Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Year in Review

2011 was a banner year for me reading-wise. Through Facebook I connected with and became friends with so many wonderful authors, and in August I started my very first blog. This book blog! Because of my Kindle, I read 133 books and novellas...a record for me!

Personally, it was a very hard year for me with family deaths and illnesses, weather disasters, and Tara's feline diabetes diagnosis.

This is the first time I attempted "Best of" lists, and soon I realized I was going to have to list 3 favorites in most categories, as it was virtually impossible for me to narrow down absolute favorites for each category. And still each list could be much longer...

Favorite Mysteries of the Year:
Deadly Cliche-Ellery Adams
Ghost Ship-PJ Alderman
To Sketch a Thief-Sharon Pape

Favorite Westerns of the Year:
Wild Wild Widow-Emma Jay
Wild Lilly-Ann Mayburn
Tumbleweeds-Chastity Bush

Favorite New Cozy Series of the Year:
Virginia Lowell's Cookie Cutter Shop Mysteries
Sofie Kelly's Magical Cats Mysteries
Melissa Bourbon's Magical Dressmaking Mysteries

Favorite New Author: Tonya Kappes

Favorite Indie Book: Happy New Life by Tonya Kappes

Soooo Glad This Series is Back!!! Donna Ball's Raine Stockton Dog Mysteries

I would love to hear what your favorite books of 2011 were!!! And I look forward to another wonderful year of books in 2012.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas with the Mustang Man

She'd come for the mustangs, Dallas Donovan told herself. Just a quick visit to Boone Barnett's Nevada ranch. Then her truck's engine seized and she stayed the night in the rugged, off-the-charts sexy Boone's home. Had pizza with his daughter, waited for the mechanic—and woke up to a snowfall keeping her in the reclusive rancher's grasp for another few days.

Boone didn't believe in Christmas or miracles or a woman who understood his love for this wild untamed land. Yet now Dallas brought decorations and laughter and joy to his home. But what would happen when the snow melted and Christmas was over…?

With the exception of Harlequin Historical westerns, I'm not a big reader of category romance. Plus contemporary romances usually bore me. But the description of this one caught my attention and I really enjoyed it. I loved the setting, a Nevada ranch in the middle of nowhere, and the hero, a trainer of wild mustangs...both great draws for me. I would love to travel west one day and see the wild mustangs running free. I wondered how Dallas and Boone would set their differences aside and make their relationship work, and it was a very satisfying resolution.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Joanne Fluke's Lake Eden Cookbook

It's a picture postcard December in Minnesota. Pristine white snow is glistening in the winter sunlight, and Main Street is brimming with festive holiday decorations. Best of all, it's the day Hannah's mother, Delores Swensen, is holding her annual Holiday Cookie Exchange at the Community Centre - catered by none other than The Cookie Jar! The whole Swensen clan, their friends, and members of "The Lake Eden Gossip Hotline", of which Delores is a founding member, have gathered for the delicious event. And as they share their favourite juicy tales of Lake Eden and its residents over coffee and dessert, they also share their favourite scrumptious cookie recipes - plus a mouth-watering menu of luncheon all the recipes from Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder to Carrot Cake Murder. Whether this is your first taste of Lake Eden, or you're back for another helping, you can now bring the irresistible flavours of The Cookie Jar into your very own kitchen.
Obviously predominantly a cookbook, this book also includes a fun story in between recipes featuring our friends from the Hannah Swensen series.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Killer's Christmas in Wales

As the townsfolk of the Welsh valley town of Llanelen settle in for the snowiest winter in twenty-five years, an American stranger arrives. Harry Saunders charms the ladies, one of them in particular: Evelyn Lloyd, the town’s former postmistress, who was left comfortably off after the death of her husband. After Mrs. Lloyd invests a good deal of money with him, Harry goes missing, as does her money. His body is soon discovered outside the walls of Conwy Castle, and Mrs. Lloyd is implicated in the murder.
Although Penny Brannigan and her business partner, Victoria Hopkirk, are busy overseeing the grand opening of their new spa, that doesn’t stop Mrs. Lloyd from desperately seeking Penny’s help to prove her innocence. It’s quite possible that Harry made other enemies while in Llanelen and Penny’s investigation unfolds while she juggles her work at the spa, her growing relationship with Detective Inspector Davies, and the Christmas window competition that she signed up to judge.

It's rare nowadays that I buy hardcovers, but I bought this one as soon as it came out because of the COVER!!! The little skull marshmallows just kill me!!! And happily the story inside is just as delightful. It's the 3rd in the series, but I didn't get confused picking up the series without reading the first 2. I was stumped as to the identity of the killer, as well. I loved the short scene with Penny and Victoria judging the Christmas window contest. I could picture the mouse family scene in the dressmaker's window. I really enjoyed the characters of Mrs. Lloyd and her companion Florence. Terrific holiday mystery.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Nine Lives of Christmas

Two people are about to discover that when it comes to finding love, sometimes Christmas magic isn’t enough…sometimes it takes a pesky orange cat named Ambrose.

When a guy is in trouble, he starts making deals with his Creator…and Ambrose the cat is no exception. In danger of losing his ninth and final life, Ambrose makes a desperate plea to the universe.  He’ll do anything—anything!—if he can just survive and enjoy a nice long, final life. His prayer is answered when a stranger comes along and saves him—and now it looks like he has to hold up his end of the bargain.

The stranger turns out to be a firefighter named Zach, who’s in need of some serious romantic help. If Ambrose can just bring Zach together with Merilee, the nice lady who works at Pet Palace, it’s bound to earn him a healthy ninth life.  Unfortunately for Ambrose, his mission is a lot harder than he ever thought.  Merriliee is way too shy to make the first move on a ladies man like Zach, and Zach thinks he’s all wrong for a nice girl like Merrilee.  Now it’s going to take all of Ambrose’s feline wiles—and maybe even a good old fashioned Christmas miracle—to make them both realize that what they’re looking for is right in front of their eyes.

Destined to become a Christmas classic, this perfect little book is a must-read for cat lovers anywhere. Sort of a feline version of “It’s a Wonderful Life”, darling Ambrose the cat is in his 9th life (if only it were true that they had 9 lives) and desperately needs to find his last forever home. I teared up as he looked back on his tragic previous lives (most seemed to end at Christmas), and laughed with glee at a cat’s eye view of the goings on around him. I loved the twist of how everyone he came into contact with he had known before, from the shelter worker to the maniac driver who ran him over, to the kind man who attempted to save his life and his little girlfriend kitty Aphrodite. Curl up with this book and the fur baby in your life…it will warm your heart and make your Christmas spirit soar.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Her Christmas Pleasure

Damien Morton is madly in love. Unfortunately, it's with his best friend's widow, Lady Danver. Damien is not worthy of Celia. Or so he thinks. Desperate to escape his feelings for her, he plans to leave the country at the first of the year. Celia treats him as a family friend and nothing more—until they share a heated kiss beneath the mistletoe...
Celia is shocked by the passions that surge within her at her dear friend's kiss. One touch and one taste aren't enough to satisfy her cravings, and she is startled into action. Damien has stirred something inside her that she never expected to experience again, and she must have more. Full of shameless desire and emotions newly discovered, she decides to pursue Damien and won't be deterred. Will she be able to convince him to stay—both in her heart and life—forever?

I'm finding novellas to be the perfect reading material this holiday season. Nothing is better during the hustle and bustle of the holidays than to cuddle up with a short Christmas read, a mug of cocoa, and a kitty, and escaping. This is the 2nd in Karen Erickson's Merry Widows series. A not so innocent kiss under the mistletoe ignites a fire neither Damien or Celia can (or want to) put out. This one will warm up the coldest winter night!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Spirit

A Holiday Mystery Novella
Stranded by in a snow storm, Eve and her mother seek shelter at a nearby manor, little knowing a murderer has struck once and lies in wait for the next victim.

A dead body in a room locked from the inside, a blizzard cutting off all assistance, and a pair of stranded ladies with their maid. Christmas at Folkestone manor looks like it will be a little more exciting than Giles had hoped when he and his father accepted Eric Lane’s invitation. But now Lane is dead, and the tiny group of guests fears that nothing can stop a murderer who can pass through locked doors without a sound.

The Christmas Spirit has been up to no good, and Eric can only hope they survive the holiday season.

This is a  wonderful, atmospheric novella set in the Regency era. A locked door murder in a desolate manor house, a blizzard, rumors of a ghost, even a little romance. Perfect holiday escape!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Superstitious Christmas

Maggie Greenlee can’t wait for the Greenlee traditions to start, especially the annual ornament exchange.
Only things don’t go as planned once Maggie announces to the Greenlee clan that she’s engaged to Grady Cohen, one of the wealthiest bachelors in New York City.
There are two problems. One, Hazel Greenlee, Maggie’s granny and Grandberry Falls’ local matchmaker, has already determined that Maggie is going to marry Mayor Mitch Dozier. And two, Grady thinks the superstitious beliefs that have ruled Maggie’s life, are child like.
With Grady deliberately breaking every superstitious tradition, and Granny Hazel pushing Maggie in the arms of Mitch Dozier, Maggie isn’t sure she’s going to survive Christmas in Grandberry Falls.

ACK Tonya!!! What a cliffhanger!!! Maggie has some serious decision making to do, and I hope she makes the right one! Can't wait to see what happens next in Never Tell Your Dreams Before Breakfast. I thoroughly enjoyed my latest visit with all my friends in Grandberry Falls :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Murder Trims the Tree

When Gertie and her cohorts decide to do their court-ordered community service at the local assisted living home during the Christmas season, they get more than they (plea) bargained for.
Yet another novella introducing me to wonderful new characters from a series I've haven't read yet, and what fun I had hanging out with Gertie, Grandma, Cora Mae, and Kitty. Who knew how dangerous it could be spending time at an assisted living facility? And I won't get into the "chocolate bombs". You'll have to read all about that for yourselves LOL.

Friday, December 9, 2011

'Twas the Chihuahua Before Christmas

Charlotte Baskerville, designer of small dog clothing, is asked if her Russian dog trainer will play Santa at the last minute. As she struggles to get him ready, an elf costume and other Chihuahua couture disappear from her workshop. This is a stand-alone story that features characters from the full-length mystery, 'Chihuahua of the Baskervilles,' published by St. Martin's Press. 

Super cute Christmas short story. I love the author bio at the end that says Esri writes chihuahua mysteries because her cat won't let her get Tara is the same way, won't let me get a dachshund LOL.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Slay Bells and Satchels

The Summer Santa Sale at Holt’s Department Store becomes a Christmas nightmare when sales clerk Haley Randolph finds a murdered elf in the store’s giant toy bag. Haley, a crazed fashionista obsessed with designer handbags, could find herself “bagged” if she doesn’t untangle this mystery quicker than Saint Nick can slide down a chimney. But Haley has another problem: Can working with hot private detective Jack Bishop put her on Santa’s “naughty” list?

A fun novella that was a great introduction (for me) to the world of hysterical Haley and her obsession with designer bags. I must admit I share her love of purses, although I have maybe 2 designer bags to my name. The rest are all knock-offs! Haley actually reminds me of Becky in the Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella. I am having a blast this Christmas season with all of the new ebook exclusive stories from some of my favorite cozy series!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Lawman's Christmas

The sudden death of the town marshal leaves Blue River, Texas, without a lawman…and twentyfiveyearold Dara Rose Nolan without a husband. As winter approaches and her meager seamstress income dwindles, she has three options. Yet she won't give up her two young daughters, refuses to join the fallen women of the Bitter Gulch Saloon and can't fathom condemning herself to another loveless marriage. Unfortunately she must decide—soon—because there's a new marshal in town, and she's living under his roof.

With the heart of a cowboy, Clay McKettrick plans to start a ranch and finally settle down. He isn't interested in uprooting Dara Rose and her children, but he is interested in giving her protection, friendship—and passion. And when they say "I do" to a marriage of convenience, the temporary lawman's Christmas wish is to make Dara Rose his permanent wife….

Linda Lael Miller doesn't write nearly enough historicals anymore, so a Christmas release made this even more exciting. A classic marriage of convenience story with protagonists I found myself rooting for. I could tell from the beginning there was something in Dara Rose's past, so I was curious to discover what she was hiding. And her 2 daughters were adorable, wise beyond their years as a result of their difficult situation. Wonderful Christmas historical!!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Trouble Under the Tree

When landscape designer Nina Quinn agreed to deck the halls of Christmastowne, an indoor Christmas village, little did she know how dirty the job would be.

Christmastowne has been plagued by mishaps. Someone’s stealing toy donations, cutting lines to the security system, starting fires, and poisoning the poinsettias. Worst of all, Nina’s neighbor, Fairlee McCorkle (aka Mrs. Claus) is found murdered under Christmastowne’s enormous decorated tree.

The deeper Nina digs for clues to unwrap a killer, the more she discovers that some secrets are best left buried in the past.

 A huge fan of Heather Webber's Lucy Valentine series, I must admit this is my first Nina Quinn book, even though they are all in my ridiculously huge TBR pile. Those books are moving up in the pile because I just adore Nina! She is an absolute hoot and had me laughing out loud several times. The setting of this book is just divine...I would love to visit a place such as Christmastown (especially The Gingerbread Oven!) Nina's crazy family is so much fun, and little Gracie the incontinent chihuahua just stole my heart. And as I finished this up last night, I had a mug of Swiss Miss with peppermint marshmallows...just like Nina!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Silent Night

It's Christmas time, and for Raine Stockton and her Search and Rescue dog, Cisco, Hansonville, North Carolina is just like a Norman Rockwell painting-- except for the rash of thefts of baby Jesus figurines from nativity scenes, an abandoned box of golden retriever puppies that someone leaves beside her mailbox, and a mysterious gift from one of Cisco's a grateful admirers. Raine already has her hands full with her own misbehaving pooches, unexpected house guests, and a complicated new relationship. But when a newborn is abandoned in the manger of the town's living nativity and Raine walks in on what appears to be the scene of a murder, she has more to worry about than keeping the Christmas spirit alive.

I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. I have blogged about my love for the Raine Stockton Dog Mystery series before, and this story set at my favorite time of the year is the best one yet. Without rehashing the plot, there are several story lines going on, yet they all come together in the end in a very satisfying conclusion. I had mixed feelings at first on the addition of a new character, Miles' 9 year old daughter Melanie, (must admit my feelings about kids lean towards Raine's LOL), but I came to just love her, and enjoyed how she became Raine's "partner in crime". Look forward to reading more about her and her new pup Peppermint in the future. I also got several chuckles from the Aussies' Christmas decorating. Raine has an absolutely delightful critter crew and I hope there are many more books to come in this series!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Buried in a Book

After losing her job as a journalist at the age of forty-five, Lila Wilkins accepts an internship at A Novel Idea, a thriving literary agency in North Carolina. Being paid to read seems perfect to Lila, although it's difficult with the cast of quirky co-workers and piles of query letters. But when a penniless aspiring author drops dead in the agency's waiting room-and Lila discovers a series of threatening letters-she's determined to find out who wrote him off.

I was fortunate to receive an ARC of this book from the author, the first in the new A Novel Idea Mystery Series. Lila is a terrific character who lands a dream job (in my opinion) at a literary agency. Her co-workers are a quirky, fun crew I look forward to meeting again in future books. I was completely stumped as to the identity of the killer, making it even more enjoyable. The entire time I was reading this book I couldn't help but think what a wonderful job being a literary agent would be...getting to read fantastic new stories before anyone else, being the one to discover fresh new voices. Reading for a living sounds like the job for me!

Mark down February 7,2012 on your'll be sure to want to pick this one up!

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Christmas Homecoming

Among the brilliant array of Anne Perry’s New York Times bestselling novels, her Christmas stories occupy perhaps the warmest spot in the hearts of readers. Each one is a masterpiece of suspense; each is alight with the true holiday spirit.

A Christmas Homecoming, a familiar face from the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels—Charlotte’s mother, Caroline—travels with her young husband, Joshua Fielding, and his theatrical troupe to Whitby, the Yorkshire fishing village where Dracula the vampire first touched English soil in the sensational novel named after him. Joshua has arranged to produce a stage adaptation of Dracula by the daughter of Whitby millionaire Charles Netheridge during the Christmas holiday, but after the disastrous first read-through of her amateurish script, only the fact that the company is depending on Netheridge’s financial backing for their spring tour keeps them at work.

As tempers flare and wind and snow swirl around Netheridge’s lonely hilltop mansion, a black-cloaked stranger emerges from the storm—an eerily opportune arrival, for this enigmatic figure, one Anton Ballin, turns out to be a theatrical genius. At the same time, a brooding evil makes itself felt. Instead of the theatrical triumph that Netheridge desired for his daughter, there is murder—shocking and terrifying.

Anne Perry’s ninth Christmas novel keeps us poised on a razor’s edge of suspense, hypnotized by a story in which the heartwarming power of goodness is challenged by the seductive power of inner darkness. In the end,
A Christmas Homecoming lifts the spirit and rejoices the heart.

No holiday season is complete for me without a Christmas novel from Anne Perry. This is the 9th in the series and I have devoured each and every one of them. I'd have to say this is one of my favorites, not only because it's set around a play production of Dracula, one of my favorite books ever, but also because it's a "locked house" mystery. All of the characters are stranded at a mansion in Yorkshire in the midst of a snow storm, with no way in and no way out, and a killer is among them. Do yourself a favor and pick up an Anne Perry Christmas novel this Christmas season!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wild Lilly

When Connecticut socialite Lilly Brooks inherits land in Caldwell, Kansas, she finally has the chance to break free from the gilded cage of Victorian society and chase after her dreams of excitement and romance in the Wild West. Excitement arrives with angry Indians, smelly dogs, and drunken cowboys who won't take no for an answer. Romance comes in the form of a ruggedly handsome rancher named Paul McGregor. Too bad he calls her a whore within the first minute of their acquaintance.

Paul has spent the last three years trying to hold his family and ranch together after the death of his parents. When he saves a stunning blonde, who he thinks is a soiled dove, he tries to do the right thing and get her work at a good saloon. He soon discovers the woman whose favors he would love to buy owns land key to his family's financial future. Paul decides to use his best weapon to win Lilly over and get her property: seduction.

A wicked cattle baron wants Lilly’s land as well and threatens to kill anyone who stands up to him. Paul must decide what he needs more, the land or the beautiful and courageous, wild Lilly.

It's books like this that remind me why I love the western historical genre so much. This one has everything the genre is famous for: sexy cowboys, dancehall girls, soiled doves, Indians, bad guys (some aren't as bad as they initially appear), land deals, train robberies...every page is action packed!

I love Lilly...fearless girl from the east who can't wait to begin her wild west adventure. I must say Paul got on my nerves at times they way he deceived her. I can't read to read Estrella's story...will she get her happily ever after? And what about Eunice...what will her new life bring? And will Lady Catherine and Sleeping Bear act on their forbidden love? So many rich characters that I can't wait for book #2 in the Willow Creek series!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Schooling Miss Burke

A letter from home shatters politician Caleb Jamison's world, returning him to his empty family home and cattle ranch.

Hettie Burke's life takes a life-altering turn when she becomes the parent of her twin niece and nephew. Looking for work, she stumbles upon a covey of soiled doves on vacation and learns sometimes fate takes precedence over best-laid plans.

According to the author's blog, the inspiration for this story came from reading about how the "city" prostitutes of the west would go on "vacation" during the summer to the mountains where it was cooler and the sheep herders and cowboys were hanging around caring for their livestock. A subsequent trip to Happy Meadow in SE Oregon and the rest is history. Love reading stories about how authors get their story ideas!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Desperate Housedogs

When Caro Lamont, former psychologist turned pet therapist makes a house call to help a client with his dogs, she expects frantic dogs, she expects a frantic dog owner, she even expects frantic neighbors.  What Caro doesn’t expect is that two hours later her client is dead and she is knee deep in murder doo doo. Now with a killer on the loose, her best friend, Diana, in jail, and the police suspicious of her motives, Caro is chasing her tail, sniffing out a killer, and hoping the killer doesn’t find her first.

Lighthearted first entry in Sparkle Abbey's Pampered Pets mystery series set in ritzy Laguna Beach. I enjoyed how the dogs were used not only to sense trouble coming, but also as part of the motive and solving of the murder. Looking forward to further adventures with Caro and cousin Mel.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Goodnight iPad

Modern life is abuzz. There are huge LCD WiFi HD TVs and Facebook requests and thumbs tapping texts and new viral clips of cats doing flips. Wouldn't it be nice to say goodnight to all that? Like the rest of us who cannot resist just a few more scrolls and clicks, you may find yourself ready for bed while still clinging to your electronics long after dark. This book, which is made of paper, is a reminder for the child in all of us to power down at the end of the day. This hilarious parody not only pokes loving fun at the bygone quiet of the original classic, but also at our modern plugged-in lives. It will make you laugh, and it will also help you put yourself and your machines to sleep. Don't worry, though. Your gadgets will be waiting for you, fully charged, in the morning.

This is the *cutest* little book for people like me who can't stand to turn their toys off at night!!! Love the pictures of all the darling little animals playing with their gadgets! My favorite is the bookshelf holding 3 Nooks with 10,000 books, while paperbacks are in the trash can. And the precious cat with his mechanical mouse hiding when Mom is tossing all the gadgets out the window :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wicked Woman

There are some things a man can’t walk away from. Nathan Bender is on a quest for vengeance. What he finds is sexy saloon-dolly O’Dell Murphy. She holds the information he needs—and becomes a temptation he can’t resist.O’Dell longs for a respectable life outside the saloon. When the man Nathan is searching for steals O’Dell’s savings, she has no choice but to go after him.Torn between passion and revenge, Nathan reluctantly accompanies O’Dell through the Sonoran Desert. There are some things a man can’t walk away from—and Nathan is finding it’s not revenge that binds him. It’s O’Dell, and the wicked, sinful pleasure she provides.

This is a fantastic western historical that made me feel like I was smack dab in the middle of the Wild West. There's romance, intense passion, humor, tons of action. Nathan is a to die for hero, O'Dell is a fearless heroine. Together they create more heat than the desert they travel through to find the outlaw they both despise.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Guest Blog from Catherine Gayle


Thank you, Melissa, for inviting me to guest blog!

I write interconnected stories all the time. My novels are series, where characters from one pop in on another from time to time…sometimes more than others. I wrote a series of short stories, Wanton Wives, in which all of the individual stories combined to tell a greater, overall story. There are even characters from my novels who’ve shown up in the short stories, and who have moved from one series to another.

Needless to say, the idea of writing a story involving numerous other characters who had their own stories did not intimidate me.

But when a few of my critique partners approached me with the idea of taking part in an anthology, where all of the characters belonged to the same greater family, I got a little nervous.

For two reasons, actually. The first nerve-inducing thing was that they wanted me to write a novella. I’d never successfully written a novella before. Short stories, yes. But anything longer than that tends to turn into a full-length novel in my hands. I didn’t know if I could keep the idea small enough to write a shorter story that still felt complete. The second reason was that I tend to write the characters that I write, and they interact with the other characters in my head, but I’d never had them interact with another writer’s characters. What if I screwed it up?

Writing this anthology, for all of us, turned into an incredible experiment. We sent emails back and forth constantly. “Would your character be available on X day at Y time for me to use them in Z capacity?” “Um, sorry, but my character would NEVER say, ‘Balderdash.’” “Has anyone given J character a hair color yet? If not, I’m saying it is red.”

Some worked very closely together, as their characters were siblings (or even twins!), and so they had to all know the history of the others. Others took a branch of the family tree and kept to themselves, so as not to have to deal with too many spare characters popping in and out of their stories.

I think we all would say, however, that it was both a positive experience and, at times, a trying experience.

So, what do we have to show for it? The Regency Christmas Anthology, twelve novellas in four collections. The powerful Duke of Danby has ordered all of his wayward grandchildren to return to Danby Castle for Christmas. You’ll have to read them to see what takes place.

Have you ever done something you were intimidated to do? How did it turn out? If you leave a comment and include your email address with it, you’ll be entered in a huge drawing for prizes, including books, gift cards, and even a Kindle. More info at

My novella, An Unintended Journey, is in the third collection: A Summons From the Castle.

What once was lost…
Abby Goddard’s life is going along just swimmingly, apart from the disappearance of her life’s love—Wesley Cavendish, a man well above her station. Just before Christmas, Grandmama dies after revealing the identity of Abby’s grandfather. The Duke of Danby, no less. Now the entire family will travel to Yorkshire to confront Danby, hoping to gain a dowry for Abby. But then Wesley reemerges, sparking a hope Abby thought long destroyed.
Now is found…
Shall the prodigal son’s sole inheritance be an unsightly gash? Wesley Cavendish aspires to the political realm, despite his father’s near-murderous opposition…not to mention his opposition to Abby Goddard. But since Father died, will the new Earl of Fordingham rescind Father’s disgraceful allegations? Fordingham thwarts Wesley at every turn, threatening marriage to a prominent Tory family—which precludes Abby—to put an end to Wesley’s Whig involvement…unless Wesley can find a loophole.
You can buy A Summons From the Castle at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. Look for the other collections at those same websites, as well: A Summons From Yorkshire, A Summons From the Duke, and A Summons From His Grace.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Diva Haunts the House

Domestic diva Sophie Winston is getting into the Halloween spirit- her decorations for a community haunted house are so good, it's scary. Not to be outdone, rival domestic diva Natasha is throwing a spooktacular Halloween party at her house. But when Sophie arrives, she discovers one of Natasha's guests dead in a Halloween display, and a pale, fanged partygoer fleeing the scene.
Could the killer be a real vampire-the same one rumored to have lived in Sophie's haunted house back when it was a boardinghouse? Good thing a domestic diva never runs out of garlic.

One of my favorite cozy series, set this time during the Halloween season. I love the decorating tips, and would love to visit the haunted house that Sophie and her friends put together. I enjoyed the backstory of the boardinghouse that was used to create the haunted house, and the ending with the bat is very cool. And the mystery completely stumped me. The only problem I had with the book is way too many characters made it quite confusing and distracting at times. I'd go completely crazy if I had as many people in my house all the time as Sophie's obvious I'm no domestic diva LOL

Friday, October 28, 2011

McDonalds Peppermint Mocha

Was just at McDonalds to pick up a Puss in Boots Happy Meal toy (can't wait to see that movie!!) and lo and behold they now offer peppermint mochas for the season. It was delicious...and much cheaper than Starbucks version! I will be picking one up each time I pass by a McDonalds :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Couple Halloween Shorts

Collecting material for a book of ghost stories, Kate travels to North Carolina's beautiful Outer Banks to hear an eyewitness account of a haunting. She has a few difficulties finding the house, but eventually she meets Mrs. Corley and listens in growing horror to her tale of terror.

And although she doesn't realize it, Kate may find more material than she knows what to do with. 

When the local town drunk sees a murder committed on Boot Hill on Halloween night, will anyone pay any attention to his story? Sheriff Joe Grubbs, though skeptical, investigates and finds the new grave. Now, he has a job to do and risks losing the love of his life doing it. It's a harrowing Halloween night in Haleyville, Texas. 

The last 2 nights I've treated myself to a couple Halloween short stories. The first is a ghost story set on North Carolina's Outer Banks; the second an Old West murder on Boot Hill. Loved 'em both!!!