Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Review: The Craftsman by Sharon J. Bolton

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2851 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (Oct. 16 2018)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B079DV31SC

Book Description

Catching him will make her career - and change her forever.

August, 1999
On the hottest day of the year, Assistant Commissioner Florence Lovelady attends the funeral of Larry Glassbrook, the convicted murderer she arrested thirty years earlier. A master carpenter and funeral director, Larry imprisoned his victims, alive, in the caskets he made himself. Clay effigies found entombed with their bodies suggested a motive beyond the worst human depravity.

June, 1969
13-year- old Patsy Wood has been missing for two days, the third teenager to disappear in as many months. New to the Lancashire police force and struggling to fit in, WPC Lovelady is sent to investigate an unlikely report from school children claiming to have heard a voice calling for help. A voice from deep within a recent grave.

August, 1999
As she tries to lay her ghosts to rest, Florence is drawn back to the Glassbrooks' old house, in the shadow of Pendle Hill, where she once lodged with the family. She is chilled by the discovery of another effigy - one bearing a remarkable resemblance to herself. Is the killer still at large? Is Florence once again in terrible danger? Or, this time, could the fate in store be worse than even her darkest imaginings?

About the Author

Sharon's newest book The Craftsman is now available for pre-order and is out on the 3rd May 2018 in the UK! PLUS Alive, a short story/prequel is available for FREE! (see Sharon's website http://www.deadgoodbooks.co.uk/dead-g...)
Pre-order here now https://www.amazon.co.uk/Craftsman-Sh...

Sharon J Bolton was born and brought up in Lancashire, the eldest of three daughters. As a child, she dreamed of becoming an actress and a dancer, studying ballet, tap and jazz from a young age and reading drama at Loughborough University.

She spent her early career in marketing and PR before returning to full-time education to study for a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at Warwick University, where she met her husband, Andrew. They moved to London and Sharon held a number of PR posts in the City. She left the City to work freelance, to start a family and to write.

She and Andrew now live in a village in the Chiltern Hills, not far from Oxford, with their son and the latest addition to the family: Lupe, the lop-eared lurcher. Her daily life revolves around the school run, walking the dog and those ever-looming publishing deadlines.

My Review

The Craftsman by Sharon J. Bolton is a fantastic book!! I loved it! I have read many of Bolton's works and I am never disappointed. 

The Craftsman is a stand alone novel featuring a fascinating woman,  WPC Florence Lovelady, later Assistant Commissioner Florence Lovelady. It is set in both 1969 and 1999. I found this story to be extremely compelling and I had a very hard time putting it down. I am now sad it is finished. I am at loose ends trying to figure out what to read next.

Bolton winds the witchcraft of Lancashire throughout the tale. I didn't know if I would like it but I did. I found it to be one of the best parts actually. I really felt the strength and kinship of woman through the women in the tale.

I loved this book. It is a thriller and it is a great story. Well written without a doubt. Highly recommend.

Review: Jesus Calling for Christmas By Sarah Young

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (Sept. 25 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400309182
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400309184

Book Description

Are your holidays too hectic? Take a few minutes to savor the season with this beautiful Christmas edition of Jesus Calling®devotions, a perfect gift that includes 50 short selections along with festive and breathtaking imagery.

Jesus Calling® for Christmas is a compilation of 50 seasonally appropriate devotions from Sarah Young's bestselling brand. In addition to the heartwarming devotions, enjoy the Christmas story from the Bible, Old Testament prophecies about the birth of Jesus, and exquisite images.

Whether a self-purchase to enhance your observation of Advent and the birth of the Christ child or a natural gift for friends and loved ones, Jesus Calling® for Christmas will prove an annual treasure for celebrating the season.

About the Author

Sarah Young, the author of the bestselling 365-day devotionals Jesus Always and Jesus Calling®, has sold more than 25 million books worldwide. Jesus Calling® has appeared on all major bestseller lists. Sarah's writings include Jesus Calling®Jesus Today™, Jesus Lives™, Dear JesusJesus Calling® for Little OnesJesus Calling® Bible StorybookJesus Calling®: 365 Devotions for Kids, and Peace in His Presence, each encouraging readers in their journeys 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 For Christmas is the latest book by Sarah Young. I have enjoyed reading Sarah's other books Jesus Calling and Jesus Always. I can always add another Christmas advent book to my collection.

Jesus Calling for Christmas is a gorgeous book. It is a small hardcover book (it is also available in Kindle I see). It is so exquisitely decorated and illustrated. Just lovely. 

In Jesus Calling for Christmas, Sarah Young converts scripture to Jesus speaking to us in the first person. Powerful. I find this book to be very inspiring.

This book, Jesus Calling For Christmas, can be read and enjoyed by young and old alike. It would make a lovely gift for someone. It would make a lovely gift for yourself!

I highly recommend Jesus Calling for Christmas. It is a devotional that is a wonderful addition to my Christmas books.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Review: The Dead Ringer (Agatha Raisin #29) by M.C. Beaton

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2049 KB
  • Print Length: 259 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (Oct. 2 2018)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English

Book Description

The church of St. Ethelred in the village of Thirk Magna is renowned for its team of bell-ringers, the troupe led by identical twins Mavis and Millicent Dupin. Mavis and Millicent are lifelong residents of the remote village—or were, until their home is broken into one night, and Millicent is murdered. But who’s the killer? Is it one of their co-workers, sick of being bullied to practice for a big performance? Or perhaps Joseph Kennell, a retired lawyer who was heard yelling at the sisters that he felt like strangling them? Kennell swears his innocence, and hires the ever-trusty (if often tipsy) Agatha Raisin to clear his name. Only she can find the killer—and hopefully a handsome man to buy her dinner while she’s at it.

About the Author

Learn more on her website!

Watch a video of Marion discussing the casting of the AGATHA RAISIN Christmas special

Marion Chesney Gibbons
aka: Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, Helen Crampton, Marion Chesney, Charlotte Ward, Sarah Chester.

Marion Chesney was born on 1936 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, and started her first job as a bookseller in charge of the fiction department in John Smith & Sons Ltd. While bookselling, by chance, she got an offer from the Scottish Daily Mail to review variety shows and quickly rose to be their theatre critic. She left Smith’s to join Scottish Field magazine as a secretary in the advertising department, without any shorthand or typing, but quickly got the job of fashion editor instead. She then moved to the Scottish Daily Express where she reported mostly on crime. This was followed by a move to Fleet Street to the Daily Express where she became chief woman reporter. After marrying Harry Scott Gibbons and having a son, Charles, Marion went to the United States where Harry had been offered the job of editor of the Oyster Bay Guardian. When that didn’t work out, they went to Virginia and Marion worked as a waitress in a greasy spoon on the Jefferson Davies in Alexandria while Harry washed the dishes. Both then got jobs on Rupert Murdoch’s new tabloid, The Star, and moved to New York.

Anxious to spend more time at home with her small son, Marion, urged by her husband, started to write historical romances in 1977. After she had written over 100 of them under her maiden name, Marion Chesney, and under the pseudonyms: Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, Helen Crampton, Charlotte Ward, and Sarah Chester, she getting fed up with 1714 to 1910, she began to write detectives stories in 1985 under the pseudonym of M. C. Beaton. On a trip from the States to Sutherland on holiday, a course at a fishing school inspired the first Constable Hamish Macbeth story. They returned to Britain and bought a croft house and croft in Sutherland where Harry reared a flock of black sheep. But Charles was at school, in London so when he finished and both tired of the long commute to the north of Scotland, they moved to the Cotswolds where Agatha Raisin was created.

My Review

The Dead Ringer is the 29th book in the Agatha Raisin series. It is the 29th book that I have read in this series. I adore Agatha Raisin. She is one of a kind!

I think that you could read The Dead Ringer as a stand alone for entertainment value alone. However, to really understand the fun that is Agatha, you really need to read the entire series. 

Set in the gorgeous Cotswolds, in the English countryside, the Agatha Raisin series brings village life to the readers. While all seems calm and beautiful in these villages, there are always secrets and grudges underneath the surface. Agatha always rips these bucolic scenes apart and shows the realities of people's hearts.

Oh and of course you know Agatha will fall in love. Always inappropriately. Always a big mistake. But she cannot help herself. 

Charles and the rest of the gang are all back. And we visit the lovely village of Thirk Magna...which is bubbling over with secrets.

I highly recommend The Dead Ringer and I cannot wait for the next book in the series. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Review: Prisoners of Hope: An Amanda Doucette Mystery (An Amanda Doucette Mystery #3) by Barbara Fradkin

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2853 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Dundurn (Oct. 6 2018)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B077VSTMJ7

Book Description

Amanda Doucette finds herself drawn into the world of exploited foreign workers when she rescues a Filipino nanny accused of murdering her wealthy employer.
Georgian Bay: a spectacular terrain of granite shores, deserted islands, and infinite sparkling bays. As part of her cross-Canada charity tour, Amanda has planned a kayaking trip in the area for abused families from a rural Ontario community. 

While exploring some remote islands offshore, she and a local tour guide rescue a frightened young woman whose boat has capsized. In an apparent act of kindness, the tour guide takes the woman to shore, leaving Amanda stranded. But when news surfaces that a wealthy doctor has died at his estate and his Filipino nanny has gone missing, Amanda fears far more sinister forces are at work. When the young tour guide is found dead on a nearby island, she and RCMP officer Chris Tymko race to prevent more innocent deaths.

About the Author

Barbara Fradkin (nee Currie), an award-winning Canadian mystery writer and retired psychologist whose work with children and families provides ample inspiration for murder. She is fascinated by the dark side and by the desperate choices people make.

Her novels are gritty, realistic, and psychological, with a blend of mystery and suspense. She is the author of three series, including ten novels featuring the exasperating, quixotic Ottawa Police Inspector Michael Green, and three short novels about country handyman Cedric O'Toole which provide an entertaining but quick and easy read. FIRE IN THE STARS is the first book in her new mystery thriller series which stars passionate, adventurous, but traumatized aid worker Amanda Doucette.

Fradkin's work has been nominated for numerous awards, and two of the Inspector Green books have won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel from Crime Writers of Canada. Fradkin was born in Montreal but lives in Ottawa.

My Review

Prisoners of Hope: An Amanda Doucette Mystery is the third An Amanda Doucette Mystery by Barbara Fradkin. I have read all 3 books in the series. Prisoners of Hope is a great addition to the series.

I love this set in Canada series. Fradkin is taking us all around this glorious country as Amanda Doucette travels around doing work for her foundation. Prisoners of Hope is set in Georgian Bay in Ontario. Georgian Bay is cottage country where people from Toronto and other urban areas have a second home. It is a beautiful area with thousands of little islands. A perfect place to get lost in.

Amanda and her RCMP beau Chris Tymko are planning to camp and paddle around the area to see if it is suitable for an outreach trip Amanda is planning.  Immediately their trip plans are thrown into disarray and Amanda is deep into a mysterious death of a wealthy doctor.

Prisoners of Hope is a compelling and interesting tale. It is well written and I enjoyed reading it. The world of foreign workers is explored. Many young children in Canada are raised by Filipino nannies. These women leave their own children behind to raise Canadian children in the hopes of becoming landed immigrants and bringing their families to Canada. It does allow for abuse by unscrupulous employers.

I highly recommend Prisoners of Hope. It is available on October 6th.  I am already looking forward to the next book in the series.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Bible Review: NKJV, Spirit-Filled Life Bible, Third Edition, Genuine Leather Kingdom Equipping Through the Power of the Word

  • Leather Bound: 2176 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Special ed. edition (Sept. 4 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0529100711
  • ISBN-13: 978-0529100719

Bible Description

Encounter the power of the word. Walk in the freedom God intends. Experience the Holy Spirit. For the NKJV Spirit-Filled Life Bible, Jack Hayford, founding pastor of The Church on the Way and chancellor of The King’s University, assembled a team of respected, Spirit-led scholars to produce this resource of solid biblical truth. Now in a full-color third edition with new contributors, it is even more dynamic. With over 2 million copies sold, the NKJV Spirit-Filled Life Bible continues to equip God’s people to live in his kingdom, exercise gifts of the spirit, and lay hold of God’s promises.
Features include:
  • Word Wealth - More than 650 word studies (including over 100 new ones) shed light on key terms, drawing important meaning from the original Greek and Hebrew.
  • Kingdom Dynamics - Dozens of biblical themes are addressed in notes by Spirit-filled preachers, teachers, and writers, including many new contributors for this edition
  • Truth-In-Action – Handy, helpful thematic charts provide practical application from every book of the Bible
  • Praying the Word - 192 guided prayers based on significant passages throughout Scripture
  • Detailed book introductions and outlines help you to learn each book’s historical background and appreciate its teachings
  • Verse-by-verse study notes explain each passage and illuminate your understanding
  • Includes a new full-color design with updated maps and charts, a detailed NKJV concordance, and in-depth articles about the Spirit-filled life
  • Designed with the exclusive Thomas Nelson NKJV Comfort Print® typeface
  • 10-point print size

My Review

The  NKJV, Spirit-Filled Life Bible, Third Edition, Genuine Leather  Kingdom Equipping Through the Power of the Word is the most beautiful bible I have ever owned. The leather cover is so soft. It is an incredible treasure to hold.

The NKJV, Spirit-Filled Life Bible is already a proven resource. This new volume is an excellent addition to this family of bibles. The Thomas Nelson NKJV Comfort Print® typeface is easy to read with a 10 point font size. My husband who has trouble reading small print in other bibles was pleased to note how easy this bible is to read.  The feel of the pages is special and they are a bright white which also makes it easy to read the words.

This bible is in full colour. The maps are beautiful and easy to navigate. Tables and graphs are in colour so are much easier to read and understand.

I highly recommend the NKJV, Spirit-Filled Life Bible, Third Edition, Genuine Leather  Kingdom Equipping Through the Power of the Word. This will be a treasure for generations to come.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Great Escapes Blog Tour: Deadly Dram (Whisky Business Mystery #3) by Melinda Mullet

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September 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 4 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 5 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
September 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
September 6 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 6 – Readeropolis – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 7 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
September 7 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
September 8 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 8 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
September 9 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
September 9 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
September 10 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW, GUEST POST
September 10 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 11 – T’s Stuff – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
September 11 – Christa Reads and Writes – SPOTLIGHT  
September 12 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW
September 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
September 13 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
September 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
September 14 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – Varietats – REVIEW
September 16 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  
September 16 – Mysteries with Character – REVIEW
September 17 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW, GUEST POST  
September 17 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

Book Description

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

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

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

About the Author

Melinda Mullet, was born in the US to two British parents. She grew up between Texas and the UK, eventually studying English Lit at an American university before deciding to embark on a career in international law.

After many years in the legal trenches she is happy to be known as a former lawyer, a travel junkie, and a life-long advocate for children’s literacy causes both domestic and international.

Melinda lives just outside of Washington, DC with her whisky-collecting husband, two extraordinary young women she is proud to call her daughters, and an obedience school drop out named Macallen.

Author Links 
Purchase Links

My Review

Deadly Dram  is the third book in the Whisky Business Mystery series  by Melinda Mullet. I have read all three books in the series. Be sure to read the first book...I liked it the best so far.

Deadly Dram is a good solid addition to the series. Abi Logan is settling into the whiskey distillery that she co-owns with the handsome Grant MacEwan. Personally I am not a whiskey fan but I enjoy reading about it in this series. That is what makes a cozy mystery great. The author really understands the world of Scotch whiskeys. Very believable.

One of the better cozy mysteries in my opinion. Good writing and interesting stories. Believable murders. Romantic tension. It's all there. And in Scotland.

If you are cozy fan, then Deadly Dram is for you.