Posted in 5 paws, Craft, Review on December 21, 2016


Synopsis

Keep your children’s hands busy during church services with Bible Origami. Instead of folding the service programs into paper airplanes, they can fold Noah’s ark, an oil lamp, or Joseph’s coat! As you develop the unique skill of creating these simple-to-intermediate origami designs, you will find opportunities to use them with all ages for lessons, activities, crafting, and everyday fun!

Q & A with Todd

Where did you get the inspiration to write a book on origami?

I have an amazing wife, Jill, who when I told her my idea told me to, “Go for it.”  She is amazing creative in her own right and she has always been supportive.  Whenever I would get stuck, she was there to encourage me.  She inspired me and inspires me.  I also have four great kids, Kylie, Jolie, Sophie and Dean who have been my guinea pigs when it came to practicing my different models.  They would tell me if it was too hard, or didn’t look like what I was trying to portray.  They were also part of my amazing team.

Who is this book written for?

First, I think origami is a wonderful teaching tool for kids as it combines following instructions with a hands on approach that kids enjoy.  Plus, the end result is always an accomplishment that the folder can look at as something they have created.  I can see origami being used in church schools and home school programs, as well as with family for fun activities on Sundays.  It requires very little in preparation, just paper.  I’ve also heard of it being used with older youth in missionary activities where they leave notes for people on some of the designs.  Rather than a post it note with a reading assignment, the person being taught is left with the assignment written on a dove or oil lamp.

What is the connection between origami and your career as a counselor?

I really do not use origami when I am counseling other although I have heard of some people doing that.  The only real connection is that origami provides a nice break for me from my work.  After a few hours of intense counseling sometimes it feels good to sit at my desk, take my mind out of counseling mode, and fold a couple of fun models to change things up a bit.

Review

What a fantastic idea to keep younger children occupied during church but to do something with a message.  This book shares many stories from the bible and each page has a “Did You Know” at the top of each page with a fact that you may or may not have known about the bible.

I’m only a semi crafty person, but my stepson has done Origami before so I asked him for his assistance in trying some of these pieces.  I could handle most of the level 1 and level 2 took some time.  He was able to do various level 3 pieces with ease.  The drawings are explicit and show you step by step how to recreate the different pieces.  While mine looked ok, I’m sharing some pictures from the author of the different origami in the book.

 

Dove

Fishes & Loaves

Manger & Child

We think this is a great book and give it 5 paws up!

About the Author

Todd Huisken is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Irvine, California.  He had a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Brigham Young University, a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego and has been in practice for 21 years.   Todd has served as the Assistant Director of Disaster Mental Health Services for the Orange County Chapter of the American Red Cross.  He has worked with victims from the San Diego Fires, Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina, and spent two weeks in Haiti following the earthquake in 2010.  He’s a writer, a runner and a paper folder.  Todd has been married to his beautiful wife for 26 years and they have three daughters and a son.  In their free time, the Huiskens try to make Disneyland their second home.

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Posted in 5 paws, Movie, Review on December 20, 2016

Synopsis

It’s Christmas Eve, and Leland Jeppson’s hope is gone. Struggling to get by in their rustic homestead, he had at least wanted to give his family a special Christmas. But with a blizzard blowing in and the train bearing their gifts nowhere in sight, it seems Christmas is just one more thing they’ll have to do without. But as dusk falls, the Jeppsons’ packages unexpectedly arrive at the post office in the not-so-nearby town. Half-blind Postman George Schow is hesitant to brave the storm, but his son, Sidney, will stop at nothing to bring Christmas to the Jeppsons—and ask their daughter, Ellen, to the New Year’s Eve dance. Now it’s up to father and son to battle fierce elements in an attempt to deliver a Christmas miracle. Don’t miss this heartwarming reminder that while God helps those who help themselves, sometimes He does so through others.

Review

While this movie is just 27 minutes long, it packs in a lot of emotion and beliefs into that time frame.  We all know that Christmas is a time to help one another, especially those less fortunate, but there is always one “Scrooge”, and in this movie that is the postman George Schow.  He seems to imply that the Jeppsons’ have brought their situation on themselves which can be no further from the truth.  All it takes is his son (who has a crush on the Jeppsons’ oldest daughter) to convince him that we all need a little holiday cheer.

The movie reminds us of why we celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus.  It also reminds us to reach out to our friends and family and help them however we can and the Jeppsons’ feel the love from their family near and far and it is a reminder of how we should all be in this world, not just during the Christmas holidays.  As a side note the movie is set in 1927.

This is a very touching and heartwarming movie and if you get the chance to see it somewhere then watch it.  Only 27 minutes but well worth the time.

We give it 5 paws up.

Watch the trailer here

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Posted in 4 paws, Review, Thriller on December 17, 2016

 

bullseye breach

 

Synopsis

Ripped from recent headlines, this gripping cyber-attack tale has all the elements of an international thriller, including a floating corpse in the Gulf of Finland. Meet an underground criminal supply chain, its innocent victims, and an unlikely midwestern IT group with an ingenious way to fight back against the theft of millions of credit-card numbers. If data breaches were not routine by now, this story would be unbelievable.

Instead, it’s a snapshot of life in today’s interconnected world, and an unforgettable Internet safety education. IT security has never been so riveting!

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Review

I have to say I’m a bit of a geek and I really liked this book. We hear about companies getting hacked all the time and this story describes what might have happened occurred when the company was breached.

I enjoyed how the author told the story with enough technical detail, but not so much that a non-technical person couldn’t understand or enjoy the story. I may not have understood all the jargon, but a lot of it was familiar.

The characters in this book were very real. One example were the heads of companies (CEO and such) sometimes do not understand the importance of security when it comes to their computer infrastructure. And this doesn’t just mean large companies, but the smaller ones too. As the author put it, you have to guard your front door, back door and several side doors. There there were some IT employees/management that didn’t understand the importance either. And while I’m not wild about outsourcing to other countries, in this book there was actually a group in India that sharing concerns but not being heard.

The only thing that disappointed me about this book was that a minor story about a woman named Regina that was getting her life together and how she was affected by this breach/hack. Her story wasn’t really finished in my book. We can guess what might have happened but it would have been nice to know for sure how her story ended.

Overall this was a really good book and fast paced (I had a hard time putting it down at times). While fiction, the story is very real and it might make you think twice about how you approach technology.

We give this 4 paws up.

 

Trailer

About the Author

Greg Scott is a veteran of the tumultuous IT industry.  After working as a consultant at Digital Equipment Corporation, a large computer company in its day, Scott branched out on his own in 1994 and started Scott Consulting.  A larger firm bought Scott Consulting in 1999, just as the dot com bust devastated the IT Service industry.  Scott went out on his own again in late 1999 and started Infrasupport Corporation, this time with a laser focus on infrastructure and security.  In late summer, 2015, after “Bullseye Breach” was published, he accepted a job offer with an enterprise software company.

He currently lives in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area with wife, daughter, and two grandchildren.  He holds several IT industry certifications, including CISSP number 358671.

Scott graduated from Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana, in 1979 with a double major of math and speech.  He earned an MBA from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis in 1996.

In the 1990s, he wrote a popular column on the back page of IT industry publication ENT Magazine titled, “NT Heartland,” and another column in Enterprise Linux Magazine titled, “Converts Corner.”

Inspired by The Goal, by Eliyahu Goldratt, a business textbook disguised as a fiction story about the resurgence of a rundown factory, Scott decided to write what would become Bullseye Breach after becoming frustrated from too many sensational headlines about preventable data breaches.

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Posted in 3 paws, coming of age, fiction, Giveaway, Review on December 12, 2016

THE WEST TEXAS PILGRIMAGE

by M.M. Wolthoff

  Genre: Contemporary / Coming of Age

Publisher: River Grove Books

Date of Publication: February 29, 2015

Number of Pages: 220

 Scroll down for Giveaway!

synopsis

west-tx-pilgrimageHunter’s friend Ty survived war in the Middle East only to succumb to cancer at home. On a quest with his college buddies and Ty’s father, Hunter journeys from South Texas into the mountains and desert of West Texas to bury his close friend. During this trek, they’ll drink, hunt, party, and encounter unexpected people and enthralling landscapes as Hunter deals with his grief, compounded by his struggle with depression and obsessive–compulsive disorder. 

The West Texas Pilgrimage is a love letter to West Texas and the wild culture that defines it. Author M. M. Wolthoff vividly depicts the regional landscape, exploring intriguing stops along the way and the authentic context of music, food, and language integral to this generation of Texans, while frankly and thoughtfully addressing relationships, mourning, and mental illness, with characters as unforgettable as the region itself.

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PRAISE FOR THE WEST TEXAS PILGRIMAGE

I laughed. I cried. This is a book that is real, honest and reminds all of us that life is filled with ups and downs. The only way to keep moving forward is to get real with ourselves about whom we are and accept our beauty and our pain. This young author has amazing wisdom that is so articulately shared with readers of all ages.  — 5 Stars, Amazon Verified Purchase

The West Texas Pilgrimage was insightful into the mind of a privileged, pre-adult male who tries to self-medicate his OCD condition with alcohol. While reading, I felt the main character’s vulnerabilities as he struggled with his feelings regarding his career choice, the loss of a good friend to cancer, and the complications of his search for the right female life mate. The book was a quick read…only because I could not put it down! There were several “ah-ha” moments when I thought: oh my, that’s really how a pre-adult male thinks??!? I never knew!! — 5 Stars Donna J Millon

I read the first half of the book in one night; it draws you in with believable characters and real challenges they face. Could have been written about people you know or have met. It covers some tough topics but is an enjoyable read. — 5 Stars Peter Day

Really nice read. Very detailed description of so many things made me feel like I was right there with them. 2 nights to read for a non reader like me makes for a really easy and entertaining time. Thumbs up.  — 5 Stars Nunya

The book brought me right back to the border towns of my youth. Step outside any bar and be hit with the smell of fajita and sewer. Glorious!  — 5 Stars Amazon Verified Purchase

Review

I have mixed feelings on this book. If you can get past the amount of alcohol that the characters are drinking and that they are driving while drinking, the underlying story is actually a good one.

The story centers around 4 friends getting together to put a 5th friend, Ty, to rest that lost a battle to cancer. Most of them knew each other growing up, but a few were added during college. So after Ty was cremated, his father gathers the friends and they make a journey to West Texas and Big Bend National Park to say their final farewells to Ty and remember the man he was to each of them.

But in getting to that part of the story (which is about 75% of the way into the book), there is a personal journey for Hunter. He is dealing with depression, and like most people, feels like he cannot discuss it with any of his friends and walks a fine line between drinking a lot or taking a pill to help him sleep. He is hiding a pain that goes deep for him, and perhaps he felt some shame in his diagnosis. He finally talks to his buddy Cinco, but not until Cinco practically drags it out of him near the end of the book. Until that point he just drinks a lot to keep his buzz going.  I think many people could relate to Hunter and what he was going through in his life.

I thought the author did a good job describing West Texas and the small towns and what you might expect to see if you visit those areas. It is a part of Texas my husband and I want to visit, so I liked getting a view into what I could expect to find when we visit that part of the state.

Overall the book is somewhat depressing and I was surprised no one else died behind the wheel or from the excessive drinking. It could easily have happened considering how much each person drank in the few days this story spans. The only sane person was the father, Dr Sanderson, but I chalk that up to age. But at the same time, the reason for the gathering was touching and my favorite part of the book is when they were on a summit at San Isabel Peak saying goodbye to Ty and they each brought a memento that reminded them of their time with him or what represented his life. I actually had tears in my eyes reading song lyrics one friend wrote. The words were very touching and I could see it being made into a song.

We give it 3 paws up and worth reading!

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about the author

author-pic-wolthoffMatthew Martin Wolthoff lives in McAllen, Texas, with his wife, Lucy Ann, and three children, Hunter Ann, McCoy Martin, and Kerr Dunkin. He grew up in a military family, living all over the world until finding home in South Texas, where he went to high school in San Antonio. He is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy and has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio. His parents instilled a passion for reading and writing in him early in life that grows stronger every day. An avid outdoorsman, he finds his inspiration—and peace of mind—in the shallow waters of the Lower Laguna Madre and the wilderness of the South Texas brush country. His first West Texas pilgrimage was in 2010. It was a life-changing event.

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12/6 Review Syd Savvy
12/7 Promo Country Girl Bookaholic
12/8 Author Interview Kara The Redhead
12/9 Review Forgotten Winds
12/10 Guest Post Byers Editing Reviews & Blog
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Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on December 9, 2016

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fatal-fiction-cover

Fatal Fiction
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (December 6, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-1601837325
E-Book ASIN: B01CWYTJVC

Synopsis

When kindergarten teacher Charli Rae Warren hightailed it out of Hazel Rock, Texas, as a teen, she vowed to leave her hometown in the dust. A decade later, she’s braving the frontier of big hair and bigger gossip once again . . . but this time, she’s saddled with murder!

Charli agrees to sell off the family bookstore, housed in a barn, and settle her estranged dad’s debt—if only so she can ride into the sunset and cut ties with Hazel Rock forever. But the trip is extended when Charli finds her realtor dead in the store, strangled by a bedazzled belt. And with daddy suspiciously MIA, father and daughter are topping the most wanted list . . .

Forging an unlikely alliance with the town beauty queen, the old beau who tore her family apart, and one ugly armadillo, Charli’s intent on protecting what’s left of her past . . . and wrangling the lone killer who’s fixin’ to destroy her future . . .

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Review

What a great start to a new series! I always love books set in small towns in Texas especially if the author gets the feel of the characters/town right, and Kym does that in this book.

I thought it was interesting that the main character was biracial. It took awhile before I actually figured it out, but even then it really wasn’t a big deal to the rest of the townspeople. Charli Rae was definitely something of a trouble maker when she was younger but perhaps because she had something to prove?

I thought it was humorous that everyone called her Princess, since that is what her dad called her, and it became even more confusing when she comes back to town and there is a pink armadillo also called princess.

The mystery itself was well written. I only suspected the killer based on a feeling. There are only so many characters and while there were a few I would rather have seen been the killer (mostly because they were jerks), the actual killer was something of a surprise and the reason behind it all.

Now you can’t have a mystery without a little romance. Charli was involved with Cade when they were teens and went their separate ways and meet back up when she comes to town and I think there are still sparks there. Only future books will tell us if I’m right.

Can’t wait to read the second book due out next year.  We give this book 5 paws up

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About the Author

kym-robertsThree career paths resonated for Kym during her early childhood: a detective, an investigative reporter, and…a nun. Being a nun, however, dropped by the wayside when she became aware of boys—they were the spice of life she couldn’t deny.

In high school her path was forged when she took her first job at a dry cleaners and met every cop in town, especially the lone female police officer in patrol. From that point on there was no stopping Kym’s pursuit of a career in law enforcement—even if she had to duct tape rolls of coins to her waist to meet the weight requirements to be hired.

Kym followed her dream and became a detective that fulfilled her desire to be an investigative reporter, with one extra perk—a badge. Promoted to sergeant Kym spent the majority of her career in SVU. She retired from the job reluctantly when her husband drug her kicking and screaming to another state, but writing continued to call her name, at least in her head.

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December 5 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

December 5 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

December 6 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

December 7 – deal sharing aunt – INTERVIEW

December 8 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

December 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

December 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

December 9 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW

December 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

December 10 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

December 10 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

December 11 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

December 11 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

December 12 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

December 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

December 14 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

December 15 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

December 15 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

December 16 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

December 17 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

December 18 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in 4 paws, Review, romance, women on December 6, 2016

unraveling-the-pieces-banner

unraveling-the-pieces

Title: Unraveling the pieces
Author: Terri DuLong

Release Date: November 22, 2016

Publisher: Lyrical Press

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Format: Ebook/Paperback

Synopsis

“DuLong reminds me of a Southern Debbie Macomber but with a flair all her own.” –Karin Gillespie

New York Times bestselling author Terri DuLong casts on her newest tale of heartbreak and hope in Ormond Beach, Florida, a sun-dappled haven where one woman finds the comfort she’s always needed…

Petra Garfield has no real attachments tying her down to one place. She’s ready for an adventure, so what could be better than an extended stay at Koi House with new friends and old in enchanting Ormond Beach. Having recently lost her mother, Petra is riddled with questions about the father she never knew. She certainly never thought she’d begin to find the answers in a tiny town in Florida…

As much as she wants to search for the truth, Petra knows she can’t spend all her time wallowing in the past, and her friends at the Dreamweaver yarn shop aren’t about to let her. The ladies encourage her to volunteer at a local animal shelter, where she hits it off with a young boy–and his handsome father. Tangled in secrets she didn’t even know she had, Petra must learn to stitch her life back together even as she unravels lifelong mysteries–and perhaps she’ll find unexpected happiness along the way…

Includes An Original Knitting Pattern!

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Review

Such an enjoyable romance novel! This is the third in a series and you don’t have to read the first two to enjoy this book, but it would help to explain some of the other character’s back stories and understand some of the dialogue.

Petra is quite an interesting woman and I could appreciate her desire to find out about her father since she was told he died shortly after she was born. I know it had to be a hard thing for her mom to do considering the times (late 60’s early 70’s) and being an unwed mother wasn’t easy. It is too bad that as she got older that her mother couldn’t tell her the truth about her father. She did leave some clues in case Petra decided to really look for him.

I also liked that Petra was older (late 40’s) and had never been married. I could relate to her in a way because my life was somewhat similar in that regards. She had her issues to battle when it came to relationships, but I liked her strong character and kindness towards friends and dogs. But she does find love and they take their relationship slow because they both have a past to come to grips with before they can truly move forward.

While some of the story was predictable (or obvious as to where a story line would go), it was still very enjoyable book and it touches the heart.

We give this 4 paws up.

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About the Author

terri-dulongBorn and raised north of Boston, Terri DuLong was a previous resident of Cedar Key, Florida. She now resides on the east coast of the state in Ormond Beach with her husband, three dogs and two cats. A retired Registered Nurse, she began her writing career as a contributing writer for Bonjour Paris, where she shared her travel experiences to France in over forty articles with a fictional canine narrator. Terri’s love of knitting provides quiet time to develop her characters and plots as she works on her new Ormond Beach novels.

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Posted in Cozy, mystery, Review on December 2, 2016

a-killer-location-large-banner640

a-killer-location

A Killer Location: A Home Sweet Home Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Alibi (November 22, 2016)
ASIN: B01AQNZQB8

Synopsis

As this captivating cozy mystery series featuring real estate agent Sam Turner continues, a dream home turns into a crime scene when murder intrudes on an open house.

Thanks to a few sales and a self-help book on becoming a super-agent, Sam Turner is well on her way to becoming real estate royalty in Arlinda, her eccentric hometown on the Northern California coast. And after settling into her new house with her teenage son, she’s finally a homeowner, too. Sure, things aren’t perfect—for example, her sister still doesn’t know that Sam is dating her ex, police chief Bernie Aguilar—but perfect is boring. And Sam’s life is never boring.

When Sam’s boss, Everett Sweet, assigns her an open house in Arlinda’s most exclusive neighborhood, she brushes up on her super-agent tips, hoping to wow potential buyers. But there’s nothing in the manual about stumbling upon the owner’s dead body halfway through the tour. When suspicion falls on her boss, Sam and her co-workers are suddenly out of work, their real estate licenses suspended. Now, with her job on the line and a mortgage to pay, Sam will need every trick in the book to clear Everett’s name.

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Review

Sam, a still newish realtor, somehow keeps stumbling across dead bodies and body parts!

As with the first book, I am always intrigued when the profession of the amateur sleuth is something I am able to relate to, and in this case my husband is a realtor so I hear all kinds of stories. The author does a good job of setting up the career path of Sam and nothing stuck out as being inaccurate. I even liked how she had other real estate brokers/agents that appeared not as “ethical” as perhaps they should be because this happens in any business.

Sam has a lot to deal with in her personal life, and I felt like that makes her very relatable because we all have children or crazy family members to deal with in our lives. It is nice to see her relationship with her son continue to grow because he is 15 and that can be an awkward time. She also has a personal relationship with her sister’s ex-husband but is afraid to say anything to her sister because she thinks her sister wants him back.

The mystery itself kept me guessing. I never suspected who the killer was and how it all linked together. I think some of the clues were there but I didn’t put them together.

As a side note, there are 2 f* bombs in the book. They are not necessary but just a heads up in case you don’t like seeing that word in your books.

We give this book 4 paws up.

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About the Author

SARAH HOBARTSarah Hobart is a real estate agent and former newspaper reporter in Northern California, where she lives with her husband and two children in a majestic fixer-upper overlooking State Highway 101.

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November 21 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

November 22 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW will be added soon.

November 22 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT

November 23 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW will be added soon.

November 23 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

November 24 – THANKSGIVING U.S.

November 25 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

November 25 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

November 26 – Booklady’s Booknotes – REVIEW

November 26 – LibriAmoriMiei

November 27 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

November 28 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW

November 28 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

November 29 – Readeropolis – INTERVIEW

November 30 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

December 1 – Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes – REVIEW

December 1 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

December 2 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

December 2 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

December 3 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on November 29, 2016

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cat-got-your-diamonds-rgb

Cat Got Your Diamonds: A Kitty Couture Mystery
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (November 15, 2016)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1629538426
E-Book ASIN: B01H082DOU

Synopsis

Grandeur and opulence are everything in the famed New Orleans Garden District where pets are family and no bling is too big. Opening Furry Godmother, pet boutique and organic treat bakery, is Lacy Marie Crocker’s dream come true–until the glitter gun used to make her Shih Tzu tutus becomes a murder weapon. And Lacy becomes public enemy #1.

Now Detective Jack Oliver is hounding Lacy, and her Furry Godmother investor wants out before his name is tarnished by association. To make matters worse, a string of jewel heists with suspicious ties to the murder case has New Orleans residents on edge. To save her dream, Lacy must take a stand, put her keen eyes to work, and unravel what really happened at her shop that night. But can Lacy sniff out the killer cat burglar in time to get her tail-raising designs on the catwalk?

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Review

A great start to a new mystery series!

I’ve read several of this author’s books and truly enjoyed them so wanted to see how this new series would compare. Very enjoyable! Lacy is a strong woman back home in New Orleans and running a couture and bakery for pets called Furry Godmother (love the name!). This is a big business so she should do well. And of course outfitting Llamas, cats, dogs, and other animals just adds to the quirkiness of the characters. I could just imagine some of these animals in the costumes she designed for them. She may come from a wealthier family but wants to do this on her own and is lucky to get the assistance of a local businessman, Mr. Tater (really I swear that is his name!), who pays her rent for a share of the profits.

So what would be any mystery without a murder? And since it happens in Lacy’s shop and she is suspected of being the killer, of course she has to get involved. There are some interesting twists I didn’t suspect and I thought I knew where the stolen jewelry would be and I was so wrong. Shame too because that would have been a good hiding space. I’m not going to tell you what in case you think along the same lines…you need to be surprised too. Anyway, the murderer is quite the surprise, but there is another surprise twist which shocked me because it wasn’t even something I considered.

And of course there has to be a love interest….or two. The studly Detective Jack Oliver and pro-volleyball player, Chase (brother of her best friend’s husband). Both have their pros and cons and we will have to wait and see who might be her love interest in future books.

We give this 4 paws up.

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About the Author

julie-chaseJulie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency. Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey.

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November 15 – The Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

November 15 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW

November 15 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

November 16 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 16 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner – REVIEW

November 16 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT

November 17 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

November 17 – Grace. Gratitude. Life. by Marie McNary – REVIEW

November 18 – Melina’s Book Blog –  REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 18 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

November 19 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

November 19 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too ! – SPOTLIGHT

November 19 – Island Confidential  – INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

November 20 – Michelle’s Romantic Tangle – GUEST POST

November 20 – Readeropolis –  SPOTLIGHT

November 21 – Bea’s Book Nook – REVIEW

November 21 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 21 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

November 22 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – REVIEW

November 22 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 22 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

November 23 – Book Babble – REVIEW

November 23 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

November 23 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

November 24 – THANKSGIVING

November 25 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

November 25 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 26 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

November 26 – Community Bookstop –  REVIEW

November 27 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 27 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

November 28 – Classy Cheapskate – REVIEW

November 28 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

November 28 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

November 29 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

November 29 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

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Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, mystery, Review on November 28, 2016

 

maggie-doves-detective-agency

2nd in Series
Alibi (November 8, 2016)
E-Book ASIN: B01AERZS0A
Approximately 225 pages

Synopsis

As Susan Breen’s compelling cozy mystery series continues, Maggie Dove’s budding detective agency has given her a new lease on life. Only one thing stands in the way of success: her clients—or lack of them.

After catching the killer who shook her small Hudson River town, former Sunday School teacher Maggie Dove stumbled onto an exciting new career and found a way to take her mind off her own tragic past. Now, despite her best efforts to promote the agency, Maggie can’t seem to land any new cases—until Racine Stern, one of the village’s wealthiest residents, offers her a thousand dollars to convince her “evil” sister, Domino, to stay out of town.

While Maggie’s business partner thinks she’s crazy for turning down a potential client, she doesn’t want her agency to get a reputation for accommodating bizarre requests. However, Maggie is soon caught up in the family drama anyway. Racine may fear for her life—and her inheritance—but it’s Domino who takes the fall when she plunges to her death from a tower at Stern Manor. Was it an accident or something more sinister? Maggie’s investigation will test her faith—and her ability to survive.

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Review

This is the second book in the series and I thought there was a great bit of improvement over the first book. The first book was good but seemed to drag on for me, but this book rolled right along and kept me interested in the story and trying to figure out was Domino murdered, did she commit suicide or was it an accident. While I wasn’t surprised at the ending, I did not expect the end result.

There are some interesting characters and I’m not sure about Agnes who is bankrolling the new detective agency. She is all over the board with her emotions and it can be very tiring at times. Hopefully she will settle down in future books.

I liked that we learned more about Helen’s past since Maggie just wants to help her where she can when it comes to Helen’s son, Edgar. He is 6 and a bit rambunctious and I’m surprised there hasn’t been any move to try and get him to be more calm or at least not head butt Maggie in the stomach. Maggie sure does put up with a lot from him but since she is alone, I imagine she loves being looked on as a grandmotherly type for Edgar.

Overall a good book and I’ll be interested to see how this detective agency continues in the future.  We give it 4 paws up

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About the Author

susan-breenSusan Breen is the author of The Fiction Classher debut novel that won the Washington Irving Book Award. Her stories and articles have appeared in many magazines, among them The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Compose, Writer’s Digest, and The Writer. She teaches at Gotham Writers in Manhattan; is on the faculty of the New York Pitch Conference, South Carolina Writers Workshop, and the Women’s National Book Association; and is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters-in-Crime. Breen lives in a small village on the Hudson River with her husband, two dogs, and one cat. Her three children are flourishing elsewhere.

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Posted in 4 paws, Dystopian, Giveaway, Review on November 27, 2016

dominion-large-blog-tour

dominion-cover

Release Date: December 3rd 2016

Published by: The Writers Coffee Shop

Genre: Fiction, Dystopian

Synopsis

A generation has passed since the pandemic known only as the Infection ended the world as we know it. In a little town in the Appalachian Mountains, Taylor has known only a harsh and brutal struggle for survival in a land littered with the rusted-out remnants of a lost world. By day, she labors in a coal mine. In the evenings, she tends a secret collection of beehives, and uses the honey to pay for lessons in survival skills, such as hunting, fishing and collecting herbs. Her home is a single room in a crumbling old motel, and her only companion is a pet box tortoise named Go she’s had since she was a child.

When her town is destroyed by a vicious gang of raiders known as the Nine, Taylor escapes with Dylan, the son of the mayor. Their only plan is to head south and escape the Nine’s vast territory, avoiding areas contaminated by meltdowns and industrial pollution where mysterious illnesses plague the residents.

Dylan has never known hunger or hardship and struggles to learn survival skills. He’s never known a woman like Taylor either. He tries to pay her back by teaching her to read and telling her the stories passed down from the world of Before.

They certainly didn’t plan on falling in love. Taylor fights it every step of the way, because in her world, any emotional attachment is dangerous. She’s been taught since childhood that love slows you down, makes you weak. But the feelings growing between them cannot be denied.

Taylor finds herself slowly breaking every one of her hard-learned rules of survival. She discovers that perhaps some of those things she’s always fought to avoid are the very things that make life worth living.

. . . And death shall have no dominion . . .”

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Praise for The End of All Things Series

Hope, love, and the strength of the human spirit are the backbone of this surprisingly uplifting offering from Lissa Bryan. ~ CBL Book Reviews

The End of All Things is more about hope and second chances, and I very much enjoyed the tale …. highly recommended for all fans of apocalyptic fiction. It’s a well-written book with excellent pace, plot, and best, it has real soul. ~ Jade Kerrion, Goodreads

Review

While this book does not pick up right after the first three, it is a continuum of this series.

While I haven’t read a ton of dystopian books, this is one series that I have truly enjoyed. The books have kept me curious about a different world and even wondering how I would fair under these circumstances. Probably not too well at first but I feel like I could learn and adapt (at least I hope!)

Taylor is a tough, smart young lady (age isn’t really know, but would guess 20ish). Dylan is somewhat pampered since he was the son of the mayor (as pampered as you can be in a dystopian world). So it wouldn’t seem like this would be a likely pair to hook up, but they do out of necessity and it was probably the smartest thing either one of them does. Taylor has the skills to survive out in the wild and Dylan brings more cultured skills (like reading, understanding maps and dealing with people) and this makes the unlikely pair a good match. Along the way the friendship turns into more.

This book help me captive as Taylor and Dylan made their way out of the Appalachian mountains, away from the town they lived in and away from the group that was hunting Taylor for killing someone higher up in a terror group. Many times I wondered if she was going to be caught or how they were going to survive obstacles that presented themselves.

There is more that I liked but that would spoil things…needless to say there is something of a happy ending. But that is all I’m going to say!

We give it 4 paws up.

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About the Author

lbryanLissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete’s foot . . . though only in her head. Real life isn’t so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing.

She is the author of five other novels, Ghostwriter, The End of All Things, its sequels, The Land of the Shadows and Shadows Have Gone, and Under These Restless Skies.

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