Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Golden Age of Murder - Blog Tour Review

The Golden Age of Murder

by Martin Edwards

on Tour April 28 - May 31, 2015

Book Details:

Genre: Biography, Mystery, Classic Crime
Published by: HarperCollins
Publication Date: May 7th 2015
Number of Pages: 512
ISBN: 0008105960 (ISBN13: 9780008105969)
Purchase Links:


A real-life detective story, investigating how Agatha Christie and colleagues in a mysterious literary club transformed crime fiction, writing books casting new light on unsolved murders whilst hiding clues to their authors’ darkest secrets.
This is the first book about the Detection Club, the world’s most famous and most mysterious social network of crime writers. Drawing on years of in-depth research, it reveals the astonishing story of how members such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers reinvented detective fiction.
Detective stories from the so-called “Golden Age” between the wars are often dismissed as cosily conventional. Nothing could be further from the truth: some explore forensic pathology and shocking serial murders, others delve into police brutality and miscarriages of justice; occasionally the innocent are hanged, or murderers get away scot-free. Their authors faced up to the Slump and the rise of Hitler during years of economic misery and political upheaval, and wrote books agonising over guilt and innocence, good and evil, and explored whether killing a fellow human being was ever justified. Though the stories included no graphic sex scenes, sexual passions of all kinds seethed just beneath the surface.
Attracting feminists, gay and lesbian writers, Socialists and Marxist sympathisers, the Detection Club authors were young, ambitious and at the cutting edge of popular culture – some had sex lives as bizarre as their mystery plots. Fascinated by real life crimes, they cracked unsolved cases and threw down challenges to Scotland Yard, using their fiction to take revenge on people who hurt them, to conduct covert relationships, and even as an outlet for homicidal fantasy. Their books anticipated not only CSI, Jack Reacher and Gone Girl, but also Lord of the Flies. The Club occupies a unique place in Britain’s cultural history, and its influence on storytelling in fiction, film and television throughout the world continues to this day.
The Golden Age of Murder rewrites the story of crime fiction with unique authority, transforming our understanding of detective stories and the brilliant but tormented men and women who wrote them.

My Review:

Agatha Christie is probably my all time favorite author and I absolutely could not resist this book that promised to give me a peek not only into Agatha's life but her peers as well in one of the most productive and groundbreaking eras in detective fiction history.  Somehow I was completely unaware that this club ever existed what an impressive membership!  Christie, Chesterton, Berkley, Marsh, Mitchell, Allingham, Milne, Carr, and Sayers are all represented on the membership roster and in this book.  Just the mental image of all these great minds gathering for dinner to discuss plots, methods of deaths, famous crimes and publisher problems is wonderful.

What I loved even more than learning about the authors themselves was learning about what influenced them.  Edwards discusses the famous crimes that were occurring during the 20s adn 30s and how they influenced the different books.  Dorothy L. Sayers in particular used her own experiences with crime to influence and inspire her writing and her book Unnatural Death was inspired by her time at the scene where Agatha Christie's car was found after her famous disappearance.  Agatha Christie's short story collection Partners in Crime in which Tommy and Tuppence decide to act like a series of different famous literary detectives was inspired by the authors of the Detection Club's creations.

This book can be a tad on the dry side and I was never quite sucked into the story though I did find it readable.  If you love the classic mystery authors this is a treasure trove of details that just can't be missed!

Author Bio:

Martin Edwards was educated in Northwich and at Balliol College, Oxford University, taking a first class honours degree in law. He trained as a solicitor in Leeds and moved to Liverpool on qualifying in 1980. He published his first legal article at the age of 25 and become a partner in the firm of Mace and Jones in 1984.

He is married to Helena with two children (Jonathan and Catherine) and lives in Lymm. Martin is a member of the Murder Squad collective of crime writers, and is chairman of the nominations sub-committee for the CWA Diamond Dagger (crime writing's most prestigious award). In 2007 he was appointed the Archivist of the Crime Writers Association.

Catch Up:

Tour Participants:


This is a giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Martin Edwards & Harper Collins. There will be one winner of 1 physical copy of The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards to a US recipient. The giveaway begins on April 28th, 2015 and runs through June 3rd, 2015 a Rafflecopter giveaway


Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Match Made on Main Street - Review + Giveaway

A Match Made On Main Street (Briar Creek Book 2) by Olivia Miles Rating: 4 Stars
Source: NetGalley
Description:  Anna Madison has spent 6 years avoiding her ex, Mark Hastings, and is so good at it that most people in the little town of Briar Creek, Vermont have no idea just how much history is between the two of them.  But when disaster strikes and her beloved Fireside Cafe burns down the only person she can turn to is the one person she can't depend on.
Between cooking contests and meddling relatives Briar Creek is suddenly conspiring against her plan to keep Mark part of her past.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Why I Picked This Book: I loved that the main characters were chefs and I had heard good things about the first book in the series.

My Impression:  Based on the reviews for the first book in this series I was expecting a slightly darker book than the cover advertises and I was right!  Briar Creek, Vermont isn't your typical contemporary romance series small town.  All the men aren't beautiful, not everyone is nice with the occasional sprinkling of arch-nemesis, and everything isn't always sunshine and roses.  There's tension, old grudges, adultery, financial worries, heartbreak and a hefty dash of abandonment issues.  The main characters' families feel like real families.  They're fiercely loyal to each other but there are issues there as well.  Both the town and the relationships felt real without being overwrought.  The actual romance was a little tougher.  Miles and Anna have serious history and serious baggage.  So much history and so much baggage that they've avoided each other for six years - in a small town, where they both own restaurants, and where his mother is her landlord. It's made things a bit awkward to say the least.
This book combines two of my favorite themes - second chance romances and main characters forced into a situation where they must work as a team - and did a good job with it.  In both cases it wasn't easy.  It took a long time for them to be able to work together and even with they did there were some huge ups and downs.
One of my biggest pet peeves is when characters don't communicate and there's definitely communication issues here but while there were times I was impatient (especially with Anna) it worked.  If I had been in Anna's shoes I think I would have reacted in a similar way so I understood her reluctance to trust him and to share.  Her reaction in some ways feels a little over the top but since it's not a situation I've been in I don't really know.
It took a long time for the Mark and Anna to get within speaking terms and for most of the book I really couldn't imagine an HEA for them. However, despite my doubts by the time the ending rolled around I was satisfied and even had a bit of a tear in my eye!  An added bonus is that there are enough well developed side characters that I was entertained even when Mark and Anna weren't on the page..

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Definitely.  I really liked what I saw of Jane and can't wait for her book.

Would I Recommend this Book?:  Yes, I think most contemporary romance readers would enjoy this one.

Rafflecopter Giveaway link: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books that Feature Characters Who Write

Today's Top Ten Tuesday topic hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is Top Ten Books that feature characters who...  and after much back and forth over that who I went with write.  While I have no interest in writing myself I love books that feature writers.  So here is my Top Ten Books that Feature Characters Who Write.

1.  Emily from Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery - While Anne is also a writer the Emily trilogy focuses much more on the writing process.

2.  Mrs. Ariadne Oliver from Dead Man's Folly by Agatha Christie - Mrs. Oliver is actually in a number of books mostly with Poirot and I love her.  She's a some what stout older woman who is a bit unnerved by her fame as a writer and annoyed with the detective she's created from a country she knows little about.  It gives the reader such a glimpse of Agatha herself that I look forward to all the books that contain Mrs. Oliver.

3.  Beryl Madison from Body of Evidence by Patricia Cornwell - Since Beryl is dead before the book starts we don't really see much of her but we examine her life so thoroughly she might as well have been a character.  I loved this book and was seriously creeped out by it at the same time.  I think this is where I really discovered what stalking was and it made me seriously paranoid!

4.  Emma Dove from And Then He Kissed Her by Laura Lee Guhrke - This is one of my absolute favorite historicals and I love that Emma not only works for a living as the secretary of a publisher she dreams of writing books on etiquette AND proves her employer wrong.

5.  Jordan Hawke from Key of Knowledge by Nora Roberts - I love this book mostly because Dana is a book lover and librarian and Jordan is a writer who specializes in gothic-y horror type books.  Plus it's a 2nd chance romance which is my favorite kind.

6.  Devin Lyle from The Hexed by Heather Graham - The atmosphere in this book is such fun and even better is the fact that the main character writes children's books.

7.  Sara Fielding from Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas - If I was listing the top 5 books that got me reading romance this would be on the list.  What's even better is that shy and meek Sara Fielding has written a book that makes her beloved to the common man

8.  Andy from House of Many Shadows by Barbara Michaels - This isn't a big issue in the book but there's a pretty entertaining scene where Meg discovers who he really is

9.  Eliza Makepeace from The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton - Those fairy tales and the book that is woven through the book itself provide so much of the atmosphere.  I feel the need to reread this one because I'm sure there's bunches of bits and pieces I missed the first time around.

10.  Mr. Melendy from The Four Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright - This was one of my favorite books as a child and I was thrilled when I rediscovered this and the rest of the Melendy books as an adult.  It entertains me greatly that Mr. Melendy is a writer because there's so little development on this that he could be a lawyer or an accountant or just about anything else.

So are you a sucker for books with writer characters too?  Any others I should read?

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor - Blog Tour Review + Giveaway

The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor by Amy M. Reade

Rating: 3 Stars

Source: Blog Tour - Visit the tour page for links to more reviews and giveaways

Description: Outside of Charleston, South Carolina, behind hanging curtains of Spanish Moss at the end of a shaded tunnel of overarching oaks, stands the antebellum mansion of Peppernell Manor in all it's faded grandeur.  At the request of her friend, Evie Peppernell, recently divorced Carleigh Warner and her young daughter Lucy, have come to the plantation house to refurbish the interior.  But the tall white columns and black shutters hide a dark history of slavery, violence and greed.  The ghost of a former slave is supposed to haunt the home, and Carleigh is told she disapproves of her restoration efforts. And beneath the polite hospitality of the Peppernell family.lie simmering resentments and poisonous secrets that culminate in murder - and place Carleigh and her child in grave danger. (from Goodreads)

Genre: Fiction

Why I Picked This Book: Ghosts and home restoration are my kryptonite

Giveaway: I'm giving away 1 copy of this book in e-book form!  If you're interested just leave your email address in the comments and I'll draw a random number at the end of the tour.  Giveaway ends May 3.

My Impression: There's something about an old house being restored to it's former glory that I can't resist and Peppernell Manor did not disappoint.  The house was beautiful, rich with history both good and bad, and with a number of outbuildings including the old slave quarters.  I would pay serious money for a few hours to poke around the house - especially in the basement and attics.  The restoration talk was fascinating and I loved learning about not only the grand ballrooms but the slave quarters as well.  I enjoyed watching Carleigh try to navigate work while also finding time for her daughter and I could've reached into the book and hugged her when she took steps to get her daughter out of harms way when things started getting grim around the manor.  The hurricane scene toward the end of the book was interesting.

 This wasn't quite the book I expected.  From the blurb I was expecting ghosts and creepiness and atmosphere on top of atmosphere and this read as more of a light fiction.  As well some of the mystery aspects felt a little rushed and didn't feel fully explained.  While I understood who did what I was missing some of the reasoning - especially one of the major issues.   I also had a hard time with Evie's mother Vivian.  She was really said some awful things and treated people very badly but then a few pages later she and everyone else would act like nothing had happened.  I had a bit of a harder time forgiving and forgetting than the other characters.  Honestly, if I had been a couple of the characters she would've ended up on the body count.

Overall: If you're wanting a gothic-y read with ghosts and restoration read Barbara Michael's House of Many Shadows.  If you want a book about a nice woman trying to get her on her feet after a divorce, with a nice little girl, and a fascinating business in architectural restoration than give this a try.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: I have an earlier book by this author which I'll read but I'm not sure about after that.

Would I Recommend this Book?:  If you're looking for a creepy mystery than probably not.  If you want a likable character with some interesting history than you might enjoy this one.

Challenges Met?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

This Week in Reading - April 26

It's Sunday Post time!  This is hosted by the awesome Caffeinated Book Reviewer and gives us all a chance to recap our week.

What I Got:

The Silenced by Heather Graham - It's the newest Krewe book!!  I'm excited about this one and the setting involves Gettysburg AND it's a missing person case (NetGalley)

That Chesapeake Summer by Mariah Stewart - I loved the most recent book in the series and am excited about this one because it features Daniel Sinclair who I've been looking forward to seeing more of.  (NetGalley)

400 Calories or Less with Our Best Bites - This is one of my favorite food blogs and definitely one of the most reliable I've come across.  I loved their first cookbook and am looking forward to seeing this low calorie cookbook!

Between a Rock and  Hard Place by Marty Wingate - I loved the first book in the series and though I'm a bit behind I couldn't pass this one up.  There's a murder AND a diary! (NetGalley)

Catch a Falling Heiress by Laura Lee Guhrke - Guhrke is one of my favorite authors but I'm woefully behind in this series. (paperbackswap)

Final Sentence by Darryl Wood Gerber - I look mysteries and I love cookbooks and this cozy mystery series set in a culinary bookshop and cafe sounds perfect for me (paperbackswap)

Keeper of the Castle by Juliet Blackwell - I loved the first book in this paranormal/home renovation cozy series. (paperbackswap)


Reading: A Match Made on Main Street by Olivia Miles and Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Listening: Nothing.  I figured I would finish listening to a David Sedaris I had started awhile ago but now there's a waiting list for it and I haven't had time to get anything that's actually available now.

Watching: I've been watching Murder She Wrote on Netflix and am actually really enjoying it.  Partly because each episode is like a different cozy mystery and partly because it reminds me of both of my grandmothers.  One used to watch it and one reminds me a lot of Jessica Fletcher.  I also discovered Murder She Bakes: A Chocolate Chip Cookie Mystery which looks like it's based on the Joanna Fluke series.  It's coming up on Hallmark so while I'm not really expecting stellar quality I'm excited to watch it.  This is the 2nd book TV adaptation I've found on their lately (the first was Charlaine Harris' Aurora Teagarden series) so I'll be keeping a close eye on it.

Off the Blog:

Eleanor came by last weekend and it was nice to have dinner with her.  Between work, school, and friends it's hard to get together so it's always nice when it happens.

I'm working on Emma's graduation announcements and it looks like they'll be here next week.  Then she gets the joy or addressing them and sending them out.

Paul's physics class went to an amusement park as a field trip and he got back on Friday - sunburned and exhausted - and they had a great time.  I'm not sure their knowledge of physics.  We're also going to pretend that I didn't originally spell "physics" as "psychic" which would be an entirely different class.

I dug up this old recipe for Stuffed Pizza Sticks from Southern Plate and they were a big hit.  They're not necessarily the healthiest but the're so easy and so tasty that even the picky Tornado ate them.  I also found this recipe for Copycat DoubleTree Chocolate Chip Cookies from Iowa Girl Eats that are delicious and have a great texture!  Nice and crisp but still soft.

On the Blog:

What Happened:

Monday: The Residence - Blog Tour Review (and one of my favorite books of the year)

What's Coming Up:

Monday: Ghosts of Peppernell Manor - Blog Tour Review + Giveaway
Tuesday: Top Ten Characters Who (I'm thinking are writers but we'll see)
Wednesday: A Match Made on Main Street - Contemporary Romance Review
Thursday: Golden Age of Murder - Blog Tour Review
Friday: Friday Linkups plus my current book
Saturday: Crumb - A Cookbook Review.

Have a great week and happy reading!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Lighten Up, Ya'll - Cookbook Review

Lighten Up, Y'All: Classic Southern Recipes made Healthy and Wholesome by Virginia Willis

Virginia Willis is a name that has been on my radar for awhile.  I've seen her on Chopped and on shows with Bobby Flay and Paula Dean as well as countless mentions by some of my favorite chefs like John Besh and Carla Hall.  So when I saw this cookbook I couldn't resist.  I was even more intrigued that it claims to have Classic Southern recipes made healthier.  I'm always looking to cut fat and calories but I still want food that is made with real ingredients and that tastes good.  I was hoping this would fill that need.

There are definitely a lot of traditional Southern recipes including recipes for Cole Slaw, Oven Fried Okra, Summer Squash Casserole, Braised Collards in Tomato-Onion Gravy, Red Beans and Greens, Hoppin' John and Limpin' Susan, Smothered and Covered Chicken and Gravy, and an Old Fashioned Buttermilk Pie.  There are also a good selection of updated Southern recipes like Quinoa Cobb Salad with Green Goddess Dressing, Farro and Cabbage, Collard Greens with Chipotle Potlikker, Miso-Glazed Catfish with Edamame and Spicy Winter Greens, and the one that's really tempting me - Chicken, Apple, and Cheddar Burgers.

Flipping through this one there's a lot of recipes that are tempting but I'm not sure how many work for my weirdly picky family.  Basil-Peach Chicken Breasts sound amazing but they violate my husband's no fruit in main dishes rule.  As does the amazing sounding Sweet-Tea Brined Turkey Tenderloins with Chile-Peach Glaze.  So after much thinking I settled on this chicken dish to test:

Oven-Fried Chicken-On-A-Stick with Vidalia Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed (1 1/2 pounds)
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 large egg whites
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
freshly ground pepper

In a large bowl, combine the salt, 1 teaspoon of the paprika, 1/2 teaspoon fo the onion powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic powder.  Add the buttermilk and whisk until the salt is completely dissolved and the spices are dispersed in the liquid.

Cut the chicken lengthwise into about 1 inch wide strips.  Add to the marinade and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.  (Do not marinate any longer or the chicken will be too salty.  If you can't cook it right at the 30 minute mark, remove the chicken from the marinade and refrigerate until ready to continue).

In a large shallow dish (a 9x13 baking dish works well), combine the bread crumbs, the remaining 1 teaspoon paprika, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic powder.  Add the 2 tablespoons oil and toss well to coat.  Whisk together the egg whites and mustard in a second large shallow dish.  Season both mixtures with pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, then set an ovenproof rack on it.  Cat the rack with non-stick cooking spray.

Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off any excess and thread onto sixteen 12 inch bamboo skewers, dividing the meat evenly, about 1 strip per skewer.  Dip the chicken into the egg mixture, coating both sides.  Place in the bread crumb mixture one skewer at a time, sprinkle with crumbs to cover and press so the coating adhere to both sides.  Gently shake off any excess crumbs and place the skewers on the prepared rack.

Bake the chicken, turning halfway through, until golden brown and the juices run clear, about 25 minutes.  Serve warm with the dipping sacue.

Vidalia Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Vidalia onion, peeled and quartered
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup canola oil
salt and pepper to taste

Put the vinegar, onion, garlic, honey, and mustard in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade.  Pulse until smooth.  With the motor running, add the oil in a slow steady stream until thick and emulsified.  Tate and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.  Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

I did make a small change in that I didn't use skewers but other than that followed the instructions and it worked out really well.  The chicken was moist and flavorful and I can see quickly becoming a weeknight go to recipe.  I wasn't as in love with the dipping sauce but part of the problem is that Vidalia's aren't in season and I had to substitute a sweet onion instead.

I served this with Buttermilk Potato Gratin also from this book but I made several changes to that for simplicity and time constraints.  Instead of infusing the milk mixture with fresh thyme I missed a little dried into the finished sauce and used regular Cheddar instead of low fat and Gruyere.  It was wonderfully rich and creamy and the heavy cream was definitely not missed.

Verdict?  While this probably isn't a cookbook I will use all the time there are a number of interesting recipes that I'd love to try.  The results of this recipe definitely make it worth the effort!  Also, there's a full length color picture that accompanies every recipe.

*Received from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.

Linking up with Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Linkups: Hyperbole and a Half

It's Friday linkup time!  I'm linking up with the Book Blogger Hop hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer, Book Beginnings of Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, and the Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice.

This Week's Book Blogger Hop Question:
Does the title of the book make or break your decision to read it?

My Answer:
I wouldn't say in makes or breaks my decision to read it but it definitely impacts it.  Generally it's the title I see at the bookstore, or the library and that definitely impacts my decision about whether or not I'll pick it up to even read the blurb.  I have come across a handful of titles - especially in romance - that were so bad I was too embarrassed to buy them!

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh has been on my TBR since someone forwarded me a link to her blog years ago and I read her post on the Christmas story and laughed until I cried.  For some reason I never ended up picking it up until I saw it in the library last weekend.  Since I desperately needed a book to read (heavy, heavy sarcasm).  I haven't actually started reading this but have mostly been opening it and random pages but I fully intend to sit down with this one tonight.

The Beginning: 
"When I was ten years old, I wrote a letter to my future self and buried it in my backyard.  Seventeen years later, I remember that I was supposed to remember to dig it up two years ago."

My thoughts:
There's more text than I was expecting but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  I'm guessing the letter is going to be interesting to say the least!

Page 56 (well 55 because page 56 is just a drawing at her staring longingly at cake)
"My need for sugar would become so massive that it would collapse in upon itself and create a vacuum into which even more sugar would be drawn until all the world had been stripped of sweetness."

My thoughts:
This actually reminds me of Emma when she was little.  The child had a massive sweet tooth.  We once caught her adding sugar to a bowl of frosted flakes because they were sour.  We also caught her eating sugar on several occasions.

So what do you think?  Have you read this one?  Would you keep reading?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - Review

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley Rating: 3.5 Stars
Source: Library (audio)
Description:  Life at Buckshaw for 11 year old Flavia de Luce is very uneventful.  Her days are spent in her chemistry lab, being tormented by her sisters, and figuring out how to get her revenge on said sisters. Until one day a dead bird with a stamp pinned on its bill is found at the door and the next day a body is found in the cucumber patch.  And curious precocious Flavia has no intention of leaving the murder solving to the police.

Genre: Mystery

Why I Picked This Book: I had heard great things about this series and the premise sounded unique enough that I wanted to give it a try.

My Impression:
I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from this mystery.  One of the reasons I've waited so long to try the series is that I wasn't sure how an adult mystery could have a primary detective who was an eleven year old girl.  For the most part it really worked.  Flavia does read like a adolescent though a fairly odd, overly precocious adolescent. I thought her relationship with her sisters was entertaining - especially her war with Ophelia.  As the mystery itself unraveled it revealed quite a lot about the inner workings of Buckshaw and Bishops Lacey.  The pacing of the story was a bit uneven and got slow in parts.  While the beginning was interesting and the last 1/3 sped by there was some dragging in the middle and some excessive detail.  The information on the stamps themselves was interesting and I enjoyed the secondary mystery involving the suicide of the teacher 30 years in the past.  While I guess the who fairly early on I didn't truly guess the why until it was revealed.  While The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie didn't blow me away I did enjoy it - especially the last 1/4.  I'm curious to see how the series and Flavia develop.

Audio Note: Jayne Entwistle does a fantastic job narrating.  Her voice sounds perfect for Flavia without sounding too young for the older characters.  I'm very glad to see that she does the narrating for the rest of the books in the series.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Yes.  While I'm not running out immediately to get the next book I am intrigued to see where the series goes.

Would I Recommend this Book?:  Yes.  I think most mystery readers would enjoy this.

Challenges Met? Library Challenge

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Lowcountry Boneyard - Blog Tour Review

Lowcountry Boneyard (Liz Talbot #3)

Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Blog Tour

Description:  23 year old Kent Heyward disappeared somewhere between her Charleston home and a nearby restaurant.  The police believe she left of her own choosing but Kent's powerful wealthy family and her assorted friends believe differently.Just as Liz starts making progress she gets an unpleasant surprise delivered to her door.  Is finding Kent going to cause Liz to disappear?

Genre: Mystery

Why I Picked This Book: I absolutely love a missing person case and this series sounded interesting.

My Impression: I've read a lot of cozies and have gotten to be fairly picky regarding them.  I like there to be reasons for the main character to be investigating, I like for the main character to act like the age they actually are, I like a fully developed setting, and I like the mystery to be well put together and well-paced.  I'm glad to say that Susan M. Boyer has delivered on all counts.  This was my first meeting with Liz Talbot but I can guarantee it will not be the last!  Liz is smart, quick on her feet, and has a heavy dash of sarcasm.  I also liked the way Liz and Nate's professional and personal relationships unfolded.  They both acted like adults which was refreshing.  They talked about their personal problems but didn't let that interfere with acting like business partners when they needed too.  The mystery of Kent's disappearance was interesting and kept me turning pages far later into the night than was smart.  I really enjoyed Boyer's details about the PI business and it really felt like Liz and Nick were actually PIs instead of it just being a label.

I have mixed feelings about Liz's ghostly friend Colleen and the side plot involving why Liz needs to stay on the island.  While I enjoyed both aspects the story itself is strong enough that these parts didn't seem necessary.  The phrase "gilding the lily" came to mind about them.  Part of the problem could be that since I haven't read the first 2 books I wasn't as connected to the ongoing plots.  That being said, I still found the subplot enjoyable even though I wanted to hurry up and get back to the investigation.  This is a great cozy mystery - great characters, beautiful setting and perfectly paced.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Definitely!  I've already added the first 2 books to my TBR and am looking forward to getting to know Liz better.

Would I Recommend this Book?:  Absolutely!  I think any mystery lover would enjoy this and if you're new to cozies this would be a great place to start.

Challenges Met?  Reading Road Trip (South Carolina)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten All Time Favorite Authors

Today's Top Ten Tuesday topic from The Broke and the Bookish is Top Ten All Time Favorite Authors.  Can I do top 100?  Or top 1000?  After much thinking and crossing out and adding and removing - seriously if this was a piece of paper it'd be ragged by this point - here is my Top Ten Favorites!

1. Agatha Christie - Well of course Agatha had to be on my list.  I started reading her in middle school or maybe early high school and haven't really stopped.  In college I kept a list of what books I had in my purse at all times just in case I happened to stopped by the used book store that I practically lived in at the time.  I still have my hodge podge collection of her books and I love them.  I tended to buy the oldest version of the book the bookstore had because their rule was 1/2 the cover price and the older the book the cheaper the cover!

2. L.M. Montgomery - So confession time - my first interaction with Anne wasn't through the book.  It was through the movie with Megan Follows.  I loved that movie and have watched it so many times that I start to cry as soon as the death scene happens several minutes before it actually happens.  After I watched the movie I decided to pick up the book which I read in one day and talked my mother into buying me the entire set when I stumbled on it in a bookstore the next day.  I spent that weekend reading the series.  And 25 years later I still love them!

3. Patricia Wentworth - About the time I discovered Agatha Christie I discovered Patricia Wentworth and I think I love her just as much.  Maude Silver is a fantastic character who really deserves more recognition.  Her first book - Grey Mask isn't a winner for me but I love any book that has the name Miss Silver in the title as well as The Girl in the Cellar, She Came Back, The Ivory Dagger and countless others.

4. Barbara Michaels - Michaels is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me.  Some one gave my mother a copy of Houses of Stone when I was around 13 and I promptly stole it from her and stayed up most of the night reading it.  From there I read what everything by her that the library had as well as haunted the used bookstores for her books.  House of Many Shadows, Shattered Silk, Vanish with the Rose, and Into the Darkness are guaranteed reading slump busters.

5. Nora Roberts - I don't remember my first Nora book though I'm think it was Tears of the Moon of the Gallaghers of Ardmore series.  That's still one of my favorite trilogies and if you haven't read it you should.  Since then I've read almost every book of hers I could get my hands on and while some are better than others she never disappoints.  Several of her books are on my Keeper Shelf including the Gallagher books, Three Fates and Key of Knowledge (which features a librarian and a writer!)

6. Deborah Crombie - I'm not sure when I started reading Deborah Crombie but her first book A Share in Death was published in 1993 so it probably wasn't much later than that.  I love Gemma and Duncan and have enjoyed watching their professional and personal relationships grow.  I think Crombie has done a fantastic job of having the characters change but still seem like them.

7. Julia Quinn - I think the first one of Quinn's I read was The Duke and I and I was immediately in love.  She's still an auto-buy for me and I have a number of her books on my Keeper Shelf including The Viscount Who Loved Me, The Secret Diary of Miss Miranda Cheever, and It Happened in London.

8.  Rosamunde Pilcher - So if I was making a list of my favorite authors Pilcher probably wouldn't make the list because I don't currently consider her a favorite.  But since we're talking about ALL TIME favorites she definitely belongs on the list.  I discovered The Shell Seekers in high school and read my copy so many times that it literally fell apart.  As did the 2nd copy I bought!

9.  Dave Barry - This is another author that belongs on the list because of the All Time thing.  Dave Barry's columns used to run in our Sunday newspapers and I always looked forward to them.  His column on his son getting hit by a car literally brought tears to my eyes (the boy was fine - he was lucky) but so many times he has made me laugh till I cried.  Dave Barry Does Japan is fantastic as are many of his other collections.

10. Tony Horwitz - I accidentally stumbled upon Baghdad Without A Map years ago and absolutely loved it.  Since then I've read everything he's ever written.  He tackles each project objectively and with a good dash of humor.  The only one of his books that I wasn't completely sold on was Confederates in the Attic but Blue Hemisphere and A Voyage Long and Strange are not to be missed.

Those are my Top Ten All Time Favorites.  Did I get any of yours?  Any authors I simply must try?

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Residence - Blog Tour Review

The Residence

About The Residence

? Print Length: 320 pages ? Publisher: Harper (April 7, 2015)
A remarkable history with elements of both In the President?s Secret Service and The Butler, The Residence offers an intimate account of the service staff of the White House, from the Kennedys to the Obamas. America?s First Families are unknowable in many ways. No one has insight into their true character like the people who serve their meals and make their beds every day. Full of stories and details by turns dramatic, humorous, and heartwarming, The Residence reveals daily life in the White House as it is really lived through the voices of the maids, butlers, cooks, florists, doormen, engineers, and others who tend to the needs of the President and First Family. These dedicated professionals maintain the six-floor mansion?s 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, three elevators, and eight staircases, and prepare everything from hors d?oeuvres for intimate gatherings to meals served at elaborate state dinners. Over the course of the day, they gather in the lower level?s basement kitchen to share stories, trade secrets, forge lifelong friendships, and sometimes even fall in love. Combining incredible first-person anecdotes from extensive interviews with scores of White House staff members?many speaking for the first time?with archival research, Kate Andersen Brower tells their story. She reveals the intimacy between the First Family and the people who serve them, as well as tension that has shaken the staff over the decades. From the housekeeper and engineer who fell in love while serving President Reagan to Jackie Kennedy?s private moment of grief with a beloved staffer after her husband?s assassination to the tumultuous days surrounding President Nixon?s resignation and President Clinton?s impeachment battle, The Residence is full of surprising and moving details that illuminate day-to-day life at the White House.
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My Review:

The Residence is without a doubt one of my favorite reads of the year so far and I suspect it will be on my top ten best in December.  This reads like a can't put down, stay up too late turning pages to see what happens next work of fiction.  We start out with White House Doorman Preston Bruce hearing that John F. Kennedy has been shot in Dallas and his subsequent sprint to get to the White House so he could be there when Jackie arrived and the pace doesn't let up.  This reads like a mix of gossip column and history lesson and every page is brimming with fascinating tidbits about everyone from the Kennedys to the Obamas.  I have literally not shut up about this book since I started reading this with every sentence beginning "did you know..." And there is so much to know.  There are bits of good and bad about almost everyone and through it all runs a strong thread of humanity that at times brought tears to my eyes.  If it wasn't making me cry it was making me laugh or making me think.  The people who run the White House are truly an amazing an impressive group and this is definitely a book worth reading!  

About Kate Andersen BrowerKate Anderson Brower

Kate Andersen Brower spent four years covering the Obama White House for Bloomberg News and is a former CBS News staffer and Fox News producer. She lives outside Washington, D.C., with her husband and their two young children. Follow Kate on Twitter, @katebrower.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

This Week in Reading - April 19

It's Sunday Post time!  This is hosted by the awesome Caffeinated Book Reviewer and gives us all a chance to recap our week.

What I Got:

The Other Daughter by Lauren Willig - This one sounds really intriguing.  It's set in England in the 1920s and the main character's dear departed father isn't quite so departed. (NetGalley)

A Match Made on Main Street by Olivia Miles - I love a 2nd chance romance and one involving food is just too much for me to pass up! (NetGalley)

Death of a Mad Hatter by Jenn McKinlay - McKinlay is one of my favorite cozy authors and I have (but haven't read) the first in the series.  I love the title on this one!  (Paperbackswap)

That's Not English by Erin Moore - I won this in a giveaway hosted by the awesome Trish over at Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity.  (Giveaway)


Reading:  Lowcountry Boneyard by Susan M. Boyer, Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (still!)

Listening:  I just finished the first Flavia de Luce on Friday and will probably re-download the David Sedaris I was listening to on Monday.  I'm on the waiting list for The Girl on the Train but it will be awhile!

Watching: I haven't actually watched it yet but I recorded A Bone to Pick: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery a few days ago and I'm really excited.  It's a Hallmark movie so I'm not expecting stunning quality but this the Aurora Teagarden series was my favorite of Charlaine Harris' books.  As well I'm watching my usual shows and I'm kind of ridiculously excited that Deadliest Catch is back on.  

Off the Blog:

Despite having the best intentions I still haven't gotten my garden in the ground.  I'm hoping to go on a bit of a plant buying spree today if the rain holds off.  I'm planning on trying lettuce this year which I'm kind of excited about.  Also, I can't wait for garden fresh tomatoes!  They're so much better than the grocery store version!

I have realized that school is going to be out in just over a month.  The older ones are pretty low maintenance but I'm trying to get some ideas for the Tornado.  He definitely needs some scheduled activities but finding that balance can be challenging.  I did find these:

which I think will be great.  They have a bunch of different ones and he's had a good time doing "excavations" before.  There's an added bonus that he's obsessed with dionosaurs.

I discovered this recipe for Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork Sliders from Your Home Based Mom buried deep on my Sandwiches, Burgers, Pizza, and Tacos Board and they are freakishly good.  I could seriously just drink the sauce.  It makes a pretty good bit but it is easily re-heatable.  I made if for dinner the other night and have been eating the leftovers for lunch since then.  So good!

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday: The Residence - Blog Tour Review (and one of my favorite books of the year)
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten All Time Favorite Authors
Wednesday: Lowcountry Boneyard - Cozy Mystery Blog Tour Review
Thursday: TBD
Friday: Linkups featuring current book
Saturday: Lighten Up Ya'll - Cookbook Review

Have a great week and happy reading!

Food52 Genius Recipes - Cookbook Review

Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook by Kristin Miglore, Amanda Hesser, and Merrill Stubbs

Food52 Genius Recipes seeks to be more than just another cookbook but a book of recipes from culinary giants that will change the way we cook.  There are recipes from Nigella Lawson, Julia Child, Marcella Hazan, James Beard and a whole host of other famous names.

I have mixed feelings about this one.  On one hand I loved the format.  For each recipe there's a detailed explanation for why the recipe is deemed genius and a little information about the chef and what was going on in the culinary world when the recipe was developed.   There are a number of recipes that I'm interested in trying including - Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion, Nigella Lawson's Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake, Marie-Helene's Apple Cake from Dorie Greenspan and several others .  I gave Penelope Casas' Garlic Green Bean recipe a try a few nights ago and it was kind of life changing.  Instead of the very regimented method of cooking green beans that I have used in the past this was a little more hands off with a good 10 minutes cooking covered on the stove with only the occasional stirring.  The result?  Pretty amazing.  They didn't have the almost waxy squeak that green beans can have nor were they cooked to mush.  They were soft but still had texture and the flavor was green beans and garlic but nicely mellowed to an almost caramelized flavor.  This will most definitely be my new way to cook green beans since the results are tastier and the method is easier!

 On the other hand, this doesn't feel like a cookbook I would use regularly.  While there is are 100 recipes I wouldn't deem most of them particularly family friendly or conducive to weeknight cooking. I do think this would be an invaluable book to vegetarians who like to cook and want some new recipes as the vegetarian options seemed to outweigh the other categories.

Verdict?  Interesting cookbook with some intriguing recipes but probably not a must buy for me.

I'm linking up with Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Linkups: Heroes are My Weakness

It's Friday linkup time!  I'm linking up with the Book Blogger Hop hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer, Book Beginnings of Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, and the Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice.

This Week's Book Blogger Hop Question:
Ending a book I loved is sad and beginning a new one is apprehensive for me.  What about you?

My Answer:
Yes and no.  I don't really mind ending a book I loved but I'm always a littler nervous starting a new book in a series or by an author I really love.  I'm always a bit afraid that the latest book just won't live up to my expectations.  I have found that I generally need a few days to a week before starting a new audio book after I finish the one I was listening to. I'm not quite sure why it takes so much longer to reset between audios than it does with books but it definitely seems to be the case.

This week's book is Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.  I've really enjoy Phillips' books though I haven't read them all.  I figured I would get to this one eventually but last week at the library I picked this up and read the blurb which happened to contain magic phrases like "He's a reclusive writer" and "the mysterious mansion that hovers above the cottage" and next thing I know the book is jumping into my library bag before I could stop it.

The Beginning:
"Annie didn't usually talk to her suitcase, but she wasn't exactly herself these days."

My thoughts:
I think Annie and I are going to get along just fine.  I have a habit of talking to myself or to inanimate objects when on my own though I can't remember talking to a suitcase unless I can't find it or I manage to stub my toe on it.

The 56: 
"She had every reason to tell Jaycie she couldn't do this anymore.  Every reason except an absolute certainty that she couldn't live with herself if she let her fear of Theo Harp force her into abandoning the girl who'd once saved her life."

My thoughts: 
I'm not quite to this point here so I have no real idea why Theo is so scary though he does seem seriously strange.  I also don't know what Jaycie did to save Annie's life but I'm seriously curious.

So what do you think?  Keep reading?  To books sometimes sneak into your library bag or shopping cart or what have you?  Or is that just me?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Eight Cousins - Review

Rating: 4 Stars
Source: Library

Description: Rose Campbell is the only girl in a family full of boys.  Recently orphaned she arrives at "Aunt Hill" to wait for her new guardian, the mysterious Uncle Alec who she has never met.  When he arrives, he turns her whole life on it's head by insisting that she run about and even play with those horrid boys.  But Rose quickly discovers boys aren't quite so bad.  Friendships develop, adventures occur and much fun is had by all.

Genre: Children's/YA

Why I Picked This Book: This one of my absolute favorite books as a child so I was curious to reread it as an adult.

My Impression: I don't remember where or when I got my copy of Eight Cousins though I remember what it looked like.  It was a regular paperback size though the paper was really thin for some reason and the binding only held up for the first 100 reads or so.  And read it I did!  While I had never really connected with Little Women (the whole Laurie/Amy/Jo thing never sat well with me but that's another review) I instantly was caught up in Rose's adventures.  I loved the idea of the old houses full of nooks and crannies and brimming with treasures brought home by generations of sea captains.  Rose with golden curls and leanings towards vanity and impatience was a girl who was easy to like and how could I not enjoy the mischief caused by the hoard of cousins.
When I was thinking of books for my Classics Club list Eight Cousins came up as one I really wanted to reread especially since I had reread and very much enjoyed The Secret Garden, another childhood favorite, a few months before.
I'm not sure Eight Cousins holds up quite as well as The Secret Garden.  As is typical for the time the story is incredibly virtuous.  In this case it's a bit on the side of tooth-achingly wholesome and the "Clan" is a little on the overly perfect side.  There's not a huge amount of character development though I did love what there was.  Seeing Rose come out of her shell and watching her friendship with Phebe was really lovely and I liked seeing her interact with the boys - especially with Mac.  The imagery of the warehouses and the trunks full of treasures is wonderful and I would dearly love to see a fireworks show like the one described early in the book.
While I didn't enjoy this as much in adulthood as I did as a child I can see what drew me to the book.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: I will.  I want to reread it's sequel Rose in Bloom as I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as a child but I think I would like it better now.  I'm also looking forward to rereading Little Women.

Would I Recommend this Book?:  I'm not sure anyone who didn't already have a connection to this one would be blown away.

Challenges Met? The Reading Assignment Challenge (April), Library Challenge

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Gummi Bears Should Not Be Organic - Review

Gummi Bears Should Not Be Organic: And Other Opinions I Can't Back Up With Facts by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor

Rating: 3.5 Stars
Source: NetGalley

Description:  Really the title says it all here!  This is Stefanie Wilder-Taylor's take on all the trends, studies and opinions that surround parenting today.

Genre: Nonfiction

Why I Picked This Book: I've really enjoyed her previous books and the title made me giggle.

My Impression:  Having teenagers and a preschooler there's not many sections of parenting that I haven't been involved in.  Well except maybe dance because as a family we're not particularly graceful but I had friends in dance so I heard their stories.  We did our share plus more of sports and other organized activities and I've spent plenty of time on PTA boards, as chair of something or other for various schools and sitting in parks listening to mothers like the ones Stefanie rants about. Needless to say I could relate to a lot of these stories!  She explains the struggle to find a balance between protecting your kids and letting them make their own mistakes and learn how to do things on their own very well and with a good dash of humor.  There are also some pretty funny chapters on yoga pants, "gifted" kids, parks and other places she hates, and making friends.  While she's definitely on the snarky side I do love that it feels like she genuinely loves her kids and enjoys spending time with them.  I always get a little squeamish when humor comes across as mean - especially involving children.

There are a few flaws. At times it the writing feels a little forced and there's a feeling of repetitiveness throughout some of the chapters.  Since this is such a quick read that didn't keep me from enjoying this book especially since that's a fairly common issue I have with most humor books.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?:  While this wasn't my favorite book of hers I did enjoy it and I really liked her previous books so I'll definitely be on the lookout for more of hers.  Plus I already have her previous book, I'm Kind of a Big Deal, sitting on my shelf.

Would I Recommend this Book?:  I'd definitely recommend this author especially to parents of younger kids though I'd probably recommend Sippy Cups are Not for Chardonnay or It's Not Me, It's You over this one.

Challenges Met?  Alphabet Soup (G)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Inspiring Book Quotes

Today's Top Tuesday topic hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is Top Ten Inspiring Book Quotes.  Of all the topics I've come across in the time I've been doing this meme this is by far the most challenging.  I'm not a huge quote person when I'm reading and tend to not remember actual lines from the book.  So after some thinking and pulling out favorite books this is what I came up with:

1.  "Good for her, not for me" Yes Please by Amy Poehler - I love this quote!  I love the way of thinking that while something is good for one person doesn't mean it will work for someone else and that's okay!

2.  "The impossible could not have happened therefore the impossible but be possible in spite appearances." Hercule Poirot from Murrder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie - In one sentence this sums up the beauty of Agatha's books!

3.  "Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to believe.  It's splendid to think there are so many of them in the world" Anne from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

4. "Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it" Sara Stanley in The Story Girl by L.M. Montgomery - this is one of my favorite Montgomery books and one of my absolute favorite quotes.

5. "My name is Inigo Montoya.  You killed my father.  Prepare to Die" Princess Bride by William Goldman - okay so I'm really getting this from the movie but I can't think of anything I've ever quoted more!

6.  "My imagination will get me a passport to hell one day" East of Eden by John Steinbeck - Yep - so true.

7. "Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents." Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.  I've said this for various reason for years and really didn't actually know this came from Little Women!

8.  "There are few people who I love and still fewer of whom I think well." Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

9.  "Some things in life you can't control. You can make it a party or a tragedy." Vision in White by Nora Roberts

10.  "I can think of no greater bliss than to lie about, reading novels all day." Ten Things I Love About You by Julia Quinn - Neither can I, neither can I!

What are your favorite quotes?  Do you look for quotes while reading?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Slayed on the Slopes - Blog Tour Review, Giveaway + Excerpt

Welcome to my tour stop for Slayed on the Slopes by Kate Dyer-Seeley! This is the second book in the Pacific Northwest Mystery series. Slayed on the Slopes released March 31st by Kensington Publishing. The tour runs April 6- 17 with reviews, interviews, guest posts and excerpts. Check out the tour page for more information. 

About the Book:
After talking her way into a job writing for Portland’s Northwest Extreme magazine, Meg Reed may now really be in over her head. Actually, about 8,000 feet over her head. . .

She’s at Mount Hood’s remote Silcox Hut, covering the seriously hardcore Ridge Rangers—Oregon’s elite high-altitude rescue team–during their four-day winter training. Sure, Meg beefed up her outdoor skills over the summer . . . but she’s still hoping to cover the event with some hot chocolate by the cheery fireplace. Then, during a sudden blizzard, she swears she hears gunshots. No one stranded in the hut believes her . . . until self-absorbed Ridge Ranger Ben Rogers is found outside in a pool of frozen blood. Meg’s now got to find this killer quickly . . . before cabin fever does them all in!

Praise For Scene Of The Climb

“A splendid overview of the greater Portland and Columbia River Gorge region, perfect for travel buffs. Her protagonist shows promise with her determined attitude and moxie.” –Library Journal

Includes Adventure Guides!

My Review:

I read the first book in the series (My Scene of the Climb Review) back in August so I was excited to see what trouble Meg had gotten up to in the 2nd book.  I wasn't disappointed!  Meg is a little bit older and a little wiser but she is still not an experienced outdoors man.  This time she's at a ski resort staying with a group of elite skiers who are trying to start a business to help even novice skiers reach the summit.  Of course things are not going smoothly as there's lots of inside fighting and competing agendas and everyone seems to have more than their share of secrets.  One of my complaints in the first book was that Meg didn't do any actual reporter so I was pleased to see her taking notes and talking about how she went about turning an idea into a story.  I also like that her job as a journalist allows her to poke around an investigation.  The mystery kept me reading and I was kept guessing about the motive and the killer until the end.  I also picked up a lot about skiing and snowboarding which was fun.  While I don't plan on going skiing anytime soon if I ever do I will not be going up on a mountain without an avalanche pack!  

Meg is a little more angsty than I generally prefer and there was some clutter with issues in Meg's personal life, her friend Jill's personal life, her grandmother's Reiki massages, as well as the murder and all the inside drama.  Also, while this does work as a stand alone I think it's much more enjoyable if you've read the first in the series.

Despite the few flaws I really enjoyed this book.  I won't be heading to any ski resorts soon but it was definitely fun to visit one from the hammock in my back yard!  I'm looking forward to the 3rd book and seeing what Meg's up to next.

Don't miss out on the first book, Scene of the Climb, available now!

About the Author:

Kate Dyer-Seeley writes the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series for Kensington Publishing. The first
book in the series, Scene of the Climb, features the rugged landscapes of the Columbia River Gorge and a young journalist who bills herself as an intrepid adventurer in order to land a gig writing for Northwest Extreme.

Her work has appeared in a variety of regional and international publications including: The Columbian, The Vancouver Voice, Seattle Backpacker, Portland Family Magazine, and Climbing Magazine.

Kate lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three.
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Winter warmer package- signed copy of Slayed on the Slopes, Signed copy of Scene of the Climb, Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate Mix, Oregon Chai Tea, 1 Pound of Coffee and Collectable Mt. Hood art coaster (US)
Ends April 27, 2015

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This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.


Chapter One
Silcox Hut Timberline, Oregon
Elevation 7,000 feet
You’re an idiot, Meg.
Yep, that’s pretty much the first thing that came to mind as I frantically scanned the frozen sky.
Why don’t I trust my intuition? If I ever bothered to stop and to listen to Gam’s oh-so-wise advice I’d never get myself into these situations. But what do I do? Forge ahead, ignoring that nagging voice in my head.
What I couldn’t ignore now, was the howl of the wind and the pounding in my forehead.
At 7,000 feet above sea level where the air begins to thin, I couldn’t seem to fill my chest. My breath came in shallow, wheezing spurts and felt as thick as the snow beneath my feet. My head throbbed from the lack of oxygen, and my fingers burned with cold. Seventeen inches of new snow had fallen since the blizzard hit yesterday, and it didn’t look like Mother Nature intended to let up anytime soon.
For some strange reason I thought I could hear the faint sounds of Frank Sinatra’s crooning voice. The lyrics “Kiss the good life goodbye” hummed on the wind. Message received. If I didn’t find my way back to the Silcox Hut—fast—I’d be kissing my life goodbye. I couldn’t be hearing music up at this elevation, could I? Was I losing it? How long does hypothermia take to set in?
Pausing in the knee-deep snow, I searched the sky for any clue that might lead me in the direction of the Silcox Hut and safety. Nothing but blinding white greeted me. I couldn’t tell how much snow was actually falling and how much was being hurled back up into the air by the deafening wind.
Yet there it was again. The swell of big band music teased my ears.
Guide me back, Frank, I said as I used all the energy I could muster to free my tingling feet from the snow and trudge toward the sound of the music.
Thank God I’d worn my fur-lined Keen snow boots because even with two pair of thick wool socks I was losing feeling in my toes. My fingers were another story. The super cute cashmere fingerless gloves seemed like an excellent fashion statement a couple days ago, but in terms of function, not so much.
I kicked my foot free from the powder and took a step forward. It was getting hard to stay upright. Icy flakes pelted my face. I sunk deeper in the snow.
At this rate you’re going to end up a popsicle, Meg, I said just as I heard a bang.
At first I thought it must be a drum—the bang of the big band reaching its crescendo. A moment later I realized I was horribly mistaken.
Lurching forward through the heavy snow, I heard another bang. This time there was no mistaking the sound—it had to be a gunshot.