Monday, April 30, 2012

A Governess Tempted

A quick 20 page story dubbed an erotic historical couples' fantasy...not at all what you're expecting with a fun little twist at the end!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Improper Relations

When Hannah's caught watching her late husband's cousin debauch the maid in the library, she's mortified—but also intrigued. An unpaid companion to his aunt, she's used to being ignored.

The black sheep of the family, Leo has nothing but his good looks and noble birth to recommend him. Hannah ought to be appalled at what she's witnessed, but there's something about Leo that draws her to him.

When Leo claims he can prove that women can feel desire as passionately as men, Hannah is incredulous. Her own experiences have been uninspiring. Yet she can't bring herself to refuse his audacious proposal when he offers to tutor her in the art of lovemaking. As the tantalizing, wicked lessons continue, she begins to fear she's losing not just her inhibitions, but her heart as well. The poorest of relations, she has nothing to offer Leo but herself. Will it be enough when their erotic education ends?

This is an historical erotic novella just the way I like them...spicy yet also very sweet, with an unlikely couple you will find yourself rooting for. The story is rich with historical detail, and I especially loved the descriptions of the English countryside when Hannah left the residence of the Marchioness.  Juliana Ross is a fresh new voice in historical romance I hope to see more of in the future.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Cake on a Hot Tin Roof

Pastry chef Rita Lucero's Mardi Gras party turns funereal when one of her guests is found dead after a public fight with her uncle-leaving Rita no choice but to find the real killer and clear her uncle's name...

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, but loved this second even more! Set during the fun and chaos of Mardi Gras, we are introduced to Rita's beloved Uncle Nestor and Aunt Yolanda. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out what secrets they were hiding, and hope to find out in subsequent books how they are doing. The mystery had me stumped, with a wealth of suspects. And the fate of the murderer really surprised me in the end. With Rita being a pastry chef, the descriptions of her cake creations had my mouth watering. I love books set in New is a city with the perfect atmosphere for a mystery. Bravo!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kaspar the Titanic Cat

When kaspar the cat first arrived at London’s Savoy Hotel, it was Johnny Trott who carried him in. After all, Johnny was a bellboy and was responsible for all of Countess Kandinsky’s things— including Kaspar. But when tragedy befalls the Countess during her stay, Kaspar becomes more than Johnny’s responsibility: Kaspar is Johnny’s new cat, and his new best friend.

And when Kaspar and Johnny meet Lizziebeth, a spirited young heiress, they find themselves journeying across the Atlantic with Lizziebeth’s family on England’s newest and most magnificent ship, the Titanic. Because there is always adventure in the air with a cat like Kaspar around. After all, he’s Kaspar Kandinsky, Prince of Cats, a Londoner and a New Yorker and, as far as anyone knows, the only cat to survive the sinking of the Titanic. . . .

This book was featured in last weekend's USA Today newspaper, and I love this quote from the review: "The plot is clever, but it is the simple yet subtle writing and insights into human and feline pain that make this one of the best works of fiction published this year."  This book is so special; it is a perfect read for YA fans, cat lovers, history readers. The action on the Titanic is actually a small part of the book, the majority of the story focuses on Johnny's search for a place to belong, his special friendships with the tragic Countess and feisty Lizziebeth, and the love they all share for a very special cat. Written by the author of War Horse, I can only hope this book becomes a movie one day too.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Crops and Robbers

Bailey's Farmer's Market is all abuzz with the impending visit of the Central South Carolina Restaurant Association. Becca is quite excited, especially since her parents are visiting. But when the president of the Association vetoes Becca's strawberry preserves, she finds herself reeling from the snub. After pulling herself together, Becca heads home, only to find the president's body in her kitchen and her mother with bloody hands. Now, Becca has to use her sleuthing skills to get her mom out of this terrible jam...before she winds up preserving in prison.

This fun 3rd entry in Paige Shelton's Farmers' Market mystery series introduces more members of Becca's family...her hippie parents! I loved the role sweet Hobbit played in catching a killer...what a brave little girl! (I hope we get to see her on a book cover soon!) And I really enjoyed the twist in Becca's love life, and look forward to finding out what decisions she makes.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Always Adding to the Wish List

A book addict is never safe from finding new books to add to the wish list. This morning I'm browing the USA Today website, innocently click on the Book section, and BINGO 4 more books I'm coveting. And my will power is weak.

* The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe. (Oh how I loved The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane!)

*Kaspar the Titanic Cat by Michael Morpurgo (The author of War Horse)

*Kitty Cornered by Bob Tarte

*Giant George_ Life with the World's Biggest Dog by Dave Nasser (Have I ever mentioned how much I adore Great Danes? Look at that face!!!)

What have you added to your wish list lately?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Book Giveaways

I love scouring blogs for opportunities to win books. I also love receiving ARC's of books to review on my blog. So far I've made it a point to only request books I would have purchased/read anyways. The way I look at it is I'm saving money to buy still more books!

Weeks will go by I don't win a thing. But the past week I've been extremely lucky with my ARC request/blog winning attempts. I've gotten:

* Rest in Pizza by Chris Cavender
* The Cat Sitter's Pajamas by Blaize Clement
* Dawn Comes Early by Margaret Brownley
* Brody by Emma Lang

Let the mailman stalking begin!!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lifeboat No. 8: An Untold Tale of Love, Loss, and Surviving the Titanic (Kindle Single)

When the Titanic started sinking, who would make it off alive? The two cousins who had been so eager to see their first iceberg? The maid who desperately tried to escape with the baby in her care? The young newlyweds who’d booked passage despite warnings not to?

One hundred years after that disastrous and emblematic voyage, Elizabeth Kaye reveals the extraordinary, little-known story behind one of the first lifeboats to leave the doomed ship.

Told in real time and in the actual voices of survivors, Kaye’s poignant, pulse-pounding narrative includes the story of the Countess of Rothes, the wealthiest woman on the ship, bound for California, where she and her husband planned to start an orange farm. It was the Countess, dressed in ermine and pearls, who took command of Lifeboat No. 8, rowing for hours through the black and icy water. In the words of one of the Titanic’s crew, she was “more of a man than any we have on board.”

At the heart of Kaye’s tale is a budding romance between the Countess’s maid, Roberta Maioni, and the Titanic’s valiant wireless operator, Jack Phillips. While Roberta made it safely onto Lifeboat No. 8, holding nothing but a photo of Jack she had run back to her cabin to retrieve, he remained on the ship, where he would send out the world’s first SOS signal. But would it be received in time to save his life?

Surviving that fateful night in the North Atlantic was not the end of the saga for those aboard Lifeboat No 8. Kaye reveals what happened to each passenger and crew member and how the legendary maritime disaster haunted them forever.
A century later, we’re still captivated by the Titanic and its passengers. With its skillful use of survivors’ letters, diaries, and testimonies, “Lifeboat No. 8” adds a dramatic new chapter to the ongoing story.

I've always been fascinated by the Titanic; actually by any such disaster and the stories of the people involved. It was really quite eerie reading this last night, at the exact moment the "unsinkable" ship hit the iceberg 100 years ago. I read this in a single sitting and it absolutely took my breath away. It only focuses on a handful of the victims but that makes it all the more compelling. I cared about what happened to these people. Which ones survived? Which ones didn't? What did the future hold for the lucky few that made it onto Lifeboat #8?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Killer Read

For the first meeting of the Ashton Corners Mystery Readers and Cheese Straws Society, six friends gather in Molly Matthews's old Southern mansion-including Lizzie Turner, a reading specialist with a penchant for mysteries. But the mystery book club meeting becomes the scene of an actual murder when a stranger is shot-and nobody knows who the victim is, or how Molly' antique gun came to be used as the murder weapon.
Then Lizzie begins finding mysterious manuscript chapters in her mailbox. As she and the book club members try to read between the lines, Molly surfaces as the next name on the killer's list...

An outstanding first book in Erika Chase's new Ashton Corners Book Club mystery series featuring a cast of characters I would love to be in a book club with. Lizzie is a great protagonist with a sad family history, an unusual occupation, and 2 beautiful Siamese cats I hope to see more of in future books. And I *love* the weapon Lizzie ended up using when defending herself against the killer at the'll just have to read the book to find out what it is. It will make all mystery lovers smile.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Never Tell Your Dreams

Superstition: Noun
1. An irrational belief arising from ignorance or fear.
2. Circumstances under which Maggie Greenlee lives her life.

Maggie’s life revolves around superstition. Never walk under a ladder, don’t let a black cat cross your path, Maggie’s favorite, toss a pinch of salt over your shoulder for good luck, are staples Granny taught her. But the biggie, never tell your dreams before breakfast, is the one Maggie is sure is an old wive’s tell. But after Maggie hears that someone had a dream that Maggie was left at the altar, before breakfast-no less! –Maggie pulls out all the superstitious stops to make that dream not come true.

Until her fiance breaks off their engagement and she loses her job. . .all in one week.

Maggie goes back to Grandberry Falls where Granny's sweet tea and the annual Jubilee is just the cure she needs. Only everyone seems to be keeping a secret from her.

Mayor Mitch Dozier is busy working on the eminent domain case against Maggie's granny's farm. Maggie's granny insists that Maggie doesn't find out about the case, and Maggie is a distraction he doesn't need.His heart was broken once by Maggie Greenlee. He won't let it happen again.

Will Maggie and Mitch discover that the future of Grandberry Falls depends on them?
At the end of A Superstitious Christmas, we were left wondering who Maggie would choose, Grandberry Falls hometown boy Mitch or her fiancé, NYC hotshot Grady. We know where her heart lies, but the pull of the city is strong. Of course the path to true love never runs smoothly, and many misunderstandings ensue, and Maggie’s push towards her final decision comes from an unlikely source. It was so wonderful to revisit the good folks of Grandberry Falls…I even found myself liking Grady by the end!

Tonya has penned another winner…her books just make you feel good!

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Cat, the Wife and the Weapon

When quilter Jillian Hart returns to her lake house in Mercy, South Carolina, she discovered her friend, Tom, is missing-and his estranged half-brother has moved into Tom's house. Jillian doesn't trust the guy, especially since he allowed Tom's diabetic cat to escape. When police officers find Tom's wrecked car with a dead stranger inside, Jillian is determined to find out what happened to Tom-before someone else turns up dead.

Leann Sweeney is a master at making readers care about her characters. Time spent with them is an absolutely joy. Jillian and her beloved cats Merlot, Syrah and Chablis are at the top of the list of my favorite cozy characters. In this fourth book in the series, we learn so much about Tom and his dysfunctional family. My heart went out to much pain and neglect in his life yet he has turned out to be such a great kid. He and Yoshi make the cutest team! Seeing how they integrate themselves into Jillian and Tom's relationship will be a treat.

This book is also extra special to me because of Tom's cat Dashiell. He's right at the center of the action in Jillian's latest adventure, and I loved the way Leann dropped into the story tidbits about the extra care and attention a diabetic cat requires. She's an expert on the topic as well, as her beloved cat Agatha is diabetic. Leann has been there for me to pick her brain over the past several months as I've adjusted to life with my sugar kitty Tara.

This series just keeps getting better and better, and book #5 can't come fast enough for this reader!!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

First Tuesday-April 2012

Fans of cozy mysteries look forward to the First Tuesday of each month, for that is the date of new releases. This month brings us an exciting blend of new series and returning favorites. In case you missed any, here is a list of the new books I received in the mail and on my Kindle today. Did you miss any?

*Home for a Spell-Madelyn Alt
*50% Off Murder-Josie Belle
*A Killer Read-Erika Chase
*Scarlet Pepper-Dorothy St James
*Hounds Abound-Linda O Johnston
*Reap What You Sew-Elizabeth Lynn Casey
*Dread on Arrival-Claudia Bishop
*The Cat, the Wife, and the Weapon-Leann Sweeney
*Long Stitch Goodnight-Amanda Lee
*Let Them Eat Stake-Sarah Zettel

And last but not least, an ebook exclusive I'm very excited about because of my love for Little House on the Prairie, Don't Trade the Baby for a Horse: And Other Ways to Make Your Life a Little More Laura Ingalls Wilder by Wendy McClure.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Hoarder's Daughter

After the death of her father, Dana Morrison noticed that her mother’s house was becoming cluttered. First she saved grocery bags, then newspapers, and empty boxes. In no time flat, her house was filled with junk, junk, and more junk! Dana made the mistake of cleaning house, but that just made matters worse when her mother decided that her trash was more valuable to her than her daughter.

Fascinating but sad look at how hoarding can devastate a family. Makes me a little wary of my packrat tendencies.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Since she was little, Cora Early had thought herself homely, and she’d never been given reason to think otherwise. In fact, she had feared no man would ever want to marry her.

But someone does marry her. The handsome, ex-outlaw Frank Early.

Their life together starts out a happy one, despite the hardships that come with starting a farm.

But now that farm is failing, and Frank is growing restless and unhappy. So unhappy that he won’t even make love to Cora anymore.

Cora is determined to save both the farm and her marriage, but when Frank’s former partner, the darkly seductive Levi Burton, appears out of nowhere, he proves not only a temptation to Frank to return to his outlawing ways, but also to the sexually frustrated Cora.

This is the second in Diana Castle's Spicy Tales of the Wild West trilogy. In the beginning I didn't think I was going to love this one as much as I did the first, Under His Hands, but 1/3 of the way in I was swiping the pages on my Kindle like crazy.

I hated the way Frank treated his wife, and didn't blame Cora at all for turning to Levi. Then the revelation of what Levi was running from and Cora's dilemma, the storm, Frank's discovery of his wife and best friend together. So much emotional turmoil in this novella! I couldn't wait to see how everything would be resolved.