Thursday, October 29, 2015

Review: House of the Rising Sun: A Novel (A Holland Family Novel) by James Lee Burke

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Dec 1 2015)
  • Sold by: Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00V3L92DG

Book Description

 New York Times bestseller James Lee Burke returns with his latest masterpiece, the story of a father and son separated by war and circumstance-and whose encounter with the legendary Holy Grail will change their lives forever.

From its opening scene in revolutionary Mexico to the Battle of the Marne in 1918, and on to the bordellos and saloons of San Antonio during the reign of the Hole in the Wall Gang, House of the Rising Sun is an epic tale of love, loss, betrayal, vengeance and retribution that follows Texas Ranger Hackberry Holland on his journey to reunite with his estranged son, Ishmael, a captain in the United States Army.

After a violent encounter that leaves four Mexican soldiers dead, Hackberry escapes the country in possession of a stolen artifact, earning the ire of a bloodthirsty Austrian arms dealer who then places Hack’s son Ishmael squarely in the cross hairs of a plot to recapture his prize, believed to be the mythic cup of Christ.

Along the way, we meet three extraordinary women: Ruby Dansen, the Danish immigrant who is Ishmael’s mother and Hackberry’s one true love; Beatrice DeMolay, a brothel madam descended from the crusader knight who brought the shroud of Turin back from the Holy Land; and Maggie Bassett, one-time lover of the Sundance Kid, whose wiles rival those of Lady Macbeth. In her own way, each woman will aid Hackberry in his quest to reconcile with Ishmael, to vanquish their enemies, and to return the Grail to its rightful place.

House of the Rising Sun is James Lee Burke’s finest novel to date, and a thrilling entry into the Holland family saga that continued most recently with Wayfaring Stranger, which the New York Times Book Review described as “saturated with the romance of the past while mournfully attuned to the unholy menace of the present.”

About the Author

 James Lee Burke is an American author best known for his mysteries, particularly the Dave Robicheaux series. He has twice received the Edgar Award for Best Novel, for Black Cherry Blues in 1990 and Cimarron Rose in 1998.

Burke was born in Houston, Texas, but grew up on the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast. He attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the University of Missouri, receiving a BA and MA from the latter. He has worked at a wide variety of jobs over the years, including working in the oil industry, as a reporter, and as a social worker. He was Writer in Residence at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, succeeding his good friend and posthumous Pulitzer Prize winner John Kennedy Toole, and preceding Ernest Gaines in the position. Shortly before his move to Montana, he taught for several years in the Creative Writing program at Wichita State University in the 1980s.

Burke and his wife, Pearl, split their time between Lolo, Montana, and New Iberia, Louisiana. Their daughter, Alafair Burke, is also a mystery novelist.

The book that has influenced his life the most is the 1929 family tragedy "The Sound and the Fury" by William Faulkner.

My Review

House of the Rising Sun is a Holland Family novel by author James Lee Burke. I have read most of James Lee Burke's novels and short stories and consider him to be America's greatest living author.

Now why would I say that James Lee Burke is America's greatest living author? There are several reasons. He is an amazing storyteller. His stories capture your attention immediately. His characters are multi-dimensional. His heroes are flawed. And his villains are evil to the core. James Lee Burke has seen evil in people...I know that he has because I have as well. He writes fascinating men but his women are equally fascinating and strong as can be. And most importantly, there is his lyrical writing style. His words speak volumes. I don't think anyone else can capture the harshness and the beauty of this world the way in which he does. His writing is magical and mesmerizing. It is a pleasure to read one of his books. House of the Rising Sun is a feast of fabulousness. His thought provoking words pull at my heartstrings and stir up my imagination.

House of the Rising Sun is a fascinating book about the end of the wild west and the beginning of the new century. His villains never disappoint..this time it is an Austrian arms dealer..evil, ageless and heartless. Pure evil. Three strong women feature prominently in this tale: Ruby, Maggie and Beatrice...all strong pivotal characters in the legendary Hackberry Holland's life. Hackberry's son Ismael is estranged from him and we empathize with Hack as he tries to set things right with his son. There is no strong tie than that between a parent and a child.

At the center of this tale is the legendary Holy Grail. A chalice that men will die for. I enjoyed how the chalice is interwoven into the story. The biblical overtones that are there if you open your mind. The Father and the Son. Redemption. Good and evil. Good always prevails. Believe.

Brilliant story from an amazing storyteller. Definitely read House of the Rising Sun but do yourself a favor and read every James Lee Burke novel you can get your hands on. Let the beautiful prose of James Lee Burke caress your soul.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Review: Whitney Miller's New Southern Table: My Favorite Family Recipes with a Modern Twist By Whitney Miller

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (Nov. 3 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718011600
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718011604

Book Description

Following her great-grandmothers examples of creatively stretching meals during the Great Depression, Whitney Miller transforms recipes from her Southern roots, preserving flavors of traditional family dishes while offering the excitement of her own special touches. She offers a taste of her family table with dishes like Southern Horchata, PB&J Chicken Satay, Dehydrated Okra Chips, Sweet Corn Grit Tamales, Peach Bread Pudding with Sweet Tea Rum Sauce, and much more. Using new techniques and cooking methods, Miller reimagines classic recipes and experiments with flavors from around the world, inspired by her travels since winning MasterChef."

Preorder your copy of New Southern Table on Amazon.

“Whitney Miller has brought southern cuisine to life in her second cookbook, Whitney Miller’s New Southern Table.   She keeps it simple for the home cook with approachable recipes that embody the true hospitality of a southern family.” -Emeril Lagasse

“Whitney’s God-given ability to cook can only be matched by her incredible desire to serve others. For 5 years, Whitney has faithfully dedicated her time and talent in support of my foundation and the children we serve around the world. It has been a blessing to see the joy she brings through the gifts she has been given, and now we can all enjoy the recipes that I have seen bless everyone from firefighters to W15H children!” -Tim Tebow

“I just love Whitney’s approach to southern food! Reading her fond memories of growing up in the South is like flipping through the pages of a family scrapbook. Through Whitney’s eyes, we taste “Sunday Dinners,” “Family Suppers” and the anticipation of “Company Coming.” Page after page we savor memories of family, food and community tables, things we all hold so dear. Whitney reminds us through her recipes, stories and photographs that in every small town and country farm, the love of food and family endures. Congratulations, Whitney, on your New Southern Table. What a treasure!” -John Folse

About the Author

Whitney Miller, winner at twenty-two of MasterChef , has been featured across the globe in Southern cuisine cooking promotions and as a judge in food competitions, including the 2013 World Food Championship. Her recipes and articles have appeared in People, Women’s Health, Masterchef, Clean Eating, and Cooking Light magazines, and her cooking demonstrations have been featured in the MasterChef app. She lives in Plant City, Florida.

Here is a link to some of Whitney's recipes:

My Review

Whitney Miller's New Southern Table My Favorite Family Recipes with a Modern Twist is written by Whitney Miller. Whitney transforms the southern recipes she grew up from her great-grandmother.

Big confession - I am a huge fan of southern cooking. There is something so comforting about southern cooking. Whitney Miller has done a wonderful job of selecting recipes and enhancing them for today's tastes in this new cookbook, New Southern Table.

The cookbook is divided into the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • My Southern Pantry
  • Breakfast
  • Socials and Snacks
  • Soups, Salads and Sandwiches
  • Sides to Share
  • Family Suppers
  • Sunday Dinners
  • Company's Comin'
  • Somethin' Sweet
  • Essentials and Enhancers

Right off the bat she gives the reader a new twist on biscuits...olive oil biscuits. She also has many recipes utilizing venison which is not a meat I am very familiar with. There are some southern recipes I am not familiar with such as tomato gravy...sounds delightful! The book is filled with lovely photos. It is organized in a very sensible way. She includes gluten free recipes. She bakes her fried green tomatoes instead of frying them. I'm looking forward to trying out many of these recipes.

Whitney Miller is completely new to me as she may be to you so here are some ways to learn more about her and to follow her:

You can learn more about Whitney on her website: 

Follow her on Pinterest:


Review: For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards By Jen Hatmaker

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1450 KB
  • Print Length: 228 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0718037847
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (Aug. 18 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English

Book Description

 The popular writer, blogger, and television personality reveals with humor and style how Jesus' extravagant grace is the key to dealing with life's biggest challenge: people.

The majority of our joys, struggles, thrills, and heartbreaks relate to people, beginning first with ourselves and then the people we came from, married, birthed, live by, live for, go to church with, don't like, don't understand, fear, struggle with, compare ourselves to, and judge. People are the best and worst thing about the human life.

Jen Hatmaker knows this all too well, and so she reveals how to practice kindness, grace, truthfulness, vision, and love to ourselves and those around us. By doing this, For the Love leads our generation to reimagine Jesus' grace as a way of life, and it does it in a funny yet profound manner that Christian readers will love. Along the way, Hatmaker shows readers how to reclaim their prophetic voices and become Good News again to a hurting, polarized world.

About the Author

 Jen Hatmaker is the author of eight books and Bible studies, including A Modern Girl's Guide to Bible Study. With a heart for the women of her generation, she speaks at retreats and conferences around the country. Jen and her husband, Brandon, reside in Texas with their five children, and lead the ministry work at Austin New Church. 

Find out more at

My Review

 For the Love:  Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards is written by Jen Hatmaker. Jen Hatmaker is a popular Christian author, blogger and speaker.

For the Love is a light read. Hatmaker uses humour and honesty to get her points across. For the Love is about love of course. Jesus's love and the importance of loving ourselves and others. For the Love is about practicing biblical principles of showing love to others through grace, kindness and truthfulness.

For the Love is nothing new but it is a gentle reminder to show love to others. It is a good entertaining and fulfilling read that will be of value to new and mature Christians alike. Hatmaker has an inviting style of writing that encourages and uplifts readers.

Great read. Very encouraging.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Dishing the Dirt: Agatha's Dating Words of Wisdom and a Review

Wisdom from the amazing Agatha Raisin:

My Review

I just adore Agatha Raisin! Have you not discovered her're get to read all 26 books in the series. They are all so fabulous! Dishing the Dirt is a wonderful addition to the series!

 There is a new therapist in Carsely...and she is chasing after Agatha's ex James. What secrets does she know about Agatha? When the therapist is found dead, Agatha quickly becomes a it's up to Agatha and her team of detectives to find the real murderer. It's lovely to be back in Agatha's world where she is chasing after unsuitable men and rushing headlong into danger at the drop of a hat. She is still convinced that Gwen Simple from the previous book is guilty of murder. There is always plenty happening in Agatha's world. The pages turn quickly!!!

Could it be that Charles is the big love of Agatha's life and not James? Charles is finally realizing how much Agatha means to him.

Dishing the Dirt concludes with the promise of a new mystery...cannot wait! Highly recommend Dishing the Dirt and this entire series.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Review: Dark Reservations: A Mystery by John Fortunato

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 995 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (Oct. 13 2015)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00V36OGI2

Book Description

"An insightful take on life in the Southwest." —Gene Hackman

Bureau of Indian Affairs special agent Joe Evers still mourns the death of his wife and, after a bungled investigation, faces a forced early retirement. What he needs is a new career, not another case. But when Congressman Arlen Edgerton's bullet-riddled Lincoln turns up on the Navajo reservation—twenty years after he disappeared during a corruption probe—Joe must resurrect his failing career to solve the mysterious cold case.

Joe partners with Navajo tribal officer Randall Bluehorse, his investigation antagonizes potential suspects, including a wealthy art collector, a former president of the Navajo Nation, a powerful U.S. senator, and Edgerton's widow, who is now the front-runner in the New Mexico governor's race. An unexpected romance further complicates both the investigation and Joe's troubled relationship with his daughter, forcing him to confront his emotional demons while on the trail of a ruthless killer.

Joe uncovers a murderous conspiracy that leads him from ancient Anasazi burial grounds on the Navajo Nation to backroom deals in Washington, D.C. Along the way, he delves into the dangerous world of black market trade in Native American artifacts. Can he unravel the mystery and bring the true criminal to justice, or will he become another silenced victim?

About the Author

John Fortunato was a Captain in the U.S. Army, Military Intelligence, who served at the Pentagon during the early part of the Global War on Terrorism. He is now a Special Agent with the FBI and has earned an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. A native of Philadelphia, he currently lives in Michigan with his wife and three daughters.

My Review

I was interested in Dark Reservations by John Fortunato because it won the Tony Hillerman prize. I knew it would be fabulous and it was!

Dark Reservations revolves around Bureau of Indian Affairs special agent Joe Evers. Evers is damaged. He turned to alcohol after his wife passed away two years and it has had repercussions on his work and personal life. He cannot move past her death. Author Fortunato has written a fascinating character in his portrayal of Evers.

Dark Reservations takes place in the present but centers on a cold case from 20 years ago. Everyone believed that Congressman Edgerton had skipped town with his secretary but when his bullet ridden car is found in the New Mexico desert, the case is reopened. Fortunato does a great job of portraying the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Navajo tribal police system. I felt like I was part of the investigation.

Dark Reservations is a police procedural and mystery. It is well written with well developed characters. I felt like I was right there in New Mexico. I loved the twists at the end. Full of surprises!

Highly recommend Dark Reservations. Don't miss reading this one.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Review: The Grave Soul (Jane Lawless #23) by Ellen Hart

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1061 KB
  • Print Length: 319 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250047706
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (Oct. 6 2015)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00V37BDZA

Book Description

In the next riveting, insightful Jane Lawless mystery from award-winning Ellen Hart, Jane searches for the truth behind the death of Kira Adler's mother, which has haunted Kira for many years.

When Guthrie Hewitt calls on restaurateur and private investigator Jane Lawless, he doesn’t know where else he can turn. Guthrie has fallen for a girl—Kira Adler. In fact, he was planning to propose to her on Christmas Eve. But his trip home with Kira over Thanksgiving made him uneasy. All her life, Kira has been haunted by a dream—a nightmare, really. In the dream, she witnesses her father murder her mother. She knows it can’t be true, because the dream doesn’t line up with the facts of her mother’s death. But after visiting Kira’s home for the first time, and receiving a disturbing anonymous package in the mail, Guthrie starts to wonder if Kira’s dream might hold more truth than she knows. When Kira’s called home again for a family meeting, Guthrie knows he needs Jane’s help to figure out the truth, before the web of secrets Kira’s family has been keeping all these years ensnares Kira, too. And Jane’s investigation will carry her deep into the center of a close-knit family that is not only fraying at the edges, but about to burst apart.

About the Author

Ellen Hart is the author of twenty-eight crime novels in two different series. She is a five-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Mystery, a three-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award for Best Popular Fiction, a three-time winner of the Golden Crown Literary Award in several categories, a recipient of the Alice B Medal, and was made an official GLBT Literary Saint at the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans in 2005. In 2010, Ellen received the GCLS Trailblazer Award for lifetime achievement in the field of lesbian literature. For the past fourteen years, Ellen has taught "An Introduction to Writing the Modern Mystery" through the The Loft Literary Center, the largest independent writing community in the nation. Ellen's latest Sophie Greenway mystery is No Reservations Required (Ballantine). Rest for the Wicked, the twentieth Jane Lawless mystery, will be released by St. Martin's/Minotaur in October 2012. Bella Books has recently revived the out-of-print books by publishing them in both trade paperback and E-book. Ellen lives in the Minneapolis area with her partner of over 35 years.

My Review

The Grave Soul is the twenty-third book in the Jane Lawless series by Ellen Hart. This is the first book of Ellen Hart's that I have ever read. I enjoy discovering new authors that write well and tell a good story...Ellen Hart does a great job with The Grave Soul.

The Grave Soul is mostly set in a small town in rural Wisconsin. Family secrets are at the center of this tale. Jane Lawless owns a popular restaurant in Minneapolis as well as running her own detective agency. Along with her sidekick Cordelia she has had plenty of mysteries to solve in the past. Jane's former employee Guthrie seeks her help when his girlfriend returns home to the small Wisconsin town and does not come back. Guthrie has been wary of Kira Adler's family and the dreams that Kira has been having about her mother's death. Jane agrees to help and is quickly caught up in the family secrets.

The book opens with Jane being injured but has lost her memory. As her memory returns she remembers what has happened back in Wisconsin. As I reader, I was riveted to the pages wanting to know what was going to happen next. The Grave Soul is a compelling mystery that I really enjoyed reading.

Highly recommend The Grave Soul.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Review: Edisto Jinx (The Edisto Island Mysteries) by C. Hope Clark

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 933 KB
  • Print Length: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Bell Bridge Books (Oct. 1 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B015M46LTW

Book Description

 "A phenomenal read."--Sharon Sala, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

Is it a flesh and blood killer--or restless spirits?

According to Sophie the psychic, beautiful Edisto Beach becomes a hotbed of troublemaking spirits every August. But when a visitor dies mysteriously during a beach house party, former big-city detective Callie Morgan and Edisto Beach police chief Mike Seabrook hunt for motives and suspects among the living. With tourists filling the beaches and local business owners anxious to squelch rumors of a murderer on the loose, Callie will need all the help she can get--especially once the killer's attention turns toward her.

Edisto Jinx is a phenomenal read from beginning to end. The psychological twists are as intriguing as the vivid imagery of Ms. Clark's writing. From characters with just the right amount of flaws to make them realistic, to the eerie peek into a madman's mind, it is a gem of a story I didn't want to end.--Sharon Sala, author of Cold Hearts, book two of the Secrets and Lies trilogy. August 2015 from Mira Books

Edisto Jinx has everything you want in a good island read: sand, food, drinks, people you care about, beautiful sunsets, secrets, murder, and page-turning suspense. C. Hope Clark took me to one of the most unspoiled South Carolina islands and gave me plenty of reasons to want to stay with Callie Morgan and a richly drawn cast of beach-town regulars. Pull up a beach chair, dip your toes in the gentle waves, and enjoy!--Cathy Pickens, author of the Southern Fried mysteries and Charleston Mysteries: Ghostly Haunts in the Holy City

About the Author

 C. Hope Clark is the award-winning author of the Carolina Slade Mysteries and now the Edisto Island Mysteries. During her career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, she met and married a federal agent--now a private investigator. Together they plot murder mysteries at their lakeside home in South Carolina. Visit Hope at

My Review

 Edisto Jinx is the second book in C. Hope Clark's Edisto Island mystery series. I really enjoyed the first book in the series, Murder on Edisto. Edisto Jinx is a great story as well.

I have been to Edisto Island and found it to be a fascinating place. What first attracted me to the series was the setting. C. Hope Clark is a great storyteller. The story began in Murder on Edisto flawlessly transitions into the Edisto Jinx tale.

I love the flawed character, Callie Morgan. She has a wounded soul but Edisto Island is gradually healing her. The rest of the characters are well written and fit into the story well. I enjoyed the mystery aspect as well. It was very well plotted and kept me guessing until the end.

I love being taken back to Edisto Island in this series. Clark knows Edisto well and easily brings it to life in her writing. I have been to or seen most of the places in the book like McConkeys...great food!

Thanks for the trip to Edisto, Ms. Clark. I cannot wait for the next in the series!

Review: All Men Fear Me (Alafair Tucker, #8) by Donis Casey

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 731 KB
  • Print Length: 287 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (Nov. 3 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English

Book Description

The U.S. has finally entered the First World War and scheduled the first draft lottery. No one in Boynton, Oklahoma, is unaffected by the clash between rabid pro-war, anti-immigrant "patriots" and anti-conscription socialists, who are threatening an uprising rather than submit to the draft. Alafair Tucker is caught in the middle when her brother, a union organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World, pays her a visit. Rob Gunn is fresh out of an internment camp for participants in an Arizona miners’ strike. He assures Alafair that he's only come to visit family, but she's not so sure. More unsettling, Alafair's eldest son enlists, and a group calling itself the “Knights of Liberty” vandalizes the farm of Alafair’s German-born son-in-law. Alafair’s younger son, 16-year-old Charlie, is wildly patriotic and horrified by his socialist uncle. With his father's permission Charlie takes a part-time war job at the Francis Vitric Brick Company. Soon several suspicious machine breakdowns delay production, and a couple of shift supervisors are murdered. Everyone in town suspects sabotage, some blaming German spies, others blaming the unionists and socialists. But Charlie Tucker is sure he knows who the culprit is and comes up with a plan to catch him red-handed. And then there is old Nick—a mysterious guy in a bowler hat who's been hanging around town.

About the Author

DONIS CASEY was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A third generation Oklahoman, she and her siblings grew up among their aunts and uncles, cousins, grandparents and great-grandparents on farms and in small towns, where they learned the love of family and independent spirit that characterizes the population of that pioneering state. Donis graduated from the University of Tulsa with a degree in English, and earned a Master’s degree in Library Science from Oklahoma University. After teaching school for a short time, she enjoyed a career as an academic librarian, working for many years at the University of Oklahoma and at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.

Donis left academia in 1988 to start a Scottish import gift shop in downtown Tempe. After more than a decade as an entrepreneur, she decided to devote herself full-time to writing. The Old Buzzard Had It Coming is her first book. For the past twenty years, Donis has lived in Tempe, AZ, with her husband.

My Review

All Men Fear Me by Donis Casey is the eighth book in the Alafair Tucker series. This is a historical mystery series set in Oklahoma in the early twentieth century. This is an awesome series that I highly recommend.

All Men Fear Me is set during World War I. America is finally entering the world war and the young men are eager to sign up. Alafair is worried that her two sons will want to sign up. And she is also worried about her German born son-in-law. All Men Fear Me realistically portrays the suspicious feeling toward anyone with a German name or foreign sounding name during this time period.

Donis Casey's books are always well written tales with flowing plot lines. She also stays true to her characters. I love following the trials and tribulations of the Tucker family. All Men Fear Me is an excellent addition to the series. I loved the surprises at the end.

I highly recommend All Men Fear Me and am looking forward to the next in the series.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Great Escapes Book Tour: Happy Homicides: Thirteen Cozy Mysteries for the Holidays by Joanna Campbell Slan

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1517 KB
  • Print Length: 669 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Spot On Publishing (Oct. 15 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B015D1E6TQ

Tour Participants

October 15 – Michelle’s Romantic Tangle – Guest Post
October 16 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! – Spotlight, Giveaway
October 16 – Mallory Heart Reviews – Review
October 17 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
October 18 – Community Bookstop – Review, Giveaway
October 19 – THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK – Review, Giveaway
October 19 – MysteriesEtc – Review, Giveaway
October 20 – fuonlyknew – Review, Giveaway
October 20 – Book Babble – Spotlight
October 21 – A Year of Jubilee Reviews – Review
October 21 – Griperang’s Bookmarks – Interview, Giveaway
October 22 – readalot – Review, Giveaway
October 23 – A Fold in the Spine – Review
October 24 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review, Interview, Giveaway
October 25 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review, Giveaway
October 26 – Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes – Review, Giveaway
October 27 – Laura’s Interests – Review, Giveaway
October 27 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Guest Post, Spotlight
October 28 – Bubble Bath Books – Review

E-Book Giveaway at every stop plus
Rafflecopter Giveaway for a $50 Etsy Gift Card


To win an eBook of Happy Homicides leave a comment below telling me which format you would like. Contest ends on October 24th. Check back to see if you won or leave your email in the comments.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Description

 A collection of traditional mysteries to celebrate the holidays by twelve best selling and award-winning authors, Joanna Campbell Slan, Neil Pakcy, Lois Winston, Annie Adams, Jenna Bennett, Nancy Jill Thames, Sara Rosett, Camille Minichino, Nancy Warren, Linda Gordon Hengerer, Joyce and Jim Lavene, and Teresa Trent.. 

Heartwarming, brain-puzzling, and character driven reads that'll keep you entertained for hours.
nearly 80 pages of reading material, plus a special FREE Recipe and Craft Bonus.

About the Author

Joanna Campbell Slan is the award-winning author of the Kiki Lowenstein Mysteries (an Agatha Award Finalist) and two other mystery series. Her stories in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series has been read and loved by millions. Her books reviving the classic heroine Jane Eyre have won the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award. In her past life, Joanna was a television talk show host, an adjunct professor of public relations, a sought-after motivational speaker, and a corporate speechwriter. She is married to David Slan, CEO of Steinway Piano Gallery-DC. The Slans make their home on Jupiter Island, Florida. Visit Joanna’s website at

Author Links

Purchase Links –

My Review

What a deal! Happy Homicides is only 99 cents USD. This is a great way to discover to new authors.

 Each short story/novella will help get you in the mood for Christmas. There is a lot of variety here...definitely something for everyone.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Great Escapes Book Tour: The Corpse With The Diamond Hand by Cathy Ace

Tour Participants

October 13 – View from the Birdhouse – Spotlight
October 13 – deal sharing aunt – Guest Post
October 14 – Frankie Bow – Interview (Review)
October 15 – fundinmental – Review
October 16 – Nadaness In Motion – Review
October 17 – A Fold in the spine – Review
October 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Spotlight
October 18 – MysteriesEtc – Review
October 19 – Bubble Bath Books  – Review
October 20 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! – Guest Post
October 21 – readalot – Review
October 22 – Brooke Blogs – Review
October 23 – Book Babble – Review
October 23 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – Spotlight


a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 782 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Touchwood Editions (Oct. 13 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B012EHNWB0

Book Description

The sixth instalment in the Cait Morgan mystery series, a classic whodunit featuring an eccentric and funny female sleuth set on a Hawaiian cruise ship.

Cait and Bud have set sail on a romantic and worry-free Hawaiian honeymoon cruise, but when a man drops dead at their card table, Cait can’t help but lend her expertise. The sudden death appears to have been from natural causes, but Cait suspects something sinister, and with only two days left at sea—and thousands of possible suspects—she and Bud join the head of security in an investigation. However, the unique circumstances of an at-sea investigation mean their involvement cannot be official, and Cait must lean on her charm to conduct her own covert interviews.

The case of The Corpse with the Diamond Hand will have you marvelling at Cait’s cleverness as she brings yet another murderer to justice.

About the Author

 Welsh Canadian mystery author Cathy Ace is the creator of The Cait Morgan Mysteries. Born, raised and educated in Wales, Cathy enjoyed a successful career in marketing and training across Europe for twenty years before migrating to Vancouver, Canada. There she taught on MBA and Undergraduate marketing programmes at various Universities for a decade. Her eclectic tastes in art, music, food and drink have been developed during her decades of extensive travels, which she continues, whenever possible. Now a full-time author, Cathy and her husband are keen gardeners who enjoy being helped out around their rural acreage by their chocolate Labradors.

My Review

 The Corpse With The Diamond Hand is the sixth book in the Cait Morgan Mystery series by author Cathy Ace. I have really been enjoying this series. It is well written and has great plots and characters.

The Corpse With the Diamond Hand is set on a cruise ship in the Pacific Ocean. Cait and her new husband, Bud, are on their honeymoon. I have particularly enjoyed this latest book as I just returned from a cruise. I started reading this book while still on the cruise in the Eastern Mediterranean. Ace's details about cruise ships are dead on.

The ship's card room specialist dies right in front of Bud and Cait during the voyage. They convince the ship's security officer to let them help solve the baffling murder. The suspects pile up as the ship heads toward Vancouver from the Hawaiian islands. I was very surprised at the revelation of the killer. Cathy Ace crafts a good, well plotted tale.

I like the references to places around where I live. Cait and Bud will be settling in Maple Ridge, BC after the cruise. Cait teaches at Vancouver University which is in actuality Simon Fraser University which is the university I attended. I have enjoyed vacations in Hawaii as well so I enjoyed the references to their time there.

Highly recommend The Corpse With the Diamond Hand by author Cathy Ace.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Great Escapes Book Tour: Plantation Shudders by Ellen Byron



October 1 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
October 1 – Griperang’s Bookmarks – Spotlight
October 2 – readalot – Review
October 2 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
October 3 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – Spotlight
October 3 – Book Babble – Review
October 4 – A Fold in the spine – Review
October 6 – Back Porchervations – Review, Interview
October 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review
October 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book  – Review
October 9 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post
October 10 – Jane Reads – Review, Guest Post
October 11 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
October 12 – Frankie Bow – Interview
October 12 – WV Stitcher – Review
October 13 – Girl with Book Lungs – Review
October 14 – MysteriesEtc – Review
October 14 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy,  &, Sissy, Too ! – Spotlight

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Book Description

 It's the end of the summer and Prodigal Daughter Maggie Crozat has returned home to her family's plantation-turned-bed-and-breakfast in Louisiana. The Crozats have an inn full of guests for the local food festival--elderly honeymooners, the Cajun Cuties, a mysterious stranger from Texas, a couple of hipster lovebirds, and a trio of Georgia frat boys. But when the elderly couple keels over dead within minutes of each other--one from very unnatural causes-- Maggie and the others suddenly become suspects in a murder.

With the help of Bo Durand, the town's handsome new detective, Maggie must investigate to clear her name while holding the family business together at the same time. And the deeper she digs, the more she wonders: are all of the guests really there for a vacation or do they have ulterior motives? Decades-old secrets and stunning revelations abound in Ellen Byron's charming cozy debut, Plantation Shudders.

About the Author

 Ellen is a television writer, playwright, and freelance journalist. She’s also an author; Her debut novel, Plantation Shudders: A Cajun Country Mystery, will be published in Fall 2015 by Crooked Lane Books. She is also a recipient of a William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant from the Malice Domestic Conference.

TV credits include Wings, Still Standing, and Just Shoot Me, as well as network and cable pilots. As a journalist, she's written over 200 magazine articles for national publications. She recently served on the Editorial Board for the UCLA Writers Program's books, Cut to the Chase and Inside the Room. Her plays, published by Dramatists Play Service, include the popular Graceland and Asleep on the Wind.

A graduate of Tulane University, Ellen lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, daughter, and the family’s spoiled rescue dogs, which they describe as a “corgi-jack-huahua” and a “cherrier.” A native New Yorker, Ellen still misses her hometown… and still drives like a New York cabbie.

My Review

 Plantation Shudders is the first book in the Cajun Country Mystery series by author Ellen Byron.

Plantation Shudders has everything that a reader wants from a cozy. There is the bed and breakfast setting - in an plantation house! There is a food festival. The setting of Louisiana is perfect. And there are lots of interesting characters.

A fast, fun read! Good cozy!