A Very Merry Murder by Mary Angela

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It’s the Christmas season in Copper Bluff, South Dakota! Students and Professors alike are working hard to wrap things up for the holiday break. A visiting quartet, Jazz Underground, is staying at the Candlelight Inn Bed and Breakfast. One of the band members dies after Professor Prather pushes him and he’s unexpectedly lying on the floor. The Professor is now a person of interest in the death of this man and she must clear her name or she could end up spending Christmas in jail. Not somewhere I would want to be during the holiday season.

Loved it! This is the third book in the Professor Prather Mystery series and I think it’s the best one yet. I personally think, the author is getting better and better at writing these mysteries.

I felt like decorating for Christmas, going to a Christmas performance and baking Christmas cookies while I was reading this book. Christmas wasn’t gaudy or over done. The entire story was well written. I appreciated the references to Agatha Christie and Shakespeare peppered throughout the story. Good mystery. I didn’t solve it!  5 ***** stars!

Burning Fields by Alli Sinclair

Publication Date: November 6, 2018

Publisher: Kensington Books, Lyrical Press

Complimentary copy from Kensington through NetGalley.

I don’t remember ever reading a book set in Australia, which was why I chose to read this story. The author transports the reader to the sugar cane fields, of this fascinating country, after World War II. Rosie Stanton, a strong female protagonist, returns home after serving in the Australian Women’s Army Service in Brisbane to her home in Queensland. She wants to help on her family’s sugar cane ranch, but her father is of old school thought and is stubbornly against her assisting. While dealing with her bull-headed father and a mother having difficulty coping, she’s also faced with the loss of her brothers in the war and the farm’s unscrupulous manager.

On the bus to her home, Rosie meet Thomas Conti, who lives on the neighboring farm. They hit it off right away and the two become friends. However, Thomas is Italian and the attitude toward Italians at this time is ridiculous. We do get a clear look at Thomas’ experiences in Italy during World War II. I did like Thomas. He does have a feisty Grandmother.

I was disappointed in the book. I thought at times, the chapters ending abruptly and there were gaps in time, which left me puzzled. I loved the brief descriptions of Australia but, I expected more. I felt they were somehow lacking.

At times I was completely engrossed in the book and at other times it was a chore to read it. There was some tough profanity in the story which did not help with the overall reading of the book.

I have struggled with how many stars to give this book. I finally decided on 3 *** stars!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kensington through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Good morning Peoples!

I’m having problems with wordpress. I can read all of your blogs, but sometimes wp won’t let me post a comment and if I click on “like” it won’t connect. I want all of you to know, I am reading your blogs.  🙂  Hopefully this problem will be fixed soon. If you have any ideas how I might correct it, please tell me. Thanks so much.

Much love ~

Kathy

Ramblings and What Not ~

Hello Peoples! Oh My Word! It’s snowing here! I mean, in the meadow we can build a snowman . . .  type snow. Those are real snowflakes outside, falling from the sky!

Autumn!!! Come back!!! We love you!!!

I was reading a mystery at the bakery and I decided to walk home for some fresh air and exercise. So, I put on my coat, gathered up my belongings and stepped outside. It was snowing! At that particular moment, it was a sloppy snow/rain mix, but now it’s flakes! It’s not accumulating yet. And it’s not really cold. It’s fresh and crisp. Unbelievable!

Much love ~

Kathy

 

Classic Movie Friday!

Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis

Hollywood or Bust (1956)

Jerry Lewis

Dean Martin

Pat Crowley   Anita Ekberg

Oh my word! I don’t even know where to begin! This film is hilarious! At the beginning of the movie, Dean Martin dedicates the film to movie goers around the world. Jerry Lewis does an entertaining interpretation of said movie goers. He imitates movie viewers in the United States, England, China and Russia. Of course, it’s Jerry Lewis and there is some embellishment, however, it was so comical. The United States was my favorite!!!  🙂

Malcolm Smith (Jerry Lewis) purchases MANY raffle tickets to win a car. He wants to drive to Hollywood, in his new car, and meet his favorite actress, Anita Ekberg. Ms. Ekberg plays herself in this film. Steve Wiley (Dean Martin) owes an unscrupulous man money. He wants to win the same car Malcolm wants to win, sell it, and pay off the man he owes money to. Steve makes phony tickets to ensure his win, while Malcolm wins fairly. The sponsor of the drawing declares both men the winner and they both own the vehicle 50/50. After they pick up Malcolm’s baggage and his dog, Mr. Bascombe, they set off for Hollywood. Steve tries every trick he can think of to get rid of Malcolm and Mr. Boscombe but he’s stuck with them for the duration of the trip. Malcolm and Steve meet a few interesting people on the journey. There’s plenty of singing and hilarious antics. There’s quite a bit of nice photography of the United States. They really have a nice trip with a considerable amount of shenanigans to keep the movie viewer laughing. It’s a very entertaining film!

Have you seen any films with Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin? Which films have you seen?

Enjoy!

The Rancher’s Fake Fiancee’ by Amy Vastine

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I would like to thank the author for sending me a signed, print copy of her book.  🙂

Tyler Tyler Tyler, tsk tsk tsk! A fake engagement??? Seriously???  That’s right, Tyler and Hadley make a deal and agree to a fake engagement. Tyler’s brother’s don’t give up easily. They’ve been calling his place of business again and again, driving Hadley nuts. The Blackwell men want Tyler to come home to Montana and they won’t give up until he agrees. So! Tyler and Hadley board a plane and leave Portland behind for two weeks in Montana on the Blackwell ranch! The ranch is doing better and it isn’t quite as worrisome and crazy as it was in the first book. Big E (Grandpa) is still missing. I think, there is a method to his madness. That’s right, I personally believe Big E has had a plan during the entire story, from the first book to the last book (which I haven’t read yet). I don’t really like Zoe, Big E’s current ex-wife. I thought she was brash and inappropriate.

Tyler and Hadley arrive at the ranch and Hadley soon falls in love with the horses, the ranch and Tyler’s family. Tyler wants to sell the family ranch as fast as possible and return to Portland.

I liked Tyler. My heart went out to him. He never believed he was loved and it hurt him deeply. Hadley has a famous brother and lives in the shadow of his success. I enjoyed watching the two gradually come to love one another. This is a nice story.  🙂  4 **** stars!

 

 

Ramblings and What Not ~

Hello Peoples!  🙂  Autumn has brought us chilly weather. I’ve been wearing my winter coat! That’s right! I have. I’ve been enjoying autumn walks everyday, I just dress warm. Well, a few days ago I walked to a nearby bistro/coffee shop and ordered a small pot of English breakfast tea. When the waitress brought me my tea, I poured some of the steaming liquid into my cup, tasted it and knew right away ~ this wasn’t English breakfast tea! I thought it was chocolate/orange tea. Mmm. I liked it, so I didn’t complain and I kept drinking it. A few minutes later, the same waitress approached me and said,

“I didn’t bring you English breakfast tea.”

Me: “Yes, I know. Is this the chocolate/orange tea?”

Waitress: “No, it’s the bourbon tea.”

Me (surprised): “Oh!”

Waitress: “Would you like the English breakfast tea?”

Me: “Yes please.”

She brought me another small pot of tea and left. I tasted it and it was the Yerba Mate tea! I laughed. I don’t like Yerba Mate tea, so I dumped it out and refilled the teapot with fresh water. It weakened the Yerba Mate tea, so I didn’t have that nasty flavor in the tea. A few minutes later the waitress returned and asked,

“Is that the English breakfast tea?”

I laughed. “Sort of. But look at the bright side. I tried a new tea!”  🙂

I never did get the English breakfast tea???

black and red ceramic kettle

photo credit: unsplash

 

Your favorites at the cottage in September ~

September 25, 2018, Ramblings and What Not

September 22, 2018, The Rancher’s Twins by Carol Rossindub

September 26, 2018, The Ebony Swan by Phyllis A. Whitney

 

Favorite Word ~

indubitably  🙂  

And now, because it is a chilly, rainy day, it’s also curl up with a good book, in my favorite spot and with a steamy drink day! Indubitably!  🙂

Much love ~

Kathy

 

 

 

Hidden Peril by Irene Hannon

Publication Date: October 2, 2018

Publisher: Revell

Complimentary copy from Revell through NetGalley.

Kristin Dane owns a Fair Trade shop where she sells products from all over the world. Unexpectedly, three people connected to her business are discovered dead. Kristin soon finds herself involved in international suspense and intrigue. 

Detective Luke Carter is on the mysterious case and soon the FBI is called in. It’s discovered that someone, no one knows the identity of  the mastermind, has nefarious purposes and will stop at nothing to accomplish what they want.

This is a good romantic suspense. The plot was great and, it seemed to me, the research for this story was spot on! Kristin was an ordinary citizen and a business owner, who found herself caught up in something that was stressful and alarming. She cared greatly for people and was willing to sacrifice herself to help others.

I really enjoyed this story, especially the ending. 4 **** stars! I didn’t realize this was the second book in a series until I finished reading it. It definitely stands alone.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

The Rancher’s Redemption by Melinda Curtis

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Big E, aka Grandpa Blackwell, is still missing to his family and friends and remains missing in this third book. Ben Blackwell has returned home at the request of his brothers because Rachel Thompson, a neighboring rancher, attorney and single mother, is suing the Blackwells for water rights. Ben, being an attorney in New York and winning the water rights case for the Blackwells in court five years ago is the best man for the job. Ben is keeping a secret in regard to water rights ~ interesting. But, is the time right to reveal the much guarded secret???

Ben Blackwell’s family betrayed him five years ago. It was bad, real bad! Rachel blames the Blackwells for her father’s death. After, the Blackwells won water rights five years earlier, her father worked hard trying to keep his ranch running and eventually died in the process. She’s recently divorced and is a single mother. Her ex-husband isn’t any help and she’s struggling to keep the family ranch going plus work as an attorney in the small community. She’s carrying a lot of weight on her shoulders.

I liked Ben and I was amused with his exploits *ahem* on the stallion. I thought they were entertaining. Of course, Rachel’s involvement is perfect timing. Oh yes, I don’t want to forget the incident jogging, the bull and climbing the tree. And of course, Rachel comes along at just the right time. Mmm. Destiny takes a hand!  🙂  Ben and Rachel were meant for one another, but it wasn’t easy. Water rights were standing between them. This is a nice, steady read I enjoyed it. Ben was dynamite in court!!! And! I might mention his assistance with her ex-husband! 4 **** stars! I think it’s interesting that each book in this series is written by a different author.

I’d like to thank the author for sending me a print copy of her book.  🙂