Friday, March 24, 2017

Book Review-Cherry Cake and a Cadaver

About the book 
Lily Gayle and the gang set out to find a killer after local baker Luxen Natolovich is found dead hours before the grand opening weekend at the new Bed and Breakfast in town, Midnight Dragonfly. As Lily Gayle deciphers the clues around Luxen’s death she uncovers a conspiracy of lies and half truths that could very well be tied to a refugee camp in Mississippi during World War II. The deeper Lily Gayle digs, the deeper the conspiracy runs, and the closer she comes to being the killer’s next victim.
And I thought 
I just loved Lily Gayle.  I think I was attracted to her name.  It just rolls off the tongue Lily Gayle charming and delightful.  Just like the character.  
This was my first opportunity to meet Lily Gayle a southern girl with a nose for crime and a habit of getting in a little over her head from time to time.  Lily Gayle knows no boundaries when she 
investigating.   Murder does seem to kind of follow her around or maybe more like she just seems to have a knack for stumbling into mystery.  
Lily Gayle is surrounded by a like able group of friends that get caught up in her investigating.  Sometimes even if they really don't want to.  
Mainly because she does over step boundaries like finding unlocked doors that just beckon her to come in and
snoop.  Or peeking in and climbing into windows that just happen to be left open.   She always seems to pick up a clue when she's snooping. 

All this peeking and snooping tends to get Lily Gayle in a heap of trouble with the town Sheriff who happens to be her cousin.  But since she ends up solving the mystery all is forgiven.  Until the next time.  And there's always a next time!  

I thoroughly enjoyed Cherry Cake and a Cadaver. I enjoyed the cover that tells the story without you knowing it.   I'm not going to give away the mystery but I suggest you buy the book. 

It's a great spring break or summer read.  And since it's book 2 in the series I'm beatin' book 1 is good too.  

I received a complimentary copy from Great Escape Tours
This review will appear on retail sites where the book is available. 
This review will appear on My Reading Journeys and 
Good Reads.

I had the opportunity to chat with Susan.  Scroll down to read the interview.  

About the series  
Death of a Wolfman (A Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery Book 1) by [Boles, Susan]
Quicker than she can stitch together the threads of a genealogy project she's just signed on to research, Lily Gayle Lambert finds herself embroiled in investigating the Halloween night murder of a stranger who suffers from 'wolfman syndrome'. And, when a member of a prominent family turns up dead soon after the 'wolfman', Lily Gayle must find the link between the two and solve the mystery before her investigation makes her the next target.

Escaping from a trailer in the woods owned by two good ole boys suspected of being involved and a confrontation with the eldest son of the town's wealthiest family have Lily Gayle hot on the trail of the killer...much to the consternation of her cousin. Who just happens to be the County Sheriff. With the help of her lifelong best friend, Dixie, and town busybody, Miss Edna, she pieces together the clues leading to a conclusion that shocks the entire town.

Chatting with the author

Hello Susan,
Thank you for taking the time to chat about Cherry Cake and a Cadaver which by the
sure is an intriguing title!  Before we get to the book I’d like to get to know each other a little.Hi Sherry. Thank you for having me here.

I love your description of your works ‘Where Mysteries Meet Southern Shenanigans.”
Can readers expect that your books are centered around the south? Yes. They take place in a small fictional town called Mercy, Mississippi. Being a small town girl myself, I wanted to create a town with a lot of history. And kind of like Cheers, where everybody knows your name....

Can you tell us what ‘Shenanigans’ we can expect? I just love the word shenanigans. It's fun to say and conjures up all kinds of images of harmlessly mischievious behavior. Have you heard that the most fun times in the south start with the phrase "Hold my beer and watch this"? Doesn't that conjure up some great shenanigans visions? Lily Gayle and her best friend, Dixie are the ones who get into the most shenanigans in this series. I always loved Ethel and Lucy, so I think about some of my favorite scenes of them when I'm writing my best friends. Lily Gayle and Dixie will be gathering clues in some pretty unsual places in this installment. Lily Gayle is determined to solve the mystery and Dixie is determined to keep her friend out of trouble. We'll see Lily Gayle shimmying through unlocked windows in search of clues while Dixie keeps watch wringing her hands with worry the entire time.

Since this is our first time to meet can you tell us a little about Lily Gayle Lambert. Lily Gayle left Mercy in 1988 when she graduated from high school to attended college at Ole Miss where she met the love of her life. They built a life together away from Mercy but when he was killed in a traffic accident, Lily Gayle went home to Mercy. She's been back for eight years and lives in the home she inherited from her parents and works a a seamstress and genealogist -- both businesses she can conduct online and tht allow her to make a living while living in a small town. The county sheriff is her first cousin and, both of them being only children, they grew up more like brother and sister. Lily Gayles' family, like most of the families in Mercy, go back for generations and the relationships in town are grounded in that long history and familiarity.

Can you tell us how you developed the character of Lily Gayle? I wanted a character who is smart, funny, curious about lots of things in life with a real zest for making things happen. She's pretty much an amalgam of several people I know and several people I've never met - but would love to. The genealogy part comes from me. I've been interested in tracing the family history since I was a teenager and have done a lot of work on my own family trees. The seamstress is part is from a cousin who makes beautiful quilts rather than historical gowns. I felt like the re-enactor gowns went well with the genealogy part. But quilts could have worked too. The loyalty to family and friends comes from many people in my life. The crime solving....well, I'm very curious by nature and love watching all the crime solving shows, but can't say that I've ever truly wanted to solve a crime in real life. I hope Lily Gayle is someone that readers can relate to regardless of where they live or where they are on their own life paths.

I notice Cherry Cake and a Cadaver takes place around a bakery and that there are recipes
in the book.   Is Lily Gayle a cook as well as a seamstress? Lily Gayle is a pretty good cook. She knows how to make all the traditional southern dishes her mama taught her. And you'll be able to try out some of her favorites like Wicked Chicken Deviled Eggs and Death By Chocolate Gravy (Hey. That sounds like a good title for a book!). Those recipes will be included in this book. But the bakery belongs to another character. 

As a true romantic at heart I have to ask.  Is there a love interest Lily Gayle? There's no love interest just yet. Lily Gayle is still not ready to put her heart out there. But that doesn't mean someone new in town won't be able to make her consider the possibility in a later book.

I am curious was there a plan for a series or book 2 when you introduced your readers
To Lilly Gayle in Death of a Wolfman?  Oh yes. I envisioned a whole series around Lily Gayle and the gang in Mercy. Kind of like Murder, She Wrote meets Dukes of Hazzard. I have Book three outlined already and Book 4 is simmering.

You’ve certainly intrigued me.  Now let’s get back to the original question.  How did you come up with that intriguing and catchy title? Ah! That would be revealing too much. But I can say that the cherry cake is a clue to solving the mystery. And the cadaver.....well, that's the victim whose early life turns out to have been far more intriguing than what everyone in town thought they knew. That's the dichotomy of a small town. Everyone thinks they know everything, but hidden in the crevicees are dark secrets.

Thanks for taking the time to chat.  It’s been a pleasure to me you and thank you for
itroducing me to Lily Gayle.  

Thank you for having me. It's been fun. 
Connect Susan... 
Twitter – @SusanBAuthor

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Home At Last-Deborah Raney-Book Review

About the book (provided by Litfuse)
Home at Last (Abingdon, February 2017)
Why did their differences matter so much?
Link Whitman has settled into the role of bachelor without ever intending to. Now he’s stuck in a dead-end job and, as the next Whitman wedding fast approaches, he is the last one standing. The pressure from his sisters’ efforts to play matchmaker is getting hard to bear as Link pulls extra shifts at work, and helps his parents at the Chicory Inn.
All her life, Shayla Michaels has felt as if she straddled two worlds. Her mother’s white family labeled her African American father with names Shayla didn’t repeat in polite–well, in any company. Her father’s family disapproved as well, though they eventually embraced Shayla as their own. After the death of her mother, and her brother Jerry’s incarceration, life has left Shayla’s father bitter, her niece, Portia, an orphan, and Shayla responsible for them all. She knows God loves them all, but why couldn’t people accept each other for what was on the inside? For their hearts?
Everything changes one icy morning when a child runs into the street and Link nearly hits her with his pickup. Soon he is falling in love with the little girl’s aunt, Shayla, the beautiful woman who runs Coffee’s On, the bakery in Langhorne. Can Shayla and Link overcome society’s view of their differences and find true love? Is there hope of changing the sometimes-ugly world around them into something better for them all?
About the series

About the author  Deborah Raney
Deborah Raney’s novels have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers’ Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and have three times been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken Raney have traded small-town life in Kansas—the setting of many of Deb’s novels—for life in the city of Wichita.

And I thought...
Delightful and an intriguing read.  This was my first opportunity to meet Deborah Raney and the cast of the Chicory Inn series. 
I look forward to reading the series. 

This story was not what I expected but I was drawn in and moved by the poignant story that captivated this reader.  
By telling a story about race and inter racial marriage in a way that was honoring to God was a blessing.

The characters were charming and believable.  As each struggle with their own pasts and mistakes in dealing with the subject of acceptance.  

I did enjoy the members of the Whitman family and look forward to reading the previous books in the series.   Home At Last is book 5 in the series and is a stand alone novel. 

I received a complimentary copy from Litfuse
This review will appear on retail sites where available.
This review will appear on Good Reads and the following blogs
My Reading Journeys and Springtime in Magnolia.

Book Review-How To Find Your Dream Dog-Dixie Tenny

How to Find Your Dream Dog by Dixie Tenny
Scroll down to enter the Giveaway

About the book (provided by I Read Book Tours
Bringing a new dog into the household should be one of life’s happiest events. The process always starts with excitement and high expectations. Too often, though, it ends in disappointment. The new puppy wakes everyone three times a night, gnaws on furniture, piddles everywhere, knocks the children down. The new adolescent dog is too wild. The new adult dog growls at your neighbors. And where did all this dog hair come from?

Most people spend hours researching a new mattress, days researching a new car, and weeks researching a new home or job. Yet for a new dog, a companion for the next 10-15 years, the most they do is visit the nearest shelter or pet shop and buy whatever looks cute and appealing. It’s no wonder they end up disappointed.

Whether you are looking for a purebred puppy or a charming mixed-breed, the type of dog you bring into your home matters. A quiet owner will struggle to keep up with a high-energy labrador mix, for instance, while an active outdoor family will be impatient with a snoozy bulldog. And finding the right kind of dog means becoming the right kind of owner—a task that takes some forethought and planning.

How To Find Your Dream Dog is here to fix the disconnect of dog ownership. It walks you step-by-step through the process of choosing the right type of dog for you—not only exploring the canine qualities that can determine your perfect puppy, adolescent, or adult dog, but also assessing your lifestyle to make sure you’re a good match for the dog, too. The book also looks at good (and bad) sources for finding healthy and sound pet dogs, gives guidelines for evaluating individual puppies, and warns of some red flags to watch out for during your dog search. With this guidebook in hand, you can be confident that the next puppy or dog you bring home will be the right companion and friend for you for the rest of its days.

And I thought...
Lots and lots of good great information here.  I will begin my search for my 'Dream Dog' new best friend soon.  Dixie provides 
knowledge and resources that I didn't realize I needed.  
The information Dixie provides is this book is relevant for anyone considering adding a new dog to the family.  
Whether a seasoned dog owner like myself or a 'newbie' (a first timer) anyone can find useful information.  
For the seasoned owner things/practices have changed over the years.  People are much more knowledgeable and professionals like Dixie are able to offer knowledge from years of practice.  
Back in the day you just went and looked for a puppy fell in love and took it home.  And hoped for the best.  I remember when we bought a puppy that was still very young and missed his mother and litter mates.  We were up all  night.  It was like having a new born again. 
It's different now.  There are many resources.  And Dixie spells it out and guides the reader through the process. 
I recommend this book for anyone considering adding a new member to the family.  

This review will appear on all retail sites where the book is available.
This review will appear on Good Reads and My Reading Journeys. 

I received a complimentary copy from I Read Book Tours.

An interview with the author . . . 
Hello Dixie.  Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with me and talk about your new book  How To Find Your Dream Dog.

Can you tell us a little bit of ‘your story’.  Did you have dogs growing up?  Did you have cats?
Hi Sherry! When I was about five, my family got the most wonderful puppy. “Lulu” was a medium-sized white dog with black and brown splotches; a real mixed-breed. She was a fantastic dog. When I was 17 I got an Airedale puppy; I wanted a dog I could do competition obedience with, and in those days mixed breeds weren’t allowed (thankfully that has changed). I also had a lovely gray-and-white longhair cat named Tammy. She and Lulu were the best of friends.

 Do you have favorite breed of dog?  
For myself? The two breeds I have now appear to be very different but they actually have a lot in common, and they both suit me wonderfully well. I have a 10-pound, 15-year-old Papillon and a 90-pound, 6-year-old Beauceron. These are the dogs pictured with me on the cover of my book. Guess which is the boss? I have four cats, too, by the way, and they boss both dogs equally.

Can you tell us briefly about your professional  background?
I have been working with people and their pet dogs since 1983. I founded two rescue organizations, one of which (Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue, Inc.) will have its 30th anniversary this year. I moved from obedience training my own dogs to assistant-teaching classes aimed at pet owners, eventually becoming the Director of Training for Greater St. Louis Training Club, Inc., for five years. A friend and I formed our own business, Dogs Unleashed LLC. We went to people’s houses to work with training and behavior problems for five years. Meanwhile I was getting trainer certifications from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (the only independent organization that certifies dog trainers) and the challenging Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior. Finally, I decided to try to reach a wider audience through writing a book - eventually more than one, I hope!

Give us the short version (if there is one) why you chose to write the book at this point in your career?   Have you been thinking or planning about it for awhile?
Oh yes. How to Find Your Dream Dog grew out of one of the most frustrating and frequent experiences during my 30+ years in the pet dog training world: trying to help hopelessly mismatched dogs and owners. Sadly, most dogs are picked up on impulse, and most of those dog/owner combinations are not successful - which is why our shelters are now flooded with out-of-control young dogs; former puppies who turned into dogs their owners didn’t expect and didn’t want. My dearest wish is that my book helps people stop, think, and plan for success before they get their dogs.

Did you write the book for a target audience or age group?
I think, and hope, that anyone from older childhood on through adulthood can read and learn from this book. I have gotten great feedback from several people who have read the book aloud with their families.

I think we all want to find our ‘dream dog’ how important is it to consider breed?  Do you cover this topic in your book?
I do cover this important topic in my book. It is very important to consider type. If you discover through research that a Labrador Retriever is your dream type, then any dog who looks and acts like a Labrador is very likely to be a success for you, regardless of whether it is a purebred or not. Dogs of different types have different genetic backgrounds, different needs, and different behaviors. One of the best paths to successful matchmaking between owners and dogs is for owners to decide which doggy behaviors and needs they can live with - ideally would enjoy living with - and find a dog in which those occur naturally. 

Is it better to get a purebred dog or a ‘mixed’ breed, something to consider if a family has children?  
Again, it’s type that is important, not pedigree. Some dogs have behaviors that are not compatible with living with small children. Unfortunately this is true because few, if any, dogs are purpose-bred for gentleness, tolerance, easy-going nature, and hardiness, all qualities that are really important when living with children. My book helps owners choose not only the type of dog that would work before for them, but the individual dog or puppy that meets their needs. Teaser: the ideal dog for a household with children is a “career-change dog”. What is that? Read the book and find out…

That sounds like such good information.  Let me ask you one more question before we go. I know anytime I’ve considered adding a new pet to my family I’ve always been anxious and wanting to hurry up and bring one home.  

Can you tell us how important it might be to consider taking time when making a decision.  Is there a magic number of days or weeks or months?  
Everyone feels that way. Even I do! I want my perfect dog, or puppy, right now! But we need to ask ourselves, do we want every day with this dog to feel easy and natural? Do we want this dog to fit into our lifestyle? Consider this: every single adolescent dog in a shelter is there because it was someone’s wrong choice. The only way to ensure that you end up with not just any dog but your dream dog, the dog you want to keep and love forever, is to do your research. That actually doesn’t take very long, and my book streamlines that process.

I definitely feel better qualified to bring a new addition to the family. Your book indeed shares some valuable information.  Thank you so much for sharing with me today.  
Thank you for featuring my book! Good luck to you and all your readers as they look for and find their Dream Dogs!

Connect with Dixie . . . 

Visit the tour at I Read Book Tours to read additional reviews 
and interviews.  
Click Here to visit the tour. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Elusive Miss Ellison-Book Review/Giveaway

The Elusive Miss Ellison

About the book (provided by Litfuse)
Handsome appearance counts for naught unless matched by good character and actions.
That’s the firm opinion of not-so-meek minister’s daughter Lavinia Ellison. So even though all the other villagers of St. Hampton Heath are swooning over the newly returned seventh Earl of Hawkesbury, she is not impressed. If a man won’t take his responsibilities seriously and help those who are supposed to be able to depend on him, he deserves no respect from her. In Lavinia’s pretty, gray eyes, Nicholas Stamford is just as arrogant and reckless as his brother–who stole the most important person in Livvie’s world.
Nicholas is weighed down by his own guilt and responsibility, by the pain his careless brother caused, and by the legacy of war he’s just left. This quick visit home to St. Hampton Heath will be just long enough to ease a small part of that burden. Asking him to bother with the lives of the villagers when there’s already a bailiff on the job is simply too much to expect.
That is, until the hoydenish, intelligent, and very opinionated Miss Ellison challenges him to see past his pain and pride. With her angelic voice in his head, he may even be beginning to care. But his isn’t the only heart that needs to change.
These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society’s opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.
Fans of Georgette Heyer, Lori Wick, and Julie Klassen will enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister’s daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God’s grace and the true strength of love.
And I thought...
Is it appropriate I wonder to describe a maiden from Regency 
England as sassy? Undoubtedly ok. according to the author 
..."I love reading about feisty heroines as much as the next redhead :) but sometimes too much 'feist' can come across as just rude. Miss Ellison has some sass, but a warm heart, and when she meets her match in Lord Hawkesbury, she begins to learn a few home truths."  from the  author provided by Amazon.
Yes she is 'sassy' and Elusive as the title describes at least where the Earl is concerned. 
Sassy is just the beginning.  Lavinia Ellison is independent and 
impudent and rather cheeky toward the Earl.  Which does nothing but cause him to be more interested.  She is also hardworking and charitable.  

And then what can be said of Nickolas the Earl of Hawkesbury who falls asleep during the first church service he attends? 
The Earl returns rather reluctantly to the small village when he becomes Earl.  He had left years earlier after an accident involving his brother and Lavinia's mother who was killed.  After years in the military Nickolas has develop a hardened heart.  

It doesn't take long for his heart to be softened.  Upon meeting Lavinia she immediately gets under his skin.  In the beginning she is unwilling to forgive him for the death of her mother.  Even though he had no role in the accident.  She gets herself all caught up in the plight of the tenant farmers and ridicules Nickolas' 
'better late than never' role in taking over his responsibilities.

Nickolas' heart begins to soften as he sees the plight of the village and begins to understand Livinia's caring heart.  

For me the best part of the book was seeing a respected nobleman humble himself and begin asking her questions about the Bible. 
I enjoyed seeing his character change through the book.

After some conflicts and differing of opinions.  And some hard sole searching on Livinia's part the two become friends and ultimately a couple.   

There are some twists and turns and problems that keep that 
causes the romance to drag on a bit (not in a bad way) but the story is good and the attention to detail the author bestows
into the story makes it an exceptional read.  

I enjoyed The Elusive Miss Ellison and look forward to book 2 in the series. 

I received a complimentary copy from Litfuse. 
This review will appear on retail sites where the book is available.
This review will appear on Good Reads,  My Journey Back,  and My Reading Journeys.  


Amazon, B&N, CBC  visit the authors site here for more retail sources. 

About the author  Carolyn Miller
Carolyn Miller lives in New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. A longtime lover of Regency romance, Carolyn's novels have won a number of RWA and ACFW . She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Australasian Christian Writers.

Enter the giveaway
Click Here to enter

I received a complimentary copy from litfuse.
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Happy Homemaker Monday

The Weather...Is gorgeous.  It was actually kind of hot yesterday afternoon.   The forecast says 90 today followed by 80's the rest of the week.  Some rain for Wed. and Thursday possibly.   Spring time in Texas is gorgeous!

On My Reading Pile...
on the Kindle   
and  :   I prefer print copies but most of the time they aren't offered. 

Favorite Blog Post was from this morning.  I always visit first thing in the morning.  Today Molly The AireGirl  gave us a beautiful greeting . . . 

On The Menu
Monday--Steak Taco's from left over grilled steaks
Tuesday--Deer Camp Beans (a family recipe of mixed beans)
               w/ Corn Bread
Wednesday-- Copy Cat Hamburger Helper Goulash & Salad
Thursday-- Mixed Grill Sausages, 1 Potato Salad, Deer Camp Beans 
Friday--Spaghetti,Salad, Bread and Fried Calamari

On My To Do List
Sort fabric to keep/give away 
Fold fabric I am keeping
Our Ebay shop is open and I have lots of things to list
Keep up with the house
Buy some Coleus seeds and plant
Planting and clean up so I can take photo's to begin my Outdoor Wednesday garden journal posts this week.

On Today's To Do List...
Clean Kitchen Load Dishwasher Done
Sweep Mop Kitchen Floor Done
Clean Master Bath Done
Sort/Fold Fabric

Looking Forward To This Week  I interviewed for another job 
(I clean houses) on Saturday.  It would be a great addition to my schedule and a lovely place to work.  I am hoping that they will call me. 

From The Camera
Whats planted and sprouting. 

One Of My Simple Pleasures planting flowers.  I dream of a garden.  Maybe someday soon.   

So that's a quick look at my weeks plans.  Do you have plans for the week?  You can share them at Happy Homemaker Monday 
over here at Sandra's. 
Enjoy your week    

Friday, March 17, 2017

Book ReviewLighthouse Faith-Lauren Green

About the book 


An Award-winning Religion Correspondent is convinced the answer is no and explores the possible relationship with our creator.
Fox News Religion Correspondent Lauren Green uses her own wealth of stories, vast network of contacts, and her own extensive study of theology to take the reader on a unique journey of spiritual discovery. With few female authors writing in the field of theology, Green provides an important perspective to all who wish to move closer to not only a deeper relationship with God but an understanding of what makes that possible.
Green gathers insight from some amazing guides along the way, through personal conversations with some of the leading minds in the world on the topic of Christianity: These include:
  • Timothy Keller
  • John Piper
  • Alister McGrath
  • William Lane Craig
  • John Lennox
  • Sir John Polkinghome
  • Amy Beckham

Authors website-Click Here

And I thought
This was a challenging read for me.  It's not a simple read.
Rather it is book that compeles and challenges the reader to think and absorb.
The writer shares her experience finding a deeper relationship with God after she was challenged and a calling from God to experience him in her everyday life.  

This is a great book for the reader looking for a relationship with God.    

Check out the reviews at the above retailers.  

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Loosing Inter-Net till Monday

Changing services is not always an easy task. 
I will be w/o any service till Monday.  
I have some posts scheduled.  Hopefully the post. 
Please bear with me!