Thursday, February 23, 2017

Review: Elementary, She Read (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #1) by Vicki Delany







  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (March 14 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01MT6H7O1

Book Description

 Gemma Doyle, a transplanted Englishwoman, has returned to the quaint town of West London on Cape Cod to manage her Great Uncle Arthur's Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium. The shop--located at 222 Baker Street--specializes in the Holmes canon and pastiche, and is also the home of Moriarty the cat. When Gemma finds a rare and potentially valuable magazine containing the first Sherlock Homes story hidden in the bookshop, she and her friend Jayne (who runs the adjoining Mrs. Hudson's Tea Room) set off to find the owner, only to stumble upon a dead body.

The highly perceptive Gemma is the police’s first suspect, so she puts her consummate powers of deduction to work to clear her name, investigating a handsome rare books expert, the dead woman's suspiciously unmoved son, and a whole family of greedy characters desperate to cash in on their inheritance. But when Gemma and Jayne accidentally place themselves at a second murder scene, it's a race to uncover the truth before the detectives lock them up for good.

Fans of Sherlock Holmes will delight in the sleuthing duo of Gemma and Jayne in Elementary, She Read, the clever and captivating series debut by nationally bestselling author Vicki Delany.


Praise forElementary, She Read:
 
Vicki Delany'sElementary, She Read is an absolute delight. A perplexing mystery with a refreshingly intelligent and witty amateur sleuth, I enjoyed every well-crafted word of this Sherlock Holmes infused tale. A must read for lovers of all things Sherlock Holmes."
-Jenn McKinlay,NYT andUSA Today bestselling author ofBetter Late Than Never

"Vicki Delany is one of my favorite mystery authors and with Elementary, She Read, she has outdone herself. This first book in her intriguing new series features Gemma Doyle, a wonderfully appealing protagonist who runs the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, where delightfully quirky characters and fascinating old books flourish. I loved everything about this story! The Cape Cod setting was enchanting and the intricate mystery kept me turning pages late into the night. Easily one of the best new mystery series on the market."
-Kate Carlisle,New York Times bestselling author of the Fixer-Upper mysteries and the Bibliophile mysteries

"Elementary, She Read is a delight, fast, fun, and full of Sherlockian lore. Cheers for a charming, intelligent heroine as observant as The Great Detective himself."
- Carolyn Hart,New York Times bestselling author ofWalking on My Grave

"Thoroughly delightful. I defy anyone to read this book and not fall in love with the uber-observant Gemma Doyle. She may or may not be related to Sherlock Holmes' creator, but she's certainly kin to his most famous detective. The best new cozy series of the year."
- Laura DiSilverio, bestselling author of the Readaholics Book Club Mysteries and the award-winningThe Reckoning Stones

About the Author

 “It’s a crime not to read Delany,” so says the London Free Press.

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most varied and prolific crime writers.

She is the author of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series from Crooked Lane and the Year Round Christmas series from Penguin. Under the pen name of Eva Gates she writes the Lighthouse Library Series.
Visit Vicki at www.vickidelany.com , www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor, and twitter: @vickidelany

She blogs about the writing life at One Woman Crime Wave (http://klondikeandtrafalgar.blogspot.com)

Visit Vicki at www.vickidelany.com



My Review

 Elementary, She Read is the first A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery by Vicki Delany. This is the first book in this series but I have read many other books by Delany and enjoyed them all.

I thoroughly enjoyed Elementary, She Read. While I am not a big Sherlock Holmes fan, that did not matter at all to my enjoyment of this book. I loved the small town setting of West London on Cape Cod. It was very well written. That is always a pleasure when reading a cozy mystery.

The mystery itself was fascinating. There were lots of twists and turns and I didn't really suspect the actual murderer until close to the end. Gemma is initially pegged as being a suspect by the female detective in charge of the case so Gemma ensures that she stays on top of the mysterious goings on. Everyone is after a rare magazine that Gemma discovers in her shop, Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium.

While the story progressed, we learned a little bit about Gemma...she is divorced, she is from England and she left England mysteriously. I am sure we will find out more as this great new series progresses.

Mystery fans will enjoy Elementary, She Read. Highly recommend.

Review: The Day I Died: A Novel by Lori Rader-Day



  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (April 11 2017)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01IMYMFDA

Book Description

 From the award-winning author of Little Pretty Things comes this gripping, unforgettable tale of a mother's desperate search for a lost boy.

Anna Winger can know people better than they know themselves with only a glance—at their handwriting. Hired out by companies wanting to land trustworthy employees and by the lovelorn hoping to find happiness, Anna likes to keep the real-life mess of other people at arm’s length and on paper. But when she is called to use her expertise on a note left behind at a murder scene in the small town she and her son have recently moved to, the crime gets under Anna’s skin and rips open her narrow life for all to see. To save her son—and herself—once and for all, Anna will face her every fear, her every mistake, and the past she thought she'd rewritten.


About the Author

 Lori Rader-Day, author of The Day I Died (forthcoming 2017), The Black Hour, and Little Pretty Things, is the recipient of the 2016 Mary Higgins Clark Award and the 2015 Anthony Award for Best First Novel. Lori’s short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Good Housekeeping, and others. She lives in Chicago, where she teaches mystery writing at StoryStudio Chicago and is the president of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest Chapter. Visit her at LoriRaderDay.com.

My Review

 The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day is the first book that I have read by this author.  I had heard good things about Pretty Little Things so I was eager to read The Day I Died.

Lori Rader-Day is a wonderful writer. Her words really brought The Day I Died to life. It was a very interesting story. Anna Winger is a handwriting expert. As an expert, she is called in by the police in the small town she has recently moved to, in order to help with analyzing a note left at the murder scene. A young woman has been murdered and the toddler she was caring for is missing. Everyone suspects the mother.

As the tale unfolds we quickly learn that Anna has many secrets of her own. Her new life intersects with her old with life changing results. This is a beautifully written tale filled with twists. It was hard to put down.

Highly recommend The Day I Died.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Shannon Popkin's 'Control Girl' Blog Tour and Prize Pack Giveaway

Are you trying to stay in control of your quest for peace, joy, and security . . . and you're exhausted? Shannon Popkin's debut book, Control Girl, is a must-read for anyone with a heart that craves control. Join Shannon as she shares what she has discovered about her own control struggles and about God from studying seven Control Girls in the Bible. Whether it was Eve's desire to know instead of trust, Sarah's inability to wait for God to move, or Rebekah's controlling hand on her family's future, each of these women's stories contain warnings and lessons for us today.

Learn how to give up control to God and become a Jesus girl! Enter to win a prize pack that will help you give up your Control Girl tendencies.


One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on February 21. The winner will be announced February 22 on Shannon's blog.






Book Description



Little fights with your husband and kids. Unhappiness when things don't match your version of perfect. Tension, anger, fear--it all begins with a heart that craves control. When your vision of how life should be replaces God's vision, you doom your quest for security, peace, and joy before it even starts. Thankfully, there is a better way.

Join Shannon as she shares what she has discovered about her own control struggles and about God from studying Control Girls in the Bible. Learn how you too can lay down this burden and find rest in surrendering to the One who truly is in control.

"In this funny, tender, and truth-telling book, Shannon Popkin peels back the layers of our control problem."
--Erin Davis, author, blogger, and recovering Control Girl

"In the style of Liz Curtis Higgs, Control Girl is an easy and entertaining read, yet Shannon Popkin packs a punch where we so need it if we are to be set free from the stressful habit that robs our joy and ruins our relationships!"
--Dee Brestin, author of Idol Lies

"With personal vulnerability, biblical depth, powerful personal illustrations, and pointed application questions, Shannon Popkin reveals how seven women of the Bible can teach us how to surrender our will to God's design for our future."
--Carol Kent, speaker and author of Becoming a Woman of Influence

"Control Girl is a penetrating look at how selfishness and self-protectiveness wreck lives--and why surrender and trust are God's life-giving pathways to true freedom and joy."
--Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author and Revive Our Hearts teacher and host


About the Author



Shannon Popkin is a writer, speaker and Bible teacher who loves pointing others to the truth of God’s word. She combines her gifts for humor and storytelling with her passion for Jesus. She regularly speaks at Christian ladies’ events, retreats and moms’ groups — encouraging women of all ages to put their hope in God. 

Popkin is also a regular contributor for the Revive Our Hearts’ True Woman blog and The Dove Foundation’s parenting blog. Her articles have been published by Family Fun, Focus on the Family Magazine, MOMsense and others. 

Popkin has been married to her husband, Ken, for more than 20 years. Together they live the fast-paced life of parenting three teens in Michigan. When she’s not taking pictures from the sidelines of her kids’ sporting events, Popkin loves to be home, opening her front door to friends and family.

Connect with Shannon Popkin by visiting www.shannonpopkin.com, following her on Facebook (shanpopkin) or following her via Twitter (@ShannonPopkin).


My Review

Shannon Popkin's book Control Girl came into my life at the right time. I have always been one who likes to control every situation. I have anxiety and have been looking for ways to help with it. Control Girl is divided into nine sections that would be perfect for an organized bible study. Popkin utilizes women from the bible such as Sarah, Hagar and Rachel to help us understand our anxiety and control issues. Popkin also uses humor which is very refreshing. I appreciate this book so much right now. Highly recommend.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Review: The Valentine Quest (Love at the Chocolate Shop #5) by Melissa McClone



  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1314 KB
  • Print Length: 204 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Tule Publishing (Feb. 2 2017)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01N3MPTH7
Book Description

 Keep your competition close…and your heart even closer.

When Nevada Parker travels to Marietta, Montana, she anticipates enough peace and quiet to finish her PhD dissertation. Cupidville turns out to be anything but quiet. In fact, it looks like Valentine’s Day—her least favorite holiday—exploded all over the small town.

Among the sea of red hearts, “Be Mine” signs, and pink, pink, pink, Nevada spots a flyer for a multi-day race called The Valentine Quest. The grand prize—a luxury tropical vacation—would be the perfect welcome-home gift for her brother who’s leaving the military.

Dustin Decker sure could use a break from giving city slickers sleigh rides—and from the now ex-girlfriend who issued an ultimatum. Even with a bum knee from his bull riding days, the race’s grand prize is as good as his—until he realizes he needs a partner for some of the more complicated tasks.

He makes a strategic pact with the prim, bookish Nevada. But with a kiss, their unlikely alliance turns into something more…and soon racing isn’t the only thing on their minds. As the finish line nears, they must decide if the grand prize is worth more than what they’ve found together…or if one of them will walk away empty handed—and broken hearted.


The Love at the Chocolate Shop series
 
Book 1: Melt My Heart, Cowboy by CJ Carmichael
Book 2: A Thankful Heart by Melissa McClone
Book 3: Montana Secret Santa by Debra Salonen
Book 4: The Chocolate Cure by Roxanne Snopek
Book 5: The Valentine Quest by Melissa McClone
Book 6: Charmed by Chocolate by Steena Holmes
More books coming soon


About the Author

 I live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, two daughters, son, dog and too many cats! I write "sweeter" contemporary romance novels for Harlequin and Tule Publishing.




My Review

 The Valentine Quest is the fifth book in the Love at the Chocolate Shop series. This book is written by author Melissa McClone who also wrote the second book in the series, A Thankful Heart. The star of The Valentine Quest, Nevada, is the sister of the star of A Thankful Heart, Dakota. Dakota was the animal rescuer. Nevada is a grad student in New York currently staying with her sister and working on her dissertation and teaching in Bozeman at the university there.

Nevada decides to enter The Valentine Quest to win a vacation for her brother who is retiring from the army. She is going to do it alone but then decides to team up with former bull rider Dustin Decker. Neither of them are looking for a relationship but hey it's Valentine's Day...what do you think is going to happen?

The Valentine Quest is a wonderful addition to this series. I enjoy McClone's writing style and I found the story to be both believable and enchanting. I loved the quest itself..it fits perfectly with the town and with this series. I liked both of the main characters and was rooting for both of them. I loved the ending.

Highly recommend The Valentine Quest for anyone looking for a well written and touching romance. Give it to your best friend for Valentine's Day. They'll love it!






Review: Jesus Calling Adult Coloring Book: Creative Coloring & Hand Lettering by Sarah Young



  • Series: Coloring Faith
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Clr Csm edition (February 7, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718091264
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718091262

Book Description


Enjoy peace in the presence of the Savior as you relax and reflect on the words of Jesus Calling® through this gorgeous new Jesus Calling® Creative Coloring & Hand Lettering. Favorite Jesus Calling quotes and scriptures are selected to hand letter—with a tutorial in the front of the book and faint guidelines on each lettering page—alongside 100 beautifully detailed coloring pages.
Book includes quotes from Jesus Calling, 100 pages of intricate coloring designs, a tutorial and templates to learn basic hand lettering, and perforated pages.

In addition to the beautiful, intricate adult coloring book art, enjoy learning the art of hand lettering with a simple guided tutorial and templates for hand lettering throughout the book.

In the same way that the bestselling devotional offers a moment of peace during your busy day, so this new coloring book will remind you of His still, quiet voice in the midst of a bustling world.


About the Author




Sarah Young, the author of the new 365-day devotional Jesus Always and bestselling Jesus Calling®, has sold more than 20 million books worldwide. Jesus Calling® has appeared on all major bestseller lists. Sarah’s writings include Jesus Calling®, Jesus Today™, Jesus Lives™, Dear Jesus, Jesus Calling® for Little Ones, Jesus Calling® Bible Storybook, Jesus Calling®: 365 Devotions for Kids, and Peace in His Presence—each encouraging readers in their journey toward intimacy with Christ. Sarah and her husband were missionaries in Japan and Australia for many years. They currently live in the United States.


My Review

 Jesus Calling Adult Coloring Book: Creative Coloring & Hand Lettering by Sarah Young is the latest addition to the world of adult coloring books.

So if you were choosing between the hundreds of coloring books out there, why would you choose this particular coloring book? In the first place, Sarah Young authored a beautiful devotional titled Jesus Calling. This coloring book takes quotes from the devotional and illustrates them. Now these quotes can be traced using tracing paper and the user of the book can do hand lettering. This book can also be used a coloring book. It is a great stress reliever to color or so I am told. That brings us to the illustrations.

The illustrations in the Jesus Calling Adult Coloring Book are exquisite. There are beautiful drawings of birds and flowers on every page. It would take hours to color each one. There are more than 100 of these beautiful drawings in the book. The pages are made of a heavy stock and the pages are perforated so that they can be removed.

As you are coloring in the Jesus Calling Adult Coloring Book, you will be able to experience a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ as you concentrate one the devotional quotes and bible verses.

I highly recommend this beautiful coloring book. Be sure to pick up a copy of the Jesus Calling Adult Coloring Book.





Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Review: The Nowhere Man (Evan Smoak #2) by Gregg Hurwitz




  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1278 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250067855
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (Jan. 17 2017)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01HMNETJA
  • Text-to-Speech:


Book Description

Evan Smoak, the Nowhere Man, returns in the sequel to the breakout national bestseller Orphan X.

Spoken about only in whispers, it is said that when the Nowhere Man is reached by the truly desperate, he can and will do anything to save them.

Evan Smoak is the Nowhere Man.

Taken from a group home at twelve, Evan was raised and trained as part of the Orphan program, an off-the-books operation designed to create deniable intelligence assets—i.e. assassins. Evan was Orphan X. He broke with the program, using everything he learned to disappear and reinvent himself as the Nowhere Man. But the new head of the Orphan program hasn’t forgotten about him and is using all of his assets—including the remaining Orphans—to track down and eliminate Smoak.

But this time, the attack comes from a different angle and Evan is caught unaware. Captured, drugged, and spirited off to a remote location, heavily guarded from all approaches. They think they have him trapped and helpless in a virtual cage but they don’t know who they’re dealing with—that they’ve trapped themselves inside that cage with one of the deadliest and most resourceful Orphans.

Continuing his electrifying series featuring Evan Smoak, Gregg Hurwitz delivers a blistering, compelling new novel in the series launched with the breakout national bestseller, Orphan X.


***************


ORPHAN X is the most gripping, high-octane thriller I've read in a long, long time. Hang onto your seat because Gregg Hurwitz will take you on a dizzying ride you'll not soon forget! Tess Gerritsen
Exciting and mind blowing! A perfect mix of Jason Bourne and Jack Reacher, ex operative Evan Smoak turns on the action and shows off all the right moves as he sets out to help the downtrodden, and perhaps save his own humanity along the way. Lisa Gardner

This thriller [is] top-notch.... Turn off the real world and dive into this amazing start to a new series. Associated Press

The most exciting thriller I ve read since The Bourne Identity. Fans of Jack Reacher, Mitch Rapp, and Jason Bourne will LOVE Evan Smoak, and the deadly, secret world of the Orphan Program. A new thriller superstar is born! Robert Crais

Orphan X blows the doors off most thrillers I ve read and catapults the reader on a cat-and-mouse chase that feels like a missile launch. Read this book. You will thank me later. David Baldacci


***********


Book Excerpt

http://us.macmillan.com/excerpt?isbn=9781250067852&utm_source=exacttarget&utm_medium=genrealert&utm_term=na-macmystery0117eman&utm_content=na-read-onlineexcerpt&utm_campaign=Mystery

About the Author

AKA Gregg Andrew Hurwitz

Gregg Hurwitz is the critically acclaimed, New York Times and internationally bestselling author of 17 novels, most recently ORPHAN X and THE NOWHERE MAN. His novels have been shortlisted for numerous literary awards, graced top ten lists, and have been published in 30 languages.

He is also a New York Times Bestselling comic book writer, having penned stories for Marvel (Wolverine, Punisher) and DC (Batman, Penguin). Additionally, he’s written screenplays for or sold spec scripts to many of the major studios, and written, developed, and produced television for various networks. Gregg resides in Los Angeles.


My Review


The Nowhere Man is the second book in the Evan Smoak series by Gregg Hurwitz. I read the first book in the series, Orphan X, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The Nowhere Man is just as riveting.

The Nowhere Man is an excellent thriller. My heart was beating ridiculous fast at times. The Nowhere Man is a hard book to put down. You need to know what is going to happen next.

The Nowhere Man is a great book for people who love thrillers!



Thursday, January 26, 2017

Review: Song of the Lion (Leaphorn & Chee #21) by Anne Hillerman




  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (April 11 2017)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01IMYCWSS

Book Description

 A deadly bombing takes Navajo Tribal cops Bernadette Manuelito, Jim Chee, and their mentor, the legendary Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, back into the past to find a vengeful killer in this riveting Southwestern mystery from the bestselling author of Spider Woman’s Daughter and Rock with Wings

When a car bomb kills a young man in the Shiprock High School parking lot, Officer Bernadette Manuelito discovers that the intended victim was a mediator for a multi-million-dollar development planned at the Grand Canyon.

But what seems like an act of ecoterrorism turns out to be something far more nefarious and complex. Piecing together the clues, Bernadette and her husband, Sergeant Jim Chee, uncover a scheme to disrupt the negotiations and inflame tensions between the Hopi and Dine tribes.

Retired Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn has seen just about everything in his long career. As the tribal police’s investigation unfolds, he begins to suspect that the bombing may be linked to a cold case he handled years ago. As he, Bernadette, and Chee carefully pull away the layers behind the crime, they make a disturbing discovery: a meticulous and very patient killer with a long-simmering plan of revenge.

Writing with a clarity and grace that is all her own, Anne Hillerman depicts the beauty and mystery of Navajo Country and the rituals, myths, and customs of its people in a mystery that builds on and complements the beloved, bestselling mysteries of her acclaimed father, Tony Hillerman.


About the Author

Anne Hillerman's newest book,"Spider Woman's Daughter" debuted at number 10 on the New York Times Best Seller list. The novel continues her father Tony Hillerman's popular Jim Chee/Joe Leaphorn series. The book followed "Tony Hillerman's Landscape: On the Road with Chee and Leaphorn," with photos by Don Strel of the country the renown mystery author visited in his novels. Her cookbook, "Santa Fe Flavors: Best Restaurants and Recipes" received the New Mexico Book Award for the best cookbook of 2009. Anne's other books include "Gardens of Santa Fe," "Ride the Wind, USA to Africa," and "Children's Guide to Santa Fe." When she's not writing, Anne enjoys cooking, writing restaurant reviews for the Albuquerque Journal, and skiing.

My Review

Song of the Lion is the 21st book in the Leaphorn and Chee series initially written by the legendary Tony Hillerman and now by his daughter Anne Hillerman. Thank you Anne for continuing this series.

I have read every book in this series. I love the Southwest and it was Tony Hillerman who initially introduced me to the glories of the Navajo Reservation. I liked that most of Song of the Lion is set in Tuba City where many of the earlier books had taken place. And it was a timely book in that developers were seeking to have a resort right on the Grand Canyon on the Indian lands there. It was also an interesting book as it explored the interconnecting issues and interest groups that all have a stake in the area.

As Anne Hillerman has continued the series, the voice of the stories is that of Bernie, a woman. Bernie is married to Chee and Leaphorn still figures prominently but Bernie is star. The stories now have a different voice, a gentler voice that has added interest and of course a woman's point of view. There are as always continuing characters like Largo and Cowboy Dashee but there are new characters as well. And a mountain lion.

The Song of the Lion centers on the hearings into resort development in the Grand Canyon and the mystery begins at a basketball game in Shiprock. The hearings mediator's car is blown up. And a young man is killed by the explosion. Could the explosion be a warning to the mediator?

Great story. Highly recommend Song of the Lion.