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Cup of Comfort for Cat Lovers: Stories that celebrate our feline friends (Cup of Comfort)
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A collection of short stories from cat owners/lovers. Loving, mischievous, supportive and protective, our furry friends are an intimate part of our lives!

Christmas Gifts: Small Town Christmas / Her Christmas Cowboy (Love Inspired)
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Both are excellent stories for Christmas or anytime. Gail Gaymer Martin is one of our MOST FAVORITE writers. Her Christmas book: "Christmas Gifts: Small Town Christmas/Her Christmas Cowboy" is ONE OF HER BEST!!!!!! Her words seem to flow like a pleasant fountain, refreshing, inspiring, captivating. We recommend anything she writes.

Marshmallow Malice (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery)
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Great addition to this series, funny and good content.

Tracking a Kidnapper (True Blue K-9 Unit: Brooklyn, Bk 5) (Love Inspired Suspense, No 837)
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Very good book in this continuing series. Always enjoy the K-9 books. Interesting and fun to read. The romance is clean and the Christian message good. Hoping all of the authors continue the good work.

Blood Sins (Blood, Bk 2) (Large Print)

Engaging and suspenseful a great fast read for a summers day.

A Merciful Promise (Mercy Kilpatrick, Bk 6)
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The ATF has asked that FBI Agent Mercy Kilpatrick go undercover and join a militia group who is selling illegal firearms at their compound. The ATF has one agent imbedded in the compound. They want Mercy to pose as his girlfriend and help gather evidence against the group. With only one day of prepping, Mercy arrives at the compound to find a charismatic leader and a group of people who are willing to do his bidding. When she hears talk of getting even with the government and no way to contact the FBI or her fiance, Police Chief Truman Daly, Mercy must find some evidence against the militia group immediately.

Make sure you have a lot of time available to read this book. I stayed up till 3:00 am because I couldn't put it down. Not only do we have Mercy working undercover in this book; Truman is helping investigate a series of murders in the county where he resides.

This book had lots of twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. Happily, this is not the end of the Mercy Kilpatrick series. The author has another book planned for the future. It's going to be a long wait. My rating: 5 Stars.

Minutes to Kill (Scarlet Falls, Bk 2)
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Corporate Attorney Hannah Barrett is unaware that the man who assaulted her and kidnapped a young girl has now followed her to her hometown. As Hannah recovers from her injuries and worries about that girl that she couldn't save, she doesn't know that she has led two unsavory predators into the small town where her family lives. When Detective Brody McNamara finds out about what happened to Hannah, he worries that the kidnappers may be looking at revenge against Hannah for interfering in the kidnapping.

This second book in the Scarlet Falls series picks up about eight months after the first. This book involves the sex trafficking of several young women. One man involved in the trafficking wants to get even with Hannah for her interference. He brings along his psycho brother. The pair are truly scary.

I was pulled right into this story. It's a good combination of romance and suspense. My rating: 4.5 Stars.

Murder in the Wine Country (Kelly Jackson Mystery)
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Murder in the Wine Country by Janet Finsilver takes us back to Red Cove, California. Kelly Jackson, manager of Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast, is participating in an event to raise awareness on the plight of veterans. Kelly is looking forward the foraging expedition to look for edible greens. She is surprised when the game warden advises them to go in pairs because of poachers making off with a rare succulent, Dudleya farinose. The Silver Sentinels need a new project, so they begin looking into the poaching problem. Before the events can begin, a friend of Phil's, Eric Stapleton is killed. Eric was acting as a consultant on the sale of the Sagatini Winery. Everyone is shocked when Phil ends up at the top of the suspect list. Kelly and the Silver Sentinels set out prove his innocence. Murder in the Wine Country is the 6th A Kelly Jackson Mystery. Each book in this charming series can be read on its own. I like the variety of characters in this series especially the Silver Sentinels. Tommy, Helen's son, is a cutie who is full of energy. The setting of Redwood Cove is just lovely. The author's vivid word imagery brings the setting to life. I found Murder in the Wine Country to be well-written and engaging with the story moving along at a steady pace. It was interesting learning about edible greens. The chefs make some tasty dishes with their foraged ingredients. I appreciate that the romance between Scott and Kelly moves along slowly. The spend time together when they can, and they are taking their time getting to know each other. The mystery had a couple of different components to it (which I loved). I liked that Kelly took a more active sleuthing role in this book. It is always entertaining following Kelly and the Silver Sentinels as they dig up clues and uncover the guilty party. Murder in the Wine Country has a great conclusion that nicely wraps up the mysteries. Murder in the Wine Country is a diverting cozy mystery with foraging for flora, wonderful wines, succulent stealers, valiant veterans, and a perplexing puzzle.

The Book of Koli
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This was a good story with interesting world building. There were many things I liked but some annoying elements, as well. Lots of dangers in this post apocalyptic world. And our technology was something they felt was magic and didn't understand. Some of the things left over from our world were lost in translation in an amusing way, such as "Once in a bloomed moon". It's worth reading for the storytelling but it takes some getting used to. Their language and improper use of English was the most annoying thing for me and it was distracting. However if you can get past that it's an entertaining read.

Conveniently Wed to the Viking (Sons of Sigurd, Bk 3) (Harlequin Historical, No 1515)
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Another fantastic entry in the Sons of Sigurd series. This one features the youngest son, Sandulf. As in the previous books, the story opens on Alarr's wedding day and the attack that decimated their family. The oldest brother, Brandt, tasked Sandulf with watching over his pregnant wife, Ingrid. Sandulf does his best but is no match for the assassins who attack. He is devastated by his failure, a feeling that is compounded by Brandt's harsh words on his return. Sandulf is sent away to Constantinople to protect him from Brandt's anger.

As the youngest, Sandulf idolized his older brothers and followed them around when he was younger. As he got older, he trained hard so that he could join them. But he is also still young and headstrong and tends to rush in without thinking things through. This creates quite a bit of strain between him and his brothers, who do not let him forget the problems he causes. He looked on his protection of Ingrid as a way to prove himself. As he leaves his home and family, he swears to find the man who killed Ingrid and make him pay.

Several years later, a matured and changed Sandulf has tracked the assassin Lugh to Scotland. In a village in Scotland, where Northmen are not exactly welcomed, he waits for the guide he hired to take him on the next leg of his journey. A chance encounter with Lady Ceanna provides him with another key to his pursuit of the assassin Lugh.

Ceanna is desperately trying to escape a forced marriage. Her new stepmother is determined to marry her off to the captain of the guard, who is also her lover. Ceanna's father is fading fast, and Ceanna is his only heir. Marrying Ceanna to her henchman would cement the stepmother's power. Ceanna is sure that if she can get to her aunt, an abbess in a nearby city, she would be safe. She plans to become a nun, putting her home under the Church's protection. Unfortunately, the guide she hired left without her, leaving Ceanna stranded.

Sparks flew between Sandulf and Ceanna from the moment they met. Ceanna is wary of Sandulf, unwilling to trust a stranger in her escape. Sandulf immediately senses that Ceanna is his ticket to the monastery where his quarry is rumored to be. I loved their back-and-forth in the tavern as she refuses his attempt to join her on her journey. Sandulf's instincts are good that she's in trouble, and he prevents one attempt to stop her before she even gets started. Ceanna is a determined and intelligent woman and sets out on her own, unaware that Sandulf follows her. She is none too pleased when he reveals himself but eventually sees the sense in joining forces with him. This was none too soon, as they soon caught up with the guide's party, which has been attacked. The guide is injured, and the rest of the party is dead, including a woman dressed in Cearra's clothing.

This began a journey full of ups and downs. Ceanna knows the way to the monastery, but the trip is not an easy one. Added to the strains of the trip is the attraction that grows between Ceanna and Sandulf. Both try to resist because of Ceanna's stated goal of becoming a nun, but it is not easy. There are some amusing moments as each one holds mental arguments with themselves over those feelings. Sandulf is very protective of Ceanna, determined that he won't fail to keep her safe. Their arrival at the monastery doesn't go quite as planned, and with becoming a nun out of the picture, the only way to keep Cearra safe is for Sandulf to marry her himself!

I enjoyed the development of the relationship between Sandulf and Cearra. It was fun to see Sandulf's reactions to Cearra's practicality and lack of squeamishness. She is nothing like the women he is used to, and it only adds to her appeal. He also finds her beautiful, and can't understand why she doesn't realize it. Cearra quickly comes to trust Sandulf, but that doesn't stop her from standing up to him when she thinks he is wrong. Once they are married, their feelings for each other grow more potent, but neither feels worthy of the other. I ached for them both until they realized that they belonged together. I loved the scene at the end where Sandulf was finally able to lay his quest to rest and confess his love to Ceanna.

The pursuit of the assassin was full of twists and turns, and complicated by the trouble that stalked Ceanna. Their arrival and conversation with Cearra's aunt did not go as Cearra hoped. I did not like the aunt and her attitude toward both Cearra and Sandulf, especially at first. I loved Cearra's persistence in pursuing the truth. I didn't feel terribly sorry for the abbess as she was forced to face the truth. I was glued to the pages as Cearra and Sandulf returned to her home, found she was believed to be dead, and that an unexpected suspect was believed to be the murderer. I was on the edge of my seat as they carried out their plan to rescue the suspect and confront the stepmother and assassin. The confrontation was exciting and intense.

There are still some questions that remain in the search for the truth behind the attack and murder of Sigurd. The quest continues with the next brother, Danr, who is on the way to confront their mother.

Mrs. Poe
Mrs. Poe
Author: Lynn Cullen
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance
Book Type: Paperback
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At this point, I consider this book to be one of the most over-blown stories I've read in eons. This is truly 'too much about nothing.' I recognize that it is hard to write of strict moral attitudes in this permissive era, but I grew weary of the 'eye-catching glances' between Mrs. Osgood and Edgar Allen Poe. The story is nonstop romantic anguish between these two characters.

Mrs. Frances Osgood, a struggling writer of poetry and stories, has been abandoned by her husband for many months. She is alone with two young daughters; her husband has gone to live with a rich woman, as he paints portraits. Fortunately, Frances has a friend who allows the three of them to live with her and her family. This is New York in about 1845 and Edgar Allen Poe has become the talk of the town.

Frances meets Poe at a literary soiree and they are immediately attracted to each other. Poe married his cousin when she was 13; he is now in his mid-30s and she is about 23. Probably because of Virginia's precarious health, Poe, his wife, and her mother all reside together. Poe has a habit of writing terrible reviews of fellow writers/poets' works. When he boosts Frances' work to the writing community, people take notice.

The real Mrs. Poe is written as a villain, keeping the two lovers apart. Mrs. Poe is also dying of tuberculosis. Strangely, she senses the emotional relationship Poe and Frances are developing and she interjects herself between them -- and stays there.

The reason I rated this book 3.5 stars is because of the tremendous research done in this book. It really shows in the fascinating details about the city and the characters. Many famous people are secondary characters. However, the overblown drama was too much. Yet the author did not explain why Poe was so poor. There was no Copywrite law at the time and Poe was only paid $9 for 'The Raven.' Anyone could reprint that poem without the author earning another penny for it.

I Shall Be Near To You
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Rosetta is a strong willed young woman who is deeply in love with Jeremiah. They marry. But the war is on and Jeremiah goes off to enlist. Rosetta can't bear to be parted and sneaks off to be with her love. She too enlists as a union soldier. Rosetta changes her name to Ross Stone and fights right along side of Jeremiah.

Rosetta is a compelling warrior and such a strong role. I loved her immediately as must have Jeremiah. She is such a rich complexity of strength in the face of adversity and passion to follow her heart and whats right. The story is moving and emotional and told so very well. It is worth the time to read and makes me want to learn more about the women that were brave enough to enlist as soldiers in the civil war.

Tarnished and Torn (Witchcraft, Bk 5)
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This has been a cute and interesting series. I don't feel that this book is up to the standard of the previous books, but it was interesting. Worth reading.

Super Sight-Reading Secrets: An Innovative, Step-By-Step Program for Musical Keyboard Players of All Levels
reviewed on

It was very helpful. Thank you.

A Phoenix Is Forever (Phoenix Brothers, Bk 3)
A Phoenix Is Forever (Phoenix Brothers, Bk 3)
Author: Ashlyn Chase
Genre: Romance
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
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I really tried to like this book. The premise is great the cover is well done so what is missing? The writing was not bad. But not that great either. The story was worthy writing about, but the author didn't do it justice. The writing was awkward, slow & dusty. The story jumped around and felt sketchy and overwhelmed with descriptions. Too much fluff around and though the main characters were amiable and hard working they just came as underdeveloped. The side characters were just terrible. Yess all of them. The cops family was so cookie cut stereotypical I couldn't stop rolling my eyes. Kind patriarchal dad. Overbearing Mother hen mom who has no substance except for the food she produces by the truckload. The brothers seasoned firefighters but otherwise having the minds of 14yr olds. The senior police officer assigned to our hero is nothing more then book cut 80' image of overweight, big Mack eating, seen it all cop, barely worth mentioning. And the Karma Cleaners were just the last screw in the coffin of this disaster. They are so unbelievably cheerful, they all seem to be on Ecstasy. Not to mention that, the white-soccer-mom hating Oprah, the victim of white privilege, who made millions selling stuff to said white-soccer-moms, is on a pedestal for being the supreme ummm Karma Mama. The backwards bending far left Melinda & Bill Gates are right next to Karma-Mama shining their holiness on their audiences. Right next to the Goddess of love....
How bad can it be? .... Bad, trust me

Got Your Number
Got Your Number
Author: Stephanie Bond
Genre: Romance
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
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A murder mystery halfway romance book. Not as well written as her other books. Ok premise of two cousins going back to homecoming week to revisit the past. Caught up in scandals and a "secret" they share that's finally revealed at the end of the book was a huge letdown. Some dead end chapters & not really worth reading. I recommend Bond's "Bodymover" series.

Rules of the Road: A Novel
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Helpful Score: 1

***** Blog Tour *****

The rules of the road are literal and figurative. In a book that includes serious issues - dementia, multiple sclerosis, and assisted end of life, Rules of the Road by Ciara Geraghty is really about a woman navigating through her own outlook and approach to life. A book dealing with such serious issues ends up a sweet story of self-discovery and friendship that leaves me more nostalgic than sad.

Read my complete review at

Reviewed for NetGalley and a publisher's blog tour.

Spider Woman's Daughter: A Leaphorn & Chee Novel
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This isn't a "Leaphorn and Chee" novel, but a "Mauelito and Chee" novel. "Manuelito" is Bernadette Manuelito, and she is Jim Chee's wife, both are members of the Navajo Police.

I wasn't sure Anne Hillerman could continue her father's success with these characters, and, with this---her first novel---I'm still not convinced. About halfway through the book I had a good idea who the criminal was.

Still, the novel is a good one and for those of us who enjoyed reading about Leaphorn, Chee and Manuelito and other members of the Navajo Police, it was good to "see" them back in action.

The Other People: A Novel
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For most part I liked this book. It had me sucked into it from the beginning. I was a little confused at first but I stuck with it and it all ironed itself out. There was a mystery/thriller part to the book and a supernatural part too. Both melded well with the mystery/thriller making the story move along. You just had to find out what was going on. The supernatural part left this eerie, unsettling feel in the air. The biggest downfall for me was the ending. Although I didn't hate it, it also was a suspenseful as the whole book. I was just expecting more. Also, the conversation at the end with Gabe and the Samaritan was a little irritating. The situation between the two boys were not the same and can't be compared in that way. Seemed like was unnecessarily thrown in there. Other than that, this was my first Tudor book and I look forward to more.

Shadow of the Raven (Dr. Thomas Silkstone, Bk 5)
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I was surprised to find myself skimming along through most of this book since the previous two were absolutely wonderful. This one was overly wordy, went into details for things that made no sense other than to add to word count.
Also Lady Lydia needs to pull her head out of her arse. I keep hoping that women were not that stupid back in those days.
Not much in the way of a murder mystery and more Lady Lydia in peril and Dr Silkstone to the rescue.
Hoping next one is betterLady Lydia needs to pull her head out of her arse, she is getting more annoying by the book and I am hoping Thomas dumps her. I doubt it since it seems she is his first romantic encounter so he is basically screwed.

The Mother-in-Law
The Mother-in-Law
Author: Sally Hepworth
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Hardcover
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Told in POV of Diana the mother-in-law and Her daughter-in-law Lucy in two time periods. Diana is found dead in this family drama set in Australia and it seems to be suicide. However an autopsy was questionable and it was obviously murder. She was a cold hearted, unsympathetic bitch to her son and daughter and her will left her large estate to charity leaving her son and daughter in a financial crisis.

I enjoyed this intriguing read where nothing is as it seems as it came to a satisfactory end.

Maid of Murder (India Hayes, Bk 1)
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A former best friend asks the reluctant heroine to be a bridesmaid. After a death and a brother accused, our heroine assists in solving the mystery. Lots of crazy characters with a story that moves along nicely. Enjoyed it a lot,

The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, Bk 3)
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I really enjoyed this book. Am now planning on reading more from this author.

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Having fewer than 100 pages for each story must be a trial for an author. People are used to fleshed-out characters, understandable motivations, and believable actions -- all in a single story. I try not to compare an author's short stories with the regular-lengthed ones written. I purchased this anthology because I've read (and liked) books by Balough and Heath.

The Anniversary (Mary Balogh) --This reminded me of THE SECRET PEARL by this author. Because of a mistake they made, Hugh, Earl of Reardon has a wife and a new child. Hugh was a noted rake who'd never considered marriage. However, on the anniversary of 'their mistake,' he returns to Reardon Hall, hoping to make amends. He realizes he loves both his wife and his child and wants to be part of their lives. But the couple is severely estranged. Each person is deeply hurt by the other's past actions. Is there any hope? Well-written and believable.

The Wooing of Lord Walford (Anne Barbour) -- Charlie, the second son, needs money and has an opportunity to earn 12 thousand pounds by getting his best friend, Sally, to marry his close friend. Years ago, 12 friends put money together and decided to give it to the last one of their set to marry. There are only 2 left, Charlie and his best friend, Lord Walford. What's delightful about this story is that it moves naturally and everyone is quite likable.

Cupid's Dart (Melinda McRae) -- Unfortunately, the publishers placed this story just after the previous one and they are similar in some ways. Sebastian Cole has been snared into his sister-in-law's trap of a Valentine party for several couples. He hastily invites one of his dearest friends, Wilhelmina Lady Taunton, to the party, to protect him from attempts to marry him off. Willi and Sebastian used to be lovers but mutually decided that they'd prefer to keep their close personal relationship (and abandon the affair). This is a pleasant read; just not great.

Devil's Luck (Anita Mills) -- This story presumes that the reader can believe a father would put the future of one of his daughters into a poker pot because he'd already lost $2 thousand pounds. He rushes home and shares the bad news; none of his 3 daughters wants to marry Lord Trevaney because he is a noted rake and unfeeling person. However, the middle daughter, Melisande, loses the contest with the short straw. She meets the lord and makes a feeble offer; Lord Trevaney kisses her and refuses. He tells her he just wanted to teach her father a lesson; he wasn't interested in marriage to any of the girls.

Charlotte has silently been betrothed to someone who actually is a fortune hunter, but of course, she won't believe it. She runs away with him one night and Melisande gives chase. She runs into Lord Trevaney and he helps her snag Charlotte. When the betrothed finds out Charlotte has no money, he demands he's been tricked and withdraws the offer. Then the girl's father arrives and there is total chaos. Actually, I liked this story; it was original and unique.

The Imposter (Sandra Heath) -- This is a story of mistaken identity but it was too short to be realistic. Francis Vining, a philanderer, wants Felix Vestey to stop by his intended's manor and tell her (Jane Martin) that he has been detained (he's actually on his way to Bath to chase an actress). When Felix gets there, he falls in love instantly with Jane and assumes Francis' role. Of course, Jane falls for him instantly too (Jane sent a miniature to Francis, and Felix has seen it, so he knows who she is but she has not received a miniature from Francis and does not know what he looks like).

The order of the stories as I liked them (fave to least): Barbour, Balogh, Mills, McRae, Heath.

The Orphan Collector
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I was completely and unexpectedly consumed by The Orphan Collector by Ellen Marie Wiseman! Every time I had the chance to read a few pages, I resented whatever caused me to put it down (sleep, work, etc.).

I didn't realize it's a 1918 Spanish Influenza story; it was compelling and unsettling to read during our current pandemic. The Orphan Collector combines the themes of As Bright As Heaven and The Girls With No Names but with darker and sadder intensity. This is not for all readers, especially now.

The plot focuses on Pia, a 12-year-old German girl who has immigrated to Philadelphia with her parents; four months ago twin brothers joined their family. Their loyalty to the US is constantly questioned so her father enlisted in the US military and was sent to fight in WWI and her mother takes the children to the fateful parade to celebrate the war's end.

Bernice Groves, a neighbor to Pia's family, also experiences devastating losses and is motivated by her grief and privilege to take unthinkable actions. I've never disliked a character so strongly! If Bernice were a person living today, I know who she'd vote for in the Presidential election.

Ms. Wiseman's thorough research and compelling writing fully immersed me in this world, and I was literally on the edge of my seat until I turned the final page.

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