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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Comparison Girl by Shannon Popkin (Review and Giveaway!)


Shannon Popkin is back with her second Bible study aid Comparison Girl

BOOK DETAILS:

Title: Comparison Girl by Shannon Popkin
Category: Adult NonFiction, 224 pages
Genre: Christian self-help, Christian Bible Study Guides
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Release dates: May 19, 2020
Tour dates: May 19 to June 9, 2020
Content Rating: G


BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Women compare constantly—on social media, in their neighborhood, at church, even in the school drop-off lane. They glance sideways and ask themselves, "How do I measure up?" All this assessment feels like a natural way of finding a place in the world. But it pulls them into feelings of inferiority or superiority, guiding them into a trap of antagonism by the enemy.

Satan would like women to strive to measure up, constantly adding to a tally sheet that can't ever be balanced. The way of Jesus is completely upside down from that philosophy. Instead, he says the last shall be first--and the greatest are those who empty themselves, lay down their lives, and serve each other.

Through conversations Jesus had and parables he shared, Shannon Popkin has created a seven-week Bible study to address this tendency to compare and judge ourselves and others. Each chapter is divided into lessons, allowing women on a time budget to read a Bible passage, engage in a complete train of thought related to the topic, and then make the content personal--all in one sitting. And the informal teaching tone will make women feel like they're meeting with a trusted friend.

Suited for both individual and group study, Comparison Girl will guide women to leave their measure-up ways behind, connect with those around them, and break free from the shackles of comparison!

Click here to read an excerpt!



MY REVIEW:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

A few years ago, I read Shannon Popkin's first book Control Girl, which I thought was a gem. Now she's back with Comparison Girl, and once again I found this book to be just as good as her first.

Just as in the first book, I found that I was able to relate to the author herself. Yep, I do tend to compare myself with others, mind you, not as much as when I was younger. I do have more self-confidence now as a mature woman, and I don't care as much what people think. But the tendency is there. 

Shannon Popkin does not shy away from talking about her own experiences. She also peppers her text with anecdotes to illustrate or drive home the point. Sometimes, I found myself laughing outright, but most of the time I found myself asking the hard questions that bring about reflection, introspection, and change. And that's a good thing because we can always improve in our worship to God and in applying Bible principles.

This book has the same layout as Control Girl. Besides being easy to read, it's formatted as a Bible study aid with questions and scriptures at the end of each lesson to read and meditate upon. This is the kind of book you need to take the time to read with pen and highlighter in hand. I read the Bible daily and have a special time of day to meditate on what I read. This book can help with that if your goal is to do more Bible reading and increase your faith. 

If you are a Christian woman who struggles with comparing yourself to others, who is a perfectionist, who is always trying to measure up, or who is willing to humbly look into Bible scripture for help with these issues, this book is just what you need. 

Disclosure: Thanks to Audra Jennings for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.


BUY THE BOOK:


PRAISE FOR COMPARISON GIRL:

“If you struggle with measuring up, if you’re worried about what people think, if you dread someone seeing you in a less-than-ideal situation, then you’re human. We all struggle with comparing ourselves to others in some way. That means we all need Shannon’s honest and wise words on the pages of this book. I know I did, and I’m betting you do too!”
~ Jill Savage, author of No More Perfect Moms, No More Perfect Kids, and No More Perfect Marriages

“Shannon Popkin has done it again! She has masterfully written another must-read to speak to the struggles of our soul. Like a dear friend she comes, sits with us, and soothes us with the truth of how purposefully we were created, how intentionally we have been gifted, and how infinitely we are loved. Inviting us to look up, listen to the tender truths of God, and learn to silence the lies of the enemy against us, Shannon shows us how to finally live freely in a culture of continual comparison. For every woman who has an area of her life where she wonders if she is truly enough—here is your answer.”
~ Erica Wiggenhorn, author of Unexplainable Jesus: Rediscovering the God You Thought You Knew


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Shannon Popkin is a writer, speaker, and Bible teacher who loves pointing others to the truth of God’s Word. She combines her gifts for humor and storytelling with her passion for Jesus. She regularly speaks at Christian women’s events and retreats, encouraging women of all ages to put their hope in God.

Popkin is also a regular contributor for the Revive Our Hearts True Woman and Leader Connection blogs. Her articles have been published by Family Fun, Focus on the Family Magazine, MOMsense and others. She is the author of several books, including Control Girl: Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women in the Bible, Influence: Building a Platform That Elevates Jesus (Not Me), and Comparison Girl: Lessons from Jesus on Me-Free Living in a Measure-Up World.

Popkin and her husband, Ken, have been married for more than twenty years and live in West Michigan. They have three children—one in high school and two in college.

Connect with Shannon Popkin by visiting www.shannonpopkin.com, following her on Facebook (shanpopkin), Instagram (shannonpopkin), or Twitter (@ShannonPopkin).




ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!
Ends June 9, 2020




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Daughter of Time by Sarah Woodbury (Review)


Daughter of Time by Sarah Woodbury

I was in the mood for a good time travel story so I dug this one out of my book stash on Kindle.


Book Details:

Book Title: Daughter of Time by Sarah Woodbury (Book #1)
Category: Adult Fiction,  335 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction / Time Travel
Publisher: The Morgan-Stanwood Publishing Group
Release date: March 19, 2011
Content Rating: PG + M (There's some kissing, marital abuse, and some violence from battle scenes)

Book Description:

Time travel to medieval Wales ... A medieval man with an uncertain destiny, Llywelyn, the Prince of Wales, faces treachery and deceit at the hands of friends and foes alike ...

A modern woman with a troubled past, Meg's life is in tatters when she slips through time and into medieval Wales ...

Only by working together can Meg and Llywelyn navigate the shifting allegiances that threaten the very existence of Wales--and create their own history that defies the laws of time.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

I've had this book on my Kindle and have wanted to read it for quite a while. So when I was in the mood for time travel and pure escapism, I decided to read it. Although its original book cover paints this book as a romance, and yes, there is romance, it's truly more the story of the imagined life of Llywelyn, the last Prince of Wales. So this new book cover is better suited to the story.

I enjoyed Daughter of Time very much, especially Meg and her toddler Anna's journey through time. Actually, little Anna was one of my favorite characters. She and Meg end up traveling to the 13th century and get found by Llywelyn. Yes, Meg and Llywelyn fall in love but a lot of the romance is off-screen so this makes it different from most time travel romances out there. 

The medieval politics, as expected, was filled with treachery, land wars, and a battle-scarred hero. Sometimes, it was a little hard to follow. But lovers of medieval historical fiction will enjoy learning about Welsh history. The ending was unexpected, not a cliffhanger, but certainly, an exciting segway to the next book in the series.

For fans of time travel and chivalrous medieval tales, Daughter of Time is a great start to a fun series set during a pivotal period in English history.


Disclosure: I bought this on Amazon. I was not told how to rate or review this product.


About the Author:



With over a million books sold to date, Sarah Woodbury is the author of more than forty novels, all set in medieval Wales. Although an anthropologist by training, and then a full-time homeschooling mom for twenty years, she began writing fiction when the stories in her head overflowed and demanded that she let them out. While her ancestry is Welsh, she only visited Wales for the first time at university. She has been in love with the country, language, and people ever since. She even convinced her husband to give all four of their children Welsh names.


Sarah is a member of the Historical Novelists Fiction Cooperative (HFAC), the Historical Novel Society (HNS), and Novelists, Inc. (NINC).


She makes her home in Oregon. Visit her at https://www.sarahwoodbury.com/.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are You Reading? June 1 Edition


Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share our news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


This was a quiet week at work. Things are slowly stabilizing. We are finally allowed to take vacation time, but no more than two weeks. We still have a shortage of healthcare workers here in Quebec. I attended two funerals (via Zoom) this week.

We had a heatwave though and I was finally able to get into shorts and a tank and soak up some much-needed sun!

Happy reading y'all. Stay safe and take care of each other.



Mailbox Monday Edition



Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever-growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.


What I reviewed and/or featured last week:

I loved listening to this one. Can't wait for her next release in audio!



Currently Reading:

I'm about halfway through. This book has great characterization. I'm enjoying it.



Stop by and enter my giveaways!

Also posted on the right sidebar.



Hope you all have a great reading week.




Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary (Audiobook Review)


If you need a fun book to read or listen to and you like British rom-coms, this one is great.

AUDIOBOOK DETAILS:

Title: The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary (Unabridged)
Genre: Contemporary Women's Fiction, Rom-Com
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Released: May 2019
Narrator: Carrie Hope Fletcher, Kwaku Fortune
Length: 9 hrs and 58 mins
Content rating: PG-13 + M for mature themes (psychological abuse), tasteful sex scenes and f-words

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

What if your roommate is your soul mate? A joyful, quirky romantic comedy, Beth O'Leary's The Flatshare is a feel-good audiobook about finding love in the most unexpected of ways.

Tiffy and Leon share an apartment. Tiffy and Leon have never met.

After a bad breakup, Tiffy Moore needs a place to live. Fast. And cheap. But the apartments in her budget have her wondering if astonishingly colored mold on the walls counts as art.

Desperation makes her open-minded, so she answers an ad for a flatshare. Leon, a night shift worker, will take the apartment during the day, and Tiffy can have it nights and weekends. He’ll only ever be there when she’s at the office. In fact, they’ll never even have to meet.

Tiffy and Leon start writing each other notes – first about what day is garbage day, and politely establishing what leftovers are up for grabs, and the evergreen question of whether the toilet seat should stay up or down. Even though they are opposites, they soon become friends. And then maybe more.

But falling in love with your roommate is probably a terrible idea…especially if you've never met.


MY REVIEW:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

I saw this book on Book Date last week. The storyline sounded original so I looked for it and found it on audio. I liked the sound of the narrator, so I bought it. And once I started listening, I couldn't stop. First off, I just love British narrators. Nicola Barber is my favorite. And now I love Carrie Hope Fletcher, too!

Okay, so the story: Roommates who share a flat but have never met? This was so cleverly done with the main characters Tiffy and Leon writing notes to each other. It borders on the lost art of letter writing that is both old-fashioned and romantic. And it works so well in this modern tale. Tiffy is genuine, colorful, and kind. Leon is stable, patient, and thoughtful. They were a great couple.

The secondary characters were just as good and added so much to the story. It's been a while since I read a rom-com. I'm picky with this genre, but this one was heartwarming, a true feel-good novel that was perfect escapism. It was a good mix of funny and romantic. And the author did not shy away from serious topics such as psychological abuse. 

Carrie Hope Fletcher was perfect as Tiffy. She really brought out her character in the narration. I had to get used to Kwaku Fortune because I initially thought he sounded a little old to be Leon but I was so engrossed that soon enough I enjoyed his narration too.

The author has a second book titled The Switch being released on audio in August. I can't wait to listen to it as soon as it's out. If you need a fun book to read or listen to and you like British rom-coms, this one is great. There is content though (a couple of semi-explicit sex scenes and f-words) so just be aware of this. 


Disclosure: I bought this audio on Audible. I was not told how to rate or review this product.


BUY THE BOOK OR AUDIO:


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Beth O’Leary is a Sunday Times bestselling author whose books have been translated into more than 30 languages. She wrote her debut novel, The Flatshare, on her train journey to and from her job at a children’s publisher. She now lives in the Hampshire countryside and writes full time.

Visit her website.





Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The F.I.G. Mysteries by Barbara Casey (Book Spotlight and Giveaway!)



Barbara Casey has recently released The Nightjar Promise, the fourth book in the F.I.G. Mystery series. I read two of the books. Check out this YA mystery series here with their revamped book covers and enter to win the whole series!


Buy the Books:
Add to Goodreads


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The Cadence of Gypsies (Book #1) by Barbara Casey

Read my review

Category: YA Fiction (Ages 13-17), 200 pages
Genre: Mystery, Fantasy
Publisher: Gauthier Publications (Hungry Goat Press)
Release date: The Cadence of Gypsies (2011)
Tour dates: May 25 to June 5, 2020
Content Rating: PG. There are some themes that deal with the Jewish Holocaust and some frightening scenes appropriate for young adult and adult readers.

Book Description:

Three high-spirited 17-year-olds, with intelligent quotients in the genius range, accompany their teacher and mentor, Carolina Lovel, to Frascati, Italy, a few weeks before they are to graduate from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women. Carolina's purpose in planning the trip is to remove her gifted, creative students from the Wood Rose campus located in Raleigh, North Carolina, so they can't cause any more problems ("expressions of creativity") for the headmaster, faculty, and other students – which they do with regularity. Carolina also wants to visit the Villa Mondragone where the Voynich Manuscript, the most mysterious document in the world, was first discovered and search how it is related to a paper written in the same script she received on her 18th birthday when she was told that she was adopted – a search that will fill in all of the missing pieces of her past and help each of her students to discover something meaningful within themselves.

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The Wish Rider (Book #2) by Barbara Casey

Category: YA Fiction (Ages 13-17), 220 pages
Genre: Mystery, Fantasy
Publisher: Gauthier Publications (Hungry Goat Press)
Release date: The Wish Rider (2016)
Tour dates: May 25 to June 5, 2020
Content Rating: PG. There are some themes that deal with the Jewish Holocaust and some frightening scenes appropriate for young adult and adult readers.

Book Description:

Seventeen-year-old Dara Roux and her two best friends, Mackenzie Yarborough and Jennifer Torres, the three collectively referred to as the FIGs (Females of Intellectual Genius) because each has an intelligence quotient in the genius range, have just returned from Frascati, Italy. It was there that their much-loved teacher and mentor, Carolina Lovel, discovered that her birth parents were gypsies and that she had a connection to the Voynich Manuscript, the most mysterious document in the world. Now, with graduation from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women behind them, Dara asks Mackenzie, Jennifer, and Carolina to help her locate her birth mother when she learns that she might be living in New York City. All the young women have to work with are five addresses, and when Mackenzie prepares a grid showing the location of all five addresses, four of the locations form a square with the fifth in the middle—which is also Grand Central Terminal.

Relying on Dara’s gift for speaking and understanding foreign languages, the black and white images that stir musical cadences in Jennifer’s mind, and Mackenzie’s mathematical calculations that normally provide numerical solutions and answers to life’s most difficult questions but now keep showing the number “61”, the determined young women tirelessly go from one address to another in search of Dara’s mother. Their determination turns to desperation, however, and they ignore caution, and the dissonant chords Jennifer frantically scribbles on her eight-stave musical paper as they pursue one final address—the one located in the middle of Mackenzie’s grid. Encountering a dark hidden society and subculture more dangerous and terrifying than they could have imagined, it is there that Dara learns why she was abandoned as a seven-year-old in a candy store all those years ago.


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The Clock Flower (Book #3) by Barbara Casey

Read my review

Category: YA Fiction (Ages 13-17), 180 pages
Genre: Mystery, Fantasy
Publisher: Gauthier Publications (Hungry Goat Press)
Release date: The Clock Flower (2018)
Tour dates: May 25 to June 5, 2020
Content Rating: PG. There are some themes that deal with the Jewish Holocaust and some frightening scenes appropriate for young adult and adult readers.

Book Description:

The three FIGs—Females of Intellectual Genius—as they are called, have graduated from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women after returning from New York City where Dara learned why her mother abandoned her all those years ago, and they are now attending universities where they can further their special talents. This means they will be separated from each other and from Carolina, their much-loved mentor and teacher who is “one of them,” for the first time in their young lives. They vow to try living apart for one semester, in the so-called real world that doesn’t include the orphanage; but if things don’t work out, they will come up with another plan—a plan where they can be together once again. Dara is invited through Yale University to take part in an exciting archeological project in China. Jennifer, once again visualizing black and white images and the unusual sounds of another cadence that seem to be connected to Mackenzie, is engrossed in creating her next symphony at Juilliard. Mackenzie, because of her genius at problem-solving, is personally chosen by a US Senator to get involved in a mysterious, secret research project involving immortality that is being conducted in a small village in China—not too far from where Dara is involved with the archeological site. Once there, however, she finds herself facing a terrifying death from the blood-dripping teeth of an ancient evil dragon. Her best friends, the FIGs and Carolina, rely on their own unique genius and special talents to save her as she discovers the truth of her birth parents.


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The Nightjar's Promise (Book #4) by Barbara Casey

Category: YA Fiction (Ages 13-17), 130 pages
Genre: Mystery, Fantasy
Publisher: Gauthier Publications (Hungry Goat Press)
Release date: April 2020
Content Rating: PG. There are some themes that deal with the Jewish Holocaust and some frightening scenes appropriate for young adult and adult readers.

Book Description:

Jennifer Torres, one of the three FIGs (Females of Intellectual Genius) who is a genius in both music and art, is the last to leave the closed rehearsal for her upcoming performance over Thanksgiving break at Carnegie Hall when she hears something in the darkened Hall. Recognizing the tilt of the woman’s head and the slight limp of the man as they hurry out an exit door, she realizes it is her parents who were supposedly killed in a terrible car accident when she was 15 years old. Devastated and feeling betrayed, she sends a text to Carolina and the other two FIGs—THURGOOD. It is the code word they all agreed to use if ever one of them got into trouble or something happened that was too difficult to handle. They would all meet back at Carolina’s bungalow at Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women to figure it out.

As soon as they receive the text, because of their genius, Dara starts thinking of words in ancient Hebrew, German, and Yiddish, while Mackenzie’s visions of unique math formulae keep bringing up the date October 11, 1943. That is the date during World War II when the Nazis—the Kunstschutz—looted the paintings of targeted wealthy Jewish families and hid them away under Hitler’s orders. And as Carolina waits for the FIGs to return to Wood Rose, she hears warnings from Lyuba, her gypsy mother, to watch for the nightjar, the ancient name for the whip-poor-will.

As they search for “The Nightjar’s Promise” and the truth surrounding it, Carolina and the FIGs come face to face with the evil that threatens to destroy not only their genius but their very lives.



Meet the Author:



Originally from Carrollton, Illinois, author/agent/publisher Barbara Casey attended the University of North Carolina, N.C. State University, and N.C. Wesleyan College where she received a BA degree, summa cum laude, with a double major in English and history. In 1978 she left her position as Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Development at North Carolina Wesleyan College to write full time and develop her own manuscript evaluation and editorial service. In 1995 she established the Barbara Casey Agency and since that time has represented authors from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014, she became a partner with Strategic Media Books, an independent nonfiction publisher of true crime, where she oversees acquisitions, day-to-day operations, and book production.

Ms. Casey has written over a dozen award-winning books of fiction and nonfiction for both young adults and adults. The awards include the National Association of University Women Literary Award, the Sir Walter Raleigh Literary Award, the Independent Publisher Book Award, the Dana Award for Outstanding Novel, the IP Best Book for Regional Fiction, among others. Two of her nonfiction books have been optioned for major films, one of which is under contract.

Her award-winning articles, short stories, and poetry for adults have appeared in both national and international publications including the North Carolina Christian Advocate Magazine, The New East Magazine, the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Sunday Telegram, Dog Fancy, ByLine, The Christian Record, Skirt! Magazine, and True Story. A thirty-minute television special which Ms. Casey wrote and coordinated was broadcast on WRAL, Channel 5, in Raleigh, North Carolina. She also received special recognition for her editorial work on the English translations of Albanian children’s stories. Her award-winning science fiction short stories for adults are featured in The Cosmic Unicorn and CrossTime science fiction anthologies. Ms. Casey's essays and other works appear in The Chrysalis Reader, the international literary journal of the Swedenborg Foundation, 221 One-Minute Monologues from Literature (Smith and Kraus Publishers), and A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation).

Ms. Casey is a former director of BookFest of the Palm Beaches, Florida, where she served as a guest author and panelist. She has served as a judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003. In 2018 Ms. Casey received the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and Top Professional Award for her extensive experience and notable accomplishments in the field of publishing and other areas. She makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with her husband and three cats who adopted her, Homer, Reese, and Earl Gray - Reese’s best friend.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook




Enter the Giveaway!
Ends June 12, 2020


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Sunday, May 24, 2020

Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are You Reading? May 25 Edition


Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share our news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


This week we had gorgeous sunny warm weather and that just made such a difference for me. Our winters are long and I yearn for summer weather, so I was grateful to be outside more often, biking and reading while sitting in the sun. So many great books being released this summer and I'm loving the books I'm reading lately.

Happy reading y'all. Stay safe and take care of each other.



Mailbox Monday Edition



Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.

Free Kindle books: 

The Strongman And The Mermaid by Kathleen Shoop





Bought on Audible:

I bought this after seeing it on Book Date. I started listening to it and finished within two days, it was that good! 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever-growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.


What I reviewed and/or featured last week:

This is a new cozy mystery series and it was a fun read.


Currently Reading:

I'm halfway through this one and enjoying it.

When I first bought this Kindle book it had this cover:


and I also found this cover:


What first attracted me to this book was the second book cover because I love that painting...and historical fiction and also because it's time travel!



Stop by and enter my giveaways!

Also posted on the right sidebar.



Hope you all have a great reading week.




Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Killer Deadline: A Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery by Lauren Carr (Review & Giveaway!)


Lauren Carr's latest release Killer Deadline is the first book in her newest series!

Book Details:

Book Title: Killer Deadline (A Nikki Bryant Cozy Mystery) by Lauren Carr
Category: Adult Fiction, 232 pages
Genre: Mystery/Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Release date: April 23, 2020
Tour dates: April 20 to May 22, 2020
Content Rating: G. This is a true cozy mystery. No sex. No on-stage violence. No swearing. Just good clean fun!


Book Description:

Folks in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania, claim that where Nikki Bryant goes, trouble is not far behind. Her refusal to back down from a challenge has made Nikki Bryant a top investigative journalist.

When an online friend nudges her to join him in a pact to reconnect with their first loves, Nikki and her boxer dog Elmo leave the bright lights of Las Vegas for the charming town of Pine Grove. There, she must face the biggest challenges in her career and life—the first love she had left behind and her father’s unsolved murder.

But before she has time to unpack her car, Nikki stumbles upon the dead body of local news anchor, Ashleigh Addison, her childhood rival. Could Ashleigh’s death be connected to an explosive news story that she had teased about airing live? Did that explosive story have anything to do with the murder of Nikki’s father?

With the clues in her father’s cold case hot again, Nikki intends to chase down the story of her life until she catches his killer—no matter what it takes.


My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

Lauren Carr's latest release Killer Deadline is the first book in her newest series, which ventures into the cozy mystery genre versus the usual suspenseful crime fiction novels she writes. Having read most of the books in her other series, I was looking forward to getting to know a new cast of characters.

Nikki Bryant is a 35-year-old well-known investigative journalist who is still pining for Ryan, an old flame who she hasn't kept in touch with for 15 years even though his father is married to her mother. I know, it's weird. When her mother retires, Nikki decides to take over the family-owned TV station and moves from Las Vegas back to her small hometown.

Like all of Carr's mysteries, this one had me curious and looking for every clue, the whodunit part truly intriguing, keeping me guessing. There was plenty of humor and not only by the furry friends but also in the way the whole plot was written. The animal characters stole the show in this novel. Elmo, Nikki's smart boxer dog, and the evil stepsisters, Lucy and Ethel which were two skinny cats, forever hissing at Elmo.

The only thing that was not as satisfying this time were the main characters. I didn't feel like I knew Nikki or Ryan all that much. I had so many questions about them. Being the first book in the series, I was expecting a great introduction to the main characters, but they seemed somewhat superficial, not as fleshed out as they could have been.

If you're looking for a quick read and you love cozy mysteries, this one is fun.


Buy This New Release Today:


Add to Goodreads



Meet the Author:


Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, Chris Matheson Cold Case, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty-five titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Killer Deadline marks Lauren's first venture into mystery's purely cozy sub-genre with a female protagonist.

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

​A popular speaker, Lauren is also the owner of Acorn Book Service, the umbrella under which falls iRead Book Tours. She lives with her husband and two spoiled rotten German Shepherds on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Pinterest




Enter the Giveaway!
Ends May 29, 2020


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Sunday, May 17, 2020

Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are You Reading? May 18 Edition


Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share our news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


When I feel stressed, I feel the need to get a project going. Lately I've been eyeing a corner of my room where stuff tends to accumulate. I've decided I'm going to turn that corner into my personal reading corner. 

So I did research and saw beautiful pics online of reading corners. Basically, you need a comfy reading chair, a lamp, an end table, a throw or a pillow, and a pouf for your feet. I went on Ikea's website and ordered most of what I needed and was hoping to pick it up through their new curbside pickup, but it wasn't available, so I'm having it delivered and it will take a minimum of 6 weeks!!

Oh well, it will give me time to rid that corner of all that stuff and prep it for when my chair, lamp, and table arrive.

Happy reading y'all. Stay safe and take care of each other.



Mailbox Monday Edition



Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever-growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.


What I reviewed and/or featured last week:

This is the 4th book in the series and I enjoyed it very much.

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Saturday, May 16, 2020

A Child Lost by Michelle Cox (Review and Giveaway!)


So far I have read all five books in the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series and this one is my favorite!

BOOK DETAILS:

Series Title: A CHILD LOST (A Henrietta and Inspector Howard Novel #5) by Michelle Cox
Category: Adult Fiction, 409 pages
Genre: Historical Mystery
Publisher: She Writes Press
Release dates: April 2020
Content Rating: R: Rated R for 2 sex scenes that are somewhat explicit but which are tastefully done. There is periodic swearing (not excessive), religious profanity but no violence.

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

A spiritualist, an insane asylum, a lost little girl . . .

When Clive, anxious to distract a depressed Henrietta, begs Sergeant Frank Davis for a case, he is assigned to investigating a seemingly boring affair: a spiritualist woman operating in an abandoned schoolhouse on the edge of town who is suspected of robbing people of their valuables. What begins as an open and shut case becomes more complicated, however, when Henrietta―much to Clive’s dismay―begins to believe the spiritualist's strange ramblings.

Meanwhile, Elsie begs Clive and Henrietta to help her and the object of her budding love, Gunther, locate the whereabouts of one Liesel Klinkhammer, the German woman Gunther has traveled to America to find and the mother of the little girl, Anna, whom he has brought along with him. The search leads them to Dunning Asylum, where they discover some terrible truths about Liesel. When the child, Anna, is herself mistakenly admitted to the asylum after an epileptic fit, Clive and Henrietta return to Dunning to retrieve her. This time, however, Henrietta begins to suspect that something darker may be happening. When Clive doesn’t believe her, she decides to take matters into her own hands . . . with horrifying results.


MY REVIEW:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

So far I have read all five books in the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series and this one is my favorite! It has all the characters I have come to know well, an excellent mystery with a great twist and, of course, the 1930s Chicago setting. But what I loved the most is how the author has fleshed out, even more, the characters of our dynamic sleuthing duo, Henrietta and Clive. We get to see more of their vulnerable sides within the context of the realities of married life.

In this aptly titled Book 5 of the series, Henrietta and Clive have informally begun to solve cases together. There is a spirit medium who has settled in an abandoned schoolhouse and she may be defrauding her clients. Henrietta's sister Elsie seeks their help in locating the mother of Anna, a 4-year old child who was left in the care of Gunther, the custodian Elsie is falling for. Their search leads them to the infamous Dunning insane asylum.

I've always had an interest in mental health, especially when it's a topic in historical fiction because so little was understood in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In the author's notes, Cox mentions that Dunning Asylum actually existed, and she did a good job of including the depravity that went on there without turning the novel into a horror story. I blazed through the last hundred pages as the suspense built, much like it did in the first book of the series.

There is not a dull moment in this book. Cox's characters are so well portrayed in their physical traits, their manner of speech, their actions, their personalities as well as through their dilemmas and moments of joy. Cox sure knows how to create characters that are memorable and distinct. And they stay true to character throughout the story or series.

This book did not end in a cliffhanger as did the previous one, but there is room for more adventures for our sexy couple, and I'm now eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. Michelle Cox is a gifted storyteller and she is now on my list of favorite authors!

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy by the author. I was not told how to rate or review this book.



See my other reviews:

Book 1: A Girl Like You
Book 2: A Ring of Truth
Book 3: A Promise Given



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Michelle Cox is the author of the multiple award-winning Henrietta and Inspector Howard series as well as "Novel Notes of Local Lore," a weekly blog dedicated to Chicago's forgotten residents. She suspects she may have once lived in the 1930s and, having yet to discover a handy time machine lying around, has resorted to writing about the era as a way of getting herself back there. Coincidentally, her books have been praised by Kirkus, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist and many others, so she might be on to something. Unbeknownst to most, Michelle hoards board games she doesn't have time to play and is, not surprisingly, addicted to period dramas and big band music. Also marmalade.

Connect with the Author: website ~ facebook ~twitter ~ instagram ~ goodreads





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