Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I'm Mad as Hell ... And It's Wordless Wednesday!

(This picture was found through an online search of "celebrity shoe closets" at fashionrootie.com with the follow attribution: 
Zuzia-Rogalska_v_30jul14_pr_b_592x888)

(This picture was taken by me on my Kindle Fire on 7/29/2015 and represents the sum total of my 'shoe closet'.)

I am blessed.  I realize this. 

I may have only one pair of shoes, but that puts me ahead of the majority of the world's population.  (Besides, generations of small, furry family members are partially to blame for my lack of footwear.)

This picture was taken on our front porch.  We used my share of the proceeds from the sale of my mother's house in Utah (she passed in March 2011) to pay 'cash' for my husband's paternal grandmother's home in Kentucky (after she passed in 2013).  That's right.  We own our home with no mortgage.  That puts us 'ahead' of the majority of our 7-billion planet co-dwellers.

Then yesterday, I saw a feature on Yahoo about 'celebrity shoe closets', many of which looked like the one featured in the first picture up there.  To tell the truth, I've been struggling with my mood of late.  Well, that was the straw that broke this camel's back.

I understand that female celebrities are judge differently than their male counterparts.  Witness the photo with Selena Gomez, Adam Sandler and Kevin James.  She is wearing a red satin dress with a thigh-high slit and high heel shoes.  The men are dressed in sweats, gym shorts, tee shirts and tennis shoes. 

Why can men get away with dressing casually, when women are criticized for wearing anything that is not from a famous designer and God forbid they wear things more than once!

And can we talk about the excess?

There is more food in that celebrity closet than at a charitable food bank.  And cost of one column of the shoes on the shelves in 'picture A' could support village in an developing nation for quite some time.

When do we start valuing human life more than having more stuff than 'the Jones'?  When does it matter more to us that a single child in our country (and here I mean the USA, specifically) goes to bed with enough food in his or her belly to make it through the next day, than it does that the 20+ people who think they have what it takes to become the President of the United States raise yet another BILLION dollars to spend on their campaigns, all but one of which are guaranteed to l.o.s.e.?

It's enough to make me cry.  No lie.  I was disconsolate last night.

Stay tuned.  Tomorrow or Friday (when my fires have been sufficiently revived) I will post the 2nd half of this rant, or why "I'm Not Going to Take It Anymore".  Don't worry, though.  I don't want my '15 minutes of fame'.  I'm going to make a plan as to how I can make a needed change.  I don't delude myself that I can solve any of the world's problems.  But I can sure as hell make my little corner of it better.

Maybe if enough people feel that way (and I know there are those out there already laboring in the field, so to speak, and God bless each and every one of them) ... well, every drop goes to fill the bucket.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Write-On Review-a-Thon Wish List

Write On Review-a-Thon

Got reviews you need to write up and post?  Join in by clicking on the button above.  Receive support and encouragement from your sister and brother slackers, like me! :O)

I cannot begin to fathom the number of reviews I have to write.  Many of them come from free e-books that are used to pique interest in a new author.  Some, *ahem*, I owe people to whom I promised a review on a condition of getting the book or e-book.

So my reviews for this weekend may come from the following list.  Now all I have to do is find my Kindle. *sigh*

~~~oOo~~~

Good news!  I found the Kindle.

Bad news!  I stopped counting at 30 reviews to be done.

EVEN MORE bad news.  The following is not an exhaustive list.  There are some 'book-books' as opposed to e-books that will be added to the list as well.

~~~oOo~~~

The list will turn into links when the reviews are done.  And if you happen to click through to any of them and want to give the review a thumbs up if you think it merits one, well, don't let me stop you! ;)

  1. Faith by Ruth Hartzler (edited to add link 12:20 pm Eastern US, 7/26/2015)
  2. Treasure on Moon Lake by Amy Gamet
  3. Tennessee Waltz by Trana Mae Simmons
  4. Ready to Were by Robyn Peterman
  5. Keeper by Suzanne Woods Fisher
  6. Julia by Ashley Merrick
  7. Ashes by Kelly Cozy
  8. Sir Dudley Dinklebottom by T. J. Lantz
  9. Gathering Bittersweet by JoHannah Reardon
  10. My Splendid Concubine by Lloyd Lofthouse
  11. Maid for Love by Marie Force
  12. Rose Hill by Pamela Grandstaff
  13. The First Cut by Dianne Emley
  14. Visions of Love by Joynce and Jim Lavene
  15. This Time Forever by Rachel Ann Nunes
  16. Slow Curve on the Coquihalla by R. E. Donald
  17. The Case of Moomah's Moolah by Jim Stevens
  18. Under the Ice by Aaron Paul Lazar
  19. Celtic Viking by Lexy Timms
  20. Rest in Pieces by Katie Graykowski
  21. Mine all Mine by Ella J. Quince
  22. Purling Road by M. L. ardner
  23. Perilous Pranks by Joyce & Jim Lavene
  24. High Heels Mysteries 1-3 by Gemma Halliday
  25. Black Sands by Carl Goodman
  26. Mistaken Kiss by Kathleen Baldwin
  27. Sinjin by H.P. Mallory
  28. Imogene in New Orleans by Hunter Murphy
  29. Hollywood Dirty by MZ Kelly
  30. The Executioner: War Against the Mafia by Don Pendleton
  31. Summer of Promise by Amanda Cabot
  32. Streetlights Like Fireworks by ? Pandolfe
  33. Defending Turquoice by John Ellsworth
  34. The Taming of Lady Kate by G. G. Vandagriff
  35. A Winter Wrong by Elizabeth Ann West
  36. Around the Bend by Rosemary Hines
  37. Play Dead by Leslie O'Kane
  38. A Time to Live, and a Thyme for Murder by Phoebe T. Eggli
  39. The Singularity: Heretic by David Beers
  40. Chloes by Dean Garlick
  41. The Hunter Awakens by J. R. Rober
  42. Goodey's Last Stand by Charles Alverson
  43. The Duke and the Baron by Jenn LeFlanc
  44. What if it's True? by Dixie Burns
  45. Seaside Secrets by Cindy Bell
  46. Double Trouble by Deborah Cooke
I know.  I know.  I have a problem.  Well, one day at a time, I will tackle this list and get it done.  I may have to have a party when it's all finished.

Anyway, that's my list.  Laissez les bon temps roulez!



Friday, July 24, 2015

#Review/#Giveaway: Trawling for Trouble by Shelley Freydont


The author of Independence Slay is back as intrepid event planner Liv Montgomery discovers something fishy going on beneath Celebration Bay’s deceptively calm surface.

Liv Montgomery knew that asking Celebration Bay’s newspaper owner-slash-ne’er-do-well Chaz Bristow to teach her how to fish meant angling for more than a lesson in sinkers and chum. Like asking him to spearhead the fund raiser that’ll benefit the town’s community center. And there are worse ways to spend the afternoon than out on the town’s picturesque lake.

But it’s not long before Liv reels in a huge catch—already quite dead. It’s the body of an unknown man, and it was no accidental drowning. This floater was murdered. While local authorities investigate, it’s Liv and Chaz who stumble upon a shocking motive, and become live bait for a ruthless killer determined to keep his secrets down in the deep.

Includes exclusive previews of the next Celebration Bay mystery, Trick or Deceit, and A Gilded Grave, the first book in Shelley Freydont’s new Newport Gilded Age Mystery series.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Book Review: The Jaime Quinn Mysteries



GoodReads * Amazon

~~~oOo~~~



Reluctant lawyer, Jamie Quinn, still reeling from the death of her mother, is pulled into a game of deception, jealousy, and vengeance when her cousin, Adam, is wrongfully accused of murder. It’s up to Jamie to find the real murderer before it’s too late. It doesn’t help that the victim is a former rock star with more enemies than friends, or that Adam confessed to a murder he didn’t commit.


~~~oOo~~~


Reluctant lawyer, Jamie Quinn, has returned to her family law practice after a hiatus due to the death of her mother. It’s business as usual until a bitter divorce case turns into a murder investigation, and Jamie’s client becomes the prime suspect. When she can’t untangle truth from lies, Jamie enlists the help of Duke Broussard, her favorite private investigator, to try to clear her client’s name. And she’s hoping that, in his spare time, he can help her find her long-lost father…


~~~oOo~~~


There’s big trouble in the park system. Someone is making life difficult for Jamie Quinn’s boyfriend, Kip Simons, the new director of Broward County parks. Was it the angry supervisor passed over for promotion? The disgruntled employee Kip recently fired? Or someone with a bigger ax to grind? If Jamie can’t figure it out soon, she may be looking for a new boyfriend because there’s a dead guy in the park and Kip has gone missing! With the help of her favorite P.I., Duke Broussard, Jamie must race the clock to find Kip before it’s too late.



~~~oOo~~~

REVIEW

Hands down, The Jaime Quinn Mysteries are one of my favorite series to date!  Let me explain ...

I read.  I read a lot.  A.  LOT.  Quite a number of the books I read are the free days authors have sometimes on Amazon as a way to introduce new readers to their works.  So I read them.  Then I want to read the rest of the series as well.  But the catch is, the cliff-hanger at the end of the books is huge that I am disappointed that I cannot continue into the next book right away.

That is where Ms. Venkataraman's Jamie Quinn Mysteries shine.  I was concerned at the outset of each installment that they would not be long enough to provide a fully fleshed-out story, but I was wrong.  Each book provides more than enough dialog and action to form a complete tale, and I was satisfied at the end of each book.  The story ends had been tied together (sometimes even in a bow!)  And, while each book could be read alone quite nicely, there is enough of a tease of foreshadowing to let the reader know that all had not yet been revealed.

In Death by Digeridoo, I appreciated the author's sensitivity to the story of Adam, a young man with autism, whose statement, "I did a bad thing," was taken as a confession by the local police when they find him standing over the body of his music teacher.  And it Jaime's own story was encouraging as well.  In a funk since her mother had passed away, Adam's need brought her out of that miasma and back to the land of the living.

The Case of the Killer Divorce highlights the character, Duke Broussard, a former client of Jaime's.  As Jaime has already reconnected with a high-school beau of hers (Kip), Duke adds a nice tension to the story.  It's probably good that he shortened his name to Duke from Marmaduke.  (The only other Marmaduke I know is a cartoon strip dog.)  And if there's ever a case of a client working against their lawyer, this is it.

Peril in the Park winds up the trio of books I was happy to read.  Kip and Jaime have gone from touchy-feely to comfy-cozy.  But the politics at Kip's government position are stifling at best and downright dangerous a majority of the time.  Collusion, cover-ups, petty jealousies and backbiting are the order of the day, it seems.  Bodies (of the not live variety) keep showing up in parks and then Kip goes missing.  So, Jaime has to turn to Duke (yay! more of that tension!) for more help, in order to find Kip before it's too late.  For a while I even wondered which one Jamie would choose.

So.  You can buy each book individually.  Or you can get the boxed set (or the larger e-file).  Each story is not long, but definitely satisfying.  In my opinion, the books to not have to be read in order but I think it's human nature to want order and when one is presented, to follow from point A to point B.  The set is only $2.99 on Amazon as of about 5 minutes ago.  Get it, read it, love it.  And save a space on your shelf (or in your e-reader) for the next Jaime Quinn Mystery, which is in the works!

~~~oOo~~~

ABOUT THE AUTHOR




Award-winning author, Barbara Venkataraman is an attorney and mediator specializing in family law and debt collection.
She is the author of “Teatime with Mrs. Grammar Person”; “The Fight for Magicallus,” a children’s fantasy; a humorous short story entitled, “If You’d Just Listened to Me in the First Place”; and two books of humorous essays: “I’m Not Talking about You, Of Course” and “A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities,” which are part of the “Quirky Essays for Quirky People” series. Both books of humorous essays won the “Indie Book of the Day” award.
Her latest works are “Death by Didgeridoo,” first in the Jamie Quinn series, “The Case of the Killer Divorce,” the second Jamie Quinn mystery, and, just out, “Peril in the Park,” the latest in the popular Jamie Quinn series. Coming soon, “Engaged in Danger”–the next Jamie Quinn mystery!
~~~oOo~~~


Today is the tour kick-off and by clicking the graphic just above you can to go the tour schedule page, where you will find more reviews, as well as interviews and guest posts.  You can even find out about becoming a reviewer for Great Escapes yourself!

(Disclaimer:  I received a copy of the set of books from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest and unbiased review only.)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

High Summer Read-a-thon



Don't you just love the picture up there?  So 'genteel'.  But they must live somewhere cooler and less humid than I do because until September there is NO WAY I'm going to be wearing such a beautiful dress because I would not be able to breathe!

But I digress.

Michelle over at Seasons of Reading hosts several lovely read-a-thons during the year and the next one coming up is the "High Summer Read-a-Thon".  Can you guess when it's going to be? :O)  (Sorry.  Silly mood.)

Borrowing from Seasons of Reading:

a week of relaxed reading during which we can personally challenge ourselves and whittle away those ever looming TBR piles/shelves/libraries
As they say in my neck of the woods:  "It's un-telling how many books I have on my TBR list."  I keep waiting for Amazon to implement limits from the # of books I've downloaded, many of them on free promotional days for authors.  Some low-cost.   Having received them at a discount, along with anyone else subscribing to the emails like I do, I feel a sort of obligation to read and post reviews, as we all know how important they are to authors.

I am also WOEFULLY behind in this respect. *sigh*

Anyhoo (intentional spelling) ...

Going with the no pressure credo above, I'm going to go spelunking in my Kindle and find the cozy mysteries, sweet romances, Amish fiction, and works by favored authors.  I figure 4-7 ought to do it.  Normally I go through about a book a day.  But if they in the 600+ range of pages, non-fiction, or my first dip into a new 'world', it may take a little longer.

If you like to read, please allow me to invite you to join us at Michelle's blog (click the button up there at the top of this post) in a couple of weeks and get your summer reading party on!


Monday, July 6, 2015

Book Review: Murder on the Bucket List by Elizabeth Perona


The septuagenarian women of the Summer Ridge Bridge Club have gathered in secret late one July night to check skinny dipping off their bucket list. But as Francine observes, the jittery members seem more obsessed with body issues and elaborate preparations than actually stripping down and getting in the pool. A pungent smell emanating from the pool shed provides a perfect distraction. When a dead body flops out, it’s an answered prayer for Charlotte, since the first item on her list is to solve a murder.

Unfortunately for Charlotte and Francine, before they can discover who really killed the man, they must negotiate neighborhood tours of the crime scene, press coverage of their skinny dipping, an angry Homeowner’s Association, a disastrous appearance on Good Morning America, media offers sought by a hungry publicist, and a clever killer.


~~~oOo~~~

REVIEW

Huzzah for Perona/Dembrosky featuring main characters in their wonderful book that are "of a certain age" - read that as having long since given up on pulling gray hairs out of their heads.  (You know you did on your first couple too!)  I wonder how they came up with that idea - because if you look at their picture, they don't look like even their ages taken together they would add up to the youngest of the ladies.

But of course, you have to be of a certain age before you really make a point of crossing things off your bucket list.  When you are younger, death seems like a non- (or far away) issue - as in, "I'll have plenty of time to get that done."

So, one of the ladies has 'skinny-dipping' on her bucket list.  And what do friends do?  Offer to go along with her, of course, to minimize the nervousness factor.  Ok, only one of the friends is actually in the pool 'au naturel', before another finds the dead body in the pool shed.  

Enter police.  Enter looky-lous.  Enter new helicopters.  Exit the news of skinny-dipping grandmas to the far corners of the earth.

Murder on the Bucket List is abso-looky-lou-tely hilarious. And I love the way the racing side story is woven into the main plot.

Buy it.  Read it.  Love it.  Wish your grandma was like one of the ladies of the Summer Ridge Bridge Club.  (Neither of mine were, unfortunately, but my husband's paternal grandmother was a pistol, so I'm counting her!)

~~~oOo~~~

AUTHOR INFORMATION



Elizabeth Perona is the father/daughter writing team of Tony Perona and Liz Dombrosky. Tony is the author of the Nick Bertetto mystery series, the standalone thriller The Final Mayan Prophecy (with Paul Skorich), and co-editor and contributor to the anthologies Racing Can Be Murder and Hoosier Hoops & Hijinks. Tony is a member of Mystery Writers of America and has served the organization as a member of the Board of Directors and as Treasurer. He is also a member of Sisters-in-Crime.

Liz Dombrosky graduated from Ball State University in the Honors College with a degree in teaching. She is currently a stay-at-home mom. Murder on the Bucket List is her first novel.

~~~oOo~~~


Click on the above logo to visit the tour schedule where you will find more reviews, as well as interviews, guest posts as well as GIVEAWAYS!  While you're there, you can find out about becoming a reviewer for Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours yourself!

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the authors and publishers, via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.)

Monday, June 15, 2015

Book Review/#Giveaway: Dying for the Past byTJ O'Connor



 Dying is not for the faint of heart . . . . . . Neither is the murder of a mysterious philanthropist with ties to the Russian mob and 1939 gangsters.

At an A-list charity ball organized by his wife, Angela, former detective Oliver "Tuck" Tucker is doing his best to prove that ghosts know how to have a good time--until a man is murdered in cold blood on the dance floor.

Never one to let a mystery go unsolved, Tuck is on the case with help from Angela and his former police-detective partners. Together, they must be the first to read "the book"--deceased gangster Vincent Calabrese's journal that names names and reveals the dirty secrets of several modern-day spies.

As Tuck learns the book's secrets, he begins to unravel his own family's wayward past, leading to the question--is being a ghost hereditary? Even while chasing a killer, the biggest challenge Tuck must conquer is how to be back amongst the living . . . but not one of them.