Death Around the Bend by T.E. Kinsey

Synopsis

September 1909, and Lady Hardcastle and her maid, Florence, have been invited to Lord Riddlethorpe’s country estate for a week of motor racing and parties. They both agree that it sounds like a perfectly charming holiday. But when one of the drivers dies in a crash during the very first race, they discover that what seemed like an uncharacteristic error in judgement, reveals that the driver’s car was sabotaged—and the driver murdered.

Book Review plus 4.7 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed the story.  This story illustrates the difference in classes among those who live above the stairs and those who live below the stairs.  It is interesting to see the difference among the servants below the stairs .  Florence is a ladies maid who gets the information for her lady as their investigate.  It is just so thoroughly enjoyalbe story!!!

Carol Childs’ Mysteries by Nancy Cole Silverman

Nancy Cole Nancy Cole silvermanSilverman’s new series, the Carol Childs Mysteries (Henery Press) takes place inside a busy Los Angles Radio station. Carol Childs is a radio reporter who works a for a local radio station.

Book Reviewsfor eacy of Nancy Cole Silverman’s Carol Childs’ Mysteries

Synopsis

A top Hollywood Agent is found poisoned in the bathtub of her home and the police suspect one of her two nieces. Carol Childs, a reporter for a local talk radio station, doesn’t believe it, she knows these people and knows that they could not have committed Carol knows she must save her friend from being tried in the court of public opinion.
shadow of a doubt
Carol must challenge both her friendship and the facts, and the only thing she knows for certain is that the killer is still out there.

Book Review and 3.8 stars

This cozy mystery was an interesting read, however, I stayed with until the end.  I didn’t give it my usual 4 because I thought some aspects of the story were cliche, but for the most part I did enjoy this book.

Synopsisbeyond a doubt

Carol Childs is called to the scene of a murder, where she has no idea she’s about to uncover a connection to a string of missing girls.  A judge’s daughter leaves behind a clue and a trip down Hollywood Boulevard’s Walk of Fame reveals a connection to a high powered real estate mogul and to a cartel targeting girls for human trafficking.

As Carol Childs investigation gets to close, she finds herself  at odds with powers that threaten to undo her career and like the very girls she’s seeking, make her disappear.

Book Review and 4.3 stars

I liked this story a lot better. It was interesting to watch how the connection to past was illustrated to a series of murders that had occurred in Hollywood.  I think that the author put the information together in a very sequential manner.

without a doubtSynopsis

Our favorite radio reporter Carol Childs investigates a series of Beverly Hills jewelry heists, when she realizes her FBI boyfriend, Eric, is working the same case. Even worse, she may have inadvertently helped the suspect escape.  Now Carol is faced with the difficult choice of choosing between her job and her personal relationships. It was just a coincidence that Carol and Eric were investigating the same case, now before the thieves can pull off a daring escape, they are leaving a trail of dead bodies behind, and taking the jewels with them.

Book Review and 4.5

This was a great sophmore follow up in the series.  I think that it was good to explore the relationship, but I wish the author had spent more time on this aspect. However, it is a mystery not necessarily a romance.

 

 

A Cat Latimer Mystery by Lynn Cahoon

Fatality by Fireplace

Synopsis

Cat Latimer inherited her home from her ex-husband and turned it into a bed-and-breakfast.  She plays host to writers who utilize her home as a retreat.

To kick off a winter writing retreat, Cat and her handyman boyfriend, Seth, escort the aspiring authors to a nearby ski resort, and before long,  Christina, romance novelist is  warming up next to a  local ski bum who might have neglected to tell her about his upcoming wedding.

Unfortunately, the young man’s been found dead in a hot tub—and Christina shows up crying and covered in blood. Now, between a murder mystery, the theft of a rare Hemingway edition, and the arrival of a black-clad stranger in snowy Aspen Hills, Cat’s afraid everything’s going downhill. Not to mention a mystery concerning her former marriage is unraveling and causing her some issues.

Book Review and 4.2 stars

It is a good read, however, Ms. Cahoon is a bit stodgy with the details of Cat’s former marriage.  I am really anxious to find out more about her former husband and what is going on.  At the same time, I hope it, whatever it is, does not interfere with her relationship with Seth.  Time will tell!!

Why use a pseudonym?

Definition

Screenshot 2017-04-10 21.17.55.pngA pseudonym is defined as “A pseudonym or alias is a name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which can differ from his or her original or true name (orthonym). Pseudonyms include stage names and user names (both called screen names), ring names, pen names, nicknames, aliases, superhero identities and code names, gamer identifications, and regnal names of emperors, popes, and other monarchs.(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudonym.)”

Authors who use a Pseudonym

I have read several authors who write under different names because they want to write different series. Here are just a few authors who have used a pseudonym:

Screenshot 2017-04-10 21.17.05.png

A.A. Fair    aka   Ernie Stanley Gardner

Anthony North/Aaron Wolf aka  Dean Kootnz

Clive Hamilton aka C.S. Lewis

Nora Roberts aka JD Robb

Mary Westmacott aka Agatha Christie

Richard Bachman aka Stephen King

But . . . Should you use a pseudonym?Screenshot 2017-04-10 21.16.33.png

This is a good question.  Nora Roberts used a pseudonym because she was such a prolific writer and wanted to stretch her creative muscles. Ann Rice who wrote the Vampire Chronicles, wanted to write a new genre as well, she wrote a couple of erotic books. Jayne Anne Krentz said the reason she used a pseudonym was to find a name that provide to be the most successful as far as a author.

But should you use a pseudonym?  Well, it really depends on your reason for using a pen name. There are good reasons and bad reasons:

Good reasons:

  1. Your writing could interfere with other aspects of your career
  2. You have a history of failures
  3. You have the same name as a famous writer

Bad reasons:

  1. No one will respect me because I am a ________.
  2. I don’t want anyone to know I am writer.
  3. I’d like a name that reflects my inner self.

Remember that using a pseudonym is different that legally changing your name.  This is a name that goes on your work. Sometimes it is on your contract and you need to have an understanding with your bank so that you cash your checks.

It is not a bad thing to use a pseudonym, however you need to have good solid reasons for using one on your work.

Mystery Thriller Week Interview: Mahrie G.Reid

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How old you when you wrote your first story?

I was less than ten years old and loved nancy Drew and other similar books. I was also fascinated with Tancook Island so I wrote a book called: Pam and Penny and the Mystery on Tancook Island. I still have, thanks to my mother’s habit of keeping things. Interestingly enough, the characters were twins and the story on an island. I went on to have twin daughter, town grandchildren and my current series is on an island partly on the real Tancook Island.

“Everything you have done has fueled you writing”. I read this on your Amazon page. Do you think that or do you have another series in mind? Where would it be located?

I have two series in mind, both spin offs from Caleb’s cove. Ones tentatively called The Bucket List Mysteries and would star Uncle Lem and  also Sam Logan’s aunt. Mary Morrison. the other one would have paranormal elements and might be Natalie Parker’s ongoing story. I’m not sure yet. Additionally, I recently found a fully planned, middle grade mystery “under the bed,” It might end up as book one day too. Adam from Came Home Too Late would make an ideal main character.

Which career, aside from writing did you enjoy the most?

That’s a tough question. I liked different aspects in different jobs. I did, and still do, love teaching. Learning new concepts, analyzing and reformatting to explain to others is fun. My time as a real estate appraiser was while I had teens at home. The flexibility is offered fit my lifestyle and to be honest, it was the one that paid the most money. However, the ten years I was a marriage commissioner and performed wedding ceremonies was probably the most our e fun. who doesn’t love a wedding, even if the bride and groom are tattoo-covered bikers, or the wedding party roars across the river to the little island they’ve put you on, on racing quads?

Where do you write from?

I write books about people finding their way, themselves and what is important to them. I’ve always felt I’m on a journey and I’ve learned so much over the years. I love it when my characters realize how strong they are, how smart, how valued they are in the community. At times, they find family they didn’t know they had. This line of though generates both internal and external plots.

In Came Home Dead, Devon has to reach inside to find out who she really is. In Came Home to a Killing, Kelsey finds father she never knew about and in Came Home Too Late, Emily finds a whole community after years of solitary living. The book in progress in Came Home From the Grave. A lot of finding goes on in this one.

Sometimes fellow writers send out a call for a write-a-thon at a Starbucks or such and I’ll go along and write a scene or two there. A different location and the collective energy of others who are writing gives a real boost to the creative process.

 How much support do you receive in relation to your writing and eventual publication? From where and whom?

My husband is my number one supporter even though he never reads fiction, not even mine. He takes great delight in teasing in public. He’ll say he’s not sure what I’m saying is true. “She’s a fiction writer, you know. You have to watch out.” And then I get a hug.

My kids (all adults) cheer me on. One of my daughters designed my first web page.

Most of all I’ve had mega support from my writing community. I am founding member of a writing group focused on craft and writer support. Alberta Romance WRiters Association started with all romance writers but, after thirty years, we include writers in almost all genres.

The workshops and discussion keep us all up to date on markets, processes and always encourage us to keep our craft skills growing. The challenge/critique groups (3 or 4 similar writers) offer ongoing, individual support and advice for the specific manuscript I have in progress. We also have support and training to help people with the technical side of putting a book up on Amazon and other places.

The group and the members have bee the main reason I’ve come as far as I have as a writer.

If you could do only one form of writing, would you write stories or keep a blog? Why?

Stories come first. Even in my blog I often tell stories. My mother was a wonderful story teller and I would see people listen attentively, laugh uproariously or cough to hide tears. She was a great role  model. And the stories in books I rad build my world when I was a kid. Writing stories for others has always seemed like the perfect job to me.

Are your characters based on people you know or have met? Do they just ‘come to you’?

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I don’t base entire characters on real people  although characteristics I’ve seen along the way make into the character composite for my stories. I start with a premise—sometimes external, sometimes internal to a character—and build on it as the story expands.

I ask question like:

-What skill does this character need, does she have it and where did she get it?

-Why is this guy in law enforcement? Why does catching a certain type of bad guy 

matter to him?

-And the characters dredge up answers from deep in my brain.

That means that it all “just come to me” I suppose.

How much research do you do for your books?

A lot of research, from geographical items to weather charts to the psychology of a killer and information on the careers of my character. The internet is so handy. Instead of going to the library like used to 30 years ago and spending days looking of just the right information in books. I can search and find dozens of articles in just minutes. I bring the relevant ones and keep them in my “bible” for each book.

I lived in the same province (Novia Scotia) as Caleb’s Cove and visited friends and family, teachers and boats and more in the specific area over my whole life. I also went back in 2013 for a month and asked question, took hundreds of photos and soaked up the atmosphere. For me setting is a character in its own right.

I am researching for the 2018 book which will be a historical for Canada’ s150th anniversary. the publisher is adamant that the history and setting be strictly correct. I’ve already read over a dozen books or museum document for it. Research sometimes is more fun than getting down to the writing.

What surprised you most about the publishing process?

That’s a question that is time sensitive. Since I started writing when the only avenue was traditional publishing. I’d say that the thing that surprised me most was that the publisher had the final say on the title. Additionally, the length of time to get published traditionally (three to five years from acceptance to book-o-the-shelf) was a shock. With Indie or Hybrid publishing you have a good shot at picking your own titles and have much more control over times.

What do you want your obituary to say? What do you want engraved on your headstone?

Obituaries have so much factual data. I found out she writing the ones of my parents that ll the predeceased and surviving family get an appearance. As fa as the more ambiguous items, I’d like to have it say that I made people laugh. I supported them and gave them hope and that I loved my fellow humans generously. On my tombstone: Do It Now —She did!

Contact Mahrie at:img_0315

Website
Twitter

Let’s Salute the Week!

WOW!

This week has a lot of stuff packed into it!  Mystery Thriller Week begins next week, February 12, 2017.  I will be hosting an hour of live time on Facebook twice between February 12 – February 22, 2017.  To tell you the truth I am a little nervous!logo1

Benjamin Thomas, a follower on my blog asked to me to participate and I honestly didn’t think it would encompass all that it has!  By that I mean that I have learned a lot during this time frame.  In addition, Ben, Vicki and Sherri have done such a great job in putting this all together.

In addition to the two Facebook live hours, I have promised two guest blogs during the time frame and there are several author interviews that I will be posting on my blog during the Mystery Thriller Week. I just need to complete everything.

As you can see there are a lot of events happening on my blog during the next couple of weeks.  However, there is a lot going on during the 10 days, of Mystery Thriller Week. The organizers have completed so much and provided so much information, blogs and interviewers, plus some great prizes.  I hope that you have the time blocked off and are ready to learn and read a lot during this time!!

Storystormscreenshot-2017-02-05-20-52-57-png

This year I followed Storystorm, referred to in the past as PiBoMo.

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The idea is to think of 30 picture book ideas during one month.  The various titles and short synopsis will be listed in a google doc so that I can begin the process of writing the stories.  I summarized the blog posts for each of the days during Storystorm and they really provided some great ideas.screenshot-2017-02-05-20-52-49-png

The blog posts were completed by writers and illustrators, the illustrators gave me some really good idea, although I am not much of illustrator, but I do like the provide illustrations for my writings.

Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Review in Mystery Thriller Week

Review of the Caleb Cove Mystery Series by Mahrie Reid

Mahrie Reid started to write the series in 2014 and has set the series in Nova Scotia, Canada.  Each book features the residents of Caleb’s Cove, each time one of the residents in the cove, as previous characters appear across the books.  There are currently three books in the series:

Came Home Dead #1screenshot-2017-01-19-23-53-58

A dead body surfaces after a hurricane, and suddenly family and friends bring up secrets and suspicions that Devon Ritcey didn’t know or even remotely know existed in Caleb Cove.  Guation. reg Cunningham, an ex-cop and ex-lover of Devon, begins to suspect everyone, and anyone who has any type of relationship to the body. As a result Devon Doesn’t know if she can trust Greg to help her or will he just cause more problems.  Devon doesn’t really know who she can trust or what to think about the current situation.

Came Home to a Killing #2

  screenshot-2017-01-19-23-53-58-1Kelsey Maxwell discovers that everything she has known about her life is a lie, and now she is determined find out the truth. However, she doesn’t expect investigation into her life to lead to fraud and murder. During Kelsey’s investigation, she discovers Sam Logan, a security consultant and the only man willing to tell her the truth about her life. What she finds out is that she is not the only one trying to find the truth, which includes she’s looking for her estranged, biological father.  Her Dad has disappeared with some key evidence, He’s made off with key evidence that Kelsey needs, but there are some criminals that also want the evidence, maybe even more so that Sam. Kelsey doesn’t know what the result of her investigation will be and whether or not the truth will help her or kill her.  It’s very complicated!

Came Home Too Late #3 screenshot-2017-01-19-23-53-58-2

More mystery, stalking, kidnapping and murder that affecting both the guilty and innocent in Caleb Cove.  Emily Martin has never known anything but that her safety depends on hiding in plain sight and that the police were not to be trusted. Her life has been all about her father’s past and who Caleb’s Cove Emily can trust. Now she needs to find out if  or who she can trust.

My Opinion and Rating 4.3

The stories were very interesting.  I wrote a paper about Novia Scotia when I was in Middle School. Although I never thought of the things that Ms. Reid in her series.  I am curious to see the next book in the story.  In series like this, I am always curious to see who shows up next in town to either die offer assistance or has a mysterious background.  I really encourage everyone to read the books, I am certain that whoever reads it will want to continue with the next book inthe series.

Let’s Salute the Week!

read-all-the-books Well I am continuing to read! a lot!  However, I need to post the reviews and will begin soonest.

 

School is ending for the year!  2016 that is.

 

logo1Beginning  with the new year, I will be reveiwing some book and posting some interviews with authors in the year 2017.  It will be a new addition.  I hope that I will be posting up two author’s interviews a week.

 

So Salute the week and reflect on the year, in this case, the year 2016.

Book Review: Book 1 & 2 of Lady Hardcastle Mysteries by T.E. Kinsey

Book Review: A Quiet Life in the Country
Book 1: A Lady Hardcastle Mystery

 

a-quiet-life-in-the-country
This blog will include two reviews in regards to a new series. I am very excited about this cosy mystery series, (my opinion) because of the main characters who are involved in this series. This is a something that I have said before, I have found a new series and author to review as the days go by, so it is very interesting.

Summary:

Lady Emily Hardcastle and her lady’s maid, Florence Armstrong have moved to the country. They have led an exciting life prior to this move, Lady Hardcastle’s husband had been murdered in Chrina and she and her maid Florence Hardcastle made their way to China via India. They are getting to know the countryside based on their social status, (a titled member of nobility and a servant). A man has been murdered and an expensive stone has been stolen. Who as done this? It is a very interesting path that the characters take to resolve the mystery. After all they are women and new to the country.

Opinon

I really enjoyed this story and was very interrested in finding the the new book in this series. The book really takes into account the time and society where the women are living. Readers will enjoy the book.
Book Review: In The Market for Murder
Book 2: A Lady Hardcastle Mystery

Summary:

This book follows “A Quiet Life in the County” where Lady Hardcastle has recovered from her wounds. She and Armstrong are invited to a market where animals are sold. Afterwards they go to a “restaurant” where they have a delicious pie. Both Lady Hardcastle and Armstrong enjoy the outing, except Armstrong is frighted of cows. They are asked by the local police to help investigate the murder of local man (who is not well liked). The en result is very interestting and the reader will enjoy the journey that they characters take as the mystery is resolved.

Opinion

This was a wonderful book. I like it and look forward to the next book. Especially, since Lady Hardcastle has bought a car. The sale of the car was very interesting and funny. In addition, how the car will fit into the next mystery. READ IT!!!!

in-the-market-for-murder

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