Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Hello friends! 

It's been long time!

I want to thank the lovely, Karen of A Cup of Tea and a Cozy Mystery, for the amazing job she did taking care of the blog! Also, a big thank you to all of the authors for joining in with the wonderful Q&As. 

My thanks also to each of you for visiting each day, to join in and comment. You're all the best!

As you can see, I'm picture free today. I lost all of my fun pics when my laptop died. 

(RIP Dell Inspiron. You were true and faithful for many years. You will be missed.)

And to my replacement laptop, who lived in a box untouched by human hands for almost two years, I'm sorry we only had 2 days together before your hard drive fried. (You read that correctly)

And to my sister's Darlene's old laptop, the day and a half we shared was filled with hope, until you too were called to laptop heaven.  

To my new laptop, I want us to grow old together. I promise you a fun and cozy ride.

No joke you all. It was laptop carnage around this house for days! I was honestly scared to take this one from the box and set it up.

So my dears, it has been a some kind of a month so far. How have you all been doing? Hit the comments and let me know!

While you're at the comments, please let me know if you have any ideas for new features you'd like to see. I'd love to know what you are all interested in!

One thing I will be doing is getting back into actually posting reviews here at Lisa Ks Book Reviews. LOL

I'm going to wrap this up for now. I have missed you all so much! I look forward to hearing for you all.

Hugs and love, 
Me! 😀

   

Monday, May 16, 2022

3 Summer Reads On My Radar!

 

Monday and I thought I would quickly share three books that are on my radar for this summer! 


Up first is Bayou Book Thief by Ellen Byron! This one releases June 7th!


Twenty-eight-year-old widow Ricki James leaves Los Angeles to start a new life in New Orleans after her showboating actor husband perishes doing a stupid internet stunt. The Big Easy is where she was born and adopted by the NICU nurse who cared for her after Ricki’s teen mother disappeared from the hospital.
 
Ricki’s dream comes true when she joins the quirky staff of Bon Vee Culinary House Museum, the spectacular former Garden District home of late bon vivant Genevieve “Vee” Charbonnet, the city’s legendary restauranteur. Ricki is excited about turning her avocation – collecting vintage cookbooks – into a vocation by launching the museum’s gift shop, Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks and Kitchenware. Then she discovers that a box of donated vintage cookbooks contains the body of a cantankerous Bon Vee employee who was fired after being exposed as a book thief.
 
The skills Ricki has developed ferreting out hidden vintage treasures come in handy for investigations. But both her business and Bon Vee could wind up as deadstock when Ricki’s past as curator of a billionaire’s first edition collection comes back to haunt her.
 



Will Miss Vee’s Vintage Cookbooks and Kitchenware be a success … or a recipe for disaster?

Releasing this August is Laura Childs A Dark and Stormy Tea, for me this is one of my most favourite tea themed cozies and I love finding out what the characters are up to now!


A possible serial killer on the loose sends tea maven Theodosia Browninginto a whirlwind of investigation in this latest installment ofthe New York Times bestselling series.

It was a dark and stormy night, but that was the least of Theodosia Browning's troubles. As she approaches St. Philips Graveyard, Theodosia sees two figures locked in a strange embrace. Wiping rain from her eyes, Theodosia realizes she has just witnessed a brutal murder and sees a dark-hooded figure slip away into the fog.
 
In the throes of alerting police, Theodosia recognizes the victim—it is the daughter of her friend, Lois, who owns the Antiquarian Bookshop next door to her own Indigo Tea Shop.
 
Even though this appears to be the work of a serial killer who is stalking the back alleys of Charleston, Lois begs Theodosia for help. Against the advice of her boyfriend, Detective Pete Riley, and the sage words of Drayton, her tea sommelier, amateur-sleuth Theodosia launches her own shadow investigation. And quickly discovers that suspects abound with the dead girl’s boyfriend, nefarious real estate developer, private-security man, bumbling reporter, and her own neighbor who is writing a true-crime book and searching for a big ending.



A sucker for a great tea themed, dog featured cover, Kate Kingsbury's August release, In To Steep, is actually on my kindle right now!


The peace and tranquility of the Misty Bay Tearoom is rocked by murder and a long-buried secret hidden in a most unlikely place in bestselling author Kate Kingsbury’s second charming book for fans of Cleo Coyle and Laura Childs.

It seemed like a simple case: the murder of Lewis Trenton, a beachcomber who lived alone in a cabin in the Oregon hills. But the newspaper article piques the interest of Vivian Wainwright, owner of the British-style Misty Bay Tearoom. The photo accompanying the article shows Lewis’s cluttered living room, and on the shelf is a replica of Big Ben. Vivian is sure she sold the clock a week before in her shop. Who could have given the replica to Lewis?
 
Unable to keep from doing a bit of sleuthing, Vivian hunts down the replica in a local thrift shop, noticing that the base is missing, rendering it worthless, but just as Vivian is about to throw it in the trash, a sparkle catches her eye. It’s a diamond, hidden away in a crevice in the clock. Vivian takes the diamond to Detective Tony Messina, who identifies it as part of a jewelry heist in Portland a month earlier. Portland police think Lewis was the fence who sold the jewels, and that he was killed after double-crossing the thieves—but Messina doesn’t believe the story.
 
What was the true motive behind Lewis’s murder? How did he come upon the diamond? And what secrets can the clock tell—before the killer strikes again?




What do you think of these summer reads? I am a sucker for the covers and these authors! 

I guess I am off to work with a good book in my bag today! Enjoy your Monday and here is hoping Lisa will be back with you tomorrow!


Sunday, May 15, 2022

Sunday Funnies with Ms. Karen, who I am in my daily life at school!


 Today I thought I might share some of the funny things that have been said to me this year at school. I work as an education assistant at an elementary or primary school here in British Columbia Canada and while I don't enjoy cozies that have kids in them with kids in harms way, I am so tempted to release a book about some of the incredible things I hear on a daily basis.



Some things are sweet, some sassy and some truly profound. This was my outfit on Thursday. My track pants, because I am always on the move, my Pokemon Sweatshirt (that I share with my boy friend as we both work in schools) and my new Snorlax hat, Snorlax is a big Pokemon who loves to eat and nap, pretty much me. I am posing with a copy of my new comic books that I picked up on Free Comic book day, which is the first Saturday of May. Kids loved my look, and I was cozy, I swear it was cold enough to snow. I work at a school that is near the Pacific Ocean, but we are in an area that gets a ton of wind and rain. 


What I heard this week in kindergarten was truly the sweetest thing, one of my young 5 year old students asked me to help him sort his spelling words and we were chatting, he looked at me with his big brown eyes and said "Ms. Karen your eyes smell beautiful!"  I was truly charmed and blown away by his statement that I mumbled, "thank you I just finished eating raspberries on my break". He just
smiled and we went back to sorting our spelling. Kids like this make the really yucky days just so worth it. I loved that he confused my eyes with my breath, could not correct the cuteness! 

This week I got a new hat, found it at my dollar store. I wear a vest so the kids know how to find me when I am on the playground and this particular $4 Canadian investment, was met with fits of hilarity, awe and awesomeness. I stand all of about 5 feet tall and my students had complained that they were having a hard time finding me on the playground even in my vest because "we are all taller than you"
 They are most assuredly not almost taller than me but I tell them they likely will be by summer if they keep eating there lunch. 
One of my first grade students yelled at me "Ms. Karen your hat makes you look like a duck, I love it" as I passed him on the playground. While staff and teachers alike laughed as I walked by but the truth is my head was covered, sun,wind or rain and I am good. A few grade 7 students told me my hat was "Over the top awesome" I however think it is not quite over the top enough and I may use my cricut to make it super special for Summer. 


Sometimes the hardest part of my job is keeping a straight face....
I work with one student who has Autism and whenever he is not wanting to work with me, or is frustrated he says to me " Well done, bye bye see you next week" this happens several times a day during non preferred activities, he is such a treat to be with and a really great kid, his mom told me that he tells his afterschool support to go in their car and drive away, so at least I am being told Well done. 

Another student in grade one pointed at my chest and asked me if "those were my boobs and why are they so squishy?"
I smiled and told him yes and because I was lucky.
After getting my hair cut and a very bad haircut at that a student said to me "Oh Ms. Karen did you use the scissors without your mom's permission? You are not supposed to cut your own hair"
I then tried to wear makeup to make myself feel a bit better about the bad cut and was told by the same student "Ms. Karen you are not supposed to wear makeup in kindergarten!" as I am north of age 5 by about 42 years I found this quite funny and also quite true, and now I make sure remember not to ever wear makeup to school again! 


Another student brought me her lunch bag, totally confused, clearly she and her mother had mixed up their bags as she did not know how to eat the packaged items in her lunch, IT CONTAINED A BOX OF TAMPONS AND THREE WRAPPED PADS, I quickly helped her to the office to make a quick call to mom, as her mortified mother was coming through the door with her actual lunch, red faced and horrified, but no damage done, that grade one student got a great life lesson and I got a great laugh.


 
 Lastly while I was helping a student with his mothers day writing, I had to ask What does your mother look like? What does your mother like to eat....
He said "My mother looks like a skinny body and she only eats chicken stock" needles to say I am sure that "all about my mom" book that went home may have earned a laugh or too, his mother has been on a diet recently and had great success, and now I guess I know why!

I hope that some of these may have brought a smile to your face this Sunday! 


Saturday, May 14, 2022

 

There is something so wonderful in the word Weekend, and yet though I look forward to it, I am often so busy that the day just flies by! 


Depending where you are at in your life, Saturdays may just be another day, for some it is the day when it all happens, sports, cleaning, laundry, cooking and connecting with others. Now that covid is more at bay, I find that the day is even busier than ever, Weather permitting its baseball season, people getting together again and plans and people to make and meet. 


 All those things make me want to hide inside and read a really great book! In fact I think it is time for me to get a book and dive in. While I have myself a Kindle, I truly miss having the paper books in my hand and long strolls through the bookstore or library. These are activities I need to make a priority going forward.

I wonder dear readers if you feel the same way? I also wonder if you are someone who chooses a book by its cover? If you read books out of season?  If you read historical cozies as an escape or if you prefer a cozy tiny modern town? 


Are you someone who looks for the newest and greatest paranormal cozies...( I would be guilty of this) 

or do you dive into a more a traditional mystery? 

Let me know what you think by commenting below.

I would love to know your thoughts on the weekend, suggestions for great reads or maybe just pop a note comment here letting Lisa know you are still here! 

Thank you for having me host again today. I would love to hear from you you! 

Friday, May 13, 2022

 


Well it is Friday and my dear Friend Lisa is having the worst possible luck with laptops and computers. Mercury is indeed in retrograde and anything that can go wrong with electronics, computers and pretty much anything mechanical is said to be contributed to this factor! That being said even if you don't believe in it the sad reality is that Lisa wont be able to post for the next few days. So I thought I would hijack a few more posts...



And wouldn't you know it! It is Friday the 13th! Which begs the question Do you believe in the bad luck? Do you read or watch the scary stuff?  Movies, books, or avoid ladders, cracks or other superstitions? 

I am honestly usually quite a fraidy cat. But  Friday the 13th doesn't bother me. Oddly enough my sister and her husband were both born on a Friday the 13th! I am not the biggest fan of Horror movies but as a much younger person who did not know any better I did watch a ton of horror and slasher movies. I never could read a Stephen King novel and I have been known to put books that are too scary in the freezer. The scariest thing  I read nowadays are the major news networks! 

They are scary enough! 
So what about you? How do you spend your Friday the 13ths? 
Thank you for being patient with us as Lisa gets her laptop computer situation sorted out. 
Hope you have a wonderful day and that you join us again here soon!



Thursday, May 12, 2022

5 Questions with Author Alyssa Maxwell


Today I am thrilled to share our 5 question interview with author Alyssa Maxwell. 



 1) How did you become an author, was it an overnight event or birth rite?


It took years. I’ve always been someone who loved to write, and the notion of writing fiction came into my head at a pretty young age, but I didn’t know how to get started. When I first moved to Florida, a coworker became published in romance fiction, and seeing a friend have that kind of success inspired me to give it a try. She helped me a lot in terms of introducing me to other writers and writers’ organizations. The writing community is very generous that way. We help each other. I wrote several manuscripts before making that thrilling first sale – but it wasn’t yet in mystery. Another several years had to go by before I realized mysteries were my true calling. When I thought about where I might want to set a series, though, I didn’t hesitate. Newport came immediately to mind, because of my personal connection and love for the city, as well as its intricate roots in American history. At that point, I began writing Murder at The Breakers and eventually found a home for the series at Kensington Publishing.




2) What or who inspired your writing?


In one way, I answered that question above – the friend I worked with. But as to who directly influenced my writing, well . . . As a teenager, I started reading Mary Stewart, Daphne du Maurier, and the Bronte sisters, among others. I loved how deeply atmospheric their writing was, and, although not mysteries, they taught me about suspense, pacing, and using setting as if it’s a character. When I turned my attention to writing mysteries, the works of Christie and Conan Doyle helped me understand the process of laying out clues, motives, and suspects, and how a sleuth must look for subtleties that other people miss. Another great source of inspiration and practical advice came from my longtime friend and critique partner, cozy mystery author, Nancy J. Cohen. She helped me analyze my mystery plots, characterizations and all the rest, and I can honestly say if not for Nancy I probably wouldn’t have been nearly as successful at it. Thank you, Nancy!





3) How do you keep track of your ideas?


Multiple ways! I keep notebooks for each book where I write down snippets from research, especially concerning the important secondary characters and their homes, livelihoods, etc., as well as plotting ideas. It’s from there that my synopsis first takes shape. I also often use white boards to sketch out ideas. I have one that’s a blank, and another one that’s basically a calendar, so it’s got lots of boxes I can use for characters, clues and motives. Eventually, my approximately 15-page synopsis grows out of all that, and of course that becomes my guide as I write the book. Although I started off as a pantser, I’m a plotter now. I leave plenty of room for changes and surprises, but I like to know basically where I’m going when I sit down to write each day.





4) What is the one thing you need, while writing?


I’ve really come to rely on headphones and background music or sounds. If it’s music, it has to be classical or something simple, usually without singing. Coffeeshop or nature sounds work well, too. Sometimes I even listen to “Spaceship Bridge.” That’s the Star Trek nerd in me! I find that white noise keeps me out of my own head and somehow allows me to focus more fully on my characters and what I need to achieve in each scene. I actually write much faster this way and don’t become nearly as distracted as I normally would. One other thing I need is a cup of water on my desk throughout the day, and in the afternoons I usually revive myself with a cup or two of tea. 





5) How would you end this sentence, "Every author should own at least one of these things..."


Hmm… I don’t know! I think it’s different for every author. According to Virginia Wolfe, “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” I have that quote on a magnet near my desk, lol. I don’t know if either claim is true, because I’ve known people who write under the most inconvenient circumstances and still manage to pull it off. Of course, every author needs to own a dependable computer. A good personal library is also helpful not only for research but for inspiration. Other than that, all an aspiring author really needs is a strong desire to want to write and tell stories. With that, the rest falls into place. 


Thank you so much Alyssa for joining us here today! To learn more about the books and series written by Alyssa Maxwell please click here for her website.  I absolutely love her book covers don't you?

Thank you to all our authors who have joined us here for the last 11 days! Thank you to you dear reader for joining us and hopefully you have enjoyed learning about some of my most favorite authors.

I have loved sharing here with you and I hope Lisa has me back again soon!





Wednesday, May 11, 2022

5 Questions with Author Amy Hueston

 




Today we share our 5 question interview with Author and Singer Amy Hueston.



1) How did you become an author, was it an overnight event or birth rite? Overnight but the thought niggled in my head for years prior.



2) What or who inspired your writing? Stephen King and the Lawerence Sanders Archy McNally books, which take place in Palm Beach, as do my cozy mysteries in the Canine Confections series



3) How do you keep track of your ideas? My head, sometimes on my laptop or a stickie note.
4) What is the one thing you need, while writing? Nothing I need, but preferably one of my dogs close by.



5) How would you end this sentence, "Every author should own at least one of these things..." A dog. Or a cat. 


Thank you Amy for joining us today to learn more about Amy please click on any of the links provided below. 
Thank you for joining us today and we look forward to sharing more 5 question interviews with you again tomorrow.