Monday, July 31, 2017

Mailbox Monday - July 31



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.

How is it Monday again? And the last Monday of July too! This month has flown by. Had planned some posts for last week but had a closing and sold three houses within seven days, so that didn't happen. It's also been an emotionally draining week for me. I've been visiting assisted living facilities in the area because it looks like that is the next step for my in-laws. The thought of selling their home makes me cry. We've had so many wonderful memories there. It's a hard decision, but ultimately might be the best thing for them.

Had some sad news: a real estate agent I knew for years in North Carolina passed away and she was only a few years older than me. I find this tragic on so many levels and it reminds me how we never know what tomorrow will bring, which is part of why I dropped in on my father this past week, who I haven't seen in close to 30 years--his choice, not mine. I'll share more on that another day. God's hand was in this situation from the start.

On to lighter and happier things...


I'll be reading this new arrival for a review campaign. I have two books to read in August so I better get started.


Julienne has her ideal job as an event planner at a prestigious resort. During a luncheon event she coordinated, a renowned celebrity pastor is killed next to the buffet. All eyes turn to her as the suspect. If she wants to stay out of jail or even keep her job, Julienne needs all the help she can get to solve the crime.

She has her work cut out for her with a vengeful high school rival now reporter, the public demanding she be fired, plus family who know what’s best for her, and a boyfriend who doesn’t understand her. She turns to friends and a new ally to uncover who wanted to put the pastor on ice.

Julienne goes undercover and investigates a local swingers group as she follows the trail of clues before they go cold. Can she gather enough suspects and motives to convince the police to widen their investigation? Can she do it before the killer sets his murderous sights on her? Will her personal life ever be as simple as unveiling a murderer?

That's it for my mailbox. What did you receive?

Wishing you all a great week.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Mailbox Monday - July 24



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! I was so bummed last week when I was too busy to post Mailbox Monday. My son's father had a heart attack while we were away and last Monday morning he suffered a stroke. Praise God he is finally home resting and recuperating.

Vacation was wonderful and it gave me a chance to catch up on some overdue book reviews.


Books I read from NC

While we were away I had a few arrivals too.


Through her interview series, The Conversation, Amanda de Cadenet talks with some of today's most badass women--from Hillary Clinton to Lady Gaga--in as-honest-as-it-gets conversations that speak to what it means to be female. Now, in It's Messy, Amanda shares her own story: a portrait of childhood fame, A STINT IN JUVIE, teen motherhood, a high-profile marriage (and divorce), and the sexism that threatened to end her career--all before she turned nineteen.

With the raw honesty and intense passion for which she's known, Amanda tackles uncomfortable yet familiar topics: ambivalence about motherhood; marriage; sex; body image; and the cultural influences that shape unrealistic expectations for women. Part manual, part manifesto, this intimate, hilarious, and insightful collection of essays challenges stereotypes and social norms, and examines the universal experiences relevant to women today.


When Reagan Summerside turned the first floor of her old Victorian home into a consignment shop, she never imagined she’d be harboring a fugitive in her attic. But after a dead man is found in a bathtub and local lawyer Walker Boone is accused of doing the dirty deed, she suddenly has a new houseguest.

Having the lawyer who took her to the cleaners in her divorce settlement—and who has been getting under her skin ever since—in close proximity is enough to drive Reagan to distraction. For the sake of her sanity—and Walker’s freedom—they need to put their heads together to find out who is trying to get the lawyer out of the picture . . .


For fans of the beloved TV show Little House on the Prairie, a self-help book by Melissa Francis, bestselling author of Diary of a Stage Mother's Daughter and child star of Little House, revealing important life lessons inspired by a childhood on set.

Melissa Francis was only eight years old when she won the role of a lifetime: playing Cassandra Cooper Ingalls on the world's most famous prime-time soap opera, Little House on the Prairie.
Now in Lessons from the Prairie, she shares behind-the-scenes stories from the set, and lessons learned from the show's dynamic creator, Michael Landon, that have echoed throughout Melissa's adult life. With novel insights on hard work, making mistakes, and even spirituality, Francis shares inspirational and practical life lessons that will appeal both to her current TV fans, and fans of one of the most adored TV shows of all time.

I bought this book from Downton Books in Manteo, NC...


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.


What was in your mailbox? Hope you have a blessed week.

Book Review & Giveaway: Weddings at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard

Another superb novel of love, friendship, and forgiveness can be found in Weddings at Promise Lodge by Charlotte Hubbard.

The community of Promise Lodge, founded by the three Bender sisters, continues to thrive. The arrival of widowed Bishop Monroe Burkholder seems like an answer to prayer, but Preacher Amos believes he's too good to be true and is determined to uncover the details behind his unannounced arrival.

Christine Bender fell in love with the new bishop the moment she laid eyes on him and Monroe feels the same way. Their love is quickly put to the test when a young girl named Leola shows up claiming the bishop "ruined" her and how she is going to make an honest man out of him. Monroe can only pray everything will be worked out so he can stay in Promise Lodge and have a future with Christine.

Hubbard never disappoints. Every book draws you in from the very first page and holds you until the last word is read. In this latest Promise Lodge novel, characters are put to the test in all kinds of ways; but faith, goodness, kindness and grace see them through. It was such a joy watching this story unfold and reading it every moment I could sneak away. Paradise for me would be a never-ending library filled with Hubbard's books.

If you enjoy Amish fiction and sweet romances, you need to pick up Weddings at Promise Lodge. Better yet, read the series from the beginning. You won't want to miss anything that happens at Promise Lodge.


Excerpt:

“You look lovely in that deep red dress, Christine. It was all I could do to keep my mind on marrying Amos and your sister.”

When Christine turned, Bishop Monroe was standing so close she nearly bumped into him. She smiled up at him a little nervously, for he was tall and broad and extraordinarily handsome—and his dimples had come out to play. “Mattie wanted Rosetta and me to have new dresses with some color to them,” she explained. “And since Christmas was only a couple of weeks ago, we decided this red would be more cheerful than, say, the usual dark blue or gray or teal.”

“Mattie’s a wise woman—with admirable taste in color and husband material, as well,” he added. He held her gaze with his glowing green eyes. “May I have the honor of sitting with you at dinner, Christine? And spending the rest of the day with you, as well? Once we’re alone, I’d like to discuss some important decisions.”

Christine wondered if Monroe could hear how rapidly her heart was beating. Was her face as red as her dress? “I’d like that a lot, Monroe,” she said breathlessly.

The crowd around them seemed to disappear as he offered her his elbow. All Christine could see was Monroe’s attractive face, framed by wavy brown hair and a neatly trimmed beard—and those deep green eyes that focused so intently on her. What decisions could he possibly want to discuss with her? Did she dare hope he wanted her to become a permanent part of his new home, his new life at Promise Lodge?

Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Zebra (June 27, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1420139452
ISBN-13: 978-1420139457

The author sent me a paperback copy of this novel. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.


Many moons ago—like, in 1983 while she was still a school librarian—Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. This launched her into writing around seventy of those “true confessions” stories over the years, and she’s been a slave to her overactive imagination ever since. Over the course of her writing career, she has sold nearly 50 books—most recently, Amish romance series she’s written as Charlotte Hubbard or Naomi King.

Charlotte lived in Missouri for most of her life, so her Amish stories are set in imaginary Missouri towns. These days she lives in St. Paul, MN with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.

WEBSITE www.CharlotteHubbard.com

Facebook www.Facebook.com/Charlotte.Hubbard1


Charlotte will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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 http://kentmccray.com

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 http://christianchildrensauthors.com/2017/07/21/avoiding-the-b-word/

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....

Christianbook.com
Amazon
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
ASIN: B00KGH5GVA

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. http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/july-4th

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!