can revel in the discoveries Maxine makes and the kids that drive success and contentment. Maxine can enjoy her uniqueness with confidence.

I received my invitation to participate in The Kooky Kids’ Club from Shalini and Robbie Yates and jumped in with both feet. This has such a sweet premise and delivers with that feel-good conclusion. So appreciated the ebook download and the opportunity to read and review. Definitely a book for those tough middle-school years and recommended for parent/tween involvement. You can both use it!

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Five of Five Stars Five Stars of Five Rating

About the Author

Robbie Yates - author(From Amazon) Robbie Yates is a children’s author who also dabbles in terrible and ridiculous poetry. Robbie has been a fan of fiction since he was a young child himself (in the days of cassette tapes and dial-up internet).

Robbie is based in the vibrant city of Melbourne, Australia. He enjoys drawing, the crunch of autumn leaves, and eating tasty snacks from his childhood.

In his free time, Robbie likes to read the stories of Roald Dahl, Paul Jennings and J.K. Rowling. Robbie also likes to go geocaching, play board games, and have water-balloon fights.

Author Links Robbie Yates - author

Amazon Author Central page 

Author’s Website 

√  Facebook  √ Twitter √ Goodreads √ Instagram

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

Tour Participants:

December 3
Miss Honeybug’s Reads & Crafts
Macsbooks
The Book Decoder
The Spoonie Mummy

December 4
The Bookworm Drinketh
Ashi responding to life
Zany Bibliophile
The Avid Inspri

December 5
Write Where I Read
The Cozy Pages
Audio Killed the Bookmark
Bibliogyan

December 6
Bookgraphy
DeepAsThoughts
Bookish rantings
Untie Readers

December 7
Lily’s Blissful Pages
Rosepoint Publishing
Sophril Reads
Ambivert Words

December 8
Jessica Rachow
Bookish Wisps
Swift Coffee
Belles-Lettres

Digital Reads Blog ToursThanks to Shalini at Digital Reads Blog Tours for the opportunity to read and review this intermediate literary novel!

©2018 V Williams

V Williams

Harvest of Secrets by Ellen Crosby – a #BookReview

Harvest of Secrets by Ellen CrosbyTitle: Harvest of Secrets (Wine Country Mysteries Book 9) by Ellen Crosby

Genre: Thriller & Suspense, Cozy, Mystery, Amateur Sleuths, Culinary

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Publication Date: JUST RELEASED – November 6, 2018

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

352 pages

ASIN:B079DTGBD7

Title and Cover: Harvest of SecretsHarvest of grapes and …

Book Blurb:

The search for the killer of an aristocratic French winemaker who was Lucie Montgomery’s first crush and the discovery of dark family secrets put Lucie on a collision course with a murderer.

It’s harvest season at Montgomery Estate Vineyard—the busiest time of year for winemakers in Atoka, Virginia. A skull is unearthed near Lucie Montgomery’s family cemetery, and the discovery of the bones coincides with the arrival of handsome, wealthy aristocrat Jean-Claude de Marignac. He’s come to be the head winemaker at neighboring La Vigne Cellars, but he’s no stranger to Lucie—he was her first crush twenty years ago when she spent a summer in France.

Not long after his arrival, Jean-Claude is found dead, and while there is no shortage of suspects who are angry or jealous of his ego and overbearing ways, suspicion falls on Miguel Otero, an immigrant worker at La Vigne, who recently quarreled with Jean-Claude. When Miguel disappears, Lucie receives an ultimatum from her own employees: prove Miguel’s innocence or none of the immigrant community will work for her during the harvest. As Lucie hunts for Jean-Claude’s killer and continues to search for the identity of the skeleton abandoned in the cemetery, she is blindsided by a decades-old secret that shatters everything she thought she knew about her family. Now facing a wrenching emotional choice, Lucie must decide whether it’s finally time to tell the truth and hurt those she loves the most, or keep silent and let past secrets remain dead and buried. Continue reading “Harvest of Secrets by Ellen Crosby – a #BookReview”

Yeast of Eden by Sarah Fox – a #BookReview

Yeast of Eden by Sarah FoxTitle: Yeast of Eden (A Pancake House Mystery Book 4) by Sarah Fox

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Suspense, Women Sleuths

Publisher: Lyrical Underground

Publication Date: October 30, 2018

ASIN: B079KV2WD3

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Yeast of EdenCute, compelling cozy cover

Book Blurb:

In USA Today bestselling author Sarah Fox’s delicious new Pancake House Mystery, it’s up to Marley McKinney to discover the waffle truth behind a rival’s murder . . .
 
Winter has come to Wildwood Cove, and riding in on the chill is Wally Fowler. Although he’s been away for years, establishing his reputation as the self-proclaimed Waffle King, the wealthy blowhard has returned to the coastal community to make money, not friends—by pitting his hot and trendy Waffle Kingdom against Marley McKinney’s cozy pancake house, The Flip Side. Wally doesn’t see anything wrong in a little healthy competition, until he’s murdered in his own state-of-the art kitchen.

Marley isn’t surprised when the authorities sniff around The Flip Side for a motive, but it’s her best friend Lisa who gets grilled, given her sticky history with the victim. When a second murder rocks the town, it makes it harder than ever for Marley to clear Lisa’s name. Marley’s afraid that she’s next in line to die—and the way things are looking, the odds of surviving her investigation could be stacked against her. Continue reading “Yeast of Eden by Sarah Fox – a #BookReview”

#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

Cast No Shadow: A Short Story #Review

Cast No Shadow: A Short Story by Brandon DraganTitle: Cast No Shadow: A Short Story by Brandon Dragan

Genre: Literature & Fiction, Short Stories, Westerns(?)

Print Length: 65 pages

Publication Date: June 22, 2018

Source: Direct author request

ASIN: B07DHB437Q

Title and Cover: Cast No ShadowSuper cover reflects the timbre of the book

Dark and disturbing, this short story packs a wallop. Set in an early ’80s Texas locale, a Vietnam vet lives with his wife and nine-year-old son. He has a cadre of his military buddies close by and is together engaged in an unusual activity, creatively borne of a passionate love of country, military comrades, and the state of their world upon return with the brutal knowledge left by their collective/respective war experience.

First, you should know the dialogue is written in the style of Cormac McCarthy, a tribute by the author to McCathy’s particular style of writing. Dragan’s own style is clipped and adult or child appropriate and while the absence of quotation marks on dialogue is present, it quickly becomes part of the natural story progression and doesn’t cause a lot of tripping. The narrative is written in first person account, which lends you a strong masculine sensitivity to his personal backstory. (There are, of course, many words considered seaman worthy and the reader should also be aware of some adult activity.)

That said, there is an obvious love between protagonist Beau Moreland and his wife Annabelle and their son. He has been honest with his wife and she is aware of his “extracurricular” activities, sans specific details. His son loves to play ball and he is careful to interact with him in practice and attend games.

His after-hours activities involve members of his ex-troop who feel the need to pursue a fight against an inexorable and deadly activity despoiling their population. They will take a stand where justice fails. The author has an interesting descriptive manner and the short narrative doesn’t need to be broken up into chapters, but engages you immediately. You need no commercial breaks to march through to the heart-stopping conclusion.

This is not the first vigilante offering I’ve read of late but is certainly one of the most powerful and again seems to offer up the opinion that this form of justice may come at too great an extreme cost. Is it still wrong if you are trying to right a wrong?

This is a well-paced short story, devastating, haunting, and heartrending. The poignant love and lesson a father bestow to his child takes on epic proportions. This is a conclusion you can’t see coming, like a ninja in the night, it’s a black warrior, and it leaves you crying NOOO…(take it back!). But there are no do-overs, only unanswered questions.

I received this download from the author and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. It is one that leaves an impression on your heart and a chill down your arms.

(Crap! Can we get a new ending? Please?)

Recommended for those who appreciate short stories, literature and fiction, thrillers, crime fiction, and vigilante justice.

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Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five of Five Stars 4.5 of five stars

The Author: Brandon Dragan grew up in New Jersey, just miles from the Lincoln Tunnel.

At eighteen he left home to attend Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

He draws on a wide range of influences—from literature to history, to philosophy—to craft meaningful and often surprising narratives that challenge the status quo and reach for a deeper understanding of what it means to be human.

Brandon and his wife Jami live in the Nashville area with their two daughters, Natalie and Brooklyn.

He enjoys road cycling and is an avid supporter of Arsenal Football Club.

©2018 V Williams V Williams

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

Deadly Dram by Melinda Mullet

I am thrilled today to provide a review at my blog stop for Deadly Dram: A Whisky Business Mystery by Melinda Mullet on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. Scroll down the page to find and enter the Giveaway!

Book Details

Deadly Dram: A Whisky Business Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Alibi (September 4, 2018)
Print Length 300 pages
ASIN: B079R3PW46

Book Blurb

Distillery owner Abigail Logan discovers that high spirits are no match for a cold-blooded killer as the Whisky Business Mystery series puts a fatal twist on stiff competition.

It’s been a year since globe-trotting photojournalist Abi Logan inherited Abbey Glen, a whisky distillery in the heart of the Scottish countryside. To her surprise, the village of Balfour already feels like home, and her new business partner, Grant MacEwan, continues to be too charming to resist. But Abi has a history of relationship disasters, so she struggles to avoid an ill-fated romance with Grant. Steering clear is hard enough on a day-to-day basis, but when the two head off to a whisky industry competition together, Abi panics. Five-star resort, four glorious days of nonstop whisky tasting, and a fatally attractive Scotsman—what could possibly go wrong?

The night before the award presentations, with foreign and domestic whisky makers at one anothers’ throats, two judges are found dead under mysterious circumstances. What started with three dream-come-true nominations for Abby Glen’s whisky soon turns into a nightmare for Abi. With a killer on the loose, she must call on her investigative skills to stop another murder—before she gets taken out of the running herself.

My Review

I love it when I get to be introduced into a whole new exotic industry in a lovely country, beautiful setting, and some hardy but oft-times inebriated characters! Blame all that whisky tasting! deadly dram-cover

Ex-photojournalist Abigail Logan inherited Abbey Glen, a Scottish whisky distillery, just a year ago but is beginning to feel right at home in Balfour and a solid part of the team that includes Cam Lewis, the distiller, and her handsome co-owner/partner, Grant MacEwen. Although she finds Grant enormously attractive, Abi has tried to keep the relationship strictly professional, as she has not been real successful in the romance department and fortunately, the romance aspect is kept low-key. The duo must have been successful somewhere, however, as they’ve just enjoyed nominations for the annual Golden Quaich Awards, including possibly the top award. Even better, the competition and judging takes place at a huge posh Scottish five-star resort, and in addition to Grant and Cam, she will be allowed to include her Wheaton terrier, Liam, as it is a dog-friendly hotel. Additionally, she’ll room with her best friend from university days, Patrick Cooke.

It becomes obvious at the outset that there is a rift at the Scottish Whisky competition having been diluted with distiller entrants outside of Scotland. She’s a lone woman (for awhile) in a male-dominated industry, whom she calls “the Barley Boys,” and it doesn’t take long before it’s obvious the camp is divided between the nationalists and the globalists. So when the first victim, a judge who openly welcomed the foreign competition is found dead of poisoning, the immediate red herring becomes those who would oppose competition outside of Scotland. Enter Detective Inspector Ian Michaelson with whom she has apparently clashed in previous series entries. This time he is short on manpower and enlists her unofficial aid.

Here is an author who labels her characters in triplets as well as detailed descriptions…”melancholy, speculative, and independent,” “intense, calculating, and sturdy,” “pliable, shortsighted, and impressionable,” “fiery, flamboyant, and intractable,” and so on. The problem I had was the pace of the mystery, only increasing somewhat following the second murder. (As in…. slowww) Abi is not a character that kept me engaged and Grant just seemed–remote and one-dimensional. While Liam was an occasional fresh breath (or doggy breath) of air, breaking up the narrative occasionally with undisciplined canine antics, I decried the offer so often to allow him tasting the whisky along with the humans who should have known better. (And to her credit, the author offers a dedicated pet-alcohol warning disclosure following the conclusion. And plates of sausage? No, no, and just no.) The well-developed plot eventually escalates into a possible warning to Abi putting Grant in the hospital.

Following the hand-wringing bouts of evaluation, re-evaluation, theory–more theory, and possible scenarios, the plot gains some speed and blindsides you with a conclusion you may only have suspicioned. (But in my defense, thought she had her culprit; mystery solved.) So the unsuspected twist was fun. (And that’ll teach me/you for becoming complacent!)

Overall, an interesting romp in Scotland with a truly Scottish world renown libation. I enjoyed getting to know the industry better. Third in the Whisky Business Mystery series, perhaps my lack of empathy for the characters was that it was my first experience with the author and the series. It might help if you start with the first in the series and not treat this one as a standalone.

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Giveaway

Click this link for your chance to win one of two (2) eCopies of Deadly Dram: A Whisky Business Mystery by Melinda Mullet in this Rafflecopter Giveaway and good Luck! 

About the Author

Melinda Mullet - authorMelinda Mullet was born in Dallas and attended school in Texas, Washington D.C., England, and Austria. She spent many years as a practicing attorney before pursuing a career as a writer. Author of the Whisky Business Mystery series, Mullet is a passionate supporter of childhood literacy. She works with numerous domestic and international charities striving to promote functional literacy for all children. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her family.

Author Links: 

Webpage – http://melindamullet.com/

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

Twitter – https://twitter.com/mulletmysteries

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:

September 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

September 4 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 5 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW

September 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

September 6 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 6 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 7 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

September 7 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

September 8 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 8 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

September 9 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

September 9 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

September 10 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 10 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 11 – T’s Stuff – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

September 11 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT  

September 12 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW

September 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

September 13 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW

September 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

September 14 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

September 15 – Varietats – REVIEW

September 16 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  

September 16 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW

September 17 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW, GUEST POST  

September 17 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW Great Escapes Book Tours

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

©2018 V Williams V Williams