Saturday, July 4, 2015

July 4th's Weekly TV Thoughts

I'm actually a little surprised I got through as much TV as I did this week.  I was out of town on business and thought that might slow me down.  But I did spend some time watching TV at night in my hotel room, so I was able to catch up quickly when I got back.  And this even includes a new show I'll be sticking with this week, too.

America Ninja Warrior – So many great stories tonight even if the competitors didn’t go very far.  And yes, I take back what I said about Santa Monica this year.  All the courses have had that one extremely tough obstacle this year.  But the thing I’m most excited about?  Joe and his wife expecting!  I really do love to root for him since he seems like such a nice guy.

Scream – It’s a bit funny watching the lead in this show and not thinking of Hank and Evan’s sister, since she was on Royal Pains last season.  And the shows are on opposite each other.  Anyway, as a fan of the movies (you’ll find the reviews in my archives), I had to give it a shot.  I’m really impressed.  Obviously, they are ignoring everything about the movies, including the mask, but I really enjoyed it.  I have a feeling this might be the one show I wish that I could watch back to back.

Royal Pains – Really?  They are going to go with the phone call working?  Just like that he’s giving up custody?  I’m happy to see that storyline end since I hated it, but it doesn’t ring true at all.  Meanwhile, where is Jeremiah really?  And what has Evan stumbled into?

Melissa and Joey – I should have seen that twist with the parents coming.  It was so obvious.  Oh, and yes, I am thrilled that Zander and Lenox are back together.

Baby Daddy – That Wheeler War was very fun.  Yes, I saw the ending coming, but I was having a blast along the way.  I just want to know what the other events were.

Suits – Really, I am so over the Louis vs. Harvey stuff.  Can we find something new to get them working together with only minor skirmishes from here on out?  Please?  I mean, it was a great episode, and I loved Mike and Rachel’s sub-plot (and Rachel’s scene with Jessica), but come on, that part of the soap opera needs a rest.

Graceland – Suddenly, it’s Jonny who is frustrating me.  However, I’m enjoying this season overall so far.  The interplay between the characters is top notch and the stories are interesting finally.  It’s still no White Collar (same creator), but it is interesting again.

Friday, July 3, 2015

July 3rd's Book Beginning and Friday 56

Welcome all, to this three day weekend edition of Book Beginning and Friday 56.  I am currently working on Fatal Reservations by Lucy Burdette.  In fact, I'm hoping to finish it with my holiday.




This is the sixth in the Key West Food Critic Mysteries.  I am discovering just how much I love this character and setting since I am so thrilled to be visiting them again.

So here's how the latest mystery begins:

The first time Miss Gloria almost died, she came out of the hospital rigid with fear.
The second time, just before Christmas, she came out fighting.

Jumping ahead to page 56, we get:

Then I went back outside, clamping down on the thoughts that were whirling in my mind so I could concentrate on getting my cargo home safely.

That's it for this week.  Have a safe and fun 4th for those of you in the US.  Everyone else have a great 4th, too, even if it isn't a holiday.  :)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Book Review: Independence Slay by Shelley Freydont (Celebration Bay #3)



Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Characters still strong; interesting mystery
Cons: One character needs faster growth
The Bottom Line:
More holiday death
With reenactment gone wrong
Series is still strong




Just Your Normal 4th of July if by Normal You Include Ghosts and Murder

After reading and enjoying the first two Celebration Bay books last year, I was anxious to catch up on the latest in the series.  However, I held off on reading Independence Slay until close to the 4th of July since I’ve been getting such a kick out of reading these books at the appropriate holiday.  The waiting paid off because this was another winner.

If you are new to the series, Celebration Bay is a town in New York that has earned a reputation for throwing elaborate events for every holiday of the year.  The events have gotten so popular with tourists and become such an important part of the local economy that they have hired Liv Montgomery, an event planner, to oversee all of the events.  But she keeps getting involved with murders connected to the events as well.

Every 4th of July, Celebration Bay goes all out with a reenactment of a famous Revolutionary War battle that took place in town.  Okay, okay, so it’s actually a made up battle, but the town really gets behind it with effects and fireworks.  It’s all kicked off by the ghost of Henry Gallantine giving the signal for the colonists to attack.

However, this year, the ghost gives a second signal in Morse code, and Liv Montgomery and her assistant Ted go charging to where he is supposed to be only to find a man dead on the ground.  Worse yet, Leo, a “gentle soul” is found holding the murder weapon and claiming that Henry Gallantine’s ghost is the killer.  The town is certain this teen did it, but Liv isn’t buying it.  What do the rumors of a buried treasure have to do with the murder?  Can Liv figure out who the killer is before everyone turns on Leo?

The characters in this series have been strong from book one, and that stays true here.  While some of the characters from earlier books are reduced in page time in this entry, the new characters are more than strong enough to pick up the slack.  Frankly, I don’t see how the supporting players could have been worked into the book without slowing things down.

And the story didn’t leave much room for filler.  There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing about what is really happening until the very end.  Those twists go beyond the simple who done it aspect of the plot, and I really appreciated that.

I enjoyed reading the first two at the appropriate season, and this one was no exception.  The heat, the colors, the Revolutionary War battle all helped put me in the mood for my favorite summer holiday.  (Okay, so it doesn’t have much competition as summery holidays go, but I have always loved the 4th of July.)

I do have to circle back to the characters for a minute.  There is one character that hasn’t changed a lick in the series so far.  Oh, some might argue that he has changed, but if so, it’s not enough.  I get that he’s supposed to provide some comedic relief and be the love interest, but I’m still not on board with that relationship.  He needs a major makeover and soon.  I’m sure the author can do it, so I do hope it happens in the next book or two.

But this is truly a minor complaint.  I got lost in the town of Celebration Bay yet again with Independence Slay and am already looking forward to this year’s new Halloween themed entry.  If you are looking to get into the holiday spirit with a cozy mystery, this series is sure to help you no matter what that holiday is.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Monthly Reading Summary June 2015

Welcome to my monthly reading summary for June.  Since I am in Atlanta right now on business, I haven't had a chance to update the Index this month.  But here is what I read.

All ratings are on a scale of 1 (bad) to 5 (great).

Death of a Chocolate Cheater by Penny Pike (Food Festival Mysteries #2) – 5
Darcy’s Aunt Abby has developed a recipe sure to be a hit at San Francisco’s upcoming chocolate festival.  However, when one of the judges is murdered and Abby’s friend is accused of the rime, Darcy must figure out who really committed the chocolate crime.

I loved the first in this series, and this one didn’t disappoint either.  It was a little slow to get going, but once it did, the pace never slowed down.  The characters are a blast, and I loved getting to visit them again here.  And all that chocolate left me drooling.  A fantastically fun read.

NOTE: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

“A” is for Alibi by Sue Grafton (Kinsey Millhone #1) – 4
Laurence Fife was a cheating divorce lawyer, so no one was too upset when he was murdered.  Still, his wife Nikki hires PI Kinsey Millhone to find out who did it.  The catch?  Nikki is out of jail on parole after being convicted of committing the crime herself.  With the case closed and cold, can Kinsey find any fresh leads?

I’ve long heard of the series and wanted to start it, and I’m glad I finally did.  While the book does fall victim to a few clich├ęs of the genre, it’s still a very enjoyable book.  The plot is strong and the characters real, both of which kept me engrossed.  I’m looking forward to more of the series.

Truffled to Death by Kathy Aarons (Chocolate Covered Mysteries #2) – 5
Michelle are Erica are pleased when their combined chocolate and bookstore is chosen to host a reception to honor a donation of ancient Maya artifacts to a local museum.  However, the day after the reception, the artifacts are missing, and a day later someone is murdered.  Can the friends figure out what is going on?

I enjoyed the first book, but I liked this one even more.  The characters are strong, and I loved seeing how the returning characters developed further over the course of the book.  The plots was strong, and because of the subject matter included more than the typical cozy plot, which I also enjoyed.  I’m already looking forward to book three.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

I Will Take a Nap! by Mo Willems – 4
Gerald wants to take a nap, and Piggie thinks that sounds like a good idea.  But will she keep Gerald from getting his nap?

The pictures and dialogue are fun as always, but I don’t think this book has quite the spark of some of the others in the series.  Honestly, that’s a minor issue, however, and fans of these fun picture books will still enjoy it.

Farmed and Dangerous by Edith Maxwell (Local Foods Mysteries #3) – 5
Winter has settle on Massachusetts, but farmer Cam Flaherty is still very busy.  She’s growing food in her hoop house and hoping to land a contract to provide produce during the summer at the local assisted living facility.  However, the night that her food is served, one of the residents dies from poison.  With local gossip and the police looking at her, Cam must dive in to the mystery to clear her reputation.

The book did start a little slowly, but once the murder takes place, things pick up.  I was turning pages as quickly as I could until I reached the satisfying ending.  It was great to spend time with these characters again, and the suspects were equally engaging.  Be sure to read through the recipes, too, since there is a joke in one of them.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

The Mystery of the Midnight Marauder by Kathryn Kenny (Trixie Belden #30) – 5
A missing family pet, Trixie’s brother Mart acting weird, and vandalism at school start of this mystery.  When the police start to suspect Mart of the crime, Trixie has to work fast to prove his innocence.

For a later book in the series, this is definitely a strong one.  The characters are all present and at their very best.  We get a few laughs along the way as well.  The plot is a tad obvious, but it’s still fun.  My biggest complaint is that Sergeant Molinson would actually consider Mart a suspect.  I’ve never bought that.

Snow White Red-Handed by Maia Chance (Fairy Tale Fatal #1) – 5
Prue and Ophelia take on jobs as maids to the Coops, Americans who are traveling to their castle in Germany’s black forest.  Almost as soon as they’ve arrived, a cottage is discovered on the property that looks like a dwarf cottage, and fairytale experts are brought in.  The next day, Mr. Coop is poisoned with an apple.  What have Prue and Ophelia gotten themselves into?

I love fairytales and fairytale reimaginings, so I had to give this cozy mystery series a try.  It was so much fun.  The story was fast paced, and the fairytale aspect provided a nice twist to the cozy formula.  The characters were sharp as well, and the author made perfect use of a multiple viewpoint story.  Can’t wait for the sequel.

Lullaby Town by Robert Crais (Cole/Pike #3) – 4
Elvis Cole is hired by a big Hollywood director to find his ex-wife and their son.  After a decade of no contact, Elvis takes a little time to pick up the trail, but once he does, the shock at the end might have him in over his head.

The book started out great, but about a third of the way into it, the twist kicked things into high gear.  The new characters are great and really show a lot of growth here, which made me love them more.  Pike, Cole’s partner in the PI business, is still more caricature than character and the foul language could easily be cut in half and still make the point, but overall, I did enjoy this book.

A Pocket for Corduroy by Don Freeman – 5
One day while at the laundromat, teddy bear Corduroy decides he needs a pocket.  His search for one introduces him to some strange new things.  Can he find a pocket?  Will Lisa be able to find him?

Even as a kid, I liked this book more than Corduroy’s first adventure.  I think it’s because of the creativity.  We know what Corduroy finds along his way, but his explanations for them are creative, logical, and fun.  The illustrations capture the story perfectly, and will please kids and parents alike.  This is one all ages can enjoy.

Bless Her Dead Little Heart by Miranda James (Southern Ladies Mysteries #1) – 4
Sisters An’gel and Dickce Ducote are surprised when their college friend Rosabelle shows up unannounced on their doorstep and states that one of her family members is trying to kill her.  But not too long after her family shows up to find Rosabelle, someone dies, and the evidence points to murder.  Which of their house full of guests is a killer?

This is a spin off series from the author’s popular Cat in the Stacks Mysteries, but the fact that I’ve only read the first one of those didn’t hamper my enjoyment here at all.  Instead, I was introduced to some wonderful characters, series and suspect, I am looking forward to getting to know in future books.  The plot moved along great with lots of clues and conflict.  Unfortunately, the ending was weaker than it should have been.

The Diva Runs Out of Thyme by Krista Davis (Domestic Diva Mysteries #1) – 4
Sophie Winston is hosting Thanksgiving for her family and facing off against her high school rival, domestic diva Natasha Smith, in a stuffing contest.  The last thing she needs is to find a dead body while out grocery shopping.  Worse yet, the police think she is a suspect when they find her picture in the dead man’s car.  What is happening?

I’ve heard lots of good about this series, and it is obviously well deserved.  The large cast of characters are so well developed I never had a hard time keeping them straight.  The plot starts out strongly, but it does get bogged down in the middle before reaching a wonderful climax.  I’m certainly curious to see where Sophie goes from here.

The Longest Yard Sale by Sherry Harris (Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries #2) – 5
Sarah has been working hard to set up the largest community yard sale in New England.  When the day arrives, some fires outside of town are the only thing that goes wrong – or so she thinks.  After the day is over, she learns her friend Carol was robbed of a painting she was doing on commission.  The next morning, Carol finds a dead stranger in her shop.  What is happening?

This is a very fun mystery filled with great characters.  Seriously, I love spending time with them.  The plot includes a few intriguing sub-plots that all tie together in some way at the end of the book.  The result kept me turning pages.  One word of warning, one part of the first book is spoiled here, but there is no way to continue Sarah’s personal life without doing so.

NOTE: I was sent an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I am currently running a giveaway on this book, so follow that link above if you'd like to win a copy.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Book Review: The Longest Yard Sale by Sherry Harris (Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries #2)



Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Well-crafted plot filled with fun characters
Cons: None
The Bottom Line:
Yard sale as cover
Creative set up for book
Executed well




Arson, Stolen Painting, and Murder

While garage sales and shopping in general aren’t normally a theme I pick when it comes to cozies, I did give Sherry Harris’s debut a try last year, and I loved it.  In fact, I was anxious to read The Longest Yard Sale, the second in the series.  Now that I’ve read it, I can say it is just as good as the first.

For the last few months, Sarah Winston has been working hard organizing the Longest Yard Sale in New England to take place in and around Ellington, Massachusetts.  The main focus is on the town green, where various dealers and charity organizations have set up booths, but other people in town are hosting sales at their home that day.

Things are progressing wonderfully until a series of fires spring up outside of town, distracting the police.  That night, Sarah’s friend Carol discovers that the copy of a famous local painting she’d been commissioned to paint is missing.  That’s nothing compared to the next day when Carol returns to her shop on the town green to find the dead body of a stranger in her storeroom.  With the police focusing on Carol, Sarah begins to dig to figure out what happened and figure out who used her event as cover for crime.  What will she uncover?

Before I go any further, I do want to issue a warning – this book spoils a minor plot point from the previous book.  Since it involves Sarah’s personal life, there is no way around it, and there is still plenty of mystery to that first book.  However, if you want to go into that book knowing nothing about what will happen, by all means read it first.

That’s really not a hardship however, since both books in the series are great.  The characters are such fun you want to spend time with them.  Sarah is in her late 30’s, so she’s not a typical cozy heroine, but I appreciate that.  Still, she’s trying to deal with some interesting dilemmas in her personal life that make her very relatable.  We get to know Carol a little better in this book since she figures so much into the plot.  But my favorite characters by far are the owners of Sarah’s favorite Italian restaurant.  The suspects introduced in this book are just as real as the returning characters, and that helps you get caught up in the plot.

The plot is strong, with plenty of things happening to keep you turning pages.  There are also several sub-plots to keep your attention, and they tie into the story or theme for the book wonderfully. It really does all come together beautifully in the end.

Sarah’s trying to decide between two men in this book, and I also liked how that progressed.  In fact, I was actually cheering for something that happened at one point late in the book.  But with how that sub-plot ended, I’m now anxious for the next book to see what happens next.

Ellington is located next to the fictional Fitch Air Force Base, and once again that factors into the mystery.  It’s one aspect that really sets the series apart from many cozies I read.  Since Sherry Harris is an air force wife herself, I appreciate this picture of military life.

I found Sherry's books because of the group blog she is part of, Wicked Cozy Authors.  As a result, I really enjoyed a scene early on where she worked in references to the books the rest of the authors on the blog write.

This is a strong second mystery that will leave you wanting more.  Don’t let The Longest Yard Sale sit for too long before you pick it up.

NOTE: I was sent an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

GIVEAWAY!

I'm also hosting a giveaway of this great new book.  The winner will get one copy, their choice electronic or paperback, of the book.  Paperback copies to a winner from the US only, please.

Just leave your name and e-mail address in the comments for your chance to win.

The contest will close at midnight on July 7th, and I will draw a winner later that day.

Good luck!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Ornament Review: 1955 - The Mickey Mouse Club Premieres - Moments That Made Disney #11 - 2015 Disney Store Ornament



Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Mickey Mouse Club!  No question about it
Cons: Similar designs have been done before.
The Bottom Line:
Leader of the band
Ready to lead from your tree
With nostalgic fun




Leader of the Ornaments

Even though it wasn’t Disney first TV show, The Mickey Mouse Club was such a huge moment for Walt Disney that it is no question it should be captured for the Moments That Made Disney ornament series.  And it is captured in grand fashion.

The ornament features Mickey leading the band.  Okay, so it’s just Mickey, but it’s the opening moments of the show and you know the parade of band members is coming.  He’s standing on a wooden circle and holding a golden baton.  Behind him is a big drum with Mickey Mouse Club written on it.  And he’s wearing a red band leader uniform including a hat.  It’s an iconic moment from the show’s opening credits, and it’s hard to think of anything else to use for the ornament.

Of course, that is the one drawback of the ornament as well.  It is so iconic and the show so nostalgic for Baby Boomers that very similar designs have been used for many previous ornaments done by The Disney Store and Hallmark, among others.  I’m not sure how they could have gotten around it for this ornament series.

That floor Mickey is standing on provides a nice flat base, so it will stand anywhere you want to put it.  There is a red ribbon attached to the hook in the top of Mickey’s head, and using that allows the ornament to hand straight as well.

Since I don’t have any previous Mickey Mouse Club ornaments, I was delighted to get this one.  The sculpt is great, and there are some good details like Mickey’s tail that I just love.  Plus the red really will stand out on your tree and look like Christmas while still fitting the theme of the ornament.

So if you are a fan of The Mickey Mouse Club or collecting this series, you’ll want to check out this ornament.  It’s a great addition to any DisNerd’s home.

Original Price: $19.95

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Movie Review: Teen Beach 2



Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Fun characters in a mostly fun story
Cons: The ending
The Bottom Line:
This fun beach sequel
Is let down by the ending
Wish I liked it more




“No Singing.”  “Not Even if it’s From the Heart and Moves the Story Along?”

I’ve got to admit, it took me a while to get into Teen Beach Movie, but by the end I was enjoying it.  So, naturally, I figured I’d enjoy Teen Beach 2, which The Disney Channel premiered over the weekend.  I actually had the opposite reaction to it.  I was enjoying it until the end.

Summer is ending for Brady (Ross Lynch) and Mack (Maia Mitchell), which means they’ve been dating 3 months now.  They have completely bonded over Wet Side Story and their adventure when they found themselves in the movie.  However, navigating their new relationship at school proves to be harder than they thought, especially since Mack is so driven by academics and Brady is hiding a secret.

Meanwhile, inside the world of Wet Side Story, things are going wrong as well.  Lela (Grace Phipps) has grown disenchanted with her part in the movie.  Sure, she’s the female lead, but she wants more than just wanting a guy.  When she swims off into the ocean, followed by male lead Tanner (Garrett Clayton), the craziest thing happens – they find themselves in the real world.  Now Brady and Mack have to figure out a way to convince the two characters to return home before they and the movie are erased from existence.

Since it had been a while since I’d seen the first movie, I watched the two back to back.  I liked that since I got to see just how nicely they tied in elements from the first movie into the second one.  Obviously, they had paid attention to those details, and they got them just right.  I will say I felt they changed Brady and Mack’s relationship for this movie to suit their purposes here, or at least how long they’d been dating.  But that was a mostly minor thing for me.

The story and songs are fun.  Yes, the characters still break into song at random times, even while in the real world.  There are some fun moments connected to that, although the movie isn’t quite as self-aware overall as the original was.  Still, there are some fun laughs and some drama along the way, and the songs provide for some great choreography.

The cast is great as well.  Yes, some of the performances are over the top, but they are supposed to be.  It fits the character one way or the other.

So where did this film go wrong?  It’s the ending.  I get what they were trying to do with it.  Really, I do.  It fits the theme, and I’d be okay with that.  However, what it does to some of the characters, I just don’t like.  Surely, they could find some other way to do that without ruining characters.

If you’re a fan of the original, odds are you already watching Teen Beach 2.  If not, you’ll definitely want to catch it for free before you buy it just to see what you think about what they’ve done to the characters in the end.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

June 27th Weekly TV Thoughts

Three shows premiered on the USA Network this week, upping my TV.  Two of them I think I'll stick with this summer, but the popular one that everyone is raving about?  I'm out.

America Ninja Warrior – I love it when walk-ons complete the course.  And I was glad to see the veterans at the end complete it this year as well.  I was calling them out for going too fast last year.  So glad they listened to me and took it seriously this year.

Royal Pains – Can Divya be any more stupid this year?  She’s taken over from Evan as the dumb one in the cast.  And I’m wondering about this adoption.  I love that they are having Evan and Paige go this route, but it just seems a little sudden to me.  Maybe that’s because they only have 8 episodes this season.

Melissa & Joey – Kind of saw the ending of both plots coming from the beginning, but I had such fun getting there.  I just hope this means that Zander and Lennox are getting back together now.

Baby Daddy – Definitely a fun episode, although I really want to know what happened to the lemonade stand.  My guess is Bonnie burned it down to get the firemen to come.  I’m curious if they are going to stick with the brothers owning the bar from here on out, or if this is just a temporary arc.

Suits – I wonder how long Donna really is going to work for Louis.  And how he will react when she goes back to Harvey because you know that’s going to happen sooner or later.  Rachel sure was nicer to Harvey then I would have been.  I never would have skipped a test like that.

Mr. Robot – I get that pilots have to set up the story, but they have to move at some point.  Man, that was slow and boring.  Another one and done for me.

Graceland – On the other hand, I might be sticking with this one this season.  I was ready to move on, but if we are going to work through some of the stuff they’ve done and put it behind them, then I might enjoy it again.  Like the fact that Briggs is paying for the murder by working his horrible case.  And, since he’s asking for help, it might actually be what I signed on for originally which is a team of people working together.  We shall see.  I’ll definitely tune in again next week.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Book Review: The Diva Runs Out of Thyme by Krista Davis (Domestic Diva Mysteries #1)



Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Great characters in an intriguing plot
Cons: Pacing a little off in the middle
The Bottom Line:
Thanksgiving problems
Of the murderous kind in
This intriguing book




Take the Thyme to Read This Series Debut

The last thing I need is to start another long running series.  I am struggling to get to books I’ve bought this year I am dying to read.  But I haven’t let that stop me in the past when a new to me series catches my eye, which is why I picked up The Diva Runs Out of Thyme.  Now I just need to find time to read the second.

It’s shaping up to be a busy Thanksgiving for Sophie Winston.  She’s hosting her family for the holiday as well as participating in a stuffing contest against, among others, her high school rival Natasha Smith.  While Sophie now works as a caterer, Natasha has gone on to make a name for herself as the authority of all things domestic, and her website and TV show are watched by legions of local fans.  Making it more personal, Sophie’s ex-husband, Mars, is now dating Natasha.  So Sophie really wants to win this contest.

However, the day before the contest, Sophie’s grocery run ends when she finds a dead body in the dumpster behind the store.  She’d met the guy on the way in to the store, but the police start looking at her as a suspect because the victim had Sophie’s picture in his car.  When Sophie stumbles upon another dead body, she realizes she needs to act fast before the police pin both murders on her.

It’s easy to see why this series is so popular.  This may be a debut, but the characters leap off the page already fully developed.  There’s a very large cast of characters, but I was able to keep most of them straight because of how real they are.  The few times I couldn’t remember who a character was, it was because they were a minor character, and we were always quickly given a reminder so it wasn’t an issue at all.

The plot started out strongly with some interesting twists and clues.  Unfortunately, I didn’t feel Sophie made quite as much progress on the case as the book progressed.  There was still plenty happening, but the fresh clues and twists didn’t come quite as quickly.  Everything was wrapped up and logically explained during the climax, however, and considering the number of threads going on, that was impressive.

There’s a nice dose of humor as well as Sophie tries to deal with all the craziness of those around her.  Natasha is a Martha Stewart wannabe, and we get some nice laughs at that mindset as well.

Each chapter starts with a tip or trick coming from either Sophie or Natasha.  In addition, there is a recipe for a bourbon pecan pie and three different kinds of stuffing in the back.

I’m glad I finally took the time to meet Sophie and this cast of characters in The Diva Runs Out of Thyme.  Now that I have, I know I’ll find out where her adventures take her.

This review is part of this week's Friday's Forgotten Books.  Click the link to find other entries.

Book Beginning and Friday 56 for June 26th

It's Friday, so that means it is time once again for Book Beginning and Friday 56.

I'm getting ready for the 4th of July next weekend by reading Independence Slay by Shelley Freydont.




This is the third book set in Celebration Bay, where the town is a tourist draw because they have events for every season.  Liv Montgomery is the event coordinator for the town, but she seems to keep getting involved in murders.

Here's how this particular book starts out.

Liv Montgomery slapped at her cheek.  "Ugh.  This might be my least favorite thing about summer in Celebration Bay."

I've got to admit that page 56 was a bit of a challenge for me.  It was very hard not to pick up on something that would be a spoiler.  That's why the quote is short and sweet this week.

"Do you think he's dead, too?"

There you have it.  Hope you have a wonderful weekend.  I'm flying to Georgia on business Sunday morning.  You can bet I've got books lined up for the flights there and back.