Friday, August 23, 2013

Review: Crushing Crystal by Evan Marshall


CRUSHING CRYSTAL

Evan Marshall

Cozy Mystery Series

 

Crystal Ryerson is a horrible person. However she is the sister of Jane's nanny so Jane let's Crystal move in with them. Jane can't help feeling elated when Crystal FINALLY finds her own place. Crystal also goes to work at the public library and all seems a little better.

That is until Crystal causes endless trouble and problems for anyone and everyone she can and she doesn't care. Florence can't see what her sister's real personality is and even though Jane can't stand the woman when she is killed by fallen book shelves in the backroom of the library Jane finds herself promising Florence that she will look into the death of Crystal.

At first thought to be an accident it doesn't take long to discover that this was no accident. Then when another person goes missing, another is murdered Jane must find out who is doing these awful things.

From the high school to the mayor's office Jane is not winning friends but she is determined to know the real truth of why Crystal died.

CRUSHING CRYSTAL is a great mystery that involves fun characters and is pure entertainment to read.

Evan Marshall has penned a great series and Jane is a wonderful sleuth.

 

Pamela James

Monday, August 19, 2013

Good Morning Bloggers

Today is a beautiful day in Kansas. What are your Labor Day plans for this year? I hope all my writer buddies take Labor Day off as I feel we work hard and deserve a break.

Tell us what you are reading today? Mine is easy I am reading on my kindle Hanging Hannah by Evan Marshall and last night I started DEATH OF A PEER by Ngiao Marsh.

It's Monday and my mind is already working overtime on what to pack for our weekend in Blue Springs. I am thinking about leaving my laptop home. Just concentrate on family this weekend. We will see if I do or not since I also can't stay away from email. LOL

Are you obsessed with email or facebook? How about twitter?

 

Hugs,

Pam

Monday, August 12, 2013

Barbara Mertz - RIP

I was saddened to see that amazing author Barbara Mertz (AKA Barbara Michaels AKS Elizabeth Peters) had passed away.

I first discovered her work, when I discovered Amelia Peabody.  (under the name Elizabeth Peters) I was drawn to the idea of a spunky Victorian lady excavating tombs in Egypt.  So, I picked up The Crocodile on the Sandbank and devoured it.  Ms. Mertz made it all seem alive (of course it helps that she was an Egyptologist, but she also had a skill for characters.  Amelia and Emerson are one of my favorite mystery couples.  And if you have never had the chance to read this wonderful book or series, Amazon has it discounted on kindle for the moment.  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00351DSA0/?tag=booksliced-20

19 books in all, the series is worth checking out.  It is iconic and Malice Domestic even created The Amelia Peabody award for it. 

But, just talking about her Elizabeth Peters, nom de plume, she also had the Vicky Bliss series (starting with Borrower of the Night) and Jacqueline Kirby (starting with The Seventh Sinner).  Of THAT series I have to Mention Die for Love which is set at a romance novelists convention and I found very fun and funny.  And then quite a few stand alone novels...

And under the name Barbara Michaels, she also wrote many more novels - often very gothic in mood and settings.  The Dancing Floor was a favorite of mine.

I have not even checked out her non-fiction Egyptian history books under her own name yet.  Though I imagine they would be worth it.

Ms. Mertz was a prolific and wonderful writer and she will be missed by fans all over the world.

Terri

Monday, August 5, 2013

Guest Blogger - Alice Duncan


THANKSGIVING ANGELS

 

I finished a book in July. I know, big deal, huh? But it occurred to me after I said it to a friend last week that, when I used to say, “I finished a book,” I’d mean I’d finished reading one. The one I finished in July was one I wrote (Thanksgiving Angels, book #5 in my Mercy Allcutt series, to be published God knows when). Until I began writing books in 1993 or thereabouts, I’d finished tons and tons of books, but they weren’t books I’d written. They were books I’d read.

Also, until I began writing and publishing books, I’d only ever met one or two people who’d had books published. Now it seems that everyone I know is a writer to one degree or another. For some reason, perhaps because I’m old and lazy, I decided to write this month’s blog about how one’s life can change at the drop of a hat. Or, in my case, the death of my feet.

Okay, my feet aren’t really dead. But back when I was young(ish), I danced. And danced. And danced. Heck, I was even a professional dancer in the nineteen-eighties. Granted, I was in two professional folk-dance ensembles, and that’s kind of akin to being a professional basket-weaver, but, dang it, I was a professional dancer. I used to love doing high-impact aerobics, too. I tell you, I was in great shape back then.

Then my feet began to hurt. A lot. All the time. So I went to a doctor, he took X-rays, and he told me I’d managed, what with all my floor-banging exercise and dance, to batter most of the cartilage out of my toe joints. I got a second opinion, and it was the same as the first. Both doctors said they’d be glad to replace my toe joints with artificial ones, which I guess was nice of them, but they also told me the replacements parts only lasted five to ten years. As I was forty-two when this pronouncement was told unto me, I didn’t take either kind man up on his offer. I mean, I’m now sixty-seven. How the heck often can one’s toe joints be replaced anyway? I didn’t know, but it didn’t sound like a chance I was willing to take.

The diagnosis was a blow, but there wasn’t much I could do about it. The damage was done. At first I decided to scoff at pain and continue dancing, but my feet hurt too much, so I stopped. Boy, talk about a gigantic, gaping hole! Dancing was what I did. It was where my friends were. It took up all my spare time.

At first I cooked. I love to cook even now. But back then, in the late eighties, early nineties, I cooked feasts. Gigantic meals to share with my family. I became a compulsive baker and took goodies to my job at JPL every day. But cooking didn’t really fill the gap. Neither did eating. Trust me, I know.

So, what to do?

The only thing I’d ever truly wanted to do in my life was write books. When I was a little kid and someone asked me what I wanted to “be” when I grew up (stupid question), I’d say, “An author.” But I didn’t have a clue how to go about writing books, for Pete’s sake! Perhaps because I’m a Sagittarius, I tend to get from one point to another without meandering. If you start with a murder and the cop catches the villain in the next paragraph, you don’t have much of a book, do you?

Then one day, when my daughter Robin and I were visiting my folks in Roswell, New Mexico, we drove from Roswell to Fort Sumner where, no matter who tells you myths about somewhere in Texas, Billy the Kid was killed and buried (apologies to Earl Staggs here). Robin drove, and I looked at the scenery. There wasn’t a whole lot of it, southeastern New Mexico being desert and all, but boy, do we get skies. So I took a little notebook out of my purse and wrote a description of the southeastern New Mexico sky. I didn’t tell Robin. I just tucked my notebook back into my purse.

When we got back home to Pasadena, I began to write down little snippets of cool description and kept them in my computer at work. I didn’t have a computer at home yet. Then, one day, greatly daring, I decided what the heck, and began writing a book. I finished the thing, too, what’s more, and three or four more after that until I kind of got the hang of writing books, which isn’t as easy as one might think. Stringing together 400-500 coherent pages of one story takes a bit of planning, you know? Finally I enrolled in “Writing for Publication”, a class taught by a wonderful woman named Meredith Brucker at San Marino High School. It was Meredith who persuaded me to join Romance Writers of America, and it was Meredith who read my fledgling efforts, told me I was good, and made me feel more or less competent about my writing abilities. And her class taught us all precisely how to go about querying editors and agents.

So, by God, I did query agents and editors, and I sold my first book to HarperCollins in January 1994. And in July, 2013, I finished writing my fifty-first publishable book. And all because I couldn’t dance any longer. Amazing how things happen, isn’t it?

Please visit my web site at www.aliceduncan.net and my Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/alice.duncan.925 . Also, please enter my contest for August, during which I’ll be giving away copies of Genteel Spirits, book #5 in my Daisy Gumm Majesty series. All you need to do to enter is send me an email with your name and address thereon to alice@aliceduncan.net . Thanks!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Good Morning Everyone


Good Morning Everyone,

 

It is a brand new month. What is in store for you this month? I know I will return to Blue Springs at some point. BUT this month should be a better reading, stitching and organizing month.

I returned to Parsons last night and here area few of the things I am thankful for today. My own shower I do not have to share with kids. LOL somebody loved my body wash. LOL

My own washer and dryer. Helping my husband get some things done. I am thankful for AC as Melissa's has been out for over a week. I hear it should be fixed tomorrow or Monday but we shall see.

I am thankful my husband loves to grocery shop. LOL Now when we go get my car this month I can return to being an independent woman.

The summer was full of mixed blessings and feelings. I will sort all of that out and process as I go along. BUT I can tell you I am looking forward to going to my local library and finishing some books. I did a lot of reading in July and even did some stitching. Got a small jump on Christmas Shopping.

Now to call my friend Virginia, to call my sister and see how she is doing this week etc...

Happy reading and by all means stay cool!

 

Pamela


 

It is a brand new month. What is in store for you this month? I know I will return to Blue Springs at some point. BUT this month should be a better reading, stitching and organizing month.

I returned to Parsons last night and here area few of the things I am thankful for today. My own shower I do not have to share with kids. LOL somebody loved my body wash. LOL

My own washer and dryer. Helping my husband get some thigns done. I am thankful for AC as Melissa's has been out for over a week. I hear it should be fixed tomorrow or Monday but we shall see.

I am thankful my husband loves to grocery shop. LOL Now when we go get my car this month I can return to being an independent woman.

The summer was full of mixed blessings and feelings. I will sort all of that out and process as I go along. BUT I can tell you I am looking forward to going to my local library and finishing some books. I did a lot of reading in July and even did some stitching. Got a small jump on Christmas Shopping.

Now to call my friend Virginia, to call my sister and see how she is doing this week etc...

Happy reading and by all means stay cool!

 

Pamela

Blog: Books/Series/Binge watch

Over the weekend I finally went out of town. This is a big deal for me as I usually can't ride in a car because of my vertigo and it did...