Tag Archive | fiction

Stain Glass Rocks! The Book Effect; Crafting Between The Pages

I adore the Webb’s Stain Glass Mystery series by Cheryl Hollon. Have you read it? If not, the link to buy it will be at the bottom of the page.
For my first craft, I wanted to start out with the newest craze of painting rocks! Are you into painting rocks? Today I show you how to turn a rock into faux stained glass.

I hope you like the video, share the video and post photos of YOUR finished faux stained glass rock project.

Oh…and count how many times I say “um” in the video. Seriously, it’s a lot.

~Sheryl

Video

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Death in Advertising; Review

Death in Advertising by Laura Bradford

Death In Advertising CoverStarting a business is a difficult venture. It takes time, money, devotion, money, clients, more money and an extremely good support system. Tobi Tobias knows all about this as head of Tobias Ad Agency and part time employee at a local pet shop. Her luck seems to take a turn when the owners of Zander Closet Company end up in her conference room wanting to hire her for their new campaign.

The desperation that Tobi has to make her business survive after having a bad experience working with the last company she was with is palatable. Laura writes this character with feeling to where you are anxious right along with her from the beginning. When you meet the Zander brothers, Andrew and Gary, you’re not quite sure what to think of them. Tobi takes the job and work begins on their new ad campaign to make Zander’s closets a household name.

At the photo-shoot in the custom-Zander built closet of the wealthy Mr. Hohlbrooks,Skeleton.in.closet tragedy strikes and a dead body is discovered tucked away like an organized pair of shoes or dress slacks. This does not bode well with the new slogan, “When we’re done, even your skeletons will have a place.” Talk about killing sales…

Tobi is a woman trying to keep herself together when things are at their worst. She relies heavily on her friends and family to help emotionally and without this support system, I can’t fathom how she would be able to end up as strong as she does at the end of the book. With each break in the case, each friend or family member lends themselves to something she lacks. Carter, for instance, has a bit of flair and outgoingness that she lacks. Without him in her life, I think some of the evidence that she comes upon would go unnoticed. The bird, Rudder, is even a helpful “friend” that is critical to her figuring out the murder.

Laura brings together several fundamental human elements in this cozy mystery. They help one to realize just how the people around us assist to make us stronger. Tobi not only faces the murder that has happened, but learns to overcome bullies from the past by helping others through their struggles and moving past her own. Death in Advertising had depth and is highly entertaining to read. I hope there is a follow up to this book.

About Laura:

As a child, Laura Bradford fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and a freshly sharpened number two pencil. From that moment forward, she never wanted laura1 to do or be anything else. Today, Laura is the national bestselling author of several mystery series, including the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, the Amish Mysteries, the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries, and the upcoming Tobi Tobias Mystery Series. She is a former Agatha Award nominee, and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. A graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, baking, and being an advocate for those living with Multiple Sclerosis.

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BTB Review of The Passed Prop by Anne Hagan

The Passed Prop

by Anne Hagan

Review

passed-propI might just live in this small town that Anne has written about. Morelville, Ohio is a small farming community with people who know all the people’s private business and a downtown that needs reviving. Everyone went to school together, have worked together and have been annoyed at people together. Throw in a dead body found in the haunted house during a fund raiser and we have some great gossip and a list of suspects for this little town.

After the body of a trouble-making townsman is found in a haunted house, replacing the original manikin body prop, the town starts to question their safely. Enter Faye Crane who had been seen and heard arguing with the now dead man the night before. After her daughter, Sheriff Melissa Crane, has her mother questioned by the detective, Faye is sent on a personal mission to clear her name. After all, who could go about instigating such a gruesome death? Come to find out, a lot of people. Oh how I love small towns and their drama.

Town’s people seem to start dropping like flies and Faye asks her best friend to help her figure out who is staking the victims to death. The big surprise is where the murderer/s get the wood from and where they find the manikin prop the first time. Chloe Rossi and Faye Crane start asking questions around town, realizing not many people liked the people who are being murdered off. All of the gossip and evidence seem to be leading to the same conclusion and the connection is horrifying. I would not want to cause any problems in Morelville, let’s just say that.

Being the good sleuths they are, in true Lucy and Ethel style, they form a plan and execute it. The spy scenes are truly hilarious. Just wait until you read them. Faye and Chloe are comical. The ending is striking. It’s not a big surprise as to who did it as we have been along for the ride with these two ladies, but the take-down is cleaver. I want to high-five these ladies.

If you like snickering, being in suspense and just need an amusing book to read, this is it. I look forward to future outings with these two ladies and I hope for my sake and yours that they get into more trouble.

About The Author

anne-aAnne Hagan is an East Central Ohio based government employee by day and author by night. She and her wife live in a tiny town that’s even smaller than the Morelville of her first fiction series and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Anne’s wife grew up there and has always considered it home. Though it’s an ultra-conservative rural community, they’re surrounded there by family, longtime friends and many other wonderful people with open hearts and minds.

Anne and her wife enjoy spending time with Anne’s son and his wife, with their nieces and nephews (and their great-nephews that they’re really still too young to have but, it is what it is) and doing many of the things you’ve read about in her bestselling books or that will be ‘fictitiously’ incorporated into future Morelville Mysteries and Morelville Cozies series books. If you’ve read about a hobby or a sport in one of her books, they probably enjoy doing it themselves or someone very close to them does.

Anne is a member of the Golden Crown Literary Society (under her legal name) and the Lesbian Author’s Guild.

The ladies together are the co-owners of a commercial haunted house, Hagan’s House of Horrors. Much as her dream has always been to write fiction, her spouse’s dream has been to create it through the medium of horror.

Author Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnneHagan

Website: https://annehaganauthor.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Anne_Hagan

 Buy “The Passed Prop”

BTB Review of Michelangelo’s Ghost by GiGi Pandian

Michelangelo’s Ghost by GiGi Pandian

Review:

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I have not had the pleasure of reading any of GiGi Pandian’s works before so I went into this read completely blind. The cover is what captivated me and from there I went to the description. That’s when I knew I wanted to read it. Being a fan of mystery and exploration, a character such as Jaya Jones was going to help me escape on a much-needed vacation and explore my need for an exotic location. I grew up watching Indian Jones and always thought the females in his movies seemed pretty week. The thought of a female exporter fascinated me. I only hoped Jaya lived up to my expectations.

We have two females who are the main characters and focus of this story. Yes, there is a brother, his girlfriend and Jaya’s two love interests that form an uncomfortable love triangle, but I’m not sure those are the focus really.  So, I am focusing on the two main ladies.  One ends up dying, people thinking her a fool and dreamer while one goes on to explore this dreamer’s theories. There are lots of plots and twists in the book, but these two ladies and how their relationship is with each other is the thing I would like to focus on.

Lilith Vine was once an impressive professor of Jaya’s, but she and others left professor Vine behind in fear of having the stigma of “crazy dreamer” put upon themselves. After all, a real researcher can’t have that shameful of a person them around. Her fifteen minutes of famed discovery was over and she was a has-been, right? Yet, when professor Vine calls up Jaya and tells her about a connection between a world-famous artist and a set of carved statues in Italy, she can’t seem to pull herself away. Even after leaving her behind, Jaya knows deep in her heart that she looks up to Lilith Vine and that the quirkiness of her ideas makes her adventurous heart skip a beat with anticipation of the unknown.

Unfortunately, a prominent death occurs that puts a damper on the research but this drives Jaya even harder to find out if there is truly a historical connection. She is led to Italy to talk to the distant family of the artist in question and finds out of the shame associated with him, the scandal of his work and just how far people will go to manipulate others to get what they want.

I loved the adventure, the characters, the scene setting and development that goes on in Michelangelo’s Ghost. Jaya goes from a researcher who is not sure of herself to one who gains a full head of steam toward her better self. The character of Jaya did not disappoint.

Anyone who likes adventures and strong female characters will fully envelope this book. I was constantly “watching my back”, trying to figure out who was after who and if people where truly who they said they were. There is no sense of security for Jaya in this book and it’s an spree to the very end. I can’t wait until the next installment. I’m now a huge Jaya fan and plan to read the prior ones now.

About the Author:

gigi-pandian-bw-headshot-14-webres-rgb-7x8SA Today bestselling author Gigi Pandian is the child of cultural anthropologists from New Mexico and the the southern tip of India.

She graduated with honors from Pitzer College, studied abroad at the University of Edinburgh, and went on to graduate school at the University of Washington in Seattle and the University of Bath in England. Before completing her PhD, she realized she was much better suited to writing about the fictional adventures of academics than being one herself. She left academia for art school, and began writing the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series.

Artifact, the first book in the series, was awarded the William F. Deeck Malice Domestic Grant, hit the USA Today bestseller list, and was named a “Best of 2012” Debut Mystery by Suspense Magazine.

The Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mysteries continued with Pirate Vishnu (awarded the Left Coast Crime Rose Award), Quicksand, and Michelangelo’s Ghost. 

Gigi also writes the Accidental Alchemist Mystery Series. The first book in the new series, The Accidental Alchemist, won a Lefty Award. The Masquerading Magician was released in 2016, and The Elusive Elixir will be published in January 2017.

In addition to novels, Gigi loves writing locked-room mystery short stories. Her story “The Hindi Houdini” was shortlisted for Agatha and Macavity awards.

Gigi’s publishing journey was kicked into high gear by a cancer diagnosis. A month after her 36th birthday, Gigi was diagnosed with breast cancer. To get through her treatments, she decided to throw herself into her mystery writing. She’s doing well, but life is still uncertain, so she plans to have a lot of fun in life as she travels the world with her husband, camera, and notebook for writing mysteries.

Gigi sits on the board of Sisters in Crime, is a member of Mystery Writers of America, and is an avid participant in National Novel Writing Month

Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GigiPandian/

Twitter @GigiPandian

Email: gigi@gigipandian.com

Website: http://www.gigipandian.com/

 

Buy “Michelangelo’s Ghost”

Spotlight On Death of a Wolfman by Susan Boles

Happy ALMOST Halloween?  Who’s excited and who needs something to read?  You do?  Well, are you ready for an amazing Halloween themed book just in time for the holiday? Susan Boles is here to answer your scary wishes. Nothing is scarier than a werewolf, one of the original Halloween scary creatures. Am I right?  I am so excited to have her spotlighted all weekend on BTB as well as have an amazing giveaway that is truly deadly.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00020]About “Death of A Wolfman”

Death of a Wolfman and is a Halloween book set in the fictional town of Mercy, Mississippi. Lily Gayle Lambert and the County Sheriff (who is also her cousin) find a dead wolfman in the woods on Halloween night after an anonymous 911 call. Lily Gayle can’t help sticking her nose in the investigation with the help of her lifelong best friend Dixie and town busybody Miss. Edna.

About the Author:

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A graduate of McNairy Central High School in Selmer, TN and Lambuth University in Jackson, TN, Susan is now a resident of Olive Branch, MS. A lifelong love of Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie drew her to writing cozy mysteries. She’s the author of the Lily Gayle Lambert Mysteries set in the fictitious town of Mercy, Mississippi.

 

About the Artwork and Publisher:logo

The cover art is by LLPix Design and “Death of a Wolfman” is published at Argent Ocean Publishing, a boutique agency.

 

What’s next for Susan:

Christmas is DEADLY in Mercy, Mississippi….

Susan will be releasing a short eBook  Christmas mystery in the Lily Gayle Lambert Mystery series December 15th, 2016, “Death By Christmas Punch.”

 

Visit Susan on the Web:

Website www.susanbolesauthor.com

Twitter: @SusanBAuthor

WordPress: https://susanbolesauthor.wordpress.com

Facebooks: https://www.facebook.com/people/Susan-Boles-Author/100010974857065

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/susan-boles-author-a4075484

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14866595.Susan_Boles

 

Buy Susan’s Other Books; Fated Love:

Amazon

B&N

Kobo

BAM!

Smashwords

 

Susan is running a giveaway over at her facebook page for this amazing glass. It runs from October 28 thru October 30. US only.

CLICK–> https://www.facebook.com/people/Susan-Boles-Author/100010974857065

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Putting On The Witch by Joyce and Jim Lavene

Putting On The Witch by Joyce and Jim Lavene

A Personal Note:

This particular tour is bittersweet. Is that term overused? Maybe. Defined, it means “producing or expressing a mixture of pleasure and pain.” I was so excited to be able to read this amazing book and review it but I knew I would not be able to rattle on about it to either author for they had both passed on. And there we have that bitter and painful part.

When I first got into reading cozies, Joyce was the third author I came in contact with thanks again to my Canadian sister-friend, Karen. I got onto the Joyce and Jim page and quickly started conversing with Joyce on a daily basis. I honestly didn’t know a person could have so much passion for purple!  Her morning greetings were warm and welcoming, nothing like I was seeing on the rest of the Internet. What a breathe of fresh air. Then, I got to slowing know of her husband as well. They were both so unlike others I was used to chatting with.

The news of their separate passings-on was devastating, but I am just glad to have gotten the pleasure and privilege of knowing them; even if it was only virtually. What a legacy they leave behind not only in their writings, but also in their beautiful personalities. I will never forget them.

jo-potw3Review:

So, you’re a witch who’s been hidden in the mortal world who recently found out you were a witch and your dad was one of the most powerful and dark witches ever. He’s now standing in front of you and your mom, who happens to now be a ghost, is not happy. What an opening! Putting On The Witch grabbed me from the beginning with some crazy stuff thrown right in my face and I loved it.

Having read some of the other books of Joyce and Jim’s I was going out of my mind with the “easter eggs” they kept throwing in throughout the book. If you are a reader of theirs, it’s a fun little gift. I know I was all giddy when things were mentioned and certain people showed up from other books of theirs. I won’t ruin it though.

My thought about witches is that they can’t be killed like mortals, but apparently if the right person gets ahold of them, they can. All of this and more takes place when Molly, Elsie, Dorothy and a few surprise guests attend their newest coven member, Brian’s’ birthday bash at the Witches Ball.

The party is elaborate, the preparation is elaborate and the location is unsearchable. Someone had to work pretty hard to get into this party in order to take out one of the powerful members of the Grand Council of Witches.

I love the contrast in the rich and powerful witches and what I call the “normal” witches, or those who are making an honest living just like the non-magical people. You can see the power struggles amongst these two groups which have been going on for ages.

Brian is the center of the party since it is his birthday. Although he was raised wealthy, he doesn’t have the same need to please, have money or be noticed like his grandfather. He is drawn to Dorothy who never new about her magic until recently. They both have a lot in common and I think that is why they are drawn together. In a way, they are both just starting.

Many things were denied to Brian because it wasn’t “proper” and Dorothy had nothing since she was raised without magic due to being hidden from her father. I enjoy the interaction between these two and how although they came from two complete upbringings, they are so much alike and therefore help each other out.

The friendship between Molly, Elsie and Olivia is heartwarming. These “retired witches” as they had hoped to be are only becoming stronger. Their friendship and encouragement of each others differences are what keeps their friendships so amazing. Molly is embracing her true heritage, Elsie is becoming appreciative that it’s okay to love no matter what society says and Olivia is learning to work with what life has dealt her…death. Through the changes in life and death, these friends and life-long coven members are growing themselves into better witches every day.

Putting On The Witch is about acceptance, breaking down the barriers of stereotypes and learning to accept yourself for who you are and just going with it. How in the world can a fiction book do that? I find that the Lavenes always have a message hidden in their books and this one is no exception. We all go through life, unsure of what the future holds. Some of us are unsure of our past and most of us are unsure of our future. One thing is for sure though. If we can find a small group of faithful friends who help to encourage our best selves, we are unstoppable.

 About The Authors:

joyce-and-jimJoyce and Jim Lavene wrote award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They had written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. Joyce passed away October 20, 2015 and Jim passed on May 5, 2016. They are missed by family, friends and their many fans.

Giveaway:

 Putting On The Witch Great Escapes Tour Giveaway

 

Author Links:

 www.joyceandjimlavene.com

www.facebook.com/joyceandjimlavene

Please join these other bloggers as they celebrate Joyce and Jim the rest of October!

October 13 – Booth Talks Books

October 13 – The Cozy Mystery Journal

October 14 – Brooke Blogs

October 15 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews

October 16 – Bibliophile Reviews 

October 16 – Island Confidential

October 17 – LibriAmoriMiei

October 17 – MysteriesEtc

October 18 – Kathy Loves 2 Read

October 19 – ChristyMystery

October 20 – My Interdimensional Chaos

October 21 – Murder, Mystery & More…

October 22 – centraleast2

October 23 – Lori’s Reading Corner

October 24 – The Girl with Book Lungs

October 24 – Polished Nails and Puppy Dog Tales

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Review of Hearse and Gardens by Kathleen Bridge

Hearse and Gardens by Kathleen Bridge

Review:
hease-and-gardensI now want to live in the Hamptons. Meg Barrett has taken me into her world of interior design, as well as cozy bungalows and I am now ready to hire her to decorate one for me to live in beside the ocean.

Kathleen Bridge has once again painted the picture of utter beauty that is the Hamptons. The lifestyle, elegance of the people and nature of living by the ocean have been sold to the reader. We get to see new locations that astound and amaze in the second installment of the Hamptons Home and Garden Mystery as we are taken to the grandiose home that is Sandringham. Oh what an amazing place!

In the process of helping clear out some older bungalows we find our first of many mysterious hidden rooms. This one, however, has the skeletal remains of a man that has been missing for some twenty years. This is only the beginning to Sandringham’s many mysteries. As Meg and Elle continue working with the family, more secrets ooze from the walls. Meg is literally the grown up Nancy Drew in this book. I found myself reading this, jealous of her pursuits of such a fantastic riddle.

skeleton-on-wallThe story was gripping, full of literal twists and turns and enough family secrets to keep one researching for years. The question throughout the story was always who had Uncle Harry’s best interest in mind and who was after the lost Warhol painting, the money and estate. The guilty would start looking innocent and the innocent, guilty. It was a wonderful rollercoaster of confusion. To add to the confusion, I had to question the fictitiousness of the writing. It all sounded so plausible that such a painted existed that I had to ask Kathleen. Who knew!

This story was not only a mystery on the surface with the sleuth, victims and suspects, but ran much deeper for me. It was psychological. It seemed that the hidden passages, discovery of bodies and the unknown fate of her housing situation showed the outward appearance of what Meg was struggling with inwardly. As an interior designer, she goes searching for the past, for items to fill a void in not only a person’s space, but also their life. She helps them create a story, a world that they want to live in and to escape to. At the same time, it fills voids in her own life.

She misses having a place to call home, a person to call her own after a bitter separation and she is mentally trying to figure out these hidden nuances in her personality and come out on the other end like one of her design creations, a beautiful statement that is one of a kind and looks put together with everything in the perfect spot. That is hard to do as a human and I think she will realize this as she comes into her own. But, I think she is making great progress in this book and I look forward to seeing her continue to develop as a character in the hands of Kathleen Bridge.

Synopsis:

To keep her mind off the legal battle over the oceanfront cottage she’s trying to buy, Meg agrees to help her friend inventory and clear out furniture from the massive Montauk estate of wealthy art broker Harrison Falks. But the job takes a terrifying turn when Meg discovers a skeleton in a hidden room in one of the estate’s many bungalows. The remains turn out to be those of Harrison’s son, who went missing nearly twenty years ago—along with one of his father’s Warhol paintings.

As Meg delves into the Hamptons’ pop art past, she gets drawn into the sketchy goings-on and family drama at the estate. But when Meg makes no bones about solving the crime, she just might become the subject of the killer’s next installation.

About The Author:

kathleen-bridgeKathleen Bridge, author of Hearse and Gardens and Better Homes and Corpses, started her writing career working at the Michigan State University News in East Lansing, Michigan. She is the author and photographer of an antiques reference guide, Lithographed Paper Toys, Books, and Games.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, and has taught creative writing classes at Bryant Library in Roslyn, New York. Kathleen is also an antiques and vintage dealer in Long Island, New York, and has contributed to Country Living magazine.

Author Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorkathleenbridge/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/KathleenBridgeG/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kathleenbridge

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorkathleenbridge/

Blog: http://weekendinthehamptons.blogspot.com/

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