Category: Animals

Sticks and Bones by Carolyn Haines

Posted September 13, 2017 by karenbaron in Animals, Cats, Cozy, Dogs, Guest Post, Horses, Mystery, Review, Series / 0 Comments

Sticks and Bones by Carolyn HainesSticks and Bones by Carolyn Haines
Published by Minotaur Books on May 16th 2017
Genres: Cozy, Mystery
Pages: 352
Format: Kindle

Private investigator Sarah Booth Delaney and her friends are celebrating New Year's Eve at the party of the year, a smashing Winter Garden party at the Prince Albert Hotel. It's a dazzling success...until Frangelica "Sister" McFee walks through the door. Sarah Booth knew Sister in college, before Sister became a bestselling author and moved to New York, and fame and fortune don't seem to have tempered her arrogance and cruelty.
Sister's latest book is a memoir about the death of her mother and brother many years ago. Now, a film about the book is in the works, and a film crew has descended upon Zinnia, Mississippi, to tell the complete tale. The film crew soon realizes there may be more to the story than meets the eye--or is told in Sister's memoir--and they hire Sarah Booth to discover the absolute truth about those deaths so many years ago. But Sarah Booth quickly realizes that someone is desperate to keep the truth hidden and will go to any lengths necessary to protect a long-held secret.
Carolyn Haines's next Sarah Booth Delaney novel, Sticks and Bones, is sure to delight series fans and newcomers alike.

Murder, mayhem, old money and family secrets. So fun.

Sticks and Bones by Carolyn Haines is awesome, dahlink. I always find what Sarah Booth and Tinkie get messed up in will make me laugh.

I have read all the books in this series, they are all fabulous. I love Sunflower, Mississippi and the delta area where Sarah Booth lives. The culture and the people we meet through Sarah Booth’s adventures are extraordinary characters.

The mystery Sarah Booth and Tinkie are hired to solve this time really kept me guessing. I truly didn’t figure it out until almost end. Ms. Haines really kept me guessing. I actually dismissed the killer like three times in my head. The death of Son and Cleo McFee is a cold case that is brought up again by the release of a Sister McFee’s best-selling book, which was optioned into a movie deal. The movie production company has hired the ladies to find the truth.

I love the regular characters. Sarah Booth is feisty, stubborn, and brave. She will do anything for the people she loves. Tinkie is a petite, blond who the ability to make men bend to her will. They both run around with their pets, who create as much mischief as the two prying private eyes.

Sarah Booth seems to have decided on her beau finally. I kind of hoped that she might choose Harold, but Coleman and she have a great connection and they seem to be a good fit, too. I know that just making a choice will make Jitty happy.

The drama, lies, secrets, and dysfunction in this old money family is terrible. It is like the money has corrupted their entire beings. I love the way Ms. Haines incorporates all of this into the mystery and uses it to keep us guessing. Never underestimate what someone will do for money.

My rating is 5 stars, and I can’t wait for Sarah Booth and Tinkie’s next adventure. If you haven’t read any of the series you should definitely give it a shot.

**Sticks and Bones**

** Goodreads **        

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

About Carolyn Haines

Carolyn Haines is the USA Today bestselling author of over 70 books. She was the recipient of the Harper Lee Award for Distinguished Writing and the Richard Wright Award for Literary Excellence, as well as the “Best Amateur Sleuth” award by Romantic Times. Born and raised in Mississippi, she now lives in Alabama on a farm with more dogs, cats, and horses than she can possibly keep track of.


Eye of Nefertiti by Maria Luisa Lang

Posted August 20, 2017 by karenbaron in Animals, Cats, Fantasy, Fiction, Review, Time Travel / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Eye of Nefertiti by Maria Luisa LangThe Eye of Nefertiti by Maria Luisa Lang
Series: The Pharaoh's Cat #2
Series Rating: five-stars
on November 29, 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 208
Format: Kindle
five-stars

The cat must free Queen Nefertiti from a horrific curse

The Eye of Nefertiti is both a stand-alone novel and a sequel to The Pharaoh’s Cat. The time-traveling ancient Egyptian feline with human powers returns together with his beloved Pharaoh and his close friends, the High Priest of Amun-Ra and Elena, an Egyptologist’s daughter.

The cat is quick-witted, wise-cracking narrator as well as free-spirited, ever-curious protagonist, and the story he tells is an exotic, imaginative, spell-binding tragicomedy. The cat travels from present-day New York City to England, both ancient and modern, then to ancient Egypt, where he confronts a horrible demon and experiences a sublime emotion. Once back in England, he descends into a psychological abyss so deep only the Pharaoh can save him.

The Eye of Nefertiti interweaves feline and human, past and present, natural and supernatural. It contains numerous surprises, twists and turns, intriguing characters, both human and animal, fascinating revelations about ancient Egyptian history and culture, and an ingenious application of the Tarot and an Italian opera.

Time travel, mystery, love and a Cat.

Eye of Nefertiti by Maria Luisa Lang is a cat’s story. This is the first adult story that I have read where the protagonist is a cat, but he is way more than your average cat. Wrappa-Hamen is a magic cat, he talks, walks on two legs, reads, writes, and eats human food. He is also the Pharaoh’s cat, although he does go by many names in this book.

I first thought the concept was good, this will be a good story, I mean ancient Egypt and cats…but once I got into the story I found that its fabulous. Ms. Lang does an awesome job with the character Wrappa-Hamen, he is a cat but he has such personality (not that regular cats don’t). She really nails Wrappa-Hamen’s priorities, such as food first, sleep second. He is vain and has an attitude. Yet, can be so loving when he wants to be. See, very cat like. However, if my daughter’s cat Mia, could talk, I’m not sure I would want to hear what is on her mind. I think most of it would be about the dog.

The family that Wrappa-Hamen lives with, have such character. Elena is bossy, and definitely keeps them moving, she is the mother of the Pharaoh. Then there is the High Priest, who is a total book worm and at times clueless (father of the Pharaoh). And the young Pharaoh, who is now an adorable toddler, who loves Wrappa-Hamen.

The settings were stunning, I was able to see them all so vividly. I think that time travel would be wonderful. The mystery was good, I enjoyed the clues and the explanations. A completely wonderful book, which makes my rating 5 stars. As the Baroness says anything that keeps you up at night is worth the stars.

**Eye of Nefertiti**

** Goodreads **        

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

five-stars

About Maria Luisa Lang

Maria Luisa Lang has published two novels, The Pharaoh’s Cat and The Eye of Nefertiti, which is both a sequel to The Pharaoh’s Cat and a stand-alone novel. She was born in Rome, Italy, and lives in New York City. She often returns to Italy to visit her family and has stayed for extended periods in Bath and London. She has a degree in art from the City University of New York, and her artwork has been exhibited in New York galleries. She is an amateur Egyptologist. Her love of cats and ancient Egypt has inspired her to write two novels set there with a very special cat as her protagonist. Both The Pharaoh’s Cat and The Eye of Nefertiti are available on Amazon in paperback and in a Kindle edition.


A Ghostly Light by Juliet Blackwell

Posted August 19, 2017 by karenbaron in Cozy, Dogs, Ghosts, Guest Post, Mystery, Paranormal Mystery, Review, Series, Urban / 0 Comments

A Ghostly Light by Juliet BlackwellA Ghostly Light by Juliet Blackwell
Published by Berkley on June 4th 2017
Genres: Cozy, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 330
Format: Kindle
five-stars

In the latest mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Give Up the Ghost, it will take a beacon of ghostly intervention to guide contractor Mel Turner to the truth... Dangerous tides ahead...  When her friend Alicia hires Turner Construction to renovate a historic lighthouse in the San Francisco Bay, Mel Turner can’t wait to get her hands dirty. Alicia plans to transform the island property into a welcoming inn, and while Mel has never attempted a project so ambitious—or so tall—before, she’s definitely up for the challenge.   But trouble soon arises when Alicia’s abusive ex-husband shows up to threaten both her and Mel, and later turns up dead at the base of the lighthouse stairs. With no other suspects in sight, things start looking choppy for Alicia. Now, if Mel wants to clear her friend’s name, she’ll need the help of the lighthouse’s resident ghosts to shine a light on the real culprit...

This lighthouse holds more than just light.

A Ghostly Light by Juliet Blackwell this is one of my favorite series. I truly love the mix of history, home renovation, paranormal, mystery and the quirkiness of San Francisco and the bay area.

The world that Ms. Blackwell has created by mixing fact and fiction is so believable. Honestly, I would like to hire Turner Construction just to be a little part of this world.

I really think that Mel is shining in this addition. It’s nice to see her with her new man Landon. She is so happy. She still has things to work on (such as her recent fear of heights0 but don’t we all. She is finally working through all of her jobs: ghost, construction or murder. Landon is extremely supportive. It’s so sweet.

Mel has two mysteries to solve: the recent murder that her friend has been accused of and the mystery of the lighthouse ghost. Ms. Blackwell does such a great job keeping the whole thing moving through the past, present and glimpses of the future.

I adored the lighthouse history that was included with the story. The treasure maps were so thoughtful. What a wonderful way to teach and entertain your child, so much better than handing them a cellphone to play with.

I found this quote online and thought it was such a great fit for this story. “Books are lighthouses erected in the great sea of time.” ~E.P. Whipple

My rating is 5 stars, of course. If you haven’t read the other books you should try the first book in the series, Home Renovation or you can just start with this one. I guarantee you will want more. Mel and her entourage are worth your time.

**A Ghostly Light**

** Goodreads **        

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

five-stars

About Juliet Blackwell

Juliet Blackwell was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, the youngest child of a jet pilot from New York and an editor from Texas. She graduated with a degree in Latin American Studies from University of California, Santa Cruz, and went on to earn Masters degrees in Anthropology and Social Work from the State University of New York, Albany.

While in graduate school she published several articles based on her research with immigrant families from Mexico and Viet Nam, as well as one full-length translation: Miguel León-Portilla’s seminal work, Endangered Cultures. Juliet taught Medical Anthropology at SUNY-Albany, was a producer for a BBC documentary about Vietnamese children left behind by US soldiers, and worked as an elementary school social worker in rural New York. Upon her return to California, she became a professional artist and ran her own decorative painting, historical renovation, and domestic design studio for more than a decade.

In addition to mainstream novels, Juliet pens the New York Times Bestselling Witchcraft Mysteries and the Haunted Home Renovation series. As Hailey Lind, she wrote the Agatha Award-nominated Art Lover’s Mystery series. She is past president of Northern California Sisters in Crime and former board member of Mystery Writers of America.

Juliet lives in a hundred-year-old house with extensive botanical gardens in Northern California but spends as much time as possible in Europe and Latin America. She believes in the magic of language, travel, and cultural exchange to open hearts, minds, and souls.


Murder at Redwood Cove by Janet Finsilver

Posted August 3, 2017 by karenbaron in Audiobook, Cozy, Dogs, Review / 1 Comment

Murder at Redwood Cove by Janet FinsilverMurder at Redwood Cove by Janet Finsilver, Reba Buhr
Series: Kelly Jackson Mystery #1
Series Rating: four-stars
Narrator: Reba Buhr
Published by Tantor Audio on March 21st 2017
Genres: Cozy
Format: Audible Audiobook
four-stars

If it weren't for the fact that she's replacing a dead man, Kelly Jackson would love her new job managing the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast on the coast of Northern California. But Bob Phillips did plunge off the cliff to his death, and Kelly's starting to think it may not have been an accident. Bob's retired friends-The "Silver Sentinels"-are also on the case, especially when Kelly is attacked . . . and another body turns up. Kelly has her hands full with overseeing the B&B's annual Taste of Chocolate and Wine Festival, but she's also closing in on the killer . . . who's ready to send Kelly on her own permanent vacation.

Redwoods, the ocean, great food, fine wine and murder…what more could a girl want?

Murder at Redwood Cove by Janet Finsilver is witty and fun. I think she did a great job with the mystery. Her red herrings were superb. She did a wonderful job of introducing the northern coast of California. I grew up there and love the portrayal of the locals and the use of local culture and crimes.

Kelly Jackson is the temporary manager of the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast. She is our typical noisy busybody sleuth. She is there to replace the previous manager who fell from the coastal cliffs. Or did he? Kelly and a group of senior citizens investigate his death. They may have found more than they were looking for. Kelly is extremely nice and seems to be a very hard worker. She seemed kind of lost at the beginning of the story, but she feels truer to herself by the end. I love that she wears a cowboy hat and has a slight accent.

Ms. Finsilver’s descriptions of the cliffs, ocean, and fog were excellent. She even made me home sick a few times. I think I would like to visit the Redwood Cove Bed and Breakfast. 🙂

I enjoyed the story. The narration by Reba Buhr was lovely. I loved the accents that she added and the way she brought the suspense to life was wonderful. I will look for other books narrated by her on Audible.

My rating is 4 stars, I love the story and narration but alas I hate when I figure out the bad guy in the first quarter of the book. It is a great read and I will look for the 2nd book in this series.

 **Where to find Murder at Redwood Cove **

** Goodreads **

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

four-stars

About Reba Buhr

Reba Buhr grew up in the Pacific Northwest and now lives in Los Angeles, working in theater, film, and television. She has degrees from Occidental College in theater and classical voice. Reba began recording audiobooks in 2012 and has turned her love for performance into a passion for narrating characters that jump off the page.

Reba is an accomplished voice actor and has lent her voice to many commercials, video games, and animated projects, including Popples and Knights of Sidonia for Netflix, Toonami’s Hunter x Hunter, and Zagtoon’s Zak Storm.

Her theater credits include Stage Door (Terry Randall), The Count of Monte Cristo (Mercedes), Boeing Boeing, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Sally), Kiss Me Kate (Bianca), Les Miserables (Cosette), and Princess Jasmine in Aladdin!: A Musical Spectacular at the Disneyland Resort.

About Janet Finsilver

Janet Finsilver is the USA TODAY best-selling author of the Kelly Jackson mystery series. She worked in education for many years as a teacher, a program administrator, and a workshop presenter. Janet majored in English and earned a Master’s Degree in Education. She loves animals and has two dogs—Kylie and Ellie. Janet has ridden western style since she was a child and was a member of the National Ski Patrol. One of the highlights of her life was touching whales in the San Ignacio Lagoon. MURDER AT REDWOOD COVE, her debut mystery, was released on October 13, 2015. Her second book, MURDER AT THE MANSION, became available on June 7, 2016. The third book, MURDER AT THE FORTUNE TELLER’S TABLE, is scheduled to be out on March 14, 2017.

Janet Finsilver and her husband reside in the San Francisco Bay Area. She enjoys cooking, and a recent attempt to reduce the number of cookbooks in the cupboard wasn’t very successful. She’s an avid reader—of course!


Come Sundown by Nora Roberts

Posted July 21, 2017 by karenbaron in Contemporary Romance, Guest Post, Horses, Mystery, Review, Suspense / 0 Comments

Come Sundown by Nora RobertsCome Sundown by Nora Roberts
Published by St. Martin's Press on May 30th 2017
Pages: 466
Format: Hardcover, Kindle
five-stars

A saga of love, family ties, and twisted passions from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Obsession
The Bodine ranch and resort in western Montana is a family business, an idyllic spot for vacationers. A little over thirty thousand acres and home to four generations, it’s kept running by Bodine Longbow with the help of a large staff, including new hire Callen Skinner. There was another member of the family once: Bodine’s aunt, Alice, who ran off before Bodine was born. She never returned, and the Longbows don’t talk about her much. The younger ones, who never met her, quietly presume she’s dead. But she isn’t. She is not far away, part of a new family, one she never chose—and her mind has been shattered…
When a bartender leaves the resort late one night, and Bo and Cal discover her battered body in the snow, it’s the first sign that danger lurks in the mountains that surround them. The police suspect Cal, but Bo finds herself trusting him—and turning to him as another woman is murdered and the Longbows are stunned by Alice’s sudden reappearance. The twisted story she has to tell about the past—and the threat that follows in her wake—will test the bonds of this strong family, and thrust Bodine into a darkness she could never have imagined.

Marvelous Montana is smaller than some would think.

Come Sundown by Nora Roberts is another hit. I loved the fast paced combination of mystery, romance, intrigue, and of course family.

The Bodine-Longbow family is very big on family, respect and taking care of their own, whether they are blood or not. All wonderful qualities that I have found in many of the people that I have met in Montana. I immediately like the Bodine Longbow, she smart, feisty, independent and an extremely hard worker. Although the rest of the family is full of characters, like Ms. Fancy and Cora. Those two are giving their two cents and holding their own, for the elderly women they are the bomb.

Then there is Alice. Alice is so strong and yet she has no idea. Her life has been tragic and yet she is now finding a positive in her life that is filled with family and love. Nora Roberts characters are so well written that its like she is just telling the story of this wonderful Montana ranch family, complete with all of the skeletons in the closets and the all the wonderfully sappy happy moments too.

I love the setting. Montana is one of my favorite states. The descriptions that Ms. Roberts uses are spot on. It was so easy to visualize the beauty and the isolation of southwestern Montana. Besides who can fault a book with cowboys and horses?

My rating is 5 stars, Nora Roberts doesn’t disappoint. If you haven’t read it Come Sundown yet, you will want to pick it up.

**Where to find Come Sundown**

** Goodreads **        **Turn the Page Bookstore**

This is a Guest Review for Baroness’ Book Trove. Thank you for the opportunity to review this book for your site. ~Jen

five-stars

About Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, the youngest of five children. After a school career that included some time in Catholic school and the discipline of nuns, she married young and settled in Keedysville, Maryland.

She worked briefly as a legal secretary. “I could type fast but couldn’t spell, I was the worst legal secretary ever,” she says now. After her sons were born she stayed home and tried every craft that came along. A blizzard in February 1979 forced her hand to try another creative outlet. She was snowed in with a three and six year old with no kindergarten respite in sight and a dwindling supply of chocolate.

Born into a family of readers, Nora had never known a time that she wasn’t reading or making up stories. During the now-famous blizzard, she pulled out a pencil and notebook and began to write down one of those stories. It was there that a career was born. Several manuscripts and rejections later, her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was published by Silhouette in 1981.

Nora met her second husband, Bruce Wilder, when she hired him to build bookshelves. They were married in July 1985. Since that time, they’ve expanded their home, traveled the world and opened a bookstore together.

Through the years, Nora has always been surrounded by men. Not only was she the youngest in her family, but she was also the only girl. She has raised two sons. Having spent her life surrounded by men, Ms. Roberts has a fairly good view of the workings of the male mind, which is a constant delight to her readers. It was, she’s been quoted as saying, a choice between figuring men out or running away screaming.

Nora is a member of several writers groups and has won countless awards from her colleagues and the publishing industry. Recently The New Yorker called her “America’s favorite novelist.”