Friday, September 22, 2017

Book Review/Character Interview-Beware The Orchids

About the book 
Ditched at the altar, Shelby Hart tosses down her bouquet, quits her job, and accepts a position as gardener and event coordinator at an upscale retirement community. Her first day on the job results with a dead body in the greenhouse under the orchids and with her as the prime suspect!

Toss in a handsome handyman, quirky characters, and a flirtatious grandma and the fun never stops.
And I thought....
It's so fun to get at book 1!  Beware The Orchids is a 5 star 
start to the Shady Acres Mystery Series.

I was intrigued from the start right on through to the end.  
And the author even included an excerpt of book 2!  (see below)

When Shelby our main character is literally left at the alter by the smuck Donald who was also her boss.  She resigns her job via text message.  Not wasting any time she applies for a position at 
Shady Acres and starts a new life as gardener and activities directer at the senior community. 

Shelby is just delightful.  From the cute dresses and gardening boots and gloves to just her sweet spirit.  She is just super sweet. 

Before she has a chance to settle in her vivacious Granny Ida decides to move in too.  Which happens to be a good thing. 
Granny Ida helps Shelby get past the Donald fiasco and betrayal. 
Granny Ida has a lot to say about Donald. 

And when they meet the handsome handyman Heath Granny Ida let's Shelby know she needs to get past Donald and move on . . . 
Oh, pooh. Donald was nothing more than a trial run that went bad. He was a rusty old Chevy. Heath is a Mercedes.”  Ida is charming and witty.  (I had a chance to interview her and ask a few questions.  See below.)

Along with Granny and Donald Shelby is helped to investigate a murder with her best friend Cheryl.  

There is no shortage of interesting characters from Birdie who 
asks Shelby to find out who murdered her friend.  To Alice the community manager might be bi-polar and is the police detectives niece.  

Granny Ida wastes no time getting romantically involved with 
'Teddy' the detective. 

For this reader Beware The Orchids is a 5 star start to a new series. 

 I enjoyed the plot and the characters. I am anxiously waiting to see whats in store in the next installment.  

I received a complimentary copy from Great Escapes Tours.
This review will appear on retail sites where available.
This review will appear on Good Reads.

Character interview
Hello Grand Ma Ida.  May I call you Ida? Oh, please do. I'm not one of those formal people

I am delighted to have you visit the blog.   Have you ever visited a blog before? I don't think so. What's a blog?

Oh well a blog is a kind of  personal journal on the internet for some.  For others is a place 
to chat about books. 

I am sure your settling into your cottage at Shady Acres.  How is 13 working out
for you?  Some people might be a little cautious. I feel I'm a bit reckless and the bane of my grandaughter, Shelby. I don't mind the number 13. It's only a number.

How was your first night.  I cannot imagine finding a body the day your moving in! Well, I must say I didn't sleep a wink! I spent most of it on the phone with Teddy.

I know that you are so happy to be close to Shelby especially since she is
still getting over that rascal that left her at the alter.  What nerve!  

I bet you have quite a bit to say about him!   Nothing a lady can say in polite company. Shelby is well rid of him.

Enough of all that drama let’s talk about that cute handyman Heath. 
I know that there is a bit of a twinkle in Shelby’s eye.   Do you have any plans
to do a little matchmaking? I'm always trying to match somebody up with somebody. Life is too short to spend it alone and Heath is a darling! Don't you think he looks like Chris Hemsworth?

Speaking of romance and matchmaking.  Other than Heath do you have
Your sites set on anyone at Shady Acres? Oh, that retired cop, Teddy. He reminds me of Ted Danson. What a hottie!

Shelby does have some interesting ideas for Bingo prizes.  How
was that first Bingo game? Rather boring. All Shelby cared about was finding a suspect. I had hoped she would to provide some excitement.

You seem to be a great sleuth.  Have you had any other experience investigating? Does reading mysteries and watching BBC mystery shows count?

How about a fun question.  You’ve found a handsome beau and your
going out on a ‘hot date’.  What are you going to wear? Leopard print leggings and a flowing black shirt. Don't forget the stilettos!

What is your favorite perfume? Elizabeth Taylor. I think her scent is timeless. The perfume, not her.

What cologne would he be wearing?

Oh you mean you do have a date tonight?   A girl like me doesn't let the moss grow, sweetheart

Well I won’t keep you.  Promise you’ll stop in again and tell all!  You just let me know when


Available
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron-Book Review-Author Interview

About the book (provided by Great Escapes Tours)
Maggie Crozat is back home in bayou country during the most magical time of the year. In Pelican, Louisiana, Christmastime is a season of giant bonfires on the levee, zydeco carols, and pots of gumbo. Except, this year, the Grinch has come to stay at the family-run Crozat Plantation B&B. When he floods travel websites with vicious reviews, Maggie thinks she’s identified him as rival businessman Donald Baxter. That is, until he’s found stabbed to death at Maggie’s workplace. And Maggie and her loved ones become top suspects.
The Crozats quickly establish alibis, but Maggie’s boyfriend, Detective Bo Durand, remains under suspicion. With Bo sidelined during the investigation, Maggie finds herself forced to work with an unlikely ally: longtime family enemy Rufus Durand. Her sleuthing uncovers more suspects than drummers drumming, and lands her in the crosshairs of the murderer.
The sleigh bells are jingling, and the clock is ticking for Maggie and Rufus, who must catch the killer or it will be the opposite of a Joyeux Noël in A Cajun Christmas Killing, the recipe-stuffed third installment of USA Today bestselling author Ellen Byron’s Cajun Country mysteries.
And I thought
The fun town of Pelican, Lousiana is not far from New Orleans and is filled with a variety of characters!  Get ready for a fun
and lively ride with the upper crust of Lousiana and just some good 'ole folks.

A Cajun Christmas Killing is book 3 in the series.  I didn't feel
like I missed anything starting with book 3 of the series.

All the characters were seamlessly woven into the plot.  I enjoyed 
all the characters.  Well most of them.  Poor Maggie and her co-workers at the Doucet Plantation had to deal with the new high strung director.

The main character Maggie short for Magnolia now that's a cool name!  Maggie was liked and loved by everyone. Her family and friends were all happy to have her home.  Having recently returned after a bad 'break up'. 

 I loved her too.  She was sweet and kind and stood up for her family, friends and loved ones.  

Maggie even stood up for the underdog; and a couple of the suspects as well.  

A Cajun Christmas Killing takes place in a delightful town filled with fun engaging people.  Like the dance studio owner Sandy who
is just working hard to make something of herself and her business and escape her past.  She gets caught up in the crime and drama when her poor little dog is kidnapped.  Everyone gets together to help find the pup.  

But of course it's Maggie and her dog that save the day.

Did you notice the cover?  I would have read this one just because of that cover! 

When Maggie's detective boyfriend Bo (can you picture Bo) ends up on the suspect list he gets stuck on a desk job.  It's not long 
before Maggie and Bo's cousin manage to clear him and he's back to helping solve the murder(s).  Yes one murder turns to two. 
And even Maggie ends up in a couple of frightening situations before it's all over with!  

I enjoyed my introduction to Ellen Byron and this series.
I look forward to reading many more.

If your a fun of Cozy Mysteries this is one you'll definitely want 
to pick up!  It's fast paced and just a good read.  

I received a complimentary copy from Great Escape Tours.
This review will appear all retail sites where book is available.
This review will appear on Net Galley and Good Reads.

Available

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Interview with the author 
Hello Ellen    Welcome to the blog.  I appreciate you dropping in. 

Do you have any little guilty pleasures that you indulge in when you writing?
Yes, I check Facebook far too often! It’s a total wormhole that I fall into and then have to extricate myself from. I also check a variety of other sites, as well as my email. I try to convince myself that it’s all work-related in terms of engaging and marketing. But really… it’s an indulgence.

I’m curious.  I am a neighbor in Texas.  If you could write anywhere in the U.S. where would you go?
Oh, southern Louisiana, absolutely. My dream is to live there at least four months a year. My husband hates the humidity so he’s ruled out the summer months.

I was surprised to read in your bio that you don’t live in Cajun country.
How did you come up with the series and location?
 I attended Tulane University in New Orleans. When my parents visited, we’d rent a car and tootle around Cajun Country. I became fascinated by the area, and explored it many times on my own post-college. Initially, I set plays in the region and created Cajun characters. That eventually morphed into the series.

Do you see Maggie doing any traveling?  Maybe a trip to New York?
Not at the moment, although New York comes to her in A CAJUN CHRISTMAS KILLING. You’ll see…  And she, Bo, and Gran’ go to New Orleans to search for clues. Since this book takes place around Christmas, I got describe the holiday season in NOLA, which was great fun.

My series is so inspired by the setting that it would be hard to send Maggie somewhere else for any period of time. I think that’s true of many mystery series. I adore Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series and have reveled in every book. She made the bold move of setting A Beautiful Mystery solely at a monk’s retreat. It was a great book, but I did miss the bucolic village of Three Pines.

If you were to begin a new series featuring one of the cast who would you choose and why? OMG, you read my mind! I’ve already come up with a spin-off in my head featuring… criminal defense lawyer Quentin MacIlhoney and his wife Vanessa. I love writing him so much, and I think they’re fun together. In my pitch, his fireplug of a mother-in-law, Tookie Fleer, moves into their guesthouse, so in an effort to avoid her, he spends his free time out of the house working to uncover the real killers in a mystery so he can get his wrongly accused clients off the hook.

What scene in the book do you like most? 
I LOVE when Maggie, Gran’ and Bo go to New Orleans, and Maggie and Gran’ must put up with the annoying elitism of a wealthy Garden District family.

What scene in the book was the easiest to write? Hardest?
 I think the scene I described above was the easiest. The hardest was the wrap-up scene. You want to share valuable and important info, but not make the reveal of it a total bore.

Since A Cajun Christmas Killing is book 3 in the series do you recommend reading books 1 and 2 first?
 Honestly, I write the books so you can come in at any point in the series. There’s the “mystery of the week” as we say in television, and then the arcs of the main characters. But I share enough backstory so that readers aren’t totally in the dark re: the developing relationships. Still, my hope is that even if you didn’t start with them, you’ll want to go back and read books one and two.

I love the covers of all three books in the series how much involvement do you have in the development of the covers?
 I’m so glad you like them! Generally I see a sketch first, at which point I give my ideas re: the overall focus of the cover. Then I see a rough color rendering, and I may give some notes. For example, with this cover I wanted an element of suspense on it. After the initial artwork, my agent had the idea of adding ominous ornaments to the Christmas tree on the porch, which I loved. So the cover designers added that. I have some very specific thoughts re: the cover design for the fourth book in the series, MARDI GRAS MURDER, and I’ve already shared them with Crooked Lane.

It was such fun chatting.  I appreciate you taking the time to
come over and visit!  
It was fun being here! Thanks for having me.

I hope you have a wonderful tour!  Best Wishes!

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Gone with the Wings A Meera Patell Mystery-Book Review/Interview

About the book 
Author Leena Clover announces a brand new cozy mystery series set in a small Oklahoma college town. Mystery readers will enjoy this culinary cozy murder mystery featuring plenty of yummy recipes like Masala Fried Chicken and Shish Kabob Blue Plate Special.

Meera Patel is back home with the family after she dropped out of graduate school. Now she shelves books for a living and rustles up fusion recipes at Sylvie’s Cafe & Diner. Everything is fine until her old nemesis Prudence Walker floats up in the local pond. Meera is accused of murder! Well, she did publicly declare Prudence would drop dead.
Meera cries foul and screams police harassment. But she has no defense when she is accused of a second crime. Flanked by pals Tony and Becky, Meera puts in the leg work, trying to solve clues and discard red herrings.
Fall in Oklahoma has never been more exciting.
Cozy mystery fans will love this new mystery series featuring an Asian American amateur sleuth. There is a full cast of characters with a professor father, young sibling, old grandparents, loyal friends and a candid glimpse into South Asian culture.
And I thought
A fun start to a new series.  I always like it when I get into a new series. 

Gone With The Wings is a nice clean Cozy read. 
No language.  No bedroom scenes.  Just good reading. 

Meera Patell and her pals are entertaining and provide the reader with a look into a loving and close knit family.  
When Meera becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a collegue (who happens to have a crush on Meera's father) she 
recruites her friends and family to help her investigate. 
Before much investigating can happen the police's prime witness turns up missing after having a heated discussion with Meera. 
The story revolves around Meera's search for other suspects and for Jyothi the suspect who turns up missing. 
Meera's family is a close knit group that does 'life' together. 
There is always an event or group dinner with lots of good food. 

Gone With The Wings was a fun introduction to a new series. 

I enjoyed the characters.  (See my character interview below.)

I received a complimentary copy from Great Escapes Tours.
This review will appear on all retail sites where available.
This review will appear on Good Reads and Net Galley.


Interview
Character Interview with Anthony Sinclair aka Tony

Good morning Tony.  Thanks for stopping by the blog before you work shift.
No problem, Sherry. I worked some magic so the gas station is taken care of while we chat. Appreciate you having me over.

Do you mind if we chat a little about Meera and the adventures there in  your neck of the woods in Ohlahoma.
Not at all. Go for it.

For some reason I was thinking that maybe you were related doesn’t Meera refer to your mom as her aunt?
Oh that? (chuckles) That’s a culture thing. We’re not really related. Not by a long shot. Now how can I explain? It’s common to address older people as ‘Uncle’ or ‘Aunt’ in India. Most people are familiar with Dennis the Menace. If Dennis were a kid in India, he would typically address George Wilson as ‘Uncle’, rather than ‘Mr. Wilson.’
Our family’s relations with the Patels go deeper than that, of course. My mom was friends with Meera’s Dad first and then with her mom too. They were as close as siblings. So Meera calls my mother Aunt Reema. My mom is like a daughter to the older Patels. So they are like my grandparents by extension.
All said, I don’t share any blood with Meera. No Ma’am!

So what if I might ask is the relationship between you guys?
We’re friends. Best buds. Really good friends.

So you’ve know each a long time?
Since we were tiny tots. I don’t remember a time when Meera wasn’t part of my life.

So would have imagined that Meera had such a talent for sleuthing?

Certainly not for finding dead bodies! Meera’s always been sharp as a tack. She’s good at all the analytical stuff. She’s so much sharper than me. She’s always a couple of moves ahead of ya. Know what I mean?

You seem to always be ready to jump in and help when there is adventure or a need for investigating.
Oh yeah…why not? Running a gas station can get pretty boring. And Swan Creek’s not exactly hopping like a big city. 

Are you just around to keep Meera and everyone out of trouble or do you have a little hidden longing to be a P.I maybe?
I’m along for the ride. And Meera needs someone to watch her back. The P.I stuff is too new to comment on. It’s more Meera’s thing, I guess.

So without giving away the story did you have a clue as to what really happened to Prudence?
No way. Who would’ve thunk, hunh?

Ya’ll sure do spend a lot of time eating together.  Do you have a favorite dish you are hoping is being served when you arrive for a meal or snack?
Oh yeah, I can eat! You can’t live in the South and not like food. And you can’t live in a town that has Sylvie’s Diner and not like food. I’m loving all the fusion recipes Meera’s cooking up. Her Masala Fried Chicken is my favorite. And those kabobs! Wait till you taste her lamb curry or samosas.

So I know you must have some hobby or sports your into. (All guys do) what Keeps you busy when your not working or hanging out with pal’s?
I went to college on a football scholarship. Then I busted my knee. Then a whole lot of other bad stuff happened. The gas station and my pals is all I have going on right now. 

Well I know it is getting late and your due at work.
Thanks so much for stopping in.  It was a lot of fun to chat.

Drop by anytime maybe you can bring Meera next time!
Thanks Sherry. This was fun. Wait till I tell Meera about this.


Available
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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Book Spotlight--Once in a Lifetime by Kathryn R. Biel

Once in a Lifetime
I have not read this book.  This is a spotlight for the tour at Lola's Blog Tours

About the book
Ten years ago, the Sassy Cats were at the top of the charts until Callie Smalls walked away to pursue her career in fashion and television. The other four members—Angie, Tabitha, Mandy, and Daphne—were left to fend for themselves and continue on with their lives.
That is, until the day when Callie decides to book a gig for the group at a major music festival, without talking to her former band mates. Scattered across the country, at different points in life, can they rekindle the magic in the music?
A soccer mom who’s husband doesn’t know about her past. A fading star, sacrificing all to stay in the spotlight just one second more. A party girl, challenged with her most important role yet. A tiger mom, fighting for her son. A desperate woman, unhappy and alone.
A lot can change in the course of a decade. Will it be harmony or hatred for the Sassy Cats?

Available
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– Barnes & Noble
– Kobo
– iTunes
About the author 
Telling stories of resilient women, Kathryn R. Biel hails from Upstate New York where her most important role is being mom and wife to an incredibly understanding family who don’t mind fetching coffee and living in a dusty house. In addition to being Chief Home Officer and Director of Child Development of the Biel household, she works as a school-based physical therapist. She attended Boston University and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The Sage Colleges. After years of writing countless letters of medical necessity for wheelchairs, finding increasingly creative ways to encourage insurance companies to fund her client’s needs, and writing entertaining annual Christmas letters, she decided to take a shot at writing the kind of novel that she likes to read. Kathryn is the author of ten women’s fiction, romantic comedy, contemporary romance, and chick lit works, including Live for This and Made for Me. Please follow Kathryn on her website, www.kathrynrbiel.com and sign up for her newsletter at bit.ly/KRBNews.
You can find and contact Kathryn here:
– Website
– Facebook
– Twitter
– Goodreads
– Instagram
– Newsletter
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Monday, September 18, 2017

Book Review, Excerpt /Giveaway-Neespaugot by John Magglebee-

Neespaugot: Legend of the Indian's Coin by John Mugglebee   
About the book (provided by Virtual Author Book Tours)

Neespaugot: Legend of the Indian’s Coin by John Mugglebee

Publisher: Brandt Street Press (May 29, 2017)
Category: Historical Fiction, Native American Fiction, African American Fiction
Tour dates: Sept-Oct, 2017
ISBN: 978-0974260792
Available in Print & ebook, 378 pages
Neespaugot
Melba Blue Jay, sixteen, scrambling up a snow-filled mountain path, her knife at a child’s throat. Archie Chung at the helm of the South Pacific Belle, foremast snapped like a toothpick, barreling toward a coral reef. Spindly Lydia Freeman, skin the color of dark ale, feeding tea made of birch bark to an Irish murderess. Zeke Roxxmott teetering at three hundred feet on the five-inch ledge of his penthouse, bent on a flawless destruction.
Adventurers, inextricably linked by a bloodline… and an Indian’s coin.
Where history and imagination meet!
John Mugglebee’s Neespaugot is based on the real-life exploits of his own ancestors.  A sweeping historical saga of his Native American, African American, Scots-Irish, Chinese, Russian Jewish family, it spans three centuries with adventures that keep you turning page after page.  You’ll fall in love with these characters, who stay with you long after you’ve put the book down.

Read an excerpt
The Captain paced nervously in the parlor window, a watchful eye on Franklin Street, as he made repetitive glances at his pocket watch. She’s late, he thought to himself. No, she isn’t, you old fool. Stop second-guessing yourself! But a faith healer, of all things? With my own son a Harvard-educated physician. What was I thinking? I’m a practical man, for God’s sake! A man of rules and regulations. I have led men into battle on the high seas. I must’ve been mad to agree to such hocus-pocus. You’re not mad, you worn-out boot, you’re in pain. The acute headaches. You’d try anything that didn’t involve bleeding.
He watched a two-horse cabriolet clop to the curb. The coachman shouted “Whoa!” and climbed down as the horses shuddered and shat. Franklin Street began in town, between the Old Port and Grover Wharf, but made a soaring rise up Sentinel Hill from sea level to Revolutionary Park, a two-hundred-foot elevation gain in one hundred yards. The coachman naturally had some difficulty securing his livery before opening the coach door for his passenger. A young, spindly mulatto woman the color of dark ale stepped down. Her hair was shorn like a sheep’s wool, with only a thin tuft of black winkles on her head. She wore a purple robe, like some kind of Gospel singer, and looked barely twenty years old. The Captain decided she was much too young to be of any good to him and caned outside to the stoop.
“Coachman,” he called to the driver. “There’s been a mistake. Take this young lady back to where you fetched her.”
The passenger ignored the Captain’s directive and sent the driver on his way. Then, the brazen moll came up the walk and hailed him like an old friend. “Hullo, Captain George!” On the stoop, she grabbed his hand and shook it forcefully. “I’m Lydia Freeman, sir, and I mean to get you well.”
Polite but firm, he disengaged his hand. “Well, Miss Freeman, you heard what I told the driver. I’m no longer interested in this mumbo jumbo.”
Playfully, the mulatto popped open her large bag and began rummaging around inside. “Good news, Captain,” she said. “Seems I’m fresh out of mumbo jumbo today.”
“Are you mocking me, young lady?”
“Only funning you, sir. I believe that amusement is the best medicine. And rest assured, Captain, there’ll be no bleeding.”
He was dumbstruck. “How did y…? Who have you been talking to about me?”
“Just you, Captain. Your scalp rash and age tell me everything I need to know about what’s ailing you. I’ll bet you’re having headaches.”
“Why, yes—”
“Any doctor worth his salt would diagnose arthritis and prescribe bleeding. Except you’d sooner be shot than bled, am I right?” She winked, knowing the answer already. “I read up on you, Captain. Fifty years ago you almost bled to death at sea, the famous fire fight at Flamborough Head. ‘Surrender? I have only begun to fight!’” she said, her voice dropping comically. “What did your son have to say about it, sir?”
“You really have been studying up on me, miss.”
“Call me Lydia, Captain. You’ve had words, I suppose, the two of you?”
“Every blasted conversation with George Jr. ends up in the shoals. The last time we spoke, he warned me that my stubbornness would cost me my eyesight. Is that true?”

“Stubbornness causes grief, not blindness, Captain. You know, we can do this here on the stoop or perhaps I can come in…”
About the author Neespaugot: Legend of the Indian's Coin by John Mugglebee
John Mugglebee is a racial and ethnic jigsaw puzzle. His heritage, in chronological order, includes Native American, African American, Scots-Irish, Chinese and Russian Jew. John has said there were two major factors that shaped him as a person and a writer. One was “Being colored but not knowing which color.”
The other was upheaval. Born in Massachusetts, at age eleven he was uprooted to Southern California in the midst of the ’60s race riots. Growing up, John was told family stories that had been passed down for generations.  Neespaugot is loosely based on those stories.
He currently lives in the South of France, where he heads a language laboratory for French Civil Aviation. John graduated from Dartmouth and earned a master’s in creative writing from Colorado State University. His previous novel, Renaissance in Provence, was published in 2004.
Available 
And I thought . . .Not the kind of book I normally read so I wasn't real sure what to expect.  However I was intrigued and not disappointed. 
The plot/story ending up very interesting and will keep the 
reader involved all the way to the end. 
It was an interesting book to read. 
   
The weaving or races and cultures causes the to think. 
I recommend anyone to check it out. 

I received a complimentary copy from Teddy Rose and Virtual Author Book Tours.
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Neespaugot: Legend of the Indian's Coin by John Mugglebee
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