Friday, February 12, 2016

On the Edge of Sunrise by Cynthia Ripley Miller - #review

When love commands, destiny must obey.

The year is AD 450. The Roman Empire wanes as the Medieval Age awakens. Attila the Hun and his horde conquer their way across Europe into Gaul. Caught between Rome’s tottering empire and Attila’s threat are the Frankish tribes and their ‘Long-Hair’ chiefs, northern pagans in a Roman Christian world, and a people history will call the Merovingians.

A young widow, Arria longs for a purpose and a challenge. She is as well versed in politics and diplomacy as any man … but with special skills of her own. The Emperor Valentinian, determined to gain allies to help stop the Huns, sends a remarkable envoy, a woman, to the Assembly of Warriors in Gaul. Arria will persuade the Franks to stand with Rome against Attila.

When barbarian raiders abduct Arria, the Frank blue-eyed warrior, Garic, rescues her. Alarmed by the instant and passionate attraction she feels, Arria is torn between duty and desire. Her arranged betrothal to the ambitious tribune, Drusus, her secret enlistment by Valentinian as a courier to Attila the Hun, and a mysterious riddle—threaten their love and propel them into adventure, intrigue, and Attila’s camp. Rebels in a falling empire, Arria and Garic must find the strength to defy tradition and possess the love prophesied as their destiny.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Murder in White Sands by Marla Bradeen - #review

One dead body, one interrupted marriage proposal, and too many suspects to count.

On the night of her engagement, Rae Lynn Dobbs stumbles across a dead body on the beach of White Sands, Florida. Not only does she recognize the murder victim as one of the retirement-home residents where she serves dinner, but it looks increasingly likely that someone there also killed him.

To her fiancĂ©’s dismay, Rae Lynn launches her own investigation. Between the gossipy widows, the home’s last surviving bachelor, and her coworkers, Rae Lynn doesn’t have any shortage of suspects. But the more she learns, the more it seems anyone could be guilty. And if she doesn’t find out “whodunit” quickly, her fiancĂ© might just become fed up enough to leave.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Burning Heat by David Burnsworth - #review #giveaway

As darkness blankets the holy city of Charleston, South Carolina, Brack Pelton, an Afghanistan War veteran, steps out of a rundown bar after a long night. Before he gets to his truck, he finds himself in the middle of a domestic dispute between a man and a woman on the sidewalk. When a little girl joins the couple and gets hit by the man, Brack intervenes and takes him down. But the abuser isn’t finished. He pulls a gun and shoots the woman. Brack saves the little girl, but his world has just been rocked. Again.

The next day, while sitting on a barstool in the Pirate’s Cove on the Isle of Palms, his own bar, Brack scans the local paper. The news headline reads: Burned Body of Unidentified Hispanic Man Found at Construction Site. Nothing about a dead woman in the poor section of town. Brack feels a tap on his shoulder and turns around to see an eight-year-old girl standing behind him. She’s the little girl he rescued the night before, and she wants him to look into her sister’s shooting.

Violence and danger make up Brack’s not-too-distant past. Part of him craves it–needs it. And that part has just been fed. Things are about to heat up again in the low country. May God have mercy on the souls who get in the way.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Bead in the Hand by Janice Peacock - #review #giveaway

A bead bazaar turns bizarre when jewelry designer and glass beadmaker Jax O’Connell discovers a dead body beneath her sales table. Suspected of murder, Jax and her friend Tessa scramble to find the killer among the fanatic shoppers and eccentric vendors. They have their hands full dealing with a scumbag show promoter, hipsters in love, and a security guard who wants to do more than protect Jax from harm. Adding to the chaos, Jax’s quirky neighbor Val arrives unexpectedly with trouble in tow. Can Jax untangle the clues before she’s arrested for murder?



You'd think that moving from Florida to the Pacific NorthWest would be relaxing (well, ok, except for the cold).  When I think of Florida, I think of cities, Disney, huge crowds and the Caribbean Ocean.  When I think of Washington and Oregon, I think tall pine trees and the Space Needle.  (And y'all, I KNOW there's more to those wonderful states than that!)  But Jax's life has sure spiced up since moving north.

In the first of the "Glass Bead Mysteries", High Strung, Jax finds the body of a local bead artist.  Her friend Tessa is accused of the crime, and Jax has to help her out.  In this second installment, Jax travels to a bead show in Oregon, finds a body and is the lead she has to help herself out!

You see, the police decide Jax is the best suspect because she had means (heavy objects and electricity), motive (the victim was the kind of person you love to hate - she thought she was better than everyone else) and opportunity (her booth was next to Jax's).  And it's probably a function of the 'newness' of the detective, but she practically blackmails Jax into helping her out (unofficially, of course).  Being carted off in handcuffs in front of one's peers is humiliating and damaging to one's reputation.

And let's face it, we may read cozy and act cozy, but when our favorite heros and heroines get in trouble, we get all riled up!

I did like getting other facets of the friendship between Jax, Tessa and Val.  Val is Jax's serial bad-boy-dating duplex-mate.  Tessa is Jax's best friend and sister bead maker.  Tessa spends a great deal of the weekend minding Jax's booth at the bead bazaar when she would rather be out shopping for beads for herself and her shop.  And Val ... well, she just has to be experienced.  She'd like a force of nature - bigger than life.

Jax, Tessa or Val on their own are quite capable women.  Together ... let's just say, murderers beware!  This trio is a force to be reckoned with.  But they are also real women, with good qualities as well as flaws - and therefore female characters to which we can relate.  I'd go beading or sleuthing with any one (or all) of these ladies anytime!  Bring on more adventures!



Janice Peacock decided to write her first mystery novel after working in a glass studio full of colorful artists who didn’t always get along. They reminded her of the odd, and often humorous, characters in the murder mystery books she loved to read. Inspired by that experience, she combined her two passions and wrote High Strung: A Glass Bead Mystery, the first book in a new cozy mystery series featuring glass beadmaker Jax O’Connell.

When Janice Peacock isn’t writing about glass artists who are amateur detectives, she makes glass beads using a torch, designs one-of-a-kind jewelry, and makes sculptures using hot glass. An award-winning artist, her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collections of several museums. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, three cats, and seven chickens. She has a studio full of beads…lots and lots of beads.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


We are smack dab in the middle of the tour, so click the banner to go to the tour site where you will find more reviews, as well as guest posts and author interviews!  You can also sign up to be a blog host for future book tours!

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book in exchange for my objective review.  This post contains affiliate links.)


This book helps me complete the following 2016 Reading Challenges:

Monday, February 8, 2016

My 3rd Annual Love For Books Read-a-thon Sign-up!

Thanks to Jessi at Novel Heartbeat for hosting this read-a-thon.  Click the banner above to go to the sign-up page.  Below is the deets direct from her site!

  • The Love for Books Readathon runs from Monday, February 8th at 12:01 am through Sunday, February 14th at 11:59 pm.
  • I don’t have the time to host mini challenges this year, but I’d love to take some volunteers for challenge hosts if anyone is interested! (See form below)
  • There will be a small giveaway at the end of the readathon for all participants.
  • You may join whenever you like, but to be eligible for the grand prize giveaway, you must sign up by February 9th.
  • To join, all you have to do is make a sign-up post and add your post URL to the linky below! You can put your goals and progress (will be required for the final giveaway) in your sign-up post, or you can make it separate. Totally up to you! (Even if you don’t have a blog, you’re welcome to join!)
  • In order to enter for the grand prize, you must have a post to keep track of your progress so we I see that you participated.
  • Books do not have to be of the romance genre. You can read anything you like!
  • Follow along on Twitter and tweet your progress with the #LfBReadathon hashtag!


Monday, February 8
Currently reading:  Letters from a Patchwork Quilt
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Tuesday, February 9

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Wednesday, February 10

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Thursday, February 11

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Friday, February 12

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Saturday, February 13

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Sunday, February 14

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Death and the Brewmaster's Widow by Loretta Ross - #review

They call it “the Brewmaster’s Widow”; the abandoned brewery where Death Bogart’s brother died in an arson fire.

With his girlfriend, Wren Morgan, Death goes home to St. Louis to take on a deeply personal mystery. When Randy Bogart went into the Einstadt Brewery, he left his broken badge behind at the firehouse. So why did the coroner find one on his body? Every answer leads to more questions. Why did the phony badge have the wrong number? Who set the brewery fire? What is the connection between Randy’s death and the mysterious Cherokee Caves, where the opulent playground of 19th century beer barons falls into slow decay?

Not understanding how and why he lost his brother is breaking the ex-Marine’s heart. But the Brewmaster’s Widow is jealous of her secrets. Prising them loose could cost Death and Wren both their lives.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Bookish Post (February 5)


Thanks to Freda from "Freda's Voice" and Gilion at "Rose City Reader" for hosting these bookish link-up!  Click one of the buttons to go to the link-up page.

Next Monday I will be reviewing:

(liked to GoodReads)

I had a hard time choosing a Friday 56 because there were so many great sentences in that area of the book!

Talia pushed Death's shoulder, signaling him to lean forward on the couch, and pulled up his T-shirt so she could position her stethoscope against his bare back.
Wren was torn.  On the one hand, she was relieved that an actual medical professional was taking an interest in Death's health.  On the other hand, the pretty, blonde paramedic was climbing all over her boyfriend.  "Wren, could I get you to help me bring another round of beer and junk food?"
With a reluctant glance at Death, now with his shirt completely off, Wren followed Annie Tanner into her bright, airy kitchen.

Here's the first paragraph of the book for Book Beginnings on Fridays:

Death and the fire captain came in through the front door.  Wren Morgan came out of the kitchen with a coffee pot and three cups on a tray.  The lean black man in the St. Louis Fire Department dress uniform was a stranger to her, but she'd been watching through the blinds as the two men talked on the sidewalk and she knew who he was now.  She'd seen pictures of him in happier times, posing with Death's younger brother. Randy.

Book Blogger Hop   

Thanks to Billy B at the "Coffee Addicted Blogger" and Ramona at "Create With Joy" for hosting these link-ups!  Click on the buttons above to go to their blogs.


The question for this weeks Book Blogger Hop comes from Elizabeth at "Silver's Reviews":

Does your significant other share your reading passion? 

DH can flat out tear up some science fiction, but I would hazard a guess that if he is a reading fan, I am a reading zealot. ;)


So the question is:

Does "Death and the Brewmaster's Widow" sound like a book that would interest you?  Be sure to check out my review on Monday!