This review was originally posted at Dollycas’s Thoughts June 14, 2011.
by Roseanne Serra
Pamela Dorman Books
Published by The Penguin Group
|Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent|
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Viking, a division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
New American Library
Published by The Penguin Group
Tom and Abby Stuart seem to be a couple with the perfect life until their wonderful 12-year old daughter, Caitlin, disappears without a trace. The only witness to Caitlin’s disappearance is the family dog. Abby finds solace at church, Tom endures by tracking every lead and keeping their daughter’s story out there. Their marriage starts to fall apart as they are both pulled in different directions. Abby needs closure and Tom needs to keep hope alive.
Four years later their world is rocked again when Caitlin is found alive…..
I think the book cover synopsis gives away too much of the story and loses some of the suspense. That being said it is a gripping story. The psychological part of the story is very compelling as all three main characters deal with serious issues. Losing a child is devastating enough but having them return after time, while fantastic, trying to acclimate together again can be overwhelming.
The entire story is told from Tom’s point of view and his pain, agony, fear, mistrust, sadness and grief are all poured out on these pages. As his childhood memories are revealed you feel even more of these emotions. At times I thought he was hallucinating visions of his daughter, his mind trying to cope. Maybe because I was taking this journey so closely with Tom I found myself really not liking Abby and her relationship with her pastor really upset me.
This author has a voice I will continue to watch. This is a smart novel with keen insight. There are many layers in this story that add to the story making it different from other stories with a similar premise. Parents will hug their kids tight after reading this all too real nightmare.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from New American Library. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
I really want to share this book so I am having a special giveaway.
U.S. & CANADIAN RESIDENTS
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.
This review was originally posted at Dollycas’s Thoughts on February 20, 2010.
You will be “CAUGHT” from the first page and you will not be RELEASED even after the last word.
If you have not pre-ordered this book, you should do it NOW.
This is definitely not a book to me missed.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Dutton Publishing, a Division of The Penguin Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
When I saw the title of this book, I knew I had to “meet” this author. I immediately wrote her to ask her to guest post and was so happy when she agreed. Then the book arrived and I loved it and could wait for her to get here! She is here today so help me give her a warm welcome.
First of all I want to thank Lori for inviting me to hang out with her today. She’s one of the many avid readers/reviewers out there whom I’ve gotten to know through Facebook. I love Facebook, BTW. Anyway, I’ve developed a new respect for all of you out there who love reading so much and are so generous with your reviews. So many people are quick to tell you what they don’t like but forget to mention a good experience. This happens in all walks of life, not just book reviews, and I’m sorry to say I’ve also been guilty of it.
Not anymore! The next time I get a waiter/waitress who does a really nice job, I’m filling out the comment card on the table. If there is none, I’ll make sure I let him/her know I appreciated the good service.
Anyway, I got off topic for a minute, but I wanted y’all to know how much writers appreciate it when you tell us if you enjoyed our books. Enough of that and onto the post.
When I asked Lori what I should blog about, she suggested I talk about myself and how I got the idea for the book and the series. So here goes.
I’m a retired RN with two grown kids and four adorable grandchildren. Unlike most writers, I wasn’t much of a book reader growing up. My goal was always to be a nurse and marry my high school sweetheart—– both of which I did! About 20 years ago, I got the first wild hair that I wanted to write. I’d always known I could express myself better on paper, even used letters when hubby and I would fight. It wasn’t until I went back to college and took a creative writing class that I really got the itch.
So, I started my first novel about a nurse who was kidnapped and smuggled into Columbia. It’s a beautiful love story, and since I was chasing the romance genre, I thought it would be my breakout novel.
Hello, New York Times Bestsellers’ List… I thought.
Little problem here. My two heroes and the fact that “romance in Third World countries doesn’t sell” (their words, not mine) got me rejected faster than you can imagine. I suppose all the explosions and dead bodies had something to do with it.
It wasn’t until I signed with my agent that I had a rude awakening. “You know you don’t write romance, right?”
It was as if a light bulb had gone off in my head, and it released me from all the romance rules I had been struggling with. I could now write the story exactly as it played out in my head.
Two completed manuscripts later, my agent submitted the first of a proposed paranormal mystery series to an editor at Berkley. It’s the story of five sisters, one of whom dies and comes back to help solve her murder. My ghost is trash talking and irreverent and says exactly what she thinks. The editor loved the story, even quoted some of the ghost’s best lines, but…
Sheesh! I hate that word.
She was looking for a new cozy series and said she’d have to ruin the ghost story to make it work. She asked if I could write a cozy, more specifically a “foodie” since a series like that had just ended.
I’d only heard the word cozy mentioned up to this point, so I said no. I had just broken out from under the romance chain of rules. No way I wanted more… but (again that word) I would sleep on it and let her know. Since most of the foodies out there were about gourmet food, my first thought was that even if I agreed to write it, there was no way I could pull it off. I’m number 8 of 9 children, and I grew up on casseroles. I hate gourmet food.
Prepared to tell my agent to ask one of her other clients if they wanted to give it a shot, I fell asleep with all this on my mind. About three in the morning, I shot up in bed with the idea of Jordan, my heroine, being the exact opposite of every other “foodie” protag out there. What if she unexpectedly had the opportunity to write a food column for a small newspaper, despite the fact that not only did she know nothing about cooking, but she also survived on fast food, fried bologna sandwiches, and Hostess Ho Hos.
I brewed a cup of coffee then ran to the computer. In less than a week, I had a synopsis and three chapters. When I hit Send to my agent, I wondered if both Jordan and I could pull it off. Two weeks later, I had a three book deal from Berkley.
So my message today is never say never. Sometimes being clueless isn’t the worst thing. And as a side note, I just got my edits for book 2 in the series. My editor wants my love interest to have a little more air time.
Go figure!! I guess I write romantic mystery.
BUT I just got dinged on Amazon because of it. So now it’s my turn to find out how you feel about a touch of romance mixed in with your murders and mysteries.
Great Post Liz! Don’t let one reviewer ever get you down!! If everyone liked the same thing the world would be so boring.
Liver Let Die (A Clueless Cook Mystery)
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by The Penguin Group
A Brand New Series
Cover Illustrated by Sarah Oberrender
Cover Design by Ben Perini
Jordan McAllister wants to be a sports columnist, but she follows her boyfriend to Dallas and sports columnist jobs are few and far between. Even worse her boyfriend breaks up with her after she has turned her life upside down for him.
The only job she can find working at a newspaper is at the Ranchero Globe writing the Personals ads, while she awaits her dream job. After just three months on the job she is summoned to the editor’s office. Not having a clue what she did, she slowly makes her way there. She quickly learns he wants to offer her a job in addition to her Personals work. He wants her to fill in for the Culinary Reporter who is on leave recovering from an accident.
Jordan knows absolutely nothing about food, but this may take her one step closer to becoming a sports columnist, so she decides she will figure out the details later and accepts the job.
Her first assignment puts her right into the hot water. She really is trying to stay away from red meat and she has been sent to review a local steakhouse. She asks the waiter for a recommendation and he suggests the foie gras. As soon as she sees it she knows there is no way she is going to be able to eat it, so she tries to go unnoticed as she slides the plate full of food into her purse. She has ruined a good handbag, but that is nothing, when the next night she finds her waiter dead in her building and he had her name and phone number in his pocket.
She is now the prime suspect and could end up being served as the main course on the real killer’s menu.
I loved this book on so many levels. First of all I am one of the pickiest eaters on the planet. It drives my family nuts but my dad was the same way. Growing up my mother owned a restaurant and was a wonderful cook. She loved to cook casseroles but about the only one dad and I would eat was her tuna casserole. The rest ended up as specials on her restaurant’s menu. Foie Gras was never on the menu but Liver & Onions was a weekly special. This story reminded me of all those dishes she used to serve.
Now, my husband is the chef of the family, so like Jordan I don’t know too much about food. This whole idea of someone like Jordan writing a “Kitchen Kupboard” column is something easy for me to relate too. The recipes in the back are a nice bonus that I will pass along.
I don’t want to give to much away but foodies and non foodies, will love how this “clueless cook” makes it work. Even a dead body and slew of suspects doesn’t stop Jordan from returning back to the steakhouse at the owner’s request, of course she is going to do a little snooping along the way. It wouldn’t be a cozy mystery without a nosy protagonist.
Liz has a winner start to her new series. Great characters, a really good mystery and what may bud into a little romance for Jordan. I especially liked all the connections of the people in Jordan’s apartment building, meshing together as a family. It is going to be fun watching this characters develop as the series continues and Jordan gets herself into more sticky situations.
A savory cozy not to be missed!!!!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Berkley Prime Crime. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Are you ready for a
Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies of the tasty book to giveaway!!!
U.S. and Canadian Residents Only
Since I lost all mt Google Friend Connect and Email Followers in the move.
Followers who follow anyway on the list will receive
5 Bonus Entries for each way they follow!
If you help me by Publicizing this giveaway or this new blog you will receive
an additional 5 Bonus Entries for each link you provide!
You will receive 5 more Bonus Entries if you leave a comment for Liz!
You do not have to be a follower or publicize to enter
but I hope you will see something you like here and join.
Contest will end November 9 at 11:59 p.m. CST
Winners will be chosen by Random.org
This book caught my eye some time ago on Staci’s blog Life In The Thumb. At first when I learned that it was book 11 in the series I was a little hesitant as I am one of those people that has to read series in order, but after seeing Staci’s review and hearing more about it I moved it to the top of my To-Be-Read pile last week. Thank You Staci!!!
The Girl in the Green Raincoat: A Tess Monaghan Novel
Published by HarperCollins
Cover Design by Emin Mancheril
Cover Photo by Charles Gullung/Corbis
11th in the series
Tess Monaghan is a private investigator in Baltimore, but unfortunately as she enters the third trimester of her pregnancy she is put on complete bed rest. This is especially hard for a woman who uses her keen observations to solve crimes. Now all she gets to observe is what she can see out her window. Pretty boring stuff, the same people walk by every day, some walking dogs or kids. A young woman wearing a green raincoat walking a dog goes by every day without fail. Tess is intrigued by her and tries to figure out her story just by what she can see from her bed.
Then one day the dog goes flying by Tess’s window and the girl in the green raincoat is nowhere in sight. Certain that something is really wrong. Tess decides she must solve the mystery. What happened to the girl in the green raincoat? Little does she know she is putting herself and her baby in danger as she delves into her quest to find the answers she needs.
The book reads quite easy as a stand alone. I have not read any of the books in this series and totally enjoyed it. The whole Rear Windowesque theme was thoroughly entertaining.
Some of Tess’s superstitions added quite a bit of humor along with the zany actions of Dempsey. It is easy to feel for the character of Tess as she not only deals with being bedridden but deals with questions about her future, the normal pregnancy hormones and the fears of a high risk pregnancy. Her boyfriend is a gem, her best friend Whitney is a stitch and her dad is the typical dad, there when you need him.
This story is short, well paced and gives us a peek into the world of Tess Monaghan. This may be the first story I have read in this series but it won’t be the last. I also want to check out some of Laura Lippman’s stand alone novels.
If you want to find out more about Laura Lippman check out her web page.
This book came from my own person collection.
A Companion Cookbook
By Katie Bonner
Manager – Artisan Alley
We were introduced to Katie in Lorraine’s first book in the Victoria Square series A Crafty Killing.Artisans Alley is the cornerstone of Victoria Square. It is an old applesauce warehouse renovated into a collection of booths for artists and craft dealers to sell their wares. Katie’s original dream was to open a Bed & Breakfast but plans changed when her husband died in a car accident and he already owned part of the Alley. Shortly thereafter, his partner is killed and Katie found herself sole owner of Artisan’s Alley, which turns into a dangerous job until the killer is tracked down.
Since setting things in order at the alley Katie realized that it was her husband who was the real cook in the family. She has been sustaining herself on just sandwiches for far too long. Katie has now gone back to preparing the food she grew up with, the food her Aunt Lizzie taught her to make. As she becomes more than just an “adequate cook” she has generously decided to share her favorite recipes and those from some of her friends on Victoria Square with all of us in this wonderful cookbook.
This is an excellent little cookbook. My husband and I both come from a long line of excellent cooks. My mom even owned a small home town cafe, as did her mom. My husband has always been the main chef in our house but even more so since my accident. I couldn’t wait to share this cookbook with him. He had it full of post-it markers in minutes! “This green bean recipe sounds like something by grandma used to make!” “This pie is perfect for Thanksgiving!” The comments went on and on. This book is already a family favorite.
Today there are so many fiction books that include recipes for food mentioned in the stories. Cozy mysteries are famous for this. The problem with that is that right after you finish the book you have to make sure you copy down any recipes you might like to try because you know when you are ready to bake it you won’t remember which book that recipe was in. If you are like me and share your books, if you don’t write the recipe down, it goes right out the door with the book. Thankfully a lot of authors put the recipes on their websites or you can go to Mystery Lovers Kitchen for some of the recipes found in the books.
I love this new idea of companion cookbooks and I hope the trend continues. Recipes To Die For: A Victoria Square Cookbook has found a permanent home in my kitchen with recipes like Sweet and Sour Green Beans, Pumpkin Chiffon Pie, Aunt Lizzie’s Cream Scones and drinks perfect for Halloween like the Black Widow or Corpse Reviver. There are fun little anecdotes before each recipe. This is truly a one-of-kind cookbook that should be in your kitchen as well.
The next book in the Victoria Square series The Walled Flower
comes out February 7, 2012, but is available to pre-order today.
To find out more about Lorraine visit her web page at http://lorrainebartlett.com/
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This review was originally posted over at Dollycas’s Thoughts on October 7, 2011.
|Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent|
This review originally was posted over at Dollycas’s Thoughts December 22, 2010.
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
A Division of Penguin Publishing
A Cupcake Bakery Mystery
2nd in the Series
Release Date: January 4, 2011
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received these books free from Berkley Prime Crime, a Division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This review was originally posted over at Dollycas’s Thoughts on February 14, 2010.
A Cupcake Bakery Mystery
This first book in this new series gives us a fresh baked “who-dun-it” that will have you craving for cupcakes from the first page to the last.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from The Berkley Publishing Group a division of Penguin Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
About 400 blogs are participating in this hop!!
I hope you will HOP to all you can and enter all their giveaways!!
Spooktacular Escape #1 Includes:
Charlotte Caine isn’t called “the Vampire Chef” because she’s a member of New York’s undead community-she just cooks for them. Her restaurant, Nightlife, is poised to take the top slot in the world of “haute noir” cuisine.
But when a drunk customer causes a scene, a glowing review from the city’s top food critic doesn’t seem likely-especially when that customer winds up dead on Nightlife’s doorstep. Now, with her brother under suspicion for the murder, Charlotte has to re-open her restaurant and clear her brother’s name-before they both become dinner.
As party planner Presley Parker investigates a murder during a séance party at San Francisco’s famous Winchester Mystery House, she doesn’t need a Ouija board to tell her someone’s trying to scare her to death…
Plus some bookish swag!
Spooktacular Escape Giveaway #2 Includes
Is nothing sacred? The last thing Carmela Bertrand and her friend Ava expected to bear witness to in St. Tristan’s Church was a crime. But now a beloved member of their scrapbooking circle lies lifeless next to a smashed statue of St. Sebastien-and a mysterious hooded figure has absconded with an antique crucifix.
As Carmela and Ava are drawn deeper into New Orleans’ French Quarter in search of the missing crucifix, they may need the help of more than a few patron saints. Because this is one killer they don’t want to cross…
Plus some bookish swag!
Spooktacular Escape #3 Includes:
My Advance Reader Copy
so I have to ask you to
These books can be shared but never, ever sold.
They are also paperback and may not have the fancy cover of the real book and may have errors and the story may even have been changed before the final book was printed.
There have been some people trying to sell these precious gifts and if that continues the Advance Reader Copy will no longer exist. It is very important to educate every reader on this issue and it is a cause I hold dear. Publishers and Authors make no money from these copies but graciously share them with bloggers like me to get the word out about their books. They deserve to be paid for all their hard work. I love sharing my books with you and want to continue that forever so if you do ever see an ARC for sale, don’t buy it, report the seller, and buy the actual book. You will enjoy it more. If you are lucky enough to win a Advanced Reader Copy, treasure it, put in on your keeper shelf, and accept it as a wonderful gift which it is.
Plus some bookish swag!
You can enter one, two or three giveaways,
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Winners will be chosen by Random.org and
announced on November 1.
Winners will also be notified via email.
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