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Showing posts from March, 2013

Review: Ghost Writer by Rene Gutteridge


I want to preface this review by saying a few words about the book.

First i do not know the author. She was a new to me author and I only picked up the book because I liked the title. Normally I have a little more to go on but I was in a hurry at the library the other night.  Next I want to add there are all too few times when a book does little more than entertain me. I loved to be entertained but to move me and more importantly leave me in awe of an author and her work. I have been interviewing authors, writing book reviews and of course I am an author so it takes a lot for me say those two little words "powerfully moving" this book is such a book. At least it was for me. I didn't even know what genre it was for the first half of the book. This says something about the author and how she writes. It also declares me a bit dim because it wasn't until the middle of the book that I discovered it was a "Christ…

To Drink or not to Drink?

To Drink Or Not To Drink:

What is your favorite soft drink? Do you drink as much of it as you used to? If not what has replaced your favorite drink? Do you think the taste of soft drinks has changed over the years from the original verison?

I am a pepsi lover and with being a diabetic this is probably a bad deal. I do not drink diet drinks but I do drink water and tea (both ice and cold) I also have a rootbeer then and now. I do think the taste of soft drinks have changed over the years.

Are you addicted to soft drinks? I might be although I have to think I am more addicted to that morning cuppa flavored coffee. I would like to be a grown up and say that I am not addicted to anything but that would be a lie. LOLOL however I have learned that all things in moderation is a good thing.

Diabetes teaches us portion control. I like this idea a lot and while I no longer binge or snack to excess I do need to binge a little on excercise. Do you excercise on a regular basisi? I am back into a wal…

A Mystery Series for Women's History Month

March is of course, Women's History Month.  A Time to celebrate amazing women throughout the ages and how they changed the world we live in.  In Seneca Falls, NY soon after the end of the Civil War, amazing women decided the time to change women's lives and their rights had come and a movement was born.  This little town has become an important place in women's history.I encourage everyone to read and learn about this powerful movement:

Read their Declaration of Sentiments and look at it through today's eyes:

One of my favorite mystery series is the Seneca Falls Series by Miriam Grace Monfredo

From Berkley Prime Crime:

Miriam Grace Monfredo
Miriam Grace Monfredo is a former librarian and a historian. Living in the sm…

Review: Peach Pies and Alibis by Elley Adams

Peach Pies and Alibis by Ellery Adams is the second book in the “Charmed Pie Shoppe” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, March 2013

Ella Mae LeFaye’s Charmed Pie Shoppe is wildly popular in Havenwood, Georgia—which is not surprising since Ella Mae can lace her baked goods with enchantments. The shop’s extraordinary success seems destined to continue when Ella Mae meets an engaged couple who hire her to handle the dessert buffet at their wedding.

But Ella Mae has a lot on her plate. She is also searching for the origin of her magical powers—and hoping to determine if the spark of attraction she feels for the handsome Hugh Dylan is authentic or just her new abilities gone awry.

Then Ella Mae discovers a high-standing member of the community dead, and a wedding guest becomes seriously ill at the event she’s catering. Now she’ll have to use all her sleuthing skills and culinary talents to prove her pies don’t contain a killer ingredient . . .

I can’t even describe how this book c…

Review: A Plain Scandal by Amanda Flower

A Plain Scandal by Amanda Flower is the second book in the “Appleseed Creek” mystery series. Publisher: B&H Publishing, February 2013

The people of Appleseed Creek in the heart of Ohio’s Amish Country are under attack. Soon after the dust has settled on a buggy accident that turned out to be murder, an unknown assailant begins cutting off the long hair of Amish women and the beards of Amish men.

New to the area, computer specialist Chloe Humphrey may not share their customs, but she is certainly alarmed over these crimes against the Amish and worries how such events will impact her growing number of friends who are more connected to that way of life.

In this small community, when Chloe discovers the body of an Amish businessman who was stabbed in the back and whose beard was cut off, she knows that finding the murderer and restoring peace to Appleseed Creek is as much her responsibility as anyone else’s.

Whenever I read a story by Amanda Flower, I know that when I turn that last page…

Spring is Here????

Last week was the Vernal Equinox - the official first day of Spring.  The day when dark and light are exactly half and half of our day.  And today, well -- lots of us have snow.  I was up on the roof earlier and a man says he would like to get ahold of that groundhog....  Really?  Poor Punxsutawney Phil!  He is already being indicted I hear...

On the group last week, the question was asked, how do you know when Spring is here?  The answers were diverse, from increasing greeness to the Yankees/Mets game.  March Madness is a clue for some.  For me, its the budding of trees and those little clover flowers starting to peak out.  In DC - it is also the Cherry Blossom festival.  Last year we were in major bloom at this time - this year, not so much... But the signs are there, we had some lovely days then some not so lovely ones.

I remember, every year around this time a former co-worker would complain about the majorly fluctuating temps and I would remind her around here we tend not to have…

Review: Brooklyn Bones by Triss Stein

Brooklyn Bones by Triss Stein is the first book in the new “Erica Donato” mystery series. Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press, February 2013

In Brooklyn Bones, a crime of the past comes much too close to home when Erica Donato’s teen-age daughter Chris finds a skeleton behind a wall in their crumbling Park Slope home. Erica – young widow, over-age history Ph.D candidate, mother of a teen, product of blue-collar Brooklyn – is drawn into the mystery when she learns this was an unknown teen-age girl, hidden there within living memory. She and her daughter are both touched and disturbed by the mysterious tragedy in their own home.

Chris’s dangerous curiosity and Erica’s work at a local history museum lead her right back to her neighborhood in its edgy, pre-gentrification days, the period when the age of Aquarius was turning dark. A cranky retired reporter shares old files with her. The charming widow of a slumlord has some surprises for her. The crazy old lady who hangs around her street keeps tr…

An Interview with Linda O. Johnston

Pamela: Tell us about your latest book?

This month, my fourth Pet Rescue Mystery, OODLES OF POODLES, was introduced.  OODLES OF POODLES takes place in the film industry.  It’s sort of a story within a story, since it’s about a movie being filmed about rescued poodles, starring--you’ve got it!--rescued poodles!  My cozy mystery protagonist Lauren Vancouver, chief administrator of the wonderful HotRescues animal shelter in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley, gets involved because of those adorable poodles and because the HotRescues benefactor is one of the film’s co-producers.  Lauren visits the film sets often to observe how the dogs are being treated.  One night the director, who had been endangering the poodles during the filming, is run over by a car.  Murdered.  The chief suspect is Lauren’s good friend, veterinarian and TV personality Dr. Carlie Stellan.  Of course Lauren has to find the real murderer and solve the crime to help Carlie... and the dogs.

Oh, and by the way, my fourth paranorm…


Well tomorrow is the first day of spring. It doesn't matter here as I live in the midwest and we are due for light snow today and worse on Thursday and on that note let's talk about something more fun than the weather in my area.

I was wondering for our authors on this blog if any of you have participated in "Blog Tours" and what you think of of them? Would you do it again? What are some of the more popular topics?

I hear a lot about them but actually know very little about blog tours. Who picks the topics and how many blogs to a tour etc...?
For our readers do you follow your favorite authors from blog to blog? Is this one way you learn of new authors? Do you find the tours interesting and what topics would you like to see on a blog tour?

Okay I need another cuppa before I can think any futher this morning. I hope everyone has a terrific Tuesday....


Review: To Brie or Not to Brie - Avery Aames

To Brie or Not To Brie by Avery Aames is the fourth book in the “Cheese Shop” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, February 2013

Charlotte Bessette—owner of Fromagerie Bessette, known by locals as The Cheese Shop—has a lot on her plate: setting a date with her fiancĂ©, feeding the actors in her grandmother’s production of Hamlet, and planning the menu for her best friend and cousin’s upcoming wedding. At least her new creation—sinfully delicious Brie blueberry ice cream—has turned out perfectly.  Just days before the wedding, a stranger turns up dead in the Igloo Ice Cream Parlor’s freezer, his head bashed with a container of Charlotte’s signature ice cream. But this stranger turns out to be more than he seems, and his death threatens to unravel all that Charlotte has worked for. She has no choice but to add one more thing to her to-do list: find the killer before the villain destroys all that she loves.

What a wonderfully-crafted story that I could not put down. With all the…

An Interview with Maria Swan

Pamela: Maria, tell us about the books you write and how long it takes you to write them?
I write non-fiction and suspense with romantic elements. My non-fiction consists of stories and quizzes and other entertaining subjects that I collect overtime. Not so when it comes to fiction, my true passion. I’m a plotter. I start with a beginning and an end and fill the middle as I go. If I knew the story in advance I would be too bored to write it. I can write a fiction book in about 8 months. I’m a slow writer.

Pamela: What is your writing schedule?
Don’t have one. I work full time as a Real Estate agent and that’s why I can’t keep a schedule, you never know when you need to jump in your car and go show houses. But the element of surprise is part of the fun. I like what I do, a lot. My preference would be to write at night, no noises, no interruptions.

Pamela: When was the last time you read a book in one sitting?
I haven’t done that in a very long time, it takes me about 3 evenings to read a w…

Review: The Christie Curse by Victoria Abbott

Berkley Prime Crime Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-425-25528-5
(A Book Collector Mystery)

Jordan Bingham is down on her luck. She not only needs a new job but a place to live. This situation has forced her to return to Harrison Falls, New York and living in Harrison Falls are her uncles. Her uncles are delightful, charming and a very interesting group of men who may not alway walk on the right side of the law.

Jordan answers an ad of a research postion that does include room and board. This is perfect for her situation but the woman who needs an assistant is not an easy woman to get along with and a worse employer. She comes with a ton of secrets and the good news is that Jordan loves her new garret.

Her assignment is to find a Christie Play, or find out if it is a made up hoax. Jordan has never read an Agatha Christie Mystery and so her research begins.

Unfortunately the search comes with a high price, someone dead, someone left for dead plus a cook …

Review: One Hot Murder by Lorraine Bartlett

One Hot Murder by Lorraine Bartlett is the third book in the “Victoria Square” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, February 2012

Katie Bonner, the reluctant manager of Artisans Alley in the quaint shopping district of Victoria Square, is no stranger to ambivalence. Things have been going hot and heavy with pizza maker Andy Rust—so much so that Katie has moved in over his pizza parlor. But now that summer’s ushered in a heat wave, an apartment above pizza ovens without an air conditioner is making Katie hot and bothered. At the height of the heat wave, a tragic fire strikes Victoria Square. Wood U, a small store selling wooden gifts and small furniture, is destroyed. But the fire may just be a smoke screen—for murder. A body is found among the charred wreckage, and the victim didn’t die from smoke inhalation. He was shot. Now—despite making Detective Ray Davenport hot under the collar—Katie is determined to smoke out a coldhearted killer.

I know whenever I read a book writte…

Guest Blogger: Mary Jane Maffini

A perilous partnership?
My new writing partner has a lot to offer. Good thing, because if she didn’t, there wouldn’t be much I could do about it and vice versa. She’s not just my partner; she’s my daughter.We can hardly fire each other. Luckily we don’t need to because we are very happy with the way our collaboration on The Christie Curse: a book collector mystery turned out.We are writing as Victoria Abbott and The Christie Curse will be out on March 5th.
Victoria is taller and funnier than I am.As an artist and photographer, she views the world differently. Things are always popping in her mind. She is a mistress of rapid-fire ideas.And she wouldn’t get upset about, say, commas. No, they would be my burden.
In a million years, I couldn’t have come up with the larcenous Irish uncles who raised Jordan Bingham and bought her a set of lock-picks for her Sweet Sixteen.
With thirteen books and two dozen short stories published (as me, myself and I: Mary Jane Maffini), I knew how to write a …

Guest Blogger - Alice Duncan

Good Lord, another month’s come and gone. I guess time flies whether you’re having fun or not. Doesn’t seem fair somehow.

However, March will be an interesting month for me (note I didn’t say a “good” month. Sigh). PECOS VALLEY DIAMOND, book #1 in my Pecos Valley cozy historical mystery series and my very first audiobook, is now available from and and for your iPod! This is actually exciting news for me, since I listen almost exclusively to audiobooks because hideous arthritis now prevents me from reading paperbacks at all, and hardbacks only occasionally. Bummer, but at least there are audiobooks now. Not enough of them, but they’re out there. Somewhere. Here’s the cover and links to where you can buy it. It would be really swell if someone other than I would buy the thing, y’know? Not that I’m expecting miracles or anything, but . . . well, never mind.

And you can buy PECOS VALLEY D…