Thursday, September 16, 2021

 

About the Book

Book:  A Giant Murder

Author: Marji Laine

Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling

Release date: August 3, 2021

Would you like a shot of… death with that, sir?

Josephine Jacobs was just doing her job, serving at an exclusive party, so why is she now being accused of shooting TG Taggert?

At a party full of suspects in the murder of Taggert, Josie served the food giant everything but an eternally “parting shot.” Who really killed TG Taggert?  His wife?  His son, Jack?  What about Harper Davis?  Rumor has it, she was having an affair with him—motive for her or Taggert’s wife! The list of those who seemed to hate him keeps growing, including a chemist and a chef!

With her long-time friend, Office Porter O’Brien, Josie sets out to find out who really killed “the giant,” and clear her name.

Find out in this next book in the Ever After Mysteries, combining beloved fairy tales and mysteries. A Giant Murder offers a retelling of “Jack and the Beanstalk” with enough clues and suspects to keep you looking over your shoulder. We’d recommend Kevlar… but it hasn’t been invented yet!

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Marji Laine is a graduated home-schooling mom of four with two college students staying in the nest for a little longer. She and her hubby of 34 years also share their North Texas home with a rescue pup named Rosie. When Marji isn’t editing or publishing the books for her authors at Write Integrity Press, she indulges in penning her own mystery, suspense, and romance novels. She loves acting in musical comedy, has directed many stage productions, leads a high school Bible study and sings in her church choir. She prefers mountains to beaches, dogs to cats, NASCAR to football, Magnolia pie, white roses, green, and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries. You can find her at her website: MarjiLaine.com 

 

More from Marji

I so enjoyed researching the history of downtown Dallas as I crafted my story, A GIANT MURDER. The house that I chose for Josie and her mom is actually still there on Haskell Avenue. The photo with the wrought iron is about twenty years old, but the house was built circa 1914. The photo with the wooden fence is from last year, after a big remodel. This house was also the setting of another of my books. It and the field that used to be next to it was an after-school child care center in AIN’T MISBEHAVING.

Thinking about what life might have been like in this house in the twenties, I can’t help but think about my grandparents. They were teenagers at the time of my story – 1926 – and while my grandfather grew up in, what was then, a little farming town called Paris, Texas, my grandmother grew up in Oak Cliff, just across the bridge over the Trinity River from this house in downtown Dallas.

Makes the research that I did on this era even that much more special. Having come through COVID, I realize that my great-grandparents had to nurture their preteens and teenagers through the Spanish Flu that devastated whole communities. The more things change, the more they stay the same?

All of this reminiscing sent me to an old recipe book that had been a wedding present for me from my mom almost thirty-five years ago. In the dessert section near the back, I found a precious recipe for Date Candy that had come by way of my great-grandmother, Carrie Ethel Leatherwood Morin. I never met her, but I do remember hearing from my mom that she was a woman of faith, and I have a poem she wrote late in life, about growing up in the country.

I would say this is a 1920s recipe, but who could tell? She was a middle-aged mom at that point, so it’s a good bet.

Date Candy

1 box – light brown sugar

4 T – corn syrup

½ pt – whipping cream

1 cup – dates

1 cup – pecans

1 t – vanilla

 

Mix sugar, syrup, and cream. Cook until almost a hard ball. Just before removing from pan, put in dates and stir until they melt. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Beat until almost hard – then add pecans. Wet a cup towel. Pour mixture onto cup towel and roll into a roll. Let it cool – firm – then slice.

 

Let me know if you decide to make my great-grandmother’s candy. I’d love to find out how it turned out!

MY REVIEW 

This has been a fun book to read and I really did  not want it to end. The setting is exciting and I love stories that take us back to the 1920s. You can tell that  the author has done extensive research to make the story authentic. I wonder what it would be like to live in a boarding house? There couldn’t be too much privacy except when you were in your own room. I was very intrigued by how the place was run and all the people who lived there.

Josie is a sweet character who works very hard to help her mother pay bills. What starts out as an extra job one night turns her world upside down. Who knew that taking a drink to someone would cause you to become a suspect in their murder? Has Josie been set up by someone or was the death an accident? The author gives readers twists and unexpected suspects in the story that I had to take out my journal to keep notes. Oh yes I always use a journal when reading a book for review.  I don’t want to forget any details. There is one very humbling moment in the story that I hope is not overlooked. In the midst of chaos , Josie shares God with someone. It is a very special moment and made me think how important  it is to share God with others. We don’t want to miss our opportunity and Josie confidently witnessed to this person with compassion. 

The mystery in the  book is quite unique since it has to do with a formula for a recipe. I applaud the author for being so creative and implementing a plot that is fresh and appetizing. Someone wants that recipe desperately and are willing to kill for it. There is a little romance in the story but it is done tastefully and does not over shadow the main theme in the book. I have to say I was shocked by who turned out to be the guilty person. How sad that people are greedy and jealous that they resort to violence. I loved the story and thought that there was just enough action to keep me interested in the case of the missing formula.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, September 17

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 17

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 18

For the Love of Literature, September 18

Inklings and notions, September 19

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, September 19 (Author Interview)

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 20

For Him and My Family, September 20

deb’s Book Review, September 21

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 21

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 22

A Reader’s Brain, September 23

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 23

Connie’s History Classroom, September 24

Simple Harvest Reads, September 24 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 25

Mary Hake, September 25

Rebecca Tews, September 26

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 27

Connect in Fiction, September 28

Bigreadersite, September 28

Through the fire blogs, September 29

Blogging With Carol, September 30

Back Porch Reads, September 30

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Marji is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/119f5/a-giant-murder-celebration-tour-giveaway


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

 

About the Book

Book: Dinah’s Dilemma

Author: Linda Shenton Matchett

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release date: August 15, 2020

Will she have to run from the past for the rest of her life?

Dinah Simpkins has no chance of making a good marriage. Her outlaw brothers and her father’s gambling addiction have ruined the family’s reputation. Then the Westward Home and Hearts Matrimonial Agency provides an opportunity for a fresh start. After Dinah arrives in Nebraska, she discovers her brothers played a part in the death of her prospective groom’s first wife.

As a former Pinkerton detective Nathan Childs knows when someone is lying. The bride sent by the matrimonial agency may be beautiful, but she’s definitely hiding something, and he has no intention of marrying her until he uncovers the truth. But an easier solution may be to send her packing. Then his young daughter goes missing. He and Dinah must put aside their mutual hurt and mistrust to find her.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Linda Shenton Matchett writes about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. A volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII, Linda is a former trustee for her local public library. She is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and was born a stone’s throw from Fort McHenry. Linda has lived in historic places all her life, and is now located in central New Hampshire where her favorite activities include exploring historic sites and immersing herself in the imaginary worlds created by other authors.

 

More from Linda

Dear Reader,

 

As a novelist, I write about ordinary people who did extraordinary things in days gone by. And to me, nothing is more extraordinary than leaving all that you know to travel a great distance (often thousands of miles) to marry a man you’ve never met. Don’t you agree?

 

During the initial settlement of the American West, the population was primarily composed of men. Men who went in search of gold, to seek new opportunities in farming and ranching, or to make a fresh start where land and resources seemed unlimited. Eventually, loneliness set in for those who were single, yet there was a dearth of suitable women to marry.

 

The conundrum for the men was how to meet and court a woman without leaving for fear of someone taking their land or claims. Some of the bachelors wrote home asking friends and family for referrals to single women who would make a good wife. Courtship would take place via correspondence until the couple decided they were suited to marry. The more common scenario was that of mail-order brides.

 

Ads were placed by the men in eastern newspapers. They would tell a bit about themselves and what traits they were seeking in a wife. Interested women would reply, and the advertiser would respond to the applicant he thought was a good fit. As with those men who wrote home to find a mate, the process was much the same with courtship occurring through letters.

 

Most of the time, the marriages went smoothly, with the couple falling in love, resulting in a long and happy relationship. However, there are stories of marriages that did not survive because of abandonment, abuse, death, or the discovery of a still-living spouse. A few incidents are recorded about mail-order brides whose groom paid her railway passage, only for her to marry someone else because he seemed a better prospect. Fortunately, those instances seem to make up a small percentage.

 

I hope you enjoy Dinah’s Dilemma: A Mail-Order Bride Romance.

 

Blessings,

Linda Shenton Matchett

MY REVIEW 

Oh how I loved this story. It was so emotional and realistic that I was able to relate to the main character so easily. Dinah has a sketchy family history and it is hard for her to escape it. Many people judge her because of her brothers. Here is where I had to stop.  My heart beat a little faster as I knew exactly how she felt.  have an older brother who has always in trouble and made very poor choices. It wasn’t uncommon for the police to knock on our door telling us that my brother was in jail. Like Dinah, people assumed that I did the same things he did, so I had no friends and I trusted no one.

I know Dinah made a hasty decision to become a mail order bride but she was so desperate to get away from her family she felt she had no other choice. Even though she has been through a hard life, her faith never wavered. I admired her caring heart and need to be accepted. We all want to be liked and Dinah wanted a better life and a chance to find happiness and friends. Every time she felt unworthy, I cried knowing  how much it hurts to feel rejected.

Nathan is everything you would want in a husband. He is hard working, loves God, and adores his daughter. I have always been fascinated by stories about mail order brides.  It is only  the woman that  takes a big risk but the man does as well. Nathan wants his sweet little girl to be happy and he is hoping that Dinah will fit in. The author does an excellent job of illustrating how these two people slowly start to trust each other. Nathan seeing Dinah spend time with his daughter makes him feel like he has made a great decision. 

This story does deal with two very important topics that we all have experienced. Trust and forgiveness can be difficult if we allow fear and pride to sneak in. When Nathan finds out that Dinah has not been honest with them, it shatters him and his heart turns cold. This is the meat of the story for me. I wanted to see how the author would explore these two subjects that many of us struggle with. 

Nathan is still trying to cope with a loss and now the woman he has brought to live with him as his wife has hid secrets from him. How can he trust her with his heart? The anguish he goes through is hard as  he grieves for what could have been. Have you ever had your hopes and dreams shattered? Nathan is a very compassionate man who know needs to turn to God for help. 

Dinah is beside herself as she knows that the truth has come out about her past.Why didn’t she tell Nathan right away? I can only guess that she wanted him to love her and accept her and allowed  her fear to take  over.  There is nothing that we do that God won’t forgive us for. Dinah in her fragile state will have to trust God as she decides if telling the truth will save her marriage. 

This is one story that shows how important communication is in a marriage. Nathan and Dinah both have been afraid to open up to each other and allow God to show them that “Love is patient and love is kind.”  The author has written a beautiful story that reminds us along with communication,  trust and forgiveness are key to a blessed marriage. 

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Blossoms and Blessings, September 14

Mary Hake, September 14

Labor Not in Vain, September 15

Texas Book-aholic, September 16

Inklings and notions, September 17

For Him and My Family, September 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 19

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 19

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 20

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 21

Connect in Fiction, September 22

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 22

deb’s Book Review, September 23

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 24

Vicky Sluiter, September 25

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, September 25

Connie’s History Classroom, September 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 27

Jeanette’s Thoughts, September 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Linda is giving away the grand prize package of a Book Journal, Floral Book Plates, Bookjigs Bookmark, a $25 Visa Gift Card, and an autographed paperback edition of Dinah’s Dilemma!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/11826/dinah-s-dilemma-celebration-tour-giveaway


Sunday, September 12, 2021

 

About the Book

Book: Catch Me If You Can

Author: Carole Brown

Genre: Romantic Suspense with a touch of quirkiness

Release date: August 5, 2021

The big cat sat on the oversized rock, ears pointed toward the sky, every muscle taut, every sense at the ready.

“S-s-shut up and f-f-forget it. You’ve s-seen nothing and know nothing. I won’t warn you again. G-g-got it?”

The cat’s head swiveled, his ears twitching as if catching the hint of threat in the whisper. A soft hiss slid from his open mouth and reinforced the overtone of evil pressing in upon the scene. Within hours, lies and dark secrets are slithering all over the campground.

Coaxed into finding the animal killer at Jamieson’s Outfitters, Tara Layne, with her sidekick, Boet, is welcomed by a threatening whisper and the unfriendly eyes of a rugged and devastatingly handsome manager. Wesley Clarke, both interesting and frustrating, holds an attraction for Tara that is primitive and exasperating.

Intermingled with her search, Tara deals with her own heartbreaking buried secrets. When a strange old Native American probes into the recesses of her heart, he encourages her to face her bitter feelings.

As Tara closes in on her search, she finds herself—and Boet—the target of someone who’s determined to outrun and outsmart her. Someone determined not to get caught.

His theme:

Fun as fast as you can, you can’t catch me.

The question:

Can Tara run fast enough to catch this real live Gingerbread boy 

before he decides to get rid of her and Boet? 

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of thirteen full-length, best selling and award winning books (with a novella in an anthology), she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. She has found that the traveling and ministering has served her well in writing her novels. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

 

More from Carol

Who doesn’t like a good book while nibbling on cookies and sipping your favorite drink?

 

Writing Catch Me If You Can, Book One of the Nursery Rhyme Series, was a fun endeavor. I can’t remember how I came up with the idea, but I do know it’s been interesting and a long-time coming. Both Tara Layne and Wesley Clarke have personal and spiritual issues to resolve which are more serious topics to address. So I knew definitely that I not only wanted to include those, plus suspense and romance, but also a bit of quirky-ness to the story.

 

What were the two quirky things that help make it special?

Tara Layne comes from a very special family. Her older brother, Tory, four years older than the twins: Tara and Tomas, and her grandfather, Poppy, an archeologist, who cared for them when their parents died. He raised them while on dig sites, teaching them and giving them a unique view of the world.

 

When Tory was murdered, while studying to follow in their grandfather’s footsteps, Tara, an elementary teacher, resigned and took the schooling she needed to be a detective because the authorities seemed unable to discover why Tory was murdered.

 

Her brothers were always pranksters, and after Tory died, Tomas bought her an expensive gift: A Savannah cat, sort of as a joke. But instead of being irritated at her nerdy computer brother, she fell in love with her cat and proceeded to name him Boet (An African name that means brotherly love).  Boet not only hisses at those he’s not crazy about, but shows tolerance for those who he favors.

 

Here are some fun facts about a Savannah cat: 

  1. Crossbred between a African Serval cat and a domestic cat.
  2. Many Savannah cats enjoy water.
  3. They are inquisitive and extremely intelligent.

 

The antagonist leaves Gingerbread cookie men at each site of the animal killings.

  1. Now that seems weird enough, but when you discover why and how the cookies play a part of his/her past, you’ll understand the title better and why the antagonist is so obsessed with these specific cookies.
  2. I’ve included a recipe below for your enjoyment! If you love gingerbread, these are sure to become a favorite!

Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients

COOKIES

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • additional flour for rolling out dough

ICING

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 2 tsp light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp extract of choice – lemon almond or vanilla

Instructions

COOKIES

  • In a small bowl mix together baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon until well blended. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, brown sugar, and eggs on medium speed until well blended.
  • Add molasses and vanilla and mix until well combined.
  • Gradually add in dry ingredients and mix until combined, but do not over-mix.
  • Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place into an airtight container or freezer style zipper bag, and place in refrigerator for at least two hours and up to 24 hours.
  • When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 deg. Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats ore parchment paper.
  • Let dough sit at room temperature for 5-15 minutes or however long is needed to make it pliable enough to divide in half. The time it takes will depend on how long it’s been chilling.
  • Place 1 portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle additional flour over dough and gently roll dough out to approximately 1/4 – 1/3″ thick. The thicker the dough the softer the cookie will be. If dough sticks to rolling pin, sprinkle additional flour onto dough.
  • Cut out cookies with cookie cutter. Whatever scraps are left over after cutting out cookies can be rolled out and rolled out to cut out more cookies.
  • Place cookies on baking sheet approximately 1 1/2-inches apart.
  • Bake each sheet of cookies for 7-10 minutes until tops and edges are starting to firm up.
  • Remove baking sheet from oven transfer to a wire cooling rack. Allow to cool on baking sheet for ten minutes, then use a spatula to transfer cookies to another wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  • If desired, once cookies are completely cooled decorate.

ICING

  • In a medium size bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well to combine. For thicker icing, add more powdered sugar, one tablespoon at a time. For thinner icing, add more corn syrup, one teaspoon at a time. Place into a piping bag and pipe onto gingerbread cookies as desired.


MY REVIEW

Wow!! This story is definitely the author’s best to date. It is somewhat mysterious, a bit creepy but oh so intriguing. I loved Tara and her determination to find out who was killing animals on a place her friend owns. The setting is in the  woods where wild animals abound. They are free to roam but someone is doing something sinister to them. Tara is there to investigate but she senses a bit of tension among the workers. Someone knows something and I couldn’t wait to turn the  pages to find out what was going on. 

I felt shivers go down the back of my neck as Tara faces danger as clues are found. I need to stop here for a minute and mention a very important part of this story, Tara has an unusual partner who is intelligent and keeps close to Tara. I have never heard of a Savannah cat before so I looked it up. They are beautiful animals with an instinct to be on the go a lot. Boet’s  presence in the story is fascinating and I loved how important this beautiful animal is to Tara. 

Whoever is behind all the killings is in power and thrives on it. Their agenda is not quite defined yet but I anticipated their every move. The author is very polished in keeping readers guessing and I decided I needed to bring out my journal to take notes in. I had started a list of suspects in my head, but now they needed to be on paper so I could play detective. 

The action really picks up as more unexplained accidents happen and mysterious notes start showing up to scare a certain someone away. I was by this time on the edge of my seat. Can Tara track down the killer before another senseless animal is killed? The author has a few surprises in store for us that shocked me. Did I figure out who the guilty person was?  No but that just shows me how good she is at keeping readers in suspense til the very end. I don’t think I will ever look at a gingerbread man the same again. 

I received a copy of this book from the author and Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion. 


Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, September 6

Pause for Tales, September 6

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, September 8

Inklings and notions, September 9

deb’s Book Review, September 10

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 11

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, September 12

Texas Book-aholic, September 13

For Him and My Family, September 14

Mary Hake, September 14

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, September 15

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 16

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, September 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 18

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 19

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Carole is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/116c4/catch-me-if-you-can-celebration-tour-giveaway