Posted in Cozy, mystery, soap opera on November 23, 2010

Author Mary Jane Clark is probably best known for her suspense series featuring Eliza Blake, co-anchor for KEY news.  She has branched out and created a pseudo cozy series called the Wedding Cake Mysteries.  It might be more of a cozy than I think, but compared to others it didn’t see as “light” as other cozy series…doesn’t mean it is a bad book, just on a different level which is to be expected based on the other series that MJC writes.


To Have and To Kill features Piper Donovan, a struggling actress with no immediate prospects and a recently broken engagement. Reluctantly, she moves back in with her parents to take stock of her life. Piper steps tentatively into the family bakery business, and finds herself agreeing to create the wedding cake for the acclaimed star of a daytime television drama. But soon deadly things start happening around the bride-to-be and it seems that somebody is ruthlessly determined to stop the wedding.

With the help of her former neighbor, Jack, a handsome FBI agent with a soft spot for the gorgeous cake-maker, Piper moves closer to the truth. As she narrows in on a suspect, Piper realizes that it’s hotter in the kitchen than she may be able to handle…


I have read most of MJC’s other books in the Key Series and have really enjoyed the books so I was interested to see what her foray into the cozy realm would produce.  While I mentioned a few minor things before, I thought this book was a great start.  The characters were real and dealt with many life issues (money, love, desperation, etc).  The story line was intriguing and truly kept me guessing as to who the killer was in the book.  I kept going back and forth between a few characters only to be proven wrong in the end.  That is the sign of a good book when I can’t figure out whodoneit!  I’ll also be curious to see what path Piper chooses in her life…if she continues acting (or at least auditioning) or focuses a little more on her mom’s bakery.

This is definitely a series to watch, I think it could rival some of the other cozy series in the market.

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Posted in Cozy, Florida on November 10, 2010

A few months ago I reviewed the first book in the Sherri Travis series called Margarita Nights by author Phyllis Smallman.  The book showed promise for a new series set in Florida so I decided to check out the next two books in the series, Sex in a Sidecar and A Brewski for the Old Man.  The following synopsis are from the author’s website.

Sex in a Sidecar

Florida has two seasons. The rainy season brings hurricanes, the dry season delivers tourists – both can be nasty.

Sherri Travis is tending bar at the Bath and Tennis Club where two women have been murdered. A rich socialite, who comes in daily for her quota of side-cars, decides to commit suicide by being the next victim,but first she has to decide who the murderer is.

Sherri pours the drinks and listens to the stories, trying to make sense of it all.

A Brewski for the Old Man

The story of the return to Jacaranda of Ray John Leenders, the man who abused Sherri when she was a child. Back in town he’s living with a woman who has a young daughter. Sherri doesn’t want to get involved; it’s none of her business – except, except – she knows the woman and her daughter and it’s impossible to stay uninvolved.


These two books were a fairly quick and easy read.  It continues the life of Sherri but since she received an insurance settlement from the death of her husband in the first book, she is able to purchase the bar she worked at, Sunset, with another investor, Clay who also happens to be her love interest. 

I know that these are a cozy mysteries but sometimes I wonder how these characters get themselves into so much trouble!  Granted most of the time she isn’t looking for that trouble but manages to find her anyway.

I was surprised that despite everything that has happened in the first two books and how Sherri has managed to solve or help solve these crimes that Detective Styles always seems to think she is involved more than she really is and automatically thinks she had something to do with the death  of John Ray in the third book.  Hasn’t he learned anything yet?  Or is he just looking for an excuse to get close to Sherri?  Granted there is a lot of circumstantial evidence but we all know you can’t make assumptions.

If you enjoyed Margarita Nights you will enjoy these next two installments.  The pace is quick and the cast of characters which follows each book will keep you hopping trying to decide who can or cannot be trusted.

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Posted in breast cancer, health, Susan G Komen Foundation, women on November 3, 2010

NANCY G. BRINKER is the founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. She has served as Ambassador to Hungary and White House Chief of Protocol and as Global Ambassador for Cancer Control for the World Health Organization. She has received the prestigious Mary Woodard Lasker Award for Public Service, the Trumpet Foundation’s President’s Award, the Independent Women’s Forum Barbara K. Olson Woman of Valor Award, the Forbes Trailblazer Award, the Ladies’ Home Journal 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century, and the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom.


Growing up in postwar Peoria, Illinois, Suzy and Nancy Goodman were inseparable, with the elegantly poised Suzy serving as younger sister Nancy’s best friend and role model in the grand adventure of life. The Goodman sisters learned at an early age the importance of helping those in need. Charity became a common theme in their lives but so did breast cancer. In 1977, at the age of thirty-four, Suzy was diagnosed with the disease.  Three years later, having endured well-meaning but misinformed doctors, multiple surgeries, and several grueling courses of chemotherapy and radiation, she died.  In one of the sisters’ last conversations, Suzy begged Nancy to do something to stop the suffering:

“Promise me, Nanny,” she said. “Promise me you won’t let it go on like this.”


As a breast cancer survivor, I wanted to know more about how the Susan G Komen Foundation (SGK) came about and how it became so influential.  I don’t remember when I began hearing about the organization or really took notice but it was many years after the formation.

This book includes a time line of the history of breast cancer along with the story of Susan and Nancy’s lives including childhood, marriage, divorce, kids and cancer.  The various time lines were neatly interwoven within each other to give you a historical perspective.  I will say that when I got to the chapters about a trip that they took to Europe after high school almost stopped me from finishing the book.  I felt like it went on too long.  But I am very glad that I kept reading because after that the book was exactly what I was expecting, how SGK came about and the struggles that they went through to form the foundation.  And I was quite surprised when I read who was the Oncologist for Susan and Nancy, my own Oncologist Dr. George Blumenschein!  I knew I had to have been in good hands 6 years ago when I chose him to help me fight my own battle with breast cancer.

All in all I would give this book 3 1/2 stars.  There is a great resource section at the back of the book and I found many resources that I hadn’t known about at that time and can share with others diagnosed with this disease.

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