Top 10 Summer Books

It’s technically fall, though the weather here disputes that fact. So, that means it’s time for the summer round up! This is for books read July-August-September. (There were so many in June, I just couldn’t include it, and I’m resisting a great book I just finished today, because it’s already October!) I surprised myself when I started narrowing down the options and saw how many contempories there are; I normally consume mostly historical fiction, but it appears to have been a summer of contemporaies!

Enjoy!

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The Case of the Clobbered Cad – Giveaway

Case of the Clobbered Cad new July

I just finished a delightful mystery by Debra E.Marvin. I’ve only read one other novella by Debra (also a mystery, which I enjoyed, Desert Duet) and enjoyed that, so when she asked if I could be a part of her street team and told me a little about the book, I said sure! (required disclosure here about this being my honest opinion even th

ought I was provided a copy of the book). It’s not quite a cozy mystery, but pretty close to, and has a beginning amount of romance. So, for those of you who’ve asked for a mystery that is light (or nonexistent) romance and not scary, I think this would be a great fit for you.  It’s also a historical, but being set in 1956, it’s contemporary enough that if you tend to fall in either camp, I still think you’d enjoy it.

I was able to meet Debra and hang out with her for a bit at CFRR this year. She is super nice and we talked about all sorts of things. If you ever get a chance to meet her, take it! Here are some photos of her trip to Edinburgh.

Inspired by the famous Girl Detective, the members of the Olentangy Heights Girls’ Detective Society, affectionately known as the Nosy Parkers, spent their formative years studying criminology, codes, and capers. Unfortunately, opportunities to put their unique skills to work were thin on the ground in the post-war boom of their little corner of suburbia and they eventually grew up to pursue more sensible careers. Until…

Heather Munro’s youthful devotion to The Girl Detective led to a passion for digging around in history. Now pursuing her Master’s Degree in Celtic Studies, Heather must balance exploring Edinburgh with her determination to excel in her all–male classes at the University. Unfortunately, on her first night working in the Archives room, she discovers the dead body of a visiting professor, the same would-be lothario she’d hoped never to see again. 

As clues come to light, it’s clear someone hopes to frame Heather for the murder. Besides her quirky landlady, whom can she trust? How can she clear her name? The police and the American Consul have plenty of suspects, but only two seem to have both motive and opportunity: Heather and the quiet Scottish historian she longs to trust.

My Review

At first I wasn’t sure how much I would like this story knowing it was light on the romance, was set post WWII (but not contemporary), and is written from one perspective. I am happy to say that my normal taste preferences were absolutely proven wrong. I can’t remember reading a story set in this time period previously, but the setting is a blend of history while being contemporary enough to relate to. I loved the Scottish accents and hope it comes to audio book soon so I can listen to them as well. I was also hesitant since I’m a very big romance fan, but the story was so fascinating that I didn’t notice that I wasn’t being drawn into a relationship, plus there was just a hint that was enough for the romantic in me to be happy about, while also providing a bit of will they or won’t they?

While the story is written from one perspective, it is not narrative in style, which in my opinion, gives readers a little more information on context, while still telling it from the heroine’s perspective. I’m not a huge narrative style fan, but this story was a nice blend of the two opposites of narrative and multiple characters POV. I not only like the heroine, but I adored Mrs. Kintyre, who provides some motherly advice while also being out of the box.

Tom is an unusual hero, especially since Heather’s first impression of him are lack luster, but he proves himself an all around good guy, and that is the most attractive characteristic in a swoon-worthy man. There are also a few other men thrown in that keep you guessing as to who Heather will pursue. I hope that we’ll see more of her story as the series continues and who she for sure ends up with. Don’t fear it’s a drop off ending, though! You know how I detest those, and this one wraps up nicely.

About Debra

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Debra on her 60th birthday trip to Scotland!

Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. She’d like to live a wee bit closer to her grandchildren, but is thankful that God is in control, that He chooses to bless us despite ourselves and that He has a sense of humor.

Other than writing light-hearted romances and gritty gothics, she has rather normal obsessions such as fabric, peanut butter, vacations, British dramas, and whatever mystery series she’s currently stuck on.

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Giveaway

Debra has graciously agreed to giveaway one digital copy of The Clobbered Cad! She also believes in not filling up you email inbox with junk, so it’s super easy to enter and no subscription required, though we’d love to add you to our mailing lists (which will earn you extra entries). Please click the Rafflecopter link, and as always, refer to the disclosures page for full details on giveaways.

JOURNEY RELEASE

Mom’s Mystery Monday – #3

It’s a mystery week here at Kat’s Corner books. Today I bring you another installment from my awesome mom, and tomorrow’s review will also be a mystery, so be sure to come back if you’re a mystery lover. Thanks, mom, for guest reviewing!

And, here’s mom:

Christmas is Coming.

The temperatures have started getting cooler and leaves are starting to change which means only one thing….fall will soon be followed by Christmas.  Which means the wonderful Christmas movies hit TV and my reading turns to Christmas mysteries.

Candy Cane MurderLast year I picked up a mystery by Joanne Fluke, “Candy Cane Murder”.  Where a trail of candy canes leads to a dead Santa.  I have always enjoyed her writing and her character Hannah Swensen, who owns The Cookie Jar.  This time of year her inclusion of recipes is great for a new sweet baking tradition.

Unfortunately, I was just getting into the intrigue when the story hurriedly came to an end.  This seemed odd with so many pages left in the book.  It was then I realized this was a three story book.  Two more books followed, one by Laura Levine and the other by Leslie Meier.  So, on I plunged into “The Dangers of Candy Canes.”

The story starts with her trying to take a picture of her cat in a Santa hat.  It was, of course, unsuccessful.  I have two cats and could have told her it was a useless endeavor, so why it took a chapter to explain this dilemma confounds me.   After this, it does not improve.  The main character, Jaine Austen, talks to the readers and whines a lot which I find irritating.  At chapter seven I gave up.  By that point I simply didn’t care what happed.

Why these three books were put together I will never know, but at this moment all I can suggest is buy a cookie cook book instead and save yourself some disappointment.

Oh, and what about Leslie Meier’s last story?  Can’t tell you.  With Joanne’s abrupt ending of her story and Laura’s disappointing start to hers I didn’t bother to read the last.


 

Poor Leslie, not even getting a chance. Mom can be a tough critic sometimes; maybe I’ll be able to convince her to give Leslie a chance. It’s always tough when we don’t enjoy a book, especially when we like the author and have invested in them for just that reason. But, we all have down days, so as we head into fall, let’s give an author whose had a not-as-well-loved book another chance.

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Family Recommends

Whew! Boy am I happy to be home! Every Labor Day we make a whirlwind trip back to Ohio and stay at my husband’s eldest brother’s house. It’s a great time with tons of family, and I love them all, but my introverted self barely survives every year. This year I had some interesting bookish conversations with my three sisters-in-law sharing some of the things I love, memories from CFRR, and things they love. So, of course I asked them what Christian Fiction book they’ve read recently that they recommend; it sounded like a perfect blog post and I’m always looking for new reads. I hope that you can find something you’ll enjoy. Here is each of their top picks:

Veil of Fire by Marlo Schalesky Veil of Fire

“Replete with suspense. Very difficult to put down.” This recommendation comes from my youngest sister-in-law. While she couldn’t remember the title right off the bat, she was very animated telling me all about it and how awesome it was. It’s a fictional story woven into an actual historic event . Thank goodness for Google because I was intrigued.
In 1894, the worst firestorm in Minnesota history descended on the town of Hinckley, consuming 400 square miles and killing 418 people in just four hours.

Heat, flame, and darkness swept through the town, devouring lives, and consuming all hope. In the aftermath of the fire, the town of Hinckley rises from the ashes, its people determined to rebuild their lives.

But in the shadows, someone is watching, someone is waiting, someone who knows the secrets the fire lay bare. A rumor spreads of a mysterious figure that haunts the hills; monster, a ghost, or a memory?

Midnight on the Mississippi (Secrets of the South Mysteries #1) byMary Ellis

Midnight on the MissippiNext up is my oldest sister-in-law’s recommendation. She reads almost as much as I do and we often trade books we loved to add to our TBR piles. She was currently reading the third in this series and said she had been hooked from the start and was anxiously waiting for the third to come out. Thus, she recommended the first in the series so you can get hooked too. From what I understand, you’ll need to read all three as it’s an ongoing series; not always my cup of tea as I prefer stories to wrap up in one book, but some of you all love these cliffhangers.
Midnight on the Mississippi begins the new Secrets of the South Mysteries from bestselling author Mary Ellis. These complex crime dramas follow an investigator’s quest to make the world a better place…solving one case at a time.

New Orleans–Hunter Galen, a stock and securities broker, suspects his business partner, James Nowak, may be involved in embezzling their clients’ money, but he’s reluctant to jeopardize their friendship based on suspicion alone. After James turns up dead, Hunter realizes his unwillingness to confront a problem may have cost James his life.

Nicki Price, a newly minted PI, intends to solve the stockbroker’s murder, recover the missing millions from the client accounts, and establish herself in the career she adores. As she ferrets out fraud and deception at Galen Investments, Hunter’s fiancee, Ashley Menard, rubs Nicki the wrong way. Nicki doesn’t trust the ostentatious woman with an agenda longer than the Mississippi River. Ashley seems to be hiding something, but is Nicki’s growing attraction to Hunter–a suspected murderer–her true reason for disliking Ashley?

As they encounter sophisticated shell games, blackmail, and murder, Nicki and Hunter’s only option is to turn to God as they search for answers, elude lethal danger, and perhaps discover love along the way.

Just Look Up (Harbor Point #1) by Courtney Walsh

Just Look Up

Last, but not least, is my middle sister-in-law. We are the most alike and both outlaws in this crazy family and married to the two craziest brothers. We spent the weekend bonding over the fact that two seemingly intelligent women married such silly men, but we wouldn’t change them for the world. She’s in the throws of raising 5 kids, 4 of which are 5 and under, so she doesn’t get to read nearly as often as she would like. She remembers reading a great fiction book, but for the life of her can’t remember it; she’s more of a non-fiction reader. BUT, she really wanted to read Just Look Up, which I finished last week (it’s fantastic), I brought it to her this weekend and she was 6 chapters in before I left, even with the craziness of the weekend.
After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back home–a quaint tourist town full of memories she’d just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on work–something her eclectic family doesn’t understand.

Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he secretly once loved, even if the circumstances of her homecoming aren’t ideal.

Their reunion gets off to a rocky start, however, when Ryan can’t find a trace of the girl he once knew in the woman she is today. As he slowly chips away at the walls Lane has built, secrets from his past collide with a terrible truth even he is reluctant to believe. Facing a crossroads that could define his future with Lane and jeopardize his relationship with the surrogate family he’s found in the Kelleys, Ryan hopes Lane can see that maybe what really matters has been right in front of her all along–if only she’d just look up.

Always Watching

Guys, a small miracle happened in our house last night; my husband told me to pre-order a book. This is a major milestone as we are such opposites when it come to reading for enjoyment. While hubs tends towards avoiding it as much as possible and reading non-fiction at that, it’s not unusual for me to devour three fiction books a week. You know what convinced him? Lynette Eason is in the collection of stories.

I can’t even recall how I got him to read Always Watching, I can’t even remember how I got a copy as it’s not my normal genre. In all likelihood I won it off of someone else’s awesome blog. But, he did, and now he’s hooked. And while some of her stories can get a bit scary for me since I’m a pansy (even Jurassic Park gives me nightmares), I will keep reading her books forever and always because she’s a great writer and it’s something we both can enjoy. I’ve just learned to start her books on a Saturday morning when I have “nothing” to do and can get most of it read in a day (I read FAST ya’ll.) I am always surprised though when it gets to be late and I have to put it down because Lynette is so good at drawing you completely into her story world. I find her premise for this series very interesting as it revolves around an agency of female body guards. Go girl power! I love that Olivia defies cultural norms and kicks butt while her big strong man needs rescuing. What Olivia doesn’t know is that she might just be putting herself in the villain’s sights.

Bonus: I went to look up the Amazon link, and it looks like it’s free on Kindle right now!

always watchingThe bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have more than just skill and prowess in common–they’re also all women. When it becomes clear that popular psychiatrist and radio personality Wade Savage has a stalker, his father secretly hires Elite Guardians in order to protect his son.

But when Wade’s bodyguard is attacked and nearly killed, agency owner Olivia Edwards must step in and fill the gap. Olivia’s skills are about to be tested to the limit as Wade’s stalker moves from leaving innocent gifts at his door to threatening those closest to him. Olivia has the feeling that she’s next on the list. And to complicate things even further, she realizes that her heart may be in as much danger as her client.

Bestselling author and fan favorite Lynette Eason drops readers right into the action in this fast-paced new series with a unique twist. Readers will love these strong female characters who put it all on the line to save lives.

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Mom’s Monday Mysteries #2 – Reading Up a Storm

I grew up without computers so I still enjoy holding a good book.  Enjoy the flopping of the pages and the smell of the paper and ink.  Lately, I moved near a used book store and picked up a cozy mystery to read. Not only was it at half price but was also on clearance.

Reading Up a Storm by Eva Gates was perfectly situated in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.  The Bodie Island Lighthouse is home to a library and Lucy Richardson, the librarian, along with her feline companion, Charles.  In my opinion a book can only be made better with a cat, in this case, a Himalayan.

When a former resident returns after he has made good strange things begin to happen and then he is found dead.  What had happened so long ago that would make someone want to kill now?

This is an easy to read book and has chapters just long enough to read during a coffee break at work.  I do want to pick up the first two in the series and see what brought Lucy back from Boston and to also find out how her love life continues.    So I guess you could say I am hooked.  All in all I would recommend this if you are a cozy mystery lover like I am.

And just in case you are a light house lover, go visit the real thing. The Bodie Island Lighthouse is in Cape Hatteras National Seashore on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  It is a fully functioning lighthouse and if you wish to see the spectacular view you are welcome to climb the two hundred fourteen steps to the top.  And no, it is not a library.  That part, like this book, is fictional.

 

 

ReadingUpaStormMisfortune blows into North Carolina’s Outer Banks when a dead body in a boat on the shore leaves local librarian Lucy Richardson racing to solve a strange new mystery….

After a successful party at Bodie Island’s Lighthouse Library, librarian Lucy Richardson is ready to curl up with her cat, Charles, and a good book. But her R and R is cut short when she notices some mysterious lights leading a small boat to crash into the coast.
 
The two shipwrecked seafarers survive the ordeal—but one of them shows up dead ashore a few days later. Lucy finds herself again roped into a murder investigation and navigating a sea of suspects, all of whom had motives to deep-six the deceased. And this time, she has a sinking feeling that finding the real killer won’t be so easy…

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