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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Emma Blooms at Last by Naomi King

Romance is in the air during the fall wedding season in the Amish community of Cedar Creek. But while one loving couple prepares to tie the knot, Amanda and Wyman Brubaker’s large family faces a threat from outside their happy circle…and must learn to pull together.
Recently wed Amanda and Wyman Brubaker are thrilled that their children from previous marriages have blended together to form a strong family. But when the construction of Wyman’s new grain elevator is delayed, making the project more expensive than anticipated, Amanda’s determination to rally the kids into taking on work to improve the family’s finances comes into conflict with Wyman’s sense of responsibility as head of the household….
Meanwhile, as James Graber and Abby Lambright prepare for their long-awaited nuptials, folks gather from far and wide. Amanda’s nephew Jerome has long been smitten with James’s sister Emma and wants to seize this chance to woo her. But Emma’s been burned once and is twice shy of trusting the fun-loving, never-serious Jerome. As Emma and Jerome struggle to understand each other, and find the courage to make a leap of faith, the Brubakers face a bigger challenge than they first anticipated and begin to discover just what it means to fight…the Amish way.
My Review:

This was another wonderful story by Naomi King.  Naomi is such a great writer that she makes you feel like you know the characters.  I really connected with the character, Emma.  I also like how Naomi keeps the characters from previous books in front burner storylines in each book.  It is nice to read about a caring community of people.  Great job Naomi.

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

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Drawing upon her experiences in Jamesport, the largest Old Order Amish community west of the Mississippi, longtime Missourian Naomi King writes of simpler times and a faith-based lifestyle in her Home at Cedar Creek/One Big Happy Family series. Like her series heroine, Abby Lambright, Naomi considers it her personal mission to be a listener—to heal broken hearts and wounded souls—and to share her hearth and home. Faith and family, farming and frugality are hallmarks of her lifestyle: like Abby, she made her wedding dress and the one her mom wore, too! She’s a deacon, a dedicated church musician and choir member, and when she’s not writing, Naomi loves to travel, try new recipes, crochet, and sew. Naomi, whose real name is Charlotte Hubbard, now lives in Minnesota with her husband and their border collie, Ramona.

Excerpt Five:


“Shall we get some lunch?” Jerome asked when they were seated in the rig. “There’s a vintage-style diner just down the road—”


“Or we could go back to Cedar Creek,” Emma remarked in a hopeful tone. “Between what Mamm and I fixed and what Amanda brought, there’s plenty enough for us to join them.”


Jerome smiled. “But you’ve spent your morning with me and saved me from making a lot of mistakes,” he said gently. “I’d like to treat you to a meal you didn’t have to cook yourself. Will that be all right?”


Emma smiled as the color rose in her cheeks. “Well, since you put it that way . . .”


He was thankful that once they were seated in a red leatherette booth with a chrome-edged table between them and a miniature jukebox on the wall, Emma took off her black coat and bonnet. In her honey-gold cape dress and a cream-colored apron that fastened behind her neck, she looked much more attractive and . . . inviting.


Jerome was pleased when she ordered a patty melt with fries and a side of tomato soup. At least she wasn’t going to be finicky about her food, like some girls were. After he ordered the blue-plate special, which was meat loaf, he tapped on the wall-mounted juke box. “Pick a song, Emma. We can listen while we wait for our lunch.”


As she flipped through the selections, Jerome fished out a quarter and put it in the slot. “F six,” she murmured.


In a few moments, “See You Later, Alligator,” filled the small diner. As Emma tapped her fingers on the tabletop, keeping time to the old rock-and-roll song, she looked as happy as Jerome had ever seen her. At last, he’d found something they both enjoyed, even if the church didn’t allow them to play such music at home.


“Dat took James and Abby and me to a horse auction once, when we were around ten or eleven,” she recounted. “We ate lunch at a place similar to this one, and Dat played this record on the jukebox—and it’s stuck with us ever since. Even on days when he can’t recall what he ate for breakfast, he knows every word to this song.”


“It’s a snappy tune,” Jerome agreed, tapping his toes. Just for fun, he wanted to catch Emma’s feet between his and give them a quick squeeze, but he thought better of it. “It’s nice to have that memory from when your dat was younger and stronger. My mamm and dat died when our house burned to the ground, when I was just ten.”


Emma’s eyes widened. “And how was it that you didn’t—I mean—”


The concern on her face coaxed Jerome to grasp her hand. “I was staying overnight at a cousin’s house,” he replied. “The firemen said the old furnace exploded, and because the house was built of very dry wood they’d saved from a barn they’d torn down, my folks were gone before they knew what hit them. That’s when Aunt Amanda and Uncle Atlee took me in—and probably why I get such a kick out of your dat.”


“You didn’t lose any brothers or sisters, I hope?” Emma murmured. “If something happened to James, I’m not sure I could bear it.”


Jerome felt comforted by her concern, even if the accident happened more than half his lifetime ago. “No, it seems they broke the mold when they made me,” he said with a chuckle.


For a moment, Emma’s gaze lingered on his. Such an unusual shade of brown her eyes were, similar to a mixture of honey and cinnamon. Too soon, she eased her hand away. “I’m sorry,” she murmured. “That was a horrible thing to endure when you were so young.”



One Big Happy Family, Book 2

NAL Trade (November 4, 2014)

ISBN-13: 9780451417886 •• ISBN-10: 0451417887


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Monday, November 24, 2014

Mrs Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death


Publisher: Alibi (November 18, 2014)
Sold by: Random House LLC
Move over, Miss Marple—Mark Reutlinger’s charming cozy debut introduces readers to the unforgettable amateur sleuth Rose Kaplan and her loyal sidekick, Ida.
Everyone knows that Rose Kaplan makes the best matzoh ball soup around—she’s a regular matzoh ball maven—so it’s no surprise at the Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors when, once again, Mrs. K wins the honor of preparing the beloved dish for the Home’s seder on the first night of Passover.
But when Bertha Finkelstein is discovered facedown in her bowl of soup, her death puts a bit of a pall on the rest of the seder. And things go really meshugge when it comes out that Bertha choked on a diamond earring earlier stolen from resident Daisy Goldfarb. Suddenly Mrs. K is the prime suspect in the police investigation of both theft and murder. Oy vey—it’s a recipe for disaster, unless Rose and her dear friend Ida can summon up the chutzpah to face down the police and solve the mystery themselves.
Advance praise for Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death
“Is there kosher food in jail? These two heroines have gotten themselves in quite a pickle! Well, it’s a matzoh ball mess, really. Too deliciously funny!”—Rita Mae Brown, bestselling author of Nine Lives to Die
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My Review:
This was a charming little read.  It got kind of distracting because the narrator, Ida, kept getting off track and got her and Mrs. Kaplan mixed up in the problems of the other residents of Julius and Rebecca Cohen Home for Jewish Seniors.  This isn't the first book I have read with a Jewish protagonist, but it is the first that was really authentic.  If you are looking for a quick, lite-hearted read, then this is the book for you. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
About Mark ReutlingerMark Reutlinger is the author of the novel Made in China and a professor of law emeritus at Seattle University. Born in San Francisco, Mark graduated from UC Berkeley and now lives with his wife, Analee, in University Place, Washington.

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Guest Post:

Where I Get My Characters


I am fond of saying that my novels develop as they go, like a living being growing in ways I cannot always predict. Some aspects of a novel are well-planned, while others are as much a surprise to me as they would be to anyone else. My characters within a novel are created in the same way. As I find I need a role filled, I find a character, either in my memory or in my imagination, to fit that role.


In Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death, for example, I knew from the outset that the two principal characters would be older Jewish women living in a retirement home. The two women were definitely patterned after, or more accurately are an amalgam of, many such people I have known in my life, from my and my wife’s grandmothers to the residents of various retirement homes I have had occasion to visit. (My and my wife’s parents spent many years in such facilities.) They are, in other words, drawn from real life, from my memory of people I have known well or been acquainted with. Even their names are from my experience: I believe Mrs. Kaplan was (subconsciously) named after Leo Rosten’s wonderful character Hyman Kaplan, whose exploits my wife’s mother used to read aloud to us, complete with accent. As for Ida Berkowitz, the narrator of the story, I had an aunt named Ida and it just seemed right for her.


On the other hand, some of my characters are created from whole cloth, specially designed to fit the role I have planned for them. I have told the story elsewhere of how Linda Chambers, the female protagonist in my political thriller Made in China, came to be co-starred with Jack Conway, the male protagonist: I wrote her in with a minor part and unexpectedly liked her so much I made her a principal character, with traits suited to her new role. Linda is an example of a character who is not patterned after or a composite of anyone I actually know or have met, although she is someone I would like to know. She is beautiful, intelligent, and resourceful, but also a bit silly at times, with a good sense of humor. She has human failings and weaknesses, of course, but on balance she is one of the strongest characters I have come across in my mental dramatis personae. That’s because I created her that way.


I think a mix of characters one takes from real life and others wholly a product of one’s imagination makes for interesting and well-rounded fiction. Characters based on real people in a writer’s life can be lovingly described and filled out with ready-made features—physical, mental, and emotional, but too many “familiar” characters might tend to confine a writer to actions and characteristics that in fact define those real people; at least one might be reluctant to assign them roles completely foreign to their models. Wholly fictional characters, on the other hand, give a writer freedom to mold them in whatever way seems best at the time, with no feeling of incongruity. They lack the familiarity and realism of those representing a living person, but that in turn opens them to an infinite variety of descriptions.


Linda Chambers, meet Rose Kaplan. I’m confident you two will get along famously.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Quilted by Christmas

About the book: 

A grandmother's last wish is to communicate God's love through an Irish chain quilt.
Taryn McKenna believes she's easy to forget. Abandoned by her parents and left behind when her high school sweetheart joined the army, she vows to never love again and throws herself into her love for the outdoors and the pursuit of a college degree---something no one else in her family has ever accomplished. Her goal, as a young teacher in the hills of North Carolina, is to leave a legacy in the lives of the middle-schoolers she teaches.
When Taryn's grandmother Jemma, the only other person who ever held her close, has a heart attack that reveals a fatal medical condition, Taryn is corralled into helping Grandma work on a final project---an Irish chain quilt that tells the story of her history and the love Jemma knows is out there for Taryn. As the pieces of the quilt come together, Taryn begins to see her value. Can she learn to believe that God will never leave her behind even though others have?
Learn more about this book and the series at the Quilts of Love website.
My Review:
I really enjoyed this story, and literally, once I started it, I couldn't put down, I just had to find out what was going to happen with Taryn and Justin.  This was a lovely holiday romance that kept me thoroughly entertained.  Taryn's grandmother, Jemma, was a real character, even though she was in the hospital she had more life in her than most people.   I really enjoyed the faith element of this book and how close Taryn was with Jemma, it was a very refreshing read indeed.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
About the Author: 

Jodie Bailey is Tarheel born and bred. After 15 years as a military spouse, she settled with her family back in North Carolina. She is the author of the military suspense novel Freefall and is a contributor to a devotional for military families, Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home. While not working on her next novel, she teaches middle-schoolers to love writing as much as she does.

Connect with Jodie: website, Facebook, Twitter

Friday, November 14, 2014

Where Treetops Glisten

About the book: 

The crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime
Siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories, filled with the wonder of Christmas
Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America's involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.
In Cara Putman's White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements---until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.
Abigail's brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin's I'll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete's friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he's no longer the bully she once knew?
In Tricia Goyer's Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, "Merry" to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that's precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.
The Turner family believes in God's providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ's birth and His plan for a future?

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My Review:
What a great book to put you into the Christmas Spirit.  I really enjoyed reading this book, I enjoy reading about Christmas' from the mid 1900's, I find the era from the 1930's to the early 1960;s to be very enjoyable to read about, so this book didn't disappoint me on that level.  I also liked that each novella in the book was connected as each one is about a sibling in the Turner family during WWII.  I think I liked the first novella "White Christmas" by Cara Putman the best as I related to Abigail better than I did the other Turner siblings, but that isn't saying the other two novellas weren't great also, it was a hard choice.  If you are looking for a great holiday read, then don't pass up this book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
About the authors: 

TRICIA GOYER is a prolific author of nearly forty books, including Chasing Mona Lisa, and a speaker and blogger. 

CARA PUTMAN is the author of twenty books including Shadowed by Grace. She is the winner of the 2008 Carol Award for historical fiction. 

SARAH SUNDIN is the critically-acclaimed author of the Wings of the Nightingale series, the Wings of Glory series, and the forthcoming Waves of Freedom novels.

Becoming Bea by Leslie Gould

About the book: Can Bea and Ben Turn Rivalry Into Romance?

Beatrice Zook knows God wants her to learn patience toward others. When assisting a family overwhelmed by triplets proves surprisingly successful, her confidence in dealing with others, both young and old, grows.

One person she'll never be able to find peace with though is Ben Rupp. They've known each other forever, and Ben understands precisely how to antagonize her. What neither she nor Ben will admit is that beneath all their bickering, attraction awaits. When friends decide to try and bring the couple together, will the pair be able to find true love? Or will they damage their relationship beyond repair?

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My Review:
I enjoyed my first visit with the characters of the series Courtships of Lancaster County.  I found that I liked the character of Bea and I related to her a good bit.  She would rather stay home with a good book than be around people.  I liked how her relationship with Ben developed or redeveloped as it seems.  They had been rivals since school when they competed against each other in the class spelling bees.  This book was filled with a memorable cast of characters that face real situations.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
About the author: Leslie Gould is the coauthor, with Mindy Starns Clark, of the #1 CBA bestseller The Amish Midwife, a 2012 Christy Award winner; ECPA bestseller Courting Cate, first in the Courtships of Lancaster County series; and Beyond the Blue, winner of the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice for Best Inspirational Novel, 2006. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Portland State University and has taught fiction writing at Multnomah University as an adjunct professor. She and her familyl live in Portland, Oregon.

Find Leslie online: website, Facebook, Twitter

Kicked to the Curb by Joanna Campbell Slan

Kicked to the Curb
By Joanna Campbell Slan
  • Series: (Book #2 in the Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series)
  • Cozy Mystery 200 pages
 Cara Mia Delgatto’s cup runneth over with worries. Her ex-husband is refusing to pay their son’s college tuition, her evil sister is pulling mean pranks, and her old boyfriend has broken her heart. And that’s just the personal stuff. She’s also concerned about keeping the cash register ringing at The Treasure Chest, her retail store specializing in upcycled, recycled, and repurposed décor items with a coastal theme. The media event that Cara plans turns nasty when reporter Kathy Simmons threatens to share unsavory details from the shopkeeper’s past. Things get really dicey when Kathy mysteriously disappears. Cara’s other problems seem trivial in comparison to…a murder investigation!
My Review:

This book had a lot going on.  Besides all of Cara's personal problems there is a murder and Cara is a suspect.  This is a book that kept me entertained from the start till the finish.  It had a lot of action and kept me guessing till the very end.  Joanna has such a great writing style and the story flowed very well.  If you like crafting cozies, especially ones that turn trash into treasure, then this is the book for you.

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

About This Author
 National Bestselling and Award-Winning Author Joanna Campbell Slan has penned 26 books, including the popular Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series (Agatha Award Finalist). Her new series featuring Cara Mia Delgatto is a spin off from those books. Joanna writes about spunky women who get by with a little help from their friends. A crafting junkie, Joanna lives on a nearly deserted island in Florida with her dog, Jax, who is making a career out of stealing women’s lingerie.
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Thursday, November 13, 2014

An Amish Christmas Quilt by Charlotte Hubbard, Kelly Long, and Jennifer Beckstrand


A Willow Ridge Christmas Pageant
Seth Brenneman didn’t expect his holiday would include rescuing pregnant young Mary Kaffman and her two children…or having unexpected feelings for the still-grieving widow. But when they must play the leads in an impromptu live Nativity pageant to help his Amish community, will their roles reveal their hearts—and work a miracle for a lifetime?
A Perfect Amish Christmas
Anna and Felty Helmuth’s grandson, Gideon, plans to spend Christmas on a beach in sunny Mexico. But Anna is quite sure he’d rather be with them, snowshoeing, ice fishing—falling in love. And she knows the perfect girl. Not only is Dottie Schrock an excellent quilter and baker, she’s having a party. There’s just one complication—Gideon is not invited. Dottie has her reasons, but Anna trusts that the spirit of Christmas—and true love-will change her mind, and her future …
A Willow Ridge Christmas Pageant
“Are we ready? I think our Nativity’s going to be a huge success, with such a heavenly little angel and a regal king,” Rebecca said as she grinned at each of the kids. “And how’s our main attraction?”
Emmanuel, cradled in Mary’s arms, wiggled when Rebecca smiled down at him.
“He’s been fed and changed, so he’s ready,” Mary replied. She smiled at the little parade walking up the Hooleys’ lane. “And here come our shepherds and the other wise men and angels. Everybody looks really gut, Rebecca. We couldn’t have done this without your help.”
As Rebecca murmured something in reply, Mary lost track of it. A tall, broad-shouldered man in a flowing brick-red tunic was striding up the lane toward her, and while she couldn’t see his eyes, she sensed Seth was looking right at her . . . just as she was gazing at him. Thank you for this night, Lord, as we celebrate the birth of Your son and the beginning of our new life in Willow Ridge, Mary prayed quickly. Help me be your faithful handmaiden, as the Virgin Mary was so long ago.
“Let’s hope this works the way I envisioned it,” Rebecca said as other folks began to gather from around town.
Mary turned just in time to see a star-shaped balloon rise into the air, on a long ribbon tied to the light post—and when Rebecca turned on the second lantern, which was aimed skyward, the star glowed and sparkled. Miriam, Ben, Bishop Tom, and the Zook family all let out a delighted oh!
“Folks will be able to see that from quite a ways off!” Tom said. His face shone with boyish wonder as he gazed raptly at the shimmering star above them.

Jennifer Beckstrand


Jennifer Beckstrand is the bestselling author of The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series and the Forever After in Apple Lake series, set in two Amish communities in beautiful Wisconsin. She has always been drawn to the strong faith and the enduring family ties of the Plain people and loves writing about the antics of Anna and Felty Helmuth, the two scheming Amish grandparents who try to help their grandchildren find suitable mates in Huckleberry Hill. Who would ever suspect two elderly Amish folks of mischief?


Jennifer has a degree in mathematics, which comes in handy when one of her six children needs help with algebra. After twenty-five years of being a chauffeur, cook, maid, and nurse, she embarked on a writing career. Jennifer is a member of Romance Writers of America and is represented by Mary Sue Seymour of The Seymour Agency.


She and her husband have been married for thirty years, and she has four daughters, two sons, and two adorable grandsons, whom she spoils rotten.


You can find out more about Jennifer and her books by going to her website: or visiting her Facebook page: Jennifer Beckstrand Fans.


Twitter: @JenniferBeckst1


Charlotte Hubbard


Many moons ago—like, in 1983 while I was still a school librarian—I sold my first story to True Story magazine. This launched me into writing about seventy of those “true confessions” stories over the years, and I’ve been a slave to my overactive imagination ever since. My stories invariably take on a life of their own, different from the way I’ve proposed them: I love it when unforeseen characters and plot twists come along, because they keep me guessing right along with my readers!


I love touring historic homes, trying new recipes, crocheting, and playing with my border collie Ramona—although it’s humbling, having a dog smarter than I am! I’m an ordained Presbyterian deacon, and I devote a lot of time to singing in my church choir and to practicing/performing with our percussion ensemble. I’m celebrating more than thirty-five years with my husband, who—bless him—has never once suggested I get a real job!


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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Suede to Rest by Diane Vallere, Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway

suede to rest large banner 640
SuedeToRest_final coverSuede to Rest
(A Material Witness Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
Brand New Series
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley (November 4, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-0425270578
E-Book ASIN: B00JJXV198

When Poly Monroe was little, she loved playing in her family’s textile store. But after a fatal family tragedy, Land of A Thousand Fabrics was boarded up and Poly never expected to see the inside again. Now, as inheritor of the long-shuttered shop, she’s ready to restore the family business. However her two new kittens, Pins and Needles, aren’t the ones causing a snag in her plans…
Not everyone wants Poly back in San Ladrón, especially a powerful local developer pressuring her to sell—and leave town fast. But even when the threats turn deadly, she’s not ready to bolt. Because Poly is beginning to suspect that the murder behind the shop is tied to a mystery in her family’s unsettled past that she’s determined to solve…before her own life is left hanging by a thread.
My Review:
This was a cozy that kept my attention from the time I picked it up until I finally put it down.  This was a story filled with lots of characters and Diane did a very good job of keeping me guessing.  I had no idea who was behind everything that had happened and was happening to Poly.  To me that is what makes a great cozy.  I definitely want to visit San Ladron again and Poly and all of her new friends.  This was a great start to a new series, and one that won't disappoint you if you pick it up.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
About This Author
After close to two decades working for a top luxury retailer, Diane Vallere traded fashion accessories for accessories to murder. SUEDE TO REST, the first in her new Material Witness Mystery Series, comes out November 4. In addition, she writes the Style & Error Mystery Series, featuring former fashion buyer Samantha Kidd, and the Mad for Mod Mystery Series, featuring Doris Day-loving interior decorator Madison Night. Diane started her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since. Find her at

Author Links
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FB: dianevallereauthor
GR: Diane Vallere
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Guest Post:

Once Upon A Time
I guess it’s strange for a mystery writer to claim that fairy tales influence her stories, but that’s exactly what I’m going to do. Those four little words, “Once Upon a Time,” send me off into another world and put me in mind for a bit of escapism.
But aren’t most fairy tales also mysteries? “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” one of my favorites, could just as easily been called The Mystery of the Worn Out Shoes. And “Rumpelstiltskin” is a suspense story with a ticking clock: an imp-like creature bestows superhuman talents on a young girl in exchange for her first born. Now she must find his identity or else risk losing her first child.
The thing that I love about fairy tales that influences my stories isn’t the mystery, but the hopefulness. It’s the knowledge that, in the future, everything is going to work out. No matter how bad things get—and things can get pretty bad, even in a cozy!—the character pushes forward because she believes that ultimately, the bad guy will be exposed, the innocent will be safe, and justice will be served.
But does everything work out in the end? Not for the victim. And not for the bad guy. In most cases, there’s a whole cast of characters whose lives will never be the same. Even Polyester Monroe, who comes face to face with some dark times in SUEDE TO REST, is a different person at the end than she is at the beginning.
Ah, yes, the ending. In a fairy tale, that’s supposed to be “Happily Ever After.” Does that fit for a cozy? Does it apply to Poly? Who’s to say? Oh, yes, I guess I am to say, but—wink, wink—I’m not telling.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

By Cook or by Crook by Maya Corrigan, Review and Giveaway


By Cook or by Crook
(A Five-Ingredient Mystery)

New Cozy Series
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Kensington (November 4, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-1617731389

Take one burned-out city girl. Add a crusty codger, a pinch of gossip, and a dash of romance. Stir in a generous helping of murder and you’ve got the ingredients for one truly delicious mystery…
Haunted by the car accident that ended her career as a cookbook publicist, Val Deniston has traded in the chaos of New York City for a quieter life near the Chesapeake Bay. Living with her curmudgeonly grandfather in the tourist town of Bayport is hardly glamorous, but she enjoys working at the Cool Down Café at the local fitness club, and she finally has time to work on her long-planned cookbook. But when one of the club’s patrons is found dead, she’ll have to cook up a scheme to find the killer. 
Includes 8 five-ingredient recipes!

My Review:

This book started a little slow for me, but I soon got immersed in it and I couldn't put it down.  I really liked Val's relationship with her grandfather, he really was an old codger sometimes.  I enjoyed the setting of this novel also.  I would have liked to have seen a better cast of characters in this story, it seemed a lot of the people in this small community had a lot to hide.  I say great job Maya on a start to a great series.  I look forward to more.

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

About This Author
Maya Corrigan lives near Washington, D.C., within easy driving distance of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the setting for this series. She has taught courses in writing, detective fiction, and American literature at Georgetown University and NOVA community college. A winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense, she has published essays on drama and short stories under her full name of Mary Ann Corrigan. Visit her at

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