Posted in 5 paws, Review, romance on February 20, 2018

Synopsis

Greta loves her job as an assistant librarian. She loves her best friend, Will, the high school civics teacher and debate coach. She even loves her mother despite her obvious disappointment that Greta is still single.

Then she meets Mac in the poetry section of the library, and she is smitten. Mac is heart-stoppingly gorgeous and showers her with affection, poetic text messages, and free hot chocolate at the local café where he works. The only problem is that he seems to be a different person in his texts than in his face-to-face conversation.

When the Franklin Library is threatened with closure, Greta leaps into action. She arranges for a “battle of the bands” book jam, hosts a book signing by a famous author, and finally, stages a protest that raises more than a few eyebrows.

Through it all, she slowly realizes that it is Will, not Mac, who she turns to for support and encouragement. Mac has the looks; Will has the heart. How can she choose between them?

Check Me Out is a contemporary romance–with just a hint of Cyrano de Bergerac–that reminds us that it is what’s on the inside that matters most.

Review

This was such an enjoyable book.  The crux of the story (to me) was the fate of our public libraries.  Larger cities are blessed to have wonderful libraries but smaller towns might have problems keeping them open if they do not have a large town base.  In this story, the Franklin Library is on the verge of being shut down because it cannot be made ADA compliant. The library is housed in a historic home with lots of charm and character, but if you know anything about those older homes, they weren’t built with wheelchairs in mind.  So Greta takes this as a personal challenge to make sure the taxpayers vote for the bond to build a new library.  Some of her methods are a bit crazy, but she is passionate and will do whatever it takes to keep her job and the library open.

The story also has a local history aspect.  It seems that whenever someone dies all of their papers end up at the library.  So Greta, with the help of Will, is tasked with sorting through the boxes and digitizing the photos and documents.  In the midst of all the documents, she comes across a Dr Silver who was something of a radical for his time and helped end segregation in their town in Ohio.  However, she can’t find any information about him after that time period and it sets her on a quest to figure out what happened to him.  She even admits to having a historical crush on him.  This story has a nice ending but I’m not going to say how she finds Dr Silver.

The romance was delightful, perhaps a bit predictable, but it unfolded nicely.  Greta apparently asks for something on her birthday each year and Will gives her whatever it is despite how hard it might be to come up with her wish.  Apparently this year she wished for the perfect man, handsome with the soul of a poet.  Will being Will, he introduces her to his cousin who is very handsome and seems to be saying all the right things.  But everyone else knows the truth about Mac and his words, how long will it take Greta to figure it out?  I’m sure you can guess where this is going but I’m not going to spoil it for you.

We loved this book and suggest reading it especially if you are about saving the libraries…just don’t go to some of the lengths that Greta did in this story!

We give this 5 paws up.

 

 

 

Posted in 5 paws, Giveaway, memoir, nonfiction, Review, Texas on February 18, 2018

WHY I HATE GREEN BEANS

and other confessions about relationships, reality tv, and how we see ourselves

by

LINCEE RAY

Genre: Humorous NonFiction / Memoir

Publisher: Revell

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Date of Publication: February 6, 2018

Number of Pages: 208

Scroll down for the giveaway!

Insecurity. As women, we all struggle with it. Our skinny jeans mock us. Our age-defying serums with flecks of gold refuse to erase our crow’s feet. Our social media feeds taunt us with everyone else’s picture-perfect lives. If you’ve ever felt uninteresting, unlovable, or unattractive, you’re ready for Lincee Ray’s particular brand of hilarious (and hard-hitting) self-reflection.

Like a trustworthy friend, she shows us that the fastest way to happiness is to embrace ourselves in all our imperfection and trust that God knew what He was doing when He made us. From maneuvering the muffin top to navigating the sketchy waters of singleness to walking the judgmental halls of the workplace, Lincee’s laugh-out-loud look at real life reveals many of the key truths she’s learned about her identity:

Yoga pants are your friend, Jesus sees you, and green-bean diets are never the answer.

PRAISE FOR WHY I HATE GREEN BEANS

“Lincee is a brilliant writer. She once described me as ‘smelling of worn leather, a vintage nine iron and swagger.’ She pretty much nailed it. She is definitely worthy of the final rose.” —Chris Harrison, host of ABC’s Bachelor franchise and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

“I found myself laughing out loud, wiping away a few tears, and cheering her on every step of the way. Lincee is the best friend you wish you had. Get ready to fall in love with her and her fabulous debut book!”  —Melanie Shankle, author of the Big Mama blog

“By the end of this book, you’ll think of Lincee as a favorite friend: someone who shoots straight, finds the funny in every situation, and reminds you what matters most. You are in for a treat!” —Sophie Hudson, author of Giddy Up, Eunice and co-host of The Big Boo Cast podcast

I am not even sure where to start on my review other than I LOVED this book.  It made me laugh, but there were also some parts that were poignant, such as, when Lincee wrote about her marriage and its failure.  I was truly amazed to read her story and enjoyed every minute…I did not want the book to end.

I have followed I Hate Green Beans for a few years after being turned on to it by a friend.  I thought the title of her blog was hysterical because I love green beans!  I don’t remember if I knew why she didn’t like that green vegetable, but I learned why in her book – an evil diet.  Then as I was reading her profile (way back when), I learned that we attended the same high school.  Not at the same time mind you!  But I felt a kinship when she spoke about her time in high school and what she experienced being on the Belles (drill team).  While I was a band geek, I also participated in the Flag Corps, so I could commiserate about those weigh ins!  While I might not be able to relate to everything she wrote about, I could feel her emotions – from angst to frustration to happiness – in each story she told.  She made me feel like I was sitting right next to her in each event in her life.

Lincee even puts her faith out there for all to see.  Her Christian beliefs helped guide her through the tougher times in life and kept her grounded despite any situation.  And trust me when I say there are lots of situations that would test any of us.  She shares various bible verses that helped her in situations when she needed support.  I appreciated her humility in admitting when she needed that extra assistance to get through.

For Lincee to put her life out there for anyone and everyone to read, it shows a courage that many do not possess.  Her honesty, quick wit, and fluid writing will entertain readers and if they enjoy it as much as I did, they will not want to put the book down.  Not all may be able to relate, but I am willing to bet that there is at least one story or situation that will seem familiar – even if it is the insecurity that many of us feel as a woman.

We give this 5 paws up!  We’d give more but our scale is only 5.

Lincee Ray is an accidental blogging superstar from Texas who now writes for EW.com and the Associated Press. An active speaker, she can be found at her popular website, ihategreenbeans.com, where she makes it clear that she believes it’s important to tell your story—even if it makes you seem a little crazy.

 

 ║ Blog║ Facebook ║ Twitter ║

║ Instagram ║ Podcast ║

————————————-

GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

FEBRUARY 13-22, 2018

GRAND PRIZE:

Copy of Why I Hate Green Beans with a signed book plate, $50 Barnes & Noble Gift Card, and Lincee’s Loves Basket which includes: Rave travel hairspray, Minnie Mouse ears, Vodka*, Heartbreakers Candy, Dr. Pepper, chocolate rose, and green jelly beans.

2nd PRIZE:

Copy of Why I Hate Green Beans with a signed bookplate, $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card

3rd PRIZE:

Copy of Why I Hate Green Beans with a signed bookplate, $10 Barnes & Noble Gift Card

(U.S. Only; *proof of age required for vodka)


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Check out the other great blogs on this tour

2/13/18 Notable Quotable A Page Before Bedtime
2/13/18 Notable Quotable Hall Ways Blog
2/14/18 Review Missus Gonzo
2/15/18 Playlist Reading by Moonlight
2/15/18 Author Interview The Librarian Talks
2/16/18 Review Forgotten Winds
2/17/18 Guest Post Texas Book Lover
2/17/18 Excerpt The Page Unbound
2/18/18 Review StoreyBook Reviews
2/19/18 Notable Quotable Syd Savvy
2/19/18 Notable Quotable A Novel Reality
2/20/18 Review Chapter Break Book Blog
2/21/18 Top Five Momma on the Rocks
2/22/18 Review Story Schmoozing Book Reviews
2/22/18 Review Margie’s Must Reads

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Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Monday, mystery, Review on February 12, 2018

Synopsis

Former soap opera actress Veronica Walsh is recovering from her first holiday season in the retail world when she is pulled from retirement to star in a community production of Blithe Spirit. Delighted to play the part of a medium, Veronica must soon also assume the role of amateur sleuth when she finds the play’s director shot dead behind the theater.

Teaming with stage manager Sophie Morrissey, Veronica’s hunt for clues to the murder of Gigi Swanson leads her to a cast of colorful behind-the-scenes characters and a stunning Act Three finale. Will it be a triumph for Veronica, or will the curtain close on more than her career?

Review

Veronica Walsh is caught back up in a mystery and this time it hits close to home as the producer of the local community theater is killed.  Of course, Veronica has to investigate, that is her nature!  But at least this time she has the blessing of a local police detective to do some sleuthing and report back to her.

The mystery of this series is very well written.  In this installment, there are many likely candidates to be the murderer but it isn’t until the end when the truth is unwound that the killer is put in the spotlight.  I kept going back and forth between several characters, wanting them to be the murderer but with no real facts or evidence to support that desire.  I was a little bit surprised when the true killer was revealed, but not too much only because I had worked through most of the characters and there weren’t many characters left to be the killer.

There is an easy camaraderie between many of the main characters.  They are close friends and support each other in many ways, including doing crazy things to unearth a killer!

I have also enjoyed watching Veronica and Mark’s romantic relationship blossom.  It is very subdued in the book, but you can catch undercurrents of their appreciation for each other.

We give this book 5 paws up and eagerly await the next book!

About the Author

Jeanne Quigley grew up reading mysteries, watching soap operas, and vacationing in the Adirondacks, never imagining these pleasures would inspire the Veronica Walsh cozy mystery series. Jeanne’s love of characters—real and fictional—led her to study Sociology and English at the University of Notre Dame. Jeanne has never been a soap star, but she has worked in the music industry and for an education publisher. She resides in Rockland County, New York and is a member of the Sisters in Crime.

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Posted in 5 paws, excerpt, Giveaway, Review, romance on February 2, 2018

Synopsis

He might be winning her heart before she even knows who he is…

Welcome to Blessings, Georgia, the small town with a big heart! Anyone from a small town can tell you that gossip never stays quiet for long. The biggest news lately is Ruby Dye: she’s been receiving gifts from a secret admirer. But Ruby isn’t sure she can trust this newfound happiness. Nobody knows the dark secrets she keeps about her life before she arrived in Blessings. Is this the beginning of a would-be romance, or is she the target of something more sinister?

Everyone admires Ruby and her determination to do the right thing, especially local lawyer “Peanut” Butterman. He’s finally ready to tell her how he feels. But when trouble arrives on Ruby’s doorstep and their little town is threatened, Peanut may have to prove himself in ways he never imagined.

Preorder the Book Here

Review

I love the town of Blessings and how everyone comes together as a community to support and help one another. Makes me wish I lived in this town (or maybe one similar to it!)

This installment focuses on Ruby and Peanut. Peanut has been sending Ruby gifts as a secret admirer and now is the time to reveal himself and his love for Ruby. Luckily Ruby loves him just as much! The road to the forever for these two is not easy and they have to deal with Ruby’s ex-husband and a serious incident with Peanut that lands him in the hospital. But true love wins out in the end.

This book is very uplifting but has some dark and down moments, but it is what adds complexity to the book. There are some lessons that everyone can take away from this book, especially in how to treat someone.

If you have not read this series, definitely start with the first book as each book builds on the last one.

We give this 5 paws up!

Excerpt

Chief Pittman drove through town with lights flashing, then pulled into the alley behind the bar to the small, clapboard house.

There was no smoke coming out of the fireplace, no lights on anywhere inside, and when he saw the front door open and a tall, gangly boy and a huge bloodhound emerging, he jumped out to open the back door of his cruiser.

As he did, a woman followed them out. She was blue from cold and shivering. She coughed, then couldn’t stop. Then the boy approached and held out his hand.

“I’m Charlie Conroy, Sir. Thank you for calling.”

Lon wondered how desperate they were and then decided to deal with that later.

“You can put your dog in the back and ride up front with me.”

“Yes sir,” Charlie said, loaded up Booger, then got into the front seat.

Lon turned around.

“Mrs. Conroy, I’m Chief Pittman. Thank you for allowing your boy to help us. I’ll have him back as soon as possible, okay?”

“Yes, it’s okay,” she said.

And then another little voice piped up, and Lon saw a tiny little girl standing in the doorway, also wearing her coat over her clothes. She was crying.

“Mommy, Mommy, I’m cold.”

“I have to go,” Alice said, and ran back to the doorway, picked up the little girl and disappeared into the house, shutting the door behind her as she went.

Lon got in. The boy was already buckled up.

“We’re going straight to the nursing home.”

“Yes, sir,” Charlie said, his heartbeat jumping as the Chief drove away.

“So what’s going on at your house? Don’t you have any heat?”

“We don’t have any utilities, sir. We got cut off.”

“When was this?” Lon asked.

“Oh, a few days ago, but I’ll get the money earned to get them back on.”

“Is this why you put out the fliers?” Lon asked.

Charlie nodded.

“That was very industrious. How old are you?” Lon said.

“I’m twelve, but I am the man of the family now,” Charlie said, and then turned his head as they passed the school, looking at it with a mixture of longing and despair.

Another two blocks and he pulled up in front of the nursing home. One of his deputies was already there gathering info, while the other one on duty was back at the station. People were gathering here as the news had spread, ready to help search.

“Here we go,” Lon said, as he pulled up and parked. “You get your hound and follow me.”

“Yes sir,” Charlie said, and leaped out, grabbed Booger’s leash, and took off after the Chief.

Nathan Rose, the nursing home administrator, was trying not to panic as he explained what he knew to the Deputy, Ralph Herman.

“We’ve never had this happen before,” Nathan said. “We lock the doors at night and everything. Wanda is the one who discovered her absence.”

Ralph eyed the aide in purple scrubs. She looked to be in her late twenties, and she also looked scared to death, like someone was going to lay the blame of this on her.

“So, Wanda, how did you know she was missing?” Ralph asked.

“She wasn’t in her bed when I came on duty at six a.m., so I went looking for her, assuming she’d just fallen asleep somewhere else inside the building. They do that sometimes, but I couldn’t find her. That’s when we all began to search. She’s not here.”

“Were there any unlocked doors?” Ralph asked.

Willa’s shoulders slumped.

“The one from the kitchen leading out into the back alley. There’s an extra lock up high. She’s so little, I don’t know how she reached to open it.”

“Either someone helped her, or it was unintentionally left unlocked,” Nathan said. “It’s the only explanation.”

“Have you notified her next of kin?” the deputy asked.

“She doesn’t have any,” Nathan said. “She brought herself here three years back and hasn’t had a visitor from outside Blessings, since.”

At that point, the Chief walked up and didn’t waste time explaining.

“Nathan, I need something that belongs to Gertie…something that would have her scent on it…like her shoes… of a piece of her clothing…something that hasn’t yet been washed.”

Nathan saw the boy and the bloodhound and didn’t ask questions.

“Wanda, you heard him. Bring something that will have Gertie’s scent on it.”

Wanda turned and ran into the building as the deputy recognized the boy.

“Hey, that’s the kid from the flyer,” he said, then glanced at Lon. “Good call, Chief.”

“If it works, we can all thank Peanut Butterman. It was his suggestion.”

Charlie had outgrown his coat months ago, and had been wearing his Daddy’s clothes all winter, but he didn’t have a coat. It had burned up in the explosion. He shivered slightly as he waited, thinking nothing of the discomfort because it had become the norm, but Lon saw it.

“Be right back,” he said, and jogged toward his cruiser, popped the trunk and then came back with a heavy, fleece-lined flannel jacket. “Put this on,” he said, as he handed it to Charlie.

Charlie’s eyes widened.

“I might get it dirty.”

“Son, it’ll wash,” Lon said. “Put it on.”

Charlie didn’t argue. The warmth that enveloped him was so welcome it brought tears to his eyes.

“I thank you,” Charlie whispered.

Lon patted the boy’s shoulder as Wanda came running back holding a pair of cotton socks.

“Gertie wore these yesterday. They were still in her shoes. Will this work?”

Lon glanced at Charlie, who nodded.

“They’ll do just fine,” Charlie said, then glanced at Lon. “Are you ready, Chief?”

Lon glanced around at the small crowd of people who’d gathered to help search.

“We’re going to try this first before we send everyone out in differing directions. If some of you want to go home, you’re welcome. But if there are any who want to follow us and the hound, then fan out in a grid behind him and do your best to keep up.”

A few waved and headed back to their cars, but a good dozen of them stayed.

Lon heard one searcher call out.

“That hound won’t track. I reckon the rain has washed out her tracks and scent.”

“We’ll see,” Lon said, and watched as Charlie Conroy got down on one knee and shoved the socks up under Booger’s nose.

As he did, the hound began to whine, as if sensing he’d just be given a task.

“Hunt, Booger! Hunt!” Charlie said.

The massive bloodhound lifted his head, sniffing the air, then put nose to ground and moved toward the back of the building with Charlie hanging onto the leash. The moment they reached the back door, Booger bayed.

“He’s on the scent,” Charlie cried, and off they went, through two blocks of housing, across the baseball field and then up into the woods, with the cops and the searchers behind them.

About the Author

SHARON SALA has over ninety-five books in print and has published in five different genres. She is a seventime RITA finalist, four-time Career Achievement winner from RT Book Reviews, and five-time winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award. Writing changed her life, her world, and her fate. She lives in Norman, Oklahoma.

Website * Goodreads * Twitter * Facebook

Giveaway

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Posted in 5 paws, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Review, Trailer, Young Adult on January 12, 2018


Synopsis

Twelve-year-old Gordy Stitser is one of the few people who knows the truth about the secret society of potions masters, called Elixirists, whose specialized concoctions have been responsible for three centuries of advancements, including hybrid cards, enhanced military weapons, and the cure for the common cold. Not only is Gordy’s mom on the Board of Ruling Elixirists Worldwide (B.R.E.W), but she has also been training Gordy in the art of potion-making. Gordy is a natural, and every day he sneaks down to the basement lab to invent new potions using exotic ingredients like fire ant eggs, porcupine quills, and Bosnian tickling juice.

One afternoon, Gordy receives a mysteries package containing an extremely rare potion labeled “The Eternity Elixir.” In the right hands, the Elixir continues to protect society. But in the wrong hands, it could destroy the world as we know it.

Now, sinister potion masters are on the hunt to steal the Eternity Elixir. It’s up to Gordy, his parents, and his best friends, Max and Adeline, to prevent an all-out potion war.

Trailer

Review

If you have a child (or even if you) like YA/Middle Grade fantasy books, this is one to pick up and read.

The author did a great job of making this an enjoyable and captivating read for me. I liked the concept, the characters, and the action. There is a good balance of good and evil to add enough tension for the reader to wonder what might happen next and how certain situations would resolve themselves.

The main character, Gordy, is a talented potion maker and is leaps and bounds ahead of those around him. He is perhaps even better than his mom. He is also smart and is able to figure out a few things when situations become tense all looking for the Eternity Elixir. This is a fantasy book, so you do have to suspend reality when they talk about various potions and what they can do, but that isn’t hard at all.

I had a hard time putting the book down and can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

We give it 5 paws up.

About the Author

Frank L. Cole was born into a family of southern storytellers and wrote his first book at age eight. Highly superstitious and gullible to a fault, Frank will believe in any creepy story you tell him, especially ones involving ghosts and Big Foot. Currently, along with his wife and three children, he resides in the shadow of a majestic western mountain range, which is most likely haunted. Potion Masters The Eternity Elixir is Frank’s 10th published book.

I’m an active promoter of reading and using imagination and have been to more than 150 schools presenting to kids.

With a good imagination, you can solve any problem you ever come up against in life!

Twitter * Website * Facebook

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Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, mystery, Review on January 10, 2018

Synopsis

For fortysomething Poppy McAllister, taking a stroll down memory lane in Cape May, New Jersey, isn’t just awkward—it’s deadly.

Newly widowed and stuck in a middle-aged funk, Poppy has been running on cookies, infomercials, and one-sided chats with her cat for months. There’s no way on earth she’s attending her twenty-five-year class reunion—especially after receiving a very bizarre letter from Barbie, the popular cheerleader who taunted her all through high school. At least, not until Poppy’s best friend practically drags her to the event . . .

Using the dreaded homecoming as an excuse to visit her eccentric Aunt Ginny, Poppy vows to leave Cape May with pride and Spanx intact. Too bad Barbie is still the queen of mean at the reunion. And worse, that her dead body is lying right in front of Poppy’s old locker. Singled out as the killer, it’s up to Poppy to confront her past and clear her name. But between protecting her aunt from disaster and tackling a gluten-free diet, can Poppy crack the case before she’s voted “Most Likely to Die” by the murderer?

Includes Seven Recipes from Poppy’s Kitchen!

**This book releases January 30th, 2018**

Review

A new series and what a trip down memory lane….high school reunions, graduating in the 1980’s and the fashion of that time, and humor galore made this a very enjoyable book.

Poppy is a woman I can identify with – plus size, loves to cook and eat but has a heart of gold when it comes to friends and family (even if they are a bit nuts). I was enthralled with Poppy’s backstory and how she arrived at that point in her life. There were happy and sad moments in that regard, but it made Poppy a stronger character. I especially liked when she decided to take charge of her life and not let everyone walk all over her good nature.

The mystery was very well written and the killer popped into my head, not for any clues that were blatantly left behind in the story….maybe because this character was the only one left that fit? It was quite the surprise and as with all cozies, Poppy puts herself into danger many times but manages to come out unscathed.

And what would this book be without a love triangle? There is Tim, Poppy’s high school sweetheart, and Gia, the owner of a local coffee shop that encourages Poppy’s love of baking and providing gluten-free items for him to sell. It could be a tough choice on who to choose so it will be fun to see how this plays out in future books.

We give it 5 paws up!

Posted in 5 paws, Review, Thriller on December 28, 2017

Synopsis

Every time Gwen closed her eyes, she saw him in her nightmares. Now her eyes are open, and he’s not going away.

Gwen Proctor won the battle to save her kids from her ex-husband, serial killer Melvin Royal, and his league of psychotic accomplices. But the war isn’t over. Not since Melvin broke out of prison. Not since she received a chilling text…

You’re not safe anywhere now.

Her refuge at Stillhouse Lake has become a trap. Gwen leaves her children in the protective custody of a fortified, well-armed neighbor. Now, with the help of Sam Cade, brother of one of Melvin’s victims, Gwen is going hunting. She’s learned how from one of the sickest killers alive.

But what she’s up against is beyond anything she feared—a sophisticated and savage mind game calculated to destroy her. As trust beyond her small circle of friends begins to vanish, Gwen has only fury and vengeance to believe in as she closes in on her prey. And sure as the night, one of them will die.

Review

You must read Stillhouse Lake before reading this book or you will be totally lost.

This book is much like the first in the way that it keeps me on the edge of my seat wondering what is going to happen next. I am always surprised at each turn. While I hope to never have to deal with a serial killer, the way their minds work is nothing like I have ever encountered. Very manipulating!

I enjoyed how this book was told from the viewpoint of 4 pivotal characters – Gwen, Lanny, Connor and Sam. Now if there had been a viewpoint of Melvin (the serial killer) that would have been even more eerie! But since this is more about what the family endures it is appropriate to have it from these 4 voices.

There are times I wanted to yell at the characters for doing something stupid – it is like watching the horror movie and the characters doing something you know aren’t good decisions! But that aside, the mistakes they make help round out the storyline and really drag you into caring about what happens next and that all will be ok.

My understanding is that there will be a 3rd book and I’m wondering what could possibly happen next as this book wrapped a lot of things up nicely. I have my suspicions but can’t wait to see what happens in the next installment.

We give this 5 paws up

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Posted in 5 paws, Review, Thriller on December 27, 2017

Synopsis

Gina Royal is the definition of average—a shy Midwestern housewife with a happy marriage and two adorable children. But when a car accident reveals her husband’s secret life as a serial killer, she must remake herself as Gwen Proctor—the ultimate warrior mom.

With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband’s crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace.

But just when she’s starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake—and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address. Gwen Proctor must keep friends close and enemies at bay to avoid being exposed—or watch her kids fall victim to a killer who takes pleasure in tormenting her. One thing is certain: she’s learned how to fight evil. And she’ll never stop.

Review

Whoa, talk about an engaging, edge of your seat psychological thriller.

I felt back for Gwen/Gina and what she had to endure being married to serial killer, Melvin. But like many, he put on a good front and if not for a freak accident no one would have known what he was doing to all those women. I also hated that while acquitted (she didn’t help him), there were still people out there harassing her and trying to track her down to possibly kill her. That is nothing anyone should have to deal with in this world. Especially the children.

There are some twists that I didn’t see coming and the ending leaves you hanging just enough to want to read the next book out in a few months (Dec 2017).

We give this 5 paws up!

 

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Posted in 5 paws, Giveaway, mystery, Review on December 17, 2017

 

Unnatural Causes: A Dr. Katie LeClair Mystery
Mystery/ Amateur Sleuth
New Series
Crooked Lane Books (December 12, 2017)
Hardcover: 288 pages\

Synopsis

Katie LeClair has finally settled down as the new doctor in Baxter, MI. After years of moving, schooling, and training, she wants nothing more than to find a place she can call home, and a small town outside of Ann Arbor seemed perfect.

Katie quickly gets to work in building a life for herself in Baxter, and beyond reviving her love life, she also finds a pair of business partners in a team of father and son family practitioners. But that idyllic dream is immediately shattered when one of her patients is found dead. That wouldn’t be the worst thing, except the death is ruled a suicide, and as evidence has it, the suicide was a result of the medication Katie had prescribed. But she doesn’t remember writing it.

When a closer investigation reveals it was murder, Katie is catapulted into an off-the-books investigation that leads her down a dark path of past secrets. But someone is willing to kill to keep part of the town’s history in the shadows, and Katie must race to find out who before it’s too late in nationally bestselling author Dawn Eastman’s riveting series debut Unnatural Causes.

Review

This may fit the check boxes of a cozy, but it does not really feel like one.  But if you are a lover cozies don’t let that deter you because this mystery will keep you hopping from one character to another trying to uncover the mysteries surrounding this little town in Michigan.

Katie may be a newer doctor but that doesn’t keep her from making sure she is doing the best job possible for all her patients.  We see the caring side of her with some glimpses into her childhood and the tragedy of losing her mother at a younger age.  That coupled with watching over her younger brother gives her that edge and allows her to look deeper when one of her patients dies from an apparent overdose and the feeling that something isn’t quite right.

I never suspected the killer or the reasoning in their thought process until the killer was revealed.  The sad part is that if all parties involved would have just talked more the story could have ended differently.  The author did a great job of feeding us clues to perhaps suspect some secrets that had not come out over time, but not so many that you figure out the ending.

There is a budding romance between Katie and Matt, another doctor that she knew from her residency days and while he was filling in for other doctors in Baxter.  I can’t wait to see how their romance blossoms in future books.

We give this 5 paws up and think it is a series to watch.

About the Author

National bestselling author Dawn Eastman was a family medicine physician in Michigan. Now she lives in Iowa with her husband, son, and daughter. When not writing, she keeps busy catering to the whims of a bossy bichon-shih tzu mix who wants to rule the world. This is her first Dr. Katie LeClair mystery. She is also the author of THE FAMILY FORTUNE MYSTERIES.

Webpage – Facebook – Goodreads – Twitter

Giveaway

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Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, Magic, mystery, Review on December 16, 2017

Mermaid Fins, Winds & Rolling Pins: A Cozy Witch Mystery
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Self Published (November 21, 2017)
Paperback: 286 pages

Synopsis

Murder at a Mermaid Nightclub

The enchanted village of Bijou Mer’s on high alert, with the villainous Horace on the loose. Imogen’s excited to escape the tension with a trip to the underwater Mermaid Kingdom to bake for the young mermaid queen’s engagement to the pirate king.

But when the mermaids turn out to be less French Riviera and more Jersey shore, the bakers are wrapped up in their world of clubbing in sea caves and fighting off seals for the best tanning spots, and are embroiled in a pirate smuggling scandal. It gets worse when a member of the mermaid court is found dead in a fishing net, and one of Imogen and Maple’s baked goods seems to be the murder weapon.

Imogen tries to fish out the real murderer to clear their names, while struggling with her romantic feelings for Hank. At the same time, she’s working with him to learn to control her magic and investigate Horace’s riddle and her own mysterious past.

As the mermaid court’s freewheeling lifestyle rubs off on the bakers, the gang lets loose and passions rise to the surface. But with a giant octopus crawling the ocean floor, the mermaid court filled with simmering secrets and scandals, and the ever present threat of the Badlands Army, Imogen must solve the murder before she ends up fish food herself.

Review

Another hit in this magical cozy mystery series.

The gang from the Water Kingdom travels to the Mermaid Kingdom to make the pastries and such for the wedding of the Mermaid Queen (Winnie) to the Pirate King (Chuck).  To do this, Imogen and the others have to transform into merpeople to be able to get around their world since most of it is under water.  It is a new twist for Imogen, as she is still getting used to having magical powers.  While there they come across a mermaid that was murdered and Imogen has to solve the crime.  I will have to admit that I never guessed who killed Bubbles and the reason why was quite fascinating.  So much history between many characters. And there is some interesting twists when it comes to Imogen and Hank and their attraction to each other.  Oh and we do learn a little bit more about Imogen’s past and how she didn’t know she was magical.  There is still a lot more to come with that aspect, but what we discover is quite shocking – or at least to me it was!

I still can’t explain why I really like this series.  Maybe it is the creativity in the characters, worlds and magic; maybe it is the humorous situations; maybe it is the burgeoning love between Imogen and Hank; or maybe it is just the right book at the right time.  But whatever reason, this is a must read series for me and I can’t wait for book four that will be out sometime this month.

We give this book 5 paws up

About the Author

A native of Tempe, Arizona, Erin spends her time crafting mysterious, magical, romance-filled stories that’ll hopefully make you laugh.

In between, she’s traveling, napping with her dogs, eating with her friends and family, and teaching Pilates (to allow her to eat more).

Website * Facebook * Twitter

 

Giveaway

There are 2 giveaways!  The first is a set of all 3 books (so far) in this series in eBook format.  Open internationally

 

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The second giveaway is a tour wide giveaway


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