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Friday, May 29, 2015

Saturday Sample: Rest Thy Head

Now on sale for only .99 at Amazon and B&N.

The Devil's Music: Review

I have three posts today, including Fashionista Friday. Just scroll on down and enjoy all three.

The Devil’s Music
by Pearl R. Meaker



Emory Crawford doesn't do martial arts nor is she an athletic, leggy woman who is built like a model. She's a wife, grandmother, and empty nest lover of crafts, reading, birding and bluegrass music.

When an acclaimed scholar, best-selling author and fellow bluegrass musician is found murdered on the Twombly College campus where her husband teaches chemistry and forensics, Emory takes up her knitting caddy, to help her channel the spirit of Miss Marple, and heads off to help solve the crime.


Naomi explained, “I play cello and love chamber music so ethno-musicology is starting to look like a good field to go into. Interest in it will surely pick up now that Dr. Dawson’s book is so popular.”

Archie looked up at the mention of his book.

“Speaking of which, do you have it with you, Naomi?”

“Oh yes! I forgot.” She easily folded in half to dig into her M.A.S.S. canvas tote. “Here.” She held the book out for me to take.

“Personally signed to you and Jebbin.”

Archie made sure he was loud enough for everyone at the table to hear him.

They all looked at me.

“Ah, thank you, Archie.”

“What’d he write?” Myra asked me.

I opened the cover.

 “To my dear friends, Dr. Jebbin & Emory Crawford. Even a banjo picker should be able to understand this. Ha Ha. May none of your murder songs come true! Dr. Archibald Finlay Dawson.”

I closed the cover.

“Well, I guess I can return the one I checked out of the library this afternoon. We were planning on buying one at your signing table anyway, Archibald. Can’t pass up having a signed best seller for a new doorstop.”

Archie raised his eyebrows.

“I’m joshin’ ya, Archie. Just joshin’.”

Archie looked relieved. He laughed it off and we all went back to our own meals and conversations.


Emory Crawford does a credible job channeling Miss Marple in this cozy mystery. I liked that she was an ordinary person (like Miss Marple) and not a storybook heroine who was beyond beautiful and so good it's unnatural. I enjoyed following along as she formed and rejected theories and eventually solved two murders. 

I thought the plot was well done, and I didn't guess who did it. My money was on a character who turned out to be innocent. The supporting characters were nicely done and played their parts well. Ms. Meaker created a realistic setting that I think people will enjoy.  

If you like cozy mysteries I think you'll like this one. Five out of five stars.

 AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Pearl R. Meaker is an upper-middle-aged, short, pudgy homemaker, mother, and grandmother who in 2002 became a writer. Initially writing fanfiction she soon tried original fiction at the encouragement of her regular readers. She has been a life-long lover of mystery stories and automatically went to that genre for her first book, The Devil’s Music. She and her husband of nearly 40 years live in central Illinois. They both love bluegrass music, playing fiddle and banjo and singing. Pearl also does many crafts –  when she’s not reading or writing - knitting, crochet, origami, needlepoint, and cross-stitch among them. She also enjoys birding and photography and is a former fencer.

Visit Pearl here:  
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Pearl will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Use the link below to enter. You can find the tour schedule at

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Not Every Girl

Olivia Davenport’s plan is destined to fail.

She is going through with it anyway, of course. After all, it is the chance of a lifetime. The unreasonable rules of others should not stand in her way.

In her small kingdom of Stewartsland, Olivia trains with the squires and harbors a secret dream. She longs to become a knight under the command of the Master-of–Arms, who just happens to be her father. He has indulged her passion so far, but they both know a simple fact – girls may not attain knighthood. Dismayed by the constant discouragement of her ambitions, she makes an impetuous decision to disguise herself as a boy in order to sneak on a mission. The consequences are not at all what she anticipated.

When her deception is revealed, she is sent home in disgrace; however, an unexpected turn of events puts her at the center of a dangerous plot against the King. The ensuing adventure finds her grappling with mercenaries and outlaws, yet these pale in comparison to her newly awakened emotions. She finds not only her life at risk, but also her heart, when the aloof Prince Liam begins to affect her in ways she never thought possible. In the end, it is her courage and unique spirit which must guide her through the challenges she encounters both physical and emotional.


"I came to offer the young lady one of my guards as an escort home."
That is not part of my plan! And besides, my father could not seriously consider sending me off into the woods with a strange man, royal guard or not. It takes every ounce of my restraint to not jump up and protest.
"That is gracious of you, Your Majesty," my father answers. "However, I am concerned about the propriety of that arrangement. Not," he adds hastily, "that I would expect anything less than the highest scruples from one of your men."
Good. So Father has a grasp on the situation. Sending me back with any strange man and no female chaperone is entirely inappropriate. And there are no other women on the trip. Too bad Puck isn't here; my father would trust him with me. Now, they will all have to work out the only viable option—that I continue on the trip. I merely sit quietly and wait for them to come to this inevitable conclusion.
"Well, I certainly understand your feelings. Especially since the young lady in question is your daughter," King William agrees. "I am sure if I had a daughter of my own, I would feel much the same way."
They discuss me as if I am not sitting right here, as if I have no capacity for thought—or hearing. I am actually quite capable of taking care of myself and could get home without help from any man, thank you anyway. Not that I will suggest this as an option, of course.
Time drags into a prolonged silence. Birds chatter in the trees, the river bubbles happily by, the men are all packed and ready to go. They stand in a huddled mass waiting for instructions from their superiors. Come on guys, surely one of you can figure out the answer. My father must be aware of the only solution, so why isn't he saying anything? Perhaps he is waiting for the King to suggest it, so it appears he thought of the idea and can take credit for it.
"If I may make a suggestion, Sir Jack…" Prince Liam begins.
I am so happy someone is finally going to state the obvious, I don't even care that it is coming from his egotistical mouth. But then, he decides to become the next person to throw a wrench in my plans.
"Why don't I accompany the young lady home along with one of the guards. I give my word that everything will be handled with the utmost discretion."

 Reading was always a big part of Jane’s life. Over the years, creating stories developed out of this love. Finally, she decided to try her hand at writing a novel and that was when Not Every Girl was conceived.
She lives in New Jersey in a house full of boys, including one over-indulged cat. When she is not running around with her family or writing, she can be found curled up with a good book and said cat. It is her belief that a good book, a loyal pet and anything made of chocolate can brighten just about any day.
You can visit her online at: .

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Fashionista Friday

Wednesdays - 27.05.15

Richard Nicoll blue jacket
$1,070 -

Diane Von Furstenberg pants

Jimmy choo sunglasses

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Charmed, I'm Sure

Charmed, I’m Sure
by Lynda Simmons


Laugh Out Loud Funny...With Just a Touch of Magic

One minute Maxine Henley is the happy bride-to-be and the next she’s the girl who gets dumped over the phone. Max has never believed in magic and fairy’s tales, but if wearing a love charm can warm her fiancĂ©’s cold feet, she’s happy to stuff that little wooden heart next to her own and wait. The charm came with a promise that the right man will find her, guaranteed, but how can that happen when her teenage crush Sam O’Neal keeps getting in the way!


“Excuse me, miss,” a male voice said. “I seem to have lost my phone number. Could I have yours?”

Max smiled. She’d know that voice anywhere. She just hadn’t expected to hear it in Schomberg. “Your lines don’t get any better with age, O’Neal,” she said, stuffing the charm into her back pocket as she turned around.

“I’m a little out of practice.” He grinned and stepped from the shadows. “How are you, Max?”

 “Better now,” she said, meaning it.

 Sam O’Neal had been the boy next door, her older brother’s best friend and the one voted most likely to get out of Schomberg. She’d had a crush on him once, the kind of heart-pounding, breath-stealing obsession that fifteen year-old girls do so well. Watching him come toward her now, she wondered if it was her imagination or perhaps some trick of the light that made him look even better than she remembered.

Max moistened her lips even as she felt the faint shift in her shoulders, the tiny flicker of awareness that was as unexpected as it was inappropriate. This was Sam, after all. The one who didn’t think twice about taking her baby-sitting money in a poker game, or daring her to steal peaches from the Jenkins’s’ orchard, and turned out to be the best friend she’d ever known.

“I can’t believe you’re here,” she said, rising up on her toes to wrap her arms around his neck. “And without even a hint of elf anywhere.”

 “I hid until they ran out of size eleven curly toes.”

She looked up into his eyes and for the first time was glad she’d made the trip. “I have missed you,” she said softly.

 “Me too,” he said, kissing her on the cheek, the way any friend might, and pulling her close for a hug. She held on tight, feeling the strength of his hands on her back, the hard wall of his chest against her breasts and a warmth from both that reached through her fine cotton tank top, making her shiver. She started to step back and wondered for one brief moment if he would stop her, maybe hold on a moment longer, and what she would do if he did.

I offered to review this book because I'd read a previous book by this author and liked it very much. Ms. Simmons didn't disappoint me this time either. I like the cozy little world she created, and I could see why even though people left the small town, they eventually were drawn back to it. Not that everything is perfect, though. The strong emotions and tragedies that sent both the hero and heroine running for the city are still there, and of course in a little town, everyone knows everyone's business.

The heroine Max must be the most stubborn woman in the world. Once she made up her mind nothing could change her even though it was obvious to everyone that she was making some bad choices. 

The hero Sam was my kind of man. I loved the way he dealt with Max and the pain of the past. 

I also liked the other characters in the book, but let's just say that Max's mother was almost as stubborn as Max. Like her daughter, she threw happiness away with both hands.

Don't worry, though. Toss in a little magic, and the book has a positive, upbeat ending that I loved. I can recommend this book without reservation. 5 out of 5 stars.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Lynda Simmons is a writer by day, college instructor by night and a late sleeper on weekends. She grew up in Toronto reading Greek mythology, bringing home stray cats and making up stories about bodies in the basement. From an early age, her family knew she would either end up as a writer or the old lady with a hundred cats. As luck would have it, she married a man with allergies so writing it was.

With two daughters to raise, Lynda and her husband moved into a lovely two storey mortgage in Burlington, a small city on the water just outside Toronto. While the girls are grown and gone, Lynda and her husband are still there. And yes, there is a cat – a beautiful, if spoiled, Birman. If you’d like to read the legend of Birman cats click here. If you’d like a link to allergy relief, click here.

When she’s not writing or teaching, Lynda gives serious thought to using the treadmill in her basement. Fortunately, she’s found that if she waits long enough, something urgent will pop up and save her - like a phone call or an e-mail or a whistling kettle. Or even that cat just looking for a little more attention!



Twitter @LyndaMSimmons

Amazon Link'm%20sure%20lynda%20simmons

The author is giving away a $50 B&N/Amazon gift card via rafflecopter. Use the link below to enter. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Little People: A Social Worker's Journey

Book Title: My Little People A social worker's journey
Genre: Self- Help, Instructional, Healthcare workers, Caregivers, Social Workers
ISBN-10: 1502738643
ISBN-13: 978-1502738646

About The Book

When facing terminal illness the shock of the news that there are no more medical treatments (chemo or radiation) only comfort measures available can turn your world upside down. Hospice? What is that? Many people have never heard of the word or if they have it has been presented in a negative light.

Annie Brown writes as a hospice social worker giving informative information for patients, caregivers, healthcare professional, and social workers who might have an interest in working in the field of hospice. What services hospice provides for patients, grief issues, emotional support, and resources are discussed in an easy to understand fashion. Annie also shares some stories from her experiences that will touch your heart.

A Word From The Author

Greetings and welcome. Please tell us a little about yourself. 
Annie is a licensed minister, District Sunday school superintendent, church secretary, author, avid reader, hospice social worker, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, and friend who operate in the spiritual gift of helps.  She is loving life and is full of gratitude for the many blessings in her life as she gets to help others.

 Do you feel like your background or upbringing influences your writing style? If so, in what way(s)?
Yes, I believe that my background does influence my writing style. I want to reach out to populations who are hurting and help them become the individuals that they were born to be and not become snared by their life circumstances.

Describe your book in, in 10 words or less.

The who, what, when, and where of hospice care.

When and why did you begin writing?
I have scribbled most of my life. When I became confident that I had some insight that could be helpful for others is when I really decided to publish my first book in 2011. Helping others to become who they were born to be is one of my goals in life. I learned with the right guidance, support, and encouragement that each individual can reach their destiny.  

Is there a central message or theme in your book that you hope readers will come away from the reading experience with?

In My little People it is important for readers to understand that they have a choice in their healthcare. They need to know if they chose not to have aggressive treatments such as chemo or radiation that they do not have to go through their last days alone. They can receive comfort care in their homes with a team of professionals who will not only address their physical pain but also their emotional and spiritual struggles as well.

What has been the toughest criticism you’ve received as an author?
Actually I have not received any criticism that I know of from others but I am pretty hard on myself. What has been the best compliment? I had the opportunity to present a workshop on one of my books “Christians with Pervasive Issues” and a mother of the church who is in her early 80s told me the book helped her. She stated that she had been carrying a weight of un-forgiveness for most of her life and the book helped to let it go. She thanked me for writing the book and encouraged me to keep writing to help others.  

What’s next for you?

What can readers look forward to from Anne Brown? The book I mentioned “Christians with Pervasive Issue is going to be expanded and republished to include those who do not consider themselves as Christians. Also the second part of “My little People a social worker’s journey is in the works as well as a devotional.

If you had to go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of writing your novel or getting it published that you would change?

Not really, I really enjoyed writing the book it brought back so many memories. As for publishing, I had wonderful help so unless it had been picked up by a major publisher I would have to say no.

What has been the most effective method of marketing and/or publicizing your books so far? Why or how?

Marketing has really been a challenge for me since I work and libraries, schools, and most physician offices are closed on weekends. However word of mouth still seems to be effective for publicizing. 

About The Author

My name is Annie Clara Brown. I am from Alexander City, Alabama and currently reside in Sylacauga, Alabama. I am passionate about serving my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I serve as a licensed minister and secretary at my local church. I am definitely family oriented and enjoy spending quality time with my children, grandchildren and great-grand child.
My professional skills and areas of expertise include providing emotional support and grief support to patients and their families. My professional title is Medical Social Worker at Lakeside Hospice, Inc. in Pell City Alabama, where one of my qualifications is individualized psycho-social care for each family. I received my Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama with a Concentration in children, adolescents, and families. My interests include working with veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) as well as being an avid reading. I recently joined the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) became certified to teach Family to Family.

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