Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Shot in the Dark by Cleo Coyle - #review #giveaway

A new smartphone dating game turns the Village Blend into a hookup hot spot, until one dark night, when a gunshot leaves a dead body behind and the landmark coffeehouse becomes the center of a whole new scene–a crime scene.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Nun After the Other by Alice Loweecy - #review #giveaway

Nuns and murder and ghosts, oh my! Here comes Giulia Driscoll again, and boy, is she in for it this time.

It starts when a frenzied Chihuahua leads Giulia and Frank Driscoll to the body of a nun in the street near a convent. The nuns fear they’re being harassed by the biggest developer in town and quickly embrace Giulia as their savior.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Farewell, My Cuckoo by Marty Wingate - #review

Julia Lanchester must defend her love nest from an invasive species: her boyfriend’s sister. And then there’s the little matter of murder . . .

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Courage Between Love and Death by Joseph Pillitteri - #review

Elspeth has recently landed a nursing position at the 1901 Pan American Exposition Hospital in Buffalo, New York. This is a big boon for her, but things are not going as expected. She has to navigate mischievous patients, egotistical doctors, rival nurses and prejudices. For an Irish girl with a temper, this is no easy feat. Now President McKinley is coming to visit the Expo and everyone is in an uproar. On the home front, her life is no less hectic as she struggles to put food on the table and look out for her younger siblings.

When the unthinkable happens, it is a turning point, not only for the medical industry and our country’s security, but also for Elspeth personally. With her career and reputation on the line, will she have the courage to overcome the challenges she faces to clear her name and continue to be there for the ones she loves?



And I thought some of my work days were rough?  I've got nothing on Elspeth, who has a really long last name!  Not only does she have to contend with prejudice against women in general (they didn't even have the vote at this point), she also faced the prejudice against Irish immigrants and that of the educated male doctors for the less well-trained nurses.  And that's all before President McKinley is brought into the hospital after being shot at the 1901 Pan American Exposition.

I was spell-bound by Mr. Pillitteri's descriptions of Elspeth's encounters with Gunner, a new intern at her hospital.  Ah, the first blush of young love - the nervousness, the butterflies and blushes; I was smiling the whole time.  It takes strength and courage to be in love.

In places where the author wrote about Elspeth's interaction with Dr. Kingdom.  When the 'haves' (of any sort) belittle the "have nots", it gets my back up, and the little hairs on the back of my neck were fair bristling just about every time Kingdom appeared on the page!  It takes strength and courage to stand up in the face of discrimination.

Reading about the aftermath of McKinley's assassination brought back memories of John Hinckley, Jr.s attempt on the life of then President Reagan in 1981.  Even though most often political rivals squabble like a pack of rabid dogs, even that seems to lessen momentarily as the country 'closes ranks' as it were after the assassination (or an attempt) of a President.  There is a rumor that as he was wheeled into the OR, Reagan looked at the surgeon and jokingly said, "I hope you're Republican", to which the surgeoun replied, "Today, Mr. President, I think we're all Republican."

Of course, in McKinley's time there were nowhere near the medical or security resources available today.  So would he have died from his injuries regardless?  Or was the operation bungled?  Citizens want someone to blame when something like that occurs and it's usually the weakest link that gets the blame.

I spent most of my time reading Courage Between Love and Death on the edge of my chair.  Even thinking about it now raises my heart rate a couple of beats.

I've said more than once that I really enjoy historical fiction based on historical fact (such as McKinley's assassination), or a person of historical interest (past Presidents, for example).  The facts are fleshed out (even though fictionally) and it makes the events more real to someone only able to read about them more than century later.  I definitely want to learn more about the author's other literary adventures!



While working at Roswell Park Memorial Hospital in Buffalo, NY, Joseph Pillitteri became intrigued by the role Dr. Park played in the surgery of President McKinley at the 1901 Pan American Exposition. It was a pleasure to shape facts and fiction together to tell the story.

Previous works by Pillitteri include When the Giraffe Runs Down (Dial Press), Two Hours on Sunday (Dial Press), The Abortion (Penguin Books), and Life Pulse (Penguin Books).




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(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.)

Italian Chronicles 3: Return to Bella Terra by Maryann Diorio - #review #giveaway

A mother, her son, and the man who threatens to come between them . . .

When Maria Landro Tonetta receives word that Mama is terminally ill, Maria travels to her Sicilian homeland with her son Nico. She finds herself yearning for the life she once knew as a child on Bella Terra, the family farm, now on the verge of bankruptcy. Caught between two worlds, Maria dreams of moving back to Sicily with her husband and children to save the farm. When Nico’s biological father unexpectedly appears at Mama’s funeral, Maria faces a new enemy to her dream. But is there an even greater enemy within her own soul?