Thursday, November 15, 2018


WHAT'S COOKING?
Christmas!

🍽🍽🍽🍽🍽🍽🍽


For years, Yvette van Boven has been writing Christmas recipes for newspapers and magazines. As someone who loves the holidays, she’s never short of ideas for celebrations and finally decided that now is the perfect time to publish them in a cookbook: Home Made Christmas. The holidays can be overwhelming, but Yvette shows you how to make them easier with her “make ahead” recipes, giving you time to enjoy your company when they arrive. Home Made Christmas includes more than 100 recipes for the holidays (organized by Prepare Ahead and To Finish It Off) that are all easy to make and delicious. With her step-by-step recipes, you’ll know exactly what to do and when. Yvette even provides menu ideas to make all your planning easier. Whether you’re celebrating your first Christmas with the love of your life or cooking for your entire family, this cookbook makes sure you’re fully prepared to entertain your holiday guests with a delicious, satisfying meal.

MY REVIEW


When I first hear about this cookbook, I had no idea how spectacular it would be. The photos alone held me captivated for hours. As for the recipes, there are some I can’t wait to try, but most that I know are out of my expertise. But who knows, maybe.

Chapters include Christmas . . . Stress-Relief Tips, The Morning, Snacks, Small Plates, Main Courses, Panty, Menus, and more, there’s something wonderful to be found on every page.

With recipes like . . . Squash, Feta & Sage Pull-Apart Bread, Oatmeal Pancakes, Pine Syrup, Advocaat (Dutch Eggnog), Spicy Goat Cheese Spread with Home Made Melba Toast, Deep-Friend Pickles with Buttermilk Dip, Shrimp Bisque & Creamy Anchovy Rouille, Portobello & Pear Salad, Smoked Chicken Salad with Grapes & Parmesan-Tarragon Dressing, Pork Rib Roast with Prune & Pear Sauce, Christmas Porchetta, Mashed Potatoes with Celeriac & Apple, Trifle with Salty Caramel, Cheesecake Cream & Chewy Brownies, Warm Custard Pudding with Banana, Belgian Waffles & Meringue to name just a few, you’ll turn your Christmas celebration into a gala!

While not as homey as I thought HOME MADE CHRISTMAS would be, I did learn a lot about flavor combinations I would never have thought of otherwise. And as I said above, the photos alone are amazing.

If you’re looking for to elevate your Christmas party and/or meal this year, HOME MADE CHRISTMAS is the book for you.



HOME MADE CHRISTMAS is a lovely book that will make a great gift for yourself or someone on your Christmas list. 


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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Today I'm joining Berkley Mystery
in hosting author
Victoria Thompson
and her new release
CITY OF SECRETS
Book 2 in the Counterfeit Lady Mysteries


An exciting new book in the series featuring woman-on-the-run Elizabeth Miles--from the beloved national bestselling author of the Gaslight Mysteries.

Elizabeth Miles knows that honesty is not always the best policy when it comes to finding justice.

Elizabeth has discovered that navigating the rules of high society is the biggest con of all. She knows she can play the game, but so far, her only success is Priscilla Knight, a dedicated young suffragist recently widowed for the second time. Her beloved first husband died in a tragic accident and left her with two young daughters--and a sizable fortune. While she was lost in grief, Priscilla's pastor convinced her she needed a man to look after her and engineered a whirlwind courtship and hasty marriage to fellow parishioner Endicott Knight. Now, about nine months later, Endicott is dead in what appears to be another terrible accident. 

Everyone is whispering, but that is the least of Priscilla's troubles. She had believed Endicott was wealthy, too, but her banker tells her she has no money left and her house has been mortgaged. He also hints at a terrible scandal and refuses to help. 

Priscilla stands to lose everything, and Elizabeth is determined not to let that happen. But, as always, Elizabeth walks a fine line between using her unusual talents and revealing her own scandalous past. Elizabeth soon discovers that Endicott's death was anything but accidental, and revealing the truth could threaten much more than Priscilla's finances. To save her new friend's future--and possibly her own--Elizabeth, along with her honest-to-a-fault beau, Gideon, delve into the sinister secrets someone would kill to keep.


Victorian Fetishes and How to Avoid Them
By Victoria Thompson


Blackmail.

What does that make you think of?  Probably shady doings and scandalous photographs and demands for money that never end. When I was trying to come up with an idea for the second Counterfeit Lady novel, City of Secrets, my wonderful editor suggest blackmail as a topic.  I couldn’t remember the last time I read a book about blackmail, so I was intrigued. 

How could I use that crime to motivate my Counterfeit Lady, Elizabeth Miles, to arrange another con when she’s promised her beloved Gideon that she’ll reform?  The answer, of course, is blackmail.  When Elizabeth’s new friend is suddenly widowed, she discovers that her late husband has left her penniless because he’d used all his money paying a blackmailer.  Elizabeth, naturally, wants to help, and of course she does.

But what, you may ask, had this respectable gentleman done that he wanted so desperately to hide? That, of course, was important information for the story, so I had to come up with something good—or rather something very bad.  It had to be something he would give anything to conceal. It also had to be historically accurate. But most importantly, it had to be something that wouldn’t make readers go, “Ewwww!” and stop reading the book (which would be a very bad thing in itself!).

This was a quandary! I naively decided it should be some kind of sexually deviant behavior, but what kind? Something shocking but not disgusting or offensive to readers. What could that be?  So I did some research and things only got worse.

If you search for “Victorian fetishes” (and I definitely don’t recommend it!), you will discover that most Victorian fetishes actually sound funny to modern folks. Being tickled with feathers. Watching a woman walk around in boots. Seriously. Everything I found would either make readers laugh or go, “Ewwww!” and close the book. Definitely, a quandary.

So how did I solve it? I think I did so very cleverly, although I’ll rely on my readers to give me their opinions. Please let me know how I did!
***************
“This is a suspenseful and twisty story guaranteed to bate breaths and engage readers until the wee hours. Fans …will welcome the addition of another strong woman to the ranks of early-twentieth-century crime solvers.”
--Booklist


Edgar®  and Agatha Nominated author Victoria Thompson writes the Gaslight Mystery Series, set in turn-of-the-century New York City and featuring midwife Sarah Brandt. Her latest, Murder on Union Square, was a May 2018 release.  City of Lies was the first book in her new Counterfeit Lady Series, and it came out in paperback in October 2018. The second book in the series, City of Secrets, will come out on November 13. She also contributed to the award winning writing textbook Many Genres/One Craft. Victoria teaches in the Seton Hill University master's program in writing popular fiction. She lives in Illinois with her husband and a very spoiled little dog. 


As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018


Take a look at the great titles out today!


In the new Vintage Kitchen Mystery from the author of No Grater Danger, when the town’s resident Scrooge is found dead, Jaymie says Bah humbug! to murder . . .

“I have loved this series from the first book . . . it’s like returning to a favorite nook for a cup of tea. It will delight, entice, and drive a reader to want to solve the murder.” —Goodreads on No Grater Danger

Now that Thanksgiving’s behind her, vintage cookware enthusiast Jaymie Leighton MΓΌller is excitedly making plans for the upcoming Dickens Days festival—the town’s month-long celebration leading up to Christmas. With a hot cider booth on the village green to warm the hearts and bodies of the townsfolk and a diorama featuring a scene from A Christmas Carol, things are shaping up for a festive season—until the town’s local Scrooge is found murdered, a vintage pudding mould covering his cracked skull.

Nearly everyone had a reason to dislike Evan Nezer—either for his bullying ways or his obnoxious arrogance—but with his body being found in Jaymie’s diorama, she’ll have to figure out who hated him enough to see him dead. With many suspects and even more secrets coming to the surface as she investigates, Jaymie feels buried by a blizzard of clues. But with Dickens Days on hold until the police can nab the killer, she’s determined to catch the culprit so the ghost of Evan Nezer doesn’t cast a pall over the whole Christmas season.

Includes a vintage recipe!

It’s out of the cupcake tin, into the fire for Holly White’s best friend, Caroline. Can Holly clear Caroline’s name in time to go caroling?

When a body turns up in a larger-than-life candy bowl filled with peppermints on the town square, Holly White is horrified to learn her best friend Caroline is the main suspect. Everyone in town, including Mistletoe, Maine’s sheriff, saw Caroline fighting with the victim on the night of his death. Worse, a custom kitchen knife, engraved with Caroline's initials was found with him.

Now, just ten days before Christmas, Holly’s up to her jingle bells in holiday shenanigans and in desperate need of a miracle. Juggling extra shifts at her family’s Christmas tree farm and making enough gingerbread jewelry to satisfy the crowd is already more than she can handle―and now she has to find time to clear her best friend of murder. Add in her budding relationship with the sheriff, and a personal stalker dressed as Santa Claus, and Holly’s ready to fly south until springtime.

But her Sherpa-lined mittens come off when Caroline is taken into custody. Can Holly wrap up the case in time for Christmas…even after she gains the true killer’s attention? Find out in ‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas, Jacqueline Frost’s second pine-scented Christmas Tree Farm mystery.


Florist Fiona Knox left behind her gloomy life for a magical garden in Scotland, but a murder on her shop’s opening day spells doom.

Fiona Knox thought she was pulling her life back together when she inherited her godfather’s cottage in Duncreigan, Scotland―complete with a magical walled garden. But the erstwhile Tennessee flower shop owner promptly found herself puddle boot-deep in danger when she found a dead body among the glimmering blossoms. One police investigation later (made a trifle less unpleasant by the presence of handsome Chief Inspector Neil Craig), and Fiona’s life is getting back on a steady, though bewitched, track. Her sister Isla has just moved in with her, and the grand opening of her new spellbound venture, the Climbing Rose Flower Shop in Aberdeenshire, is imminent. 

But dark, ensorcelled clouds are gathering to douse Fiona’s newly sunny outlook. First, imperious parish minister Quaid MacCullen makes it undeniably clear that he would be happy to send Fiona back to Tennessee. Then, a horrific lightning storm, rife with terribly omen, threatens to tear apart the elderly cottage and sends Fi and Isla cowering under their beds. The storm passes, but then, Fi is called away from the Climbing Rose’s opening soiree when Kipling, the tiny village’s weak-kneed volunteer police chief, finds a dead body on the beach. 

The body proves difficult to identify, but Kipling is certain it’s that of the parish minister. Which makes Fiona, MacCullen’s new nemesis, a suspect. And what’s worse, Isla has seemed bewitched as of late…did she do something unspeakable to protect her sister? The last thing Fiona wanted to do was play detective again. But now, the rosy future she’d envisioned is going to seed, and if she and Craig can’t clear her name, her idyllic life will wilt away in Death and Daisies, national bestselling author Amanda Flower’s second enchanting Magic Garden mystery.


Christmas in the Big Apple and Penelope Sutherland is home for the holidays!

She’s looking forward to spending quality time with her loved ones. She’s also catering her first documentary, a history of the Vitrine Theater and the Big Apple Dancers, who put on the world-famous Christmas Extravaganza. Her best friend, Arlena, is the director and granddaughter of one of the show’s famous Snow Queens. 

But not everyone is in the holiday spirit. When one of the dancers mysteriously disappears then turns up dead right before opening night, it looks like Christmas might be cancelled. 

The police are at a loss to uncover who has it out for the theater company, so it’s up to Penelope to cook up a plan to find out if the Vitrine is cursed or haunted by its past before the killer can strike again.


A flying visit to the City of Brotherly Love takes a murderous turn for Amy Simms, owner of Birds & Bees.
 
Amy and her bird-loving crew are ducking out of Ruby Lake, North Carolina to attend the annual American Birding Expo in Philadelphia. The event will generate publicity for Birds & Bees, though assistant manager Esther is strangely reluctant to attend. Before she’s even set up their booth, Amy manages to insult JJ Fuller, famed bird photographer and the expo’s guest of honor. An inauspicious beginning, made worse when JJ is found dead as a dodo, his head caved in by a pair of binoculars.
 
The police suspect Esther is mixed up in murder, and her mysterious past starts coming to light. Amy isn’t sure what to believe. JJ boasted that he would be the first to locate a near-extinct woodpecker. Did a rival decide to beat him—literally—to the punch? With a ZombieFest convention taking place in the exhibit hall next door, there’s all kinds of creepiness to contend with. And somewhere among the birders and the walking dead there’s a killer hoping to fly the coop before justice is served . . .


Welcome to Serenity Cove, a peaceful Southern community where the residents like to play dice, play golf and, when foul play moves in, play detective.

With Christmas fast approaching, Kate McCall and her dice-playing friends get into the holiday spirit by agreeing to help the elderly Eula Mae Snow decorate her home, even when it means sorting through a veritable blizzard of the older woman’s knickknacks. Intent on doing a good deed and digging up a bright collection of seasonal decorations, Kate is stopped dead in her tracks when instead she discovers the skeleton of a man showing clear signs of foul play.

Many in Serenity Cove thought that Waylon Snow had run off and left town—and Eula Mae—more than two decades earlier. But with the appearance of his skeleton and a whole host of clues pointing to Eula Mae as the murderer, Kate will have to put her sleuthing skills to work to figure out who could have committed the evil deed. Determined to clear Eula Mae’s name, Kate knows she’ll have to solve the coldest of cold cases to track down the culprit before the holidays really go south . . . 

Includes tasty holiday recipes!




As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

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Monday, November 12, 2018

BOOK TOUR


I'm so excited to be a stop on the blog tour for
THE SKELETON MAKES A FRIEND
Book 5 in the Family Skeleton Mysteries
by Leigh Perry


Georgia Thackery is feeling pretty good about her summer job teaching at prestigious Overfeld College, and she’s renting a rustic cabin right by a lake for herself, her daughter, Madison, and her best friend, Sid the Skeleton. Together again, the trio are enjoying the quiet when a teenager named Jen shows up looking for her friend. Georgia doesn’t recognize the name, but she learns that the person Jen was looking for is actually Sid.

Sid reveals that he and Jen are part of a regular online gaming group that formed locally, and one of their members has gone missing. Sid admits that he might have bragged about his investigative prowess, enough so that Jen wants him to find their missing player. Given that Sid doesn’t have many friends offline―none, really, unless you count the Thackery family―Georgia agrees to help him search. They manage to discreetly enlist Jen, who lives in town, and follow the clues to... a dead buddy.

Now they've got a killer on their hands. Probing the life of Sid's friend, they realize a lot is wrong both on campus and in the seemingly quaint town, and someone doesn't want them looking deeper.


Sid unzipped the rest of the way, pulled himself out of the suitcase and back together, and tried to turn the knob. “It’s locked.”

“Can you open it?”

“Easy peasy,” he said, pulling a set of lock picks from inside the suitcase. My locksmith sister Deborah probably hadn’t realized that teaching my daughter Madison how to pick locks was tantamount to teaching Sid. Madison had shared everything she’d learned with him, and he’d promptly ordered his own picks online. “You really should learn to do this, Georgia. It’s not that hard.”

Despite his assurance, it seemed to take an awful long time to get the door open. Or maybe it just seemed like a long time because I kept looking down the stairs, worried that somebody would hear us and come to see what was going on.

Finally there was a loud click, and Sid said, “Nailed it!” He opened the door, and cold air streamed out.

“Brr!” I said. “Wouldn’t you know that a department with everybody on vacation would be the one with overachieving air conditioners?” The window unit in my classroom had gone out twice. “Not to mention the waste of electricity.”

“You can complain about it later,” Sid said. “Come on.”

I followed him into the human resources department, pulling the empty suitcase along.

There were four more closed doors: three offices labeled with names and one marked File Room.

“Here we go,” Sid said, using his picks on one of the office doors.

This lock was easier to deal with, which was a relief, but unfortunately, the smell seemed to be coming from that office. “I’m going in.”

“Remember what I said. Get in, look around fast, get out.”

“Got it.” He stepped inside.

Between the cold, the horrid stink, and the fear of being caught, I was hoping that Sid would be swift, but I was surprised when he came out in under two minutes. “That was fast. Did you find something?”

“Don’t go in there.”

“I wasn’t going to—”

Then I looked at him.

He shouldn’t have been able to look like anything but bone-colored, but somehow he seemed paler than usual, and his bones were so loose he was nearly falling apart. “What’s wrong?”

“He’s in there. At least I think it’s him.”

“Did he see you?” I said stupidly.

He slowly shook his skull, and only then did I realize what it was we’d been smelling.

πŸ“šπŸ“–πŸ“šπŸ“–πŸ“š

!!!GIVEAWAY!!!

Winners will be chosen after November 18
at the end of the tour

1 lucky reader will win a print copy of
THE SKELETON MAKES A FRIEND

USA only

Enter using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post.

This giveaway is through Great Escape Book Tours, not Lisa Ks Book Reviews.

https://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/

MY REVIEW


Sid the skeleton is back in, THE SKELETON MAKES A FRIEND, and he’s in great form. Well, for a skeleton he is. πŸ˜‰ Author Leigh Perry has once again outdone herself. Just when I think I’ve read the best this series has to offer a new installment comes along and blows the others out of the water!

Not only is it hysterically funny, THE SKELETON MAKES A FRIEND is a stellar whodunit that had me turning the pages quicker and quicker. With each new chapter I became more captivated by this story as author Perry effortlessly changes the tone of the tale as I read it. I was laughing till I cried one minute, then crying over a heartwarming scene the next. And the reveal, well, I never saw it coming.

If you haven’t read this series, you have got to start. If you’re not into para-cozies no worries. You sort of forget Sid is a skeleton. Honestly, he’s just so delightful he’ll have you wanting a skeleton of your own.

About the Author

 

 Leigh Perry is the author of the Family Skeleton Series: A Skeleton in the Family, The Skeleton Takes a Bow, The Skeleton Haunts a House

Author Links 
Author Website: http://leighperryauthor.com/ 

My Alter Ego

Toni L.P. Kelner: www.tonilpkelner.com 

Purchase Links

Amazon    B&N    Kobo 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


TOUR PARTICIPANTS
November 5 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
November 5 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
November 6 – Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW
November 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 7 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
November 8 – Carstairs Considers – REVIEW
November 8 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
November 9 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW
November 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
November 10 – The Book's the Thing – REVIEW
November 11 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW
November 12 – Here's How It Happened – REVIEW
November 12 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW
November 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
November 14 – Varietats – REVIEW
November 14 –My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
November 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 15 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
November 16 – The Layaway Dragon – REVIEW
November 17 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 17 – Mysteries with Character – SPOTLIGHT
November 18 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
November 18 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW


As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by submitting your email in 
upper right hand corner of this page. (on the side bar).

Reading from your phone? Scroll to the bottom of your page and click"View web version". Then follow the above directions.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

BOOK TOUR


I'm so honored to be a stop on the blog tour for
CRY WOLF
Book 7 in the Zoe Chambers Mysteries
by Annette Dashofy



Rural Pennsylvania’s Vance Township Police Chief Pete Adams is down an officer and has been dealing with extra shifts as well as a pair of bickering neighbors, one of whom owns a machete and isn’t afraid to use it. 

Golden Oaks Assisted Living is outside Pete’s jurisdiction, but a murder in the facility his Alzheimer’s-afflicted father calls home makes the case personal. 

Paramedic and Deputy Coroner Zoe Chambers has been itching for an opportunity to take the lead in a death investigation. She gets her chance when her boss is hospitalized and not only assigns her to the Golden Oaks homicide but puts her in charge of the county coroner’s office. 

As if she doesn’t have enough to handle, a long-lost, over-protective, older half-brother walks into her life threatening to drive a wedge between her and the man she loves. 

A second dead body leads them to realize the case may have dark ties to a distant past…and if Zoe doesn’t untangle the web of lies, Pete will be the one to pay the ultimate price.

πŸ“šπŸ“–πŸ“šπŸ“–πŸ“š

!!!GIVEAWAY!!!

Winners will be chosen after November 13
at the end of the tour

3 lucky readers will win a print hardcover copy of
CRY WOLF

USA only

Enter using the Rafflecopter form at the end of this post.

This giveaway is through Great Escape Book Tours, not Lisa Ks Book Reviews.

https://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/

MY REVIEW


CRY WOLF is my first journey into the world of Zoe Chambers, and my first book by author Annette Dashofy. While not exactly a cozy, there are elements that many cozy readers will enjoy. However, I think the book will appeal to more mainstream mystery readers.

There’s no question that Ms. Dashofy is a talented writer. CRY WOLF is exciting, intense (at times), and a story that will keep you reading well into the night.

I have no doubt Annette Dashofy fans with be thrilled with this latest installment in the Zoe Chambers Mysteries.

Note: CRY WOLF does receive my profanity warning.

About the Author


Annette Dashofy is the USA Today best-selling author of the Zoe Chambers mystery series about a paramedic and deputy coroner in rural Pennsylvania’s tight-knit Vance Township. CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE was a finalist for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2014 and BRIDGES BURNED was nominated for the 2015 Agatha for Best Contemporary Novel.

Author Links
Twitter– @Annette_Dashofy

Purchase Links    Amazon    B&N    Kobo 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS

November 7 – Here's How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
November 7 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT
November 7 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
November 7 – The Book's the Thing – REVIEW
November 8 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
November 8 – Mysteries with Character - CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 8 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
November 9 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
November 9 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
November 9 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
November 10 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW
November 10 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
November 10 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
November 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – GUEST POST
November 11 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog - CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW
November 12 – Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW
November 12 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
November 12 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT
November 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
November 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy - CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 13 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW



As always, please leave a comment and 
let me know what you think!

Follow my blog by submitting your email in 
upper right hand corner of this page. (on the side bar).

Reading from your phone? Scroll to the bottom of your page and click"View web version". Then follow the above directions.