Monday, October 31, 2011

It's Monday...What Are You Reading? (10.31.11)



It’s Monday What Are you Reading , hosted by Sheila, is the perfect way for me to begin my week and allows me to focus on what needs to be read and to see what I have or have not accomplished the previous week. I also enjoy discovering new books by visiting other participants blogs.

Well, this weekend was certainly one for the record books - a snow storm in October! We got over six inches and lost our beloved maple tree in the front of our house. My husband is so upset and I'm upset because now all the tree branches are blocking our walkway and front porch - the little trick-or-treaters are not going to be able to come here. I'm so bummed!
As for reading, I did get quite a bit in on Saturday during the storm as we were without power and there was nothing else to do but snuggle up in a blanket and read.

Books Completed last week:

  • Flirting with Mermaids by John Kretschmer (book club book)
  • Skeleton Letters by Laura Childs (library book)
Reading Now:
  • The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig (mine)
  • Night Road by Kristin Hannah (library audio book)
Next:
  • Peony in Love by Lisa See (mine)
  • Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins (review book)
Reviews completed this past week
Other Posts related to books:
Books for which I need to finish reviews:
  • Larceny and Lace by Annette Blair
  • Perfect on Paper by Maria Murnane
  • The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson
  • Flirting with Mermaids by John Kretschmer
  • Skeleton Letters by Laura Childs
Contest information:

What about you?  What does your reading week look like this week?  Whatever it is, happy reading and have a good week!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Review: Serendipity by Carly Phillips

First line: Ethan Barron sped down Main Street in his hometown of Serendipity, New York, with one thought only.

From the back cover: Faith Harrington was the classic girl of privilege - until her father was convicted of running a Ponzi scheme and then her marriage crashed and burned.

Now Faith is back in her hometown, hoping for a fresh start. But her father's betrayal has rocked Serendipity - and not everyone is ready to welcome her with open arms. Then she runs into her teenage crush - the dark, brooding Ethan Barron. Ethan, no stranger to scandal himself, never imagined he'd own the mansion on the hill, much less ever again come face-to-face with Faith - the princess he once kissed senseless. The chance meeting reignites the electric charge between them.

Still, when Ethan hires her to redecorate what was once her childhood home, Faith is sure that getting involved with the town's notorious bad boy will lead only to trouble. But her heart has other ideas. And so do the townspeople of Seredipity...

My thoughts: This is the first in Carly Phillips' newest series, Serendipity and I loved it. I still remember reading first Carly Phillips' book - The Bachelor - and have come to expect a certain steaminess and hunky characters in her books. This story certainly did not disappoint.

Ethan Barron and Faith Harrington have both returned to the hometown of Serendipity. Faith's world was destroyed by the discovery of the fact that her father had been stealing from his clients with a Ponzi scheme. And if finding out her father wasn't the man she thought he was wasn't enough, her marriage crumbled when she found her husband in her bed with his mistress. Ethan Barron had made some pretty big mistakes when he was a teenager. Now a successful business entrepreneur, he has returned home to Serendipity determined to try and make amends with the brothers he left behind.

Both Ethan and Faith have baggage, but that does not stop them falling in love with each other. That said, fate continues to throw the unexpected at them. Can they find a way to be together with everything working against them? Serendipity has heart, romance and a tortured hero looking for redemption. While it is a romance story, it is also about family and how important family is. I look forward to reading the rest of this series, getting to know the other Barron brothers. 

(I borrowed this book from the library.)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Review: The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner (audio book)

From the back of the audio case: A young mother, blond and pretty, disappears without a trace from her South Boston home, leaving behind her four-year-old daughter as the only witness and her handsome, secretive husband as the prime suspect.

But Detective Sergeant D.D. Warren senses something off about the picture of wholesome normality the couple worked so hard to create. On the surface, Jason and Sandra Jones were like any other hardworking young couple raising a four-yer-old child. But it is just under the surface that things grew murkier.

With the clock ticking on the life of a missing woman and the media firestorm building, Jason Jones seems more intent on destroying evidence and isolating his daughter than on searching for his "beloved" wife. Is the perfect husband trying to hide his guilt - or just trying to hide? And will the only witness to the crime be the killer's next victim?

Read by: Emily Janice Card, Kirby Heyborne, and Kirsten Potter

 My thoughts: This is the third in Lisa Gardner's Detective D.D. Warren series and it was quite the thrilling audio book that had me hooked from the very beginning.

Jason Jones and his twenty-three year old wife, Sandra, appear to be a normal American couple. He works nights as reporter for a Boston newspaper and she is a conscientious middle school social studies teacher. They dote on their adorable and precocious four-year old, Clarissa, whom they call Ree. However, nothing in a Lisa Gardner novel is ever straightforward. When Jason and Sandra married, he was thirty and she was eighteen. Neither one revealed to the other certain horrific secrets that they preferred to keep buried. 

Then, one night Sandra disappears.

The suspects are many: her husband, who is not acting like a worried, distraught spouse; a neighbor who is a registered sex-offender; her own father who has been absent from her life for years; a loner student she has shown interest in; and a former romantic involvement. Lisa Gardner pulls out one surprise after another with twists all along the way. Meanwhile we get flashbacks of the missing woman's thoughts - her anger, her lust, her unsatisfied desires.

The Neighbor is an edge-of-your seat thriller where the author explores the ways in which computers can be used for good or evil, how horrific childhood traumas can scar a victim for life, and the need that every man and woman has to love and be loved in return. She also touches on the media frenzy that inevitably follows when an attractive wife and mother vanishes without a trace. It is a gripping and intense police procedural, a moving portrait of a troubled family, and a complex murder mystery. It was hard to stop listening until I learned exactly what Jason and Sandra were hiding and why. I found myself sitting in my car or taking the long way home just so that I could get to the end to find out exactly what had happened. 

I am now caught up with Lisa Gardner's Detective D.D. Warren series and I cannot wait for the next book, Catch Me, to be released next year! 

(I borrowed this audio book from the library.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

FIR '11: Reading Question #5


FIR is hosted by Katrina at Callapidderdays.

Every Wednesday this fall, Katrina will be posting a question about reading.

Today's question:
Do you skim? Or are you faithful to read every word?
 
I have to admit that I am one of those readers that reads every word on the page the majority of the time - a fact that at times drives my husband nuts because he tends to be a skimmer. I just feel that the words are there for a reason and I therefore need to read them. 
 
There are times, though, that I do find myself skimming, mostly because either I am not really into the book or because I feel that the author is going on too much with descriptions and I just want to get to the meat of the story. While I very rarely do not finish a book, I find that skimming helps me get through it a little easier. 

What about you? Are you dedicated to reading every word (even the boring ones)? Or have you been known to skim over some passages?
 

Review: An O'Brien Family Christmas by Sherryl Woods

First line: She'd lost the job of a lifetime because of a man!

From the inside cover: Dating Matthew O'Brien - a playboy and a younger man - cost Laila her career and her parents' respect. A high price, even for love - and when Laila decides it was just a fling, she breaks it off, despite Matthew's objections.

But the O'Brien family has other ideas, and they conspire to get Laila to join them on a Dublin holiday. It's a great time to get away from it all, but Laila has reservations about the trip. Matthew's bound to be there, and she's far from immune. What if she can't resist temptation?

Meanwhile, the O'Briens are in an uproar over matriarch Nell's unexpected romance with an old flame. Will she follow her heart despite the risks? And will Laila discover that some risks are actually once-in-a-lifetime opportunities?

My thoughts: This is the eighth book in Sherryl Wood's Chesapeake Shores series and I loved it. Don't let the title mislead you - yes, it is set around Christmastime, but it is also a story about overcoming personal preconceptions and finding that one true love.

In An O'Brien Family Christmas, we find the O’Brien family headed to Ireland for the holidays. Laila Riley has broken up with Matthew O’Brien, thinking that their relationship was just a fling and a bad idea that resulted in her leaving her job. The O’Briens, however—meddlers all—believe that Laila and Matthew deserve another chance, and talk her into coming along to Ireland. Nell O’Brien, the family matriarch, also reconnects with someone from her past in Dublin. This, of course, does not sit well with Mick, and watching him react every time Nell goes off to see her beau is quite comical at times.

Even though they might seem meddling and just down right nosy, this is a family I think we all secretly want to be a part of and it is very reminiscent of my own large, sometimes meddling and nosy family! The very best part of this book, in my opinion, is when I found out that this isn't the last in this series as I had otherwise thought. In fact throughout the book, Sherryl Woods gives us a peek of who we might see in the next book,  most likely Luke and the girl he met over in Ireland, but I would venture to guess we haven't seen the last of Gram and her beau either. I can't wait for The Summer Garden to come out next February!

(I borrowed this book from the library.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Review: The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin

First line: The visiting hour was almost over, so the hummingbird man encountered only the occasional carriage as he pushed his cart along the narrow strip of road between the mansions of Newport and the Atlantic Ocean.

Synopsis: Traveling abroad with her mother at the turn of the twentieth century to seek a titled husband, beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, whose family mansion in Newport dwarfs the Vanderbilts’, suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals. Money, Cora soon learns, cannot buy everything, as she must decide what is truly worth the price in her life and her marriage.

My thoughts: I  was completely entranced with the story of Cora Cash - a beautiful, smart, headstrong and extremely rich American heiress. This book had me glued to the pages until I finished and it is definitely a story that stays with you long after you finish reading the last page.

Cora's mother is determined to find a husband with a title for her daughter. Cora has other ideas. She can't help but feel that everyone she meets only sees her money, and doesn't even look for the girl underneath. When her mother decides Cora will go to England in search of a titled husband, Cora has no choice but to obey, and even secretly hopes that once there, taken out of the spotlight of New York society, someone may even want her for her, and not for her fortune. While in England, Cora quickly finds a Duke all on her own without even looking and a marriage is soon arranged. She quickly finds out that everything is not as it appears in English society, and she will be tested. Ivo, Cora’s new husband, is not a man without secrets and his mother is almost as overbearing and interfering as her own mother. Will she find that her marriage was only for her money, or will her husband turn out to be the man that Cora Cash deserves?  

This book is lush and gorgeous with period detail. Daisy Goodwin does a fabulous job of capturing the essence of America's Gilded Age and contrasting it with its English counterpart. I especially liked the way the author interspersed the story with little snippets from the points of view of some of the regular, everyday people who crossed paths with the Cashes and the Warehams. It really helped define the distance between the haves and the have nots while at the same time illuminating that the one could not exist without the other, adding to the authenticity of the story, and bringing together both the grit and the glamour of the Gilded Age. 

I would love to see more about the lives of Cora and Ivo, as well as some of the other minor characters. In the meantime, I think I will be looking into the show Downton Abbey as I've heard this book is similar in many ways.

I received a complimentary copy of The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin  from Ann-Marie at Get Red PR  to review.

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's Monday...What Are You Reading? (10.24.11)



It’s Monday What Are you Reading , hosted by Sheila, is the perfect way for me to begin my week and allows me to focus on what needs to be read and to see what I have or have not accomplished the previous week. I also enjoy discovering new books by visiting other participants blogs.

Last week, they were still working on my house, so I had lots of quality reading time...unfortunately I didn't have as much time on my computer to work on reviews...the never ending drama of getting to reviews. I am hoping to work on them this week as things will finally get back to normal around here as the work  is all done.

Books Completed last week:
  • Paris Noire by Francine Thomas Howard (review book)
  • Larceny and Lace by Annette Blair (mine)
  • Perfect on Paper by Maria Murnane (library book)
  • The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson (mine)
Reading Now:
  • Flirting with Mermaids by John Kretschmer (book club book)
  • Night Road by Kristin Hannah (library audio book)
Next:
  • Skeleton Letters by Laura Childs (library book)
  • The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig (mine)
Reviews completed this past week
Other Posts related to books:
Books for which I need to finish reviews:
  • An O'Brien Family Christmas by Sherryl Woods
  • The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner
  • The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin
  • Serendipity by Carly Phillips
  • Larceny and Lace by Annette Blair
  • Perfect on Paper by Maria Murnane
  • The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson
Contest information:

What about you?  What does your reading week look like this week?  Whatever it is, happy reading and have a good week!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

In My Mailbox (71) 10.23.11

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren. Every week I'll post what books I've received either by mailbox/library/store.



Purchased:
The Christmas Wedding
by James Patterson

I already read this and loved it - as is typical of James Patterson's books, I read this in one afternoon!
Flirting With Mermaids
by John Kretschmer

This is the book selection for this month's book club meeting. The meeting is this Thursday so I will be starting this one right away!
From Library:



Skeleton Letters
by Laura Childs

This is the ninth in Laura Child's Scrapbooking Mysteries and I cannot wait to start reading it.


 

What's in your mailbox?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Review: Navy Baby by Debbie Macomber

First line: On her knees in the bathroom floor, Hannah Raymond viewed parts of the toilet that were never meant to be seen at such short range.

From the back cover: It was a night she'd never forget...two strangers coming together in one breathless moment of intense need and heart-stopping desire. But now sheltered Hannah Raymond is expecting the child of rugged naval seaman Riley Murdock - a man she never thought she'd see again...

Riley has been searching for the elusive Hannah for months - ever since that night of searing passion left him shaken to the very depths of his soul. Now fate has finally reunited them. Determined to give his child the chance he'd never had, Riley marries Hannah.

They had created the miracle of life together, but would that be enough to spark the miracle of love?

My thoughts: This is the fifth in Debbie Macomber's Navy series and I found it to be a very quick read. I loved both characters and it was fun watching them overcome their not so perfect situation and grow to love each other as they did.

Navy Baby is about two people who are trying to do the right thing, about two people who both try - eventually - to rise above their anger and bitterness to try to create something beautiful, meaningful - and lasting. Hannah, angry, bitter, and mad at the world, is still trying to come to terms with losing her fiance. She stumbles into Riley one night and sparks fly. One thing leads to another, a crazy night of passion ensues, and she runs away the next morning. Riley can't seem to get Hannah out of his mind and does everything he can think of to find this girl. A few months later, it is Hannah's father that gets the two together after finding out that Hannah is pregnant. After a tense meeting, it is decided that the two will marry. As they adjust to their new situation, there are many humorous scenes and many touching, romantic scenes. Will these two get out of their own way before it's too late and a child is brought into this world with two distant parents?

I love reading good, sometimes cheesy, sometimes poignant, romance stories and no one does that better than Debbie Macomber. Not only does she give us a love story, but she gives us real characters that we can oftentimes relate to. I've had fun going back and reading this series and can't wait to see what's in store next for Debbie Macomber, now that she has finished writing her Cedar Cove series.

(I borrowed this book from the library.)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Paris Noire by Francine Thomas Howard (CLOSED)

First line: Outside, somewhere, the next gun blast thudded through the air, rattling the mahogany-framed photograph of Papa.

From the back cover: Paris, 1944: The city steams in the summer heat, bristling with anticipation of its impending liberation. It marks the beginning of the end of a devastating war...and the beginning of a year like no other for Marie-Therese Brillard and her children, Colette and Christophe. They first came to Paris from Martinique in 1928, among the immigrants of color who flocked to France in the 1920s and '30s. They settled in Montmartre, a vibrant neighborhood teeming with musicians, writers, and artists, and began the arduous task of buidling a new life in a new land. The rigors of World War II only added to the adversity beneath which Marie-Therese struggled. Its culmination should offer her relief, and yet...

When Colette and Christophe are swept up in the jubilation following the Nazis' departure, each embarks upon a passionate love affair that Marie-Therese fears will cost them their dreams - or their lives. Twenty-year-old Colette begins a dalliance with a while Frenchman, a romance discouraged for the quadroon child of an immigrant. Her older brother Christophe becomes the lover of the beautiful wife of a French freedom fighter, a relationship Marie-Therese suspects can only end in heartache and bloodshed. Adding yet another complication is the man she calls Monsieur Lieutenant, the handsome black soldier whose mere presence intrigues Marie-Therese as no man has before.

Set against the turbulent backdrop of wartime France, Paris Noire is a dramatic and engrossing novel that brings to vivid life the remarkable people once relegated to the fringes of history.

My thoughts: I found this to be quite a compelling read. It is set during one of my favorite time-periods - World War II - and is a complex tale about life for people of color in post-WWII Paris. 

Set in 1944, at the beginning of the end of WWII, Paris Noire focuses on the story of Marie Therese and her two children Colette and Christophe. The family immigrated to Paris in 1928 from Martinique and faced many prejudices along the way. Once the Nazi's have left Paris, there is a great celebration where Christophe ends up beginning a passionate love affair with the wife of a French freedom fighter, a fact he is unaware of. Marie-Therese suspects that this relationship will only end to heartbreak for her son yet Christophe is determined to make his relationship work, as after all, he is in love. At the same time Colette begins a romance with a white Frenchman and Marie-Therese herself finds herself attracted to a handsome black soldier.
 
Francine Thomas Howard brings this multi-ethnic and cultural novel to life in a very personal way as she fictionalizes one of her grandmother's experiences in Paris Noire and does so in a way that brings a taste of realism to the tale as we follow the suffering and the blessings of this family. It was very easy to get caught up in the events of the story, especially with Christophe and Genvieve's story. I did feel, though, that we don't see or find out as much about Colette's story as we do Christophe's and even Marie-Therese. I would have liked to see more of her in the story, but still, found it to be quite an enjoyable read. 


About the author: Francine Thomas Howard resides with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area. Originally from Illinois, she has lived in the Bay Area since childhood. She left a rewarding career in pediatric occupational therapy to pursue her first love, writing. Paris Noire is her second novel, after the celebrated Page from a Tennessee Journal.

I received a complimentary copy of Paris Noire by Francine Thomas Howard  from Sarah at Little Bird Publicity  to review.

Giveaway Information:

Thanks to Sarah at Little Bird, I have one copy of Paris Noire to give away to my readers.  Entries are open to those from the US.

To enter leave a comment including your email address.

For extra entries (leave a separate comment for each entry):

+1 Follow this blog (If you are already a follower, just mention that in the comment.)
+1 Blog about this giveaway (Posting the giveaway on your sidebar is also acceptable.)

3 entry maximum. 
Don't forget to LEAVE A SEPARATE COMMENT for each entry.


Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

GIVEAWAY ENDS
AT 6 PM, EST, November 3rd

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

FIR '11: Reading Question #4


FIR is hosted by Katrina at Callapidderdays.

Every Wednesday this fall, Katrina will be posting a question about reading.

Today's question:
How large is your personal/family collection of books? And where do you keep them?
 
With both my husband and I avid readers, the answer to this is a lot! And by a lot I mean we probably have close to 750 books. He enjoys old books and my collection is more varied. We were very lucky when we moved into our house two and a half years ago that there were built-in book shelves around the back window of the living room. I thought to myself when we first looked at the house that there was no way we would ever fill those shelves - boy was I wrong! Not only did we fill all those shelves, there are some that are two deep with books.
 
 


We also have a book shelf that my hubby made out on the enclosed porch that is slowly filling up with books, too. Of course, we each have a few books on our nightstands, too, but those books rotate depending on what we are reading.

 
Now, that number above does not include the over 1000 picture books I have still sitting in boxes in my basement from when I was teaching. That is another story for another day.
 
So how about you? What is the book collection like at your house? 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: A Lawman's Christmas by Linda Lael Miller (CLOSED)

First line: If the spark-throwing screech of iron-on-iron hadn't wrenched Clay McKettrick out of his uneasy sleep, the train's lurching stop - which nearly pitched him onto the facing seat - would surely have done the trick.

From the inside cover: The sudden death of the town marshal leaves Blue River, Texas, without a lawman...and twenty-five-year-old Dara Rose Nolan without a husband. As winter approaches and her meager seamstress income dwindles, she has three options. Yet she won't give up her two young daughters, refuses to join the fallen women of the Bitter Gulch Saloon and can't fathom condemning herself to another loveless marriage. Unfortunately she must decide - soon - because there's a new marshal in town, and she's living under his roof.

With the heart of a cowboy, Clay McKettrick plans to start a ranch and finally settle down. He isn't interested in uprooting Dara Rose and her children, but he is interested in giving her protection, friendship - and passion. And when they say "I do" to a marriage of convenience, the temporary lawman's Christmas wish is to make Dara Rose his permanent wife...

My thoughts: I only started reading Linda Lael Miller this year and so far have only read a few of her books. This is the first story about the  McKettrick's that I have read. Even though this is part of a series (#14), I felt it was fine as a stand-alone, although I do want to go back and read the rest of this series at some point.

A Lawman's Christmas is a short, sweet romance with the typical boy meets girl, boy can't stop thinking of girl, they end up together. While it's not always an easy road, and certainly Dara Rose has her walls that need to be broken down, love does find its way to Clay and Dara Rose. This is the type of book that you can devour in one sitting, with a few tears and quite a few laughs. Dara Rose's children, I think, really steal the show, almost right from the get-go when Clay runs into Edrina. She is not afraid to say what's on her mind - quite an impressive quality for a six-year-old. 

I have really come to enjoy Linda Lael Miller's writing style and while this book is much shorter than her normal works, it was a fun, endearing story nonetheless, complete with the studly cowboy!


I received a complimentary copy of A Lawman's Christmas by Linda Lael Miller from Lindsay at Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc.  to review.

Giveaway Information:

Thanks to BookTrib, one person will win a copy of A Lawman's Christmas.

  • Leave a comment with your e-mail address
  • Open to U.S. mailing addresses only
  • I will select a winner using random.org and send the info to BookTrib
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!

GIVEAWAY ENDS
AT 6 PM, EST, October 31st

Monday, October 17, 2011

It's Monday...What Are You Reading? (10.17.11)



It’s Monday What Are you Reading , hosted by Sheila, is the perfect way for me to begin my week and allows me to focus on what needs to be read and to see what I have or have not accomplished the previous week. I also enjoy discovering new books by visiting other participants blogs.
 
This past week I've had construction going on in my house, so the pup and I have been relegated to the porch. That allowed me to get quite a lot of reading in, but didn't help so much with getting reviews done. Hopefully the work will finish up by Tuesday or Wednesday.

Books Completed last week:
  • The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner (library audio book)
  • The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin (review book)
  • A Lawman's Christmas by Linda Lael Miller (review book)
  • Serendipity by Carly Phillips (library book)
Reading Now:
  • Paris Noire by Francine Thomas Howard (review book)
  • Night Road by Kristin Hannah (library audio book)
Next:
  • Perfect on Paper by Maria Murnane (library book)
  • Dove Season by Johnny Shaw (review book)
Reviews completed this past week
Other Posts related to books:
Books for which I need to finish reviews:
  • Navy Baby by Debbie Macomber
  • An O'Brien Family Christmas by Sherryl Woods
  • The Neighbor by Lisa Gardner
  • The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin
  • A Lawman's Christmas by Linda Lael Miller
  • Serendipity by Carly Phillips
Contest information:

What about you?  What does your reading week look like this week?  Whatever it is, happy reading and have a good week!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Review: The Diva Haunts the House by Krista Davis

First line: Dear Sophie, My neighborhood goes all out for Halloween.

From the back cover: This Halloween, a murderer is up to mischief.

Domestic diva Sophie Winston is getting into the holiday spirit, and her decorations for a community haunted house are so good, it's scary. Not to be outdone, rival domestic diva Natasha is throwing a spooktacular Halloween party at her house. But when Sophie arrives, she discovers one of Natasha's guests dead in a hair-raising Halloween display, and a pale, fanged partygoer fleeing the scene.

The cause of death is not immediately apparent, but the victim does have two puncture wounds on his neck. While Sophie's boyfriend, homicide detective Wolf, investigates, rumors start flying faster than witches on broomsticks. Could the killer be a real vampire - the same on rumored to have lived in Sophie's haunted house back when it was a boardinghouse? Good thing a domestic diva never runs out of garlic...

My thoughts: This is the fifth book in Krista Davis's Domestic Diva series and it was great. Set during the Halloween season, it is filled with spooky happenings, vampires and ghosts. Sophie has been charged with organizing and overseeing the community Haunted House. Not to be left out, Natasha, Sophie's nemesis, hosts a Halloween Party to put everything else to shame. The problem is that during the party, someone ends up dead...and it appears as if a vampire has gotten to him. The story is weaved so that the murder happens almost right from the beginning of the story and then the rest is about how Sophie and all of her kooky friends helps her solve the crime. There is a seance and an old tale of a vampire that the book suggests is still around to cause mischief.

I love all the clever ideas about decorating for Halloween that Krista Davis introduces at the beginning of each chapter. She does this just like a "self-help" column in a newspaper. The catchy titles of the "people" writing in for advice to either Sophie or Natasha are fun to read as are the towns where these people reside who write the questions are fun and clever.

I really hope this isn't the last of the Domestic Diva series...this is one of my favorite cozy series. Do you like to read cozy mysteries? If so, what is your favorite -I am always looking for new ones to try so please share!

(I purchased this book.)
 

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