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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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8 03, 2017

Review: Something Buried, Something Blue by Wendy Corsi Staub

By | March 8th, 2017|Categories: Amateur Sleuths, Cozy, Genre Fiction, Ghosts, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

Rating:

something buried something blue book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

“Living in Lily Dale is like playing an endless game of telephone with a paranormal spin.” I had to laugh when I read that sentence on page 261 out of the 287 pages of Something Buried, Something Blue, as it perfectly encapsulates this entire story.

The community of Lily Dale is a real place, located In Chautauqua County, in western New York, 25 or so miles northeast of the Chautauqua Institution and 11 miles south of Dunkirk, on the shores of Lake Erie.

7 03, 2017

Review: Drop In by Sara Harvey Yao

By | March 7th, 2017|Categories: Business & Investing, Health, Mind, & Body, Management & Leadership, Nonfiction, Self-Help|Tags: , , |2 Comments

Rating:

drop in book coverReviewed by Richard Wisniewski

In 2017, social conditioning has programmed a society into a state of complete distraction. While many may have resistance to this notion, it’s true. In so many cases, people have complicated their lives to a place where complications, complexities, busyness, and stress seem normal. In fact, for some corrupt reason, people actually value their self-worth as a worker by how much stress they have. And these complexities of life and the constant state of busyness have caused people to, by default, stay in auto-pilot mode, as Sara Harvey Yao describes. Drop In: Lead with Deeper Presence and Courage is the perfect book for anyone seeking to truly focus on the here and now. 

7 03, 2017

Review: Mincemeat by Leonardo Lucarelli

By | March 7th, 2017|Categories: Cooking, Food, Wine, Memoirs, Nonfiction|Tags: , |3 Comments

Rating:

mincemeat book coverReviewed by Kate Schefer

Leonardo Lucarelli has always liked to cook. His father was an exceptional cook, but passed away young. His mother tried, but could never make anything that transcended the merely edible. As a teen, Leo spent free afternoons at home cooking for himself and friends; he realized he was good, but never considered it more than a useful skill. When he received a scholarship to study in Rome, he jumped at the opportunity to leave his home in the country; when that scholarship covered little more than his books, he walked into a restaurant kitchen and asked for a job. So began “the education of an Italian chef,” the subtitle of Lucarelli’s illuminating autobiography, Mincemeat.

6 03, 2017

Review: Gizelle’s Bucket List by Lauren Fern Watt

By | March 6th, 2017|Categories: Animals, Memoirs, Nonfiction, Travel|Tags: , , |3 Comments

Rating:

gizelle's bucket list book coverReviewed by Sarah Dalton

Gizelle’s Bucket List was a fun, fast read. I laughed, a lot. OK, right up until I needed tissues and a couple days away from the book for my mental health. The story centers on Lauren (Fernie) and Gizelle, her 160 pound Mastiff. Woven around this central pillar are ribbons of side story about family dynamics, friendships, adventure, boyfriends, love (or at least like), loss, self-discovery, and slobber. Lots and lots of slobber. Actually, there is really only one story about slobber. It’s not bad.

We get to be with Fernie when, at the behest of her Mother, she finds, falls in love with, and brings home Gizelle. Leave to get doughnuts, come home with a giant breed puppy.

5 03, 2017

Review: Daughter of a Thousand Years by Amalia Carosella

By | March 5th, 2017|Categories: Genre Fiction, Historical, Literature & Fiction, Mythology & Folk Tales|Tags: , , |5 Comments

Rating:

daughter of a thousand years book coverPlease join Amalia Carosella, author of Daughter of a Thousand Years, as she tours the blogosphere with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours!

To win a $25 Amazon Gift Card & a Thor’s Hammer/Mjölnir Pewter Pendant, please enter via the Gleam form below

Reviewed by Nina Longfield

One might think two women living one thousand years apart would have little in common with each other especially when one woman is of the Viking era and the other a modern American woman. Yet Amalia Carosella skillfully interweaves the stories of Freydis and Emma throughout her novel, Daughter of a Thousand Years, so that these two women of disparate centuries are kindred spirits. Through the pages, the reader grows to know Freydis and Emma who live a thousand years apart but whose lives are in some ways parallel as both strive to live as they desire.

5 03, 2017

Mailbox Monday, March 6, 2017

By | March 5th, 2017|Categories: Etc.|Tags: |12 Comments

Welcome to Mailbox MondayMailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Here are the books that made their way into my physical and digital mailboxes last week:

Review Copies

practice house book coverambulance drivers book coveralmond for a parrot book cover

4 03, 2017

Review: Cat Got Your Diamonds by Julie Chase

By | March 4th, 2017|Categories: Amateur Sleuths, Cozy, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense|Tags: , , |5 Comments

Rating:

cat got your diamonds book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

After a slightly screwball, cutesy-poo beginning – the first 100 pages or so – the story settles down into a decent who-dun-it. After several false starts, by the end, they get the right guy! And thank goodness for that! Of course, in the meantime, Lacy Marie Crocker and Detective Jack Oliver will have gone through half-a-dozen other possibles, but no real harm done.

Lacy is one of the new breed of heroine–with money behind her, she’s determined to do it all on-her-own, which doesn’t always bring the desired result. As a consequence, she’s constantly scrabbling for new clients for her exclusive new shop: Furry Godmother, a pet boutique and organic treat bakery. (The book also includes recipes for some of the treats.)

3 03, 2017

Review: Animal Planet Strange, Unusual, Gross & Cool Animals

By | March 3rd, 2017|Categories: Ages 12 and Under, Children's Books|Tags: , , |8 Comments

Rating:

animal planet strange unusual animals book coverReviewed by Sarah Dalton

I lost custody of Animal Planet Strange, Unusual, Gross & Cool Animals almost immediately. I opened the package it came in and my 9-year-old swooped in and said, “COOL!  Can I read that, please?” That was an easy answer–I handed it over. I never dreamed I’d have to track it down in his room after lights out to get it back so I could review it. My entire family has thumbed through this book and exclaimed over some interesting fact or another. We all have our favorite facts. My personal favorite is that in 2015 a grad student in Australia discovered two new types of a Peacock spider. Though the spiders have their scientific names, their common nicknames are Skeletorus and Sparklemuffin. Yep. A spider named Sparklemuffin. That brings me joy. I finally stashed this book in my backpack and took it to a restaurant to read in peace and still ended up helping my server track it down online so she could buy it for a friend. 

1 03, 2017

Review: Escape Clause by John Sandford

By | March 1st, 2017|Categories: Cozy, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Series|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

Rating:

escape clause book coverReviewed by Caleb Shadis

Escape Clause is the ninth book in the Virgil Flowers series–my, how the time flies! It doesn’t seem that long ago that John Sandford only had Davenport Prey books out!  Lucas Davenport always seemed a bit grittier with in-your-face violence. Virgil Flowers is a little more laid back, though no less competent at his job (and he works/worked for Lucas). The Virgil books seem to be much more humorous and less intense.

Two Amur tigers are discovered missing from the Minnesota Zoo. It looks like a fairly well planned operation–no one saw anything and there are very few clues to follow. Virgil does help figure out how the tigers disappeared with the help of local teens who give him hints about where to look for some evidence.

1 03, 2017

Giveaway: In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen

By | March 1st, 2017|Categories: Giveaways|Tags: |10 Comments

in farleigh field book coverEnter to win a copy of In Farleigh Field by Rhys Bowen! Open to US residents only

About the book (publisher’s description)

Inspired by Britain’s secret WWII code-breaking center, Bletchley Park, In Farleigh Field is bestselling author Rhys Bowen’s romantic and suspenseful new page-turner about class, family, love, and betrayal.

Lady Pamela Westerham is a young aristocrat who goes to work as a Bletchley Park codebreaker after fighting breaks out in Britain, much like the real women who deciphered German messages as part of the war effort (you may have seen in the news recently that Kate Middleton’s own grandmother was one such “Bletchley Girl”).