Saturday, May 20, 2017

Dumpster Dying & Grilled, Chilled and Killed
by Lesley A. Diehl

The setting is interesting and well-drawn, the characters are a load of fun, and the story moves fast and keeps the reader turning the pages, with just the right amount of peril.
~The Ninja Librarian reviews Dumpster Dying
Lesley A. Diehl is rapidly become a favorite! She has done it again with the Big Lake Murder Mysteries featuring Emily Rhodes…
~The Journey Back
I am loving this series. Book 2 is just as good as Book 1.
~My Reading Journeys 
The characters in the book are well-rounded, complex, and interesting. The more I’ve read, the more I’ve started liking them.
~Valerie’s Musings

(Dumpster Dying)…this is wonderful story of friendship and family, and this is a series I would highly recommend to all cozy fans.
(Grilled, Chilled and Killed)This book was just as much fun to read as the first one, if not more so.
~Book Babble
Dumpster Dying: Book 1 in the Big Lake Murder MysteriesCozy Mystery
1st in Series
Creekside Publishing (December 31, 2016)
Paperback: 248 Pages E-Book 232 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997234923
E-Book ASIN: B01MRWGBC8
Emily Rhodes came to rural Florida for the cowboys, the cattle, and to do a little country two-step, not to fall head first onto a dead body in a dumpster. Ah, the golden years of retirement in the sunshine state. They’re more like pot metal to Emily, who discovers the body of the county’s wealthiest rancher in the Big Lake Country Club dumpster. With her close friend accused of the murder, Emily sets aside her grief at her life partner’s death to find the real killer. She underestimates the obstacles rural Florida can set up for a winter visitor and runs afoul of a local judge with his own version of justice, hires a lawyer who works out of a retirement home, and flees wild fires hand-in-hand with the man she believes to be the killer.
Grilled, Chilled and Killed: Big Lake Murder Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Creekside Publishing (December 31, 2016)
Paperback: 330 pages E-Book 224 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997234930
E-Book ASIN: B01N9GUUKU
It seems as if Emily is destined to discover dead bodies. This time she finds one of the contestants at the local barbecue cook-off dead and covered in barbecue sauce in a beer cooler. She should be used to stumbling onto corpses by now and the question of who killed the guy should pique her curiosity, but Emily decides to let Detective Lewis handle this one, at least until she figures his theory of who did the deed is wrong, wrong, wrong. Lewis’ denigration of Emily’s speculations is condescending enough to stimulate her dormant snooping skills. As the two of them go on their separate paths to find the killer, Lewis’ old partner, Toby the dirty, tobacco-spitting cop interferes in the investigation leaving Lewis with the wrong man in jail. Killers, bootleggers, barbecue and feral pigs—it’s a lethal game of hide and seek in the Florida swamp.


About The Author

Lesley retired from her life as a professor of psychology and reclaimed her country roots by moving to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in Upstate New York. In the winter she migrates to old Florida—cowboys, scrub palmetto and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office, and gators make golf a contact sport. Back north, the shy ghost inhabiting the cottage serves as her literary muse. When not writing, she gardens, cooks, frequents yard sales and renovates the 1874 cottage with the help of her husband, two cats and, of course, Fred the ghost, who gives artistic direction to their work. She is the author of a number of mystery series and mysteries as well as short stories. The third book in the Eve Appel murders (from Camel Press) A Sporting Murder was awarded a Readers’ Favorite Five Star Award and her short story Gator Aid a Sleuthfest (2009) short story first place. She has fired the alligator that served as her literary muse when she is in Florida and is interviewing applicants for the position.
Author Links
Purchase Links
Dumpster Dying – Amazon 
Grilled, Chilled and Killed – Amazon


Review.jpg

With all the fascinating characters this book has to offer, mystery fans are sure to find  this a page turner. Emily has found herself becoming  a bartender at a country club after a sudden death finds her all alone. Poor Emily can't seem to catch a break when she finds a dead body in the dumpster outside the club. She now must deal with not only  her partners ex-wife in a dispute over an estate, but the a dead body dumped at her work. I found Emily to me a bit annoying. It's hard to believe that everywhere she turns, trouble is there waiting for her. My favorite character hands down is the lawyer Emily hires. He is grouchy at times, loves the women and oh yeah lives in a nursing home.

Clara the manager of the country club and Emily's best friend is somehow the main suspect in the death of the person dumped like garbage at the club. I did like Clara and thought she had a great sassy attitude. I guess when you have a best friend it isn't always true that you tell them everything . Clara has a big secret that will play a huge role in the mystery and one that Emily wasn't aware of. But have no fear readers, Emily has her own secret that will hit her square in the face. The author does make Florida sound like a fun place to live with luscious golf courses and lively gators waiting to say hi. The story has many little side stories that all intercede to make a delightful book that I found intriguing. Get ready for some  laughs, good old boys and a story that will have you keeping score of all the bad guys. I loved the banter between the characters and thought it was funny when Emily tried to act tough around a certain person. Overall the book is good with a mystery within a mystery.

I received a copy of this book from The Great Escapes Book Tour. The review is my own opinion.



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Tour Participants
May 15 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW – Book 1, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 15 – My Journey Back – My Reading Journeys –  REVIEW – Both Books, INTERVIEW*
May 16 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT
May 17 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW – Both Books, INTERVIEW
May 17 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
May 18 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
May 18 – Book Babble – REVIEW – Both Books
May 19 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT
May 19 – Bookworm Café –  GUEST POST
May 20 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW – Book 1
May 20 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – REVIEW – Both Books *
May 21 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
May 21 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
May 22 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW – Both Books, CHARACTER GUEST POST
May 22 –StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW – Book 1
May 22 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW – Both Books
May 23 – FUONLYKNEW – REVIEW – Both Books*
May 24 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW – Book 2
May 24 – T’s Stuff – REVIEW – Book 1
May 25 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW – Both Books
May 25 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 26 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW –  Both Books*
May 26 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 27 – Varietats2010 – REVIEW – Book 2
May 27 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW Book 1, GUEST POST*
May 28 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW Book 2*
May 28 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – CHARACTER GUEST POST

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Thursday, May 18, 2017


A FRIEND IN NEED by N. J. LINQUIST

I am always excited when I find a new author. I have read several books from this author and each one gets better than the one before it. The story is about Glen and his friends at school. It may be geared toward teens, but I believe it is really for anyone . We all struggle with self-esteem issues even as adults. It is really hard trying to fit in as you get older. I loved how Glen has continued to grow in his relationship with God. He has become really versed in scripture and I love how he uses sharing it with his friends. I also loved how prayer played a vital part in the story.

There is a love triangle between Glen, Nicole and Charlie. I really felt sorry for Charlie. Here is this very popular guy that all the girls like, but his jealousy really eats away at his confidence. It made me think of all the times I wanted to be pretty so I would be liked. After reading this story it has shown  me that once again beauty is only skin deep. When we allow jealousy, revenge and lies to take over we find ourselves getting further away from God. Glen is a great character and I have enjoyed watching him mature and find his voice to pray for others. He is a great example of a teen that desires to do the right thing. His ability to forgive is a sure sign of maturing .

I did like how the author gave us a bit of intrigue in the story  by having mysterious letters sent to someone. Who is sending letters that are filled with hate? Could it be a girl that feels rejected or is it a boy that  doesn't feel confident in himself? I loved this storyline because it deals with everyday issues teens face. The author kept my interest throughout the story and I enjoyed getting to know the characters better. The overall theme for me was how important it is to be a friend that can be trusted and to forgive others quickly. I look forward to more books from this gifted author.

I received a copy of this book from The BookClub Network. The review is my own opinion.

Monday, May 15, 2017


RED IS FOR ROOKIE by ANNE GREEN

Holly is a private detective who has several agendas. She is trying to clear her dad's name, find out who killed him and prove to her family that she can handle the job of being a PI and being able to protect herself. The action starts at a Valentine's meet party. Holly and her partner Matt are doing security for the party. Holly notices a group of men that look out of place and before you can blink an eye, chaos erupts.

When the fighting and turmoil  is over , Holly finds her partner hurt. She asks someone to call 911. Within minutes they arrive and she notices something doesn't feel right. Her partner is being stuck with a needle and rushed off in an ambulance. Holly can't find out what hospital Matt has been taken to and realizes something is very wrong. Before long , word has gotten back to Holly that Matt has been kidnapped . Why would someone want to kidnap her partner? The bigger question is who is Stryker? Why was he at the party as security also?

I found the book to be a light quirky and funny mystery. Holly tried to put out a fire with a prime rib, she seems to always be just a few feet away from danger and she is hopelessly clumsy. Her character is very well written and centers on her faith. She has two men vying for her attention, but she is so distracted by the case, will she miss her chance at love? The story flows effortlessly and with action that keeps you glued to the pages.

The author references scriptures throughout the book in a thoughtful way. I loved her use of Deuteronomy 31:8 "
 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid ; do not be discouraged."  What a great encouragement for Holly as she tries to shuffle through a case that can save her partner and perhaps clear her dad's name. The author wrote "If a place is dark, even a flickering candle sheds a lot of light." Holly uses her faith to shine light on the darkness that surrounds her life. I am excited to know that there will be another book in this series. Thank you Anne Greene for an amazing mystery and a story filled with hope and God's direction.

I received a copy of this book from The BookClub Network. The review is my own opinion.

Sunday, May 14, 2017


SUMMER On SUNSET RIDGE by SHARLENE MacLAREN

I did like the setting of the book as I love to read about times just before and during the war. The tension is high among the people . The Civil War is on everyone's mind and I loved that it was focused on the Quakers. It seems like there are not many books about the Quakers, but the author did an amazing job of giving facts that helped me understand their lifestyle. I did have a bit of a problem  with the thees and thous but it was only my ignorance of how people talked during that time period. I liked that the author held true to the time period and made the story more interesting. I find as I read historical fiction, I always get some  very intriguing facts that make me want to research the subject more.

The characters were so good and I loved how each one played an important part in the story. Rebecca was my favorite. I loved her determination and heart she had  for the Underground Railroad. I really enjoyed learning more about it and it really opened my eyes to the plight of those who were desperate for freedom. Rebecca's parents have made arrangements for her to marry. I had to stop for a minute and think about that. Could you marry someone you didn't love or know? The Bible says to " honor your mother and father" so what will Rebecca do?

When Rebecca meets Clay she is definitely smitten. What is she to do since she is engaged? Rebecca has many decisions to make and also realizes that Clay is not a Quaker. I can't imagine the turmoil someone goes through to try to do the right thing while having feelings that may go against their religion.

The author weaves a beautiful story that shows us how making Godly choices can sometimes be hard, but are always rewarding.

I received a copy of this book from The BookClub Network. The review is my own opinion.

JOSEPH: THE OTHER FATHER by KATHERYN MADDOX HADDAD

My first thoughts after reading this book is WOW! My goodness the author brought someone from the Bible and made him so real to me . The story is about Joseph. Most of us know who Joseph was and how vital he was to the story of Jesus. What I liked about the book is how intricate each detail was. It could not have been easy to have a girlfriend pregnant during this time period. How do you explain that she is pregnant but you didn't have anything to do with it? The faith that Joseph had was undeniable. His fierce sense of protecting Mary was powerful.

As Jesus grew, Joseph patiently showed him the skills of a carpenter. I loved the details of the town they were in and the dangers that surrounded them. Joseph was a man that took his responsibilities with great determination. The author writes with great knowledge and brings a story that captivates readers with her words that glide seamlessly across the pages. I felt like I was there watching Jesus with his father as he became a man. The times they shared together as a family was beautifully written.

I loved how the author takes a character from the Bible and builds their story in a way that you feel like you know them personally. The historical research is well documented and made the story incredible. I am anxious to read more from this author.

I received a copy of this book from The BookClub Network. The review is my honest opinion.

BEYOND THE PAST by JO HUDDLESTON

I am really enjoying this series. The author is great at giving us characters that come to life. The setting is at a time where people helped each other out . The family in this story seem to really look out for each other. I just love how the author takes readers to a different era and makes them feel at home.  I like the feel I get of watching the story unfold before me like watching a television show. Her writing style is beautiful and makes me want to capture every word written with enthusiasm.

Jim is a great character. He is a man who lives ups to his responsibilities and it shows through his daughter that he raised. I loved how the series is based on family values and a love that runs deep. Isn't it nice to know that no matter what, your family has your back? Emmajean will find out just how important it is to have a close family when she finds herself in trouble. I think Emmajean means well but sometimes she forgets what is important. She may be a bit too trusting and finds herself asking for help from her brother. Have you ever trusted someone, only to find out you were being used?

There are a few other characters in the book that I really enjoyed getting to know. But what I most liked about this story is the deep faith the characters have. It is a refreshing story that brought tears to my eyes at times. I wanted so bad for everything to turn out well . The story  shows how important forgiveness is. There are a few surprises that I loved and thought were brilliantly written . I love this author's writing so much and can't wait to read another book from her.

I received a copy of this book The BookClub Network. The review is my own opinion.

SECOND CHANCE LOVE by PAMELA S. MEYERS

Sydney is such a wonderful character. I loved how the author showed her flaws and struggles. As I read the story I could see a bit of myself in Sydney. She had been carrying guilt for such a long time because of her brother's accident. When her father died she once again blamed herself. Those painful memories have kept her locked away in her own prison where she wouldn't allow herself to be happy. She stopped doing things she loved because the memories were to painful for her. I think in a way she was punishing herself. How many of us go through something traumatic and shut the world out?  When we get hurt we seem to turn away from people and have a hard time trusting anyone.

When Sydney gets an assignment to try to help renegotiate a contract I was excited to see how she would handle the situation. She has been looking to prove herself as a lawyer and maybe this can help her chances of getting a promotion. I absolutely loved the setting in Texas that she traveled to. I could picture the ranch she went to where her client lived. The author does a great job of giving readers insight into rodeos and how to take care of horses.

Jace is a changed man from when Sydney knew him several years ago. His priorities have changed and I loved how his faith played into the decisions he made about his life.  Sydney has a lot to overcome and forgive herself for. Will she be able to open her heart and let Jace in? Jace has his own worries dealing with trying to keep the ranch, helping his brothers while getting to know Sydney again. I loved how each character prayed and asked God for help when the hard decisions had to be made. It's a lovely story that reminds us that we may not deserve a second chance, but God is merciful and gives us grace.

I received a copy of this book from The Book Club Network. The review is my own opinion.

Bad To The Bone
by Linda O. Johnston

The premise of this storyline is cute. I loved all the pets and their owners who frequent Barkery & Biscuits and Carrie has endeared herself to the townspeople.
~Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder
I enjoyed the book. I enjoyed getting to know the characters.
~The Journey Back
This book is a great example as to why I have a newfound love for cozy mysteries…This was a really fun yet mysterious and a little romantic read…
~Rainy Day Reviews

Bad to the Bone (A Barkery & Biscuits Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Midnight Ink (May 8, 2017)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738746289
E-Book ASIN: B01M0SXJTR

Synopsis

Veterinary technician Carrie Kennersly, owner of the Barkery & Biscuits bakery for dogs, is reluctant to sell her recipes to pet food manufacturer VimPets. Jack Loroco, a VimPets representative, assures Carrie that it would be a great opportunity to grow her business. His promising new relationship with Carrie’s friend, Billi Matlock, doesn’t hurt his cause. But the budding romance takes a bad turn when Wanda Addler, another VimPets employee, sets her sights on Jack.
After threatening to ruin Jack’s career if he doesn’t give her what she wants, Wanda is found dead. Jack and Billi are put at the top of the suspect list, and Carrie is doggone determined to rescue them from a life behind bars.
linda o johnston

About The Author –

Linda O. Johnston’s first published fiction appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for Best First Mystery Short Story of the year.   Since then, Linda, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, has published more short stories, novellas, and 38 romance and mystery novels, including the Pet Rescue Mystery Series, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, and Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne.  She additionally writes the Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink.  Her latest cozy mystery series, the Barkery and Biscuits Mysteries are also from Midnight Ink.

Author Links:
Purchase Links:
Amazon  B&N 

Review.jpg


I have enjoyed reading this series. Carrie is a great character and I live the two shops she owns. What a treat for customers to get goodies for themselves and go next door and grab some great healthy treats for their dogs. The author makes the shops sound so inviting and I would love to try one out for my little dogs.

Carrie has been approached by a big company to add her treats to their line of products. It would be a great boost for her company but she is just a bit hesitant to say yes . I liked her brother Neal and her boyfriend Reed. They seemed to be protective of Carrie. If you have read the first two books in the series, you know Carrie seems to find herself embroiled in murder and "helping" the police catch the killer.

When one of the employees from the company that wants to carry Carrie's product is found dead, the book starts really delving into several people who could easily have killed the poor murder victim. I wasn't surprised that the woman killed was not well liked. She was pushy, mean and down right unfriendly. I really got a great laugh out of the murder weapon used. I though the author was genius using a poop scooper as a way to kill someone. Carrie can't seem to stay out of the investigation and soon finds herself with a list of suspects. I know there were hints throughout the book of who the killer was, but for some reason I was still a little surprised at who it was.  The story was good and I'm glad we got to know more about Carrie and Reed's relationship. I wonder if there will be wedding bells soon for these two?

I received a copy of this book from The Great Escapes Book Tour. The review is my own opinion.

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Tour Participants
May 8 – T’s Stuff – INTERVIEW
May 9 – My Journey Back – REVIEW
May 10 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW
May 11 – Bookworm Café – SPOTLIGHT  
May 11 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT
May 12 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
May 13 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
May 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
May 14 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
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May 15 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – SPOTLIGHT
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