Showing posts from November, 2013

Book Review: Practice to Deceive by Ann Rule

Practice to Deceive
By: Ann Rule
Genre: Non-fiction: True Crime
353 pages
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: October 8, 2013
Buy it here:

Nestled in Puget Sound, Whidbey Island is a gem of the Pacific Northwest; accessible only by ferry and the soaring Deception Pass Bridge, it is known for its artistic communities and stunning natural beauty. Life there is low-key, insular, and the island’s year-round residents tend to know one another’s business. But when the blooddrenched body of Russel Douglas was discovered the day after Christmas in his SUV in a hidden driveway near Whidbey’s most exclusive mansions, the whole island was shocked. A single bullet between his eyes was the cause of death, but no one could imagine who among them could plot such a devious, cold-blooded crime. At first, police suspected suicide, tragically common at the height of the holiday season. But when they found no gun in or near the SUV, Russel’s manner of death became

Book Review: Christmas at the Homeplace

Christmas at the Homeplace ( The Homeplace Saga Series)
By: William Leverne Smith
Genre: Historical  Fiction
154 pages
Publisher: Vision to Action Publishing
Publication Date: October 25, 2013 
Get it at:


Will they all be home for Christmas? For the first time since their father died, Karen (Bevins) Winslow is expecting all her children in Oak Springs for Christmas 1996. This Christmas of homecomings offers some surprises as "The Homeplace Saga" continues. Will Staff Sergeant Travis Inman arrive home from Bosnia in time to see his baby daughter for the first time at Christmas? Will a life-long friend of the Winslow family move to Oak Springs permanently? Does Peter have a son? The boy's mother insists he does. How would this change the inter-generational dynamics in the family businesses in the Oak Creek valley of the southern Missouri Ozarks? Learn more by reading this latest addition to this continuing family saga.
My Thoughts:
* I received a complimenta…

Guest Post: Homecomings are at the Heart of "Christmas at the Homeplace" by William Leverne Smith

Homecomings are at the Heart of “Christmas at the Homeplace”
Several “homecomings” are at the heart of the stories in “Christmas at the Homeplace.” Are homecomings important in your family? They sure are in ours.
I am writing this on Veteran’s Day. Many of the stories I see online and on the television focus on Veteran’s returning from overseas service for the holidays. One of these stories is a core story in “Christmas at the Homeplace.” Sergeant Travis Inman has been away from his family, serving a tour of duty in Bosnia, during 1996. His unit is supposed to get home before Christmas, but will they, is the question being asked by his family in Oak Springs. He has a young son, Zach, who is anxious to see his father, again. But, he also has a daughter, Kayla, born early in the year, after he had already deployed. Does this story sound familiar to you? It is familiar to far too many of us. Homecomings are special, for sure.
Karen (Bevins) Winsl…

Book Review: A Basket of Trouble

A Basket of Trouble ( #3 in the Claire Hanover series)
By: Beth Groundwater
Genre: Mystery
312 pages
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Publication Date: November 8, 2013
Buy it at:
Midnight Ink

Synopsis When gift basket designer Claire Hanover saddles up for the opening event of her brother Charley's new riding stable, the last thing she expects is for a death to ruin the festivities. But before the grand opening can even begin Kyle Mendoza, one of the stable hands, is found dead in a horse stall. At first it appears that the horse trampled him, until it's discovered someone killed Kyle before dragging him into the stall.
Charley's troubles worsen when a rival stable owner starts wrangling up his clients and Kyle’s family decides to sue him for negligence. Claire is determined to find the real murderer before her brother's business is put out to pasture and before the killer strikes again.

My Review Received a copy from the publisher via netgalley in e…

The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

My grandfather likes smelly stuff. A LOT. Here is my reaction to it.

" Mom. Please do not give Bobo anymore smelly stuff. He uses too much. He puts it ALL OVER."
" I'm sorry. I didn't know he'd do that."
" Really? He has so much on I can taste it. I had to open the windows to air the house out. It smells like the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas up there."

Book Review: Tinseltown Riff

Tinseltown Riff
By: Shelly Frome
244 pages
Genre: Fiction: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Sunbury Press
Publication Date: March 2013
Get It Here:
Sunbury Press

Tinseltown Riff centers on Ben Prine, a thirty-something hack screenwriter who, on a Labor Day weekend, finds himself in desperate straits. Latching on to a dubious last-minute opportunity, he unwittingly embarks on a collision course with a Montana tracker connected with a Vegas mob; an odyssey which culminates in a fateful showdown on an abandoned Western movie.

My Thoughts:
* received this free in exchange for an honest review.

This book is filled with a quirky cast of characters with a screwball plot. But underneath it has a compelling message. A fun read.

About the Author:

Shelly Frome is a member of Mystery Writers of America, a professor of dramatic arts emeritus at the University of Connecticut, a former professional actor, a writer of mysteries, books on theater and film, and articles on the performing …

Book Review: The Litter of the Law

The Litter of the Law
By: Rita Mae Brown
256 pages
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Bantam
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
Purchase it here:

Synopsis: Autumn has descended and crops are being harvested all over Crozet, Virginia, ideal conditions for a scenic drive for Harry and husband Fair. Bucolic views are all well and good, but Harry’s nose for trouble leads her straight to a cornfield’s macabre scarecrow—an all too real murder victim that frightens all but the noisy crows.

This accountant’s gruesome death is only the first of many disturbing events in this normally pastoral corner of the world. While Harry tends her beloved grapes and sunflowers, a killer edges closer—as does Harry’s protective menagerie of animals.

Halloween’s approach brings with it bona fide terror and a beloved local tradition that threatens to become fatal. Rooting out the guilty in the treacherous center of a lucrative conspiracy requires Harry’s farmer’s wisdom—along with the quick wits and e…

Book Review: Aimless Love

Aimless Love
By: Billy Collins
Genre: Poetry
288 pages
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: October 22, 2013
Purchase the book here:
Random House

From the two-time Poet Laureate of the United States Billy Collins comes his first compilation of new and selected poems in a decade. Aimless Love combines fifty new poems with selections from four previous books—Nine Horses, The Trouble with Poetry, Ballistics, and Horoscopes for the Dead. Collins’s unmistakable voice, which combines plain speech with imaginative surprise, is clearly heard on every page, reminding us how he has managed to enrich the tapestry of contemporary poetry and greatly expand its audience. His work is featured in top literary magazines such as The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Atlantic, and he is a strong draw at reading venues across the country. Appearing regularly in The Best American Poetry series, his poems appeal to readers and live audiences far and wide and have been translated into m…