Sunday, May 15, 2016

Review: Éclair and Present Danger (Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery #1) by Laura Bradford

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (June 7 2016)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B016JPTP4G

Book Description

 The first book in the delicious new Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery series from national bestselling author Laura Bradford.

With her rent rising faster than her pie crust, bakery owner Winnie Johnson had hoped to be rescued by an inheritance from her wealthy friend and neighbor Gertrude Redenbacher. Instead all she inherits is the widow’s hostile hissing tabby, Lovey, and a vintage ambulance, restored by Gertrude’s late husband. As her dream crumbles, Winnie makes her final delivery—a peach pie to an elderly widower. But she finds Bart Wagner lying on his kitchen floor, smothered by a pillow.

To comfort her frightened and grieving neighbors, Winnie comes to the rescue with her baked goods—and an idea is born: dessert delivery via her ambulance and a new business called the Emergency Dessert Squad. When she’s not speeding to the scenes of dessert emergencies, Winnie is also racing to track down Bart’s killer—before she needs to call a real ambulance for the next victim...

About the Author

 Aka Elizabeth Lynn Casey.

While spending a rainy afternoon at a friend's house nearly forty years ago, Laura Bradford fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and a freshly sharpened number two pencil.

Those early attempts at the craft had her writing and illustrating stories for young children. Wise beyond her years, Laura saved her first writing attempt in a hand decorated shoe box (complete with sparkly stickers) and moved on to her next idea. Her second book—O’Casey’s Wish—was so utterly brilliant, she sent it off to a well-known New York publishing house at the tender age of ten, confident she was on the verge of becoming the next Don Freeman (Corduroy) or Shel Silverstein (Giving Tree).

Months later, she received her first form letter rejection.

While she wasn’t of the mindset to save that first crushing blow for posterity, Laura did save the original copy of this particular literary masterpiece in the event the letter was a mistake.

Desperate to prove her flexibility as a writer, Laura soon found herself dabbling in jokes (for her Girl Scout troop’s newsletter), stories of angst (a somewhat autobiographical look at her teenage years), movie reviews (for the Xavier University Newswire), and countless news and feature articles (for newspapers in CT, SC, TN, and MO).

It wasn’t until Laura was home raising children of her own though, that she was finally able to dust off that rainy day dream and bring it back to its original form—writing fiction. Today, she is a bestselling mystery author with Berkley Prime Crime (Penguin Publishing), and an award winning romance author with Harlequin American. She lives in New York with her family.

Oh, and if you meet Laura at a book event in the future, ask her about O’Casey’s Wish. It tends to travel with her everywhere she goes.

My Review

Éclair and Present Danger is the first book in the Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery series by Laura Bradford. I find it is always more fulfilling if you have read all the books in a series so I am glad to start this series with the first book.

Éclair and Present Danger has bakery owner Winnie being unable to afford the rent on her bakery due to rising rental fees. Luckily she has just inherited an ambulance (and a cat) from one of her elderly neighbours. She comes up with the idea of utilizing the ambulance for an Emergency Dessert Squad service. And it is a hit. But what is going on with her elderly neighbours? When she finds her neighbour Bart dead on his kitchen floor she cannot help wondering who had something to gain.

Éclair and Present Danger is well written and it is an original concept. There are recipes at the end. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

Great cozy mystery. I know you'll enjoy Éclair and Present Danger.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Review: Lise Watier HydraForce

HydraForce Hydra-Protective Creme-Gel

The formula’s effectiveness lies on the remarkable power of Gaspé Algae Extract. A survivor of harsh environments, the Gaspé algae has developed a highly efficient resistance system, enabling it to thrive in severe conditions. Its extract guarantees the skin’s global hydration, transforming it into a veritable defensive shield.

Fortified and protected, the skin is soft, smooth and radiant.Normal to combination skin.

45 ml

Before shower results:

Hands: 40%
Cheek: 40%
Forehead: 36.4%

After shower and applying HydraForce:

Hands: 55.9%
Cheek: 77.4%
Forehead: 59.8%

My Review

 Lise Watier HydraForce is the most amazing moisturizer. I love it! I have not discovered a product like this in years. My face feels so amazing after applying it. Using the tester and the phone app provided by Lise Watier, I tested my skin before and after my shower and after applying HydraForce. As you can see above the results are amazing!

I am so thrilled with Lise Watier HydraForce. I will definitely continue using this product.

Thank you GlamSense for giving me a chance to try this new product out.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Review: Change of Scene: A 100 Page Novella by Mary Kay Andrews

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1516 KB
  • Print Length: 144 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (April 5 2016)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01CXO4W0Y

Book Description

This 100 page prequel novella to Mary Kay Andrews's bestselling novel Beach Town is sure to delight fans and new readers alike.

Greer Hennessy is a movie location scout whose latest project has literally gone up in flames. After an avocado field accidentally catches fire on the set of her new movie, she is out of a job and practically run out of town. With her feisty grandmother Dearie, a Golden Age starlet who still has a lot of vigor left in her, complicating her life, Greer needs a bit of a rest. But Greer's own mother then drops a bombshell on her that will change Greer's life completely, and raise questions about her own father that she can't ignore. In desperate need of a second chance, can Greer find what she's looking for in the one last job she can get: a movie called BEACH TOWN? But first, she needs to find the perfect spot...

About the Author

Mary Kay Andrews is the pen name of American writer Kathy Hogan Trocheck, based in Atlanta, who has authored a number of best-selling books under the Andrews pen name since 2002.

Trochek graduated from the University of Georgia with a journalism degree in 1976. She worked as a reporter at a number of papers, and spent 11 years as a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before leaving to write fiction full-time in 1991. She published ten mystery novels under her own name between 1992 and 2000, and switched to the Andrews pen name in 2002 to author Savannah Blues, which marked a change in her style to more Southern-flavored themes.

My Review

Beach Town by Mary Kay Andrews came out in paperback this week. To introduce readers to main character Greer Hennessy, Andrews released a short prequel to the tale with Change of Scene. Greer is a movie location scout and Change of Scene provides readers with insight into how Greer ended up scouting locations in Florida after a movie disaster on her last movie.

Change of Scene is a good introduction to the people in Greer's life. I am now looking forward to reading Beach Town! Enjoyable short story.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Review: NKJV, The Chronological Study Bible

  • Imitation Leather: 1728 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Lea edition (May 3 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718076893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718076894

Book Description

The Chronological Study Bible presents the text of the New King James Version in chronological order - the order in which the events actually happened - with notes, articles, and full-color graphics that connect the reader to the history and culture of Bible times. It is the only NKJV study Bible arranged in chronological order.

Features include:

  • The entire NKJV text with translators’ notes, arranged in chronological order, provides absorbing and effective Bible study
  • Full-color illustrations of places, artifacts, and cultural phenomena give the reader a dramatic, “you are there” experience
  • Fascinating articles connect the Bible text to world history and culture
  • Daily Life Notes explain how people lived in Bible times
  • Time Panels and Charts show the flow of Bible history
  • In-text and full-page color maps of the biblical world assist study

Part of the Signature Series line of Thomas Nelson Bibles

Chronological Study Bibles sold to date: More than 400,000

The New King James Version® - More than 60 million copies sold

My Review

The NKJV, The Chronological Study Bible from Thomas Nelson is simply a brilliant work of art. The volume that I am reviewing is bound in imitation brown and navy blue leather. It also comes in a sturdy presentation box. The pages are gold lined. It is illustrated with gorgeous drawings and maps. Every page is stunning and impressive.

I didn't know if I would like a bible that has its verses and books and in a different order than normal but I actually found it refreshing and was delighted to have a new point of view of events. The bible is divided into the nine epochs of the bible which each has an introduction:

Epoch 1: Creation- 2000 B.C.;  
Epoch 2: 2000-1500 B.C.; 
Epoch 3: 1500-1200 B.C.; 
Epoch 4: 1200-930 B.C.; 
Epoch 5: 930-586 B.C.; 
Epoch 6: 586-332 B.C.; 
Epoch 7: 332-37 B.C.; 
Epoch 8: 37 B.C.- A.D. 30; 
Epoch 9: A.D. 30-100

The NKJV, The Chronological Study Bible has an abundance of features including daily life notes about how people lived in bible times, transition comments that prepare you for what is following as well as time panels and charts that show the flow of bible history. There are reading plans, a topical index and glossary and many colour maps. I loved the historical overviews.

The NKJV, The Chronological Study Bible has sturdy pages that has an easy to read font. I have trouble reading the words in some bibles but that is definitely not the case here.

I highly recommend the beautiful and inspirational NKJV Chronological Study Bible. It would be a great gift as well as a personal bible for yourself.

Review: Poisonous (Max Revere Novels #3) by Allison Brennan

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1615 KB
  • Print Length: 365 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250066840
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (April 12 2016)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B015MQS120

Book Description

 Teen-aged Internet bully Ivy Lake fell off a cliff and few people cared ... except her mentally-challenged eighteen-year-old step-brother, Tommy. He loved her in spite of her cruelty. He's distraught and doesn't understand why his blended family is falling apart. After a year, the police still have no answers: Ivy could have jumped, could have been pushed, or it could have been an accident. With too many suspects and not enough evidence, the investigation has grown cold.

Tommy thinks that if someone can figure out what happened to his step-sister, everything will go back to normal, so he writes to investigative reporter Maxine Revere. This isn’t the type of case Max normally takes on, but the heartbreak and simple honesty in Tommy's letter pulls her in. She travels to Corte Madera, California, with her assistant David Kane and is at first pleased that the police are cooperative. But the more Max learns about Tommy and his dysfunctional family, the more she thinks she’s taken on an impossible task: this may be the one case she can’t solve.

If Ivy was murdered, it was exceptionally well-planned and that kind of killer could be hiding in plain sight ... planning the next act of violence. Max believes the truth is always better than lies, that the truth is the only thing that matters to gain justice for victims and their families. But for the first time, she wonders if this time, the truth will kill.

About the Author

 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Allison Brennan believes that life is too short to be bored, so she had five children and writes three books a year.

Allison has penned more than two dozen thrillers and many short stories. RT Book Reviews calls Allison “a master of suspense” and her books “haunting,” “mesmerizing,” “pulse-pounding” and “emotionally complex.” RT also said that "The Lucy Kincaid/Sean Rogan books are getting better and better!"

The third book of the Maxine Revere cold case mystery series, POISONOUS, will be out in April, 12, 2016. POISONOUS follows NOTORIOUS and COMPULSION.

The 10th book in the Lucy Kincaid series, NO GOOD DEED, is out now. THE LOST GIRLS will be out in November, 2016.

COLD SNAP, was a finalist for Best Thriller in the Thriller Awards (ITW) and FEAR NO EVIL won the Daphne du Maurier award. Allison has been nominated multiple times for RWA's Best Romantic Suspense award, and the Kiss of Death's Daphne award.

Allison lives in Northern California with her husband, five children, and assorted pets.

My Review

 Poisonous is the third book in the Max Revere series by author Allison Brennan. Poisonous is the first book that I have read in this series. It can easily be a stand-alone novel as I found that it was easy to follow without having read the earlier books.

Poisonous is the first book by author Allison Brennan that I have read. Her books have been on my radar for some time. I found Poisonous to be well written as well as being an enjoyable book to read.

Maxine Revere is an investigative reporter who gets a letter from a young man, Tommy, requesting help in solving the murder mystery of his stepsister. Max who chooses which cases she wants to investigate  is intrigued by Tommy's letter. Once she arrives she discovers that Tommy's stepbrother Austin has helped with the letter as has the daughter of her assistant, David.

Maxine finds a family in the midst of turmoil. Due to this turmoil, Maxine must work through the family conflicts to solve this mystery. There were plenty of twists to keep the story interesting.

I really enjoyed Poisonous. I am looking forward to reading more of Allison Brennan's novels.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Review: Framed to Death (Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery #4) by Christina Freeburn

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 743 KB
  • Print Length: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Henery Press (April 26 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English

Book Description

 Eden has turned into a hotspot of crime, and Faith finds herself smack dab in the middle of the flare-up. When a favor for a friend links Faith to the synthetic marijuana problem invading her town, no good deed goes unpunished becomes the title of her life. The town accuses the police of favoritism toward her, putting a strain between Faith and Ted, and a new officer is determined to prove Faith’s guilt.

When the criminal is outed, Faith’s relief is short-lived. A fire takes out the store—along with the suspected dealer—and she’s now number one on an officer’s suspect list. Faith sets out to prove her own innocence, and her digging sparks the truth to life. Instead of the truth setting the town free, Faith finds out it might destroy Eden, the friends she holds dear, and smother out her own life.

Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), amateur sleuth books, craft and hobby mysteries, small town mysteries, book club recommendations.

Books in the Faith Hunter Scrap This Cozy Mystery Series:


Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you'll probably like them all...

“FRAMED TO DEATH was a snappy, clever mystery that hooked me on page one and didn't let go until the perfectly crafted and very satisfying end. Faith Hunter is a delightful amateur sleuth and the quirky characters that inhabit the town of Eden are the perfect compliment to her overly inquisitive ways. A terrific read! -- Jenn McKinlay, New York Times Bestselling Author

About the Author

Christina Freeburn started jotting down stories on her thirty-minute bus commute to middle school and still hasn't stopped (though the bus commuting has).

The Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery series is a mix of crafty and crime, bringing together Christina's love of mysteries, scrapbooking, and West Virginia.

The New Beginnings series is an inspirational romantic suspense featuring heroines and heroes willing to risk their lives in order to find hope, promise and a future for those struggling in a world that seems set against them.

Christina served in the JAG Corps of the US Army and also worked as a paralegal, librarian, and church secretary. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, children, a dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid or allergic to felines.

My Review

Framed to Death is the 4th book in the Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery series by author Christina Fairburn.

I was originally interested in reading Framed to Death because I love scrapbooking. Framed to Death revolves around Scrap This a scrapbooking store owned by the grandmother of Faith Hunter. The story could easily be ripped from today's headlines. Synthetic marijuana use is running rampant amongst the youth of the small town in West Virginia where Faith lives.  There is also a firebug on the loose. And nothing is looking good for the town's high school football team which has everyone is a fowl mood.

There is a lot going on in Framed to Death and plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader interested. The contemporary themes and issues are a bonus.

Great cozy mystery!

Review: The Assistants by Camille Perri

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 610 KB
  • Print Length: 283 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0552173088
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (May 3 2016)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA 

Book Description

 A wry and astute debut about a young Manhattanite whose embezzlement scam turns her into an unlikely advocate for the leagues of overeducated and underpaid assistants across the city.

Tina Fontana is the hapless but brazen thirty-year-old executive assistant to Robert Barlow, the all-powerful and commanding CEO of Titan Corp., a multinational media conglomerate. She’s excellent at her job and beloved by her famous boss—but after six years of making his reservations for restaurants she’d never get into on her own and pouring his drinks from bottles that cost more than her rent, she’s bored, broke, and just a bit over it all.

When a technical error with Robert’s travel-and-expenses report presents Tina with the opportunity to pay off the entire balance of her student loan debt with what would essentially be pocket change for her boss, she struggles with the decision: She’s always played by the rules. But it’s such a relatively small amount of money for the Titan Corporation—and for her it would be a life-changer . . .

The Assistants speaks directly to a new generation of women who feel stuck and unable to get ahead playing by the rules. It will appeal to all of those who have ever asked themselves, “How is it that after all these years, we are still assistants?”

About the Author

 Camille Perri has worked as a books editor for Cosmopolitan and Esquire magazine. She has also been a ghostwriter of young adult novels and a reference librarian. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from New York University and a master of library science degree from Queens College. Perri wrote the first draft of The Assistants while working as the assistant to the editor in chief of Esquire.

My Review

 The Assistants is the first book by author Camille Perri. Thus it is also the first book of Perri's that I have read.

Anyone who knows me personally knows that I would find this book fascinating. I was an executive assistant to CEOs and Presidents of companies for 20 years. Not the head of an entire company as is Robert Barlow the CEO of the Titan Corporation, but CEOs and Presidents of companies within huge companies. But they all act the same. The demands and behaviours of Robert Barlow are all too familiar to me. Why don't the people who make so much money never want to pay for anything themselves!!! So true.

Anyways, Tina Fontana our executive assistant in The Assistants is tempted by a sudden windfall of cash...just enough to pay off her student loans and get her out of debt. Technically she is embezzling the funds as she was reimbursed for booking flights on her personal credit cards that end up being comped by the airline. Easy to understand how it could happen and how tempting it would be for Tina.

Great book as it explores the unbalanced world of bosses and their assistants who do everything for them but are not paid very well. I really enjoyed The Assistants. Well written...great read.