Posted in Book Reviews, Reading and Reviewing

Straight River by Chris Norbury

It was a treat to read Chris Norbury’s novel Straight River. It is a mystery that holds your attention as the plot unfolds throughout the book.

Matt Lanier comes home after his father is found dead in a farming accident. Things hadn’t been good with their relationship and Matt feels guilt that perhaps his father’s death could have prevented had he listened to the message from his father and returned his call.

It is easy as a reader to identify with Matt as he ponders the fate of his father and sorts out his feelings about being back home and getting reacquainted with old friends. Many of us find ourselves in the same situation. Mr. Norbury’s interpretation of his character put us into Matt’s head and lets us feel his emotions. Does his past interfere with the conspiracy theory he thinks surrounds his father’s death?

I can’t wait to read his next novel in the series titled Castle Danger. Straight River is well written and an exciting read. Chris Norbury is up there with the best of the best with his writing. He deserves accolades and recognition for his skillful plot twists. This is definitely five stars in my mind.

STRAIGHT RIVER

After his estranged father dies in a farming accident, professional musician Matt Lanier returns to his hometown of Straight River, Minnesota. While he’s settling the estate, an old friend and neighbor asks him for help. Her husband’s recent death was ruled a suicide. She insists it was not. Ownership of her farm hangs in the balance.

The local police are uncooperative, so Matt turns to his ex-wife and a young computer prodigy for assistance. As new information surfaces, Matt suspects the two deaths are connected to a violent conspiracy with national implications. His dilemma: Should he risk his life to protect his friend and hundreds of other farmers from ruin?

A1T-pMjGytL._US230_About the Author

Chris Norbury is the award-winning author of the suspense-thriller Castle Danger. His new novel, Straight River, is the prequel to Castle Danger and the first book of a planned trilogy. The stories feature Matt Lanier, a southern Minnesota farm-kid-turned-professional-musician whose middle-class world is turned upside down by a conspiracy of powerful, ambitious, violent men.

Chris grew up in the Twin Cities and earned a B.S. in Music Education at the University of Minnesota. His essays on wilderness canoeing have been published in the Boundary Waters Journal. A volunteer Big Brother since 2000, Chris donates a portion of all book sales to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Minnesota. During the golf season in Minnesota, he works on perfecting his golf game. It’s an impossible dream but also a good excuse to get out of the office. He lives in Owatonna, MN with his wife and golf clubs.

Chris is a member of both the Twin Cities and national chapters of Sisters in Crime. He also belongs to the Alliance of Independent Authors(ALLi), and Support for Indie Authors (SIA). Chris is an advocate of independent bookstores and actively promotes the websiteindiebound.org

Thank you Chris for letting me use the biography from your website and good luck on your future endeavors. you can find Chris at his at:

website Christ Norbury

Posted in Book Reviews, Reading and Reviewing

Death By Chocolate by Sally Berneathy

Sally Berneathy was a new author for me. Death By Chocolate was the first book I read by this author. At the same time I bought this book another friend of mine, Twin City Sinc President and Member, Timya Owen posted about it on her Facebook page. I knew I was on to something because Timya reads only the best.

I love this author’s writing style and the book. It drew me right into the story, was a little quirky and had characters I could relate to. It was a refreshing fun mystery that is well written and keeps you wanting more. And more I will get because this author is now on my list of favorites. I will let the blurb on the book explain the mystery but take my word for it, if you are a cozy fan you will want to pick up a book by Sally Berneathy. Just because she is new to me doesn’t mean you might not already be reading her books because she is a USA Today Bestseller, I am happy I found her.

https://www.amazon.com/Death-Chocolate-Sally-Berneathy-ebook/dp/B004LX0FYS

Death By Chocolate

Lindsay loves chocolate. It tastes good, it makes her feel good, it never cheats on her like her almost-ex-husband. It’s her best friend. But someone wants her dead and uses her weak spot—chocolate—to try to murder her. 

Lindsay’s only secret is the recipe for her chocolate chip cookies, but she is surrounded by neighbors with deadly secrets. Suddenly she finds herself battling poisoned chocolate, a psycho stalker, and a dead man who seems awfully active for a corpse. 

Her best friend and co-worker, Paula, dyes her blond hair brown, hides from everybody and insists on always having an emergency exit from any room. Secrets from Paula’s past have come back to put lives in jeopardy.

Determined to help Paula, Lindsay enlists the reluctant aid of another neighbor, Fred, an OCD computer nerd. In spite of his mundane existence, Fred possesses tidbits of knowledge about such things as hidden microphones, guns, the inside of maximum security prisons and how to take someone down with a well-aimed kick to his chin. 

As Lindsay battles the elusive stalker, poisoned chocolate, and the dead man, she will need more than a chocolate fix to survive. But that’s always a good start.

About the Author which I took from her Amazon page. I hope she doesn’t mind.

I grew up in a small rural town in Oklahoma where our favorite entertainment on summer evenings was to sit outside under the stars and tell stories. When I went to bed at night, instead of a lullaby, I got a story. That could be due to the fact that everybody in my family has a singing voice like a bullfrog with laryngitis, but they sure could tell stories–ghost stories, funny stories, happy stories, scary stories. 

For as long as I can remember I’ve been a storyteller. Thank goodness for computers so I can write down my stories. It’s hard to make listeners sit still for the length of a book! Like my family’s tales, my stories are funny, scary, dramatic, romantic, paranormal, magic. 

Besides writing, my interests are reading, eating chocolate and riding my Harley. 

Currently I have written six Death by Chocolate mysteries: Death by Chocolate; Murder, Lies and Chocolate; The Great Chocolate Scam; Chocolate Mousse Attack; Fatal Chocolate Obsession; and Deadly Chocolate Addiction as well as four Charley’s Ghost mysteries: The Ex Who Wouldn’t Die; The Ex Who Glowed in the Dark; The Ex Who Conned a Psychic; and The Ex Who Saw a Ghost. More in each series will be released as soon as I can copy them from my brain to the computer! 

I have sold fifteen romance novels ranging from comedy to dark suspense under the names Sally Carleen, Sally Steward and Sara Garrett. For these novels, I won several awards including National Readers’ Choice, Romantic Times Best Silhouette Romance and two Rita finalist slots. Most of the Silhouettes are available as e-books, and I have e-pubbed six of the out-of-print single titles. 

Contact information is available on my website. I love to talk to readers! Okay, I just plain love to talk! 
http://www.sallyberneathy.com

Posted in Book Reviews

Murder Is Medical by Diane Weiner

It is a pleasure to leave a review for Murder is Medical the 10th book in the Susan Wiles Cozy Mystery Series. I feel this series keeps getting better and better. I have always liked this series but
if I am going, to be honest, at the beginning of the series, I wasn’t sure about the main character, Susan. She was a nosy snoop and I didn’t always like her. Now I realize that the author was very smart in the way she developed this character and also her supporting characters.

Susan has grown over the life of the series and is now one of my favorite characters. Is she perfect–absolutely not–but that is what makes her real and makes her a good mom and most of all a good sleuth.

In Murder is Medical Susan and her husband are in St. Louis, MO for a Match Day celebration to find where their son will go to Medical School. I could relate to Susan’s feelings when it comes to her children and wanting them closer to home. Her husband suffers a medical emergency and while he is hospitalized Susan gets herself involved in a murder mystery.

I felt the author articulated the concern we all feel when someone we love is ill so it was very relatable. Another addition to this book was a new friend that she meets who helps her solve this crime. The addition of a friendship forming was also something I could relate to because we all meet friends in the strangest places.

The plot was easy to follow, hard to guess, which you want in a mystery, and pure joy to read.

I would give this book five stars and I would recommend you read the entire series. You won’t be sorry if you like Cozy Mysteries.

MURDER IS MEDICAL

When Susan and Mike travel to St. Louis to find out where Evan will be doing his residency, the Match Day celebration takes a deadly turn. The dean of the medical school dies at the reception. Was it a heart attack or was it murder? Kept in St. Louis due to a personal crisis, Susan teams up with the mother of the detective assigned to the case. It’s double trouble as the duo uncovers secrets worthy of murder. Meanwhile, Susan confronts her biggest fear–losing someone close to her heart. Set in the biggest small town in the country, Murder is Medical takes you through a whirlwind of suspects and emotions as the mystery is unraveled.

About the Author:

Diane Weiner is a veteran public school teacher and mother of four children. She has enjoyed reading for as long as she can remember. She has fond memories of reading Nancy Drew and Mary Higgins Clark on snowy weekend afternoons in upstate New York and yearned to write books that would bring that kind of enjoyment to her readers. Being an animal lover, she is a vegetarian and shares her home with two adorable cats. In her free time, she enjoys running, attending community theater productions, and spending time with her family (especially going to the mall with her daughter and getting Dairy Queen afterward). Soon to be released, Murder is Medical is the latest (book 10) in the Susan Wiles School House Mystery series. Clearing the Course (book 3) is the latest in her Sugarbury Falls series. A Deadly Course won an Eric Hoffer finalist award. Murder is Collegiate made the shortlist for the Chanticleer Murder and Mayhem Mystery Award. Follow her at dianeweinerauthor.com or visit her Facebook page at dianeweinerauthor.

You can find Diane at:

Website

Posted in Book Reviews

Shout From A Rooftop by Bart Gilbertson

I became aware of Author, Bart Gilbertson and his books a few years ago when he joined the publishing company that publishes my Fuchsia, Minnesota Cozy Mystery Series. His first book was Deathbed and Breakfast. I loved the book and he quickly became a friend. Bart took a few years off for some personal business and now he is back. Not only did he author the first chapter in the new group mystery, Wheel of Death by Cozy Cat Press,  but his new short story will get your attention.

Shout From A Rooftop is based on a true story and takes place in Corpus Christi, Texas. Who knew a girl’s slumber party could turn into a mystery that will keep the community on edge and a reader turning the pages in anticipation of the next words or twist and turn in the story?  Bart’s writing has only gotten better. You will want to read this short story and his book, Deathbed and Breakfast. I look forward to the next book in his journey as an author. Five stars and that is not because he is my friend but because he has earned it.

Shout From A Rooftop

In 1961, the only thing that might save your life is a Shout From A Rooftop.
Based on a true story.

Late one night in Corpus Christi, Texas, a teenage girl pajama party is crashed by an uninvited guest – a man with white hair and pink eyes. What began as a night of fun, games and music turned into a nightmare that none of them would ever be able to forget. You won’t believe what your eyes are reading as a crazed maniac pursues them to all ends … even if it means going all the way to the top of the roof.

This is his best work yet!” – Jean Hendry, Reviewer
At times I even felt like I was the one in danger.” – Billie Jenrette, Reviewer
I couldn’t put it down. It was captivating!” – Emillie Leaver, Reviewer

Bart Gilbertson

Taken from Bart’s Author page on Amazon.

WELCOME and thank you for stopping by my Author Page. So, who am I? Well, I guess I’m just your average person pursuing his dream. I love a good fiction novel. A mystery, epic fantasy, adventure, or comedy…I love it all. With my own writing, I want to put a good quality story on the shelf…something that I would like to read. Something I think that you’d like to read.

Things I like (but am not restricted to): Positive, upbeat people. Smiles. A hot cup of coffee. Flannel shirts. Sports (mainly football and basketball). Music … love music.

I live in Nebraska, am the father of two and now the grandfather of two. Amazing how the time flies…

If you like my stories, please remember to leave a review.

Visit Bart at his Website

Facebook Page

Posted in Book Reviews

Pieces of Happiness by Anne Ostby

I bought this book when I saw it advertised on one of the books sites I belong to. The cover caught my eye along with the title. I read the synopsis and thought perhaps it might be a good read but I was wrong. It was a great read! I loved…loved…loved this book!

Perhaps the reason I like it so much was because I am in the same season of life as the women in this book. Sina, Ateca, Ingrid, Maya, Lisbeth and Kat have all had different experiences. Sina, Ingrid, Maya, LIsbeth and Kat were friends in their youth. They drifted apart over the years but Kat brings them all together on a tropical island to perhaps live out their days or discover new things about themselves.

I could resonate with many of their feelings. I felt the yearning for a simplicity in their later years. And the regrets. We all have regrets. We all have ideas in our mind of what was only to find out our perceptions in our youth might have been skewed.

Journey with these women. You will laugh, cry and be invested in their lives by the end of the book. This was an unexpected treat of a read. I highly recommend it. I would give it more than five stars but reading is a journey each person experiences in different ways.

Pieces of Happiness

A novel of five lifelong friends who, in their sixties, decide to live together on a cocoa farm in Fiji, where they not only start a chocolate business but strengthen their friendships and rediscover themselves.

“I’ve planted my feet on Fijian earth and I intend to stay here until the last sunset. Why don’t you join me? Leave behind everything that didn’t work out!”

When Sina, Maya, Ingrid, and Lisbeth each receive a letter in the mail posing the same question, the answer is obvious. Their old high school friend Kat—Kat the adventurer, Kat who spread her wings and took off as soon as they graduated—has extended the invitation of a lifetime: Come live with me on my cocoa farm in Fiji. Come spend the days eating chocolate and gabbing like teenagers once again, free from men, worries, and cold. Come grow old in paradise, together, as sisters. Who could say no?
     Now in their sixties, the friends have all but resigned themselves to the cards they’ve been dealt. There’s Sina, a single mom with financial woes; gentle Maya who feels the world slipping away from her; Ingrid, the perennial loner; Lisbeth, a woman with a seemingly picture-perfect life; and then Kat, who is recently widowed. As they adjust to their new lives together, the friends are watched over by Ateca, Kat’s longtime housekeeper, who oftentimes knows the women better than they know themselves and recognizes them for what they are: like “a necklace made of shells: from the same beach but all of them different.” Surrounded by an azure-blue ocean, cocoa trees, and a local culture that is fascinatingly, joyfully alien, the friends find a new purpose in starting a business making chocolate: bittersweet, succulent pieces of happiness.
     A story of love, hope, and chocolate, PIECES OF HAPPINESS will reaffirm your faith in friendship, second chances, and the importance of indulging one’s sweet tooth

About the Author


Anne Ostby is a Norwegian author, b. 1958. She has eleven published books for adults, YA, and children. Her latest novel, Pieces of Happiness, is sold to eleven different countries, and will be out in English in June (Doubleday Books).
Anne Ostby has spent the last 27 years as a global nomad, living in nine different countries. Her novels frequently discuss questions of identity in an international setting, and depict women’s lives in various cultures. She currently lives in East Timor.

You can find her books on Amazon

Website

Posted in Book Reviews, Reading and Reviewing

Clearing the Course by Diane Weiner

It is no secret that I like Diane Weiner’s Sugarbury Falls series. It is my favorite of her two series. I have been remiss in posting this review. I finished the book as soon as it B1DEGTNeYKS._UY200_came out because of course, I wanted to be one of the first to review and then life got in the way. I want to apologize for this being so late.

I have grown to love the main characters in this series, Emily, Henry, and Maddy. They are likable and I think the adoption story resonates with many. Not only is this mystery set in the idyllic cozy town but it weaves a tale of a family secret buried which endangers the lives of the entire Fox family.

If I can’t connect with the characters in a mystery and I don’t begin to care about them as any series progresses then I lose interest. A reader will not lose interest in this series. If you haven’t read the first two books, A Deadly Course and Murder of Course then I urge you to buy the set. You won’t be disappointed. I have Clearing The Course five stars.

CLEARING THE COURSE

51Wf+ergdeL

The Fox family returns from Scotland to find Sugarbury Falls mourning the mysterious death of a young college student. When teenager Maddy’s friend Robby is accused of the murder, Emily and Henry try to clear his name. After all, they’d do anything to help their newly adopted daughter. The more they investigate, however, the less certain they are of Robby’s innocence. With a detour leading to a long-buried family secret, the path of the investigation is convoluted and dangerous. Can they clear the course and arrive at the truth, or is it too late?

 

ABOUT Diane Weiner

Diane Weiner is a veteran public school teacher and mother of four children. She has enjoyed reading for as long as she can remember. She has fond memories of reading Nancy Drew and Mary Higgins Clark on snowy weekend afternoons in upstate New York and yearned to write books that would bring that kind of enjoyment to her readers. Being an animal lover, she is a vegetarian and shares her home with two adorable cats. In her free time, she enjoys running, attending community theater productions, and spending time with her family (especially going to the mall with her teenage daughter and getting Dairy Queen afterward). Murder is Homework is the latest (book 9) in the Susan Wiles School House Mystery series and Clearing the Course (book 3) is the latest in her Sugarbury Falls series. A Deadly Course won an Eric Hoffer finalist award last year. Murder is Collegiate is currently on the shortlist for the Chanticleer Murder and Mayhem Mystery Award. Follow her at dianeweinerauthor.com or visit her Facebook page at dianeweinerauthor.com

Reviews are important so if you like this book leave a review on Amazon or wherever you bought the book.

Posted in Book Reviews, Marvelous Guests, Reading and Reviewing, Releases

Meet My Narrator Beth Kesler

It’s almost here. Granny_Pins_A_Pilferer_jpeg (3)Granny Pins A Pilferer will be out in audiobook within the next week. I have a new narrator for my series. Priscilla Finch who did an outstanding job narrating my other books decided to take another way with her career and so that left me looking for someone new that could interpret my vision of my books. Enter narrator Beth Kesler. She brings a new flair to the series. You might note some of the characters take on a different flavor or tone as far as dialect and those will be written into the future series books. Up until now, we haven’t delved too far into some of the other characters in the books such as Lulu or Ditty Belle but in the future, you will learn more about them.

Now I would like you to meet Beth Kesler.

Beth-1Interview with Beth Kesler

Please tell me a little bit about Beth Kesler.

Although I’ve spent most of my life in Ohio, I’ve had many chances to broaden my worldview through travel: to China and South Korea as a student, to Australia on a job exchange, to Canada for culture, and most recently to Nigeria to visit friends.

How did you get into producing with ACX?

As a novice voice actor, it was a way to break into the audiobook narration scene without having to have the “credentials” one needs with big publishing companies.  As a matter of fact, I was officially on ACX only 24 hours before an author contacted me and asked me to narrate her series of three novels!  I didn’t even audition – she heard my demo and liked it enough to hire me.

What makes you decide to audition for someone’s book?

Would you think less of me if I say that I judge a book by its cover?  Anyhow, that’s where it starts.  I do read as much of the book as I can get my hands on to see if it sounds interesting, is well-written, and is something I could hear myself contributing to.

Is this your career or are you a master of many talents?

This is currently my career.  I do voice-overs of many kinds.  In addition to audiobooks, I do radio and TV ads, online videos, eLearning, public service announcements, award show announcements, telephony, and cartoon voicing.  Before I worked as a voice actor, I taught English as a second language for many years at two different Ohio universities.

You are producing and narrating Granny Pins A Pilferer for Julie Seedorf. What is the most difficult part of narrating this book? What was the most challenging?

The most difficult part for this book was trying to create not only the distinct voices for 29 characters but keeping them reasonably consistent throughout the novel.  In the final chapter, which lasts only three and a half minutes, there were 13 characters speaking!

How long have you been doing this?

I’ve been a full-time voice actor for four years.

What tweaks your creativity?

Well-written books make my job so much easier.  When I can get lost in a novel, I hear the characters’ voices in my head.  Then I just have to make them come out of my mouth!

Do you have something that tries to distract you when you are working such as a shyster or a furry creature? Or do you lock yourself away?

Yes, my furry distraction is named Bitsy!   IMG_0018She’s a 6-pound Yorkie and would be perfectly happy having me cuddle her and play ball with her all day long.  But she’s learned to be good when I’m recording, and naps on the small sofa in my studio.

Are we writers difficult to please?

No, not usually.  I had one author who was also a screen director, and he found it difficult not to direct my entire performance.  I must admit, that the direction he did give me was great!  Only once was I unable to work with an author.  She didn’t know what she wanted until she heard what I’d recorded, and then decided it was “all wrong”, and “couldn’t you just do that one more time?”  After 6 chapters like that, I suggested she find another narrator.  I hope she did – it was a clever book!

What advice would you give to those wanting to get into the field or to an author who is scared to try and look for a narrator for their book?

For narrators, listen to other audiobooks and learn from those who do it well and those who do it badly.  Then practice, practice, practice:  read aloud to your microphone, read to your family, volunteer to read to kids at the library.  Then get as much training as you can afford.  A professional coach is invaluable.

What are you working on now?

A young adult science fiction novel called 51l7jMKyhGLBaily Chatham and the Time Crystals by G.R. Zee.

 

 

 

I like to end my interviews with an author’s favorite quote. What is yours?

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13

 

Listen to my work at bethkesler.com

And you can find the Fuchsia Series Audiobooks and the first book of the Brilliant Cozy Mystery Series of mine at Audible and Amazon.

Comment on the post for a chance to win a free copy of the audiobook Granny Pins A Pilferer when it comes out on Audible, Amazon and Itunes.

Posted in Book Reviews, Reading and Reviewing

Dark Side of the Loon by Twin City Sinc Members

51PNDbVTVNLWhere History Meets Mystery. Dark Side of the Loon is an anthology of short stories by my friends and colleagues from the Twin Cities Sisters In Crime. Alas, I am a part of this organization but…I do not have one of my stories in this book. Why? Because I am very shy about trying to write a short story. I am so wordy I am not sure I could do this but my Sisters and some Brothers in Crime write the perfect stories in the perfect settings.

Dark Side of the Loon highlights historical places and happenings in Minnesota. Fur trappers, pioneers, train robbers and just strange Minnesotans. That is a compliment. We Minnesotans like our quirkiness. Ya, you betcha we do. And this book has it’s quirky Minnesota moments.

I enjoyed each and every story in this book. Yes, I know many of the authors but if you know me, that does not make me leave a good review. If I don’t like something I don’t review it. I would give this anthology five stars not just for the writing but the surprises along the way. At the end of the book I wanted more and more and…more!

This would make a perfect gift or a wonderful book for discussion at a book club or a Sunday summer read or a winter by the fireplace read. It is an all-seasons book.

While you are at it make sure you take time to search out the  other books by these authors. I will provide links. Five stars websites_1Sisters and Brothers in Crime!

 

 

 

51PNDbVTVNLDark Side of the Loon

”Minnesota nice” casts a long shadow. Dark emotions and even darker thoughts seep from these murky depths, harvested by writers whose stories take us down in flames, up in smoke, and leave us helplessly entranced by the haunting call of the loon.

Foreword by Ellen Hart, award-winning author of the Jane Lawless and Sophie Greenway series, and MWA Grand Master.

Stories by Lori L. Lake, Marlene Chabot, Michael Allan Mallory, Carol Huss, Marcia Adair, Natalie Fowler, Barbara Merritt Deese, A.W. Powers, Cheryl Lewis, Christine Husom, Cheryl Ullyot, Karl W. Jorgenson, Marcie Rendon, Sherry Roberts, Midge Bubany, M.E. Bakos, Greg Dahlager, T.S. Owen, and Judy Kerr.

Twin Cities Sisters In Crime Website

Twin Cities Sisters In Crime Facebook Fanpage

Sisters In Crime National

Ellen Hart

Lori L. Lake

Marlene Chabot

Michael Allan Mallory

Carol Huss

Marcia Adair

Natalie Fowler

Barbara Merritt Deese

A. W. Powers

Cheryl Lewis

Christine Husom

Cheryl Ullyot

Karl W. Jorgenson

Marcie Rendon

Sherry Roberts

Midge Bubany

M. E. Bakos

Greg Dahlager

T. S. Owen

Judy Kerr

Sheyna Gaylon

Christina Glendenning

Doug Dorow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Guest Authors

Best Staged Plans by Claire Cook

It is no secret 26047381_10155060885697611_5873356279400153772_nAuthor Claire Cook is one of my favorites, so I was over the moon when I won her book “Best Staged Plans.”51u6AWVTKNL._SY346_ It  was autographed too. Can you feel my excitement? Her books seem to fit where I am at this stage in my life. The first book  I read by MS Cook was “Never Too Late Your Roadmap for Reinvention.” After that I devoured the books my library had and now I am into buying her books to keep forever. This doesn’t happen very often for me except with Catherine Coulter and J. T. Ellison. I actually gifted “Never Too Late Your Roadmap for Reinvention to a couple of my best friends.

Best staged plans never usually work out for me and the road is bumpy right now for the main character, Sandy Sullivan. She wants to let go of her house and reinvent her life but the other members of her family who  share her life can’t seem to get on the same page. Her husband and son seem to tune her out when she needs help staging the house for sale. She is a professional and stages houses for a living so she knew what needed to be done to sell her house and to move on so she and her husband could become empty nesters.  Frustrated with the progress she accepts a job out-of-town and leaves a list to be finished while she is gone. Does it happen? Does she find what she is looking for while she is on a designing journey? You will have to read the book to find out.

I happen to be on this frustrating journey right now. I would love to sell our four bedroom home and let go of all the maintenance that comes with an older home freeing us the responsibility that home ownership requires.  I too have a husband who is dragging his heals.  I resonated with Sandy but I must admit I love the premise of the main character staging homes. I am a HGTV lover and wannabe home stager in my dreams.

I would definitely give “Best Staged Plans” five stars.

About Claire Cook taken from her Amazon author page: Thanks so much for discovering my books! Reinvention is the story of my books and my life. I wrote my first novel in my minivan at 45. At 50, I walked the red carpet at the Hollywood premiere of the adaptation of my second novel, Must Love Dogs, starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. I’m now the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of 18 books. It’s Never Too Late to Shine On!

I’ve reinvented myself again by turning Must Love Dogs into a series and writing my first nonfiction books Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention (#1 Amazon Bestseller Women’s Personal Growth!) and Shine On: How to Grow Awesome Instead of Old to share everything I’ve learned on my own journey that might help you in your own.

Some of the nice things that have been said about my work: “The exuberant and charming Claire Cook is one of the  and funniest creators of contemporary women’s fiction,” according to The Times-Picayune. People magazine said my writing “goes down as easy as it sounds,” Good Housekeeping called it “laugh-out-loud,” Redbook “gleefully quirky” and the Chicago Tribune “funny and pitch perfect.” Shelf Awareness said, “Claire Cook (Must Love Dogs) has built a brand writing light-hearted women’s fiction blending kernels of the absurd and comedic in compulsively readable combinations.”

I was a teacher for sixteen years before writing my first book. I was born in Virginia, and lived for many years in Scituate, Massachusetts, a beach town between Boston and Cape Cod. My husband and I have recently moved to the suburbs of Atlanta to be closer to our two adult kids, who actually want us around again!

I have the world’s most fabulous readers, and I’m forever grateful to you all for giving me the gift of this career.

Be the first to hear about new releases, giveaways and insider extras at ClaireCook.com/newsletter. Hang out with me on Facebook (ClaireCookauthorpage), Twitter (ClaireCookwrite) and Pinterest (ClaireCookwrite).

Best Staged Plans

Sandy Sullivan is a professional home stager who lives and works in the Boston suburbs. So getting rid of her own house and downsizing should be a breeze, right? Well, best staged plans and all, Sandy’s husband, Greg, is dragging his feet and their son, Luke, has returned home and moved into the “bat cave” in the basement. Sandy reads them both the riot act and takes a job staging a boutique hotel recently acquired by her best friend’s boyfriend. The good news is that she can spend time in Atlanta with her recently married daughter, Shannon. The bad news is that Shannon soon receives a promotion and heads back up to Boston for training, leaving Sandy and her Southern son-in-law, Chance, as reluctant roommates. And Sandy finds herself in another delicate situation when she suspects her best friend’s boyfriend may be seeing another woman on the side. Fixing up houses may turn out to be easier than fixing up lives.

You can find Clair Cook at:

Amazon

and her website: Claire Cook

 

Happy Reading! And thank you Claire Cook for entertaining us with your writing.

Posted in Book Reviews, Reading and Reviewing

Murder In Vail by Judy Moore

51EXvWdU5+LMurder In Vail by Judy Moore

Sally Braddock’s serene lifestyle atop a mountain in Vail, Colorado, changes drastically each year when her three spoiled children and their spouses visit her – and her money – for Christmas. They live off their trust funds, which are disappearing quickly, and spend most of the holidays bickering and hitting up their mother for money.

This year, Sally makes an announcement that sends her children into a tizzy, an announcement so extreme that it pushes someone in the house to murder. The storm inside the house

My Review

Judy Moore is a new author to me. It was one of those books that I downloaded on my Kindle and was wishy-washy about reading it. I tend to read authors  I am familiar with first when picking a book, and seem to put those I am not familiar with on my to-read list, sometimes removing it from the Kindle before I read it. I am glad I did not do this with Murder In Vail.

It drew me in right away. I had a few days of trying to to get through another book and not being able to get into it so I was pleasantly surprised when I didn’t want to put this book down.

I liked the characters and thought the family dynamics were interesting. It was a good story on what pulls families together or what pulls them apart. Along with highlighting no matter how much we differ or we fight we seem to defend our families and the Braddock family in this book is no different.

The plot was easy to follow but the mystery was not so easy to solve. I kept flopping back and forth trying to decide the guilty party. The easy style of the writing drew me in, kept me focused so much that I finished this in an afternoon. I could also identify with Sally and her questioning her parenting decisions. Don’t we all do that with our adult children?

I good read. A new author for me to explore. I can’t ask for anything more.

To find out more about Judy Moore and her books visit her Amazon page.