Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Shell Keeper, Book 1 of The Keeper Series, Gets a NEW Cover!

I am so excited to share the new cover for The Shell Keeper, Book 1 of The Keeper Series!

Julie Beckett of JuJuBeckCreative has designed this lovely new cover, as well as the previously posted cover for its upcoming sequel, The Road Back to Grace.
I LOVE it and hope you do too.

Click on think on the side bar to find The Shell Keeper on Amazon and don't forget to click on the 'Look Inside' feature to see the beautifully designed new interior of the book, courtesy of Jennifer Jakes at The Killion Group.

Altogether, I'm so excited for you to see the new books and hope you'll enjoy reading them. Watch for an update soon about the release date for The Road Back to Grace.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Short and Sweet Review: The Queen's Accomplice: A Maggie Hope Mystery

The Queen's Accomplice is the 6th book in the Maggie Hope Mystery series. I gave this one 4 rather than 5 stars because it was a little gruesome and gory in spots. This series can be counted on to build tension--it has some real 'thriller' moments, but this particular book went a little over the line with details, I thought. Just a warning, in case you don't want those visual images in your life.

Aside from that, it's a great book and moves Maggie's story forward nicely. The setting is WWII London and a Jack the Ripper wanna-be is on the loose and terrorizing the women who have volunteered for duty in the secret section of undercover warfare in which Maggie is, by this time, a seasoned veteran. Maggie, of course, is the perfect person to team with Scotland Yard to hunt down the serial killer...and maybe become a target herself.

In Germany, Maggie's half-sister has been temporarily released from the hellish confines of Ravensbruck concentration camp. But will she cooperate with the Nazis to gain her permanent freedom? Meanwhile, at Maggie's behest, Churchill has sent Free French forces to rescue her...if they can convince her that's what she wants.

The action flips from England to Germany to other locales where Maggie's friends prepare for their own under-cover French mission. Ultimately, Maggie must turn to the Queen for help, but that's really setting up the next book, so, my biggest question is, why is it called The Queen's Accomplice? It would have made more sense to call it Scotland Yard's Accomplice, but maybe that just one mystery the book leaves unsolved.

The rest are well played and if you are at all involved, you will absolutely pick up the the 7th book in the series, The Paris Spy, to find out what happens next. If this series is new to you, I highly recommend it. Start with Mr. Churchill's Secretary. There are several books out already and they are all great reads. Enjoy!

Monday, August 7, 2017

New Cover! New Book Coming Soon!

I'm so excited to share the cover for my new book, A Road Back to Grace. Isn't it beautiful? The lovely and talented Julie Becket at JuJuBeckCreative is the artist and designer.

A Road Back to Grace is the sequel to the Amazon 5 Star Reviewed The Shell Keeper, and Book 2 in The Keeper Series, though it can definitely stand on it's own, if you haven't read the others. Here's a little info on what to expect....

Claire left real estate and came to Colorado’s wine country to escape and find some well needed R&R. A violent assault that almost ended her life left her feeling adrift in her early 40’s, unsure which path to take next. 

Her friends encourage and support her, though empty-nester Gwen is busy with a new bakery and single-mom Del is dealing with a very confusing love-life.

Friends, yoga and too much gardening can only go so far. Not to mention a great guy named Bob whose winery takes up more and more of his time. Enter two sweet, little old ladies who live down the road and need her help. Or is it the other way around?

Claire’s rest and relaxation is coming to an end, but will she return to the bleak inner landscape of her old life, or can she step away from the pain of her cynical past and embrace a new life she never expected to want so badly?

I'll be announcing it's publication very soon, so be sure to follow my blog for updates! Plus, CLICK HERE to see Julie's gorgeous new cover for The Shell Keeper! (Let me know what you think-I always love hearing from you!) 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Short and Sweet Review: A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch

As all readers know, it’s no fun when you come to the end of a good series and feel adrift in your lifeboat of literature, searching for the next thing to read. So I’m throwing out a lifeline with A Beautiful Blue Death, the first in the Charles Lenox mystery series by Charles Finch.

Set in Victorian England, Charles is a gentleman of the upper class with Parliamentary aspirations who has discovered he has a real talent as a detective. With time and means to pursue this talent he’s already earned a reputation among his peers-and Scotland Yard-for both good and bad outcomes. But he knows his way is the way of the future so, invited or not, he doesn’t stop until the crime is solved.

In this case, the crime is the mysterious poisoning of a housemaid in the home of one of London’s most powerful political players. The suspects are many, as are potential motives. But Lenox persists, with the help of his friend, Dr. Thomas McConnell, and in spite of personal danger and a second murder. 

His neighbor and lifelong friend, Lady Jane, is a frequent companion with a great interest in Charles’ activities and well-being. Readers will wonder if something deeper is developing between these two and it very well may be.

Along the way readers are treated to a fun education in Victorian England. If you are a history buff as well as a lover of a good mystery, this one’s a page turner. And the good news is, once you turn the last page, there are nine more books to go.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Short and Sweet Review: Rescuing the Earl by Lana Williams

This is the third installment of Lana William’s Seven Curses of London series and in my opinion she just gets better and better with each new installment. So far we’ve met wounded warrior Nathaniel Hawke and reclusive scholar Oliver, Viscount Frost. Both were men whose spirits were deeply injured but who found happiness with strong women willing to fight for their love.

In Rescuing the Earl we follow Nathaniel’s older brother, Tristan Hawke, the Earl of Adair.  His black temper has given him a reputation and also a burden—carrying on the legacy of an unloving father whose dark temperament continues on in his eldest son. 

To keep the one thing in his life that matters most--a property that gives him solace and peace but that is entailed to someone else if Tristan doesn’t marry by his next birthday--Tristan has proposed to a shrewish woman, Lady Samantha.  He is determined that her own bad nature is the only one tough enough to withstand the wrath of Tristan’s darkest moments.

Then, he literally runs into the widowed Grace and her young son Matthew. They are fleeing a devious relative who plots Matthew’s demise in order to inherit his title and estate. Tristan finds himself compelled to help them and, in the process, drawn more and more to the lovely widow and her delightful son.

As with other books in this series, there are complications connected with the social issues that plaque the London of the era. As a reader I was intrigued by the blossoming relationship between Grace and Tristan and anxious to see how they would surmount the hurdles that entangled their lives. The characters were interesting and complex, as was their relationship. If historical romance is your cup of tea, I highly recommend Rescuing the Earl.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Short and Sweet Review: Loving the Hawke (The Seven Curses of London Book 1) by Lana Williams

In Loving the Hawke, the first of Lana William's new 7 Curses of London series, Lettie Fairchild has weathered five of Victorian England's brutal 'seasons', the precious years given a woman to make a respectable match that will supposedly support all her hopes and dreams for a happy and secure life. Failing that, she's expected to resign herself to spinsterhood while still a young woman.

Lettie's had little success and is almost content with a solitary future but she's not content to be virtually a servant to her mother as she works to marry off her younger sisters in the season du jour. Lettie is smart and courageous, not to mention outraged by the circumstances of the forgotten and vulnerable children of the impoverished citizens of London.

She sets out to make a difference, unaware of the danger a young woman alone faces in the shady back alleys of the city. But Nathaniel Hawke is well aware of those dangers and shocked to see this woman so out of place and so at risk as she naively attempts to offer better options than the long hours of hard labor in London's factories to young girls.

Nathanial has his own issues to sort through including the internal scars of a dysfunctional childhood and the external injuries that forced him to retire from a prestigious military career. Daniel is on a mission to stop a ring that traffics in kidnapped young women. But Lettie's arrival in the gritty streets of the East End leaves him torn between protecting her and pursuing his own goals.

As Lettie and Nathaniel confront each other in the streets of the city as well as the ballrooms of the Ton, their missions intertwine and their hearts aren't far behind. Readers are compelled to turn the pages of Loving the Hawke to see if these two manage to survive, succeed and, hopefully, realize they are made for each other.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Short and Sweet Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

I’ll put it right out there at the start of this review: I love science fiction. Call me geeky if you must, but here’s the deal, while The Martian, by Andy Weir may be technically categorized as science fiction, it’s really ‘science that could maybe happen someday’ and that, along with Weir’s incredible ability to make what could have been a very dry, science geek sort of read into a compelling and even humorous page turner is what makes this book one heck of a great read.

By a very unfortunate turn of events, Mark Watney finds himself alone and abandoned on Mars. It’s a long time until help could arrive, and that presumes that NASA knows he’s there and in need of help, which they don’t. Oh, and he doesn’t have enough food to last that long anyway, which leads to one of the most attention grabbing first lines I’ve read in a while, “I’m pretty much fucked.”

But don’t let that fool you, Watney is one smart and practical guy. He’s the MacGyver of Mars. If he wants to be rescued he needs to find a way to let NASA know he’s alive and he needs to figure out how to stay that way.

 For those of you who took AP Science Everything in high school, you may relish some of the finer details of each step and process as he works toward that goal. For those, like me, who spent more time in Humanities and English Lit, fear not! Weir has done an awesome job of making both kinds of readers follow happily along, explaining just enough of the science to make us appreciate the challenges, celebrate the successes and kick ourselves that we didn’t see the disasters coming, just as our hero does.

Will science save the day? Will Mark Watney survive? You won’t just want to know, you’ll need to know and that’s why you’ll turn the page. Once you get to the end (and I’m not telling you anymore, you’ll have to find out for yourself!) be sure to go a little further and read Weir’s letter about why and how he wrote this book. He is a geek, the kind of guy who wrote this for fun and put it out there to share with just a few until everyone else found out about it and it became an award winning, best seller and Matt Damon vehicle.

I’m looking forward to seeing the movie. Damon seems perfectly cast to me, in my mind his voice and Watney’s are one in the same. But movie and science aside, The Martian will go down as one of the best adventures I’ve ever been on.