Friday, September 30, 2011

A Good Day to Pie

No one can die from a pie . . . or can they? Hanna Denton has returned home to Crystal Cove, California, to take over the pie shop her Grannie Louise owned for thirty years. Grannie has now moved to the ritzy retirement community on the hill and Hanna is working her hardest to live up to Grannie's reputation for baking the best pies in the state. However, between rolling dough, slicing rhubarb, and trying to find the magic ingredients that made Grannie's pies so popular, Hanna is suddenly faced with an even bigger challenge: convincing the handsome new police chief (her ex-high school crush Sam Genovese) that Grannie couldn't possibly have committed murder.

A tantalizing new pie shop cozy mystery, featuring scrumptious recipes!

Filled with simple pie baking tips, plus recipes for:
—Fuji Apple Southern Pecan Caramel Pie
—Black-Bottom Raspberry Cream Pie
—Hanna's All-Butter Pie Crust

 This first book in Carol Culver's Pie Shop mysteries is a fantastic start to a fun new series. I have only one warning before you read this book: YOU WILL CRAVE PIE WHILE READING IT!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

September 27 Releases

Usually the first Tuesday of each month is the most exciting day for new book releases. However, tomorrow, September 27, is a day I've had marked on my calendar for some books I've been waiting awhile to get my hands on. This is what I'm looking forward to finding in my mailbox/downloading to my Kindle tomorrow:

*Falling to Pieces-Vannetta Chapman
*A Lawman's Christmas-Linda Lael Miller
*Joanne Fluke's Lake Eden Cookbook (Hannah Swensen series)
*Rin Tin Tin-Susan Orlean
*Killing Lincoln-Bill O'Reilly
*Going Home:Finding Peace When Pets Die-Jon Katz
*1225 Christmas Tree Lane-Debbie Macomber
*River Bound-Myla Jackson

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sleight of Paw

Small-town librarian Kathleen Paulson never wanted to be the crazy cat lady. But after Owen and Hercules followed her home, she realized her mind wasn't playing tricks on her-her cats have magical abilities.
When the body of elderly do-gooder Agatha Shepherd is found near Kath's favorite local café, she knows Owen's talent for turning invisible and Hercules's ability to walk through walls will give the felines access to clues Kath couldn't get without arousing suspicion. Someone is hiding some dark secrets-and it will take a bit of furtive investigating to catch the cold-hearted killer.

The second in the Magical Cats mystery series, this is one of my favorite cozy series. I can't say how much I adore cats Owen and Hercules, particularly Owen's catnip addiction with his decapitated funky chickens! Even though I figured the killer out early on, that didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story at all.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Covered Wagon Dachshund

This is the little guy that completely stole my heart at the Shelburne Museum Goes to the Dogs parade. He was featured in today's paper and come to find out he's handicapped and his owners transformed his cart into a covered wagon!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Shelburne Museum Goes to the Dogs-Wild West Style

Over the weekend I attended the annual Shelburne Museum Goes to the Dogs event in Shelburne, Vermont. It's the first time I've gone (since I don't have a dog) but this year I read in the paper that the theme was the Wild West, so needless to say I had to go, and was in absolute heaven!!! The vendor booths were decorated western, and the dogs were asked to come in western attire for the costume parade. Nothing could be cuter than dogs prancing around dressed as cowboys, indians, prairie girls, lawmen! The cutest of all was a dachshund dressed as a cowboy pulling a mini covered wagon, followed by 3 other dachshunds dressed as a herd of buffalo!

In addition to the dog event, most of the buildings at the museum were open, and since I hadn't been since I was a child (and hadn't developed my love for all things 1800s yet), I took the opportunity to take in the rest of the remarkable museum. I have to say my favorite display was the authentic General Store and Apothecary Shoppe...I felt like I was walking into Oleson's Mercantile in Little House on the Prairie!!!

The telegraph office!!! (Email in the 19th century)

Also loved the blacksmith shop, with a recreator actually working on site...wagon wheels and horseshoes were everywhere!!!

And what did I spy on the deck of the Ticonderoga but a horse drawn buckboard, loaded with apples.
Needless to say I could've wandered the grounds forever (didn't even see the Carriage House with the stagecoaches!!!), and now I want to travel west and see more recreations of the late 1800s more than ever!!! Until that time comes, I'll definitely be making my way to the Shelburne Museum more often...I never realized such an historical gem was less than 20 minutes away!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wicked Lord

Book Three in the Wicked Affairs series. Helene Cosgrove’s only passion is her art, until she is betrothed to a respectable baron. Believing he will be the love of her life, she’s crushed when her father ends the engagement. Helene is approached by a second suitor, the wicked Lord Redding, Edward Chase. She is duty-bound to marry the scoundrel even though she despises him. Redding happily snatches his rival’s betrothed and finds himself married to a woman of outstanding talents, utter radiance and innocent sexuality. Her haughty and summary rejection of him only spurs his desire to have her, and prove he’s as worthy of her love as her former swain. And what better way than to tutor her in his bed? Helene is tempted by Redding in all the wrong ways. When he delivers her secret desires, she must reconcile her heart to the matter—deciding whether she loves Redding for who he is or for what he can do for her, in and out of the marriage bed.

Ellora's Cave puts out the best erotic historicals under their Legend line and Eliza Lloyd is one of my favorites in their roster of authors. I love her Wicked series as they focus on married couples discovering each other, weathering the storms in their relationships and growing stronger as they learn how to make each other happy. I loved the love/hate relationship Helene and Redding formed in Wicked Lord, ending up in a true Happily Ever After. I especially enjoyed the twist of what Helene's art revealed about the desires she tried so hard to keep from her husband. Scorchingly hot and decadent!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Kindle Korner

My latest downloads:

Vanquished-Hope Tarr (free)
Fit to Be Tied-Myla Jackson
Honor Bound-Myla Jackson
Duty Bound-Myla Jackson
A Cowboy's Muse-Beth Williamson (ARC)
Wicked Lord-Eliza Lloyd
A Bride's Portrait of Dodge City, Kansas
Beloved Protector-Kate Collins
Under Wraps-Patricia Green
Having Patience-Debra Glass

Breakup-Dana Stabenow
A Dash of Murder-Teresa Trent
Gilded Shroud-Elizabeth Bailey
Recipes to Die For-Lorraine Bartlett
Frozen Stiff-Annelise Ryan
Shoulder Bags and Shootings-Dorothy Howell

Gooseberry Patch Tailgate Cookbook (free)
Everything Soup, Stew and Chili Cookbook (free)
French Quarter-Lacey Alexander (free)
The Gift of Shayla-NJ Walters
Rick Perry: A Politician's Journey (free)
Michelle Bachmann: A Politician's Journey (free)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Cowboy's Muse

Clio is not only the muse of history, she has virtually lived her life through books. When a lightning strike sends her through space and time, Clio finds herself in the Old West with no way of getting home and none of her powers. Relying on her book learning is not working out like she’d hoped.
Ace Nevada is an unwilling sheriff who has spent the last year trying to get out of town. When a crazy woman lands in the horse trough in front of a saloon, he finds himself strangely attracted to her. He can’t help himself from sampling her lips or her incredibly lush body.
Clio learns how to be human and Ace remembers what it is to be human. They are two halves of the same whole. Mates. When Clio’s powers return, will their love pass the test of time?

I am a huge fan of Beth Williamson's westerns and was thrilled to receive an ARC of her latest for review. What's a goddess from Greek Mythology do when she falls to earth only to end up in a horse trough in 1875 Texas? Fall in love with the hunky sheriff, of course! This is a delightful romp in the Old West with a mythological twist...incredibly unique!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Gift of Shayla

Adam Lancaster has been in love with Rob McKeith—and attracted to Rob’s wife, Shayla—for years, but he fears their friendship would be over if they knew the truth. So he’s thrilled when his secret fantasy becomes reality and the couple offers him a very special gift: a sensual Christmas Eve in their bedroom…

This is a hard book for me to review because in general I am not a fan of contemporary romance. And as much as I love it when an erotic historical makes my Kindle start to sizzle, erotic contemps turn me off. To me there's just something much sexier about unlacing corsets than anything in the modern world. That being said, I downloaded this because I found the concept intriguing, it's a Christmas story (my 1st of the season!), and I've never gone wrong with a book from Carina Press. And I have to say I liked it. While the majority of the novella is the sexual encounter, there's a lot of heart there too. Rob and Shayla are a married couple very much in love, but it's easy to see each of them in love with Adam as well. My heart really ached for Adam, wanting this once in a lifetime experience but knowing his heart will be broken in the morning because it's Rob and Shayla that truly belong to each other and he will end up being left out. Good story.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Under His Hands

Hannah became a widow the day her husband died in a whore's bed. Now she's happy running the Circle B cattle ranch alone, with no intentions to ever open herself up to that heartache again and remarry. But one Saturday night a month she sends all of her ranch hands to town for the night and invites ranch foreman Lucas to her bed, where she asks him to tie her up and do anything he wants to an extent. But Lucas wants more...he wants Hannah as his wife. One sultry summer night in the barn a battle of wills rages.

I think one of the main reasons I prefer western historicals to other time periods is the strength of the women of that period. Hannah was brought West by her late husband, a harsh land, and then left to run his ranch following his death. Suitors showed up on her doorstep in order to get their hands on her land, not because they loved her. So Hannah handled things quite successfully on her own and was happy for it to remain that way until Lucas came along and accepted and loved her for who she was, not for what he could get out of her.

This is the first book in a spicy western trilogy, and I can't wait for the second book, Temptation, to come out later this year!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wanton Wives

At Lord and Lady Quinton's now annual summer house party, sexually neglected and frustrated wives finally find their fulfillment.

Of Love and Lust: Piers and Judith, Lord and Lady Lipscombe have been married for four years, but their beddings have never been more than quick, five-minute affairs intended to secure the line. After being too rough and randy on their wedding night, he's always been afraid of hurting her again, so he held himself back. She thought their marriage was normal, until she saw the lustful looks continually passed between the Quintons. Could there be something more?

One Lonely Night: The boisterous nighttime activity of Vivian Flynn's neighbors is keeping her awake--and in need. When she takes a step out onto her portico for a bit of night air, she's shocked when those very neighbors come out onto their portico and make love in front of her. When her husband, Lord Tucker Flynn, comes upon her surreptitiously touching herself while spying on the randy couple, everything changes within their once lackluster marriage.

A Perfect Pearl: Elaine Shelton, Lady Raynesford, has never been dissatisfied with the efforts of her husband, Owen, in bed. However, she's never been left in awe by them, either. He makes love the very same way he does everything in life--in exactly the same, predictable manner, each and every time. Encouraged by her new friends, Judith and Vivian, Elaine takes a bold step: she intends to seduce Owen into variety, no matter the consequences.

Leg-Shackled: Audrey Veazey thinks she's always been rather open-minded when it comes to beddings with her husband, Lodge, but watching the other young, married ladies at the Quintons' house party titter and talk leaves her blushing. The Earl of Holbrook, the blackguard, insinuates in no uncertain terms that she's a bit prudish. Could that be? One thing is for certain--she intends to find out if her husband agrees with Holbrook or not, and if he does, she's determined to change his mind.

Uninhibited: A child bride who hasn't seen her husband for ten years, Naomi Cunningham refuses to spend another day as the Countess of Holbrook, essentially locked away in her husband's Hampshire estate. She seeks him out at the Quintons' house party looking for one thing--an annulment. When Naomi arrives, Grey is livid. His ire only rises upon her preposterous request, not to mention his unfounded desire for the woman who was only a girl when last he saw her. But will she be satisfied with a divorce, or might something else satisfy her?

I started reading one of these stories on Saturday night after looking for a quick, spicy read. Over the course of the weekend I ended up reading the entire anthology! Such a fun collection of stories involving young marrieds at a summer house party. My favorite story is Of Love and Lust, but they're all fantastic!

Mind Over Murder

Cousins and best friends, Clara and Stephanie Quinn run The Raven's Nest Bookstore, where people go to find their most coveted reads. But they have no idea it's the psychically-gifted Clara who's reading them...
The bookstore has made an enemy of the town crier, Ana Jordon, who claims that the store's occult collection is poisoning" the town's youth. Meanwhile, the store's number-one employee, Molly, has made no secret of her anger over Ana's antics. So when Ana is found dead, killed by the bust of Edgar Allen Poe sculpted by Molly, the evidence is stacked against her. And Clara must rely on her gift to make sense of this senseless murder...

This is the first book in a fun new paranormal cozy series set in a bookstore in a small town in Maine, one of my top favorite locations for a cozy series. Will definitely be looking forward to additional books in the series.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Kindle Korner

This is what I've downloaded onto my Kindle in the past 10 days or so...what have you gotten lately?

Wild and Unruly
Wild Wild Widow
Emmett and Gentry
Lawless Hearts
Under His Hand
Lawless, Texas
Love Finds You in Homestead, Iowa (free)

Thread Reckoning
Quickstep to Murder
Button Holed

Reckless Desires
Diary of a Mad Fat Bride
A Time to Heal (free)
Gooseberry Patch Circle of Friends 25 Burger Recipes (free)
Kate's Kisses
Grace's Gold
Cherished: 21 Authors on Animals They Have Loved and Lost
If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name

Friday, September 9, 2011

A Year with My Kindle

A year ago today my Kindle arrived. It was my birthday gift to myself, purchased simply because I needed to stop buying so many books as they were taking over my house!

Little did I know not only would I continue buying paperbacks, but a whole new world would be opened up to my with ebooks...and now I buy more and have more books to read than ever before!!!

In one year I have accumulated a little more than 1,000 ebooks...the majority of which are my beloved western historicals, but I also have purchased many other historical romances, mysteries (although my favorite cozy series I still buy paperbacks because I adore the covers!), paranormals, women's fiction, nonfiction...even books I'll probably never read buy downloaded them because they were free!!!

At this point I can't imagine life without my Kindle. How have ebooks affected your reading life?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Emmett and Gentry

The saga of Donovan Creed’s ancestors continues in Emmett & Gentry, the third book in the Emmett Love western adventure series.

Still in chains after serving twenty-eight months for a crime he didn’t commit, former gunslinger and sheriff, Emmett Love, heads to Dodge City to find Gentry, the love of his life. What he finds instead is a ghost town, ravaged by the Civil War, and ten town widows who are determined to make him forget about his sweetheart.

When a new Emmett and Gentry western is released, I just have to drop everything. And that's exactly what happened on Monday when I got an email from John Locke that the new story was up on Kindle, for only 99 cents! These stories are sometimes touching, sometimes hilarious, always fantastic!!! Even if you aren't a fan of westerns you can't go wrong when you read this series featuring the sheriff of Dodge City and his soul mate, ex-prostitute Gentry.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Thunder Dog

A blind man and his guide dog show the power of trust and courage in the midst of devastating terror.
It was 12:30 a.m. on 9/11 and Roselle whimpered at Michael's bedside. A thunderstorm was headed east, and she could sense the distant rumbles while her owners slept. As a trained guide dog, when she was "on the clock" nothing could faze her. But that morning, without her harness, she was free to be scared, and she nudged Michael's hand with her wet nose as it draped over the bedside toward the floor. She needed him to wake up.
With a busy day of meetings and an important presentation ahead, Michael slumped out of bed, headed to his home office, and started chipping away at his daunting workload. Roselle, shivering, took her normal spot at his feet and rode out the storm while he typed. By all indications it was going to be a normal day. A busy day, but normal nonetheless. Until they went into the office.
In Thunder Dog, follow Michael and his guide dog, Roselle, as their lives are changed forever by two explosions and 1,463 stairs. When the first plane struck Tower One, an enormous boom, frightening sounds, and muffled voices swept through Michael's office while shards of glass and burning scraps of paper fell outside the windows.
But in this harrowing story of trust and courage, discover how blindness and a bond between dog and man saved lives and brought hope during one of America's darkest days.

Beautiful memoir about a heroic man and his dog. One paragraph really brought a lump to my throat, as the author describes a fireman heading up into the towers and stopping to pet Roselle and make sure they were alright..."He gives Roselle one last pat. She kisses his hand and then he is gone. I would realize later that this touch was probably the last unconditional love he ever got."

Friday, September 2, 2011

Bitter Harvest

Now that Meg Corey's apples have been harvested and sold, she's enjoying some free time. But when the small but annoying mishaps plaguing her start turning sinister, Meg begins to worry that her first harvest may be her last.
This is the 5th book in the Orchard Mystery series, and one of the few longer lasting cozy series I've been able to keep up with. I think what I love so much about this series is the New England history that's sprinkled throughout every book. I'm a lifelong New Englander and can't imagine living anywhere else.

This one is unusual in that there is no modern day murder. Except for the mystery of who is harrassing Meg, the majority of the mystery is connected to a mourning sampler Meg finds in a closet dating back to the late 1700s and the sad story of the young girl that left it there. Meg has a lot of decisions to make in this book as well, and learns a lot about herself and the people around her in the process.

If you haven't picked up an Orchard Mystery, pick one up today!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

This Week's Kindle Purchases

A Life Restored
Who Murdered the Ghost
Skeleton in a Dead Space
Mace of Spades
My Grandfather is One Heck of a Mummy
Ride the Lightning
Shop of Secrets and Shades
Don't Make Me Make You Brownies
Two Days Til Sundae
Stinky Dog
Fall of Jericho
Tragic Toppings
Gold Rush Groom
A Texan's Promise
The Devil's Daughter

Murder at the Vicarage
Case of the Flashing Fashion Queen
Spying in High Heels
Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise
Mama Does Time
Scared Stiff
Outlaw Lawman
Texas Tender
Someone Like You
When Love Comes
No Place for a Lady

Gold Digger
Sleight of Paw
The Diva Haunts the House
Mind Over Murder