Friday, July 21, 2017

Coming this Fall: Kent McCray: The Man Behind the Most Beloved Television Shows

A behind the scenes look at the world of the production and producing for some of the television legends of yesterday and today. The book chronicles the illustrious career of Kent McCray from his days at Hartt School (University of Hartford), running the Central City Opera House , working in Live Television then into film.

During the apex of his career McCray has worked with television greats as Bob Hope, Red Skelton, Groucho Marx, Ralph Edwards, Michael Landon and many others. McCray shares his experiences which led to his being head of the production and producing his caliber of television entertainment still being aired today to an ever-growing vast audience around the world.

Will be available September 18 at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Visit Kent's book website for more news at

Tips for Avoiding "I'm Bored" This Summer

I blog at Christian Children's Authors every first and third Friday of the month. Today's topic is one most parents have had to cope with each summer: kids who sigh, "I'm bored." Check out my article at "Avoiding the 'B' word" today that includes some tricks I've used and links to other great articles. You'll find it at

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

New Release: The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck

Tenley Roth’s first book was a runaway bestseller. Now that her second book is due, she’s locked in fear. Can she repeat her earlier success or is she a fraud who has run out of inspiration?

With pressure mounting from her publisher, Tenley is weighted with writer’s block. But when her estranged mother calls asking Tenley to help her through chemotherapy, she packs up for Florida where she meets handsome furniture designer Jonas Sullivan and discovers the story her heart’s been missing.

A century earlier, another woman wrote at the same desk with hopes and fears of her own. Born during the Gilded Age, Birdie Shehorn is the daughter of the old money Knickerbockers. Under the strict control of her mother, her every move is decided ahead of time, even whom she’ll marry. But Birdie has dreams she doesn’t know how to realize. She wants to tell stories, write novels, make an impact on the world. When she discovers her mother has taken extreme measures to manipulate her future, she must choose between submission and security or forging a brand new way all on her own.

Tenley and Birdie are from two very different worlds, but fate has bound them together in a way time cannot erase.

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (July 11, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310341590
ISBN-13: 978-0310341598

Order at....
Barnes & Noble

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Novella Review: Dead Man Walker by Duffy Brown

If you're a fan of Duffy Brown's Consignment Shop Mystery series, you'll definitely want to pick up an e-copy of Dead Man Walker, a digital only novella that is considered book 3.5.

Springtime has come to Savannah, bringing with it customers into Reagan Summerside's consignment shop. Maybe now she can pay off some bills and think about getting some wheels.

Mercedes is a mortician beautician and housekeeper, so dead bodies don't scare her; but she doesn't really expect to find one of her clients dead in his bathtub. Having already had some trouble with the law, this sure won't make her any more popular with the police, so she calls on lawyer Walker Boone to help her out.

But Walker has his own connection to the recently deceased, which quickly makes him the number one suspect. Now, he'll need Reagan's help to clear his name.

As you can tell from recent reviews, I'm a fan of Brown's Consignment Shop Mystery series. What the author did with this short addition is keep it fresh while still giving the reader all of what she loves about these books. Though the previous three books are told from Reagan's point of view, this one is from Boone's. Not only is the reader treated to seeing things through his eyes, they learn a bit more about the mysterious gang member turned lawyer. For me, this was a mixed bag. Part of Boone's appeal is his secretive nature and the unknown parts of his past he hasn't shared with Reagan. Though there is still a ton to learn, part of that has been lost and he's not quite so mysterious anymore.

One of the best parts of Dead Man Walker is seeing Boone interact more with people from his former life, like Big Joey.

The cliffhanger ending on this one is superb and the reader gets a short excerpt from the next book in the series, Demise in Denim--which will be waiting for me when I get back home. While I'm not usually a fan of the cliffhanger ending in a series, here it works well because Boone's story naturally flows into Reagan working to clear his name in the next book. I can't wait to get started on it!

File Size: 1036 KB
Print Length: 71 pages
Publisher: Berkley (February 3, 2015)
Publication Date: February 3, 2015
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Language: English

I purchased a copy of this book from Amazon. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Mailbox Monday - July 10

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Happy Monday! Our day started out with a thunderstorm and a tornado warning where we were instructed to seek shelter. Doesn't that sound like fun?

Since we are on vacation my mailbox is very far away this week. That's okay, I've been catching up on my reading. Probably won't have anything new when we get home, but I need to order the next two books in Duffy Brown's Consignment Shop Mystery series. These characters are addicting.

Watched The Girl on the Train last night. Good, but a little creepy. Also watched The Zookeeper's Wife  and now I want to read that book.

Here are some shots from vacation:

See you back at home by this time next week. Have fun!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Book Review: Pearls and Poison by Duffy Brown

Can Reagan Summerside clear her mother's name when she is accused of murdering her election time opponent?

In Pearls and Poison, the third book in Duffy Brown's Consignment Shop Mystery series, Judge Guillotine Gloria is running against Kip Seymour, a local construction contractor, for alderman. When Kip is found poisoned, Gloria quickly becomes suspect number one.

Determined to clear her mother's name, Reagan delves into who might want Kip dead. Unfortunately, that is a very long list and many of these people are dangerous. Keeping herself out of harm's way is going to be challenging enough, never mind trying to keep Auntie Kiki safe. With her loyal companion, Bruce Willis (a.k.a. BW) by her side, Reagan will need to tread lightly if she doesn't want to wind up the next victim.

Pearls and Poison is my favorite of this series so far. Brown combines her well-developed characters, a bit of backstory, great dialogue and the essence of the south to create a fast-paced, fun cozy mystery. I've been a fan of the series since the first book and each one gets better as new characters are introduced, bits and pieces of well-known characters' pasts are shared, and each new mystery with its twists and turns evolves.

If you like cozy mysteries, you have to put Duffy Brown on your "to read" list. You won't be disappointed.

Series: A Consignment Shop Mystery (Book 3)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley; 1st edition (March 4, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425252485
ISBN-13: 978-0425252482

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Book Review: Killer in Crinolines by Duffy Brown

Reagan Summerside and Auntie Kiki are back to their high jinks solving a new murder in Killer in Crinolines by Duffy Brown.

When Reagan's best friend Chantilly is arrested for murdering Simon Ambrose, Reagan knows she can't just sit working at her consignment shop. She must find out who really offed Simon--and the list of suspects seems endless. With the help of Auntie Kiki and some unwanted help from Walker Boone and friends, she won't stop until Chantilly's name is cleared.

I loved Iced Chiffon--the first book in this series--and have already started the third book in the series, Pearls and Poison. Brown mixes a great mystery filled with twists and turns with the charm of the South and the antics of Reagan and her aunt to come up with a superb series that keeps the reader coming back for more. Now five books in, I don't see this series ending anytime soon....thank goodness.

The sexual tension between Boone and Reagan, the savvy of Auntie Kiki in weaseling information out of people, the occasional appearance of boys from the hood, and the numerous other characters in Savannah provide for a fun, unique totally southern cozy mystery you won't want to miss.

Highly recommended!

Series: A Consignment Shop Mystery (Book 2)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley (May 7, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425252159
ISBN-13: 978-0425252154

I received a copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day!


Wanted to take a minute from our vacation on the Outer Banks to wish all my fellow Americans a happy and safe Independence Day. Thank you to all those who serve(d) our country and their families. God bless you all and God bless America.

 Click the link below for some Independence Day history.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Book Review: Finding Bethlehem in the Midst of Bedlam by James W. Moore

In this moving Advent devotional, readers will find Scripture, daily devotionals, personal stories, prayers, discussion questions and exercises that are perfect for a single person or group study.

The book has a great format: one reading for each Sunday of Advent followed by questions for reflection and discussion. Then there is a prayer, a "Focus for the Week," and "Daily Devotion" section which is followed by six days of daily devotions that are also followed by questions.

I ordered this book because it often feels more like bedlam than Bethlehem around here. While I didn't get a chance to read it during Advent, I did take it with me on vacation and instantly dove in. James W. Moore's book encourages the reader to not only look for Bethlehem during Christmas, but throughout the year. I could see myself reading it numerous times a year to stay focused on God's Word during my hectic life. I would highly recommend Finding Bethlehem in the Midst of Bedlam to busy people everywhere looking to reconnect and refresh their relationship with their Lord and Savior. It's a book that will touch your heart.

Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Abingdon Press; Reprint edition (September 15, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1501804286
ISBN-13: 978-1501804281

I received a copy of this book through the Amazon VINE program. This review contains my honest opinions, which I was not compensated for in any way.

Mailbox Monday - Jul 3

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

Hello from the Outer Banks. We left a day early so we missed all the check in traffic. The kids are big into traditions, so we often visit the same places year after year. This is from the top of Jockey's Ridge Crossing, a shopping center across from the sand dunes and Jockey's Ridge State Park. They have a tower where they fly a flag or windsock every day. We visit every year and get fudge at The Fudgery. This is the first time we climbed the tower, though.

The dog traveled with us into Manteo on Sunday and walked the waterfront. We also stopped in Downtown Books and bought a Harry Potter puzzle and a book set on Cape Hatteras. 

Today we might go into Duck and walk the boardwalk. There's a new restaurant we would like to try as well. 

Here's the book I picked up today to add to my Outer Banks collection....

In 1886, a young woman becomes the sole survivor of a disastrous shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina's treacherous Outer Banks. She is rescued by the brave surfmen of the Life Saving Service at Little Kinnakeet Station and is suddenly forced to make her own way in the world... One hundred thirty years later, a young widow moves to the Outer Banks of North Carolina seeking a peaceful place to build a new life and somehow come to terms with her own tragic loss... The lives of these two vulnerable yet remarkable women unexpectedly intertwine in what becomes a moving, must-read story of peril, friendship, newfound strength and love.

Not sure if there will be anything in my mailbox when we return, but I brought a bunch of books down here to hopefully catch up on my overdue reviews.

Have a blessed week!