Enjoy some Mayhem & Magic!

Our blog is meant to evoke fun with the magic of myths, folklore, movies and the mayhem of murder and madness. We have to keep it interesting so if you like different genres of movies and books then you're at the right blog. Our authors are a wide range of experts and our readers know what is top of the line in their favorite genres. Sometimes we post recipes that might be fun to try if a culinary author has one in her book that we think is especially yummy or one that Terri and I have created and want to share with you. Enjoy Guest Blogger Alice Duncan's monthly muse on her books and writing mysteries.

Plus you won't want to miss our book reviews, author interviews or our guest bloggers. So grab your favorite beverage then join us for some magic and mayhem! The good news is that you don't have to leave the house or your comfy chair. We have something for everyone's taste and every month we have a different topic for our bloggers: ones we feel that might be useful in your own writing and reader points of view. Not to mention, life in general. So join us and be sure to have a notebook handy as your to-be-read pile will grow as you add books, recipes, movies and t.v. series you won't want to miss. Not to mention folktales, myths or ideas you may wish to explore. Be careful what you wish for because on mayhemandmagic2 you just might find it.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Review: Treasure Me by Christine Nolfi

Birdie is a con artist and a thief.  She is getting tired of the life as well and decides to go to Liberty OH where legend says, her ancestor went in search of a new life as a free woman.  AND that she was given a treasure to help her start that life.  Birdie wants to follow the clues and find a fresh start.

Hugh is a journalist whose career is on its last legs since he can't keep his life together.  His one chance is to go dig into a story that he reported on before with great success.

Their paths cross and is it possible for them to overcome their pasts and be together?

I really enjoyed this book, it was a fun read with some great characters, history and small town charm and angst.  Not to mention, a little bit of mystery and love. 

Birdie was quirky enough to root for despite her criminal inclinations and she really seems to grow as the story arcs.  A new Author for me to follow....


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Review - Bio by Reilly Maggin

  • Paperback: 247 pages
  • Publisher: Red Too Press; 1st edition (September 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978767306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978767303

When a Palestinian doctor working in Iraq stumbles across a virulent form of Ebola in a patient, he convinces an Iraqi Prince that they can develop it for jihad attacks against the West.  They experiment and test it on a remote South Pacific island, where it is up to an American NGO clinic's doctor and allies to stop them.

This certainly is timely now with the current epidemic in Central Africa.  It makes it seem even more possible.

The story is engrossing and the characters interesting, if sometimes needing fleshing out.  There is a lot of action when a CIA agent joins the fight, though that seemed to stretch believability a bit.  Definite good guys vs. bad guys here!  And thank goodness - not too much graphic details about Ebola symptoms.

Fast paced and lots of action.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Review: Anything for a Story by Cynthia Hickey

  • File Size: 1418 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 149960338X
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J7X007E

Stormi is a romance writer with a bit of writer's block.  When she accidently stumbles over the body of a neighbor, she decides she wants to try writing a mystery and solving the crime seems to be the perfect way to do it.

This is the first book in the nosy neighbor series and is quite light reading with some zany characters.  And while trying to develop the characters, I thought the mystery itself seemed a bit weak, and the voice a bit too young for the character.  And the zany family seemed a bit too predictable zany. I think there were a lot of stumbles which I struggled with a bit while reading, but I think there is a lot of room for the series to grow, so will give book two a chance.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Play Review - Dirty Dancing

I went with a friend to see the stage production of Dirty Dancing.  

 Dirty Dancing at the National Theatre - DC

Now, I do know that plays based on movies can be hit or miss.  I know that certainly is true for a play based on such an iconic movie.  So I was a bit hesitant at first, but hey - discount tickets helped. I figured, great music, great dancing, it will be fun.  And it was fun...that part anyway.  Loved they had an orchestra and a couple live versions of some of the classic songs from the movie.  And the dancing and backdrop visuals of the dancing was great!

But then we get to the real issue...  when actors take over a role, they need to take it over and make it their own.  I felt (and so did my friend when we talked about it) the actors were trying to play Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey playing the characters instead.  Which of course, doesn't work.  It felt flat.  And I honestly felt very little chemistry between the two actors either.  And that is one thing Swayze and Grey did have.

So comparison wise, a disappointment.  But we did at least have fun.  I would have been a bit irritated though if I had paid full price this go round.

So I will say, movie-to-stage adaptation:

Legally Blonde - YES
Young Frankenstein - YES
Dirty Dancing - NO


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Guest Blogger - Alice Duncan

The Suckiest Month of the Year So Far
Was what August, 2014, was for me (and many people I know).
I don’t mean to whine, but I had to have a dog put down, my cousin’s daughter committed suicide, two dear, dear friends are battling cancer, and my plumbing stopped up twice on two consecutive weekends. Okay, so that last one isn’t as bad as suicide or cancer; it was a pain in the patoot and extremely expensive. And Robin Williams killed himself. What’s up with that???
Very well, so life is life, and you never know when it will hit you upside the head with a brick, but this August seemed particularly cruel to many of the people I know and love. I don’t like it.
About the only good thing to happen all month was the release in audio format of A PERFECT STRANGER, the first book in my post-Titanic historical romance series. A PERFECT STRANGER tells the story of Isabel Golightly, a young single mother from Yorkshire (actually she came from Upper Poppleton); her six-year-old genius daughter, Eunice; and the hero of the piece, horticulturist Somerset Fitzroy. Ha! And you didn’t think horticulturists were hero material. Well, he is. The book takes place in San Francisco, California, in 1912 (cuz that’s when Titanic sank). The narrator, Lisa Baarns, did a lovely job reading the book, and Melissa Alvarez created a fabulous cover for the audiobook. The couple on the cover are Isabel and her dance partner at the Fairfield Hotel, Jorje Luis Savedra. Jorje is definitely not hero material. But he sure can dance.


I’m holding a contest for audio copies of A PERFECT STRANGER (originally published under my pseudonym Anne Robins, in case you missed it in print form). I’ll get in touch with the folks who won paperback copies of DARK SPIRITS as soon as I can.
Here’s hoping September will be better to all of us. Oy. I just remembered that September 11, a date that will live in infamy thanks to Osama bin Ladin, is also the second anniversary of my lumbar surgery. Gah. Maybe September will suck, too. I sure hope not.

Please visit my web site (www.aliceduncan.net) and my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/alice.duncan.925)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday Morning

Okay I have been living under a rock. So will somebody please tell me what is going on with amazon and our top authors? I know I should have paid more attention but last week  I was very tired.

Authors tell us what you know and think of this topic today.
Also someone asked me last week if I was wearing something in my hair that day. I hadn’t so far that day but put a headband in after this question was asked.

Now of course I want to know what everyone is reading? 

I am reading MURDER YOUR DARLINGS which is a mystery series by JJ Murphy and Darlings is referred to as manuscripts. It is about Dorothy Parker and the alongorian round table of authors. Southern newcomer young man Billy Faulkner (William) has been accused of murder. Dorothy knows better and so the authors, editors etc….will prove the cops wrong.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review: A Skeleton in the Family by Leigh Perry


By Leigh Perry

After accepting a job as an adjunct professor at the local college. Georgia Thackery and her daughter temporarily move into her parent home. It’s been vacant for a while as her parents are on sabbatical out of the country. Madison and Georgia have at least a year before they are to return.

 The trouble starts when Sid who lives in the attic and has lived in the attic since saving Georgia’ life when she was six years old at a carnival from a very scary man. He came to live with Georgia and her family because they were so grateful he saved their daughter. Sid doesn’t remember much about his murder or his past.

However when he see a woman in a crowd he knows she is a woman from his past and is very important to him. The real problem is that the woman is murdered before she can answer any questions. This would have been bad enough but put together with the fact they do not know Sid’s real name or where his skeleton comes from and the hunt it on.

There are numbers in skull so that is where the hunt begins but it ends up being a twist road to the truth of who Sid is, why he was murdered and when other happenings occur like their house being broken into and a close friend being hit in the back of the head. Time feels as though it’s running out. Even though Sid is dead it appears someone is trying to conceal the truth and they will stop at nothing to accomplish their task.

What a fun and great read in this series. I dragged reading this book out because I enjoyed it so much and really Sid I am in love with already and to tell you the truth I couldn’t enjoy a mystery more.



Monday, August 4, 2014

Gust Blogger - Alice Duncan

Termites Ate My Blog

Oh . . . very well, termites didn’t eat my blog. But they ate my bathroom floor, and I had to have a new one put in, and the disruption in the household turned me into a basket case, and I didn't write a July blog. I regret to admit that I'm easily upset. I think it's because I’m old and set in my ways and like things to stay the way they are. Just the wieners and me in this dumpy little house, editing, writing, eating, and walking (well we all do the last two. I do the first two by myself).
Shoot. I honestly didn’t realize what a slave to routine I was until termites ate my bathroom floor. But everything’s better now, including the bathroom. Good thing it’s a small one or the termites might have eaten the whole house (the issue being money):

Not only that, but a new Daisy Gumm Majesty book, DARK SPIRITS, was released in July, and I darned near missed it! I’ll be giving away copies of DARK SPIRITS at the end of August. If you’d like to enter to win a copy, send me your name and home address at alice@aliceduncan.net

Link to Amazon

I’ll be in touch with the folks who won copies of RESTLESS SPIRITS individually. Sorry I’m so late.
Things are back to normal now. I have too much work to do, too many dogs to care for, and still live in the Middle of Nowhere. But at least I have a new bathroom. And a new book out! And, to add to the excitement, I’m in a running battle with the local newspaper (which is really, really bad, but it’s the only game in town). It’s odd how a good fight can perk a person up J

Please visit my web site (www.aliceduncan.net) and my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/alice.duncan.925) Thanks!

Friday, August 1, 2014

If Today....

If today starts the rest of your life. What has your previous life before now said about you? Mine says that I have always been a reader.

Also things have been an uphill climb for me. This means from climbing trees, to driving uphill, to facing down many challenges in my life.

My favorite decade was the 90’s and I love certain decades in history more than others.

On a girly frilly note I have always loved to wear something in my hair. Headbands, combs, flower and many other things.

Now for today being a grandmother has its rewards. I can go thru another childhood. Also this week at my daughter’s house I have had more adventures than I lived the past ten years.

I’d say I am getting younger and older all at the same time.

So my motto is do not get in a rut. Live, live and live some more.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Review: Miss Dimple Picks a Peck of Trouble by Mignon F. Ballard



 This series is set in Georgia in the 1940's. All the young men are at war or others are waiting to be shipped out overseas. Miss Dimple is a teacher and has taught at one time or another almost everyone in town.
One days Miss Dimple and friends are picking peaches when Miss Dimple thinks she heard a scream. Thinking nothing of it the group continues to pick their peaches. Soon they learn that Prentice is dead. not only dead but murdered. Charlie is another teacher at the school. Charlie has a sister named Delia was Prentice's best friend. Delia wants answers and so does Miss Dimple. When another murder happens and more things occurring such as people disappearing then this steps up the women's investigation.
Charlie's mother isn't happy with her investigating and shutting her and her Aunt Lou out of the investigation. Soon family secrets come unraveling and Mad Hattie the town eccentric has a few secrets of her own.
This book is just another great example of Mignon F. Ballard's deft pen and her talent for murder. Mignon is the real deal she knows how to carry a series and she knows people, characters, writing plots and she knows exactly what it takes to be a historical mystery author.
Hats off to Miss Dimple and Mignon F. Ballard for writing one of the most memorable series since Ann B. Ross penned her series.
********* stars.