Monday, November 30, 2015

Empty Nest by Marty Wingate - #Review #Giveaway

In Empty Nest, Julia Lanchester’s life is interrupted by a murder most foul—and a killer who’s watching her like a hawk.
Manager of a tourist center in a quaint British village, Julia Lanchester finds herself with more ideas than time. Her boss is the Earl Fotheringill himself, but apart from him, she doesn’t mix well with the aristocracy. Unfortunately, toxic mold forces her from her cottage and into one of the earl’s countless spare rooms at the Hall. She tries to get a handle on her overload of work, while she finds herself arguing with dinner guests, chaffing at the sudden interest the earl’s son has in running the estate, and missing her new beau, Michael Sedgwick.

Her life goes from bad to sinister when Julia discovers poisoned sparrowhawks on the expansive estate grounds. And soon after, she finds one of the Hall’s visitors murdered—felled by the same poison. While simultaneously both spooked and angry, she still can’t keep herself from snooping, and dragging Michael along into her investigation. But will she find the culprit before her own wings are clipped?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Wedding at the Paragraph Ranch by Kay Ellington and Barbara Brannon - #review

Can she piece together a dream on a shoestring? As new owner of the falling-apart family homestead in West Texas, Dee Bennett is wrangling ways to earn a living, mend fences with farm and family, and manifest her dreams as a writer—all while nurturing the budding relationship with her beau, outdoorsy photographer Max Miller. But when a drop-dead-gorgeous, high-powered handler for a candidate in a key statewide election blows into Claxton, rivalries bigger than politics and football develop. With stakes running high on the campaign trail, as well as in publishing dreams and love lives, a Bennett family wedding must be attended to. And Dr. Dee, with the assistance of her motley writing-group protégés, must search her soul and fend off a host of challenges to live the life she just might learn to love.

Letter from Hell by M. Lee Mendelson - #review

A simple, routine call to 911 unexpectedly erupts into a grisly suicide. Mike, a well-seasoned deputy is uncharacteristically disturbed by the gruesome scene. Who was this tortured soul, and why did this happen? Innocently, most of us accept our destiny. We assume our life experiences are the result of mere chance. Few of us discover that our fate is actually an orchestrated tapestry woven from beyond our world. When that influencing weaver is from the netherworld, you may likely find yourself on a dark, terrifying, and tragic journey. What if you discovered a letter penned by a desperate soul from beyond the grave, a literal letter from hell? What if that letter could alter your perception of reality by revealing that you are not in control? Would you dare read it?



M. Lee Mendelson is a sick and twisted individual - BUT then so are Stephen King (author) and M. Night Shyamalan (filmmaker) - two masters of the horror genre.  The story is so frightening that it should come with a warning, like you might find on a particularly exciting amusement park ride:  "Do not ride if you have a heart condition."

That being said, if you are a fan of the horror genre and adore things that go bump in the night, you should be addressee of a "Letter From Hell".

Lots of people talk about writing a letter to their 'younger self'.  I suspect many of the 'younger selves' walking around today would take a look at such a letter from their 'future selves' and think, "Ye-e-e-e-ah, right," crumple up the letter, maybe burn it, visibly shudder and then go watch some episodes of The Smurfs.  Silly, silly, younger selves!

I felt a LOT of sympathy for 'young Mike'.  Bullied relentlessly in middle school, he vows one summer to work out a lot and buff up before starting high school.  His father, a former college sports hero, and his mother, a former college cheerleader, had previously I think 'given up' that they would get a repeat of their glory days through the efforts of their son.  But when they see he is serious about getting in shape, they start to take notice and an interest in their flesh and blood.

I could have done with much less description of episodes of his *ahem* daydreams in his bedroom and the numerous references to "Mr. Crunchy" definitely made me uncomfortable.  Especially in this case, the term 'crunchy' brings up a whole lot of visuals that killed my appetite for a while.

And the summer between middle and high school, he starts catching the attention of young ladies, including the daughter of the family newly moved in across the street.  She is less than happy when she notices other young ladies noticing Mike when the school year starts up.

I don't think it's giving too much away to remind people of a little movie from a while back called "Fatal Attraction".  Hmmmm?

Mike goes on to have a brilliant college sports career until an accident ends that future for him.  So he turns to police work.  As time wears on, he becomes a detective and just happens to catch the really disgusting, grizzly crimes, especially child abductions and ritual murders and the like.

The 'bad guys and gals' in Letter from Hell make Freddy Krueger, Michael Meyers, Frankenstein and most others of their ilk look like the "Little League of Horror".

This book is definitely disturbing and riveting as....well, ... h-e-l-l!



A first time author, M. Lee Mendelson and his wife Yvonne have six children between them, three boys and three girls. Yes–the Brady Bunch.

He was inspired and encouraged by Yvonne to write his first book after he proposed the concept to her. M. Lee never dreamt of writing anything before his first book, but has now discovered he has a passion for writing, with one idea after another pouring out of him.

A rare native Floridian, M. Lee recently retired from a career as a full-time firefighter and part-time law enforcement officer. His twenty-six years of experience on the streets have given him a vast array of experiences; some good, some bad. His recent retirement allows him much more freedom to dedicate to his new-found obsession with the written word.

His first book, “Letter From Hell,” is a complex horror novel with a little something for everyone M. Lee’s real-life experiences, coupled with an active and vivid imagination, allow his stories to come alive. Striving to paint pictures with words, he immerses the reader into his scenes.

His ambition is that people will enjoy reading his work and deem it worthy to recommend to others.

Click the link to go to the tour site where you will find more reviews as well as guest posts and author and character interviews.  You can also apply to become a virtual book tour host site yourself!

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for my objective review.  This post may contain affiliate links.)



I did not post my review on the day it was scheduled.  The mistake was my fault and I deeply regret any difficulties this may have caused for the author, publishers or tour organizers.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Smart but Dead by Nancy West - #review

Skirting forty and appalled by the prospect of descending into middle-age decrepitude, Aggie Mundeen blasts off to the local university to study the genetics of aging. In addition to providing youthful hints for readers of her column, “Stay Young with Aggie,” Aggie is doggedly determined to stay young.

Despite conflicts with her professor, she learns about the Human Genome Project and DNA. When she discovers a dead body, Detective Sam reminds her not to “help” with the investigation. But dangerously curious and programmed to prod, she races to solve the crime, winds up the prime suspect and is on target to become next campus corpse.

Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunit), amateur sleuth books, book club recommendations, Southern humor, Southern living, and humorous murder mysteries.

Books in the Aggie Mundeen Humorous Mystery Series:


Olive and Let Die by Susannah Hardy - #review

As manager of the Bonaparte House, a historic landmark and Greek restaurant in upstate New York, Georgie Nikolopatos knows her local legends—and her traditional Greek recipes are to die for.

Between her soon-to-be ex-husband Spiro coming out of the closet and her budding romance with Captain Jack Conway, Georgie’s life is beginning to feel like a soap opera. And that’s before a surprise visit from her estranged mother Shirley, better known as soap star Melanie Ashley. But the dramatic family reunion takes a chilling turn when another long-lost relative turns up dead.

Just outside Spiro’s new restaurant, Georgie and Melanie find the body of Doreen Webber—a cousin Georgie never knew she had. With Spiro’s partner Inky on the list of suspects, Georgie begins to wonder what else her mother may be hiding. Is the dead-broke diva capable of murder? She’d better find out before someone adds a new twist to the family plot.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Pale Highway by Nicholas Conley - #review

Gabriel Schist is spending his remaining years at Bright New Day, a nursing home. He once won the Nobel Prize for inventing a vaccine for AIDS. But now, he has Alzheimer’s, and his mind is slowly slipping away.

When one of the residents comes down with a horrific virus, Gabriel realizes that he is the only one who can find a cure. Encouraged by Victor, an odd stranger, he convinces the administrator to allow him to study the virus.  Soon, reality begins to shift, and Gabriel’s hallucinations interfere with his work.

As the death count mounts, Gabriel is in a race against the clock and his own mind. Can he find a cure before his brain deteriorates past the point of no return?

Friday, November 20, 2015

Haunt Couture and Ghosts Galore by Rose Pressey - #review #giveaway

This looks like a job for the fashion police!
A hot-ticket charity fashion show is the perfect chance for Cookie Chanel, proud owner of It’s Vintage Y’All, to show off her stylistic savvy for a good cause. But when a famous fashionista is fatally flattened, and the ghost of a former private investigator asks for Cookie’s help, she has to scurry to sew up a solution. With clever clues from Wind Song, her psychic cat, and sassy suggestions from Charlotte, her ghost-in-residence, Cookie must unravel the sinister stitches of a deadly design–before she becomes the next fashion victim…

Don’t miss Cookie Chanel’s Fashion Tips