Monday, December 5, 2016

Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah

Title: Between Sisters
Author: Kristin Hannah
Publish Date: June 1, 2004
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Source: Library

About the Book:
Meghann Dontess is a woman haunted by heartbreak. Twenty-five years ago she was forced to make a terrible choice, one that cost her everything, including the love of her sister, Claire. Now, Meghann is a hotshot divorce attorney who doesn’t believe in intimacy–-until she meets the one man who can change her mind.

Claire Cavenaugh has fallen in love for the first time in her life. As her wedding day approaches, she prepares to face her harsh, judgmental older sister and their self-absorbed mother. It is the first time they have been together in more than two decades. Over the course of a hot Pacific Northwest summer, these three women who believe they have nothing in common will try to become what they never were: a family.

My Review:
I read this book for a book club I just joined. They chose the book because they had just read Nightingale by Kristin Hannah and enjoyed it so much they wanted to see if her other writing was just as good. (I haven’t read Nightingale, but it is in my TBR list.) I had read Firefly Lane and so Kristin was not stranger to me. I gave that book five stars.

I just didn’t enjoy this book was well. It wasn’t horrible, maybe it was just me, but I felt like I was just going along with a story. There wasn’t any ups and downs until the very end. There was definitely curiousity on my part for the entire story, but I was just not amazed like I was in Firefly Lane.

I’m also not sure if it was my edition, but the story line would change from Megan to Claire to Joe, etc. but there was no indication. It was just the paragraphs flowed together like a regular story. I did find this confusing which did distract from the enjoyment as well.

All in all, I did enjoy the story and the journey. If you’re looking for wow, probably not this book.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Literally Dead by Lois Winston

Title: Literally Dead
Series: An Empty Nest Mystery Book #2
Author: Lois Winston
Publish Date: October 1, 2016
Publisher: Self Published
Source: Book Tour

About the Book:
After her last disastrous episode as an amateur sleuth, Gracie Elliott is back. The budding romance writer has spent the past year crafting her first novel. Her hard work and determination pay off when her manuscript wins the Cream of the Crop award, a contest for unpublished writers, sponsored by the Society of American Romance Authors. First place entitles her to attend the organization’s annual conference, normally open only to published authors.

With husband Blake in tow, a starry-eyed Gracie experiences the ultimate fan-girl moment upon entering the hotel. Her favorite authors are everywhere. However, within minutes she learns Lovinia Darling, the Queen of Romance, is hardly the embodiment of the sweet heroines she creates. Gracie realizes she’s stepped into a romance vipers’ den of backstabbing, deceit, and plagiarism, but she finds a friend and mentor in bestselling author Paisley Prentiss.

Hours later, when Gracie discovers Lovinia’s body in the hotel stairwell, a victim of an apparent fall, Gracie is not convinced her death was an accident. Too many other authors had reason to want Lovinia dead. Ignoring Blake’s advice to “let the police handle it,” Gracie, aided by Paisley, begins her own investigation into the death. Romance has never been so deadly.

My Review:
A book writer’s conference was a fun setting for this cozy mystery. Gracie is new to the writing/publishing/author world and is lucky to find a friend in Paisley, a romance writer at the conference. Gracie is obviously out of place in many situations and made to feel very uncomfortable, but has the perseverance to keep going. It’s too bad that one of the writers has such an ego and bad attitude toward the other writers, she doesn’t help curb the nerves of all the newbies.

It’s also fun to have Gracie’s husband along for the conference. Would a person really have to worry about their spouse’s employment affecting their own? And when he gets questioned about being a cover model, it’s very entertaining.

The mystery was put together very well. What was made to look like an accident, obviously has many other views to think about. And that’s what the detective quickly does, as well as Gracie.

I enjoyed two of Lois’s other books in her Anastasia Pollack Crafting mystery series, so I was thrilled to get an opportunity to review this book for the tour. Excited to read others in that series, as well as this series. I thoroughly enjoy the humor she adds to her cozy mysteries.

USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.
Author Links:

Tour Participants
December 1 – A Date with a Book – REVIEW
December 2 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW
December 3 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 4 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW
December 4 – Community Bookstop – INTERVIEW  
December 5 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
December 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW
December 7 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
December 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 9 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 10 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

Monday, November 28, 2016

Buttercream Bump Off by Jenn McKinlay

Title: Buttercream Bump Off
Series: Cupcake Mystery Bakery #2
Author: Jenn McKinlay
Publish Date: January 4, 2011
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Library

Amazon | Goodreads

About the Book:
Melanie Cooper and Angie DeLaura's Fairy Tale Cupcakes bakery is gearing up for Valentine's Day. Unfortunately someone has iced Baxter Malloy on his first date with Mel's mother. Now Mom's a suspect, and Mel and Angie need to find time around frosting to dig into the man's shady past and discover who served him his just desserts.

My Review:
Wow! The first book was amazing, but this one was even more amazing. Very entertaining from a well crafted murder mystery, to intertwined love stories. And Olivia Puckett continues to be Fairy Tale Cupcake’s nemesis.

Marty is a great addition to the characters. I would love to see him continue in the next books. It seems like the author has pretty much covered the spectrum with the variety of characters. From older, like Marty and Joyce, to younger, like Alma, and everywhere in between. I enjoy how the stories just continue to weave and unfold. And yes that is multiple stories.

I am so excited to continue this series. I always have to be careful that I don’t get series overload or burned out. I think this is why I usually find myself reading more than one book at a time.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Green Velvet Murder by Susan Gillard

Title: Green Velvet Murder
Series: A Donut Hole Cozy Mystery #16
Author: Susan Gillard
Publish Date: August 17, 2016
Publisher: Guardian Publishing Group
Source: borrower on Lendle

Amazon | Goodreads

About the Book:
When Heather Shepherd hears that the friendly newbie in town, Bernie Belushi, has been murdered courtesy of one of Geoff Lawless’ rock hard fudge balls, she’s concerned. 

That concern turns into determination when she discovers that Kent’s Aunt is the main suspect. Heather must bring Bernie’s killer to justice, with a little help from her husband, Rya​n​​ of course. Armed with nothing but her sleuth gene, Amy’s quick wit and Dave’s barks of encouragement, she marches off to Geoff Lawless’ store to investigate. 

But things aren’t as simple as she’d like: Geoff is positively panic-stricken and ​​a professional at getting in the way, a mysterious car tails Heather around every turn, and a rash of burglaries has set Hillside’s residents on edge. 

Heather has to put the distractions aside and focus on the case, and her Green Velvet Donut creations, or risk another of her hometown’s residents, and a new business venture to boot.

My Review:
Not sure if I love the idea of green velvet on a donut, however, I loved the play on words though with the murder. The mysterious car driver, I’m interested to see where that leads. I also like how Amy has got more involved in helping to solve the murders. The little sleuth is fun too! 

And needless to say, I was a little worried when someone was sitting in Eva’s spot. I would love to see a national chain of Donut Delights in my city. This is a fun little series. I did put this series on hold for a while, so have four more books to catch up on. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Enemy by Lee Child

Title: The Enemy
Series: Jack Reacher #8
Author: Lee Child
Publish Date: April 26, 2005
Publisher: Dell Publishing Company
Source: Library

Amazon | Goodreads

About the Book:
Jack Reacher. Hero. Loner. Soldier. Soldier’s son. An elite military cop, he was one of the army’s brightest stars. But in every cop’s life there is a turning point. One case. One messy, tangled case that can shatter a career. Turn a lawman into a renegade. And make him question words like honor, valor, and duty. For Jack Reacher, this is that case.

New Year’s Day, 1990. The Berlin Wall is coming down. The world is changing. And in a North Carolina “hot-sheets” motel, a two-star general is found dead. His briefcase is missing. Nobody knows what was in it. Within minutes Jack Reacher has his orders: Control the situation. But this situation can’t be controlled. Within hours the general’s wife is murdered hundreds of miles away. Then the dominoes really start to fall.

Two Special Forces soldiers—the toughest of the tough—are taken down, one at a time. Top military commanders are moved from place to place in a bizarre game of chess. And somewhere inside the vast worldwide fortress that is the U.S. Army, Jack Reacher—an ordinarily untouchable investigator for the 110th Special Unit—is being set up as a fall guy with the worst enemies a man can have.

But Reacher won’t quit. He’s fighting a new kind of war. And he’s taking a young female lieutenant with him on a deadly hunt that leads them from the ragged edges of a rural army post to the winding streets of Paris to a confrontation with an enemy he didn’t know he had. With his French-born mother dying—and divulging to her son one last, stunning secret—Reacher is forced to question everything he once believed…about his family, his career, his loyalties—and himself. Because this soldier’s son is on his way into the darkness, where he finds a tangled drama of desperate desires and violent death—and a conspiracy more chilling, ingenious, and treacherous than anyone could have guessed.

My Review:
This was not my first Jack Reacher book, but it has been a while since I’ve read this series. Chronologically this book is book one. We are introduced to the beginning of Jack, but not necessarily the beginning of his military career. Maybe this is more of a beginning that defines who he is. He begins questioning his quick move to Fort Bird, the handling of a death of a fellow officer off base, as well as on base. 

Through the story, I think we really get to see what makes the man that Reacher is today. He is tough, smart, and does have a soft side. His interactions with other officers, his brother and mother, and civilians. 

Although this is a heavier mystery than I normally read, I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. I do like Lee Child’s writing and will continue with the Reacher series. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

BlueBuried Muffins by Lyndsey Cole

Title: BlueBuried Muffins
Series: Black Cat Cafe #1
Author: Lyndsey Cole
Publish Date: January 1, 2015
Publisher: Lyndsey Cole Books
Source: free on Kindle

Amazon | Goodreads

About the Book:
Annie Fisher is scared. She’s scared of the mess her boyfriend, Max Parker, is in the middle of and she has to get out of his house. She puts a whole state between them and drives like a madwoman from Cooper, NY to her hometown of Catfish Cove, NH where she hopes she’ll be safe. 

She decides to start a new life, a life she ran away from two years ago but is finding herself missing as soon as she gets home. Annie immediately has a place to live, a job at her Aunt Leona’s new café—Black Cat Café—and plenty of boyfriend prospects. Unfortunately, she also has plenty of bad things follow her. 

Like Max Parker. Only the next time she sees him he’s dead. Suddenly everyone she runs into turns into a potential suspect. There are ghosts from her past and new neighbors that make her hair stand on end. And right in the middle of everything is Annie with Max’s last warning to her—Don’t trust anyone. Will those words prove to keep her safe or put too much distance between Annie and those trying to help her?

My Review:
This book was so much fun and had me hooked from the beginning. I loved getting in on the start of the new store, Annie finding the cat, and all of the potential suspects. I enjoyed not only the mystery, but the family drama issues. Not something you normally find in a cozy mystery, but the development of a “real” storyline is what keeps me involved in a series. 

My favorite character was Jason Hunter. It talked in the book about him finding things. Not alot was given about this, but the details provided made me think of the show The Finder. I’m very interested to continue with the series to see what he is all about. And if you haven’t watched “The Finder”, definitely go check it out. Sadly, it’s only a season, but so worth it.

I will definitely continue reading this series and just the other day I received noticed that four of the books were 99c. Definitely grabbed those up and hope to find the others on discount soon!!