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

#TBR - #Cozies

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

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

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

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

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

©2018 V Williams V Williams

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#ThrowbackThursday – Two Rivers (The Great Peacemaker Series #1) by Zoe Saadia

#ThrowbackThursday - spring

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

Two Rivers - The Peacemaker series by Zoe SaadiaThis week I am highlighting Zoe Saadia, another terrific, prolific author who wrote several series, this one Two Rivers of the Peacemaker series number one of four, which I reviewed on Goodreads. This historical fiction novel was published in 2013. She consistently runs approximately 4.5 stars for any of her books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted October 15, 2015

Book Blurb:

Having survived the failed raid on the enemy lands, Tekeni had no illusions. He was nothing but an enemy cub, adopted into one of the clans, but not accepted, never for real. To fit in was difficult, to run away – impossible. To get into trouble, more often than not, was the only available option. They did not expect anything else from him, anyway.

However, when a meaningless row during a ballgame grew out of proportion, resulting in a fight, Tekeni has found himself in a truly grave trouble. Neither he nor anyone else could have foreseen the chain of events the consequences of this fight would release, when the highly esteemed but controversial Two Rivers decided to help Tekeni out.

Two Rivers was a strange person with unacceptable notions and ideas. He maintained that to war on and on was a mistake of disastrous consequences. He went as far as suggesting a negotiation of peace with some of the neighboring nations. Even Tekeni, the despised enemy, thought such ideas to be far-fetched and wild. And yet…

With their trouble mounting and the revengefulness of some people around them growing, both Tekeni and Two Rivers find themselves pushed beyond limits. Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – Two Rivers (The Great Peacemaker Series #1) by Zoe Saadia”

Charlie Mac – a #BookReview

Charlie Mac by Maria McDonaldTitle: Charlie Mac: A Story of Ordinary People Who Lived in Extraordinary Times by Maria McDonald

Genre: Currently #37389 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Historical Fiction

Publication Date: March 30, 2018

Source: Direct request by author

Title and Cover: Charlie MacThe chair holds significance but doesn’t wholly convey the tragedy that it included.

This is the fictional account of the life and death of Charlie McMullen, great-grandfather of the author which follows three generations through one of the most tumultuous times in the history of Ireland–specifically in Belfast.

Charlie was born in 1873 and died just after the Irish Home Rule Campaign ended with the establishment of the border dividing Ireland. A city fella, he married a country girl, Mary Jane from County Down. Her life experience was totally opposite his, as was her religion; hers being Catholic. We can’t help who we fall in love with and sometimes that will forever shape our destiny. But neither his Belfast neighbors nor their respective families were happy with the marriage. The couple thought, however, that the strength of their union would overcome objections. It couldn’t and didn’t, resulting in tragedy. Continue reading “Charlie Mac – a #BookReview”

#ThrowbackThursday – Drifter by M. L. Gardner

#ThrowbackThursday

Renee began the #ThrowbackThursday 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 looking back at my favorite authors and stories you might not have previously experienced. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out. And, if you’d like to join the fun, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. Just provide the link back to her please).

Drifter by M. L. GardnerThis week I am highlighting M. L. Gardner, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Drifter, which I reviewed on Goodreads. She has actually written ten novels, including two series, short stories, and a novella. This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services LLC on January 11, 2014. She consistently runs approximately 4+ stars for any of her books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted January 26, 2015

Book Blurb:

In this fourth book of The 1929 Series, we are led into the world of Richard Sloan, a Massachusetts missing person’s detective who seems to be losing his touch. After six months he hasn’t found anyone alive and becomes desperate to redeem his reputation.

Aryl Sullivan, who suffered amnesia in a boating accident, finds himself caught up in a series of events that land him in London. While in the hands of Gina, a secretive and controlling woman, and her boss, Mickey, Aryl is forever changed as he does what he has to in order to survive.

Following leads on a serial cop killer terrorizing Boston, Detective Sloan unwittingly stumbles on information that leads him to Aryl Sullivan, a man everyone in Rockport thinks is dead.

My Review:

It’s amazing who you can become–given the right–or wrong circumstances. Sometimes, you can’t imagine how you’ve ever become this person. And having become a person you revile, can you ever quit and so back? Can you ever really “go home”? Would you want to?

This is the fourth in the 1929 series; the third I’ve read and this is definitely my favorite. Aryl is “found” by Richard Sloan, a missing persons cop who lucks onto Aryl looking for a serial cop killer. Sloan is a disgruntled, discontented Boston P.D. detective with a marriage teetering on the edge for a reason both partners are impotent to remedy. His record hasn’t been that good of late, finding more “missings” dead than alive; a day late, handing the file to homicide. He desperately hoped his last case, a 16-year-old, would be the reverse to the pattern. It wasn’t. Dejected, depressed, he decided he’d concentrate on the serial killer and counted on it to be his saving grace.

In the third of the 1929 series, Aryl Sullivan has been in a horrific explosion aboard his fishing vessel and barely survives with his body intact, never mind his mind. He has sustained major lacerations to his back which leaves him in severe pain in this installment. Unfortunately, he has no recollection what happened–only that he has been rescued and handed off eventually to land in London where he is then rescued by Gina who introduces him to Mickey. His injuries have left him dependent upon Gina who dishes him an elixir that quickly gets him hooked and leaves him no where to turn. Under his newly acquired circumstances, he becomes a man totally alien to his former self–capable of the unimaginable.

The tale unfolds after Sloan has picked him up from the French police where they both board a ship for the states. Together over the course of the cruise, each unloads his personal story as Aryl has slowly regained his memory and narrates the events of his past year. Aryl faces a shaky return. The experience has been life-changing for Sloan, however, and he makes several decisions both affecting his job and his marriage.

While the storyline borders on unique, there are edit problems that should have been addressed and it was a bit difficult to keep up with who was doing the current narrative since it switched back and forth between Sloan and Aryl. However, both have compelling histories or stories to tell (and they share with each other) and unfortunately for Aryl a long row to hoe before he can fully be brought back into the fold or the family. You have to swallow a few inaccuracies but on the whole, an interesting read and you do become sufficiently engaged in the characters to pursue the outcome.

This book was downloaded as a freebie by BookBub. Different in concept, the switch between the narrations garnered my imagination. Recommended reading–embrace the uncommon style.

Add to Goodreads

About the Author

M. L. Gardner M. L. Gardner is the bestselling author of the 1929 series. Gardner is frugal to a fault, preserving the old ways of living by canning, cooking from scratch, and woodworking. Nostalgic stories from her grandmother’s life during the Great Depression inspired Gardner to write the 1929 series–as well as her own research into the Roarin’ Twenties. She also wrote the Purling Road series and a cookbook. Gardner is married with three kids and four cats. She resides in western Montana. http://www.mlgardnerbooks.com

More Throwback Thursday Blogs

Renee at Its Book Talk

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Rebecca at The Book Whisperer

Lynne at Fictionophile

Sam at Clues and Reviews

Holly B at Dressedtoread

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Annie at The Misstery

Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll

Laurie at Cozy Nook Books

Ann Marie at LItWitWineDine

©2018 V Williams V Williams

#ThrowbackThursday – Maids of Misfortune by M. Louisa Locke

#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’ve gathered up some old reads and reviews from Goodreads to share with you–but a good book never gets old. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out. And, if you’d like to join the fun, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. Just provide the link back to her please).

Maids of Misfortune by M. Louisa LockeThis week I am highlighting M. Louisa Locke, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Maids of Misfortune (A Victorian San Francisco Mystery). She has actually written five in the series with novellas in between. This novel was published by CreateSpace on December 3, 2009. She consistently runs approximately 4.0/5 stars for any of her books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted January 20, 2015

Book Blurb:

It’s the summer of 1879, and Annie Fuller, a young San Francisco widow, is in trouble. Annie’s husband squandered her fortune before committing suicide five years earlier…Annie Fuller also has a secret. She supplements her income by giving domestic and business advice as Madam Sibyl, one of San Francisco’s most exclusive clairvoyants, and one of Madam Sibyl’s clients, Matthew Voss, has died…Nate Dawson has a problem. As the Voss family lawyer, he would love to believe that Matthew Voss didn’t leave his grieving family destitute. But that would mean working with Annie Fuller, a woman who alternatively attracts and infuriates him as she shatters every notion he ever had of proper ladylike behavior…Sparks fly as Anne and Nate pursue the truth about the murder of Matthew Voss in this light-hearted, cozy historical mystery set in the foggy gas-lit world of Victorian San Francisco. 
Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – Maids of Misfortune by M. Louisa Locke”

#AmReading – For the Love of Ireland by Judy Leslie

#AmReading - for The Love of Ireland by Judy Leslie

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

This week I am presenting Judy Leslie and her book For the Love of Ireland. I received a free download. The book was released on April 2, 2013, by CreateSpace. Amazon classifies the novel as literature and fiction, historical fiction, Irish and is 318 pages.

I will be presenting my review on Sunday,  March 11, 2018, and can tell you that so far I’m finding this historical fiction (about a real turn-of-the-century Chicago couple) eye-opening and compelling. In the meantime (from Amazon), here is the

Book Blurb:

Margaret Sullivan dines with politicians, rebels, and spies. She is an admired journalist with the Chicago Tribune publishing under a male nom de plume. Her unscrupulous husband is a prominent attorney and power broker with aspirations of his own. They are well-connected members of Chicago’s 1880’s Irish elite.

On her trip to Ireland to do research for a book she is writing, Margaret meets a charming one-armed Irish rebel named Michael and finds herself attracted to him and his ideas for liberating Ireland.

While traveling through the stone-walled back roads of the island, Margaret sees for herself how the poor are treated. She breaks her vow never to get involved, and soon questions if she can ever go back to her old superficial life in Chicago again. Overcome with her new found emotions and strong desire to help, Margaret finds herself easily convinced by Mrs. Delia Parnell that women can be just as crucial in the fight for Ireland’s independence as men.

Back home in Chicago Margaret publishes articles hoping to gain support in America for Michael’s cause. That is until he is arrested. Desperate, she turns to her jealous, devious husband for help…but he has a hidden agenda of his own.

Torn between her career as a journalist and compassion for those overseas, she finds herself trapped by her own aspirations. Soon things spin out of control both at home and abroad, and Margaret has to decide how much she is willing to sacrifice for Michael and her love for Ireland.

For The Love of Ireland is a historical novel of love and loyalty, deception and honesty. It is about women fighting against traditional roles and gender discrimination during the 1880s. For The Love of Ireland is a work of fiction woven around actual events of the Irish Land League, a Chicago couple and the covert activities of the Clan na Gael.

About the Author

Judy Leslie - author (Judy Leslie from Amazon Author Page)When I walked into the Antique shop in the historic town of Bellingham, Washington at the age of 21, I had no idea that I would soon become its owner and would be surrounded by things I knew nothing about. I researched everything from grandma’s collectibles to old tables and chairs. I quickly learned that there was a story attached to every object no matter how trivial it may seem to the average person. Old wedding gifts, items saved and sacrificed for, mementos, useful and frivolous objects, all filled my shelves.

I lived in the back of the shop with my cat Betty and cooked on an old wood stove that I fed with Presto Logs. In the evenings, I would sit in a creaky painted rocker, and scavenge through old black and white photographs and letters, pondering the lives of these long gone relatives. Did they know someday a stranger would be pawing their personal belongings, I wondered? I tried piecing an image together of what life must have been like when these items were new. Were these people happy back then? Had life turned out for them as planned?

When people came into my shop we would swap stories about old uncle’s Joe’s or aunt Gertrude’s hand-me-down trinkets and what they might be worth to someone that wanted that ‘junk’. Then I would remind them that perhaps they held some value that couldn’t be bought. Like a child’s first pair of ice skates or a set of hand embroidered tea towels made as a gift by a spinster losing her sight. Once I stirred their imagination they looked around my shop with fresh eyes and became curious about the objects surrounding them.

I would share what I had learned about whatever they were attracted to and soon they would be walking out the door with their new treasure. It was the story they bought, the article was just evidence of the legend. So, it only made sense that someday I would become a historical fiction writer.

Now, many years later with the shop long gone and countless writing classes under my belt, I’m researching the internet and locating out-of-print publications to find secrets about the past. Instead of antiques, I collect fragments of news articles about the lives of real people most have forgotten. I love doing the detective work and unwinding the threads of these various characters from long ago and weaving them back together again in a new version of their story.

My novel, For the Love of Ireland, evolved from information I discovered about a Chicago couple and their connection to Ireland’s Land League, and the secret activities of the Irish-American organization the Clan na Gael. If you would like to know more about my novel For The Love of Ireland, please go to http://www.for-the-love-of-ireland.com. There you can read about the real people my story characters are based on. ©2018 V Williams V Williams

The Rock Child, a Book Review

The Rock Child by Win Blevins
Hardcover edition cover

Title: The Rock Child, A Novel of a Journey

Genre: Currently #173 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Historical Fiction, United States

Publisher: Wordworx

Publication Date: March 27, 2013

Source: BookBub

Of Love and Demons by Win BlevinsTitle and Cover: The Rock Child – Title and covers have undergone changes

A wild skirmish between a Tibetan Buddhist nun’s family and kidnappers result in the death of an entire family and a nun (Sun Moon) shanghaied and brought to America. It is 1862 and one thousand in gold could buy almost anything. Mix that with Native-American/Anglo protagonist Asie Taylor who becomes entangled in a life of music and a famous English explorer, Sir Richard Francis Burton, and you have the beginnings of a gripping Win Blevins’ novel. Continue reading “The Rock Child, a Book Review”

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

#AmReading - The Yanks Are Starving by Glen Craney

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

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

#AmReading – The Compass Island Incident: November 1963 by Wade Fowler

#AmReading - Compass Island Incident by Wade Fowler

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

This week I am presenting Wade Fowler and his book The Compass Island Incident: November 1963. I received an ARC from the publisher Milford House Press and NetGalley. The book will be released on November 22, 2017. Amazon classifies the novel as a mystery, thriller & suspense, and assassinations at 317 pages will be a quick one for most of you bibliophiles looking for an interesting Kennedy theory thriller by the anniversary date (54 years)!

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

Book Blurb: (Blurb from Amazon)

John Franklin Kincaid clocks out at 4 PM on Thursday, August 27, 1953, after his shift at New York Shipbuilding Corporation’s sprawling shipyard in Camden, New Jersey, never to be seen or heard from again.

A little more than a decade later, a little girl is assailed by a terrible recurring nightmare. She dreams she is a man, buried alive in a dark compartment in the bowels of a ship under construction.

On November 16, 1963, President Kennedy helicopters to that ship, now a US Naval vessel called the USS Compass Island, as it steams off the coast of Florida to witness the firing of a Polaris missile clandestinely targeting Cuba’s Fidel Castro. And so topple the first dominoes in a chain of events leading inexorably to the president’s assassination one week later in Dallas, Texas.

Who killed JFK — the president and shipyard worker? The answers abide on the Compass Island as the old ship casts off on its final voyage to the scrap yard in October of 2003 with descendants of John Franklin Kincaid on board and determined to solve not one, but two murder mysteries.

Author:

Wade Fowler (No info found on either Amazon or Goodreads)

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