Posted in Reviews

Review: 52 Weeks of Simple Happiness: A Year to Lighten Up by Jim Ryan

***** 5 stars

We all know last year and the year before it presented many challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the world, and we all hope 2022 will be better. But what we may not realize is that we have the power to make it better for ourselves. In 52 Weeks of Simple Happiness: A Year to Lighten Up, Jim Ryan presents a week-by-week guide with exercises, assignments, tips, and reviews of a method that can help us take control of our lives and live it better.

This is the perfect book to start in the New Year or at any time during the year. Some of the 52 topics include “It’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint,” “Wake Up Your Senses,” “When the Student is Ready, The Teacher Will Appear,” “The Grass is as Green as You Make It,” “Job Career or Calling,” “Have a Mind that is Open to Everything and Attached to Nothing,” and “Fear is the Enemy of Happiness.”

Working through these exercises, a week at time, will help you make changes that can benefit your well being as you develop a more positive outlook. Although some of the information Mr. Ryan relates is religious, this book isn’t aimed at any particular religious belief. Mr. Ryan also provides his contact information for people who wish to submit feedback about their experiences following the exercises.

Ryan has worked as a motivational coach, speaker, and author. He holds a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling and offers a free inspirational “Aha Moment,” every Wednesday to those who sign up at his website: http://www.JimRyanTalks.com.

Pick up a copy of 52 Weeks of Simple Happiness: A Year to Lighten Up here: https://amzn.to/3eONxw9

Posted in Freebies and Special Offers

Solstice Publishing’s Twelve Days of Christmas Holiday Book Sale Through January 4

I’m honored to be part of Solstice Publishing’s Twelve Days of Christmas Book Sale. Four of my holiday-themed cozy mysteries are on sale through January 4. in a previous post, I said that these books were discounted only on a certain day during the promotion. I’m sorry for the confusion. You can still get a copy of the following 4 books for 99 cents until January 5.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place .

Librarian Alicia McKinney has put the past behind her…

Two years ago, Alicia discovered both a terrible truth and lasting love with John McKinney in the small town of Cobble Cove, New York. Now a busy mother of twin babies and co-author of a mystery series, Alicia couldn’t be happier.

Alicia’s contentment and safety are challenged…

Walking home alone from the library, Alicia senses someone following her, and on more than one occasion, she believes she is being watched. Does she have a stalker? When the local gift shop is burglarized, the troubling event causes unrest among Alicia and the residents of the quiet town.

John and Alicia receive an offer they can’t refuse…When John’s sister offers to babysit while she and John take a much-needed vacation in New York City, Alicia is reluctant to leave her children because of the disturbances in Cobble Cove. John assures her the town is safe in the hands of Sheriff-elect Ramsay. Although Alicia’s experience with and dislike of the former Long Island detective don’t alleviate her concern, she and John take their trip.

Alicia faces her worst nightmare…

The McKinneys’ vacation is cut short when they learn their babies have been kidnapped and John’s sister shot. Alicia and John’s situation puts them between a rock and a hard place when the main suspect is found dead before the ransom is paid. In order to save their children, the McKinneys race against the clock to solve a mystery more puzzling than those found in their own books. Can they do it before time runs out?

Purchase Link: mybook.to/CobbleCove2

Celebrating Christmas with My Characters

The characters from my Cobble Cove cozy mysteries gather in the Cobble Cove library to celebrate the holidays. Each character receives a gift from me, the author, and Alicia, the main character, reads some excerpts from the first and second books in the series.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/XmasCharacters

Murder Unwrapped

Richard Bright is a man with a plan. He’s an inventor who he wants to kill his wife with one of his inventions. He hopes to put his plan into effect on Christmas, but his invention isn’t quite perfected. Dealing with his wife isn’t an option, nor her two rambunctious kittens, Harry and Hermione. What sweetens the pot is her large inheritance and a pretty young woman who is now working at his shop. Will Richard’s plan to have his special gift ready in time pan out, or will it fizzle with some of his other unfinished projects?

Purchase Link: mybook.to/xmasunwrap

Last but not least, my award-winning cozy, Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery
Another death has occurred in Cobble Cove near the holidays. This time, it’s the owner of the new pet store in town who was felled by a case of cat food that crushed his skull. Was it an accident, or murder? While the townspeople including the sheriff are divided in their opinions, Sneaky and Kittykai, the library and inn cats, sniff out the truth.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/sneakyxmas

Look for other Solstice books on sale through January 4 and enjoy the holiday season with great books at a great price.

Posted in Freebies and Special Offers

Solstice Publishing’s Twelve Days of Christmas Holiday Book Sale

I’m honored to be part of Solstice Publishing’s Twelve Days of Christmas Book Sale. Four of my holiday-themed cozy mysteries are on sale for one-day only.

On Christmas, December 25, you can get a copy of Between a Rock and a Hard Place for 99 cents.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/CobbleCove2

Celebrating Christmas with My Characters is on sale December 28.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/XmasCharacters

Murder Unwrapped is on sale December 30.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/xmasunwrap

Last but not least, my award-winning cozy, Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery is on sale on New Year’s Eve, December 31.

Purchase Link: mybook.to/sneakyxmas

Look for other Solstice books on sale through New Year’s and enjoy the holiday season with great books at a great price.

Posted in Freebies and Special Offers

My Time-Travel Novel, TIME’S RELATIVE, is on Sale Through December 21

http://mybook.to/timesrelative

It’s the fall of 1998, and librarian Samantha Stewart is looking for a new job. After seeing an ad for a high-paying position at a company called Virtual Software that entails research and travel, Sam investigates the company and learns that its president has gone missing, and that it’s currently being run by the vice-president Greg Parsons.

Before Sam makes it to the interview, she’s visited by a strange woman who introduces herself as Jane Oldsfield: a time traveler whose mission Greg Parsons is trying to prevent.

Sam ignores the woman and goes on the job interview anyway. Soon, she finds herself involved not only with Greg Parsons, but also Philip Montmart, a chain-smoking detective with a vendetta for his wife’s killer, and the time-traveling Oldsfield and her feline accomplice.

Witnessing world events that have yet to happen in her lifetime, including 9/11, Hurricane Sandy, Y2K hysteria and the COVID pandemic, can Samantha figure out Oldsfield’s plans?

Read what reviewers are saying:

*****Prepare yourself for a thrilling roller coaster ride of a story that will make you hold your breath as you flip the pages as fast as you can read them. Loved it!!

*****I loved the characters in this book.

Posted in Anthology, Reviews

Review: The Roaring ’20s: A Decade of Stories edited by JK Larkin

***** 5 stars

The Roaring 20’s: A Decade of Stories is another excellent anthology from the Red Penguin Collection. In this book, eleven authors share tales of various decades. Although I enjoyed every one of these stories and it’s hard to pick favorites, the ones I liked most included David Lange’s “Flapper and the Captain;” “An Act of Senselessness” by Shevaun Cavanaugh Kastl; “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Elaine Donadio; and “Time is Here and Gone” by William John Rostron.

Air Force veteran David Lange tells an interesting tale involving a flapper and an air force captain suffering from PTSD after receiving an injury in World War 1. The story’s origin, which is shared by the author at the end, is even more absorbing than this supernatural-type piece. Also with a strong paranormal element is Shevaun Cavanaugh Kastl’s, “An Act of Senselessness” about a couple on Halloween in 1983 that are involved in a car accident with a twist.

“Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Elaine Donadio is a fun tale featuring wealthy ninety-something Southampton socialite. Miss Ellen, and her younger companion, Patrice. The ladies come to the aid of a girl at a club where they’re dining who is interested in a man but is having trouble gaining his attention. Miss Ellen gives her some old-fashioned pointers that do the trick. Along the way, Ms. Donadio includes interesting tidbits about Long Island history and popular culture of the 1980’s.

“Time is Here and Gone” by William John Rostron, is the last story in this anthology. Last but definitely not least. Mr. Rostron reveals his own family history from 1900-1970 in seven connected short pieces that tell their own stories about his relatives.

The one story I didn’t include among my favorites is my own contribution to this anthology, “Growing Up in the Summer of ’71” which is my own semi-autobiographical tale about an eleven-year-old girl in 1971 with an older sister and how the two deal with relationships during the 1970’s era of Vietnam, hippies, and drugs.

These stories make for a great read any time of year but especially during the holiday season when people often reflect on the past.

Pick up a copy of The Roaring ’20s: A Decade of Stories here: https://amzn.to/3ywEPLI

Posted in Books, Reviews

Review: The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

 

*****5 stars

Note: I reviewed this book through a NetGalley advanced reader copy. It will be published in February.

Jess has a dilemma. She’s come to visit her brother, Ben, who is a reporter in Paris. Although they haven’t had the best relationship over the years because, after their mother’s death, he ended up with a more privileged life while she landed in less fortunate circumstances in various foster homes. Upon her arrival at his apartment, she discovers some unusual things. He doesn’t answer his phone to let her in and when she manages to follow someone else into the locked complex and knocks on his door, he doesn’t seem to be there, although he’d contacted her only minutes before. Gaining access to his apartment, she finds evidence that frightens her — blood on the floor and Ben’s broken medallion that he never removes.

Meeting the other occupants of the apartment building who tell her they haven’t seen Ben recently, she doesn’t know who to believe or trust. This book features alternate points-of-view of each of the apartment residents. There are multiple twists on the way to learning what really happened to Ben. Each character is well depicted with both good and bad traits, and each one has a motive to kill Ben and make sure his sister doesn’t ask too many questions.

Jess befriends Nick, Ben’s friend who invited him to stay in the apartment and who has a secret of his own. They go to the police together to file a report about Ben’s disappearance, but since Jess can’t speak French, Nick translates her request for the investigation. Because the police don’t consider the issue a priority, Jess takes matters into her own hands and contacts Theo, a man that Ben was scheduled to interview for a story before he disappeared. When Theo takes her somewhere that he tells her may help her find out what happened to her brother, the answers put her life in jeopardy as they reveal the truth about what took place at Ben’s apartment before Jess arrived.

If you like a mystery with twists and interesting characters, I recommend this book.

Posted in Freebies and Special Offers

Holiday Cozy Mystery Giveaways

As I mentioned in my December Author News, two of my cozy mystery eBooks are free Friday, December 3 through Monday, December 6.

Sneaky’s Christmas Mystery won the coveted Muse Medallion from the Cat Writers’ Association.

Another death has occurred in Cobble Cove near the holidays. This time, it’s the owner of the new pet store in town who was felled by a case of cat food that crushed his skull. Was it an accident, or murder? While the townspeople including the sheriff are divided in their opinions, Sneaky and Kittykai, the library and inn cats, sniff out the truth.

Here are some reviews:

SHORT AND SWEET

“A quick coffee break read that has you catching up not only on the humans but also the animal residents in a small town. The death of a new owner of a pet shop has divided the town. Was it an accident or was it murder?”

FUN BOOK TO READ

” . . . a quick moving and fun book to read.”

Giveaway Link: mybook.to/sneakyxmas

Celebrating Christmas with My Characters was the first Cobble Cove story. It introduces the characters from the first two books through the gifts they give their author (me).

The characters from Debbie De Louise’s Cobble Cove cozy mysteries gather in the Cobble Cove library to celebrate the holidays. Each character receives a gift from the author, and Alicia, the main character, reads some excerpts from the first book, A Stone’s Throw, and the new release, Between a Rock and a Hard Place.

Here are some reviews:

WHAT AN INTERESTING WAY TO INTRODUCE YOUR BOOKS! NOW I WANT TO READ THEM ALL!

This short novel has served its purpose, with me at least. I now want to read these books in their entirety!”

FIVE STARS

“Love this author…another of her winning novels!”

Giveaway Link:

I hope you enjoy both of these seasonal stories and wish you all a very Happy and Healthy Holiday.