Sunday, March 31, 2019

Review: Bone Music

Bone Music Bone Music by Christopher Rice
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thought this book was amazing! There were so many interesting plots/subplots that I needed to read it slower than usual but wanted to just keep going! Definitely a book I recommend you try.
I read this on Kindle and, at times, listened to it on Audible. I liked the narrator on this. It was easy going back and forth between the two formats. Go with what works for you.

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Saturday, March 30, 2019

Review: The Demon Next Door

The Demon Next Door The Demon Next Door by Bryan Burrough
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had no idea who this serial killer was when I chose this audiobook. I actually, even with the description, didn’t realize it was true until the narrator read the part of looking him up. I did and was surprised that it wasn’t a fictional horror book. I thought it was interesting that the author went to high school with the killer, and then went back to get the story. It gave a personal touch to the town. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for Brenda with the way the town appeared to embrace and cocoon her attacker. The book gives much to think about in that regard. If you read true crime, this is probably a book that will interest you.
The narrator was okay. His enthusiasm kind of creeped me out at times. Other than that, he did well.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Review: Dangerous Dreams: A Story of the Lost Colony of Roanoke

Dangerous Dreams: A Story of the Lost Colony of Roanoke Dangerous Dreams: A Story of the Lost Colony of Roanoke by Mike Rhynard
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Dangerous Dreams started slow for me but was worth it! This book contains a lot of history along with a lot of imagination. I loved the story of Emily and Ishna. I wasn’t so engrossed in Allie. The author did a lot of research to make the book as close to what happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke as possible. I could imagine much of what he wrote as really happening. His descriptions and inclusion of the Lakota language helped bring the book to life. I appreciate him including the Sioux rites, cultures from multiple Native American tribes, the medicine wheel as well as the Viking and Spanish explorations. There is so much that went into this book! While it started slowly for me, once it picked up, it was impossible to put down.
This book does have mature themes and graphic violence. Please keep your feelings about that in mind when you are deciding to read this book. If you are uncertain about it, I suggest you request a sample or borrow it from the library. I believe the book would make a good book club read. The author has book club questions on his website. Reviews are opinions that may differ from yours. I recommend that if you are reading these reviews, which suggests you have an interest, you should read the book. I won this book from Goodreads. I appreciate the generosity of Goodreads and the author. All opinions expressed are from my feelings while reading the book.

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Review: Jar of Hearts

Jar of Hearts Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It started slow but then picked up and held me engrossed all day. I totally forgot what I had planned to do and just listened. It is explicit and graphic so if that bothers you, pick something else. It was bizarre but I was entertained. There were some twists that I saw coming but others I was surprised. The narrator on this one was awesome. I would definitely listen to other narration by Jennifer LaVoy.

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Monday, March 25, 2019

Review: The Trial of Lizzie Borden

The Trial of Lizzie Borden The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Robertson
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

The story was engrossing. I wish I had bought it in print or ebook though. The narration killed it for me. It drove me crazy and distracted me from the book. The story itself is worth reading. Just do yourself a favor and read it in print or ebook. Definitely try the sample first. I plan to get a print copy. I really like the book.

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Sunday, March 24, 2019

Review: Southern Sass and Killer Cravings

Southern Sass and Killer Cravings Southern Sass and Killer Cravings by Kate Young
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the first book I have read from the author. It is the first book in

I was totally caught up in the story. I am a domestic abuse survivor. I was surprised to see that Marygene was also a survivor. I totally paid attention to how this was treated. The author did an awesome job with it. It was a secondary story but was not graphic or excessive. It was a part of the reason why Marygene was returning home. It was something she needs to deal with. I was heartened to see the author did not toss out the reason and then never mention it again. I was able to connect with Marygene as she tried to figure out and deal with the many emotions that come with leaving. Amazingly, in my opinion, the author struck a balance between the mystery, (not using him as a suspect which had to have been tantalizing), potential love interests and her need to process what she went through. I thought the situation was handled honestly and sensitivity. I hope that future books continue with her growth as a background story. Domestic abuse still carries with it guilt and shame, even as more victims speak out. It took me almost 10 years to be able to talk about some of my experience. Books, like this one, are important because they not only let us identify with a main character, they help break through the silence. Thank you Ms. Young.
The mystery was well done. I don’t like to talk a lot about the mystery. I would rather let you figure it out yourself. There are several potential suspects. I found myself second guessing, and still trying to decide on who, in the last part of the book. I liked many characters. More I liked the exploration of relationships. Despite the serious subject, the book never felt heavy to me. I loved Mama popping in. She made me laugh out loud. I’m kind of hoping that her love for her children, along with her need to make atonement to them, will keep her in the series. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.
There are several recipes included. I definitely need a waffle iron. The recipes are unique, at least to me. They can look intimidating, I’m not a baker so they did look it to me, but the cookies were pretty easy and wow! Very much worth it. I love the author’s trick of using ziplock bags to mix in. I am planning to make those peach rolls. They made me drool when I was reading. That waffle iron I mentioned...potato waffles! Another diner menu item that had me drooling while reading. Maybe I can borrow a waffle iron.

This book is due out at the end of May, just in time for beach reading. I won an advanced paperback copy. I had some family issues pop up while reading it so it took longer than I expected to read it. I voluntarily reviewed the book as I try to review all the books I read. All the thoughts of the book are my opinions. As always, if a book interests you, I encourage you to read it. If you aren’t certain it is for you, please request it from your library or a library app.

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Friday, March 15, 2019

Review: Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself

Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself by William W. Li
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There is a lot of information in this book. The good thing is that it was written so that I could understand it. There have been books on nutrition and it’s effects on disease and the body that we’re good but difficult to get through. I didn’t have that problem with this book. The author did a good job explaining things without forcing me to look up every other word. Considering the fact the first portion of this book will have you feeling like you are in school, I was very happy to see this.
I love the listing of what foods you can enjoy that are helping your body. The author doesn’t say here are five foods, eat them for health whether you like them or not. Instead we are told to go through the list so we can choose food we already love along with some that we may want to try. I really like this not only because I’m not the most adventurous in food, but because I live where finding everything might be challenging and then there is cost. Having the list and being able to just pick off the food you enjoy, can easily find and fits the food budget is as important as the knowledge about nutrition. The truth is that what we eat has a direct affect on our body and health. Food can harm or heal. To do either, though, the food has to be available and what we want to eat. I like the authors 5x5x5 Framework in the last part of the book. It should be noted that this isn’t for weight loss, (though I think healthier eating does help with that). This is an easy way to add disease fighting food to your diet. You pick 5 foods that you add to your diet and enjoy them 5 times a day. Your goal with them is to cover the 5 defense systems that you read about in the book. I love that I can choose to eat them together or eat them as part of meals and snacks. The last portion of the book is where you will find the lists, along with recipes to try, tips on incorporating the food to your menu, a sample menu to help guide you and a section on assessing your risk.
I recommend this book for people who are interested in healthy eating.

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Friday, March 8, 2019

Review: Glitter Bomb

Glitter Bomb Glitter Bomb by Laura Childs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had so much fun reading this book! From the beginning I was whisked off from my comfy chair and set down in New Orleans, just in time to celebrate Mardi Gras! The authors did an amazing job bringing the sights, sounds, taste, fun and excitement come alive. I was bewitched! The hours flew by and interruptions were barely tolerated. I wanted to stay immersed in the vivid party atmosphere that was going on in my mind. This was my first adventure in A New Orleans Scrapbooking Mystery Series but certainly not my last. Glitter Bomb is one of those books that invites you to delight your senses, as well as your mind, between its covers.
I love the characters and their senses of humor. They play off of each other with the warmth and knowledge that long time friends have. I felt like I was a part of the friendships even though I haven’t read the previous books. The mystery was well done, starting the book off with a bang! I was kept guessing and even included a suspect whose job normally keeps me from suspecting them. In the end, I was wrong about my list. I love it! That’s entertainment!

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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Review: Canyons, Caravans, & Cadavers

Canyons, Caravans, & Cadavers Canyons, Caravans, & Cadavers by Tonya Kappes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can’t get enough of this series! Ms Kappes has done a wonderful job creating a small town that mainly relies on tourist to keep it thriving. She formed a tight group of unique ladies who call themselves The Laundry Club. In the first book we met the main character and narrator, Mae West. She inherited Happy Trails, a run down campground in Normal, Kentucky located in the Daniel Boone National Park. People in Normal weren’t too happy to have her but she turned the campground around and won the hearts of the town’s people along with the Key to the City. There are lots of things going on, a number of murders and a lot of character driven world building in this series. You don’t have to read each book in order but for full enjoyment, I recommend that you do. The books are fast paced so you will catch up before you know it.
In this book, along with the key to the city, (an honor she shares with a certain pushy reporter), Mae is given the opportunity to conduct a six week class on economics and how she turned around the campground. She is excited and honored with this opportunity, but can she make an impact on the students? She grew up in Kentucky, a Commonwealth that hasn’t had much to offer since farming has been cut down and mines are shutting down. She knows what it is like to be in high school facing slim opportunities for the future unless you leave. Which is exactly what she had done only to return, where she became a success story. She knows she can do this but then she finds the dead body of a teacher/coach in one of her rental trailers. Now the body count is rising and the lead investigator is agreeing she can be “eyes and ears” at the school for him, not to mention there seems to be a possibility of some love competition!
The story is intriguing and fast paced. It is easy to get lost in the book and want to finish it in one sitting. It is possible to do this as time flies when you’re having fun. The mystery gets wrapped up in each book. There are background storylines that continue book to book. They aren’t so big, though, that you can’t follow the story if you haven’t read them all. Each book is written in a way that allows you to join in reading it regardless of the number of previous books and whether or not you read them all. My preference is to read them in order.
There are also camping hacks, tips and recipes at the end of each book. I normally try one or two before I write the review. This time I didn’t have ingredients on hand to whip one up and enjoy while reading. I do plan to make the cookies this week and possibly the chili. The pizza recipe is intriguing as I would love to make pizza outdoors!
I received an electronic ARC of the book. I voluntarily reviewed it because I love sharing book news and talking about books. Because it was an ARC some changes may be made with the official release of the book. I enjoyed this book and plan to purchase a copy of it to add to my series collection. I do recommend the book as well as the series.

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Sunday, March 3, 2019

Review: Restaurant Weeks Are Murder

Restaurant Weeks Are Murder Restaurant Weeks Are Murder by Libby Klein
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series just gets better! This is the third book in the Poppy McAllister Mystery Series. This one brings the excitement of restaurant competition and tv shows. Poppy is helping out as part of team Maxine’s Bistro on the televised restaurant competition and ends up hosting the judges at her not yet fully opened B&B. Things get heated from the moment the kickoff event, Chef Meet and Greet, happens. I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll leave you to find out what all went on by reading the book. I will say there is as much fun as action. This is a fast paced, fun read. I kept laughing way too hard. Everyone should have an Aunt Ginny in their lives. Figaro is also back and giving Miss New Jersey a time. I love that cat! As for the mystery, there were plenty of suspects, lots of reasons and yes, I had a hard time with who did it until the reveal came. I recommend this book to cozy mystery lovers, of course. I also recommend it to those who enjoy the food competition shows on tv, even if they don’t normally read cozy mystery books. This book was that much fun!
There are Paleo recipes that follow the story. I’m not exactly paleo. I’m more the kind that thinks if it smells good, looks good, tastes good it means it needs to be eaten type. These paleo recipes though..too die for! (Oh my! Did someone?!) The Paleo Black Forest French Toast was amazing though I did have to use plain whipped cream. I am dying to try the Lemon Crème Brûlée but am taking the authors advice on the blowtorch. Aunt Ginny’s Fig Jam is also very intriguing to me. There are more recipes than this and yes, some were from the competition. The French Toast just begged me to make it, (chocolate and cherries, I’m not strong enough to resist). I appreciate that the author took time to include the substitution of Coconut Oil, (not because I needed it but because I bought a big jar of it to help my dog. She is only 12 pounds so I need to use this oil as many ways as possible.). Check out the book and let me know if you make the recipes.

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Review: Inheriting Murder: A Bobwhite Mountain Cozy Mystery

Inheriting Murder: A Bobwhite Mountain Cozy Mystery by Jamie Rutland Gillespie My rating: 5 of 5 stars ...