Nancy's Notes From Florida

Author Nancy J. Cohen discusses the writing process and life as a Florida resident.

Archive for September, 2015

New Website Launch

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on September 29, 2015

My new website has launched! Come and take a look:

Header Website

I love the colors, artistry, and layout. It’s SO much better than what I had before. Thanks to Dee Tenorio for her amazing talent and design. I highly recommend her services at Laideebug Digital.

So what do you think? I’ve needed this upgrade for a while, so I am excited to have finally done it. Now you can view my books based on series or genre. It’s so much easier to navigate.

Between my book launch for Peril by Ponytail and getting the website up to speed, I haven’t had much time for blogging. And I’m leaving soon for the New Smyrna Beach Book Festival and Bouchercon, so I’ll be gone for the next few weeks. This means I’ll have lots to talk about when I get home, but you’ll have to wait a bit to hear it. In the meantime, you can follow my tweets and posts on Facebook for when I’m able to go online. This hiatus might last until November unless I can squeeze in a post before my next events in Bradenton, FL. For details on these events, Click Here.

So enjoy the beginning of the Fall season, and I’ll talk to you soon. Thanks for your support!

Nancy

Contest Alert–One More Day!

Enter Now to win a Collectible Handcrafted Porcelain Drummer Doll or one of two runner-up prizes – a pair Arizona crafted earrings and a signed paperback Hanging by a Hair. I bought the doll while in Arizona doing research for Peril by Ponytail. U.S. Residents only please.

 

Posted in Business of Writing, Marketing | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments »

Portobello Mushroom Appetizer

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on September 26, 2015

PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM APPETIZER

Ingredients

4 Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and stemmed
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
4 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
Fresh chopped basil
1 large ripe tomato, sliced

Instructions

Scrape gills out of underside of mushrooms. Place mushrooms top side down on greased baking sheet. In each mushroom hollow, sprinkle some balsamic vinegar.

Portobello3

Top with tomato slice, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and a few sprinkles of olive oil.

Portobello1 (800x600)Portobello5

Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. Serves 4.

Portobello4 Portobello2 (800x600)

This dish can be served as an appetizer, as a vegetarian entrée along with a salad, or as a side dish. It stores well refrigerated overnight and reheated in the microwave.

Contest Alert!

Enter now at http://freshfiction.com/contest.php?id=7600 to win a Collectible Handcrafted Porcelain Drummer Doll or one of two runner-up prizes – a pair Arizona crafted earrings and a signed paperback Hanging by a Hair. U.S. Residents only please.

 

Posted in Food, Recipes | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

New Smyrna Beach Book Festival

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on September 24, 2015

Hi, I have a number of upcoming events where I’d love to meet you in person. Coming up is October 3, Saturday, 10:00 am, New Smyrna Beach Book Festival, Coronado Civic Center, 223 Flagler Ave, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169. At 10:00 am, I’m on a panel with several other authors. Then at 4:00 pm, I’m speaking about Peril by Ponytail with time for reader Q&A. If you’re in the area, I hope you can attend! For more in-person events, click my Appearances tab above.

NSB Poster

Contest Alert!

Enter Now to win a Collectible Handcrafted Porcelain Drummer Doll or one of two runner-up prizes – a pair Arizona crafted earrings and a signed paperback Hanging by a Hair. I bought the doll while in Arizona doing research for Peril by Ponytail. U.S. Residents only please.

Posted in Appearances, Business of Writing, Conferences, Contest, The Writing Life | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Author Interview: Nancy J. Cohen, author of Peril by Ponytail

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on September 20, 2015

I’m interviewed over at Frankie Bow’s site for the last stop on my blog tour.

Posted in Author Interviews, Marketing | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Peril by Ponytail New Book Release

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on September 16, 2015

Peril by Ponytail (#12 in the Bad Hair Day mystery series) is available! Join me TONIGHT for a book release party, 7:00 pm EDT, https://www.facebook.com/NewReleaseParty

PerilbyPonytail

Hoping for a romantic honeymoon at an Arizona dude ranch, hairstylist Marla Vail and her husband Dalton arrive to find a series of mishaps plaguing the resort. A nearby ghost town is suffering similar problems. Is it mere coincidence that Dalton’s Uncle Raymond owns both properties? When Raymond asks for their help in finding the culprit, Marla and Dalton eagerly accept. Then news of a local forest ranger’s death raises the stakes.

With sleuthing more natural to Marla than horseback riding, she delves into the investigation. But as she digs deeper, she discovers skeletons in the family closet. Someone means to drive Raymond out of business, and the reason may be linked to his past misdeeds. Raymond isn’t the only one with secrets. The trail leads Marla from an environmental activist group to saguaro poachers to water rights proponents to an abandoned copper mine beneath the ghost town. She’d better saddle up, rein in the clues, and find the killer before she becomes the next spirit inhabiting the haunted hillside.

“Cozy fans will have fun.” —Publishers Weekly

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/T2Vao7yDIVY

View my Arizona photo album (and Like my page while there): https://www.facebook.com/NancyJCohenAuthor

Excerpt from Peril by Ponytail:

The door banged open, and a wrangler stuck his head inside. “Have any of you seen Carol?”

Doc Harrigan shook his head. “No, why?”

“She went for her usual ride this morning. Her horse has returned with a limp. She wasn’t on it.”

“Dear God. Has Wayne been informed?”

“He’s gathering a search party as we speak. Do you want to join the posse, Doc? Carol might be hurt if the horse tossed her.”

“I should tend to the beast, but maybe I can be of some use.” Dr. Harrigan jerked his thumb at Marla and Dalton. “You guys wanna come along?”

“I’ll join you.” Dalton stood, and Marla followed suit. “Can you get a horse ready for me?” he asked the wrangler.

“Yes, sir. Won’t take me but a minute. Meet me in the corral out back.”

“I can’t go,” Marla said in a disappointed tone. “I’d slow everyone down. I’ll wait for news in the main lobby.”

Wayne might return to his office eventually, or at least he’d notify one of the other managers when they’d found Carol. Her heart thumped as conjecture flashed ugly images in her mind of possible scenarios. Carol was a seasoned rider who wouldn’t fall from her saddle without reason

Outside, the men rode off in a cloud of dust toward the trail Carol normally took each morning. Their group got smaller and turned into specks against the mountainside. Marla recalled a time in the recent past when she’d been warned to vary her morning routine by a killer who’d taken advantage of her habits. With a possible saboteur on the ranch, Marla should have given Carol the same advice.

ORDER NOW
Buy the Kindle Edition
Buy the Hardcover
Order a signed copy at Murder on the Beach

Contest Alert!

Enter now at http://freshfiction.com/contest.php?id=7600 to win a Collectible Handcrafted Porcelain Drummer Doll or one of two runner-up prizes – a pair Arizona crafted earrings and a signed paperback Hanging by a Hair. I bought the doll while in Arizona doing research for Peril by Ponytail. U.S. Residents only please.

Enter Sept. 4-18 to win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklover’s Bench.  Check out our other features, including a weekly Let’s Talk discussion with our authors.

<><><>

My Blog Tour Continues. Check out my guest posts today at:

Sept. 16 – “Hunting Ghosts,” Mystery Playground

Sept. 16,  “On-Site Research Tips”, Southern Writers Magazine, Suite T

Posted in Excerpt, New Release | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Blog Tour with Nancy J. Cohen

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on September 14, 2015

Today begins my Blog Tour to celebrate the release of Peril by Ponytail, #12 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries. Join us at each stop, leave a comment, and enter to win my giveaways. Share with your friends!

Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway

Blog Tour2

Giveaway
: signed copies hardcover Died Blonde and Dead Roots plus a $10 Starbucks gift card

September 14, Author Interview, A Blue Million Books
September 15, Book Review, Book Splurge
September 16, Book Review, Laura’s Interests
September 16, “Hunting Ghosts,” Mystery Playground
September 16, “On-Site Research Tips”, Southern Writers Magazine Suite T
September 17, ‘Top Five Desert Honeymoon Survival Kit,” Romancing the Book
Giveaway: One lucky commenter will win signed a paperback copy of Hanging by a Hair
September 17, Book Review, Socrates’ Book Reviews
September 18, “Dude Ranch Adventure,” 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too!
September 18, Spotlight at Love Romance Novels, The Pop Culture Divas, and The Revolving Book
September 19, Book Review, Readalot
September 19, “A Day in the Life”, Dru Ann’s Book Musings
Giveaway: One lucky commenter will win a copy of Shear Murder
September 20, Book Review, Book Babble
September 20, Author Interview, Frankie Bow

<><><>

Contest Alert!

Enter now at http://freshfiction.com/contest.php?id=7600 to win a Collectible Handcrafted Porcelain Drummer Doll or one of two runner-up prizes – a pair Arizona crafted earrings and a signed paperback Hanging by a Hair. I bought the doll while in Arizona doing research for Peril by Ponytail. U.S. Residents only please.

Enter Sept. 4-18 to win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklover’s Bench.  Check out our other features, including a weekly Let’s Talk discussion with our authors.

<><><>

Newsletter Sign-Up

I’ll be sending out a newsletter on Wednesday. Sign up now! Book news, giveaways, recipe: http://nancyjcohen.com/contact-nancy/newsletter/

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Contest, New Release, The Writing Life | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dining Out Orlando

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on September 11, 2015

September is Magical Dining Month in Orlando. You can visit myriad fancy restaurants for a fixed-price three course meal at $33.00 per person. It’s a fun way to try new places that might normally be too expensive.

Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse

This two-story restaurant on International Drive has been open for a few weeks. The décor is contemporary, with most patrons seated in a cavernous room overlooking the parking lot. A few separate sections are available for private dining. Wine bottles in wall-sized racks add to the décor. An open kitchen is behind a barrier so you can’t see much. The atmosphere is lively but it lacks the cozy intimacy of other steakhouses.

We requested the Magical Dining Month menu. The Caesar salad was tangy and came in a generous portion. The loaf of bread served with butter was soft but unremarkable. The filet mignon at 8 oz was melt-in-your-mouth tender with a good flavor. This was the best part of the meal. The mashed potatoes and thin green beans—not so good. We ordered sautéed mushrooms on the side. These appeared to be Portobello mushrooms with pearl onions. As we’re not fans of green beans, we also got a side order of asparagus with sliced almonds. My companions liked the warm banana bread pudding with whipped cream for dessert. I had the chocolate mousse that came in a chocolate cup with raspberry sauce. The mousse itself was like a light pudding. It didn’t have the froth or airiness of similar dishes I’ve had elsewhere. Out of my entire meal, I’d say the beef was worth the ticket but the rest was fair.

P1040885  P1040883

P1040884 P1040887

Service was attentive. Our water glasses were always refilled. However, we waited a long time for the check. When it arrived, we’d been charged full price for one of the meals plus a separate charge for a salad, rather than the fixed price meal. This would have come to $39.50 for the filet plus $9.50 for the salad, or $49 instead of $33. This error didn’t please us, nor did the food enough to pay that much at normal pricing. Would we return? It’s doubtful. My favorite steakhouse is still The Capital Grille, or for a less expensive meal, the Outback.

Hemingway’s at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

I liked the casual but upscale ambiance with an open kitchen, ceiling fans, floor to ceiling windows overlooking lushly landscaped grounds, wood tables, and potted plants. We had to ask for the Magical Dining Month menu. I ordered the Key Wester salad with greens, avocado, bacon, fresh red bell pepper and blue cheese dressing. Crusty puffs of bread like popovers were served with butter.

IMG_1681IMG_1682

The butterflied shrimp scampi was very tasty, served with some kind of pasta roll and fried green tomatoes. Crab cakes were another choice. The Key lime tart for dessert was lip-smacking good.

IMG_1683IMG_1684

IMG_1685 IMG_1689

Despite the delicious meal and the pleasant ambiance, service was poor. Our waiter ran between several tables and rarely stopped by. Another server refilled our water glasses, and she was efficient. We had an unusually long wait for the check. Then as we were waiting out front of the main hotel lobby for the valet (your ticket is validated at the restaurant), our waiter ran out to meet us because he had failed to scan our credit card, believing us to be hotel guests. He took our card and walked all the way back to the restaurant—down a long hotel corridor and outside along a boardwalk to a separate building. After fifteen minutes when he didn’t return, my husband had to retrace our steps to the restaurant to retrieve his credit card. This soured our entire experience. So this place has good food and a nice ambiance but the service needs improvement. Would we return? The normal food prices are reasonable and I enjoyed the meal, but after the credit card shuffle, my husband put this restaurant on the no return list. And note the expensive bottle of wine he ordered, we found online later at Total Wine for about twenty bucks.

<><><>

Contest Alert!

Enter now at http://freshfiction.com/contest.php?id=7600 to win a Collectible Handcrafted Porcelain Drummer Doll or one of two runner-up prizes – a pair Arizona crafted earrings and a signed paperback Hanging by a Hair. I bought the doll while in Arizona doing research for Peril by Ponytail. U.S. Residents only please.

Enter Sept. 4-18 to win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklover’s Bench.  Check out our other features, including a weekly Let’s Talk discussion with our authors.

<><><>

Newsletter Sign-Up

I’ll be sending out a newsletter next week. Sign up now! Book news, giveaways, recipe: http://nancyjcohen.com/contact-nancy/newsletter/

Posted in Florida Musings, Food, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Day at Disney

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on September 10, 2015

Orlando in the summer can be brutally hot. Early in the morning one day last weekend, we took a walk around the lake at our condo in Windermere, Florida. We saw the resident gator poking his head out, a variety of ducks and birds, and a spider web outlined in the sunshine. It’s a tranquil setting, and the sky was bright with promise for a sunny day.

IMG_1678

Before noon, we headed over to the Magic Kingdom. We had lunch in Tomorrowland opposite the race car ride. We’d gotten smart and parked at Epcot, which is the closest theme park to our condo. The monorail ride from there took us to the Transportation Center, where we changed trains for the Magic Kingdom.

Our first stop after lunch was Carousel of Progress. Seated in comfortable theater seats, we listened to the cheerful refrains of the familiar song while viewing the progress of past eras through dioramas with audio-animatronic figures. It’s a good place to escape the heat. Then we hopped on the People Mover that had more folks in line than usual. This zipped around Tomorrowland, and I got some good shots of various attractions. It made me want to see the recent film “Tomorrowland” again.

IMG_1680P1040877

P1040880P1040881

By the time we hit Fantasyland, we were sweaty and hot, so we dipped into Mickey’s PhilharMagic® for a 3-D theater experience highlighting favorite Disney tunes. Other rides had at least a 20 minute wait, so we strolled along for our walking exercise. The Jungle Cruise has reopened, but we’ll visit it another time when it’s less crowded. Pirates of the Caribbean was closed while they “swab the decks” according to a sign. Autumn decorations with pumpkins were evident throughout the park. The crowds and heat got to us, so we left. That’s the advantage of being a local resident. We can go for lunch and a brisk walk and then depart. I made over ten thousand steps by virtue of my Fitbit One and was glad for a rest.

What’s your favorite ride in the Magic Kingdom?

<><><>

Contest Alert!

Enter now at http://freshfiction.com/contest.php?id=7600 to win a Collectible Handcrafted Porcelain Drummer Doll or one of two runner-up prizes – a pair Arizona crafted earrings and a signed paperback Hanging by a Hair. I bought the doll while in Arizona doing research for Peril by Ponytail. U.S. Residents only please.

Enter Sept. 4-18 to win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklover’s Bench.  Check out our other features, including a weekly Let’s Talk discussion with our authors.

<><><>

Newsletter Sign-Up

I’ll be sending out a newsletter next week. Sign up now! Book news, giveaways, recipe: http://nancyjcohen.com/contact-nancy/newsletter/

 

Posted in Disney, Florida Musings, Travel | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Getting a New Computer

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on September 8, 2015

Are you struck with terror at the thought of getting a new computer along with upgrading your operating system? If you’re like me, you’ll put off this transition and expense as long as possible. When you start getting the blue screen of doom, however, it’s no longer avoidable. You have to upgrade or risk losing your files along with functionality.

My computer guru tried to fix the errors popping up. When he said the system was too screwed up to repair, my heart sank. I knew what that meant. Even though he’d given me a new hard drive two years ago when the original failed, this Dell desktop was five years old. Time for a new model.

I hate changing computers as much as I hate getting my teeth drilled. It’s a painful process. Yet over the years, I’ve developed a methodology. I’ll share it with you in case this information is useful to others.

woman computer

Back Up Your Material

You can never have enough backups. Use online backup services, thumb drives, external drives, or whatever other means you have at your disposal. Put one of your backup drives in another location or carry it around in your purse in case your house burns down while you are out. Plan for disaster by keeping multiple copies of your files in different locations. Print out your passwords as well so you have a guide handy when you go to sign into your sites anew.

Back up your data files, your music, your photos, and your videos. Don’t forget to back up your email inbox and contacts, and your browser favorites/bookmarks. Unless you have a mirror image service, you can’t back up your programs. These you’ll have to reinstall one-by-one.

Prepare Your Programs

Make note of which programs you use and write them down on a list. See if you have a disk and a key code, or if they’re downloadable from the Internet. Gather your original disks in one place. Also make sure you have your Internet connection info handy, like your modem and router settings and wireless password. Things will go faster if you don’t have to hunt for this information.

Hire a Geek

If you can’t do it yourself, hire a pro who can copy the data off your machine and transfer it to the new one. Do not disconnect your old computer until he has copied the material he needs.

Write Down the New Specs

Note all the specs of your new machine, including model and serial number, as listed on the box. Write these down on a piece of paper. You’ll need them when registering the new device.

Name Your Computer

Make note of the name of your old computer. You might want to name the new one the same thing for networking purposes if you have a home network.

Disconnect Dropbox

If you use Dropbox, the day of installation, sign into your account online and disconnect your old machine from the program. This is to ensure that Dropbox doesn’t read your suddenly missing files as deleted.

Here’s a tip. Periodically, I’ll “send” my dropbox files to my hard drive for a duplicate backup. Carbonite will then back up these files. That’s probably why I have so many copies of the same folders on my new machine. Better many than none. I’ll clean them up when I have time.

Reinstall Your Programs

Once your new machine is up and running, reinstall your programs. Here are some of the ones I’ve had to reinstall: Microsoft Office, Dropbox, Firefox, Adobe Reader, APC Power Chute, Norton Security Suite, Carbonite, iTunes, Dragon, Windows Live Essentials (I use Photo Gallery for photo management, Movie Maker for my book trailers, and Live Writer to upload my blogs), Skype. You don’t realize how many programs are installed on your computer until suddenly they’re no longer present. Then you have to reconfigure each one. Oh, joy. How easy it was when you could just use your computer without having to think about it. Establish the path for your new backups. Are Outlook, Dropbox, and Carbonite backing up what they should? Where are the data files in Explorer?

Verify Your Data

Make sure everything is there that should be there. If it’s not, copy from your backup drives. Check for duplicates or missing files. Between my computer guru’s transfer of my data and my own, I’ve ended up with three different folders labeled “My Documents.” I have yet to sort these out and remove duplicates. Then my latest video trailer and some of my music files were missing. I found them on my backups, but it’s possible other items might have disappeared that I won’t notice until I need them.

Reset Your Automatic Backups

If you have an online backup service like Carbonite, it freezes the program after you install it and connect to the new machine. This is so you can restore any missing files before Carbonite starts all over again. It erases your old data 30 days from restart.

Fine Tune Your Machine

Configure your screen saver, monitor brightness level, background desktop image, and icons to make the display comfortable. These little things can be unsettling until they’re resolved. Adjust the sounds. Do you want to hear a noise every time you get an email?

So far I like Windows 10. I’ve upgraded from Windows 7, and I don’t find it difficult to locate things. I’m ignoring the tiles and just have icons on my desktop. This upgrade wasn’t such a big deal. And the new machine is faster with much more memory, so that part is good. It’s reconfiguring everything and sorting out the files that confuse me. But I’m up and running, and that’s what counts. The world will settle into place once things function smoothly and I no longer have to think about the mechanics. So give your reliable machine a pat and tell it you’re grateful for its continuing operation.

What tips have you found helpful when changing computers?

<><><>

Contest Alert!

Win a Collectible Handcrafted Porcelain Drummer Doll or one of two runner-up prizes – a pair Arizona crafted earrings and a signed paperback of Hanging by a Hair. I bought the doll while in Arizona doing research for Peril by Ponytail. If this link doesn’t take you to the direct page, scroll to bottom. Enter Here

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN gift card from Booklover’s Bench.  Check out our other features, including a weekly Let’s Talk discussion with our authors.

 

Posted in Business of Writing, Technology, The Writing Life | Tagged: , , , | 8 Comments »

Book Reviews: Summer Reads

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on September 3, 2015

Here are some of the books I’ve read over the summer. You can also follow my reviews on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/91508.Nancy_J_Cohen

Reader

The Royal Assassin by Kate Parker (Historical Mystery)

This is the third title in the Victorian Bookshop Mysteries, and it’s just as enjoyable as the first two installments. With the Russian Princess Kira visiting England, Georgia Fenchurch from the Archivist Society is employed to keep Her Highness safe. To this end, she takes a job as secretary to a Duchess. When the royal visitor’s guard is killed and her chaperone is found dead, the stakes escalate. Which one of their household bears a grudge strong enough to murder? Are Russian anarchists involved? And how do these incidents relate to a series of bold thefts in the area? Georgia has her hands full playing detective along with the handsome Duke of Blackford. With the detailed period setting, engaging characters, and puzzling mystery, you’ll keep turning pages to the end and will be eager for the sequel.

Rookie Privateer by Jamie McFarlane (Science Fiction)

Liam Hoffen chafes against his fate, being stuck on a mining asteroid and working in his father’s business. But a pirate attack changes everything. His heroism, along with two friends, saves the settlement. However, his injuries prevent him from every applying to the Navy which he would have done if he’d had the funds. As if in answer to his dreams, the Navy grants him and his friend Nick salvage rights to the pirate vessel and asks for their help in a secret mission. Soon Liam and Nick are off on a voyage of adventure and the beginning of many more stories.

I really enjoyed this book and hope to read the next in the series. It’s fast-paced, well-written, and reminds me of the early Vorkosigan saga stories by Lois McMaster Bujold.

Why Kings Confess by C.S. Harris

With his wife about to give birth and his best friend enamored of a mysterious French emigrant, Sebastian St. Cyr gets on the trail of a killer who mutilates his victims. Ties to the French royals, rumors of the “Lost Dauphin” being alive, and a possible conspiracy to prevent a peace treaty with Napoleon keep him busy tracking clues. Someone has targeted him, and Sebastian must find this perpetrator before his wife and unborn child are endangered by his investigation. But the one person who can help is the one he trusts the least. Why Kings Confess is another sterling addition to a gripping series.

The Impertinent Miss Bancroft by Karla Hocker (Historical Romance)

Sophy Bancroft takes a job as governess to Viscount Northrop’s unruly niece and nephews. But caring for children isn’t enough to hold her interest. She insists on investigating several thefts that have recently occurred at his lordship’s estate. Her forthright manner and logical approach startle the viscount into allowing her participation, and he soon finds himself under her spell. But when thievery turns into murder, he dares not risk her life. How can he convince the determined woman to comply? The Impertinent Miss Bancroft is a clever mix of a murder mystery and a Regency romance.

Gathering Mist by Karla Brandenburg (Fantasy Romance)

Giselle is a Kundigerin who possesses powers she tries to deny. This becomes impossible when people close to her are killed. She learns a demon is responsible, and he’s after her next. She turns for help to an old flame turned rock star, who is the only man that can help her. But to work together, they must regain the trust they lost so many years ago. Set in a unique universe, Gathering Mist will have you rooting for this young couple to combine their powers and defeat the enemy.

Imperfect Daddy by Gregg Brickman (Mystery)

A former cop and now a nurse, Sophia isn’t happy when her police detective boyfriend won’t talk about his past. Ray has a personal connection to a recent murder case that makes her question his judgement. The deeper she digs, the more concerned she becomes. Did Ray knowingly help convict an innocent man who went to jail for murder? Or was he duped? Later he brought forth a witness whose testimony freed the guy. Now the man is on the loose, and he might have killed again. His wife and son are found murdered and the daughter raped. She claims “daddy” did it. Is the released criminal at fault? And how is Ray’s ex-wife involved? The closer Sophia gets to the truth, the further she pushes Ray away. But if she can’t trust the detective, she can’t be a part of his life. This solid whodunit will keep you guessing until the end.

The Improper Wife by Diane Perkins (Historical Romance)

Maggie Delaney seeks the lodgings of her about-to-be born child’s father, but the man who opens his door to her is a stranger. Pleading for his help, she accepts the nobleman’s aid in the birth of her son. But if this is the real Captain John Grayson, who was the man she married? She’d believed the guy to be dead, drowned in the river. Afraid to be accused of murdering him, she remains silent about her past.

When a pregnant woman shows up at his door and announces she’s his wife, Gray is stunned. The lady even has papers to prove their marriage took place. Foisting her off on his relatives along with her newborn son, he forgets about her until he returns home to his father’s country manor. There he finds Maggie, who has entranced his family. He has no choice but to go along with her charade that she’s his wife. As he falls under his charms, he wishes their marriage wasn’t a sham. There is only one thing that stands in his way, and that’s the identity of the man who fooled her. Maggie is oddly reluctant to discuss the fellow. How can he trust her when she refuses to confide in him?

Dark Moon Rising by Jacqueline Seewald (Romantic Suspense)

Dark Moon Rising has gothic undertones, ghosts, and family secrets. A curse on the Hunt family claims a victim each year who dies a violent death. When Cassie’s car breaks down and she is given shelter by Colonel Hunt in his southern mansion, she’s grateful for his help. But she’s soon swept into a swirl of deceit involving his sons and other townspeople who don’t seem to want Cassie to leave. Why does she keep sniffing lilac scent around the house? And what’s wrong with the girl she meets in the woods who acts possessed? How come the Colonel won’t tolerate the girl’s name being mentioned? Trouble is brewing, and Cassie senses the evil that pervades the house. Will only another tragedy right a past wrong? Or can she prevent the doom that she senses is coming? Can she trust Jim, the Colonel’s son, or does he have a violent disposition like his brother, Drew? Somebody must die to fulfill the curse. Which one of them will it be? Dark Moon Rising is a gripping story that will have you turning pages until the surprising outcome. Another winner by Jacqueline Seewald!

Eggsecutive Orders by Julie Hyzy (Mystery)

White House chef Ollie Paras is horrified when politician Carl Minkus dies in the midst of a meal supplied by her staff. Relieved from duty, she doesn’t trust the Secret Service to look for the true culprit when they’re convinced her kitchen provided the tainted food. But who would want to get Minkus out of the way? And who else had access to his meal? Involved in intrigue and politics, Minkus could have stumbled onto a secret that someone might kill to protect. Ollie hastens to find the killer so her visiting mother and grandmother can get the White House tour she’d promised them. But can she guarantee no one else will come down with a fatal case of food poisoning? This cute story in the White House Chef mystery series will have you rooting for the crook to be caught so Ollie and her crew can prepare for the upcoming Easter Egg Roll event. Entertaining and inventive.

Vicky Peterwald: Survivor by Mike Shepherd (Science Fiction)

In this second volume of the Vicky Peterwald series, the Grand Duchess of Greenfeld focuses on the goal of helping her people. Vicky has led a spoiled life. But now the palace holds nothing for her but intrigue and death. Tired of assassination attempts and abductions, she escapes with the Navy fleet where she serves as an officer. But as her leadership skills surface, she finds herself pulling on her title more often for clout. She uses her elevated status to help the people starving in the wake of her stepmother’s play for power. As she comes closer to outright rebellion, Vicky builds her supporters, including a diplomat named Mannie of whom she grows fond. I’m hoping we see more of their relationship in the sequel, and that Vicky halts her promiscuous ways to settle on one guy. I’d like her more in a straight, monogamous relationship with a clear focus to free her people from the yoke of her evil stepmother’s family.

Vicky Peterwald: Target by Mike Shepherd (Science Fiction)

Grand Duchess and Greenfeld Navy Officer Vicky Peterwald is on her way home from a battle with ferocious aliens that left most of her fleet dead. But someone doesn’t want Vicky to make it back to the palace. Several assassination attempts leave no doubt in her mind that her evil stepmother wants Vicky out of the way. Her father, the Emperor, has become this woman’s puppet. Even when Vicky reaches the palace, she sees it’s useless to tell her father the truth. He prefers his own version of reality. Meanwhile, the empress initiates attacks on Naval leadership, who decide they want Vicky on their side. But is she strong enough to resist the net tightening around her and to rally supporters? Along the way, she grows from a spoiled sex vamp to a leader who cares about her people. This first series title is a spinoff from the Kris Longknife series. It is fast-paced and fun with a sympathetic—albeit promiscuous—heroine.

<><><>

What books have you enjoyed lately?

<><><>

Contest Alert!

Win a Collectible Handcrafted Porcelain Drummer Doll or one of two Runner-Up Prizes: a pair Arizona crafted earrings and a signed paperback Hanging by a Hair
ENTER HERE

 

Posted in Book Reviews, That's Life | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: