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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Review of Angela Hunt's The Offering

About The Offering:

From bestselling author Angela Hunt, the heart-wrenching story of a young mother who unknowingly gave away her own child after serving as a surrogate for a childless couple.

After growing up as an only child, Amanda Lisandra wants a big family. But since she and her soldier husband can't afford to have more children right away, Mandy decides to earn money as a gestational carrier for a childless couple. She loves being pregnant, and while carrying the child she dreams of having her own son and maybe another daughter. . .
Just when the nearly perfect pregnancy is about to conclude, unexpected tragedy enters Mandy's world and leaves her reeling. Devastated by grief, she surrenders the child she was carrying and struggles to regain her emotional equilibrium.
Two years later she studies a photograph of the baby she bore and wonders if the unthinkable has happened---could she have inadvertently given away her own biological child? Over the next few months Mandy struggles to decide between the desires of her grief-stricken heart and what's best for the little boy she has never known.

Purchase a copy:

My Review:
This was a very intense book; it kept my attention from the very beginning.  This was the first book that I have ever read by Angela Hunt, but it won’t be my last.  She writes so well, that I felt Mandy’s pain on so many levels.   I, thankfully, have never had to experience anything like Mandy had to experience, but the writing was so intense I wanted to go to Mandy and give her a hug; it was like I really knew her.  The other characters in the book were also wonderful.  This book shows you that you don’t have to be blood related to be a family.  The faith element in this story was wonderful also.  If you are looking for an intense book, that will cause you to shed some tears, this is the book for you.  Great job, Angela.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
Meet Angela:

With over four million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the bestselling author of more than one hundred books, including "The Nativity Story". Hunt is one of the most sought-after collaborators in the publishing industry. Her nonfiction book "Don't Bet Against Me", written with Deanna Favre, spent several weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Angela's novel "The Note" (with sales of over 141,000) was filmed as the Hallmark Channel's Christmas movie for 2007 and proved to be the highest rated television movie in the channel's history. Angela's novels have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, including the RITA, the Christy Award, the ECPA Christian Book Award, and the Holt Medallion. She often travels to teach writing workshops at schools and writers' conferences, and she served as the keynote speaker at the 2008 American Christian Fiction Writers' national conference. She and her husband make their home in Florida with mastiffs. In 2001, one of her dogs was featured on Live with Regis and Kelly as the second-largest dog in America.

Learn more at

Landing page: 

Review of Jim Kraus' The Cat That GOD Sent

About the Book:
Jake Wilkerson, a disillusioned young pastor who is an expert at hiding his fears, takes on a new assignment in a small, rural church in Coudersport, Pennsylvania. It’s a far piece from anywhere and full of curiously odd and eccentric people, including Sally Grainger, a single woman and veterinarian who dismisses all Christians as “those people,” and Tassy, a young runaway with a secret.
His first day on the job, however, Jake is adopted by Petey, a cat of unknown origins and breed, but of great perception. Petey believes that he is on a mission from God to redeem Jake and bring him and his quirky friends back to the truth.


My Review:
This was an amazing book.  I’ll admit that I was a little skeptical at first and thought that it would all be written from the perspective of the Cat, but it wasn’t.  It is a poignant story of how GOD never leaves you or forsakes you even when you think he is not there.  Jake is a Pastor that has some doubts, but Petey the Cat is sent into his life to help him out.  Petey starts coming to church on Sunday morning to hear Jake’s sermons, and that brings more people to church.  When Jake has to reveal that he had doubts about GOD, but that he now has his faith back, he is amazed by the support he receives from the congregation.  This book is filled with wonderful characters, and has a downhome feel to it.  I absolutely loved it and it will stay with me long after I have put it down.   Great job Jim, I look forward to more books of this caliber.  I highly recommend this book; I know everyone will love it like I did.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
About the Author:
Jim Kraus is a longtime writer and editor who has authored or co-authored more than 20 books, both fiction and nonfiction. His best-selling humor book, Bloopers, Blunders, Jokes, Quips, and Quotes, was published by Tyndale House Publishers, sold more than 40,000 copies and inspired several spin-off books. Jim, and his wife, novelist Terri Kraus, and one son, live in the Chicago area.
Also residing with them is a sweet and gentle miniature schnauzer named Rufus. Coincidently, Rufus is also the name of the dog in Jim's recent book, The Dog That Talked to God. "What a coincidence," Jim said. "What are the odds of that happening?" They also share space with an ill-tempered Siberian cat named Petey. Coincidently, Petey is the name of the cat in Jim’s most current book, The Cat That God Sent, by Abingdon Press.
Jim recently was awarded a Master of Writing Arts degree from DePaul University. "Now, I am able to write more better," Jim said. (Yes, that is supposed to be humorous.)
Passionate about writing, Jim loves to create true-to-life characters. "I tend to be the one at the party that is on the edge of things--observing how folks act and react. Plus, I'm not that crazy about people in general--so it works out fine." (Again, it's supposed to be funny.)
Visit his website at
Connect with Jim!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Review of Catch a Falling Star by Beth K. Vogt

About Catch a Falling Star:

What does a girl do when life doesn't go according to her plan?

At 36, Kendall Haynes has seen some of her dreams come true. She's a family physician helping kids with severe allergies and asthma achieve more fulfilling lives-a childhood struggle she knows all too well. But the feeling of being "the kid never picked" looms large when romance continues to evade her and yet another one of her closest friends gets engaged. Are Kendall's dreams of having it all-a career, a husband, children-nothing more than childish wishing upon a star? Should she hold out for her elusive Plan A? Dust off Plan B? Or is it time to settle? God says he knows the plans he has for her-why can't Kendall figure them out and be content with her life?
Griffin Walker prefers flying solo-both as an Air Force pilot and in his personal life. But a wrong choice and health problems pulled him out of the cockpit. His attempts to get out of "flying a desk" are complicated by his parents' death-making Griffin the reluctant guardian of his sixteen-year-old brother, Ian. How did his life get so off course? Can God get his life back on track ... or has there been a divine plan all along?
Catch a Falling Star reminds readers that romance isn't just for twenty-somethings and that sometimes letting go of your "wish I may, wish I might" dreams is the only way to embrace everything God has waiting for you.

Purchase a copy:
My Review:
This was a charming book, and once it caught my attention, I didn't want to put it down.  It is a lite read that is full of GOD's love and redemption.  There is even a little intrigue in this book to make it all the more interesting.  Kendall thinks she will never find a husband, but then two men show interest in her, but which one is the better choice.  Kendall has to look inside herself and realize she is a worthwhile person, even without a man in her life.  I like how Beth protrayed Kendall as such a strong character.  This book also has other very good chracters in it.  If you are looking for a quick, faith filled, charming read, then this is the book for you.  I highly recommend it.  Great job Beth.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
Meet Beth:

Beth K. Vogt is a non-fiction author and editor who said she'd never write fiction. She's the wife of an Air Force family physician (now in solo practice), though she said she'd never marry a doctor-or anyone in the military. She's a mom of four, though she said she'd never have kids. She's discovered that God's best often waits behind the doors marked "Never." Her contemporary romance novel, "Wish You Were Here", debuted in May 2012 (Howard Books), and "Catch a Falling Star" releases May 2013. An established magazine writer and former editor of Connections, the leadership magazine for MOPS International, Beth is also the Skills Coach for My Book Therapy, the writing community founded by best-selling author Susan May Warren.

Find out more about Beth K. at

Landing page:

Friday, May 24, 2013

Review of Rachel Hauck's Once Upon a Prince

About Once Upon A Prince:

The Royal Wedding Series Book One

Susanna Truitt never dreamed of a great romance or being treated like a princess---just to marry the man she has loved for twelve years. But life isn't going according to plan. When her high-school-sweetheart-turned-Marine-officer breaks up instead of proposing, Susanna scrambles to rebuild her life.
The last thing Prince Nathaniel expects to find on his American holiday to St. Simon's Island is the queen of his heart. A prince has duties, and his family's tense political situation has chosen his bride for him. When Prince Nathaniel comes to Susanna's aid under the fabled Lover's Oak, he is blindsided by love.
Their lives are worlds apart. He's a royal prince. She's a ordinary girl. But everything changes when Susanna receives an invitation to Nathaniel's coronation.
It's the ultimate choice. His kingdom or her heart? God's will or their own?

Purchase a copy:

Watch the Trailer:

Once Upon a Prince, Book Trailer - Rachel Hauck
My Review:
What a refreshing read.  A true modern day fairy tale, one where the girl gets her prince.  This was book that I couldn't put down, and since it was a romance, with no mystery or intrigue, that is high praise from me.  The character's are so wonderful and Rachel writes so well, you feel like you really know them and you can feel their pain.  We all think it must be great to be a royal, but from reading this book, I don't think I would want to be a royal with all of the restrictions and expectations they have on them.  I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a lite, quick, feel good read, that has GOD at the center throughout the book, then this is the book for you.  Grea job Rachel.
I recieved a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
Meet Rachel:

Rachel Hauck is the bestselling author of Carol Award winner "Sweet Caroline", and RITA Finalist "Love Starts With Elle", and of the critically acclaimed fiction collaboration with multi-platinum country artist Sara Evans, "The Songbird Novels". She lives in sunny, though sometimes hurricane plagued, central Florida with her husband and their ornery pets. Rachel earned a degree in Journalism from Ohio State University and is a huge Buckeyes football fan. She is the past President of American Christian Fiction Writers and now sits on the board as an Advisor.

Find out more about Rachel at:

Rachel Hauck is celebrating the release of Once Upon a Prince with a fun "Royal Wedding" Giveaway and connecting with readers at her May 28th Facebook Party.


One "royal" winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 27th. Winner will be announced at the "Once Upon a Prince" Facebook Author Chat Party on May 28th. Connect with Rachel for an evening of book chat, wedding trivia, laughter, and more! Rachel will also be sharing a sneak peek at the next book in the series and giving away books and fun gift certificates throughout the evening.

So grab your copy of Once Upon a Prince and join Rachel on the evening of May 28th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 28th!

Review of Linda J White's Seeds of Evidence

About the Book:
Stressed-out FBI Special Agent Kit McGovern returns to her grandmother’s Chincoteague Island home in search of peace. But when a little boy’s body washes up on the beach, Kit cannot resist throwing herself into the mystery of his murder. Her only clues: the tomato seeds in the Latino boy’s gut, and the acorns in his pockets.
The medical examiner points out that the volume of tomato seeds in the boy’s gut could indicate he was from a farm worker’s family. But the acorns? Kit discovers they’re from a Virginia live oak, not native to the area where the boy was found. Can she use those to identify his origins anyway? And why hasn’t anyone reported him missing?
Kit meets David O’Connor, a D.C. homicide detective in Chincoteague recovering from a shooting incident. She makes it clear she’s not interested in a relationship, but their passion for justice is mutual and they soon forge a partnership to find the boy’s murderer. As plant DNA evidence leads them straight into the dark world of human trafficking, Kit and David wrestle with the depths of human evil, with questions of faith, and with possibilities for hope. “Seeds of Evidence” takes readers on a white-knuckle ride they won’t soon forget.

Purchase Your Copy:


 My Review:
This was a fast paced book that kept my attention throughout.  It had action from beginning to end and was hard to put down.  The book was so well written that I felt that I knew the characters.  Kit is a character that is strong, but in a way she is also vulnerable because she has never gotten over her mother leaving and her husband leaving her.  She is afraid to love again.  But after she learns to listen to GOD and give her troubles to him, she learns that she can love.  David, is also a strong character and is determined to do the right thing.  If you are looking for an edge or your seat read that will keep you involved, then this is the story for you.  Great job, Linda, I really enjoyed this book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
About the Author:
By day, Linda J. White writes editorials for The Free Lance-Star, a newspaper in Fredericksburg, VA. By night, she plays the “what-if?” game , entangling engaging characters in “white-knuckle” plots. Her first FBI thriller ,“Bloody Point,” was published in 2005. “Seeds of Evidence ” (Abingdon Press) will be released in April 2013. Linda ’s husband, Larry, was a video producer/director at the FBI Academy for over 27 years. Married since 1970, they have three grown children and now live with two dogs and two cats on two beautiful, wooded acres in Virginia .
You can visit Linda’s w ebsite at .

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Giveaway and Review of Leslie Matthews Stansfield's Mr. Tea and the Traveling Teacup


After the death of their mother, sisters Terry and Karen Sutter, turn their childhood home into a teahouse. It’s a dream come true, but the dream begins to resemble a nightmare when teacups start crashing to the floor in the middle of the night. Could the teahouse be haunted? There’s a list of possible ghostly candidates: the prior owner who is rumored to have left behind a buried treasure, two spinster neighbors who disappeared without a trace over forty years ago, or perhaps it’s Terry and Karen’s own mother trying to communicate with them. Karen, the older sister, thinks running a haunted teahouse might be fun, until the sisters come home one night to find the attic stairs covered in a trail of what appears to be blood. Is it a ghost or a warning? The teahouse’s new mascot, a psychic macaw, may provide some unexpected clues, but the sisters will encounter many more surprises before they solve this mystery.

My Review:

This was a great cozy, it had everything that I love about a cozy.  It had humor, mystery and even a little romance.  This was a book that once I got into it, I didn't want to put it down and I wanted to know why the teacup kept falling off the middle shelf.  There was more than one mystery in this wonderful book, the mystery of how the teacup falls, and the mysteries from the past of the missing neighbor sisters, the mystery of the bank robberies and the mystery of the death of Thurston Hamilton.  This book had it all, and I highly recommend it.  If you are looking for a can't put down read with mystery, humor, action and a little romance, (Christian ficition lovers will also like this book as it has a message of GOD's forgiveness in it) then this is the book for you.  I loved it!  Great job Leslie, I can't wait to read more about Madeline's Teahouse and it's wonderful owners and their friends. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. 

Amazon Purchase Link:

Author Bio:
LESLIE MATTHEWS STANSFIELD is the author of MR. TEA AND THE TRAVELING TEACUP, the first book in the Madeline’s Teahouse series. She is the author of a previous book, Windsor Locks, on the town she lives in. She grew up in Delmar, New York, and credits her friends with developing her imagination. Leslie is a graduate of University of Hartford and recently received her Masters’ degree from the University of Phoenix in Educational Leadership. She is a math tutor in a public school as well as the Christian Education Director of her church. She is currently working on her second book in the Madeline’s Teahouse series. She has four children and eight grandchildren and lives in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.

Giveaway:  Leave a comment below and the tour organizer, Cozy Mystery Book Reviews, will randomly pick three winners (may not be from this blog) from all of the stops on this tour.  Leave your contact info with your comment (email and I will contact you for your other info).  Good luck!!!!!!!!!  The prize is a Kindle copy of Mr. Tea and the Traveling Teacup!!!!!!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Review of Sherry Kyle's The Stone Heart

Genre: Christian fiction

Author: Sherry Kyle


Publisher: Abingdon Books
About the Book:
When the biological father of Jessica MacAllister’s son decides to break their custody agreement, Jessica and her son visit her Uncle George for advice and refuge…
Following a year of grief, Evelyn Sweeney is finally ready to move on. Pondering her new path in life, her mind drifts to her first love, George MacAllister…

When the lives of these two women cross, they discover that one heart-shaped ring binds their stories together. But will the results be a rekindled faith and new hope, or will it lead them both back into the darkness they’ve fought for so long?



My Review:
This book really touched me.  This was the first book I've ever read by Sherry Kyle, but it won't be my last.  I really enjoyed it and I loved how each character in the book had to deal with an issue of forgiveness and listened to GOD and gave that forgiveness.  I'll have to say, I had a tear in my eye when the book ended.  The characters were all so likable and the book was very well written.  If you are looking for a heartwarming read, then this is the book for you.  Great job Sherry!
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
About the Author:
Sherry Kyle is a graduate of Biola University with a degree in Communications, and a minor in Bible. Sherry is also a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature. She currently has three books in print, her award-winning book for tween girls titled The Christian Girl's Guide to Style all about beauty, fashion, and character, Delivered with Love, her debut contemporary novel, as well as The Heart Stone by Abingdon Press. Sherry and her husband have four children, three biological and one by adoption. She lives along the coast in central California.
You can find her on the web at:
Connect with Sherry:

Friday, May 17, 2013

Review of Deborah Raney's The Face of the Earth

About The Face of the Earth:When Mitchell Brannon's beloved wife of twenty years kisses him goodbye one autumn morning, he has little idea that his life is about to change forever. Mitch returns from work early that evening, surprised Jill's car isn't in the garage. Her conference in Kansas City is only a few hours' drive from their little town of Sylvia, Missouri. But her voice on the answering machine makes him smile. "Hey, babe, I'm just now checking out of the hotel, but I'll stop and pick up something for dinner. Love you."
Mitch sets the table with their best china and lights some candles, looking forward to their first weekend as empty nesters.
But at eight o'clock, the candles have burned to stubs and Jill still hasn't shown up. Mitch tries her cell phone only to get her voice mail over and over again. Their two college kids haven't heard from their mom either.
At midnight, Mitch's irritation turns to dread. And later, when the police and Missouri Highway Patrol have turned up nothing, the Kansas City hotel calls to say they've found property belonging to Jill in a hotel maid's possession.
Mitch enlists the help of their next-door neighbor, Jill's best friend, Shelley, and together they search for clues to Jill's disappearance. As days turn into weeks and weeks into months, Mitch and Shelley's friendship grows ever closer--and decidedly complicated with Jill as the tie that binds them together. Just when Shelley decides to finally reveal her feelings for Mitch, a clue to Jill's whereabouts is uncovered. But every lead seems to be a dead end, and Mitch wonders how he can honor the vows he made to a woman who has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth.

Purchase a copy:
My Review:

Wow, this was an amazing story.  I could not imagine what it would be like to expect your spouse to be home by a certain time and not show up and seemingly vanish off the Face of the Earth.  This was a very well written book that captured the emotions of a tragedy like this right on the money.  And then when Mitch and Shelley started having feelings for each other, I was so glad that they never acted on those feelings.  This is a story that is going to stay with me for a long time.  I found myself wiping tears and also smiling.  Through it all, GOD's love is evident.  Great book that I highly recommend, if I were giving this book stars, it would far surpass a five star review.  Thanks, Deborah Raney for such a wonderful read.

I received a complimenary copy of this book for my honest review. 

Meet Deb:Deborah Raney is the award-winning author of several novels, including "A Nest of Sparrows" and the RITA award winning "Beneath a Southern Sky" and its sequel, "After the Rains". Deborah's first novel, "A Vow to Cherish", was the inspiration for World Wide Pictures' highly acclaimed film of the same title, which in December 2004 aired on prime time network TV for the second time. Deb's novella, "Playing by Heart", was a National Readers Choice Award winner and a 2004 Christy Award finalist. Her novel for Howard/Simon & Schuster, "Yesterday's Embers", appeared on the ECPA Christian fiction bestseller list. Known for her sensitive portrayal of family struggles and relationships, Deb has also written nonfiction books and articles and often speaks at women's retreats and writers' conferences around the country. She and her husband, illustrator/author Ken Raney, have four children and make their home in Kansas.

Find out more at
Landing page:

Review of Jim and Joyce Lavene's A Thyme to Die


A Thyme to Die - Cover

About A Thyme to Die:
Peggy Lee and her gardening friends have managed to persuade the International Flower Show to move to Charlotte from Atlanta this year. Excited and enthusiastic, Peggy agrees to step into the role as director of the event, but on opening day, a good friend of hers is found dead in the middle of the show.
Dr. Aris Abbuto, an orchid grower from South Africa, has been shot and buried in a makeshift grave covered with pink thyme. Peggy is especially devastated since he came at her personal invitation. The presence of the pink thyme, a plant once used for ancient burial rites, tells her it’s possible one of the show’s growers may be involved in his death.
She plans to work with the Charlotte Police on this one, in her position of contract forensic botanist, and is surprised to learn of the Charlotte FBI’s interest in the case—which means her husband, Steve is involved too.
Peggy is focused on finding her friend’s killer and running the flower show with hundreds of sometimes disgruntled vendors. Her questions will find a devious plot with her friend and his young daughter, unwittingly, at the heart of it.
Asking the wrong questions can be dangerous, however, as Peggy knows so well. If she isn’t careful, finding her friend’s killer might also lead to a flower-covered grave for her.

My Review:

I really enjoyed this book, as I have all of Jim and Joyce's books that I have read.  It flowed really well and was a really fast read.  It kept me guessing till the very end, just like a great cozy should.  The killer ends up being someone that you wouldn't even suspect.  I really liked Peggy Lee, she really knows her gardening stuff.  I liked learning about different plants in each chapter also, I like flowers and plants, so that was another reason this book appealed to me so much.  I also liked the other characters in this series.  This is the first Peggy Lee book that I have read, but I wasn't lost,  I was able to follow along with each character.  If you are looking for a fast read with a lot of mystery, then this is the book for you.  Great job Jim and Joyce.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.


About Jim & Joyce Lavene:

Joyce Lavene and Jim Lavene are a wife and husband team who have written and published more than 60 books since 1999. They live in North Carolina with their family and enjoy cooking, photography and ghost hunting.
Connect with Joyce & Jim Lavene:  Website | Twitter | Facebook


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Review of Cynthia Ruchti's When the Morning Glory Blooms

About the Book:
Becky rocks a baby that rocked her world. Sixty years earlier, with her fiancĂ© Drew in the middle of the Korean Conflict, Ivy throws herself into her work at a nursing home to keep her sanity and provide for the child Drew doesn’t know is coming. Ivy cares for Anna, an elderly patient who taxes Ivy’s listening ear until the day she suspects Anna’s tall tales are not just idle ramblings. They’re Anna’s disjointed memories of a remarkable life.
Finding a faint thread of hope she can’t resist tugging, Ivy records Anna’s memoir, scribbling furiously after hours to keep up with the woman’s emotion-packed, grace-hemmed stories. Is Ivy’s answer buried in Anna’s past? And what connects them to Becky?
Becky, Ivy, Anna—three women fight a tangled vine of deception in search of the blossoming simplicity of truth.
Purchase your copy:

My Review:

I really enjoyed this story.  It is a story about three different women who are not seemingly related in any way.  It tells the story of Anna from the 1890's, Ivy from 1951, and Becky and Lauren from the present day.  And all three stories have something to do with babies.  There is a lot of hardship and heartbreak in this story, but through it all, GOD is there and brings all three women through.  It will make you smile through the heartbreak.  I really liked how at the end, it finally intertwined all three women, just wish it would have told a little more after they are all connected.  This is one of those stories that will stay with you long after you put the book down.  Great job Cynthia. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

About the Author:
Cynthia Ruchti is an author and speaker who tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels, nonfiction, women’s events, and outlets related to the Heartbeat of the Home radio broadcast she wrote and produced for thirty-three years. She and her plot-tweaking husband live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five joy-giving grandchildren.
Her latest book is the Christian fiction, When the Morning Glory Blooms.
You can learn more about Cynthia and her writing and speaking at
Connect with Cynthia:

Review of Helen Smith's Invitation to Die



Twenty-six-year-old Emily Castles is out of work… again. So when famous romance author Morgana Blakely offers her a job helping out at a conference in London, Emily accepts. Just as eagerly, American blogger Winnie Kraster accepts an invitation from Morgana to attend as a guest, not realizing she has, in effect, accepted an invitation to die.

As a cast of oddball characters assembles at the conference hotel, grievances, differences, and secrets begin to emerge. When Winnie goes missing, and then is found murdered nearby, Emily begins to suspect that someone involved with the conference is responsible. Could it be one of the organizers, one of the authors, a member of the hotel staff, or even the supplier of the chocolates for the conference gift bags? Emily teams up with guest speaker and eccentric philosophy professor Dr. Muriel to find out.

Offbeat and engaging, this entertaining comic mystery is the first full-length novel featuring amateur British sleuth Emily Castles.

Amazon Purchase Link:

My Review:

This is the first book I've read by Helen Smith and even though this is a serial,  and I hadn't read any of the other stories, I didn't feel lost.  From the start the story tells who is going to be the person that is killed, so that wasn't a surprise, but then there are lots of quirky characters introduced, but who is the killer.  I was kind of surprised by who the killer really was.  Great job Helen Smith

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

Helen Smith is a member of the Writers' Guild of Great Britain, the Crime Writers Association and English PEN. She traveled the world when her daughter was small, doing all sorts of strange jobs to support them both--from cleaning motels to working as a magician's assistant--before returning to live in London where she wrote her first novel. Her work has been reviewed in The Times, the Guardian, The Independent, Time Out and the Times Literary Supplement. Her books have reached number one in the bestseller lists in the Kindle store on both sides of the Atlantic.

Invitation to Die, the debut novel in her Emily Castles mystery series, is published by Thomas & Mercer.

She blogs at: Sign up here to receive an email alert when a new book is published:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Review of Grannies, Guns, and Ghosts by Madison Johns and Giveaway


Senior snoop, Agnes Barton, has taken up residence in a Winnebago at a campground in East Tawas, Michigan. It’s not the ideal place for a woman of seventy-two to live, but she’s making do. She had planned to start a detective agency with partner in crime, Eleanor Mason, but a snag with the license has them free wheeling it, not that it matters because they are the ones folks call when dead bodies turn up.
A frantic phone call has Agnes and Eleanor racing to the scene of yet another crime scene. Herman Butler has fallen to his death from a third story window, and the widow, Betty Lou, is beside herself with either grief or competing for the Oscars, and it’s up to Agnes and Eleanor to unravel the mystery, which gets more interesting when a ghost is listed as a possible suspect.
This time around, Agnes and Sheriff Peterson can agree, the widow is nuts, but wait, a few days later the ghost ship, Erie Board of Trades, was spotted off the shores of Lake Huron. Ghost hunters, G.A.S.P., hightail it into town, and East Tawas is overrun with ghost sightings.
Agnes and Eleanor must sort fact from fantasy before another body is found or a curse is realized.

My Review:
This book was a hoot.  It was great.  It had humor, mystery, and even a little romance, a great cozy.  Agnes and Eleanor show you that just because you are a senior citzen, it doesn't mean your life is over.  They are an unbeatable duo that make you laugh, they aren't like your average  "granny",  and they are also wonderful sleuths.  This book was also filled with other quirky characters and you can't help but love Agnes and Eleanor.   I definitely can't wait to read more about this dynamic duo.  If you are looking for a lite read that will make you laugh, then this is the book for you.  Great job Madison.
 I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

Author Bio:
As a child, Madison Johns preferred to distance herself from other children her age, and had been described as a dreamer. Even as a small child, she remembers staying awake many a night fighting dragons, whisked away to foreign lands, or meeting the man of her dreams.
She was a voracious reader of historical romance in her teen years and has always wished to one day journey to England, France, Ireland, and Scotland.
The writing bug bit her at the age of 44 and she pounded out three books since that time. As the publishing climate changed she took a risk and decided to self publish, first a collection of two horror short stories geared for YA, Coffin Tales Season of Death.
Madison's caring nature had led her to work in the healthcare field, where she was employed as a nursing care assistant at a nursing home, and it was there that she was inspired to write her first mystery, Armed and Outrageous, introducing amateur detective Agnes Barton. The book depicts two elderly ladies digging up clues with enough laugh out loud antics to make James Bond blush.

Cozy Mystery Book Reviews Giveaway:

The prize is a $25 or Paypal cash.

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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Review of Deeanne Gist's It Happened at the Fair

More about It Happened at the Fair

A transporting historical novel about a promising young inventor, his struggle with loss, and the attractive teacher who changes his life, all set against the razzle-dazzle of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair.
Gambling everything, including the family farm, Cullen McNamara travels to the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with his most recent invention. But the noise in the Fair's Machinery Palace makes it impossible to communicate with potential buyers. In an act of desperation, he hires Della Wentworth, a teacher of the deaf, to tutor him in the art of lip-reading.
The young teacher is reluctant to participate, and Cullen has trouble keeping his mind on his lessons while intently watching her lips. Like the newly invented Ferris Wheel, he is caught in a whirl between his girl back home, his dreams as an inventor, and his unexpected attraction to his new tutor. Can he keep his feet on the ground, or will he be carried away?

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My Review:

I really enjoyed this book.  Deeanne Gist really did her research about the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, from her descriptions, I thought I was there.  The story was also wonderful.  Cullen's father sent him to the fair to exhibit his automatic sprinkler system.  Cullen has a hard time hearing, so a potential customer suggests that he hire the services of one of the lip-reading teachers.  Little does he realize that the lady he saved on the first day would end up being his teacher.  Will they pursue a relationship other than that of teacher and student, and what will happen between Cullen and his "fiancĂ©" back home.  This was a very well written book as are all of Deaanne's books.  I highly recommend it. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

Meet Deeanne:

Deeanne Gist---known to her family, friends, and fans as Dee---has rocketed up bestseller lists and captured readers everywhere with her very fun, very original historicals. She has received numerous RITA nominations, two consecutive Christy Awards, and rave reviews. Deeanne has a background in education and journalism and a degree from Texas A&M. She has written for People, Parents, and Parenting. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and has four grown children. She has a very active online community on her website at and at 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Review of Lucy Burdette's Topped Chef


Hayley Snow loves her job as the food critic for Key Zest magazine, tasting the offerings from Key West’s most innovative restaurants. She’d rate her life four stars, until she’s forced into the spotlight…and another murder investigation.

Hoping for some good publicity, Hayley’s boss signs her up to help judge the Key West Topped Chef contest. Stakes are high as the winner could be the next cooking-show superstar. Hayley shows up for the filming nervous but excited, until she sees who’s on the judging panel with her: Sam Rizzoli, big shot businessman—and owner of the restaurant she just panned in her first negative review.

When Rizzoli turns up dead, the police assume his killer is one of his business rivals. But Hayley wonders whether someone is taking the contest a little too seriously. With the police following the wrong recipe, it’s up to Hayley to find the killer before she’s eliminated from the show…permanently.

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My Review:

I absolutely loved this book.  With all the craze of reality shows and cooking shows, I loved the idea of a reality cooking show based in Key West.  Hayley Snow is wonderful.  She just seems so real to me.  And this was a great cozy because it kept me guessing the whole way through.  I had no idea who the killer was, and Lucy did such a good job with the writing, that the killer was someone I never even suspected.  If you are looking for a great cozy mystery, then pick up a copy of Topped Chef.  You won't regret it, it is wonderful.  Great job Lucy, I can't wait for more!!!!!!!!!!!

I recieved a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

Author Bio:
Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. As Roberta Isleib, she has also written the golf lovers mystery series and the advice column mysteries. Her books and stories have been nominated for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards.

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