Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Trouble With Magic by Madelyn Alt


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Antiques-shop clerk Maggie O'Neill was a little weirded out when she discovered her new boss Felicity was a witch. But when Felicity becomes the suspect in a local murder, Maggie must enlist Felicity's wiccan friends for help--and discover her own spellbinding talent. (From Amazon)

Teaser Tuesdays


It’s that time of week again, everyone, and time for the Tuesday Teaser. Again the reminder of what this is all about. We are asked to:


  1. Grab your current read.
  2. Let the book fall open to a random page.
  3. Share two teaser sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  4. Share the title of the book that the “teaser” comes from, so people can find the book if they like the teaser.
  5. And again remember – avoid spoilers.

Here's mine ~

A shimmer of light glinted along the upswept curve, just beneath my hovering fingers ~ so tantalizing, I ached to catch it in my hand. The flesh of my palms grew warm and began to vibrate, as though I had placed them on the casing of a computer monitor. Electricity, or something quite like it, tingled from my fingertips and up my arms. Such a strange sensation....

This teaser comes from The Trouble With Magic (Bewitching Mysteries, No. 1) by Madelyn Alt. What's YOUR teaser?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Mailbox Monday



Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.
We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week.


Here's what I got ;)


True Detectives: A Novel by Jonathan Kellerman ~ PI Aaron Fox and L.A. cop Moe Reed, interracial half-brothers who played minor roles in 2008's Bones, take center stage in bestseller Kellerman's routine 24th Alex Delaware novel. When Fox, who used to work for the LAPD, looks into the missing-persons case of 20-year-old Caitlin Frostig, he runs into conflict with Reed. The brothers end up pursuing some predictable lines of inquiry, checking out Rory Stoltz, Frostig's college boyfriend, as well as links to a filmmaker, Lem Dement, who's suspected of domestic abuse. More A-list connections surface after the investigators learn Stoltz was the personal assistant for actor Mason Book, whose rumored suicide attempt came shortly after Frostig's disappearance. The strains between Fox and Reed don't generate much heat, while the pacing and writing aren't up to Kellerman's best. Hopefully, Delaware and detective Milo Sturgis, relegated to cameos, will be back in their usual starring positions next time.





Pursuit by Karen Robards ~ Jessica Ford is a smart, quiet, and ambitious young lawyer working for one of the largest firms in Washington, D.C. Her boss, John Davenport, is a high roller in politics and good friends with the First Lady, Annette Cooper. When he can’t make it to a bar where Annette is hiding from her Secret Service detail, he calls Jess and sends her over to bundle Annette into a cab. The next thing Jess knows, she’s the sole survivor of a fiery car crash. As the country mourns the First Lady, Jess begins to think the car crash was a cover-up for more than just a drug deal. Suddenly she and Secret Service agent Mark Ryan are on the lam and unsure of whom they can trust. Everyone they know is a suspect, and Jess can’t rely on anyone, not even Mark, as they try to evade the government agents on their tail who have only one goal: to make sure Jess keeps her mouth shut. Who can Jess turn to, and how far up does this conspiracy go? A tense and erotic political thriller sure to be as popular as Robards’ previous novels.


THRESHOLD: A Hard-boiled Thriller by Bonnie Kozek (For Review)~ Honey McGuinness hasn't weathered the storm of life; she's been chewed up and spit out by it. Although she hasn't exactly landed on her feet, she's a strong, enigmatic, and untamed creature-with more than enough juice to play with the big boys. When a haunting past becomes too painful, she moves to Skid Row where she hopes to disappear among the forsaken and forgotten. But things don't work out like she hopes. And when she finds her friend Billy lying in a pool of blood with a tape recorder strapped to his waist, she is sucked right back into the slough. To avenge Billy's murder, Honey risks it all. Her fearless pursuit of the killer thrusts her straight into the murky, seedy world of sex, drugs, and greed-a sinister and depraved world of panacea and oblivion that holds particular seduction for a gal like Honey. In the final round, bloodied and defiled Honey hooks up with a big lug of a cop who's willing to lay down his life for hers-if both of them live that long. Bawdy, gritty, and unrelenting, Threshold pushes you to the edge of darkness ... and beyond.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Mama Does Time by Deborah Sharp


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Meet Mama: a true Southern woman with impeccable manners, sherbet-colored pantsuits, and four prior husbands, able to serve sweet tea and sidestep alligator attacks with equal aplomb. Mama's antics — especially her penchant for finding trouble — drive her daughters Mace, Maddie, and Marty to distraction.

One night, while settling in to look for ex-beaus on COPS, Mace gets a frantic call from her mother. This time, the trouble is real: Mama found a body in the trunk of her turquoise convertible and the police think she's the killer. It doesn't help that the handsome detective assigned to the case seems determined to prove Mama's guilt or that the cowboy who broke Mace's heart shows up at the local Booze ‘n' Breeze in the midst of the investigation. Before their mama lands in prison — just like an embarrassing lyric from a country-western song — Mace and her sisters must find the real culprit (From Amazon)

Book Giveaway - A Killer Collection by J.B. Stanley -- Autographed!

A Killer Collection: A Collectible Mystery by J. B. Stanley ~ Introducing amateur sleuth Molly Appleby, a sharp-witted writer for Collector's Weekly magazine. She has a keen knowledge of antiques, and a special fondness for collectibles. And when a fellow collector is murdered, Molly quickly develops an uncanny understanding of the criminal mind.

Now on to the RULES ~~


  1. Open to residents of the US only.
  2. Post a comment here. You MUST LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR ACTIVE BLOG ADDRESS IN YOUR COMMENT. Any comment that DOES NOT INCLUDE this information WILL BE DELETED. I have to have a way to contact you if you win!!!!
  3. If you blog this contest and leave a link in your comment so I can check it out, you will receive an extra entry to the contest.

Contest open through April 4th. The winner will be announced on April 5th.

Book Giveaway - Everyone Is Beautiful - WINNER

Congratulations

Nicole

I've sent her an email requesting her address. If I don't hear from her by Tuesday I'll choose another winner. Thanks to all who have entered.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

True Detectives by Jonathan Kellerman


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PI Aaron Fox and L.A. cop Moe Reed, interracial half-brothers who played minor roles in 2008's Bones, take center stage in bestseller Kellerman's routine 24th Alex Delaware novel. When Fox, who used to work for the LAPD, looks into the missing-persons case of 20-year-old Caitlin Frostig, he runs into conflict with Reed. The brothers end up pursuing some predictable lines of inquiry, checking out Rory Stoltz, Frostig's college boyfriend, as well as links to a filmmaker, Lem Dement, who's suspected of domestic abuse. More A-list connections surface after the investigators learn Stoltz was the personal assistant for actor Mason Book, whose rumored suicide attempt came shortly after Frostig's disappearance. The strains between Fox and Reed don't generate much heat, while the pacing and writing aren't up to Kellerman's best. Hopefully, Delaware and detective Milo Sturgis, relegated to cameos, will be back in their usual starring positions next time (From Amazon)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays


It’s that time of week again, everyone, and time for the Tuesday Teaser. Again the reminder of what this is all about. We are asked to:


  1. Grab your current read.
  2. Let the book fall open to a random page.
  3. Share two teaser sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  4. Share the title of the book that the “teaser” comes from, so people can find the book if they like the teaser.
  5. And again remember – avoid spoilers.

Here's mine ~


What she'd read and learned over the years did at least convince her that gambling was an addiction, like drugs or alcohol, and it wasn't about the gambling itself, or even the money. It was a momentary thrill, the possibilities.


This teaser comes from Saddled with Trouble (A Horse Lover's Mystery) by Michele Scott. What's YOUR teaser??

Saddled With Trouble by Michele Scott


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Quarter horse trainer Michaela Bancroft's husband is divorcing her for a 22 year-old beauty. Stunned, Michaela is trying to rein in her life when she finds her Uncle Lou murdered. And when she's nearly run off the road, she suspects she's on the fast track to being the next victim. (From Amazon)

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Proximidade Award!!

Thanks so much to Becky over at My Thoughts......Your Thoughts for sending this award to me! I am enjoying my blogging so much and meeting such wonderful people! The friendships that are formed are the best part of it all!



"This blog invests and believes in the Proximity - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this clever-written text into the body of their award."

I'm passing this award on to:

Mailbox Monday


Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week.


Last week I received ~



A Stitch in Time (Needlecraft Mystery) by Monica Ferris ~ When a damaged tapestry is discovered in a small-town church closet, needleworkers join to stitch together the clues which lead to a crafty crime.




No Rest for the Wiccan (Bewitching Mysteries, No. 4) by Madelyn Alt ~ Maggie O’Neill reluctantly volunteers to care for her bedridden, oh-so-perfect sister, Mel, but strange spirits threaten to divert her attention. Then a friend of Mel’s loses her husband to a dreadful fall, and the police call it an accidental death. Maggie’s not so sure, and sets her second sights on finding a first-degree murderer.




Framed in Lace (Needlecraft Mystery) by Monica Ferris ~ Second in the new series for mystery and needlework fans, this book offers a free cross-stitch pattern and a good yarn. When a skeleton is discovered aboard a historic ferry, the only evidence is a piece of lace-like fabric. But once Betsy Devonshire and the patrons of her needlecraft shop lend a hand, they're sure to stitch together the details of the mystery.




Hex Marks the Spot (Bewitching Mysteries, No. 3) by Madelyn Alt ~ While her boss becomes entranced with a beautiful armoire at the countywide craft bazaar, Maggie can't help noticing the Amish craftsman who made it. Though his clothes may be plain, he himself is more handsome than a man sporting a jawline-only beard has any right to be. And he seems pretty aware that the ladies love his...furniture. But when the hunky craftsman turns up dead with a strange hex symbol near his corpse, Maggie wonders if the craft involved is the witchy kind.




Ocean Waves: A Quilting Mystery by Terri Thayer ~ Quilt shop owner Dewey Pellicano intends to mix business with pleasure at the Sewing-by-the-Sea Symposium in Asilomar, California. But her plan is ruined by Mercedes Madsen, the militant conference organizer who acts more like a dictator than a director. Now tangled up in a bundle of trouble, Dewey is facing a notorious "ghost," a mysterious missing woman, a stolen heirloom sewing box, and a mountain lion on the loose. . . and that's before she stumbles across the dead body. Armed only with blueprint fabric and her wits, Dewey must try to find a pattern in this crazy quilt of a murder mystery.




Willing Spirits by Phyllis Schieber ~ Women are still from Venus and men from Mars in Schieber's strong debut, a paean to the healing power and enduring strength of female friendship. Teachers Jane Hoffman and Gwen Baker have been friends for 19 years, during which time they've helped each other come to terms with their respective childhoods, jointly raised their children and eased the pains inflicted by lovers and husbands. Now Jane finds her husband in bed with a younger woman, her unmarried daughter shows up pregnant and she herself takes up with a younger man. In turn, single mother Gwen contends with her own relationship with a married older man, the loss of her domineering mother and the impending manhood of her teenage boys. The author interweaves scenes from the pastAGwen's youthful marriage to her professor and the traumatic death of her brotherAwith the present, plotting a course for the reader to see how these two women came to be who they are today. Schieber writes with workmanlike directness. One glaring flaw is that none of the men ever seem to have a clue ("He would never understand... what made women love men in spite of the persistent disappointment"), leaving the reader to pity them as they stumble around in a testosterone cloud. Readers looking to parse the mystique of female friendships, however, and why they are sometimes the most satisfying in a woman's life, will find much to reflect on here.




Fat Chance by Rhonda Pollero ~ Finley Anderson Tanner just landed a quaint new cottage on posh Palm Beach. Not bad for an underachieving, sample-sale-shopping paralegal -- until she finds the place in shambles. She should have known better than to accept her overbearing mother's offer to sell her a house unseen at a bargain-basement mortgage rate. Good-bye Rolex dreams. At this rate, she'll be shopping designer outlets forever. When Finley discovers a skeleton in her new closet, right where her Jimmy Choos should be, a total home renovation is the least of her worries. Sure, she knows how to catch a crook, but when a girl's sandwiched between sexy P.I. Liam McGarrity and her hot new boss, defense attorney Tony Caprelli, she can only be headed for commitment. To an institution. With her fabulous (but slightly more successful) friends to keep her sane and her interfering mother out of town, Finley vows to get this bad guy -- and decorate her new house -- even if she has to pay full price.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Willing Spirits by Phyllis Schieber


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A debut novel about two women whose friendship carries them over and through the many crises in their lives. Gwen Baker and Jane Hoffman become best friends. Both schoolteachers in New York City, meet at a Board of Education committee and gradually realize how much they have in common. Gwen's husband Theodore left her some years before, and she now lives with her lover Daniel. Jane discovers her husband Arnold in bed with one of his students and throws him out of the house. Jane's mother Dorothy is dying of cancer, while Gwen's mother Amanda still lives in the South and is cynical about Gwen and her affair with Daniel. Daniel may still be married to Sandy, who still looks after their children. It's not long before Jane begins having an affair with Caleb who's much younger than she is. Her children resent this, especially her daughter Caroline, who has just found out that shes pregnant. Caroline tells Arnold about Jane. Jane and Arnold have to figure out what to do about Caroline. And Gwen has unpleasant memories of something bad that happened to her friend Rowena many years ago when they were both growing up in North Carolina. (From Amazon)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center


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When Lanie Coates moves from Houston to Cambridge, Mass., with her musician husband, Peter, she loses her support system and quickly becomes overwhelmed by her three small boys and a self-image that's sagging both literally and figuratively. In this agreeable mom-lit entry from the author of The Bright Side of Disaster, Lanie, a former painter, finds beauty in everyone but herself, and especially adores Peter, even though the two of them seem to be drifting apart. The early chapters nearly sink beneath the weight of routine housekeeping details and scenes describing the children's bodily functions and fascination with their body parts, matters most parents have experienced, but which don't necessarily make for great fiction. However, as Lanie begins to find herself through a new found passion for photography, the story gains traction, and the tension grows as her photography teacher turns out to be a smitten kitten. (From Amazon)

Lanie has just moved from the comfort of her home in Houston to Cambridge, MA with her husband and three boys (all under the age of 3) so her husband can pursue his dream of being a professional musician. Away from her family and without any friends Lanie struggles to adjust to her new surroundings. She has become so lost in taking care of her husband and children that she's lost herself. Desperate to find the person she used to be, she starts making time for herself. She starts going to the gym and when her mother sends her some of her old cameras, signs up for a photography class. It quickly become clear to her that she has a passion and talent for taking pictures. But could this rediscovery of herself cost her something she isn't ready to let go of? I was hooked on this book right from the beginning with Lanie and her 3 rambunctious boys at the park (I'm sure you can imagine it!) to the scene where her son steals her towel while she's in the shower. The relationships are both authentic and imperfect ~ making it easy for the reader to relate. A wonderful tale of love, laughter & motherhood. A story that will teach you, as it taught Lanie, that everyone genuinely is beautiful.

Dying To Meet You by Jennifer Apodaca


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Samantha Shaw-irrepressible owner of the Heart Mates dating service-knows love can be tough. Even tougher is turning up at the home of her ex-client, Faye Miller, just in time to find Faye's body. The scene gets worse when arrogant detective Logan Vance arrives, the newspapers connect Heart Mates with the murder...and Sam's own bad boy amor, P.I. Gabe Pulizzi, tries to muscle in on the action. In between dodging assassination attempts and tangling with detective Vance, Sam needs to find a led she can run with, before her remaining clients run scared and Sam loses her business, her boyfriend- and maybe her life. (From Amazon)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Guest Post ~ Katherine Center



I just wanted to say a big thank you to Katherine for stopping by my blog today :) It was is my pleasure to host her on her blog tour!




ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Katherine Center’s second novel, Everyone Is Beautiful, is featured in the March issue of Redbook. Kirkus Reviews likens it to the 1950s motherhood classic Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, and says, “Center’s breezy style invites the reader to commiserate, laughing all the way.” Booklist calls it “a superbly written novel filled with unique and resonant characters.” Katherine’s first novel, The Bright Side of Disaster, was featured in People Magazine, USA Today, Vanity Fair, the Houston Chronicle, and the Dallas Morning News, among others. BookPage named Katherine one of seven new writers to watch, and the paperback of Bright Side was a Breakout Title at Target. Katherine recently published an essay in Real Simple Family and has another forthcoming in Because I Love Her: 34 Women Writers on the Mother-Daughter Bond this April. She has just turned in her third novel, Get Lucky, and is starting on a fourth. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and two young children.



You can visit her website at http://www.katherinecenter.com/.



ABOUT THE BOOK



Lanie Coates’s life is spinning out of control. She’s piled everything she owns into a U-Haul and driven with her husband, Peter, and their three little boys from their cozy Texas home to a multiflight walkup in the Northeast. She’s left behind family, friends, and a comfortable life–all so her husband can realize his dream of becoming a professional musician. But somewhere in the eye of her personal hurricane, it hits Lanie that she once had dreams too. If only she could remember what they were.

These days, Lanie always seems to rank herself dead last–and when another mom accidentally criticizes her appearance, it’s the final straw. Fifteen years, three babies, and more pounds than she’s willing to count since the day she said “I do,” Lanie longs desperately to feel like her old self again. It’s time to rise up, fish her moxie out of the diaper pail, and find the woman she was before motherhood capsized her entire existence.

Lanie sets change in motion–joining a gym, signing up for photography classes, and finding a new best friend. But she also creates waves that come to threaten her whole life. In the end, Lanie must figure out once and for all how to find herself without losing everything else in the process.
Katherine Center’s Everyone Is Beautiful is a hugely entertaining, poignant, and charming new novel about what happens after happily ever after: how a woman learns to fall in love with her husband–and her entire life–all over again.


GUEST POST


Last weekend, I had a project.

I’d had the brilliant idea of making cupcake toppers for a fancy dinner I was going to at the Mom 2.0 Summit. On one side, I put an image of the cover of my new book, Everyone Is Beautiful. And on the other side, I put a quote from the book.

It turned out to be a heck of a project—and a ton of work—but it was so fun to get to comb through the book and mark my favorite quotes. I loved pulling them out of the book and giving them a place to shine.

All in all, I made 50 cupcake toppers—don’t even ask me what I was thinking—and here are my ten favorites:

Favorite Cupcake Quote #1:

“Something in his posture as he walked toward me said exactly what he was thinking: that none of our children ever vomited when I was there to watch them.”

Favorite Cupcake Quote #2:
“I believe the eyes see everything through the heart. And nothing in the world feels as good as resting them on someone you love.”

Favorite Cupcake Quote #3:

“Children, as they say, are very intuitive, and they always seem to know when you are just aching for a few minutes of calm to clear your head—and that’s when they really let you have it.”

Favorite Cupcake Quote #4:

“I did not want to live a life without dessert.”

Favorite Cupcake Quote #5:

“Sometimes there is no way to hold your life together. Sometimes things just have to fall apart.”

Favorite Cupcake Quote #6:

“She believed it was the things you didn’t worry about that always got you in the end, so she hedged her bets by worrying a little about everything she could think of.”

Favorite Cupcake Quote #7:

“Trust me, sweetheart,” she said. “Fear and passion are, like, practically the same thing.”

Favorite Cupcake Quote #8:

“It was as if my childhood existed in a past so distant that I’d never be able to reach it again. Which, of course, was true.”

Favorite Cupcake Quote #9:

“I remember thinking that truly, if I gained thirty pounds, I might as well be run over anyway. Because I’d have no reason to live.”

Favorite Cupcake Quote #10:

“People are always beautiful when you love them.”




My Top Ten Lines From Everyone Is Beautiful
© Katherine Center 2009 All Rights Reserved

Friday Favorites ~ Favorite Psychopath


Welcome to week 2 of my Friday Favorites. Every Friday I'm going to post my "Friday Favorites". Each week it might be something different. It could be your favorite author (new or old), your favorite genre, your favorite character or your favorite series. There are many possibilities!

This week I'm picking my favorite psychopath & cop ~ Archie & Gretchen from the Chelsea Cain books (Heartsick, Sweethearts and the forthcoming Evil at Heart). The depths of her evil ways far surprass anything Hannibal Lechter could ever dream up. Detective Archie Sheridan spent 10 years on the Beauty Killer task force, only to be captured by the killer, Gretchen, herself. After being viciously tortured until he's nearly broken, Gretch calls 911 to save his life and turn herself in. What follows is one of the most twisted relationships between a serial killer and police officer I've ever read. You'll find yourself turning the pages as fast as you can to find out what twisted, evil thing Gretchen has planned and how Archie reacts. I was more than excited to find out there is more to come with these two (what does that say about me?) and am counting the days until the August release of Evil At Heart is released! For those that are fans of Hannibal Lechter/Silence of the Lambs ~ this series was written for you!





What's your favorite this week? Don't forget to comment and leave a link to YOUR Friday favorite.



Book Giveaway - Everyone is Beautiful by Katherine Center (ARC)

When Lanie Coates moves from Houston to Cambridge, Mass., with her musician husband, Peter, she loses her support system and quickly becomes overwhelmed by her three small boys and a self-image that's sagging both literally and figuratively. In this agreeable mom-lit entry from the author of The Bright Side of Disaster, Lanie, a former painter, finds beauty in everyone but herself, and especially adores Peter, even though the two of them seem to be drifting apart. The early chapters nearly sink beneath the weight of routine housekeeping details and scenes describing the children's bodily functions and fascination with their body parts, matters most parents have experienced, but which don't necessarily make for great fiction. However, as Lanie begins to find herself through a newfound passion for photography, the story gains traction, and the tension grows as her photography teacher turns out to be a smitten kitten.

Now on to the RULES ~~

  1. Open to residents of the US only.
  2. Post a comment here. You MUST LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR ACTIVE BLOG ADDRESS IN YOUR COMMENT. Any comment that DOES NOT INCLUDE this information WILL BE DELETED. I have to have a way to contact you if you win!!!!
  3. If you blog this contest and leave a link in your comment so I can check it out, you will receive an extra entry to the contest.

Contest open through March 27th. Winner will be announced on March 28th.

Book Giveaway -- Intent To Kill -- WINNER!

Congratulations

She Became a Butterfly

I've sent her an email requesting her address. If I don't hear from her by Monday I'll choose another winner. Thanks to all who have entered.

Friday Fill Ins


1. Why do we have to exercise?

2. Checking email and text messages are now habits.

3. I haven't had a good night sleep in a very long time.

4. I had never heard the phrase "s**t and two makes eight" (from a former co-worker) and it still makes no sense to me!

5. I'll continue to do for others the way I always do.

6. How was I to know they'd didn't care what I thought?

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to the market & reading, tomorrow my plans include reading & sleeping and Sunday, I want to read & sleep some more!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays


It’s that time of week again, everyone, and time for the Tuesday Teaser. Again the reminder of what this is all about. We are asked to:
  1. Grab your current read.
  2. Let the book fall open to a random page.
  3. Share two teaser sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  4. Share the title of the book that the “teaser” comes from, so people can find the book if they like the teaser.
  5. And again remember – avoid spoilers.

Here's mine ~

One of the twins then turned back to the door and cast a dazzling smile in the direction of a tall, attractive man in a leather coat and faded blue jeans. After he removed his coat and kissed the waiting sister lightly on the lips, he shook hands with Murphy & Kinsley, as though it were the first time he was meeting both of them.

This teaser comes from Chili Con Corpses: A Supper Club Mystery by J.B. Stanley. What's YOUR teaser?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Chili Con Corpses by J.B. Stanley


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In Stanley's delicious third supper club mystery to feature the Flab Five (after 2007's Fit to Die), lovable librarian James, newly svelte deputy-in-training Lucy, trivia maven Bennett, spaced-out herbalist Gillian and self-effacing high school teacher Lindy sign up for a Mexican/Spanish-themed Fix 'n' Freeze cooking class in Quincy Gap, Va. Their classmates include Shenandoah Star-Ledger editor Murphy Alistair and her old college friends, drop-dead gorgeous twins Parker and Kinsley Willis. When Parker is murdered during a school field trip to Luray Caverns, the amateur sleuths vow to catch the killer. Spicing the proceedings are James's struggles to lower his salt intake, recover from his stormy breakup with Lucy and figure out what to do with a winning lottery ticket found in the library book drop. Heavy on fun, light on gore, this savory mystery comes complete with yummy recipes. (From Amazon)

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.

We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week.


Last week I received ~



Die for You: A Novel by Lisa Unger (ARC)


Isabel and Marcus Raines are the perfect couple. She is a well known novelist; he is a brilliant inventor of high-tech games. They’ve been married for five years and still enjoy a loving romance. But one morning, Marcus says he loves her, leaves for work, and disappears into thin air.Isabel relentlessly tried to reach him when he doesn’t return home. But when his call finally comes, she hears only aman’s terrified scream. The police are of no use. The screams she heardmay be a television show, a prank, they tell her.Men leave. They leave all the time.Isabel races to Marcus’s office, trying to find some answers. Instead she finds herself in the middle of an FBI raid, and she is knocked unconscious.When she awakes in a hospital, she learns that everyone Marcus worked with is dead.She returns home to find their apartment ransacked, and the police are there. They urge her to check her bank accounts. Her money—their money—is gone.Then the police discover that Marcus Raines is a dead man. Long dead. Years dead. Isabel has been married to a stranger.And now the chase is on, because Isabel will not rest until she finds the truth about theman she loved, who he was, where he’s gone, and how he was able to deceive her so completely.



Death and the Lit Chick: A St. Just Mystery by G.M. Malliet ~



As the wildly successful darling of the publishing industry, chick lit mystery writer Kimberlee Kalder is the guest of honor at an exclusive writers' conference at Dalmorton Castle in Scotland. But jealousy and resentment are soon replaced with shock when Kimberlee is found dead at the bottom of the castle's bottle dungeon. Who didn't want to see prima donna Kimberlee brutally extinguished like one of her ill-fated characters? It's up to Detective Chief Inspector St. Just to track down the true killer in a castle full of cagey mystery connoisseurs who live and breathe malicious murder and artful alibis . . .






The Lost Hours by Karen White (ARC) ~



When Piper Mills was twelve, she helped her grandfather bury a box that belonged to her grandmother in the backyard. For twelve years, it remained untouched.Now a near fatal riding accident has shattered Piper’s dreams of Olympic glory. After her grandfather’s death, she inherits the house and all its secrets, including a key to a room that doesn’t exist—or does it? And after her grandmother is sent away to a nursing home, she remembers the box buried in the backyard. In it are torn pages from a scrapbook, a charm necklace—and a newspaper article from 1929 about the body of an infant found floating in the Savannah River. The necklace’s charms tell the story of three friends during the 1920s— each charm added during the three months each friend had the necklace and recorded her life in the scrapbook. Piper always dismissed her grandmother as not having had a story to tell. And now, too late, Piper finds she might have been wrong.



Shanghai Girls: A Novel by Lisa See (ARC)


May and Pearl, two sisters living in Shanghai in the mid-1930s, are beautiful, sophisticated, and well-educated, but their family is on the verge of bankruptcy. Hoping to improve their social standing, May and Pearl’s parents arrange for their daughters to marry “Gold Mountain men” who have come from Los Angeles to find brides.But when the sisters leave China and arrive at Angel’s Island (the Ellis Island of the West)—where they are detained, interrogated, and humiliated for months—they feel the harsh reality of leaving home. And when May discovers she’s pregnant the situation becomes even more desperate. The sisters make a pact that no one can ever know. A novel about two sisters, two cultures, and the struggle to find a new life in America while bound to the old, Shanghai Girls is a fresh, fascinating adventure from beloved and bestselling author Lisa See.

Final Notice by Jo Dereske


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Librarians seldom have as much fun--or as many direct references to dead bodies--as Miss Helma Zuckas, master sleuth and loaner of all things literary. When Miss Zuckas, librarian to the core, starts digging in the family archives, she turns up some deadly secrets. Unless she can learn the whole story, the final chapters are about to be written as a tale of mystery, mayhem...and murder. (From Amazon)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Holy Catfish!

Holy Catfish! I just got hit on the head and recalled that I have not updated this since Hammertime was in the charts... You would not believe how hard it is being waited on hand and foot and generally lounging around. I'm a blogger so I will though!

I am totally exhausted with setting fire to people wearing Crocs, learning to speak Japanese, just generally being a doormat to anyone unfortunate to cross my path, my day seems to be a litany of stuff and giggles from the first cockadoodledoo from the rooster to whenever. I am convinced that I absolutely deserve this after all my hard work. Deal with it!

I send you kisses I will update you with my nefarious activities as soon as I get a chance. Until I need your shoulder to cry on. Just the way life is!

I saw this on Wendy's Minding Spot, and I just HAD to try it myself!

Made with the "Lazy Bloggers Post Generator". Try yours today! And please make sure to come back and comment with the link to your post.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hung Out To Die by Sharon Short


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Small-town laundress Josie Toadfern has her own fair share of dirty laundry -- namely the Toadfern clan! Ostracized from the family unit ever since her parents dumped eight-year-old Josie in a local orphanage, the stain-busting dynamo's stunned to find herself invited to crabby old family matriarch "Mamaw" Toadfern's Thanksgiving celebration -- and too curious to refuse.

But an even bigger shock is waiting for her there: Josie's long lost mom and pop, blandly unapologetic and full of new -- probably illegal -- get-rich-quick schemes. And when a dead body is tossed into the already explosive chaos of bitter feelings, intra-family feuding, and incinerated turkey meat, Josie finds herself in the most uncomfortable position of having to prove her disreputable dad innocent of murder. But cleaning up messes is Josie's business. And sometimes blood is thicker than cranberry sauce -- and a much more difficult stain to eliminate.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Favorites ~ Favorite Cozy Series


So I've decided to try something new and I hope you'll join me;) Every Friday I'm going to post my "Friday Favorites". Each week it might be something different. It could be your favorite author (new or old), your favorite genre, your favorite character or your favorite series. There are many possibilities!

This week I'm going to start off by with my favorite cozy series. Surprisingly I'm relatively new to the cozy genre. Of course that didn't stop me from jumping right in. When I joined PBS a friend introduced me to my first cozy and I've been hooked every since. It was a good thing to as I felt I was running out of books to read. Now I have thousands to choose from.

One of the very first series I started was the Gourmet Girls series by Jessica Conant-Park & SusanConant. It is my absolute favorite. The books feature Chloe Carter ~ grad student and lover of all things food. From the first book ~ Steamed to the latest ~ Fed Up, we follow Chloe as she goes to school, falls in love (stays in love?), has a fantastic best friend and seems to stumble on one murder after another. A fantastic mix of humor, romance & mystery. (And the authors are fantastic too!) If you haven't checked this series out yet, I hope you will.


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What's your favorite this week? Don't forget to leave a link to YOUR Friday Favorite.

Friday Fill Ins


And...here we go!


1. When I look to the left, I see my printer and phone.

2. The family room is the room that has the best view in my home.

3. Let it work out.

4. Dirty deeds done dirt cheap!

5. Taking care of our kids is a responsibility that all qualified citizens must share.

6. If you have any free time feel free to volunteer.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to sleeping and reading, tomorrow my plans include sleeping and reading and Sunday, I want to sleep and read!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Book Giveaway - Intent To Kill by James Grippando



Intent to Kill: A Novel of Suspense by James Grippando

A fallen baseball star must use his new skills as Boston's king of sports radio to outwit a dangerous caller and prove—live and on the air—that the hit-and-run that killed his wife was no accident.
Ryan James once had it all. With a beautiful wife and a two-year-old daughter, he was just one minor-league baseball game away from realizing his lifelong dream of playing in the majors when the unthinkable happened: his wife, Chelsea, was killed in a hit-and-run accident while driving to Ryan's last game of the season.
Years later, Ryan is a popular "shock jock" at Boston's top-rated sports radio show, doing his best to raise his daughter alone. But his love for Chelsea endures, his insomnia persists, and the fact that the police never found the drunk who ran her off the road makes closure impossible. Then, on the third anniversary of Chelsea's death, chilling words from an anonymous tipster turn the accident into a homicide: "I know who did it."
As the police scramble, Ryan makes a stunning discovery. The tip—a strangely coded message—may have come from Chelsea's own brother, a young man affectionately known as "Babes," who has an autism-related disorder. But why would Babes have withheld this information for three years? And what finally made him come forward anonymously?
The demand for answers sends Babes on the run. Through a series of shocking on-air conversations with Babes, Ryan and Emma Carlisle, the dedicated prosecutor on the case, unravel a cover-up that reaches back to the night of Chelsea's death and that may implicate one of New England's most powerful families. It's a search that will forever change the lives of Ryan, Babes, and Emma—if they live to tell about it.


***** Please note that this is a book club edition/early writing of this book. It is being re-published with some "exciting and important changes to the plot and characters in the final version". This newer version will be released on April 28th. *****

Now on to the RULES ~~
  1. Open to residents of the US only.
  2. Post a comment here. You MUST LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR ACTIVE BLOG ADDRESS IN YOUR COMMENT. Any comment that DOES NOT INCLUDE this information WILL BE DELETED. I have to have a way to contact you if you win!!!!
  3. If you blog this contest and leave a link in your comment so I can check it out, you will receive an extra entry to the contest.


Contest open through March 19th. Winner will be chosen on March 20th.

Book Giveaway - Fed Up ~~ WINNER

Congratulations
Candie
Candie is the winner of my autographed copy of Fed Up. I've sent her an email requesting her address. If I don't hear from her by Friday I'll choose another winner. Thanks to all who have entered.

Cover Attraction


Cover Attraction is being hosted by Marcia at the Printed Page. What a great idea! I am jumping on the bandwagon because I really like to look at book covers. It's as simple as that.


Title ~ Serendipity

Author ~ Louise Shaffer

Release Date ~ March 24th

A child of theatrical royalty, Carrie Manning is having a hard time getting her own act together. Thirty-seven, aimless, and having just buried a famous mother she never understood, she is desperate to uncover her family’s mysterious past in the hopes that it will help her understand herself.

Carrie’s search reveals the fascinating life stories of her estranged grandmother Lu, a glamorous Broadway star whose dreams came with a price; her great grandmother Mifalda, who gave up everything to come to America as a sixteen-year-old Italian bride; and her father, Bobby, the charismatic Broadway genius who wrote some of Lu’s greatest musicals and died tragically young. At the heart of Carrie’s discoveries lies the reason for her mother’s complicated life, and a dark secret that has been buried for thirty years.
See my review here ~ Review

What’s your favorite cover attraction this week? Don’t forget to leave a link to your Cover Attraction post.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hounding The Pavement by Judi McCoy


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The newest dog-walker on Manhattan’s Upper East Side has a talent—she can hear what her canine clientele is thinking. So when a dog’s owner turns up dead, Ellie must bone up on her sleuthing—and perk up her ears to find a killer. (From Amazon)

Teaser Tuesdays


It’s that time of week again, everyone, and time for the Tuesday Teaser. Again the reminder of what this is all about. We are asked to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share two teaser sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • Share the title of the book that the “teaser” comes from, so people can find the book if they like the teaser.
  • And again remember – avoid spoilers.

Here's mine ~

His phone rang and he tossed his pencil on his desk. Still frowning, he figured he'd better answer it. In this business, a lead could come from anywhere at any time.

This teaser comes from Hounding the Pavement (Ellie Engleman, Dog Walker Mysteries, No. 1) by Judi McCoy. What's YOUR teaser?

Monday, March 9, 2009