Book Review: Hope, Faith & a Corpse by Laura Jensen Walker

  • Title: Hope, Faith & a Corpse
  • Author: Laura Jensen Walker
  • Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
  • Publication Day: January 12, 2021
  • Where to buy: Amazon (affiliate link)
  • Genre: Cozy Mystery

From Goodreads:

In the tradition of M. C. Beaton, Hope Taylor, pastor of a small-town California church, tries to find out who sent a church elder to Heaven.

Hope Taylor arrives in Apple Springs to start her new life as the first female pastor of Faith Chapel Episcopal Church. The northern California town’s quaint cottages, bungalows, and shops promise a fresh start for the 42-year-old widow and Bogie, her scruffy black Labrador. But where is Father Christopher? The kindly old rector who hired Pastor Hope was supposed to meet her upon her arrival, but he’s nowhere to be seen. Hope’s faith springs eternal, so she explores the little white church hoping to find Father Christopher. But when she enters the columbarium, she instead finds church elder Stanley King–his skull crushed by a fallen burial urn.

Hope had made Stanley’s acquaintance before, and had struggled to take a charitable view of his character. Stanley was as wicked as he was wealthy, as petty as he was pious. His soul may have been holy, but his behavior was wholly rotten. The last time Hope had seen him, he had shouted drunkenly that she would preach at Faith Chapel over his dead body.

Many of the townsfolk witnessed the altercation, so Hope finds herself as the prime suspect in Stanley’s murder. With Bogie’s four-footed assistance, Hope is determined to find the real killer and clear her name…even if it will require a bit of divine intervention. 

My review:

I love a good ecclesiastical mystery. Father Brown, Alison Golden’s Reverend Annabelle Dixon, Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael, I read them all. (The Father Brown TV show was pretty awesome, too.) And now, I can add Episcopal priest Hope Taylor to the list.

This book was DELIGHTFUL. I could not have enjoyed it more if there were two of me to read it twice. Hope gets off on the wrong foot as the new pastor of Faith Chapel Episcopal Church when she shows up for her first day on the job, finds the body, and ends up as a suspect right off the bat. Even worse, she has the audacity to be…a WOMAN.

The corpse, one Stanley King, shows up early on, and Hope doesn’t remain the prime suspect for long. Everybody in town seems to have had an axe to grind with the decedent (or the King, as he liked to be called). His children, Todd and Samantha. His brother-in-law, James. Marjorie, the old guard of Faith Chapel, and no fan of either Stanley or Hope. So lots of people had reason to not mourn his passing. But who actually struck the killing blow?

Ms. Walker does an admirable job of laying down trails that make you think you’ve figured out whodunnit and then going another way, and she does so while giving you a vivid picture of life and people in a small town. Hope is an extremely likable character. You get snippets of her thought life as she talks to herself, usually after she’s committed some unintentional social faux pas. That made me feel like I knew her a little better, and like she’d be someone I’d sit down with for coffee and pie at Suzie’s (although Hope would have tea).

And one thing I truly enjoyed about this book was the faith aspect. Not only is it clean in the sense that there’s no swearing, no 18+ themed material, it also has a main character who actually talks about her faith. Sure, she’s a pastor, so we know she has faith. But it isn’t shuffled off to the side or implied. Hope talked about times where she held off on a decision or action and God confirmed what she’d thought to do. I find that positively refreshing!

A lot of people may have the notion that “Christian fiction” doesn’t always make for great reading. Perish that thought here. Hope, Faith & a Corpse is a cracking good read, well written, set in a believable world, with characters that are just like the folks you might see in your hometown. I hope Ms. Walker has more of Apple Springs and Pastor Hope to share with us – I’ll be first in line to read.

Thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for an advance reader copy. All opinions here are mine, and I don’t say nice things about books I don’t actually like.

Posted in ARC Reads, Book Reviews, Cozy Mystery, NetGalley | Leave a comment

Tornado Warning at Taco Bell

Y’all thought I was all about reading and reviewing books here, didn’t you? Surprise! I occasionally take a stab at writing something other than a blog. Most recently, I entered the NYC Midnight 250-word microfiction competition.

For those of you not familiar with this competition, applicants are divided into groups, and each group is assigned a genre, an action, and a word. You then have 24 hours to write and submit your 250-word microfiction work.

This year, my genre was comedy, my action was ordering from a drive-thru, and my word was “rich.” I’m seldom intentionally funny, so I was kind of nervous about comedy, but figured I’d write what I know. I hear that’s something that works well.

The results came out tonight. Alas, I did not move on to round two. But that’s okay. It was still fun, and I’ll try again next time. Maybe I should try something a bit longer than microfiction? Nah, I’m not sure I have the ability to keep a story straight for longer than that.

Here it is, in all its glory (or not)!

Tornado Warning at Taco Bell

“I’d like a chalupa box, five crunchy tacos, a quesarito, and a large Mountain Dew Baja Blast.” Good grief, a teenage boy eats a lot, I thought.

“Thank you, please pull forward,” came the muffled response from the speaker.

ENGH! ENGH! ENGH! The emergency alert blared just as the car started to move.

“Tornado warning for…”

We held our breath.

“Iberville Parish.”

“Oh, crap,” cried my son. “Why did I have to want Taco Bell today?! We’re gonna die because I had to have Taco Bell!”

We pulled up to the window (because I’d paid for Taco Bell, and I wasn’t rich, so we were going to get Taco Bell, tornado warning be hanged).

“Can you drive around front and park? We’ll bring your food out.”

“Of course they’d say that today! Don’t they listen to the weather?!” Trying to lighten the mood, I said, “Just think, son, we’re making memories!”

“Memories?!” he scoffed. “Oh, yeah, I can tell my kids how I nearly died for Taco Bell. That’ll be great.” But he snickered, just a little. Then his face turned the color of sour cream.

“Mom. Don’t they say tornadoes sound like a train?”

“Ye-es….” Then I heard it, too. It had to be right on top of us. No time to take cover. The car started to shake.

BR-AAAAAAAAAP. Silence. Then, holy cow, the stank.

“Sorry, Mom,” he said as he rolled down his window. “Guess I didn’t hear a tornado after all.”

Posted in In Which I Attempt to Write | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Ink and Shadows by Ellery Adams

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights books soon to be released, the ones we’re excited about but haven’t read yet. It’s hosted by Wishful Endings, and was formerly hosted by Breaking the Spine. Y’all can check out all of this week’s Can’t-Wait Wednesday posts here.

This week’s can’t-wait book:

Title: Ink and Shadows

Author: Ellery Adams

Series: Secret, Book and Scone Society #4

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Publication Date: January 26, 2021

Publisher: Kensington

Length: 304 pages

Synopsis:

Controversy erupts in Miracle Springs, North Carolina, when the owner of the local bookstore tries to play peacekeeper—but winds up playing detective instead…

Nora Pennington is known for her window displays, and as Halloween approaches, she decides to showcase fictional heroines like Roald Dahl’s Matilda and Madeline Miller’s Circe. A family-values group disapproves of the magical themes, though, and wastes no time launching a modern-day witch hunt. Suddenly, former friends and customers are targeting not only Nora and Miracle Books, but a new shopkeeper, Celeste, who’s been selling CBD oil products.

Nora and her friends in the Secret, Book, and Scone Society are doing their best to put an end to the strife—but then someone puts an end to a life. Though the death is declared an accident, the ruling can’t explain the old book page covered with strange symbols and disturbing drawings left under Nora’s doormat, a postcard from an anonymous stalker, or multiple cases of vandalism.

The only hope is that Nora can be a heroine herself and lead the Secret, Book, and Scone Society in a successful investigation—before more bodies turn up and the secrets from Celeste’s past come back to haunt them all . . . 

My thoughts:

Ellery Adams’s Secret, Book and Scone Society ranks very highly on my list of favorite cozy mystery series. From the first one, these books have just been magical. They have drawn me in, not only with well-told mysteries, but with the special bond of friendship that Nora and her friends share. Like last week’s entry, this book also involves a bookstore, and I am just a sucker for mysteries with literary aspects. I am ridiculously excited to read Ink and Shadows!

What say you? Yea or nay?

Posted in Book Memes, Can't-Wait Wednesday, Mystery | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Book Review: Lore by Alexandra Bracken

  • Title: Lore
  • Author: Alexandra Bracken
  • Publisher: Disney Hyperion
  • Publication Day: January 5, 2021
  • Where to buy: Amazon (affiliate link)
  • Genre: YA Contemporary Fantasy

From Goodreads:

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.
Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees. 

My review:

The premise of this book is intriguing. For one week every seven years, rebellious Greek gods are forced into mortality, and the descendants of ancient bloodlines have the opportunity to kill them and take their power – and become the hunted seven years later. (Although if I think about that real hard, if the mortals who seize power and become gods are then the hunted, is it still the original rebellious gods who are on the hot seat? Maybe not….)

Modern day New York City and ancient Greek gods and goddesses. It’s an interesting juxtaposition. I’ve seen it described as Greek mythology meets the Hunger Games, and I can kind of see that. Lore is the last of her line, as her family was brutally killed in the last Agon. She is a hot mess of conflict, y’all. She wants out of the fight entirely. But she wants revenge on the man who killed her family. She doesn’t really know what she wants. But when a seriously wounded Athena, last of the original gods to survive, shows up on her doorstep and asks for Lore’s help in going after her family’s killer, Lore takes the opportunity.

The early part of the story was almost enough to make me give up on it. It was a lot of information without a real framework in which to fit it. The glossary helped, though, at least with keeping the families and the characters straight.

And once you got past that first bit, it got better. Sure, Lore was conflicted, but she’s also a teenage girl. How many of us really knew our own minds when we were teenagers?

There’s a little bit of romance with her childhood friend Castor, but it isn’t the main focus of the story. Had it been left out and had they stayed friends, the storyline wouldn’t have suffered. There are some entertaining fight sequences, but it was a little bit of a stretch to me to think that all of that devastation would take place in New York City and there would be no real comment on it.

Lots of action, plot twists, and a main character for whom you can’t help but feel a little sympathy make for a very readable story – once you slog through the setup. A good choice if you’re a fan of YA fantasy and into mythology.

Thanks to NetGalley and Disney Hyperion for the advance reader copy. All opinions here are my own, and I don’t say nice things about books I don’t really like.

Posted in ARC Reads, Book Reviews, Fantasy, NetGalley, Young Adult | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Lana’s War by Anita Abriel

  • Title: Lana’s War
  • Author: Anita Abriel
  • Publisher: Atria Press
  • Publication Day: January 12, 2021
  • Where to buy: Amazon (affiliate link)
  • Genre: Historical Fiction, World War II Fiction

From Goodreads:

Paris 1943: Lana Antanova is on her way to see her husband with the thrilling news that she is pregnant. But when she arrives at the convent where he teaches music, she’s horrified to see Gestapo officers execute him for hiding a Jewish girl in the piano.

A few months later, grieving both her husband and her lost pregnancy, Lana is shocked when she’s approached to join the resistance on the French Riviera. As the daughter of a Russian countess, Lana has the perfect background to infiltrate the émigré community of Russian aristocrats who socialize with German officers, including the man who killed her husband.

Lana’s cover story makes her the mistress of Guy Pascal, a wealthy Swiss industrialist and fellow resistance member, in whose villa in Cap Ferrat she lives. Together, they gather information on upcoming raids and help members of the Jewish community escape. Consumed by her work, she doesn’t expect to become attached to a young Jewish girl or wonder about the secrets held by the man whose house she shares. And as the Nazis’ deadly efforts intensify, her intention to protect those around her may put them all at risk instead.

With Anita Abriel’s “heartfelt and memorable” (Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author) storytelling, Lana’s War is a sweeping and suspenseful tale of survival and second chances during some of the darkest days of history.

My review:

I’ve read several historical fiction novels set during World War II, but I’ve never read one that focused on the French Resistance. Lana’s War does that, and it’s fascinating!

Lana is on her way to the convent where her husband, Frederic, teaches. She has wonderful news to share. But things take a horrible turn when he tries to defend a Jewish girl from the Gestapo and is shot dead for his efforts. Lana is devastated, and her misery is compounded when she loses the baby that she never got to tell Frederic about.

When Lana is offered an opportunity to work with the French Resistance, she decides to do what she can to help others. As the daughter of a Russian countess, she is in a unique position to mingle with the Russian expatriate community on the Riviera – a community that happens to rub elbows with a lot of high-ranking German solders, including the man who shot Lana’s husband. She poses as the mistress of Guy Pascal, a wealthy Swiss businessman. Guy is also part of the Resistance, and he and Lana are to work together to help Jews escape the clutches of the ever-persistent Germans.

I can’t imagine being put into a situation where I had lost my husband and then had to pretend to be another man’s lover just a few months later. That’s what Lana had to do. Not surprisingly, her relationship with Guy was a little strained at first. Her impulsiveness early in the mission doesn’t help. She befriends a Jewish woman, Sophie, and her daughter, Odette, with almost no thought to the fact that it might draw unwanted attention from the Germans. To say Guy is unhappy with this would be an understatement.

But they work past the rough beginning, and Lana soon uses her assets to an advantage, attracting both the attention of Captain Von Harmon and Alois Brunner, the man who killed Frederic. She and Guy, working together, are able to capitalize on the Germans’ interest, distracting them from raids and allowing the Resistance to move boatloads of Jews out of the Riviera to safety in England.

Several moments in this book had me holding my breath as I moved from page to page. The tension was palpable as a game of German cat and Resistance mouse progressed. There were near misses and sticky situations, and it made for an engrossing story.

The descriptions of the French Riviera and high society there were just luscious. It sounds like it would be lovely to visit when there isn’t a war going on! And relationships seemed to fall into place rather quickly, but I understand that the urgency of wartime puts a new perspective on things. The budding romance between Lana and Guy adds a little lightness to a heavy time, and Lana’s heart for others motivates her actions, even when they sometimes seem to be the wrong ones.

My only gripe was the ending. I’m not saying whether it’s a “happily ever after” or not, just that it didn’t go in the direction I initially expected/hoped for. But again, in the context of war, and in the context of the characters being who they were, it makes a kind of sense.

Four stars for a fascinating story and a different point of view on the World War II era. Thanks to NetGalley and Atria Press for an advance reader copy.

Posted in ARC Reads, Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, NetGalley | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Beginnings on Friday and Book Blogger Hop – January 8, 2021

Friday Book Beginnings is hosted each week by Rose City Reader. It’s a chance to share the first sentence or so of the book you are reading this week.

This week I’m reading We Could Be Heroes by Mike Chen. It will be released on January 26, 2021.

MY BOOK BEGINNING

The way the bank teller shrunk back in fear captured everything. After all, Jamie Sorenson was a villain.

Not just a villain. He was the Mind Robber. And he terrified the people of San Delgado.

What say you? Are you intrigued? I’m on the blog tour for this one, so check back later this month to see my full review.

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer. It starts each Friday and runs through the following Thursday. Each week, there’s a new prompt featuring a book-related question. It’s designed to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, make new blogging friends, and gain followers.

This week’s prompt: What upcoming books are you intrigued to read in 2021?

There are so many good books coming out in 2021! Some I’m eagerly anticipating:

Ellery Adams’ Secret, Book and Scone Society series is one of my absolute favorite mystery series, and I’m really looking forward to the next installment! Release date January 26.

Everything I’ve ever read by Charlie N. Holmberg has been a delight. I anticipate that Spellmaker will continue in that same vein. Release date March 9.

A dual-timeline story about a secret apothecary who provides poisons to help desperate women get rid of troublesome men, in a time when women were considered little more than property? Intriguing! Release date March 2.

Are any of these on your TBR list?

Posted in Book Beginnings on Fridays, Book Blogger Hop, Book Memes | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Book Review: Chilled to the Cone by Ellie Alexander

  • Title: Chilled to the Cone
  • Series: Bakeshop Mystery #12
  • Author: Ellie Alexander
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
  • Publication Day: December 29, 2020
  • Where to buy: Amazon (affiliate link)
  • Genre: Cozy Mystery
  • My rating: 4 stars

From Goodreads:

The deep freeze has thawed in Ashland, Oregon and Torte is gearing up for a busy spring. When a surprise opportunity to launch a pop-up ice cream shop comes her way, Jules jumps at the chance to showcase Torte’s signature iced drinks and cold custards. But selling the desserts of her dreams comes at a price. . .and, before she knows it, Jules’s life swirls into a nightmare. One of the town’s most colorful characters, a street performer known for wearing capes and a cone-shaped hat, turns up dead just as Torte 2.0 is set to open its doors. Can Jules get the scoop on what happened to “The Wizard” of Ashland before her new business venture reaches a chilling conclusion? 

My review:

This was my first visit to Ashland, Oregon with Jules, but it won’t be my last! This is the twelfth in Ellie Alexander’s Bakeshop Mystery series. I didn’t know all of the backstory, but I was able to glean enough information from this book that I didn’t feel too lost.

I love a good cozy mystery, and Alexander hits the cozy nail on the head with this one. Jules is a likable protagonist, and the food theme in cozies is one of my favorites. Here, Jules’ friend Laney lets her know about an available space in Ashland’s Railroad District. After some consideration, Jules and her crew move ahead with opening Torte 2.0, a second location that will serve ice cream, iced coffees, and other cool treats. The renovation is put on hold, however, when The Wizard, a local colorful character, ends up dead. Who could have killed him, and why? In addition to sorting out where she and Carlos stand and getting the new space ready, Jules has to investigate the mystery.

This was a lot of fun to read! The recipes and descriptions of all the treats were positively drool-worthy, and I wish I lived in Ashland and could really go to Torte to try some of them. The mystery was an engaging one, with clues and hints, but not so many as to give away the ending too early.

In addition to the food and the crime to be solved, the story also looked at several relationships. Carlos has come to Ashland and left the high seas behind, but Jules fears he misses the cruise ship life more than he loves her. I adore the Professor and his relationship with Jules’ mom. I’m probably more of an age with those two characters, and they just make me smile. And Lance, who is apparently something of a playboy, not much for settling down, may have been stricken by Cupid’s arrow at last. A story with richly drawn relationships, whether longstanding and comfortable or brand-new, is always a treat to read.

Whether you’re new to the series or all caught up already, this latest addition to the Bakeshop Mystery series will satisfy your craving for a good cozy read! I’ll definitely be reading the first eleven to get myself up to speed. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance reader copy.

Posted in Book Reviews, Mystery, NetGalley | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Persephone Station by Stina Leicht

  • Title: Persephone Station
  • Author: Stina Leicht
  • Publisher: Gallery/Saga Press
  • Publication Day: January 5, 2021
  • Where to buy: Amazon (affiliate link)
  • Genre: Sci-Fi, Space Opera
  • My rating: 3.5 stars

From Goodreads:

Persephone Station, a seemingly backwater planet that has largely been ignored by the United Republic of Worlds, becomes the focus for the Serrao-Orlov Corporation as the planet has a few secrets the corporation tenaciously wants to exploit.

Rosie—owner of Monk’s Bar, in the corporate town of West Brynner—caters to wannabe criminals and rich Earther tourists, of a sort, at the front bar. However, exactly two types of people drank at Monk’s back bar: members of a rather exclusive criminal class and those who sought to employ them.

Angel—ex-marine and head of a semi-organized band of beneficent criminals, wayward assassins, and washed up mercenaries with a penchant for doing the honorable thing—is asked to perform a job for Rosie. What this job reveals will affect Persephone and put Angel and her squad up against an army. Despite the odds, they are rearing for a fight with the Serrao-Orlov Corporation. For Angel, she knows that once honor is lost, there is no regaining it. That doesn’t mean she can’t damned well try. 

My review:

I love a good space opera. When I read the description, it called to mind Joss Whedon’s Firefly, and I thought, oh, heck yes, I must read this! It also interested me because I’ve realized that my reading material is sometimes lacking in diversity, and it’s good to expand one’s horizons. So, space opera, female protagonists (and antagonists), broadening my reading universe – all good things. I was excited to get started!

The actual reading, though, didn’t hook me quite as much as I’d thought. It took a good chunk of the book – maybe 25-30% – for the story to really grab hold of me. The early portion focused on giving the reader a lot of information without doing a great job of using that information to build and develop the setting.

Once I got past that first part, the book was more engaging and read much more quickly. It had some fairly standard sci-fi tropes – the evil corporation looking to take over a vulnerable planet while trying not to look like a villain, the criminal with a heart of gold, artificial intelligence. It also had a lot of ripping good battle scenes, if those are your jam.

The characters were also interesting, for the most part. I was particularly intrigued by Kennedy, the AI who can apparently take human form. I would have liked to know more about her and her sisters, who were apparently not in human form. What’s their backstory? And I won’t give away what happened, but there were some parts of the story that just made me tear up. And if you’re looking for diversity in your cast of characters, you’ll find it here. Gay, non-binary, people of color, they’re all here. The only thing I found distracting was that Rosie’s pronouns were they/them, and in scenes where Rosie’s point of view was used as well as the point of view of any other group of characters, it sometimes became a bit muddled to figure out to whom “they” or “them” was referring.

But some things I didn’t really understand. What was with the sickness that we read about? Why was exposure to the Emissaries deadly for humans? If Vissia was sick and going to die, why wasn’t she a candidate for revivification? It would have been nice to have those questions answered more fully. Is Ms. Leicht going to write a sequel? Maybe so. If she does, I might read it.

Persephone Station gets three and a half stars from me. The story itself gets three stars, and I bump it up a half-star for Ms. Leicht’s excellent creative use of the English language. She does turn an entertaining phrase! It might be worth picking up if you’re a sci-fi fan and can handle finishing a book and feeling like there are loose ends still hanging.

Thanks to NetGalley and Gallery/Saga Press for an advance reader copy. All opinions here are mine, and I don’t say nice things about books I don’t actually like.

Posted in Book Reviews, NetGalley, Sci-Fi | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can’t Wait Wednesday: The Broken Spine by Dorothy St. James

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights books soon to be released, the ones we’re excited about but haven’t read yet. It’s hosted by Wishful Endings, and was formerly hosted by Breaking the Spine. Y’all can check out all of this week’s Can’t-Wait Wednesday posts here.

can’t-wait-wednesday

This week’s can’t-wait book:

Title: The Broken Spine

Author: Dorothy St. James

Series: Beloved Bookroom Mystery #1

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Publication Date: January 19, 2021

Publisher: Berkley Books

Length: 320 pages

Synopsis:

The first in an exciting new series featuring Trudell Becket, a spunky librarian who will stop at nothing to save her beloved books and catch a killer!

Trudell Becket finds herself in a bind when her library is turned into a state-of-the-art bookless ‘technological center’. A library with no books breaks Trudell’s book-loving heart and she decides to rescue hundreds of beloved tomes slated for the recycle center. Under the cover of darkness, Trudell sets up a secret book room in the library’s basement and opens it to her loyal patrons.

When the town councilman, who was a vocal supporter of the library’s transformation is crushed by an overturned shelf of DVDs, Trudell becomes the prime suspect. She was the only person in the library at the time of his murder, or so the police believe. But the visitors to Trudell’s secret bookroom were actually all there too.

If she tells the police about the backdoor patrons who were in the library at the time of the murder, she’d have to explain about the secret book room and risk losing the books. To keep herself out of jail, Trudell–with the help of a group of dedicated readers–decides to investigate. She quickly finds herself on the same page with a killer who would love to write her final chapter. 

My thoughts:

I love cozy mysteries. I really love stories that involve books – bookstores, libraries, so on and so forth. This one hits on both counts. I’m really looking forward to it, and I’ll be sharing my thoughts after I’ve finished reading.

What do you think? Does this sound like a book you’d like to read?

Posted in Book Memes, Can't-Wait Wednesday | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Huzzah! It’s my new book blog!

Hey, y’all! New year, new book blog, and I am glad to see y’all at The Plain-Spoken Pen. Welcome to new followers and to those of y’all who’ve followed me from Big Fat F. That blog will still be active, just focusing more on life and family. This blog here is going to be ALLLLLLL about the books.

It’s still a little rough around the edges, and I’ll be improving it as I go, but I just could not wait to get things rolling. Only five days into 2021, and I’m already reading and getting ready to lay down some reviews. Like the tagline says, book reviews, no baloney. As you’ll see on my What My Ratings Mean page, when I’m reading for fun, I read for FUN. I generally pick books that I think I will enjoy, and a lot of my reviews are likely to be four-star, with a generous sprinkling of five-star reviews. But if a book isn’t all that, if it doesn’t live up to the hype, I’ll give you the straight scoop.

Now, when I’m reading to proofread or edit, I’m all business, and pretty good at it. If you’re looking for a good proofreader or copy editor, check out the Work With Me page for more information on my services. I don’t really consider myself a writer, but I enjoy helping those who are writers put their best foot forward.

And now, let’s get this book blog going. There’s a lot of reading and reviewing and bookish shenanigans ahead. Glad to have you along for the ride!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment