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.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Today anything goes on my blog.
Our library had author local author Julie London for a book signing. She wrote a true story world war two book about her neighbor and it was a birthday tribute to the woman who has live thru a lot. I don't know Julie and didn't go to the book signing. I found out after the fact.
When was the last time you went to a local book signing? Do you have some favorite author signings you like to attend?
I do I love Nancy Pickard and Max McCoy. They are Kansas authors...
Our Easter was a bit different but I certainly enjoyed our Easter Supper.
When I feel low I want to read Laura Levine Mysteries, Rhys Bowen, Leigh Perry, Lynn Cahoun, Victoria Abbott, Elaine Viets, Victorian Hamilton, Emily Brightwell, Eva Gates, Elizabeth Lyn Casey, Melissa Bourbon and Sherry Harris.
When I am in a serious mood I enjoy reading what I term the "yesteryear authors) Agatha Christie, Re Stout, Caroline Crane, Ngaio Marsh, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Mignon G. Eberhart
Kage Booton, W.J. Burley and Joan Fleming.
Now there are other authors for yesteryear group but these are the ones that come to mind.
Author whom I admire more than words can express. Patricia Sprinkle, Dorothy Cannell, Carolyn Hart, Leslie Meir, Stephen King, Jeff Cohen, Katherine Hall Page and Jenn McKinlay.
These author lend me to a magical world I never want to see end.
Okay who are you magical moment authors? Yesteryear authors and I already can tell you I forgot Mary Stewart. LOL See....now we have a lot more wonderful and beautiful with words authors on our coyarmchairgroup. I wouldn't trade Lorna Barretts books for the world. See it never ends....
I know I have left a great many authors out but keep watching our blog as I am sure I will mention you and your series soon. It's a late night for me and I pledge to mention more authors.
If you're an author and reading this tell us about the book you are currently writing, promoting an reading?
Readers tell us your favorite series? Your favorite stand alone authors? Another author I just thought of is Christopher Fowler who writes the Bryant & May Series.
Anyway tonight book and authors have been on my mind.
The passing of Patty Duke made me sad and longing for authors of yesteryear, actors and television shows.
We have lost so many great actors, artist, authors musicans, writers etc...lately that it's turned me into more of a hermit than usual. Lots of reflection with a year like this but we also need to live every day to the fullest.
What's on your mind?
Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Monday, March 28, 2016
Overall, I liked the book. That said, my biggest issue was how unlikable every character was. I mean, REALLY unlikable. It certainly kept me from enjoying the book as much as I had hoped.
The story is told from the 3 main women characters' separate POVs. They each tell what they want withholding secrets that later are revealed which lead to the twists in the plot. The thing is, their voices were pretty similar. Their stories were different and their intersection in each others lives moved the story forward but they sounded alike voice-wise. They all looked towards the men in the book as either being responsible for or to resolve their issues instead of facing them. Lots of angst. Yet at my F2F book discussion, that angst was much of what Roberta loved about it.
There certainly was a lot to discuss!
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Saturday, March 19, 2016
The Crozat Plantation Bed and Breakfast was once just a plantation but it cost a lot of money for upkeep of any southern mansion. Hence why it is now a bed and breakfast with charm, sweet tea and wonderful rooms.
Maggie Crozat returns home to help her family with the bed and breakfast. This week will be a busy one as the food festival is one of many events that are happening of course this means everyone is booked to the hilt.
The guest checking in are Georgia frat boys to which Maggie named them one two and three, the Cajun Cuties a fan club of sorts who usually stayed at another bed and breakfast but that mansion had flooded so the Crozarts were happy to help, plus a stranger to die for who was from Texas his name is Kyle, if this isn't colorful character enough then a family arrives complete with children in tow and the couple are celebrating their fifth anniversary.
An elderly honeymoon couple is supposed to arrive and eventually do arrive late.
The elderly couple has everyone's attention because the husband is a tad more than grouchy but the wife has a smile on her face. I mean this smile is kinda scary, a little grotesque and much like a train wreck you want to look away but cannot not look at this face.
The first thing that happens the elderly honeymooners Bud and Beverly Clabber arrive late he complaints and the room access and stated they were supposed to be on the first floor. Maggie corrects Bud as they had not booked the first floor.
The rose room is beautiful but Bud went into the bathroom came out and had Maggie follow him into the bathroom. He told her the toilet paper roll was put on all wrong and this would not do that it should unrolled from the top not the bottom. There are some days nothing but the middle finger comes in handy. But Maggie never gives the middle finger that would not show a proper upbringing, or good manners, instead she just fixes the toilet paper role while keeping her middle finger out of sight.
Anyway this is just one example of colorful characters.
Maggie's own family has gran whose accent becomes even more thick when she doesn't like someone and has to be nice and sweet as sliced pie to them. Her father Tug is a wonderful delightful man who is a hard worker and loves his life more than the south. Her mother will not be found idle, sprinkle in here and there a few cousins and you have a rich and wonderful family history, one of their history is that when you shudder it means something and not always in a good way.
Long story short this is a book full of mystery, just like it's southern setting it has something for everyone. Murder is also on the menu and so is secrets.
Everyone has a secret or two the trick is to figure what secrets are worth killing for and of course finding in order to find this out Maggie must get her hands dirty.
In other words she has to clean to find the dirty secrets, she also has a little help along the way from a new Deputy who is the Sheriff's cousin.
I have never laughed, loved and wanted to solve a crime more than I did in this mystery.
I think Plantation Shudders should be in every creative writing class as a study of character, humor, plot and setting. I can see this series one day becoming a made for television movie or a Hallmark Movies and Mystery Series.
It might just become a classic series.
With every turn of the page the you will lose track of time and be transported to a southern bed and breakfast you won't soon forget...
Thursday, March 17, 2016
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
The Gardener Estate comes with history. In 1970 Jasmine Gardener dies at the yearly Labor Day Party. The worst of it is that her death is shrouded in mystery and her mother never knew if Jasmine was murdered or if her death was an accident.
Jasmine's father returns to the New York scene but her mother stays in Haven Harbor searching for answers. She does her needlepoint and stitches nine panels of the local scene and Haven Harbor. Before he death she hardly ever left her home. Early in investigation she learned that the local police department were not going out of their way to find the truth behind Jasmine's death.
Skye West has decided to have a sale of everything she doesn't want and she asks Angie Curtis and Sarah Byrne to handle the sale, this after they have helped inventory, evaluate the antiques and needlepoint pieces.
Patrick West is Skye's son who is an artist. He wants to turn the carriage house into his art studio. Skye wants her mansion and estate done in a hurry. She hires locals and people from New York to work many hours. Overtime Haven Harbor Maine residents can use.
Exhausting as all of this is it's when Skye falls victim to someone trying to murder that really makes Angie wonder if the death of Jasmine Gardener is related to the fact someone wants Skye West dead. There is a connection with Skye and the past and who can Angie trust to help her find the answers she needs?
Mainely Needlepointers, of course and she turns to members for help restoring those nine panels, help with the investigation and there is that pesky wedding show her grandmother wants which fills Angie with anxiety in more ways than one.
Threads of Evidence by Lea Wait has something for everyone. If you love cold cases you are in for a treat, if you love history you are in for a treat, if you want to know the history of needlepoint you will find this mystery more than interesting. It is a great addition the series.
This is one mystery you won't want to miss. The whole series is to die for and see if you can figure out who did what, when where and how before the all is revealed. There are many suspects and tracking down people who were at the party in 1970 is also a great host of clues, suspects and characters.
This is a hardback large print edition that I checked out from our local library.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
This story grabbed me from page one and kept me turning. The characters were interesting and realistic and the story was intense and kept me guessing. A very satisfying read. The only thing I really didn't understand was why it had the Prologue it did. I thought that would be more appropriate as simply a first chapter.
Good Morning Everyone,
I think I figured out how to add pictures to my post this morning. Anyway I made a library trip Monday evening.
I returned one book and picked out three more to read. Here is what I picked up to read.
Copy Cap Murder by Jenn McKinlay this is from her hat shop series. Now Frank also picked up on Saturday for me At The Drop of A Hat by Jenn McKinlay. This author doesn't ever write a bad book.
Moving along I also picked up The Book Stops Here by Kate Carlisle this is from her Bibliophile Series.
Then I went a little more retro with SHROUD FOR A NIGHTINGALE by P.D. James and realized that I had already read this book. It will go back probably on Wednesday or Frank will take it back on the 19th because I have another book due back on that date.
That is my library trip for this time. I know one of the library staff will call me this week as they are processing a few other books I might like to read.
I did want to add that I will be on again off again over the next month. All is probably nothing to worry about I just have many things going on so I will more than likely be in and out.
Are you enjoying spring read? Are books springing up at your local bookstores?
What books do you plan to read while watching your flowers bloom this year?
Malice Domestic is just around the corner and I want to read as many books by our authors as I can so I will be able to say, "I knew that was a good book." ;)
I know Lea Wait Mystery books is one series Sue one of our front desk techs is happy to start reading since I know she will love this series. I also told her about Amanda Lee's series, I think she will enjoy Melissa Bourbon's series and I think she has started reading the Eva Gates Library Lighthouse Series.
Anyway I hope you having the luck of the Irish with your tbr pile of books this month.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
The book opens with her arriving on a cruise ship to work as an assistant cruise director with no experience (a fact which even SHE questions). First thing she sees a bunch of people standing over a dead body. No word of police activity, investigators or anything. Huh? Next thing we know she has taken it upon herself to investigate and just starts questioning everyone she meets about the dead woman and who disliked her. Huh? Turns out the woman died of a brown recluse spider bite (intentionally murdered via spider bite???) So that just made me irritated - young healthy people don't die from recluse bites. Period. Death is so rare that it is even hard to find cases and it certainly wouldn't cause a sudden death. Lots of sickness, necrosis, eventually maybe gangrene leading to loss of a limb but no - get bitten, drop dead.... Not to mention how would a killer expect a spider that tries to avoid contact with people to bite and kill the victim? It doesn't make sense.
Moving on, there is no real police investigation, just Millie and a nominal ship security officer that doesn't seem to do anything at all.
Then there is her motive for involvement -- to prove to her ex that ran a PI firm with her as admin support that she CAN? I realize in cozies, getting the amateur sleuth's involvement to be involved is a tricky thing, but this is weak. Then there are the interchangeable, flat, one-dimensional characters. None are interesting because they aren't developed. Their interactions do not feel natural at all either.
This is also labeled a Christian cozy. There are a few Bible quotes, she goes to church once and she prays a few times but I actually was a bit upset when she prayed for God to help HER solve the crime. I think it annoyed me mostly because it wasn't let the crime be solved, or help the Police solve the crime but her. It seemed so self-serving. That is what I disliked the most: it was all about HER solving the mystery - not justice for the victim or protecting someone wrongly accused or something noble at least.
So, the bottom line is that I normally give a lot of leeway when I see lots of good elements of a story that outweigh the bad, especially with the first in a series. Honestly this time there really wasn't much I did like. I can hope that as the series continues there is real character development and it gets more believable. Maybe down the road I would be able to enjoy one but for now, if I want to read a cruise ship cozy, I will read Lori Avocato.
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Monday, March 7, 2016
In 1942, a RAF soldier went on a spree killing over the course of several days. His attacks were vicious and brutal. Killing and attacking primarily prostitutes in London's west end, he was quickly caught and stopped. Gordon Cummings was thought pretentious by his fellow soldiers and he was known for arrogant boasts of his female conquests. None of them had any idea thought that he was violently attacking and murdering women during the blackout nights of wartime London.
The media attention was dimmed by the German bombings of the city, which is probably why I had never heard of the case.
The fingerprint analysis evidence was fascinating and what convicted him. The story of the cops and how they developed and used their fingerprinting system was one of my favorite parts of the book actually.
An intense and interesting read.
Thursday, March 3, 2016
PLACE, one funny ghost romance, VACATIONING WITH THE DEAD, and a non-fiction book about my adventures (and misadventures) in writing, THE ROCKY ROAD TO PUBLISHING. It’s honest and fun and has some helpful advice in it. Oh, and there’re two I’ve never published, plus many partials that may or may not ever get finished.