November Reviews Recap–HELLO December!!

Rosepoint Reviews - November Recap

It’s been a very fast year and gaining momentum now toward the end of 2019. NW Indiana skipped fall and went straight into winter with early snow and cold temps. I wonder about the weather where you are as I’ve had views and visits from all around the world now and marvel at all the remarkable flags I’ve seen spout on my handy-dandy WordPress Traffic Map. SOOO amazing!

Screenshot-2019 World Map Blog Views

This year has been the best so far with more than 9,944 views from the US alone and a total of 15K views including countries from Azerbaijan and Brunei, to Venezuela and Viet Nam. Low month was May (devoted to my gardens) at 1.2k visits and high point hit this month with 1.6k visits for November. See your country on this map? You did that–thank you so much!

November gave me some wonderful books to review, most from NetGalley, along with a book blitz and blog tours and an author request. Twelve! My associate, the CE, joined me for a growing number of collaborative reviews and it’s obvious we don’t always agree. (My review link on the title.)

San Diego Dead by Mark Nolan
The Angels’ Share by Ellen Crosby
Brain Puzzles for Seniors by Jenny Patterson and The Puzzler
Fan Mail by Daryl Wood Garber
The Dog I Loved by Susan Wilson – 5 stars
From Wild to Mild by Sunny Weber – 5 stars
Storm of Secrets by Loretta Marion
Mercy Road by Ann Howard Creel
The Fever Cabinet by Frankie Bow
Paw of the Jungle by Diane Kelly
Scarlet Fever by Rita Mae Brown
The Memories We Hide by Jodi Gibson

Still working hard on the Goodreads Challenge and cut that back last month, calculating I’ll have to add a couple more reviews as well as a small push for the 200 badge for NetGalley this month (and predictably that did take a year). I think, however, I will make the NetGalley Challenge using the push for the badge. Phew! Don’t think I’ll be upping any challenges next year–this year was a serious challenge.

So far I have some incredible authors and books scheduled for December, including Robert Dugoni’s book, A Cold Trail, I’ll review on Tuesday. Like Dugoni? (This one promises to be a bit more on the raw, noir side.) Have you got that one on your TBR too? What did you think?

 Once again, I appreciate each and every one of you for the new follows and those who continue to look in on my post efforts and I always welcome book suggestions!

Welcome December

©2019 V Williams V Williams

October Reviews Recap–HELLO November!! – What? Noooo #rosepointpub #bookreviewers

Holy Moses, another very fast year and I assume if October was my daughter’s birthday and Halloween yesterday, then Thanksgiving will steamroller right over us and we’re staring at Christmas and New Year’s. Already? YES! And I’m excited for 2020. It’s got to be good!

Rosepoint Reviews-October Recap

We were thrilled to host our ole Navy buddies who rode out on their trike to North Carolina for a rally, thence to Pennsylvania from whence they originally hailed to visit relatives and friends–and then to Indiana for a very welcome visit to us. SOO good to see them again, doing well, enjoying retirement, and riding that beautiful trike…but uh…gulp…in October in Chicagoland?

Studebaker Museum, South Bend, Indiana
Thanks to Kitra for her artistic rendering of the pic taken of us in a Studebaker Commander at the Studebaker Museum in South Bend, Indiana.

We had a great time before they felt the weather pressure to push on back home to Texas, where they were still enjoying 70+-degree weather. (And I must say, they did indeed time it right, as it turned ugly shortly after they left. Yes, Halloween snow!)

Still managed some book reviews while they were here, though woefully slow responding to your likes, comments, and new blog posts and I apologize for that. I did manage (between myself and the CE) to produce eleven reviews, several a collaborative effort. The list below the pic links to our reviews.

Portal to Murder by Alison Lingwood – (won a print copy!)
Haunted House Ghost by James J Cudney
Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing by Heather Day Gilbert
Yellowhead Blues by R E Donald (a CE review)
Here Comes Santa Paws by Laurien Berenson
Janis by Holly George Warren
Molded 4 Murder by J C Eaton (reviewed by myself and the CE)
Rescued by David Rosenfelt (audiobook)
Tracking Game by Margaret Mizushima
Dogs Don’t Lie by Lisa Shay (reviewed by myself and the CE)
Bad Memory by Lisa Gray

Obviously, I had way too much fun with my gardens this summer, as I over-goaled myself and calculating, realized I wasn’t going to make the 200 earlier set with Goodreads. That was an off-the-wall guestimate assuming the CE’s additional reviews. But that didn’t happen when he started reading the same books! So I’ve had to cut that back, revised to 175. Of that, so far, 143 read for 82%. Thinking that is doable (it’d better be). The Alphabet Challenge–no. Always stuck for the same letters, I believe this will be my last Alphabet Challenge. The NetGalley Challenge, hmmm. I struggled last year to achieve the 75 goal and set the same goal for this year. So far, my count shows 64 as I stopped concentrating on NetGalley books, reviewing with a couple new blog tours.

I’m looking forward to some great books in November and I’ll be providing a sneak peek into those shortly. Also, it’s time I started tackling favorites, looking at 4.5-5 stars to whittle down my ten favs for the year. I found that very difficult to do last year and don’t expect less this year. Do you keep a tally during the year? Already know which ones will hit the top of your list?

Once again, I appreciate each and every one of you for the new follows and those who continue to look in on my post efforts and if you have book suggestions or post ideas for me, I’d love to hear them!

©2019 V Williams V Williams

Rosepoint #BookReviews – September Recap Wrap-Up – #rosepointpub

Oh groan, summer is gone and while I know many of you expressed the thought that this is your favorite time of year, I’m sad to see summer and warm temps giving way to cool mornings and unpredictable weather patterns. (Okay, more unpredictable than usual.)

Rosepoint Reviews - September Recap

We had enough T-storms and rain to flood my fairy slash swamp garden and everything is still pretty soggy albeit back to 80+ degree temps. That won’t last long.

Swamp garden boat

Decanted Truths by Melanie FordeSeems I’m still struggling to keep up and most of the time lag behind getting reviews, posts, and social media out. I was shocked yesterday to discover that Melanie Forde who wrote Decanted Truths republished her cover with a quote from my review posted May 24. What a thrill and honor and I sincerely hope she does well as it was one I heartily recommended and enjoyed so much. If you missed the review, you can read it here.

I went hunting for blog hosts I could work with and signed up with several. Having noted those genres I will not read or review, was then rather surprised to find notices for those anyway. I’ve had to cut severely the number of author requests–most don’t check my submission page and likewise send requests for books not on my accepted lists.

Along with book blasts and a review by my intrepid associate, the CE, I reviewed ten in September. Nor do I expect that to increase much in October as our old Navy buddies will be stopping to visit from Texas doing a general friends and family tour. I’ve been getting the house ready and doing some spring cleaning (I told you I was slow and yes, I warned them about the weather in Indiana in October.) Really though, some great September books as noted below.

Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins

29 Seconds by T M Logan

Fatal Cajun Festival by Ellen Bryon

The House of Five Fortunes by Amanda Hughes (5 Stars)

Dachshund Through the Snow by David Rosenfelt (5 star audiobook–and a new favorite)

Good Morning, Bellingham by Marina Raydun

Beyond a Reasonable Stout by Ellie Alexander (5 Stars)

The Garden Club Murder by Amy Patricia Meade

Christmas Cow Bells by Mollie Cox Bryan (Book 1-new series)

Trials and Tribulations by Jean Grainger ) 5 Stars)

Noting several 5 star books there, I know what you’re thinking–the ole girl’s gettin’ easy. Nope! Just that several of my favorites came up and they never let me down. I still have another audiobook to review from David Rosenfelt–the Andy Carpenter series narrated by Grover Gardner is just outstanding.

Because I’ve been recommending some of my reads to the CE, he is not reading as many BookBub books and his count is down, so my Goodreads Challenge has some significant catching up to do. I have some super books coming up in October, including book tours and blitzes. Really looking forward to the Tracking Game by Margaret Mizushima. Love her Timber Creek K-9 series!

And, some of you may have noticed I was nearing the 2,000 mark of blog followers. Before I could acknowledge 1,999, however, I awoke to the following total of 2,052, give or take. I’m waiting now to see how much is the “take.” In the meantime, however, I’ll celebrate 2,000+ followers and gratefully thank each of you for the new follows and those who continue to look in on my post and review efforts. If you have book suggestions or ideas for me, I’d love to hear them!

2000+ Followers!

Thank you!

©2019 V Williams V Williams

Rosepoint #BookReviews – August Recap Wrap-Up – #rosepointpub

Rosepoint Reviews - August Recap

Welcome to September! August alternately had some very hot days tempered with cool but an alarmingly little amount of rain. We normally don’t water in NWI, relying on rain. This year I had to water my tomatoes which ended up looking puny and unhappy anyway. And my fairy garden turned swamp garden became so dry the soil was cracking. Still, you can see it doesn’t look much like a desert garden either! It is, however, a work-in-progress. (Yes, the leaves are already beginning to fall.)

Fairy-Swamp Garden

Spending so much time outdoors this time of year, I struggled with getting reviews posted. Perhaps you’ll remember I tried for one from Berkley that was declined and then WON Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristen Higgins from Stephanie at Stephanie’s Novel Fiction. (Or find her at #stephlvsbooks.) Holy smokes that is one riveting read! My associate reviewer, the intrepid CE, read The Plain of Jars by N. Lombardi Jr. which he absolutely loved and gave a glowing five-star review.

In spite of the time spent on my withering gardens, my count of books read in August totaled eleven, which included a biography, thrillers, historical reads, mysteries, and a humorous, LOL-worthy book by Worthen. Review links are listed below the pics.

The Hallows by Victor Methos
The White Feather Killer by R N Morris
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs by Katherine Howe 
In the Line of Fire by R J Noonan
Desolate Shores by Daryl Wood Gerber
Bark of Night by David Rosenfelt (an Audiobook)
Grateful American by Gary Sinise
Thicker Than Water by Johnny Worthen
The Firefly Witch by Amanda Hughes
Hot Shot by Fern Michaels

Still lagging on my Goodreads Challenge, hoping to catch that up come fall. However, going some time between giveaways and winning, I actually won a second book in the same month–now waiting to receive from across the pond Portal to Murder by Alison Lingwood from Kerry at Chat About Books. Excited? You betcha! You may remember I posted an article about Goodreads Giveaways simultaneously offered on NetGalley. Never win anything? Have you tried recently? Keep trying–someone wins.

I see many of the same books being reviewed by you and always love to read your comments. Was Rewind your favorite of the month? Did you also read one of the above? What were your thoughts on it? (Hard to beat Gary Sinise’s book.) Have one you’d like to recommend? Is it a thriller?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and like my posts and leave those comments and welcome to my new followers!

©2019 V Williams V Williams

Rosepoint #BookReviews – July Recap Wrap-Up – #rosepointpub

Rosepoint Reviews - July Recap

Goodbye hot and steamy July! Hello August–also hot and steamy (but tomato harvest time if I can get the possums and bunnies to stay out of my garden). I had an absolutely amazing abundance of tomatoes last year and discovered the art of drying cherry tomatoes–fruit candy! So good! Will be no such thing this year. On the bright side, hubby finished my swamp boat for the (formerly “fairy”) swamp garden and I have it nestled against the wharf. So cute, but now the scale is off with the boat shed against the monster maple tree and will have to build a larger size with the current shed front performing an entry door type function. Yes, it’s getting sillier and sillier, but it’s a senior thing, what can I say?

But I did get some reading in, between working the three gardens, house maintenance, and decorating projects. I also went on another quest of upping book requests and answering in a timely basis blogger buddy posts. Yes! I finally managed to get my website set so I receive your new posts and I’m thrilled. Hopefully now I can respond in a more timely fashion and see what you are currently working on–instead of retroactive.

One review from the CE this month, Medellín Acapulco Cold (a book tour), one spotlight, a book tour, an audiobook, and a number from NetGalley. I also wrote a couple book-related posts including the finding of a Goodreads Giveaways also available on NetGalley. Of the six Giveaways I listed, one hit movie trailers the very next day and was advertising #1 Bestseller (in Animal Fiction) The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein elsewhere. (Have you seen them? It’s even sandwiched between Words With Friends games.) I was declined for the download of the other one catching a lot of attention, Life and Other Inconveniences. Berkeley (not the first time declined). According to what I was reading in the Being Declined group on NetGalley in Goodreads, many others were writing back asking for a second chance and I jumped on it–apparently to no avail. No communication from them yet. Darn…I’ll have to see the movie! 😃

So only a count of eight in July. (I’m so embarrassed.) These were all terrific reads and I can recommend any–from thrillers to humorous fiction. I got real lucky (or better in my selection) this month!

Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard

The Great American Cheese War by Paul Flower

The Unlucky Ones by Kerry Wilkinson

The Road Home by Richard Paul Evans (Audiobook)

Let’s Fake a Deal by Sherry Harris

The Secret Cove in Croatia by Julie Caplin

Finding Billie Romano by Jean Grainger

You’ve Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman

My Goodreads Challenge is now lagging with seven books behind schedule–but fall and winter is a-comin’! The NetGalley Challenge, likewise, while a bit slow may still have a chance at 60 out of 75. Last month, trying to get more from NetGalley on my TBR, I requested eleven books and am happy to report receiving nine. Janis by Holly George-Warren Two have had no response but at least not declined. Of the additional eight requested in July, I’m sad to say, only four were approved, including Janis (and excited about that one!), but have had no response for three and was declined for Life and Other Inconveniences as mentioned above (maybe I’ll win it on Goodreads).

July definitely had an interesting mix of genres but all were great books with strong nudges to five stars.

I love it when you hook into a book I’ve reviewed, and I’m always looking toward your reviews to steer me into noteworthy reads. Which of the above are on your TBR–did you agree with my assessment?

Thank you so much for taking the time to read and like my posts and leave those comments. They are SOOO appreciated!

©2019 V Williams Blog author

Let’s Fake a Deal by Sherry Harris – a #BookReview

Let's Fake a Deal by Sherry HarrisTitle: Let’s Fake a Deal (A Sarah W Garage Sale Mystery Book 7 by Sherry Harris

Genre: Amateur Sleuth, Cozy Craft and Hobby, Cozy Animal Mysteries

Publisher: Kensington

  • ISBN-10:1496716981
  • ISBN-13:978-1496716989
  • ASIN: B07K5ZMBZB

      Print Length: 304 pages

Publication Date: To be released July 30, 2019

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link: Let’s Fake a Deal

Book Blurb:

SHE’S GOT THE GOODS . . .
As a former military spouse, Sarah Winston’s learned a little about organizing, packing, and moving. Her latest project sounds promising: a couple of tech-industry hipsters, newly arrived in her Massachusetts town, who need to downsize. Unfortunately, when Sarah tries to sell their stuff, she discovers it’s all stolen—and she’s the unwitting fence.

BUT SARAH’S PROBLEMS ARE JUST BEGINNING
Michelle, an old friend of Sarah’s from the Air Force base, is in line for a promotion—but not everyone is happy about it, and she’s been hit with an anonymous discrimination complaint. When one of the men she suspects is behind the accusations turns up dead in Michelle’s car, Sarah needs to clear Michelle’s name—as well as her own for selling hot merchandise. And she’ll have to do it while also organizing a cat lady’s gigantic collection of feline memorabilia, or they’ll be making room for Sarah in a jail cell . . .

My Review:

Let's Fake a Deal by Sherry HarrisYes, Book 7 of the series and I read Book 6! Has to be a record, huh? Our favorite garage sale guru protagonist, Sarah Winston is back. Her friends and acquaintances from the local air force base stemming from her marriage to military man CJ, now an ex, are also featured, including Seth, who has already uttered the “L” word. Once again, I appreciated the short explanation of military acronyms (it’s been a long time since my man was in the Navy) and general description of the military community as well.

Sarah really seems to know her business and can identify a valuable piece when she sees it. She is busy working a garage sale when the police show up, shut it down, and arrest her for receiving and selling stolen goods. About the same time, her enlisted friend, Michelle from the base is front and center person of interest when a body is found in her trunk. She has a complaint lodged against her and suspects it was the deceased.

Sarah begins wrestling with both issues as she takes on a new client, one that will take a great deal of time sifting through boxes of old treasures in the basement, finding and separating the more valuable and setting prices for all of the cat-related items from jewelry to paintings. The cat lady herself is pretty eccentric, making for a fun interlude between her running down leads and interviewing persons who might help with either her own arrest or the pending arrest of Michelle.

Dialogue is exchanged easily and believably between her friends, Seth, and her brother Luke, often punctuated with her own comical comebacks in self-talk. I like the way she thinks and it adds a humorous hue to the well-plotted, easy-going storyline. Since she’s been on her own, created and managed a business, Sarah has definitely gained in her ability to handle people. I particularly enjoyed her retort after a veiled threat from a ranking officer, “You may outrank him,” I tipped my head toward James, “but you hold no sway over me.” Bravo! And with that said, I believe you’d get a good idea about her character, whether the others are all well-fleshed in this series entry or not. Most receive sufficient general description to visualize the individual. I think each book could function well as a standalone within the series.

My problem was with the usual bull-headed police officer arresting or immediately jumping to conclusions regarding guilt with little regard to investigating the crime and leaving the leg work to an amateur sleuth. Still, the novel was engaging and easily invested in reading through to conclusion, solving both issues, neatly buttoned up.

I received this ebook download from the publisher and NetGalley and greatly appreciated the opportunity to read and review. I really enjoy the Sarah Winston character and look forward to the next in the series. Recommended for those who enjoy a cozy mystery out of the food loop.

+Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four of Five Stars Four stars

Sherry Harris - authorThe Author: Agatha award-nominated author, Sherry Harris, started bargain hunting in second grade at her best friend’s yard sale. She honed her bartering skills as she moved around the country while her husband served in the Air Force. Sherry uses her love of garage sales, her life as a military spouse, and her time living in Massachusetts as inspiration for the Sarah Winston Garage Sale series.

©2019 V Williams Blog author

 

Rosepoint #BookReviews – June Recap – #rosepointpub

Goodbye June. Hello steamy July! Here in the US, the month of firecrackers and BBQ (and some would say beer). If you’re not in America, you can toast to our health. (Heaven knows we need it!)

Rosepoint Reviews - June Recap 

It always concerns me when I see what was a fawn (now a wayward teenage deer) wondering around carelessly by herself. Now I know why! Today the doe with her new baby was spotted scarfing up mulberries down by my fairy garden. The fawn still had all her spots. So cute. And fortunately, neither mother nor baby checked out my veggie garden. Well, they are too late anyway–the bunnies got the fresh, tender edibles while somehow avoiding the kale. I’d have gladly traded them the kale for the Swiss chard!

Still concentrating on outside activities, the three “gardens,” fairy, veggie, and flower bed along with inside projects, I did manage to get in eleven reviews. Several author requests, one for Sage’s Book Tours, several for Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, books from NetGalley, and one audiobook. If you missed any of these reviews, please see the links below.

Those were some great books, including several with my five stars! Links to the June reviews:

Pysanky Promise – Cathy Witbeck

Murder She Uncovered – Peg Cochran

Sam Wick Rapid Thriller series – Chase Austin

The Alchemist of Lost Souls – Mary Lawrence

When Sally Comes Marching Home – Richard Milton

Across the River – Richard Snodgrass

The Image Seeker – Amanda Hughes

A Fantasy Writers’ Handbook by Richie Billing

Mistaken Identity Crisis – James J Cudney

The Hiding Place – CJ Tudor

Digging Up History – Sheila Connolly

My Goodreads Challenge is on track. The NetGalley Challenge, however, is definitely OFF track. In a desperate frenzy to get somewhat back ON track, I went to NetGalley and requested eleven books, received two on “Read Now” (Rewind and Fatal Cajun Festival) and placed Denali by Ben Moon on their Wish list. Any chance of getting that one? Here are the two I’ll be starting now:

 

Of the eight remaining requested, received today approval for three, Tracking Game, 29 Seconds, and A Cold Trail. Hopefully,  if all are accepted for download, it won’t blow me out of the 80 percentile! Do you see something here you’ve read?

 

Awaiting request approval:

July is, once again, an eclectic mix of genres that include everything from a cozy mystery to thrillers. Of course, these won’t all be July reads, the #tbr is spread over several months with two of these releasing in November and one in 2020. I received four notices of “Loans” available from my library audiobook requests and, slammed, managed to get through two before the other two fell off the list and back into the library. I posted the audiobook review for The Hidden Place  (see link above) and just finished another called The Road Home by Richard Paul Evans. And guess what? It’s the third in the series. But it is excellent! I’ll be reviewing that one shortly.

One short note with WordPress, again (or still), most of the bloggers I follow have to be refollowed every time I visit. I’m not sure how this happens and last time I corrected worked for two days before it reverted. I do like hearing from all of you and will continue to try and find you and refollow.

As always, please share with me your ideas for great reads and thank you so much for taking the time to read and like my posts and leave those comments. They are SOOO appreciated!

©2019 V Williams Blog author

#audiobook The Hiding Place by C J Tudor – a #BookReview

Title: The Hiding Place by CJ Tudor

Narrator: Richard Armitage

Genre: British Detectives, Supernatural Thrillers

  • Audible Audiobook
  • Listening Length: 10 hours and 43 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • Audible.com Release Date: February 5, 2019
  • Whispersync for Voice: Ready
  • Language: English, English
  • ASIN: B07K8XYSVJ

Print Length: 281 pages

Source: Request audiobook from local library

Title Link: The Hiding Place

audiobook-The Hiding Place

Book Blurb:

The thrilling second novel from the author of The Chalk Man, about a teacher with a hidden agenda who returns to settle scores at a school he once attended, only to uncover a darker secret than he could have imagined.

Joe never wanted to come back to Arnhill. After the way things ended with his old gang – the betrayal, the suicide, the murder – and after what happened when his sister went missing, the last thing he wanted to do was return to his hometown. But Joe doesn’t have a choice. Because judging by what was done to that poor Morton kid, what happened all those years ago to Joe’s sister is happening again. And only Joe knows who is really at fault.

Lying his way into a teaching job at his former high school is the easy part. Facing off with former friends who are none too happy to have him back in town – while avoiding the enemies he’s made in the years since – is tougher. But the hardest part of all will be returning to that abandoned mine where it all went wrong and his life changed forever and finally confronting the shocking, horrifying truth about Arnhill, his sister, and himself. Because for Joe, the worst moment of his life wasn’t the day his sister went missing.

It was the day she came back.

With the same virtuosic command of character and pacing she displayed in The Chalk Man, C. J. Tudor has once again crafted an extraordinary novel that brilliantly blends harrowing psychological suspense, a devilishly puzzling mystery, and enough shocks and thrills to satisfy even the most seasoned listener. 

My Review:

Audible - The Hiding PlaceAH! Not my first venture into an audiobook, but certainly the first I’ve borrowed from my local handy-handy library with the intention of using for an audible review. I’m usually very careful about committing to a book without investigating the blurb, the genre, and the reviews. But I had seen this author’s name bandied about among my review blogger buddies and bit when I saw it available at the library. If I were more technologically inclined, I’d have had half this book notated (I can do that on my cell phone with a Kindle book). But this book–so many quotables–lost to me.

It is definitely noir–very dark–supernatural bordering on horror. (And if you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll remember I don’t do horror. Okay–VERY occasionally and depends…(for instance, I like Dean Koontz.) First, I experienced some difficulty in separating the storyline, the author’s writing style (which is very distinctive), from the narrator’s masterful interpretation of the words and proper inflection. No denying, for me, the narrator did a smashing job of providing a creepy, eerie voice to the tale, but the author certainly knew which bits and pieces of the dark history of the protagonist to release at precisely the appropriate time.

The protagonist, Joe Thorne, is a middle-aged teacher summoned to return to his boyhood home of Arnhill. No love lost there. But worst, dark history he needs to confront and finally put to rest. He has taken both the teaching position of the former teacher who killed her son and herself, as well as the cottage where the tragedy occurred. Arnhill is a former colliery town, now closed, though really the town was there before the mine. He’s not exactly taken the world by storm and no one is happy to see him back, most especially those boys with whom he misspent his youth. He is not a protagonist designed to garner your empathy–you can’t walk in his shoes–he’s not very likable.

It is flashbacks to those youthful years with the present that gradually lays out the story of which a great deal revolves around his eight-year-old sister (at his 15 yrs) and her beloved doll, Annie Eyes. He loved her. And she followed him everywhere–which turned out–was not a good thing. When she inexplicably returns after a brief 48-hour disappearance, she is not the same and both she and his father are killed a short time later. He has blanks in his memory, but lives with the legacy of a mangled leg, the result of the fatal auto crash.

The novel carries a sub-plot revolving around Joe’s unfortunate vice, as well as several themes, not the least of which are the trauma teens are capable of, domestic noir, bullying, extreme grief and guilt and just how the baggage we carry shapes our lives going into adulthood.

The dialogue is clipped but engaging and it’s easy to become quickly invested in the well-plotted noir, pseudo-supernatural (though I wasn’t sure it needed that element) underlayment. Twists and turns left you unable to guess how this would ultimately end, though when it did, the conclusion gripped you in one more horrific surprise.

I was allowed this audible download from my local accommodating library and would totally recommend the audiobook narrated by Richard Armitage. (And I’ll be looking for other audiobooks narrated by him as well.)

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four of Five Stars Four stars

cj tudorThe Author: C. J. Tudor was born in Salisbury and grew up in Nottingham, where she still lives with her partner and young daughter.

She left school at sixteen and has had a variety of jobs over the years, including trainee reporter, radio scriptwriter, shop assistant, ad agency copywriter and voiceover.

In the early nineties, she fell into a job as a television presenter for a show on Channel 4 called Moviewatch. Although a terrible presenter, she got to interview acting legends such as Sigourney Weaver, Michael Douglas, Emma Thompson and Robin Williams. She also annoyed Tim Robbins by asking a question about Susan Sarandon’s breasts and was extremely flattered when Robert Downey Junior showed her his chest.

While writing the Chalk Man she ran a dog-walking business, walking over twenty dogs a week as well as looking after her little girl.

She’s been writing since she was a child but only knuckled down to it properly in her thirties. Her English teacher once told her that if she ‘did not become Prime Minister or a best-selling author’ he would be ‘very disappointed.’

The Chalk Man was inspired by a tub of chalks a friend bought for her daughter’s second birthday. One afternoon they drew chalk figures all over the driveway. Later that night she opened the back door to be confronted by weird stick men everywhere. In the dark, they looked incredibly sinister. She called to her partner: ‘These chalk men look really creepy in the dark . . .’

She is never knowingly over-dressed. She has never owned a handbag and the last time she wore heels (twelve years ago) she broke a tooth.

She loves The Killers, Foo Fighters and Frank Turner. Her favourite venue is Rock City.

Her favourite films are Ghostbusters and The Lost Boys. Her favourite authors are Stephen King, Michael Marshall and Harlan Coben.

She is SO glad she was a teenager in the eighties.

She firmly believes that there are no finer meals than takeaway pizza and champagne, or chips with curry sauce after a night out.

Everyone calls her Caz.

The Narrator: Richard Armitage Not a stranger to narrating audiobooks, including widely acclaimed The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

©2019 V Williams Blog author

Rosepoint Publishing – May Recap – #rosepointpub

Rosepoint Reviews-May Recap

NO! Just when I thought we’d seen the last of the white stuff, looking out my kitchen window this morning, I see fluffy little white balls landing on the roof next door and a check of my backyard saw equal measures of white decorating the green. Snow? (Not that it couldn’t happen!) But no…cotton blowing in the wind from the cottonwood trees that line the back road and surround the ponds which are prolific here in the rust belt. If not natural, the ponds are man-made. (All the better to hatch mosquitoes and while not Texas size, certainly hungry enough to really be a nuisance.) I think I’ve actually witnessed them licking the “Off” off! Like the over-priced tick medication bought from the vet to prevent ticks on the dog that still comes home with busy little black dots looking for a way through that heavy Bichon fur coat to find a permanent home (and some did).

Important to become a nose breather this time of year, as opening your mouth to take a nice deep breath may result in ingesting nature’s air balls. I mention this just so you understand how heroic my forthcoming flower, veggie, and fairy garden is. With all the rain we’ve had, the soil is so saturated it’s difficult to plant anything other than water lilies. Ah, well, life in NWI (northwest Indiana).

SO enough with the excuses, I did read and review some books and plugged several in I hadn’t previously scheduled. My woeful tally for the month of May–eight. (Goodreads link on the book covers. My review links below.)

Like Lions by Brian Panowich Prologue to Murder by Lauren Elliott The Night Window by Dean Koontz The Lost Road to Key West by Michael Reisig Decanted Truths: An Irish-American Novel by Melanie Forde The Star and the Shamrock by Jean Grainger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like Lions by Brian Panowich

Prologue to Murder by Lauren Elliott

The Night Window by Dean Koontz

The Lost Road to Key West by Michael Reisig

The Going Back Portal by Connie Lacy

Decanted Truths by Melanie Forde

Impeccable Petunia by Katie Christine

The Star and the Shamrock by Jean Grainger

My Goodreads Challenge is at 82/200–hoping by the end of June will represent half-way through the challenge. The Alphabet Challenge is stalled–same old letters (anyone have a V, X, Y, or Z they can recommend?) and the NetGalley Challenge is not quite halfway. Several of the above were author requests.

June promises to be an eclectic mix of genres that includes a children’s book from Sage’s Reading Room, cozy mystery and historical fiction book tours from Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, more author requests (and a short series) as well as independent choices from NetGalley. I’m always looking for recommendations for suspense-thrillers! (Especially with titles starting with the above noted V, X, Y, or Z letters!) Never a shortage of book choices through these links! AND, I’ve requested several audiobooks from my local library (waiting lists), 2019 releases, and will be looking for your suggestions there as well. I’m thinking if I can’t read while gardening, I can certainly listen!

Having problems with the WP format again! It has reverted to the old, old format, or the choice of block. I no longer see the link for the one I was using and this one is AWFUL. Being forced to upgrade–gotta be…

As always, please share with me your ideas for great reads and thank you so much for taking the time to note your likes and comments to my posts and reviews. They are SOOO appreciated!

©2019 V Williams Blog author

Murder in the Reading Room by Ellery Adams – a #BookReview

Murder in the Reading Room by Ellery AdamsTitle: Murder in the Reading Room (A Book Retreat Mystery Book 5) by Ellery Adams

Genre: Amateur Sleuths, Cozy Mystery

Publisher: Kensington

  • ISBN-10:1496715659
  • ISBN-13:978-1496715654
  • ASIN: B07G6NJK5W

Print Length: 320 pages

Publication Date: Released April 30, 2019-Happy Publication Day!

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link: Murder in the Reading Room

Book Blurb:

Storyton Hall, Virginia, is a paradise for book lovers who come from all over for literary getaways. But manager Jane Steward is temporarily leaving for another renowned resort—in hopes of solving a twist-filled mystery . . .

Jane’s boyfriend is missing, and she thinks she may find him at North Carolina’s historic Biltmore Estate. Officially, she’s there to learn about luxury hotel management, but she’s also prowling around the breathtaking buildings and grounds looking for secret passageways and clues. One of the staff gardeners promises to be helpful . . . that is, until his body turns up in the reading room of his cottage, a book on his lap.

When she finally locates the kidnapped Edwin, his captor insists that she lead him back to Storyton Hall, convinced that it houses Ernest Hemingway’s lost suitcase, stolen from a Paris train station in 1922. But before they can turn up the treasure, the bell may toll for another victim . . .

My Review:

Murder in the Reading Room by Ellery AdamsDefinitely a book lovers paradise, the author knows her books and has created a beautiful picturesque setting in Storyton Hall, aptly named for it’s multiple private, cozy settings.

This being the fifth in the series and yes, of course, my first with the author and the series, I seem to have missed a well-developed fleshing of the protagonist and the storyline leading to this last(?) of the series. This is one series where you might do well to begin with number one. I greatly enjoyed the author’s writing style, very subtle, full of prose, and so descriptive of the idyllic venue that you want to start packing for your bags.

Apparently in the Book 4, Jane Steward’s boyfriend went missing. Jane is a widow with two young precocious boys. She is the manager of Storyton Hall, a pseudo-resort, with a strong literary style that includes a number of themed rooms/ libraries; i.e., Henry James Library, Daphne du Maurier Morning Room, and William Faulkner Conference Room. In her role as manager, she has joined a luxury hotel management seminar that is taking place at North Carolina’s historic Biltmore Estate–specifically because she believes that is where her Edwin Alcott is being hidden. The seminar will give her access sufficient to haunt the halls and grounds in an effort to find Edwin. The first, very shocking problem, however, manifests when she and Landon successfully discover him–and confront despot rogue Templar Ramsey Parrish as well.

Storyton itself has been in the Steward family for generations and is home to a wide variety of beautiful arts and treasures, not the least of which is possibly the Secret Library which may hide a suitcase stolen from Ernest Hemingway, lost in 1922. With the rumor that the Stewards are holding the suitcase and its priceless content comes many a problem, including the one that is currently the target of the Templar Ramsey, current manager of the behemoth Biltmore Estate. He will apparently stop at nothing to get to the secret library and the suitcase, including kidnapping. Jane’s own Landon Lachlan (head of Storyton Hall’s Recreation Department), is part of an elite group called “the Fins” also their first line of defense. In addition, she has a ladies group called “the Cover Girls” a literature club. Eloise is her best buddy, sister of Edwin. (She might have gone too far, however, when she named her boys Fitzgerald and Hemingway.)

The characters are all complex, literate, and deep in the bookish world, upper-class society, and southern history with associated activities. More twists are incorporated into the well-plotted mystery, dripping with charm, nostalgic quotes from many famous and classic authors. (Test yourself on how many you recognize!)

There are just too many secrets associated with the theme resort, hidden society, however, and push come to shove, Jane is tired. While there are casualties, they happen “off page.” I really enjoyed the wide variety of support characters, so appropriately named, the location so visual, the atmosphere cerebral. The pace works well right into a downplayed climax almost smoothed over in the blurred conclusion which forms part of the reason for the epilogue.

I was given this ebook download by the publisher and NetGalley and totally appreciated the opportunity to read and review this unique and captivating novel. Recommended for any bibliophile who can quote from the classics or book lovers in general, as well as cozy mystery lovers. There is something here for everyone–including that touch of romance!

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five of Five Stars Four point Five of Five Stars

Ellery Adams - authorThe Author: Ellery Adams, a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author, has written over thirty-five mystery novels. She shares her North Carolina home with her husband, two trolls, and three keyboard-hogging felines. Ellery loves coffee, bubbly, boxing, jigsaw puzzles, baking, and black jelly beans.

Her traditionally published series include The Secret, Book, and Scone Society Mysteries, The Book Retreat Mysteries, The Books By the Bay Mysteries, and The Charmed Pie Shoppe Mysteries.

Her Indie series include The Supper Club Series, The Hope Street Series, and The Molly Appleby Collectible Series.

For discussion questions and more, visit http://www.elleryadamsmysteries.com

©2019 V Williams Blog author

Restaurant Weeks Are Murder by Libby Klein – a #BookReview

Restaurant Weeks Are Murder by Libby KleinTitle: Restaurant Weeks Are Murder by Libby Klein

Genre: Cozy Culinary Mystery, Amateur Sleuths, Cozy Animal Mysteries

Publisher: Kensington

  • ISBN-10:1496713079
  • ISBN-13:978-1496713070
  • ASIN: B07DBQBVYJ

 Print Length: 304 pages

Publication Date: February 26, 2019

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link: Restaurant Weeks Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery Book 3)

Book Blurb:

Cape May, New Jersey, is the site of a big culinary competition—and the knives are out . . .

Poppy McAllister is happy about opening a Jersey Shore B&B—but working in a professional kitchen has always been her real dream. Now it’s coming true, at least briefly, as she teams up with her former fiancée, Tim—and his condescending partner, Gigi—during the high-profile Restaurant Week challenge. Poppy’s specialty is pastries, despite her devotion to a Paleo diet. But if anyone can make glorious gluten-free goodies, it’s Poppy.

Things get heated quickly—especially when some ingredients get switched and Tim’s accused of sabotage. Relatively harmless pranks soon escalate into real hazards, including an exploding deep fryer. And now one of the judges has died after taking a bite of Poppy’s cannoli—making her the chef suspect . . .

Includes Seven Recipes from Poppy’s Kitchen!

My Review:

Restaurant Weeks Are Murder by Libby KleinMs. Klein has ramped up her cooking expertise in Book 3 of her Poppy McAllister series. Poppy and her Aunt Ginny are finishing up the touches on their Butterfly Wings Bed and Breakfast. Tim, Poppy’s one-time fiancé, has asked her to team with him and Gigi in the Restaurant Week Challenge where she will create her specialty desserts and pastries. The competition of seven days comprises three stages that include a “mystery basket” of ingredients and is judged by well-known celebrities, if possibly questionable, local judges and is to be recorded to show on Jersey area daytime TV.

One of the six teams is comprised of Gia, a steamy, mcDreamy Italian for whom Poppy has been supplying some of her pastries for him and his mother’s Italian restaurant. Teams include a head chef, a sous chef, and a pastry chef per each restaurant team. It’s obvious from the beginning that this is a serious competition, each vying for the prize of $10,000 as well as the notoriety, air time, and press. Unfortunately, few of the team members get along with each other and the judges are brutal. So, this being a cozy is not too difficult to guess who will be the victim.

Before the mics are on and the cameras are rolling, there is sabotage (changing labels of food ingredients), bickering, materials are disappearing, and a fight breaking out between two of the competing chefs. You can almost visualize Chef Ramsey delivering a scathing review to one of the dishes as the 10-year-old looks on teary-eyed.

The author’s wicked sense of humor sparks off the characters, including her Aunt Ginny who is up to her usual antics and her naughty kitty Figaro who figures out which judge housed in their B&B is allergic to felines and does his best to make sure she is sneezing and miserable. The dialogue ranges between snarky, hilarious, and believable in an honest conversational tone. The secondary characters work well with the main characters and protagonist providing that tension in a real kitchen competition atmosphere, scrambling to the pantry for their ingredients only to have another chef snatch it out from under them.

The characters have been developed in previous series entries and there is little further fleshing here, although with the plot focus on food could still work as a stand alone. It is a very well paced plot, albeit slow to deliver a victim as the focus is the restaurant challenge and all the outrageous events happening while trying to film each day’s segment concluding with judging scores. Red herrings, twists, and new discoveries every chapter lead to a conclusion you may have guessed, but it’s been fun.

I had two problems, and yes, it is acknowledged that her aunt is an active, saucy octogenarian, but she and her friends were referred to constantly as the “biddies and cronies.” (Ouch) And, the dreaded romantic triangle. (I’m so over it–can we move on now?). Also the judge, “Stormin’ Norman,” weatherman. (Perhaps Ms. Klein is unaware of the scandal that took place in the 80s out west and it did give me icky pause.)

I received this ebook download from the publisher and NetGalley and appreciated the opportunity to read and review. The author has a writing style I enjoy, characters that engage, and I’m looking forward to Book 4.

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five of Five Stars Four point Five of Five Stars

Libby Klein - authorThe Author: Libby Klein graduated Lower Cape May Regional High School sometime in the ’80s. Her classes revolved mostly around the culinary sciences and theater, with the occasional nap in Chemistry. She loves to drink coffee, bake gluten free goodies, and befriend random fluffy cats. She writes from her Northern Virginia office while trying to keep her cat Figaro off her keyboard. Most of her hobbies revolve around eating, and travel, and eating while traveling.

©2019 V Williams Blog author

Rosepoint #BookReviews – March Recap

Rosepoint Reviews - March Recap

No Fooling–It’s Already April!

My Aunt Margaret said,Struggling with technology is one of the running jokes foisted on seniors and it would appear, based on some truth. Change is not easy for us! Just beginning to get fairly capable with the “classic” format on WordPress, accidentally bumbled into the new and (ahem!!) improved “block” style format. It looks like a blank page and for the life of me could not figure out where my usual toolbar options were now located. Trying to beat a deadline for a blog tour, I was stuck, messing with blocks and no clue how to proceed.

WordPress used to have online help, those savvy sisters that would pop up in a chat box (remember that?) and ask how they could help–and they always did! Now it “flies” through the great blue sky and you’re lucky to get help in two or three days (one request for help took a week and I no longer cared). But is this rant really over? No. I’d love to know how many others using WP really use or like the new block system. Is it truly just me or did it just add additional steps to a formerly easy format? Okay, now I’m off the soapbox–temporarily, at least.

March…well, March as you know was (for me) Reading Ireland Month and I did have a good time with that (using the old, classic format, of course.)

I found some amazing books and one very eye-opening hard-core Irish slang that definitely forced my tolerance level for F-words, sexual innuendo, and dialogue that previously would have had me saying, out loud, “nanny, nanny, nanny” through the naughty parts. That book was so full of them, I’d have been hoarse and had to be content with just thinking it. Gees–but it was a good book–how does that compute? I’d read another, revving up my nanny, nanny, nanny ahead of time, now that I know what I’m in for.

Of the eleven reviews, seven were Irish authors and/or stories, as well as the interview with author Amanda Hughes (sweet lady). These included a couple of cozy mysteries, historical fiction, literary fiction, as well as police procedural noted above.

 

Murder in an Irish Pub by Carlene O’Connor

One Feta in the Grave by Tina Kashian

Reinventing Hillwilla by Melanie Forde

Return to Robinswood by Jean Grainer

Treading the Uneven Road by L M Brown

Interview with author Amanda Hughes

The Secret Place by Tana French

Cocos Island Treasure by Stanley McShane

The Bones She Buried by Lisa Regan

Widow Creek by Sarah Margolis Pearce

Pinot Red or Dead by J C Eaton

2019 Goodreads Reading ChallengeI added to my challenges, but as always finding it difficult to discover book titles that don’t start with the same letters used many times before. At 53 of 200, it would appear my Goodreads Challenge is just about on target. More cozy mysteries coming up as well as literary fiction and thrillers. Working on another beta read for one of my favorite authors and trying to expand my graphics crops for Instagram, on which I’m still devoting too much time.

Anyone else doing the WP block battle? As always, please share with me your recommendations for great reads and thank you so much for taking the time to post your likes and comments. They are SOOO appreciated!

©2019 V Williams Blog author

Rosepoint #BookReviews – September Recap

Review Recap - September

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

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

My book reviews for September:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sept 25-Malice by Jennifer Jaynes – a #BookReview

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

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

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

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Rosepoint #BookReviews – August Recap

dog days header

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

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

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

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

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

Aug 12 – Midnight Snacks are Murder by Libby Klein

Aug 14 – Death on the Menu by Lucy Burdette

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

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

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

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

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

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

©2018 V Williams V Williams

Rosepoint #Reviews – May Recap

Review Recap

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

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

  

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

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

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

Upcoming Blog Tours

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

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

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

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

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”

Bloggers Bash Award Nominations

Bloggers Bash Award Categories

When the “happiness engineers” at WP announced that the problems with the reblog button were resolved, they’d yet to deal with my blog. Neither that nor the like buttons have reappeared, so I’ll include here a shortened description of the announcement of the Bloggers Bash Awards, now in its fourth year.

Nina at The Cozy Pages sent me the notice (thank you Nina!) that she had reblogged from Shelley Wilson author, who is apparently on the committee. You can see the full and complete announcement on Ms. Wilson’s website for all the rules and regs, so, from Ms. Wilson, the following:

The Annual Bloggers Bash returns bigger and better than ever. (The venue is booked.)…

The nominations will open soon but we wanted to share the award categories with you to give everyone plenty of time to think about who they feel deserves a nomination...Nominations will open on March 6th 2018.

Award Categories for the 2018 Bloggers Bash Awards Continue reading “Bloggers Bash Award Nominations”

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!

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!

#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!

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”

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

I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

 

#ThrowbackThursday – Todd Borg – 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! Means I’ll be going back over some of  the first reviews I posted on Goodreads; 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.

This week I am highlighting Todd Borg, another terrific, prolific author who has produced Tahoe Chase, #11 in his Tahoe series. I love Tahoe, just up in the Sierra’s from Sacramento and saw this cover. He has actually written fifteen of the Owen McKenna Mystery Thriller series. Tahoe Chase was published by Thriller Press. This particular book garnered 985 reviews and Borg consistently runs approximately 4.5 stars for his books.

Originally posted January 2, 2014 Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – Todd Borg – Book Review”

The Tell-All – a Book Review

The Tell-All by Libby HowardTitle: The Tell All (Locust Point Mystery Book #1) by Libby Howard

Genre: Currently #281 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Supernatural, Ghosts, and #968 in Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Cozy

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Publication Date: July 24, 2017

Source: Direct request from Erin Zarro, Assistant for Libby Howard

Title and Cover: The Tell All – Cute, obvious cozy mystery

Kay Carrera is sixty and a recent widow with no support network of children or grand-children. Facing a silent home, she stops at a local shelter and picks out what appears to be an independent adult cat (aren’t they all) that shouldn’t require a lot of exercise or attention, but will be a warm body. A journalist prior to being a caregiver for her husband, she has managed to wrangle a position with a local PI as a skip-tracer. It still won’t be enough to forestall foreclosure on her beloved Victorian, so she accepts a suggestion from the realtor/friend to take on a boarder (a judge in the midst of a contentious divorce with two children). Also, she recently had cataract surgery and decides it’s time to learn to knit.

But the eye surgery leaves her with a small, but interesting side effect. Continue reading “The Tell-All – a Book Review”

#AmReading – Stay Calm and Collie On by Lane Stone

#AmReading - Stay Calm and Collie On by Lane StoneWelcome to my #AmReading feature! I am highlighting an author and their book currently visible in the “Fair Weather” widget promoting blue skies, following seas, and the Goodreads (currently reading) list.

This week I am presenting Lane Stone and her book Stay Calm and Collie On (A Pet Palace Mystery). I received an ARC from the publisher Lyrical Underground and NetGalley. The book will be released on November 7, 2017. Amazon classifies the novel as a mystery, thriller & suspense, cozy mystery, and women sleuths at 164 pages will be a coffee break read for most of you bibliophiles!

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

Book Blurb: Buckingham Pet Palace is known for treating dogs like royalty-until murder dethrones its good reputation! As owner of an upscale doggy daycare and spa, animal-lover Sue Patrick pampers pooches for the most elite clients in Lewes, Delaware. Surely she can survive a weeklong visit from Lady Anthea Fitzwalter, her well-to-do business partner from England. But before Sue can serve her guest a spot of tea, she discovers more-than-a-spot of blood inside the company van-and all over the driver’s dead body . . .

Someone abandoned the van full of dogs at the Lewes ferry terminal and got away with murder, leaving Sue and Lady Anthea pawing for clues. With a fundraising gala approaching and Buckingham Pet Palace facing scandal, can two very different women work together to fetch the culprit from a list of dodgy suspects-or are they heading toward a proper disaster?

Author: (Goodreads) Lane Stone is a native Atlantan. She, her husband, Larry Korb, and their dog, Abby, live in Alexandria, VA during the week and in Lewes, DE on the weekend. Lewes is the setting of her new cozy mystery series, Buckingham Pet Palace mysteries. Her volunteer work is extensive and includes media & communications for the Delaware River & Bay Lighthouse Foundation… She’s a graduate of Georgia State University, with a degree in Political Science, and is currently pursuing a post-graduate certificate in Antiquities Theft and Art Crime. She tweets as Abby, The Menopause Dog (@TheMenopauseDog) and her Facebook page is LaneStoneBooks (https://www.facebook.com/Lane-Stone-B…); go follow! Check out her book here www.LaneStoneBooks.com. ©2017 Virginia Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

#CoverLove – Color Themes

#CoverLove – we do love our colorful, eye-catching book covers!

It’s the first, all-important impression of any book. It’s an instant yea or nay. Pick up and investigate further or lay down and look for something else. Unfortunately, we are a “judge the book by the cover” sort of animal. As with any artistic endeavor–we know what we like or don’t like.

We love beautiful covers, those that catch the eye, and as always, “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.” Pick your favorite!#Cover Love - orange

Continue reading “#CoverLove – Color Themes”

Vigilante Assassin – a Book Review

Vigilante Assassin by Mark NolanTitle: Vigilante Assassin: An Action Thriller (Jake Wolfe Book 2)

Genre: Currently #36 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Financial

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Publication Date: To be released October 27, 2017

Source: Submitted for review by author

Title and Cover: Vigilante Assassin – Silhouette style cover repeated from first book

Lauren Stephens’ husband is not who she thought he was. After she wakes and discovers Gene Stephens has gone missing, Jake Wolfe and his dog Cody are recommended to help find Gene by their security firm.

Continue reading “Vigilante Assassin – 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”

#ThrowbackThursday – Author Amanda Hughes – Book Reviews

#ThrowbackThursday on It's Book Life blogRenee 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! My TT posts will not come from current ARCs or new releases. Means 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.

  • This week I am highlighting another terrific, prolific author, Amanda Hughes. Ms. Hughes writes about bold women of the 18th, 19th, and (now the) 20th centuries, but they are all stand alone books and do not carry the protagonist from one to the next of the same series. She just released The Looking Glass Goddess (Bold Women of the 20th Century Series, Book 1) on April 26, 2017. I’ve read the three highlighted below from her Bold Women of the 18th Century Series and I loved them all. First one we’ll look at is…

Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – Author Amanda Hughes – Book Reviews”

The Fifteenth of June – a Book Review

The Fifteenth of JuneTitle: The Fifteenth of June by Brent Jones

Genre: Currently #721 in Best Seller’s Rank for Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Literary Fiction, Sagas

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, LLC

Publication Date:  February 2017

The Fifteenth of June Eye-catching cover (The bench holds significance.)

What is it that makes us step outside our comfort zone to sample a graphic scene filled plot we wouldn’t usually consider? Perhaps it is the chance to be an anonymous, albeit disapproving voyeur in a train wreck.

Such is the case when I read emotionally charged The Fifteenth of June by Brent Jones. His protagonist, Drew Thomson, is a deeply flawed 28-year-old alcoholic who realizes after five years living with Heather that he really doesn’t love her. Drew moves from her apartment with no job, no digs of his own, and no prospects. His contacts are from previous employment where he was fairly successful but crushingly unhappy, and his antisocial behavior seems exacerbated by the lack of any sense of direction. There is no future. There is only the past and it was dark. Continue reading “The Fifteenth of June – a Book Review”