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September 2015

Good Bye September, Hello October

Yes, I now have 9 months of no caffeine entering my body! The good thing; I still don’t miss it! My goal of reading 50 books this year… met, currently at 55. I am especially enjoying reading new authors… (new to me that is). Currently reading Scrapbook of the Dead, by Mollie Cox Bryan.

I can’t believe that September is gone. I am really enjoying spending time with Sophia (Madelynn is in school). She has the cutest 3-year-old personality; I just never know what she will say next. Not to mention her beautiful curly hair and awesome smile! And of course, I have had a few date nights with Madelynn as well… these dates almost always included a dessert. What else could be more special?

We have had a lot of family time this month as well. Fun at Spruce Row with family and friends, Sonny’s Farm to pet the animals, The Burrville Cider Mill, the best homemade apple cider sugar donuts I have ever had… plus hot apple cider (unheard of in the southwest!). Then there was the Cream Cheese Festival, (haha) they had a cheesecake that weighed in at 2 thousand pounds, but it was gone by the time we got there… hmm! But we had a good time! Just look at those happy faces!

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All in all September was great…. I only have 31 days left of my North Country stay this year, and I am hoping to enjoy it. We will make one more trip to Spruce Row Campgrounds before the season is over. There will definitely be some apple picking this month, and October brings Madelynn’s birthday and Halloween. Lots of fun in the next 31 days!

So, my friends, don’t forget to:

Live, Love, Laugh, and by all means READ!

Sharon

 

 

I Believe I am officially an Author Stalker

Posted with permission from Nancy Lynn Jarvis, Author:

I have stalked yet another author; Nancy Lynn Jarvis Is the author of the Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries, based in Santa Cruz, California. There are currently five books in the series, and I believe Nancy is working on the sixth. Or at least, I am hoping she is. Who better to write a series about a Real Estate Agent  than a former Real Estate Agent (25 years) turned Writer? I for one am glad she gave up Real Estate to write because I love her series.

Nancy has worked in many fields; With a BA in behavioral science, she worked in advertising, she was a librarian and a business manager of Shakespeare/Santa Cruz. She believes that people should try something new every few years. And Writing is her newest adventure.

Of course, I have read the entire series and highly recommend it:

The cast of characters in this series are Regan, a realtor, her husband Tom, a computer programmer, turned real estate broker and her friend Dave, a cop reassigned as a police public relations ombudsman after losing an eye in the line of duty.

Each book in the series is a unique story and Regan seems to find bodies a lot.  And of course, the police try to close out the cases quickly since they don’t have enough evidence to call them murders. Regan, on the other hand, disagrees with their findings and begins her own investigation. She finds herself having to dig into past secrets and comes close to becoming a victim herself.

The titles are followed by just enough about each one to hopefully pique your interest:

The Death Contingency (Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries Book 1)

In The Death Contingency, a seller disappears before signing a grant deed. He turns up dead, and his nephew, a realtor Regan has known for years, becomes a person of interest in his death. She’s convinced the authorities focus is all wrong and sets out to prove it.

Backyard Bones (Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries Book 2)

It’s not the first time Regan has experienced déjà-vu. But when the sensation involves finding a second body buried where one was found just weeks before, déjà-vu takes on new meaning. Someone murdered a girl on her seventeenth birthday and, as Regan delves into the motive behind the girl’s murder, she discovers many people are trying to hide secrets.

Buying Murder (Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries Book 3)

Murder gets personal when human remains are found in the beach cottage that realtors Regan McHenry and her husband, Tom Kiley, buy. The murder victim has been hidden away for sixteen years, and although the authorities quickly discover his identity, the trail to his killer is cold after so many years. Regans cop friend Dave tells her, “your house, your murder”.

The Widow’s Walk League (Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries Book 4)

Santa Cruz husbands are being murdered. The local news media is buzzing because a dark-clad figure witnesses describe as Death has been seen lurking nearby each time a murder is committed. When new widows start hiring real estate agent Regan McHenry to sell their houses, she discovers all the murdered men have something in common: their wives belong to a walking group called The Widow’s Walk League.

The Murder House (Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries Book 5)

Every community has a house that people walk by hurriedly, nervously peeking at it out of the corners of their eyes. There’s a house like that in Santa Cruz that the community has dubbed The Murder House. A bloody double murder occurred there almost twenty years ago and the killer has eluded capture ever since. The house was recently inherited and the new owner wants to sell. The problem is no one wants to buy a house with a violent history and a reputation that it is home to ghosts. The owner thinks Realtor Regan McHenry would make a perfect listing agent; after all, with her penchant for playing amateur sleuth, she’s no stranger to murder.

Although I love the Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries Series, My all time favorite Nancy Lynn Jarvis Book is Mags and The AARP Gang! Why? Because it’s funny, and being an old lady myself, I can relate to Mags.  This book had me laughing out loud!  Mags and The AARP Gang is a comedy/adventure about a group of would-be bank robbers. I guess the fact that I live six months out of each year in an RV resort had me thinking about the folks who live around me. I wondered which one of them could actually be Mags! Oh yeah, that would be me! 🙂

This is a story about a senior mobile home park that is about to be foreclosed on. They will go to extremes to save their homes, including robbing a Bank! They carefully plan the robbery by casing the bank, gathering their disguises and they actually rehearse the robbery. (Hearsay has it that Nancy has cased a bank or two herself while doing the research for this book). 🙂

And if that isn’t enough to think about, Mags and her gang encounter another crime which forces them to become sleuths. They can’t call in the law since their plan to rob the bank will then be in jeopardy. So what do they do?

Well, head on over to Amazon or your favorite bookstore and pick up a copy of Mags And The AARP Gang! I promise it will have you laughing out loud! Just look at those faces!

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What will Nancy do next? Who knows, but I am sure it will be good. I hear that she is considering a historical fiction and she has an idea for a new cozy series called Geezers With Tools about two old guys who encounter murder while working as handymen and pursuing widows. I don’t know about you, but I will stand in line for that one! I hope you are writing Nancy!

p.s. If writing the series and Mags wasn’t enough, Nancy also edited “Cozy Food,” a compilation cookbook in which 128 cozy mystery writers contributed recipes from their books and their lives. This one is on my TBR list.

I want to thank Nancy Lynn Jarvis for allowing me to feature her books on my blog, and I am hoping that I have piqued enough interest  to send my friends over to amazon to pick up one or more of these books!

As Always, “Live, Love, Laugh….. and by all means READ!

Sharon

 

Stay Tuned

Upcoming Posts:

Stay tuned, I think you will love tomorrow’s author!

Tuesday, September 29: An Author who makes me laugh out loud!

Tuesday, October 6: My Favorite Artist!

Sharon

One of My Favorite Books This Year – Misled by Annie Miles

Misled (About the Author and the Synopsis are Written with Permission from Annie Miles)

About the Author:

Annie Miles is the pseudonym for the real woman portrayed in Misled. She writes a mystery series and is the mother of two sons and the legal guardian of her mother, who gives her new material daily. Annie is a firm believer in the saying, “People are put into your life as either a blessing or a lesson.” You will find both in the characters of Misled. It is the lessons that fuel the book and the blessings that fuel Annie. The author lives in the South where she enjoys reading, writing, baking, and photography. She welcomes correspondence, particularly from women who are suffering through trying times.

Synopsis from HBS Authors Spotlight: Inspired by a true story of love, betrayal, and forgiveness.

When Diana, a lonely housewife, falls for Daniel–her daughter Annie’s teenage crush—she will stop at nothing to ensure he stays in her life. In Machiavellian style, Diana betrays her daughter, secretively designing, controlling, and planning Annie’s future. It isn’t until years later when Annie discovers letters exchanged by her mother and Daniel that she learns the truth and sees the manipulation and lies that led her to a doomed marriage.

Twenty years later, when Diana is diagnosed with dementia and Annie is forced to be her mother’s caretaker, she must come to terms with her mother’s betrayal, her husband’s deceit, and her own desire for love and happiness, all the while managing to maintain her sanity and sense of humor. Based on a true story, this book will shock, entertain, and astound you.

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I am definitely an avid reader, I love to read across genres, but sometimes I get stuck in one and can’t get out. Recently I have been reading lots of cozies because they are easy to read and make me laugh. Every once in a while, when I am crossing genres, I come across a book that just weighs heavily on my heart. This is one of those books. And this is a good thing; this is a wonderful book, beautifully written and filled with emotional turmoil. Annie begins each chapter with a quote which I love. Throughout the story, she shares her feelings of betrayal and deceit and ends it all with forgiveness.  A quote I especially love near the end of the book “I’ve heard forgiveness isn’t a gift you give to those who hurt you but one you give yourself”.

While reading, there were times when I had to stop and let it all sink in. In my opinion when an author can make you stop and contemplate, then they have done a great job. There were times when I cried with Annie, times when I felt sorry for her, and times when I wanted to slap her. All I could think was, Run… Annie… Run….

I want to thank Annie Miles for allowing me to highlight her story on my blog, and I am hoping that I have given you, my friends, something to think about and perhaps you will head over to Amazon and pick up a copy of this wonderful book. I truly admire Annie, and you will too!

It’s free if you are an Amazon Unlimited member, and $.99 to purchase the eBook.

Thanks for stopping by and remember to,

Live, Love and Laugh and by all means READ!

Sharon

Three of my Favorite Authors

Good Morning All!

As I begin posting on my blog, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I have chosen to write about authors, books, and reading.

I am starting with three of my favorite authors, in alphabetical order: Mollie Cox Bryan, Amy Metz, and Amy Reade.

Mollie Cox Bryan is the author of the Cumberland Creek Mystery Series set in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. There are five books and two novellas in the series. Hopefully, I am getting these in order: Scrapbook of Secrets, Scrapped, Death of an Irish Diva, A Crafty Christmas and Scrapbook of the Dead… The Novellas: Scrappy Summer and Scrappily Ever After.  I would be lying if I said I have read all of them because Scrapbook of the Dead has not been released yet. I am impatiently waiting for September 29th. In addition to this series, Mollie has also penned two cookbooks: Mrs. Rowe’s Little Book of Southern Pies and Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant Cookbook.

So, let’s talk about this series and why I picked it up in the first place. I can sum it up in one quick statement: Scrapbooking, Murder, and a little Romance. Definitely cozy mysteries, the series gives the reader a look at a group of ladies who get together quite often to scrapbook, discuss life and eventually get involved in murder. Each book tells a new story with one or two characters moving to the forefront. In one of them, one of our scrappers actually becomes a suspect in the murder…. Hmmmm!  The characters are well-developed from the beginning, and the plots are fun and easy to read. You know the old saying, “you can never judge a book by its cover.” Well, I can honestly say that you most certainly can with this series. Lots of color and craftiness fills the covers. And to be honest, being a scrapbooker myself, it was the covers that drew me in. Once I began, I could not stop. I love the characters and the stories, and if that isn’t enough, Mollie offers scrapbooking tips at the end of each book.  If you are looking for a lighthearted fun read, then this series is for you. Pick up the first one, and you will be hooked!

On to Amy Metz who is the author of the Goose Pimple Junction Mysteries. Currently there are three books in this series: Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction (Book 1), Heroes & Hooligans in Goose Pimple Junction (Book 2) and Short & Tall Tales in Goose Pimple Junction (Book 3). The third book is actually five short stories, one novella, and three recipes. And, it develops the characters from book 1 beautifully, and probably should be read between Book 1 and Book 2. I have read and loved all three of them.

So, how did I find this series? I first learned of it on Amy Reade’s Blog (Reade and Write). I immediately headed over to Amazon and downloaded the first book. Why? Because in the interview Amy Reade asks Amy Metz to describe herself in three words… her answer “Crazy Old Lady”.  I know this is one crazy reason for wanting to read the books, but it’s true and I guess that makes me one crazy old lady too! (p.s. I have not met Amy in person, so I don’t know if she is crazy or not, but I can tell you if you look at her recent pictures, she is far from OLD!)

Once I started reading the first book, it was over.  I knew I would have to read them all. I am truly a GPJ fan; I actually looked it up to see if it was a real town… Yep, it is! This series is filled with southern phrases, (some I had to look up) that made me laugh out loud. The characters are fun, and the stories are unique. In book 1, Amy undertakes a real unsolved 75-year-old murder and fictionally solves it. Quite impressive, don’t you think?  Stealing some words from a review of the book, Amy has created a town with a personality of its own with lots of humor, romance, and southern charm. Oh, and I believe quirky was a word used to describe this series… I agree! It’s well written and lots of fun. Do pick it up, you will love it!

Last, but certainly not least, Amy M. Reade, is the author of Secrets of Hallstead House, set in the beautiful 1000 Islands, and The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, set Outside of Charleston, South Carolina. Amy’s writing style is absolutely beautiful, and she has been compared to Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt. I am no writing expert, but I would venture to say this is quite flattering for an author!

How and why did I choose this author? Simply put, she was recommended by my step-daughter, Diane Aguanno Knox. Diane met Amy at one of her book-signings (for Secrets of Hallstead House) in Clayton, NY. Of course I would have read it just on Diane’s recommendation alone, but when she told me it was set in the 1000 Islands, I could not wait to read it. After reading it, for the first time ever, I contacted an author with a question I had about the book. Amy answered very quickly and I am happy to say a much-cherished friendship was formed.

From the minute I picked up Secrets of Hallstead House, I could not put it down. From the first chapter, the descriptions of the area and the house make the reader feel part of the scene. The characters are developed beautifully and the plot had me guessing right through till the end. If you have been to the 1000 Islands, or even if you haven’t, pick this book up it is well worth it.

Now it’s time for a confession. Between Amy’s first book and her second, she and I had lots of communication through facebook and her blog and we became friends. Although I was very excited about reading her second book, I was a little nervous too. What if I didn’t like it? How do you tell somebody you didn’t like their book! LOL… not to worry, the second book, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor was as good, if not better than Amy’s first book. I am pulling the next section directly from my review of the book. “I love to read a book that I can relate to personally. This is one of those books. I related to Carleigh’s experience as a divorced mom, cried with Evie over her loss, and got angry with Vivian for her actions toward Phyllis. As far as ghosts; we all have them in our closets. Maybe they don’t talk to us on a daily basis, but they are surely there, reminding us of the ups and downs of life.”  I am predicting that if you read either one of Amy’s books, you will definitely want more from her!

To sum it all up, I have lots of authors I love, but these three ladies, are right up there on the top of my list. It was harder to write this than I thought it would be and I probably should have done one at a time. However, I am hoping that some of my friends will take the time to read it, and perhaps pick up some of the books I have highlighted today!

Many thanks to Mollie, Amy M and Amy R for allowing me to write about them! In August, I actually met Amy Reade and enjoyed her company over lunch. This was a thrill for me, and meeting Mollie and Amy M. is on my bucket list.

You can find all of these books on. Amazon.com. Once you locate the authors, you can be directed to their websites/blogs. If you have any problems finding them, feel free to send me a message and I will send you a link. Thanks

Live, Love and Laugh… and by all means… READ!

Sharon

 

 

Favorites

Tomorrow I will begin a three week series of some of my favorites! Week 1 will be Three Of My Favorite Authors.. Week 2 is One Of My Favorite Books This Year! And Week 3 is One Of My Favorite Artists…

Before the posts begin I wanted to say that I am not an author/writer or a wanna-be… I just wanted to do something that I have never done before. I am hoping to have lots of fun with it and hopefully those I write about will too…. Stay tuned for my Facebook posting!

Live, Love and Laugh… And by all means, READ!

Sharon

Hello! Why am I writing a Blog?

Not long ago, I thought I wanted to start a blog. However, I couldn’t come up with a theme or anything interesting that I really wanted to talk about, so I never did it. In the meantime, I read blogs all the time, and although it was easy for me to comment on them, sometimes I just wanted to click the like button. Every time that I attempted to do this, a popup would ask me to sign in with my blog or website address, which I didn’t have. So guess what folks?  I now have a blog. I am not really sure how or if I will use it, but who knows, I may have lots of fun with it.

Blog at WordPress.com.

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