First Book Review in Mystery Thriller Week Series

Casket Cache

casket cache.jpg

A Spencer Funeral Home Niagara Cozy Mystery, #1

by Janice J. Richardson


Jennifer Spencer has inherited her uncle’s funeral home, along with her twin sister. However, Jennifer is running the funeral home and sharing the profits with her sister.  Her move to the Niagara Region into the apartment above the Home went well, but in the first week alone, someone breaks into the funeral home. After which, Jennifer finds cash in a casket, a lot of cash, which puts her as the main person of interest in her new town. She is certain that all of the   problems, i.e., a missing key, being followed by a fellow funeral director, a near break in are all related the money but she’s unable to convince the police.  But Jennifer has families to serve and funerals to arrange; that is her number-one priority, especially since she wants to maintain her uncles’ stellar reputation. Jennifer knows something awful and dangerous is going to happen if the police don’t take her serious, but Jennifer Spencer, funeral director, is in the way.

My opinion and rank of 4.8

Who knew that there was so much involved in running a funeral home, not to mention that the funeral director needs to available 24/7.This cozy mystery followed a similar formula that other cozy mysteries follow, however, this one had a new setter, main character, sub characters and new information. All of this was intertwined in the story.  The story just hooked me and kept me interested throughout as I learned a lot about the funeral business.  I did not realize that there were corporation that owned different funeral homes.  The skills, certification, personality and paperwork involved in planning a funeral or cremation.  There were some sad sub stories that were intertwined that just made the mystery even more heartbreaking.

I highly recommend this book!!!

logo1As I stated, earlier, this is the first book review in the Mystery Thriller Week Series, stay tuned for more.  During the time between February 12 – 22, 2017, there will be interviews of the authors.

This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review!

Apocalypse All the Time


Stay tuned throughout this month and see how other bloggers view and rate Mr. Atkinson’s book, Apocalypse All the Time.  The book came out yesterday and there will be a month long discussion of this book. Apocalypse All the Time was published on January 1, 2017.


Book Synopsis

Doesn’t it seem as if someone issues a new apocalypse prediction every week? Y2K? The Mayan apocalypse? The Rapture? Doesn’t it seem endless? As opposed to the traditional trend of post-apocalyptic literature, Apocalypse All the Time is post-post-apocalypticism.

Marshall is sick of the apocalypse happening on a weekly (if not daily) basis. Life is constantly in peril, continually disrupted, but nothing significant ever happens. The emergency is always handled. Always. Marshall wants out; he wants it all to stop . . . one way or another. Even if he has to end the world himself.

Apocalypse All the Time explores humanity’s fascination with the end times and what impact such a fascination has on the way we live our lives.

My Opinion

I liked the story!  I have read all of the End Times books and some of the book, Revelation, from the Bible.  The reason I haven’t read it all is because it frightens me!  As a result, I can relate to Marshall, the main character.  That is as far as I going to go, because it is a page turner, beware you won’t being putting it down any soon after you start reading the book.

Literary Wanderlust


Denver, CO, December 1, 2017—Literary Wanderlust announced today it will publish a second work from humorist David S. Atkinson, a follow-up to his 2015 publication, Not Quite So Stories.

apocalypse-vbt-pngApocalypse All the Time is the story of Marshall, a man who is sick and tired of an apocalypse occurring every week. Everyone is obsessed with the possibility of the end of the world; life is constantly in peril but nothing significant ever happens. The emergency is always handled, over and over again.  Marshall wants it all to stop . . . one way or another. Even if he has to end the world himself.

Apocalypse All the Time combines absurdum, science fiction, and sly commentary on our current neuroses induced by the twenty-four news cycle to create something reminiscent of Orwell, Kafka, and Swift, while being entirely its own animal. By turns funny, maddening, and genuinely insightful, it’s one of the most imaginatively weird and original books I’ve read in a while,” says Joseph Hirsch, author of The Bastard’s Grimoire and other novels.

About David S. Atkinson       david-s-atkinson

David S. Atkinson is the author of Apocalypse All the Time (forthcoming from Literary Wanderlust), Not Quite So Stories, Bones Buried in the Dirt (2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards® finalist, First Novel (under 80,000 words)) and The Garden of Good and Evil Pancakes (2015 National Indie Excellence® Awards finalist in humor). His writing has appeared in Bartleby Snopes, Grey Sparrow Journal, Atticus Review and other literary magazines and journals. Learn more about David and his writing at

About Literary Wanderlust

Literary Wanderlust publishes well-written novels and short story anthologies in the romance, women’s fiction, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, thriller, and historical fiction genres, as well as nonfiction. Visit us at

DISCLAIMER: Literary Wanderlust via Netgalley provided me with an advanced reading copy in exchange for my honest review, which I have provided.

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.

A Book Review:  To Pay or Not to Pay?

(c) Michelle Dragalin 2016

My viewpoint is this: I like to read books and find new authors.  I will read a book, interview an author and post it on my blog.  However, I don’t think that I should have to pay for the book especially since I think of myself as part of the marketing plan.

IN addition, to posting the review on my blog, I do try to post the review on Amazon and Goodreads.  Sometimes, Barnes & Nobles and another bookseller.  I often send the link to the publisher and I post the review on Netgalley.  A site where I get most of my books.

Recently I found out how much it costs a publisher to post on Netgalley and send books.  I felt bad, because I realize that I don’t always live up to my end of the bargain and post a review.   I felt really bad after I read an email from a publisher who shared the costs of posting on a Netgalley and other sites.  I know marketing is expensive and I know that I that would like to get paid in some manner for the work that i do.  I really feel the book does pay for the cost of my time and writing. 

I once asked a bunch of book reviewers on what their views on the subject to getting paid or not for a book review.  Most reviewers indicated that they didn’t get paid and did  it because they liked the book.  Some actually got a fee for reviewing the book, anything from $10 up to $100.  There were one or two authors who were really upset that a book reviewer would even consider charging for a book review, because as she put it we were already eating into their marketing costs by receiving a book for free.  The least we could do was review the book.  THAT COMMENT I did not like!!!  As a I said earlier, I understand the expensive and most authors don’t make an independent living from writing books unless they are best sellers and/okeep_calm_and_read_a_book_by_petrapurple-d574t5a.jpgr they have several of them out there!

Myself, I appreciate it when an author follows me when I submit a review.  So to pay or not to pay for a review?  Well, it is really up the individual book reviewer, myself if someone wants to give me a few bucks, great.  However, most of the time I just like to read!!

Finally, I remember two movie reviewers Gene Siskel & Roger Ebert, I loved watching their reviews.  I was very jealous that they got paid to watch movies.  I mean, how cool!  IN an interview they said that they just followed an old adage, do something you love and figure out to get paid for it. 

So, that is one of my goals this year.  Figure out how to review books and get paid for it!! Don’t worry, no charges for book reviews.  I love to read to much. Big_smile.png

Let’s Salute the Week!!


It is officially December! 

Of course it has been December for 11 days, but I thought I would officially welcome it !    Last week ended with me going home from work with a cold and touch of the flu.  As a result, Friday and Saturday were spent on the couch.  My only job was to keep the fire going.  I didn’t have to walk the dog and my husband went out and bought my medicine for me.  The “cold” was a bronchial cold which requira-cozy.jpged an inhaler, Tylenol, and  congestion cough medicine relief.  Now I am on the mend!

While I was on the couch and in between tending the fire, I read, A LOT!!!!.

A Taste for Murder by Burl Barer

Murder Between the Lines by Radha Vassalread-all-the-books.jpg

Purr M for Murder: A Cat Rescue Mystery by T.C. LoTempio

Killer Cocktail by Tracy Kiely

A Perfect for Manhattan Murder by Tracy Kiely

The Final Vow by Amanda Flower

Fudge and Jury by Ellie Alexander

Against the Paw by Diane Kelly

For Whom the Bread Rolls by Sarah Fox

I will be reviewing the books on the blog this week.  I will be combining some of the books because I want to do a couple of author series because I really enjoyed the books I read this weekend. 

Mystery Thriller Week

IN addition, between tending the fire, reading, taking medicine and naps (which were interrupted by fits of coughing) I kept up with social media and noticed that there wasn’t  a Pinterest Board for Mystery Thriller Week, so  drum-roll

I was asked to develop a Pinterest board for Mystery Thriller Week, which I am. . . . in the process of doing.

Let’s Salute the Week!!  It will be a great week!!

Book Review: All the Little Liars


All the Little Liars by Charlaine Harris

This series “An Aurora TeaGarden Mystery” is turning out to be a favorite.  I originally discovered it on Hallmark Mystery Channel and really enjoyed the series.  there were a couple of books I wasn’t greatly impressed with, but this one “All the Little Liars”  I really liked.


Aurora’s half brother is living with her and her husband (yes, she is married and pregnant), when he disappears.  As Aurora goes through the process of trying to locate her young half brother, she discovers how cruel children can be to one another.  Not only that, but also found out what parents would do to protect their children when they are cruel to each other. It’s sad how much trouble three little bullies can cause other people in their circle.


As a elementary education teacher, I know how cruel some children are to other children. Not only has a elementary teacher, but as a parent.  We weren’t as nice as the young girl’s parents.  Between my son and a call to the police, the bullying stopped.  The parents of that child remind me of the bullies’ parents in this book.      Children can be MEAN!!!!     I agree with the main character, I would press charges against the individual and the parents knew I would, althought I think they were more frighten of my husband..  Only then would the parents of the bully wake and realize that they needed to do something.

This is a great book on so many levels and I encourage everyone to read the book.

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


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.


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.


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


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.


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!!!!


Grateful to Netgalley and Libraries

As I review the books that I am currently reading, I have realizee that I haven’t paid for a book in a very long time.  All of the books that I have enjoyed and read in the last 8 months were given to me by some very nice publishers and public libraries.

It is very nice to to know that I can get wonderful books this way!  However, it has come to a point now where I need to pay the piper sort to speak.  I will be writing several book reviews this week.  It helps that I won’t be teaching this week so I have the time an energy  and time to complete this task.

The book range from well known authors to not so well known authors, in addition I have discovered some new authors.  It has been an exciting time.  johnny-automatic-man-using-binoculars-2

The Reader

I know that I don’t have a lot of followers.  People who regularly read my blog and comment on it.  I would like that, I really world, but I like to write.  When I was younger I used to read the columns in the paper.  Someday, I told myself, someday I would write a column and just like Erma Bombeck, people all of over the world would read my columns.  then they would read my books, they would read for advice on how to use technology in the classroom for children who needed extra help.  We all that assertive technology.  Readers would read about how to use technology to enhance their lessons and come back for more.  It would happen.

Really, it will happen.

Today I want to talk about my passions, I like to read (A LOT), I like to write, I like to read and write mysteries (women’s fiction, spiritual, devotions, children’s non fiction, children’s non fiction historical, professional books, cozy, series, some thrillers and futuristic I johnny-automatic-man-using-binoculars-2like to use different types of technology and I like to teach.  IN addition, I will show you curriculum that I like to design using technology, modifies for students with disabilities and items that special educators may find interesting.

Some people might say those are a  lot of passions, but I believe that God gave me all of those passions.  Now he is reminding me that I need to discipline myself and share my passions with other people. Also, safe to say I won’t be writing about all of them everyday, just some of them everyday.

He gave me a job as a special educator and special education coordinator where I currently teach at on a daily basis. Since I like to learn I will share what I learn with you and what I have already learned and how I use them.

He has reminded me of the path I want to take with my education.

He has reminded me how much I liked technology when I was a child.  A student in school I would help all of my teachers with their technology.  Only then we called it audio visual equipment.

As you read my blog, I will write about all of the above items.  I would like you to comment and let me know what you think. 

Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads

by Suzanne Eller and Michele Cushatt

This book asks a tough questions right from the start.  Will you follow me??

This book will move you from a comfortable faith to an energized type of faith. I discovered it during a time when life was not easy. Things have been happening at my job that are difficult to understand and even more difficult to walk through. I have questioned God. I have felt alone and in the dark. This book was tough to read during this time, because I go into a work situation everyday where I do not know what will happen. My situation has not changed. However, I have rediscovered joy. When my  joy doesn’t come I tell it too.  And that makes all the difference.

Each chapter touches on real life circumstances, through the perspective of walking through life as the “13th disciple” is fresh and compelling. You are encouraged to be the 13th disciple during the times when Jesus was on the earth. At the end of the chapter, there is a reflection to process the chapter.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book!  Great Job!


Disclaimer: I received an advance copy from the author in return for an honest review.


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