Saturday, June 25, 2016

Review: Death at the Day Lily Cafe (Rosalie Hart #2) by Wendy Sand Eckel

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (July 26 2016)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English

Book Description

Rosalie Hart has finally opened the café of her dreams. Decked out with ochre-tinted walls and stuffed with delicious organic fare, the Day Lily Café is everything Rosalie could have hoped for. But not five minutes into the grand opening, Doris Bird, a dear and trusted friend, cashes in on a favor--to help clear her little sister Lori of a first degree murder charge.

With the help of her best friend and head waiter Glenn, Rosalie is on the case. But it's not going to be easy. Unlikable and provocative, murder victim Carl James Fiddler seems to have insulted nearly everyone in town, and the suspect list grows daily. And when Rosalie's daughter Annie gets caught in the crossfire, the search for the killer becomes personal in this charming cozy perfect for fans of Diane Mott Davidson and Joanne Fluke.

About the Author

I grew up in a small Ohio town, but decided while studying the states and their capitals in the fourth grade that I would one day live in Maryland. I really liked the flag. Maryland has been my home for almost thirty years.

The first story I ever wrote was about a discarded vacuum cleaner that makes its way back home. When I later saw the movie, The Brave Little Toaster, I was flabbergasted. They stole my idea!

In high school I worked in the shop rack of my father’s Pontiac dealership where I ran parts and prepped new cars. In my leisure time, I learned to play a pretty mean front man on a foosball table.

I majored in Social Work in both graduate and undergraduate school with concentrations in criminology and family therapy. I have spent my career learning how relationships effect our thoughts, emotions, desires, and inhibitions, or in some cases, lack thereof.

Writing mystery is a way to combine my love for the written word with the knowledge I’ve gained about the workings of the human heart. It is a dream realized.

My Review

Death at the Day Lily Cafe is the second book in the Rosalie Hart series by author Wendy Sand Eckel.

I like Rosalie Hart. She is a warm-hearted and intelligent woman. In the first book in the series, Rosalie was newly divorced but in Death at the Day Lily Cafe, Rosalie has come to accept and enjoy her new life. Her cafe venture is doing better than she hoped. She has made some wonderful friends. Her daughter is living with her. And that good looking handyman is still fact they are business partners on her farm.

Rosalie's friend Doris needs her help. Doris's sister Lori is on the sheriff's radar for the murder of her husband. Lori's husband CJ was not well liked. In fact he had offended nearly everyone in town at some point so there are plenty of suspects.

Death at the Day Lily Cafe is an enjoyable cozy mystery. It is well written. The characters are both realistic and enjoyable.

I definitely recommend Death at the Day Lily Cafe.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Review: Caught Bread Handed: A Bakeshop Mystery (A Bakeshop Mystery #4) by Ellie Alexander

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1146 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (June 28 2016)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0191K3GN2

Book Description

 Welcome to Torte—a friendly, small-town family bake shop where the oven is heating up as high as the body count…

Jules Capshaw is still chewing over her husband Carlos’s return to Ashland, Oregon. Could there be too many cooks in the kitchen? Whatever is stirring between those two will have to wait. Despite the Oregon Shakespeare Festival being dark for the winter, the bakeshop is bustling, the dough is rolling, and there’s no rest for the weary…especially when murder is thrown into the mix.

When Mindy Nolan, the owner of a new restaurant in town, turns up dead, the batter at hand thickens. Jules knows that there was bad blood between Mindy and others in town, and tracking down the killer could prove to be an unwelcome treat. And to top it all off, there’s Carlos, who is pleading—with those delicious dark eyes and sexy Spanish accent—for Jules to take him back. Is home where the heart is or will she make a fresh start…and risk getting burned?

About the Author

 Ellie Alexander, author of the Bakeshop Mystery Series (St. Martin's Press), is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

Find out more about Ellie and her books by visiting her blog at or following her on Facebook:

My Review

Caught Bread Handed is the fourth book in the Bakeshop Mystery series by author Ellie Alexander.

Caught Bread Handed is set in Ashland, Oregon where they have a well known Shakespeare theatre and festival. I have not explored Ashland much as we often stayed in Medford, it's sister city, and it is usually really really hot when we are there. When I was a child, Medford was the city we aimed for on the first night of our trips to visit all our relatives in California.

 Besides the great setting, Caught Bread Handed is very well written. I enjoy the characters that author Alexander has populated her stories with. Jules works with her Mom at their bakery Torte as well as an interesting group of people. Husband Carlos is still in Ashland but will be heading back to the cruise ship soon. The townspeople are all well written.

Jules, besides trying to figure out who killed new restaurant owner Mindy, is trying to decide what to do about her marriage to Carlos. She loves him but does not want to go back to working on the cruise ship. Perhaps Carlos will buy into the local winery? Many things in Jules personal life still up in the air.

I enjoyed Caught Bread Handed. Good series.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Great Escapes Virtual Blog Tour: Tea Cups and Carnage (A Tourist Trap Mystery #7) by Lynn Cahoon

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3107 KB
  • Print Length: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Lyrical Underground (June 7 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Participants

June 7 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 7 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
June 8 – I Wish I Lived in a Library – REVIEW
June 8 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
June 9 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
June 9 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
June 10 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
June 10 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW or CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 11 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 11 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 12 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
June 13 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
June 13 –  Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
June 14 –  Community Bookstop –  REVIEW
June 15 – Booklady’s Booknotes – REVIEW, GUEST POST
June 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
June 17 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW
June 18 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
June 18 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews –  SPOTLIGHT
June 19 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW
June 20 – Classy Cheapskate – REVIEW
June 20 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 21 – Book Babble – REVIEW

Book Description

The kettle’s about to boil over . . .

The quaint coastal town of South Cove, California, is all abuzz about the opening of a new specialty shop, Tea Hee. But as Coffee, Books, and More owner Jill Gardner is about to find out, there’s nothing cozy about murder . . .

Shop owner Kathi Corbin says she came to South Cove to get away from her estranged family. But is she telling the truth? And did a sinister someone from her past follow her to South Cove? When a woman claiming to be Kathi’s sister starts making waves and a dead body is found in a local motel, Jill must step in to clear Kathi’s name—without getting herself in hot water.

Includes an excerpt from A STORY TO KILL, Lynn Cahoon’s BRAND NEW series

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho native. If you’d visit the town where she grew up, you’d understand why her mysteries and romance novels focus around the depth and experience of small town life. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and two fur babies.

Author Links
Twitter –
Facebook –
Website –
Amazon Author Page –

My Review

Tea Cups and Carnage is the 7th Tourist Trap mystery by author Lynn Cahoon. I have read all the earlier books and I found that Tea Cups and Carnage is a great addition to the series.

Tea Cups and Carnage is a book in a series but I can be read as a stand alone. I think that to derive the most enjoyment it is helpful to have read the earlier books in the series.

I enjoy Cahoon's writing style as well as the cast of characters she has created for this series. All of the characters are believable. Jill Gardner is someone that you can root for. I have become attached to the characters so as always I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Solid cozy mystery that readers will enjoy.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Review: Widowmaker (Mike Bowditch #7) by Paul Doiron

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1275 KB
  • Print Length: 317 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (June 14 2016)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B018291NM4

Book Description

In Paul Doiron's Widowmaker, When a mysterious woman in distress appears outside his home, Mike Bowditch has no clue she is about to blow his world apart. Amber Langstrom is beautiful, damaged, and hiding a secret with a link to his past.. She claims her son Adam is a wrongfully convicted sex offender who has vanished from a brutal work camp in the high timber around the Widowmaker Ski Resort. She also claims that Adam Langstrom is the illegitimate son of Jack Bowditch, Mike’s dead and diabolical father. He is the half-brother Mike never knew he had.

After trying so hard to put his troubled past behind him, Mike is reluctant to revisit the wild country of his childhood and again confront his father’s history of violence. But Amber’s desperation and his own need to know the truth make it hard for him to refuse her pleas for help.

In search of answers, Bowditch travels through a mountainous wilderness to a place hidden from the rest of the world, where the military guards a top-secret interrogation base, sexual predators live together in a backwoods colony, and self-styled vigilantes are willing to murder anyone they consider their enemies.

Mike Bowditch must exorcise the demons of the past before the real-life demons of the present kill him first.

About the Author

Paul Doiron is the author of the Mike Bowditch series of crime novels, including The Poacher's Son, which won the the Barry Award and the Strand Critics Award for Best First Novel and was nominated for an Edgar Award, an Anthony Award, a Macavity Award, and a Thriller Award for Best First Novel, and the Maine Literary Award for "Best Fiction of 2010." PopMatters named it to its Best Fiction of 2010 list.

His second book, Trespasser, won the Maine Literary Award, was an American Booksellers Association Indie Bestseller, and has been called a "masterpiece of high-octane narrative" by Booklist. The third novel, Bad Little Falls, was a Bookscan Bestseller and a nominee for the RT Reviewers Choice Award and the Maine Literary Award. Massacre Pond, the fourth in the series, was an Indie Next pick and an Indie Favorite, as well as Bookscan Bestseller, and Maine Literary Award finalist. The Bone Orchard received a Best of Maine award from Down East. The Precipice was a LibraryReads selection and a RT Top Pick. The seventh Mike Bowditch novel, Widowmaker, will be published on June 14, 2016.

Paul is Editor Emeritus of Down East: The Magazine of Maine, having served as Editor in Chief from 2005 to 2013, before stepping down to write full time. A native of Maine, he attended Yale University, where he graduated with a degree in English, and he holds an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College. He is a former member of the Maine Arts Commission and a current member of the Maine Humanities Council. He is also a Registered Maine Guide specializing in fly fishing and lives on a trout stream in coastal Maine.

His novels have been translated into 10 languages: German, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Romanian, Slovenian, Hungarian, and Czech. The UK editions of his books are published by Constable & Robinson.

My Review

Everyone has author's whose books they look forward to every year. Paul Doiron has become one of those authors to me. His books are always well written and hard to put down. Widowmaker is the seventh book in the Mike Bowditch series by Paul Doiron. It is a fabulous read.

Mike Bowditch is a game warden in the state of Maine. Mike patrols the woods of Maine. My husband's late father and many of his uncles worked the forests of Maine. They were French Canadians who lived just over Maine's northern border. Many of them and their descendants settled and live in Maine to this day. So I have visited there...we've driven through those backroads and woods. I enjoy the setting of the Bowditch novels very much. Doiron authentically portrays those woods.

Mike Bowditch has always been on the edge of right and wrong. He is trying to do right in Widowmaker. I think that he succeeds in this. The ghost of Jack Bowditch, Mike's late father, is present once again. A woman contacts Mike and claims that he has a half-brother who is missing. Could this be true...that is that Adam Langstrom is really Jack's son...Mike is haunted by this throughout the book. You'll have to read Widowmaker to find out what happens here. Stacey and Mike are still together though Stacey is away working but always close to Mike's heart. Their relationship also figures prominently in Mike's story throughout.

I thoroughly enjoyed Widowmaker and highly recommend it. This is a great series. You should read every book, in order. Yes you should!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

New Release: Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford

Available June 14th

One of this year’s most compelling and original historical fiction releases,
about a young woman who finds her voice at the upstart British Broadcasting Company

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1587 KB
  • Print Length: 381 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0451475569
  • Publisher: NAL (June 14 2016)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English

Book Description

 The Great War is over, and change is in the air, in this novel that brings to life the exciting days of early British radio…and one woman who finds her voice while working alongside the brilliant women and men of the BBC.

London, 1926. American-raised Maisie Musgrave is thrilled to land a job as a secretary at the upstart British Broadcasting Corporation, whose use of radio—still new, strange, and electrifying—is captivating the nation. But the hectic pace, smart young staff, and intimidating bosses only add to Maisie’s insecurity.

Soon, she is seduced by the work—gaining confidence as she arranges broadcasts by the most famous writers, scientists, and politicians in Britain. She is also caught up in a growing conflict between her two bosses, John Reith, the formidable Director-General of the BBC, and Hilda Matheson, the extraordinary director of the hugely popular Talks programming, who each have very different visions of what radio should be. Under Hilda’s tutelage, Maisie discovers her talent, passion, and ambition. But when she unearths a shocking conspiracy, she and Hilda join forces to make their voices heard both on and off the air…and then face the dangerous consequences of telling the truth for a living.



“Sarah-Jane Stratford’s Radio Girls is an achievement of historical fiction so believable that you’ll wonder if the author has access to a time machine. Maisie’s trajectory—from mousey, fearful underling into assertive, independent powerhouse—mirrors that of the nascent BBC for which she works. The promise of post-war prosperity and the looming threat of fascism make for an engrossing background against which Maisie finds herself involved in international intrigue and national rights movements which will make the reader turn the pages frantically, utterly enthralled until the very end. By turns funny and fascinating, Radio Girls is a triumph.”—Allison Amend, Author of Enchanted Islands

Radio Girls carries readers on a memorable, eye-opening journey to London in the 1920s and ’30s, a pivotal time in the history of women’s rights, politics, and the arts. Sarah-Jane Stratford’s storytelling skills are on vivid display throughout, and the strong, believable, and immensely human Maisie Musgrave is the best imaginable guide to that vanished time and place.”—Joseph Wallace, Author of Slavemakers“A bright, appealing novel about the early days of the BBC and the women behind its brilliant programming.... [The] depiction of female friendship and support is one of the great strengths of Stratford’s novel, which so capably describes its characters’ thirst for knowledge, for information of all kinds. An intoxicating look inside a world of innovative new media.”—Kirkus Reviews

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Review: Among the Wicked (Kate Burkholder #8) by Linda Castillo

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (July 12 2016)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B019N4X1ZE

Book Description

 Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called upon by the sheriff's department in rural, upstate New York to assist on a developing situation that involves a reclusive Amish settlement and the death of a young girl. Unable to penetrate the wall of silence between the Amish and "English" communities, the sheriff asks Kate to travel to New York, pose as an Amish woman, and infiltrate the community.

Kate's long time love interest, State Agent John Tomasetti, is dead set against her taking on such an unorthodox assignment, knowing she'll have limited communication - and even less in the way of backup. But Kate can't turn her back, especially when the rumor mill boils with disturbing accounts of children in danger. She travels to New York where she's briefed and assumes her new identity as a lone widow seeking a new life.

Kate infiltrates the community and goes deep under cover. In the coming days, she unearths a world built on secrets, a series of shocking crimes, and herself, alone... trapped in a fight for her life.

About the Author

 Linda Castillo is the New York Times bestselling author of the Kate Burkholder series, including Sworn to Silence and Gone Missing, crime thrillers set in Amish country. Sworn to Silence was recently adapted into a Lifetime original movie titled An Amish Murder starring Neve Campbell as Kate Burkholder.

Castillo is the recipient of numerous industry awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence and the Holt Medallion, and she received a nomination for the Rita. In addition to writing, Castillo’s other passion is horses, particularly her appaloosa George. She lives in Texas with her husband and is currently at work on her next novel.

My Review

 Among the Wicked is the eighth book in the Kate Burkholder series by author Linda Castillo.

Among the Wicked is a great addition to the Kate Burkholder series. In this latest book, Kate goes undercover to expose a so-called Amish bishop in upstate New York. Kate goes in deep with hardly any back up. Her partner and boyfriend State Agent John Tomasetti is against this but knows that once she has set her mind on something, it is going to happen.

I thought Kate took a lot of scary chances in trying to uncover the truth about the goings on within the closed knit community. She basically uncovered a cult. I found it hard to put Among the Wicked down. I had to know what was going to happen next. Loved the twists!

Great book. Highly recommend!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Review: Burn What Will Burn: A Novel by C. B. McKenzie

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1092 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1250083370
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (June 21 2016)
  • Sold by: Macmillan CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0191K3GI2

Book Description

 A noirish crime novel set in rural Arkansas from award-winning author C. B. McKenzie. Bob Reynolds doesn't recognize the body in the creek, but he does recognize the danger of it. Hes a newcomer to town, not entirely welcome and not entirely on good footing with the sheriff. So far, hes kept his head down, mostly over the bar at the Crows Nest. But he has other interests than drinking and spending his inheritance, including one that goes by the name Tammy Fay Smith and who may have caught the sheriffs eye as well.Bob Reynolds would rather pretend he never saw the body, but when it disappears he begins to doubt what little he knew about this secretive town, one that seems to become more unwelcoming by the day. But he cant just forget the body, despite the advice hes given to do so, and despite the evidence to suggest that he might be disappearing along with it.Following his acclaimed, Edgar-nominated debut, C. B. McKenzies Burn What Will Burn will appeal to fans of such literary crime authors as Daniel Woodrell, Tom Franklin, Joe R. Lansdale, and Nic Pizzolatto.


“It’s atmospheric to the nth degree, with prose that borders on poetry and a story that will put you off traveling south of the Mason-Dixon Line, perhaps forever.” ―Bookpage

"Evil comes in all shapes and sizes, and McKenzie gets the best out of that premise in this chilling portrayal of murder and mayhem. Careful development of each personality adds an outstanding facet to the story." ―RT Book Review

Following the Edgar Award–nominated Bad Country, McKenzie takes another fascinating look at life in rural America. The lyrical writing balances out the bleakness of his ­protagonist’s existence." ―Library Journal

"Thematically very different than McKenzie's outstanding first novel (Bad Country, 2014). But the prose is just as pure and the story just as riveting." ―Kirkus Reviews

"Burn What Will Burn is a natural successor to Bad Country, and it will scorch the literary landscape with perfectly structured sentences and blistering prose." ―Matthew McBride, author of A Swollen Red Sun

“There’s a tightness to life in a small town―part of it is fierce loyalty, part long memory. In Burn What Will Burn, small town life is rendered a snake-pit where self-interest and self-preservation inform every action. Our guide through the backwaters, diners, and abandoned cabins is Bob Reynolds, a fish-out-of-water weirdly suited to his search for truth in a verdant hollow of lies. CB McKenzie builds a world so compelling that the Little Piney Creek showed up in my dreams. I loved every page.” ―Christian Kiefer, author of The Animals

“Poe County has plenty to hide, but newcomer Bob Reynolds is interested only in drinking away his inheritance at the Crow's Nest. That is until he discovers a dead body afloat in nearby creek. And steals something from it. A bleary-eyed and sharp-tongued philosopher-poet, Reynolds proves the perfect guide to the hollers and dirt roads of Poe County, where a crisis greets him at every turn, and the secrets hang as thick as the shadows. I'm already looking forward to going back there.” ―Bill Loehfelm, author of Doing the Devil’s Work

“Written in richly poetic language and infused with sly humor, CB McKenzie's brooding, gothic tale of eccentric characters set in backwoods Arkansas will appeal to readers of Daniel Woodrell and Joe Lansdale.” ―Terry Shames, author of The Necessary Murder of Nonie Blake

Burn What Will Burn is a gritty, gripping mystery and an enthralling character study of its poet-protagonist, who is self-exiled and bedeviled by the locals, the summer Arkansas heat, and his own past. I was hooked by sentence one and burned right through the pages.” ―Michael Kardos, author of Before He Finds Her

About the Author

 CB MCKENZIE is the author of Bad Country, which won the Tony Hillerman Prize and the Spur Award from the Western Writers of America and was named a finalist for the Edgar and Shamus Awards for Best First Novel. A graduate of Arkansas Tech University, he lives on the Slow Coast of California when he's not traveling.

My Review

I have been a C.B. McKenzie fan since his first book Bad Country. Burn What Will Burn is McKenzie's second published novel. I enjoy gritty noir mysteries so I enjoyed Burn What Will Burn very much.

Burn What Will Burn is a fast read. I found it hard to put down. It is beautifully written. I enjoy McKenzie's writing style. His writing reminds me of James Lee Burke who also writes beautiful words about very flawed people.

I liked the setting of north western Arkansas. It is not an area that I have been to often but it is an interestingly beautiful location to base a novel. The characters in Burn What Will Burn are all fascinating and a lot more complicated than you may initially believe. The main character, Bob Reynolds, is not really likeable but he is interesting and well written. I sympathized with his dilemmas as I read the book.

Great page turner of a book. I enjoyed discovering all the secrets of Poe County and the twists the story took.

Available June 21st, Burn What Will Burn, is a great read.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Review: The Calamity Café (Down South Café Mystery #1) by Gayle Leeson

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1575 KB
  • Print Length: 301 pages
  • Publisher: NAL (June 7 2016)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B015DLUS8E

Book Description

First in a new cozy mystery series featuring Southern cooking that is to die for.

Aspiring chef and small-town Virginia native Amy Flowers is ready to open her own café offering old-fashioned Southern food. But her dream may go up in smoke when someone kills the competition...

Tired of waiting tables at Lou’s Joint, Amy Flowers doesn’t just quit—she offers to buy the place from her bully of a boss, so she can finally open the café of her dreams. Amy can't wait to serve the kind of Southern, down-home treats and dishes that her grandmother always loved to the kooky cast of regulars at the restaurant. She knows her comfort food will be the talk of the sweet, small town of Winter Garden, Virginia.

At first Lou Lou refuses to sell, but when she seems ready to make a deal, she tells Amy to come see her.  Showing up at the eatery ready to negotiate, Amy is shocked to find her former employer murdered. As the prime suspect, Amy will have to clear her name by serving up the real killer—and with Lou Lou’s stack of enemies, that’s a tall order.

Includes delicious Southern recipes!

About the Author

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series.

The cake decorating series features a heroine who is starting her life over in Southwest Virginia after a nasty divorce. The heroine, Daphne, has returned to her hometown of Brea Ridge to open a cake baking and decorating business and is wrestling with the question of whether or not one can go home again. She enjoys spending time with her sister, nephew, and niece, but she and her mother have a complicated relationship that isn’t always pleasant. Daphne has also reconnected with her high school sweetheart and is pursuing a rekindled romance while desperately trying to put her past behind her.

Kerry Vincent, Hall of Fame Sugar Artist, Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show Director, and Television Personality says the series is “a must read for cake bakers and anyone who has ever spent creative time in the kitchen!”

Says Dean Koontz, #1 New York Times bestselling author, “One day I found myself happily reading . . . mysteries by Gayle Trent. If she can win me over . . . she’s got a great future.”

The Embroidery Mystery series features a heroine who recently moved to the Oregon coast to open an embroidery specialty shop. Marcy Singer left her home in San Francisco, along with the humiliation of being left at the altar, in order to move to Tallulah Falls and realize her dream of owning her own shop. She takes along her faithful companion, a one-year-old Irish wolfhound named Angus O’Ruff. She makes many new friends in Tallulah Falls, but she also makes a few enemies. Thankfully, her best friend Sadie MacKenzie and her husband Blake run the coffeehouse right down the street from Marcy’s shop, the Seven-Year Stitch; and Detective Ted Nash always has her back.

Publishers Weekly says, “Fans of the genre will take kindly to Marcy, her Irish wolfhound, Angus O’Ruff, and Tallulah Falls. This is a fast, pleasant read with prose full of pop culture references and, of course, sharp needlework puns.”

Pat Cooper of RT Book Reviews says, “If her debut here is any indication, Lee’s new series is going to be fun, spunky and educational. She smoothly interweaves plot with her character’s personality and charm, while dropping tantalizing hints of stitching projects and their history. Marcy Singer is young, fun, sharp and likable. Readers will be looking forward to her future adventures.” (RT Book Reviews nominated The Quick and the Thread for a 2010 Book Reviewers’ Choice Award in the Amateur Sleuth category)

I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I'm having a blast writing this new series!

My Review

The Calamity Cafe is the first book in the Down South Cafe mystery series by author Gayle Leeson. A cozy mystery featuring down home southern cooking!! Mmmmm....what more can you ask for!

Likeable Amy Flowers is determined to open her own cafe. She has spent the last year working for a curmudgeon of a boss Lou Lou at Lou's Place in Winter Garden, Virginia. Lou Lou is not interested in selling the cafe to Amy but while Amy is considering her options, Lou Lou's son approaches her about selling the cafe...then Lou Lou is found Amy. Who could be the killer? Lou Lou has quite a few enemies and Amy is determined to find the killer in order to clear her name.

There are lots of twists and turns in The Calamity Cafe. Amy finds an ally in a local deputy. And Lou Lou's son does sell her the cafe which is under renovation throughout this book. Looking forward to more in this new series by author Gayle Leeson.

There are several recipes at the end of the book.

Great new cozy series! Be sure to give it a read.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Review: The Innocents (Quinn Colson #6) by Ace Atkins

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (July 12 2016)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01BD1SU8S

Book Description

The extraordinary new novel in the New York Timesbestselling author’s acclaimed series about the real Deep South—“a joy ride into the heart of darkness” (The Washington Post).

She was just seventeen, a high school dropout named Milly Jones, found walking down the middle of the highway, engulfed in flames. Even in a tough Mississippi county like Tibbehah, it shatters the community, and it is up to Sheriff Quinn Colson, back on the job after a year away, and his deputy Lillie Virgil, to investigate what happened and why. Before long, however, accusations start to fly, national media and federal authorities descend, and what seemed like a senseless act of violence begins to appear like something even more disturbing—with more victims waiting in the shadows.

About the Author

Ace Atkins is the author of eight novels, including his latest, Infamous, from G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

A former journalist who cut his teeth as a crime reporter in the newsroom of The Tampa Tribune, he published his first novel, Crossroad Blues, at 27 and became a full-time novelist at 30.

While at the Tribune, Ace earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination for a feature series based on his investigation into a forgotten murder of the 1950s. The story became the core of his critically acclaimed novel, White Shadow, which earned raves from noted authors and critics. In his next novels, Wicked City, Devil’s Garden, and now Infamous, Ace continues to carve a new a niche as both a talented storyteller and a meticulous journalist, blending first-hand interviews and original research into police and court records with tightly woven plots and incisive characters. Ace’s novels tell great American stories, weaving fact and fiction into a colorful, seamless tapestry.

Infamous, Devil’s Garden, Wicked City, and White Shadow are all very personal books for Atkins, all set in his former and current homes: San Francisco, where he lived as a child; Alabama, his family’s home and where he was born and went to college; and Tampa, where he embarked on his career as a writer and now the MidSouth where he now calls home.

Each novel contains bits of himself—friends and colleagues he once knew, people he respected or admired, family members, and personal heroes.

Right now, Ace is developing a new series for his longtime publisher—home to Tom Clancy, Patricia Cornwell, Robert Crais, John Sandford, and Robert B. Parker—set in rural Mississippi. The first of these novels will hit stores in Spring 2011.

Ace lives on a historic farm outside Oxford, Mississippi with his family.

My Review

The Innocents is the sixth book in the Quinn Colson series by author Ace Atkins. This is a fabulous series. I have now read all six books in the series. They are all great reads. I have been enjoying getting to know the characters better in each new book in the series.

In The Innocents, Quinn is no longer the sheriff of Mississippi's Tibbehah County. But Lillie is and she needs his help. Quinn has been away. His long absent father has set up home on Quinn's farm. Quinn's mother is not happy about that. Anna Mae is still around but hopefully her allure is starting to wear off.

A young woman dies after being set on fire. Who is responsible? Is it the new owner of The Rebel stripper bar? One of her parents...both who had abandoned her? One of the county's young men? What sinister secrets was young Millie party to?

Great story. Very well written.

Highly recommend The Innocents! Be sure to read the entire Quinn Colson series.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Review: The Last Mile (Amos Decker #2) by David Baldacci

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1169 KB
  • Print Length: 417 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1455586455
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (April 19 2016)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group Digital, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B016JC0THQ

Book Description

 In his #1 New York Times bestseller Memory Man, David Baldacci introduced the extraordinary detective Amos Decker-the man who can forget nothing.

Now, Decker returns in a spectacular new thriller . . . THE LAST MILE

Convicted murderer Melvin Mars is counting down the last hours before his execution--for the violent killing of his parents twenty years earlier--when he's granted an unexpected reprieve. Another man has confessed to the crime.

Amos Decker, newly hired on an FBI special task force, takes an interest in Mars's case after discovering the striking similarities to his own life: Both men were talented football players with promising careers cut short by tragedy. Both men's families were brutally murdered. And in both cases, another suspect came forward, years after the killing, to confess to the crime. A suspect who may or may not have been telling the truth.

The confession has the potential to make Melvin Mars--guilty or not--a free man. Who wants Mars out of prison? And why now?

But when a member of Decker's team disappears, it becomes clear that something much larger--and more sinister--than just one convicted criminal's life hangs in the balance. Decker will need all of his extraordinary brainpower to stop an innocent man from being executed.

About the Author

 David Baldacci writes because he can't imagine not writing. He published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996; one year later, it was adapted for film, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 30 novels for adults; all have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated into more than 45 languages and sold in more than 80 countries; over 110 million copies are in print worldwide. David has also published five novels for children. We don't know when he sleeps.

A lifelong Virginian, David graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia School of Law, after which he practiced law in Washington, D.C.

David and his wife, Michelle, are the co-founders of the Wish You Well Foundation®, which supports family and adult literacy in the United States. In 2008 the Foundation partnered with Feeding America to launch Feeding Body & Mind, a program to address the connection between literacy, poverty and hunger. Through Feeding Body & Mind, more than 1 million new and used books have been collected and distributed through food banks to families in need.

David and his family live in Virginia.

My Review

 David Baldacci is one of those authors whose books are consistently well written and enjoyable to read. The Last Mile which is the second book in Baldacci's Amos Decker series is an excellent read. It is one of those books that is impossible to put down. The twists and turns were endless. I kept having to know what was going to happen next!

The Last Mile is a book about relationships and friendships. It is the type of book that appeals to both men and women. There is lots of action but there is also a lot about human relationships. And it is one of those books that makes us wonder how well do we really know the people in our lives.

Great great read!!!! There is a reason that The Last Mile has been in Amazon's top 20 for weeks and weeks. Be sure to read this one!!!

Review: Murder on the Quai (Aimee Leduc Investigations #16) by Cara Black

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Crime (June 14 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B015MA7RPI
Book Description

 The world knows Aimée Leduc, heroine of 15 mysteries in this New York Times bestselling series, as a très chic, no-nonsense private investigator—the toughest and most relentless in Paris. Now author Cara Black dips back in time to reveal how Aimée first became a detective . . .

November 1989: Aimée Leduc is in her first year of college at Paris’s preeminent medical school. She lives in a 17th-century apartment that overlooks the Seine with her father, who runs the family detective agency.

But the week the Berlin Wall crumbles, so does Aimée’s life as she knows it. First, someone has sabotaged her lab work, putting her at risk of failing out of the program. Then, she finds out her aristo boyfriend is planning to get engaged to another woman. And finally, Aimée’s father takes off to Berlin on a mysterious errand. He asks Aimée to help out at the detective agency while he’s gone—as if she doesn’t already have enough to do. But the case Aimée finds herself investigating—a murder linked to a transport truck of Nazi gold that disappeared in the French countryside during the height of World War II—has gotten under her skin. Her heart may not lie in medicine after all—maybe it’s time to think harder about the family business.

Praise for Murder on the Quai"Finally we have the prequel we’ve been craving... A treat for series fans."

"So begins the arc of Aimée's story: the first corpse, the first clue, the first shattered love affair, the first meeting with René, her eventual partner, and the reader's first glimpse of Leduc Detectives."
—Kirkus ReviewsPraise for the New York Times bestselling Aimée Leduc series
"Transcendently, seductively, irresistibly French."
—Alan Furst
"A winning mystery, as stylish and sexy as the city Cara Black knows so well."
—George Pelecanos
"Wry, complex, sophisticated, intensely Parisian . . . One of the very best heroines in crime fiction today."
—Lee Child

"So authentic you can practically smell the fresh baguettes and coffee."
—Val McDermid

"As always, with airfares so high, Black offers armchair travelers a whirlwind trip through the City of Light."
USA Today

"Forever young, forever stylish, forever in love with Paris—forever Aimée."
New York Times Book Review 

“[Cara Black] is on to a good thing: each of her novels is set in a colorful Parisian neighborhood—and there are a lot of them. The cumulative result of reading this addictive series is a sort of mini-tour of the city, as seen through a filter of fictional murder . . . Leduc is always a reliable and charming guide to the city's lesser-known corners.”
—The Seattle Times

“Black creates rich, plausible characters, giving them individuality and depth.”
—San Francisco Gate

About the Author

 Cara Black frequents a Paris little known outside the beaten tourist track. A Paris she discovers on research trips and interviews with French police, private detectives and café owners. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, a bookseller, and their teenage son. She is a San Francisco Library Laureate and a member of the Paris Sociéte Historique in the Marais. Her nationally bestselling and award nominated Aimée Leduc Investigation series has been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, German and Hebrew. She received the Medaille de la Ville de Paris for services to French culture. She's included in the GREAT WOMEN MYSTERY WRITERS by Elizabeth Lindsay 2nd editon published in the UK. Her first three novels in the series MURDER IN THE MARAIS, MURDER IN BELLEVILLE AN MURDER IN THE SENTIER - nominated for an Anthony Award as Best Novel - were published in the UK in 2008 and MURDER IN THE LATIN QUARTER comes out in the UK in 2010. Several of her books have been chosen as BookSense Picks and INDIE NEXT choice by the Amerian Association of Independent Bookstores. The Washington Post listed MURDER IN THE RUE DE PARADIS in the Best Fiction Choices of 2008. MURDER IN THE LATIN QUARTER is a finalist for Best Novel Award from the NCIBA Northern California Independent Booksellers Association.

She is currently working on the next book in the Aimée Leduc series.

My Review

Murder on the Quai is the sixteenth book in the Aimee Leduc Investigations series by author Cara Black. I have been excited about Murder on the Quai because it goes back in time to when Aimee first became a detective.

I found Murder on the Quai to be a refreshing glimpse back in the past. I was fascinated to read about Aimee Leduc when she was younger...why she ditched medical school to become a detective, her relationships with her father and grandfather as well as meeting some of the characters that are featured in all the novels like Rene and Martine as well as her god-father.

There is also a great storyline that takes the reader back to World War II.

All in all a fantastic read! Highly recommend!

Review: The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 995 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperAvenue (March 22 2016)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B013PL4UEC

Book Description

A warm, funny and acutely perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of the shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives.

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.

Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the future they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.

This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down. In this tender, entertaining, and deftly written debut, Sweeney brings a remarkable cast of characters to life to illuminate what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of time, and the fraught yet unbreakable ties we share with those we love.

An instant new york times bestseller

“Humor and delightful irony abound in this lively first novel.”-New York Times Book Review

“Hilarious and big-hearted, The Nest is a stellar debut.” -People, Book of the Week

“Her writing is like really good dark chocolate: sharper and more bittersweet than the cheap stuff, but also too delicious not to finish in one sitting.” -Entertainment Weekly

The Nest is an addictive, poignant read with an enticing premise.” -Los Angeles Times

“Intoxicating…I couldn’t stop reading or caring about the juicy and dysfunctional Plumb family.” – Amy Poehler

“A masterfully constructed, darkly comic, and immensely captivating tale.” – Elizabeth Gilbert

“This book keeps its blade sharp and its heart open.” – Matthew Thomas

“Sweeney explores the broken heart of a family with insight and compassion.” – Bret Anthony Johnston

“A wise, funny, compassionate family drama…” – Jami Attenberg


About the Author

Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons. She has an MFA from The Bennington Writing Seminars. Previously, she lived in New York City and worked for more than two decades writing copy for a variety of clients, including American Express, McDonald’s and more defunct Internet start-ups than she cares to count. Her non-fiction essays have been published in The New York Times Magazine and Martha Stewart Living. The Nest is her first novel.

My Review

The Nest is a fun book about a very dysfunctional family. I had a hard time liking any of the characters but I had a hard time putting The Nest down. It is already a runaway hit this year. I really enjoyed the book. The ending was very satisfying. Great read!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Giveaway!!! Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours: Eclair and Present Danger by Laura Bradford

You can enter the giveaway here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Participants

June 1 – Girl Lost In a Book – REVIEW
June 1 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW
June 2 – Cinnamon, Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW
June 2 – The Self-Rescue Princess – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 2 – cherylbbookblog – REVIEW
June 3 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 3 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW *
June 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW *
June 4 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – REVIEW *
June 4 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
June 5 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 5 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner – REVIEW  
June 6 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW *
June 6 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
June 6 – fuonlyknew – REVIEW*
June 7 – Classy Cheapskate – REVIEW
June 7 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 7 – Books Direct – GUEST POST
June 8 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW*
June 8 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
June 8 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW *
June 9 – Melina’s Book Blog –  REVIEW *
June 9 – deal sharing aunt – REVIEW *
June 9 – Mystery Playground – RECIPE
June 10 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, RECIPE *
June 10 – Booklady’s Booknotes – REVIEW
June 11 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
June 11 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 11 – The Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW *
June 12 – Book Babble – REVIEW
June 12 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

  • 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.

For more information, visit Laura’s website:  or get to know her even better on Facebook at, and on Twitter:  @bradfordauthor
Twitter:  @bradfordauthor

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.