Posted in Book Reviews

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: ‘The Return of the Ripper’: Anna Elliott & Charles Veley


I RECEIVED THE TITLE IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. ALL OPINIONS ARE MINE. PIC & SYNOPSIS BELONG SOLELY TO THE AUTHOR/PUBLISHER.

Book 7 of 8 in A Sherlock Holmes and Lucy James Mystery (8 Book Series)
SYNOPSIS: October 1897. Diamond mogul Cecil Rhodes wants Sherlock Holmes to break up a smuggling ring. Lucy James is preoccupied with her role as an actress and her upcoming wedding. And then, London’s most infamous murderer makes a most unwelcome entrance.

The Baker street team soon find themselves enmeshed in a deadly conspiracy, with tentacles that reach far beyond the shadows of Whitechapel. Lucy and Holmes will need more than their usual deductive brilliance to defeat their latest adversary, or else the case of the Ripper will be their last.

If you love a strong heroine, a touch of romance, and a classic Holmes, you’re going to love this fast-paced adventure.

MY THOUGHTS: I was thrilled to see that Holmes & Lucy were set to work on the elusive Ripper phenom. There’s been a resurgence of interest in Jack the Ripper in recent years, fueled by theory & the hunt for the ‘one who got away’. Part of the entertainment value, if one can call it that, in the Ripper’s legend is that so many people think they know who he was and there are so many suspects!

It’s timely that two of the finest detectives to ever grace the pages of a novel are now involved! Now, that alone would have made an incredible novel, but there’s more! We are also treated to Holmes taking on a smuggling ring and Lucy is getting ready for her wedding. There’s never a dull moment in their lives.

As always, our favorite father-daughter author duo has brought their ‘A’ game. There is so much to love about this book. It’s the kind of detective story that readers will want to read more than once because it’s so much fun to watch the plot unravel. Again, we have the iconic Sherlock doing what he does best while remaining true to the roots planted by Doyle in his original works. Lucy once again proves her skills at being a Renaissance woman as she solves crimes, maintains her acting career, and still has time for a productive social life. Dr. Watson is proof positive that the limelight isn’t necessary in order to make a difference or to be a great friend.

With a unique twist on all things Jack the Ripper along with the great diamond smuggling side plot, our authors hit yet another home run with this incredible, 5 star novel. I highly recommend this series and hope there are many more installments to come! Bravo!

Posted in Book Reviews

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: Mosquito Creek Inn: Sherrie Todd-Beshore

I RECEIVED THE TITLE IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. ALL OPINIONS ARE MINE. PIC & SYNOPSIS BELONG SOLELY TO AUTHOR/PUBLISHER.

SYNOPSIS: “Eleven-year-old Sonia Molosky’s quiet summer and that of her close friends begins to shift after an insurance investigator arrives in Mosquito Creek to settle the vast estate of a young heiress who disappeared seven years before. When Sonia discovers the contents of a suitcase behind a hidden door at the back of her mother’s closet, she convinces six of her pals to help her search for new clues to the unsolved mystery. Curiosity soon escalates events to an unexpected discovery that challenges their untested resourcefulness and courage in order to outwit and expose a cruel and cunning foe. While attempting to retrace the path the missing girl rode her horse the afternoon she disappeared, history begins to repeat itself…”

MY THOUGHTS: ‘Mosquito’ is Book 1 of 7 in the Mosquito Creek Detective Club series. From page 1, it was engaging and gripping. Although it is marketed as YA and rightfully so, I had great fun reading it! Good mysteries are timeless and ageless.
As a lead character, Sonia is capable and intelligent. All the children in the series are respectful to each other as well as their elders. Adults aren’t portrayed as imbeciles as is so often the case in YA fiction. It’s a clean read. I found no cursing or violence making it more than acceptable for middle school through adults. In fact, I’d recommend it to adult readers in need of a new series.
As for the plot, it is original and a good, old-fashioned whodunit. Messages throughout the book related to teamwork, having a sense of community, and the importance of family. I recommend this series and give ‘Mosquito’ 5 stars.

Posted in Book Reviews

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: Die Again, Mr. Holmes: Anna Elliott & Charles Veley



I RECEIVED THE MENTIONED TITLE IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW. ALL OPINIONS ARE MINE. PIC & SYNOPSIS BELONG SOLELY TO THE AUTHORS/PUBLISHER. SPECIAL THANKS TO Sarah Miniaci OF SMITH PUBLISHING FOR HER KINDNESS & UNDERSTANDING.

SYNOPSIS: Meet Lucy James, the detective partner Sherlock Holmes never expected!

The newest gripping adventure in this popular mystery series takes us from the Old Bailey courthouse and the seacoast lairs of smugglers to a grand British country estate and the iconic financial headquarters of Lloyd’s of London.

Watson, Sherlock and Lucy find themselves up against a powerful conspiracy.

Survival will require valor, sacrifice, and acts that go far, far outside the law.

As the story opens, a young woman begs Sherlock Holmes to help find her missing fiance, but the great detective makes an uncharacteristic mistake.

Then Sherlock’s daughter, Lucy James, takes on a missing person case of her own.

But Lucy must also keep a vicious criminal away from Becky, Lucy’s ten-year-old sister-in-law, and little Becky soon becomes dangerously involved in both cases.

Then the Baker Street team gets the devastating news that Sherlock Holmes has been murdered.

MY THOUGHTS: Absolutely fabulous! I have been blessed enough to follow this series from the beginning. Each book gets better and better (even though they were already amazing!). Being that the content is clean and action-packed, I have recommended the series to countless librarians and fans of mysteries. I never have to think twice because I know each book is a quality read, without questionable situations, and any new readers will quickly become permanent fans.

As a female lead, Lucy reigns supreme. As an intelligent problem-solver, Lucy relies on her brain to solve dilemmas and live her life honorably. She is a fabulous role model to YA readers who are too often exposed to characters who utilize their gender is a less than appropriate way. Allowing her to team up with the icon that is Sherlock proves that she can hold her own. Doyle, himself, would be quite proud of how his characters welcome her and of Lucy in general.

I loved the plot twists with Sherlock faking his death and then the elements of a good, old-fashioned mystery. This is the way mysteries are supposed to be written! I give it a full 5 stars and highly recommend the series!

ABOUT THE SHERLOCK HOLMES & LUCY JAMES MYSTERY SERIES
The Sherlock Holmes & Lucy James Mystery Series by Charles Veley and Anna Elliott to date includes The Last Moriarty (2015), The Wilhelm Conspiracy (2016), Remember, Remember (2017), The Crown Jewel Mystery: A Prequel (2017), The Jubilee Problem (2017), Death at the Diogenes Club (2017), The Return of the Ripper (2018), and Die Again, Mr. Holmes, released on January 2, 2019. All titles are available for purchase in paperback, e-book, and audiobook formats via Amazon and Audible.
Website: http://sherlockandlucy.com/

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Spotlight: The Waiting Room by Emily Bleeker

SYNOPSIS: Ever since her husband’s death collided with the birth of her daughter, postpartum depression has taken hold of Veronica Shelton. She can’t sleep, can’t work, and can’t bear to touch her beautiful baby girl. Her emotional state is whispering lies in Veronica’s ear: You’re a bad mother. Your baby would be better off without you. But not everything can be reasoned away by Veronica’s despair. Can it?
After all, the break-in at her house happened. The disturbing sketches she found in her studio are real. So is the fear for her daughter’s safety—especially when Veronica comes home to a cold, silent nursery and a missing baby.
As she turns from victim into primary suspect, Veronica realizes that only she can find her daughter. Authorities aren’t helping. They’re only watching. Veronica’s concerned mother has suddenly vanished from her life. And a new friend seems to be keeping secrets from her too. Now, reality is waiting for Veronica in a dark place—because someone’s mind games have only just begun.

MY THOUGHTS: Often we can figure out the course of a book within the first chapter. That was not the case with this book. I was completely wrong with how I thought it was going to go.
The best adjective I can use to describe this book is creepy. From start to finish, it was creepy. It wasn’t the kind of creepy that you get from watching an episode of Discovery ID but it was creepy none the less.
The main character is incredibly difficult to like. She’s the type of person you probably wouldn’t be friends with because she just puts you off. Her mannerisms, her dialogue, her attitude – all give you the feeling that there’s more there than you know.
The mystery suspense component is awesome. I really wanted to continue reading and was aggravated when I had to stop. Mostly, I had no idea how it was going to end up and I desperately wanted to know.
It is a good book. But it will stay with you after you’re done reading it. I give it 4 stars because it’s original and creepy, but it still seems to be missing a little something that I can’t quite put my finger on.
I would still recommend it to be read.
The synopsis belongs solely to the author publisher.

Posted in Book Reviews

Meltdown in Christmas River: A Christmas Cozy Mystery: Meg Muldoon

(Christmas River #10)
SYNOPSIS:How do you find a killer when everyone in town has a motive?
That’s the question pie-baker extraordinaire Cinnamon Peters and the rest of the cozy little mountain town of Christmas River are asking this December.
After Moira Stewart — the town’s worst gossip — is found dead of unnatural causes one snowy morning, rumors begin swirling like snowflakes in a blizzard about her unexpected demise.
But not everything is as it seems in Christmas River this holiday season. And in a town where everyone stands to gain from Moira’s death, Cinnamon and her husband Sheriff Brightman find themselves stumbling into dangerous and deadly territory.
Because this December, the weather outside is frightful…
And so is the murder.
MY THOUGHTS: I started this series quite some time ago. I read them all (1-9) and anxiously awaited #10. Initially, the book started off slow. Honestly, I almost walked away from it. I’m glad I stuck it out.
It definitely improved! This mystery surrounds a little known character in the town and, in addition, we get to learn a bit more about Cinnamon’s past. I was pleased with this as her past has been a mystery itself.

All the favorite supporting characters are back as is a healthy dose of Christmas cheer. Unlike some of the previous installments, the whodunit part of the story wasn’t obvious right away. It will take the reader a bit to piece it together. That’s always fun in a mystery. All in all, it was worth the wait and is a 4 star book.

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Spotlight: Girls’ Night Out: Liz Fenton , Lisa Steinke

SYNOPSIS: 

For estranged friends Ashley, Natalie, and Lauren, it’s time to heal the old wounds between them. Where better to repair those severed ties than on a girls’ getaway to the beautiful paradise of Tulum, Mexico? But even after they’re reunited, no one is being completely honest about the past or the secrets they’re hiding. When Ashley disappears on their girls’ night out, Natalie and Lauren have to try to piece together their hazy memories to figure out what could have happened to her, while also reconciling their feelings of guilt over their last moments together.

Was Ashley with the man she’d met only days before? Did she pack up and leave? Was she kidnapped? Or worse—could Natalie or Lauren have snapped under the weight of her own lies?

As the clock ticks, hour by hour, Natalie and Lauren’s search rushes headlong into growing suspicion and dread. Maybe their secrets run deeper and more dangerous than one of them is willing—or too afraid—to admit.

MY THOUGHTS: It’s been a while since I was so engrossed in a novel that I read it every chance I had. But, I did just that with ‘Girls’ Night Out’. As the memories and realities of the ladies’ lives are revealed, the mystery just deepens and deepens. Each of the women is an awful friend and each has their own demons to fight. But, every time I thought I knew the plot, it twisted again.

Our authors expertly went back and forth, each chapter belonging to one of the three women main characters, never missing a beat. There were AHA moments and wow factors galore. But, the whole thing may make you rethink and trips you may have in the works.

Even the end itself blew my mind. The author duo also penned ‘The Good Widow‘ which was great, too. They work incredibly well together. I certainly hope they’ll collaborate again soon. ‘Girls’ Night Out’ is worth every bit of a 5 star rating.

*Synopsis belongs solely to the author/publisher.

Posted in Product Reviews- DVDs

‘Daphne & Velma Original Movie’ On DVD/Blu-Ray 5/22 #WBPromotion

I received the product mentioned in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

PRODUCT INFO: Jeepers! Your favorite mystery solving teenagers are back in an all-new, live-action feature length movie! Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Daphne & Velma on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD on May 22, 2018. The film stars Sarah Jeffery (Disney’s “Descendants: Wicked World”) and Sarah Gilman (ABC’s “Last Man Standing”), and is produced by Ashley Tisdale and Jennifer Tisdale’s Blondie Girl Productions. Daphne & Velma will carry a suggested retail price of $19.98 for the DVD and $24.98 for the Blu-ray.

State of the art robots and high-tech gadgets are common sights at Ridge Valley High, an innovative center of learning for some of the brightest minds in the country, including new transfer student, the bright & optimistic Daphne Blake (Sarah Jeffery) who is excited to finally go to school with her online bestie, the whip-smart & analytical Velma Dinkley (Sarah Gilman). But not everything is as innocent as it seems as mysterious disappearances begin to plague the top-performing students on campus. Once cheery and full of life, kids now appear in a “zombiefied” state – lifeless and shells of themselves. Can Daphne and Velma learn to work together and save the students or will they become the next victims? Get ready for thrills and laughs as we follow the first adventures of Mystery Inc.’s fierce female duo.

Daphne and Velma, the smart and resourceful women of Scooby-Doo fame, come to life in this all-new mystery,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, WBHE, Vice President, TV Marketing, Family & Animation. “Young girls will be delighted to discover how these clever heroines come together for their very first mystery demonstrating that no mystery is too big for these “meddling” girls to solve!”

MY THOUGHTS: My husband, youngest (15 yrs old) son, & I watched ‘Daphne & Velma’ as part of a Friday night/family night. Three different age groups and all 3 of us LOVED it! Although we had two, strong female leads, there was no gender bias hinting the girls of Mystery Inc. were more intelligent or interesting than the boys. Both characters were presented as capable, strong-willed, and determined teens.
Of course, the girly girl in me adored Daphne’s automated closet and her quick wit with outfit prep. My son & husband loved the tech aspects especially all the automation in the high school and the internet friendship the girls had. As an avid reader, I love a good mystery. If you think that this one would be obvious or easy to solve, you’re mistaken. Daphne & Velma have to work for this one. Yes, the clues are there and even my son thought he had it figured out only to have missed the mark.
Occasionally, direct-to-DVD movies get a bad rep. Somehow consumers often feel they weren’t ‘good’ enough for theaters. This movie breaks that stereotype as well as any glass ceilings. It is a fabulous movie! Both actresses are superb. Their supporting cast was well chosen and it plays out so smoothly that one would think it was part of a regular show. Daphne and Velma are average, modern teens who happen to be really into solving mysteries. EXCELLENT! I would watch it again and if you or a loved one is a Scooby Doo fan, add this to the collection. I give it 5 stars!

“Daphne & Velma” is produced by Blue Ribbon Content and Blondie Girl Productions with Production Services provided by Lifeboat Productions Inc. Ashley Tisdale (Young & Hungry), Jennifer Tisdale (Her Universe Fashion Show), Amy Kim (Confess, Chosen), Jaime Burke (Cassandra French’s Finishing School, Quantum Break) and Suzi Yoonessi (Olive and Mochha: First Kiss) serve as producers, with Yoonessi also directing from a script written by Kyle Mack & Caitlin Meares.
BONUS FEATURES

Daphne & Velma: A New Ambition
An Updated Classic Mystery
Iconic Styles of Daphne & Velma Reimagined
Gag Reel

DIGITAL HD
Daphne & Velma will be available to own on Digital HD. Digital HD allows consumers to instantly stream and download all episodes to watch anywhere and anytime on their favorite devices. Digital HD is available from various digital retailers including Amazon Video, CinemaNow, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, Xbox and others. A Digital Copy is also included with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray discs for redemption and cloud storage through participating UltraViolet retail services including CinemaNow, Vudu and Flixster Video.

Total Runtime: 72 minutes
SD: $19.98 SRP
BD: $24.98 SRP
Behind the Scenes:
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment’s home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees.
Formed in 2014, Warner Bros. Television Group’s Blue Ribbon Content (BRC) develops and produces live-action series for digital platforms, tapping the creative talent already working at the Studio while also identifying opportunities for collaboration with new writers and producers. In addition to live-action programming, BRC produces animated content and is also experimenting with emerging platforms such as virtual reality. Live-action BRC programs include the UNINTERRUPTED comedy Now We’re Talking, the comedy series Critters: A New Binge and Golden Revenge, and digital feature Good Girls Get High for Verizon; SpringHill Entertainment’s basketball documentary series Best Shot for YouTube Red; comedies Beerfest and JoJoHead for CW Seed; and the live-action digital feature Daphne & Velma for Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Animated BRC programs include Constantine and Freedom Fighters: The Ray for CW Seed, ellen’s Pet Dish for ellentube, and Ginger Snaps for ABC Digital.
Founded by Ashley Tisdale and run by Ashley and her sister Jennifer Tisdale, with Kaitlin Saltzman as head of television, Blondie Girl Productions is a Los Angeles based production company that develops and produces television and digital programming with a focus on telling stories for millennial women by millennial women. Blondie Girl is most recently one of the producers behind the FREEFORM breakout comedy hit “Young & Hungry”; the company is repped at UTA and currently has a deal at Warner Horizon Scripted Television.