Genre: Mystery

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.


Give up the Ghost gp

Posted August 18, 2017 by karenbaron in Cozy, Ghosts, Mystery, Paranormal Mystery, Review, Series, Supernatural / 0 Comments

Give up the Ghost gpGive Up the Ghost by Juliet Blackwell
Published by NAL on December 1st 2015
Genres: Cozy, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 320
Format: Kindle
five-stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of Keeper of the Castle, San Francisco contractor and ghost whisperer Mel Turner must solve a murder mystery at a haunted mansion in the Pacific Heights...
San Francisco millionaire Andrew Stirling wants to sell his Victorian mansion, but ghostly music, the squeaking of a long-disappeared weathervane, and an angry ghost keep running off potential buyers. After a famous psychic is called in, she informs the Stirlings that their multi-million-dollar renovations to “update” the home have left its resident ghost extremely agitated. So contractor Mel Turner is engaged to track down and replace some of the original features of the house. 
But when the beautiful psychic is found stabbed, it appears someone had a very human motive for murder. Now Mel must use her ghost whispering gift to uncover the secrets of the haunted house on the hill, and her sleuthing skills to catch a killer.

Completely Spectacular!

Give Up the Ghost by Juliet Blackwell. I love this series. The cast of characters, the history, ghosts and of course the bay area. Juliet Blackwell nails the whole package together.

Mel Turner is wonderful, eccentric and knowledgeable. She has such a great personality. I loved the way she does what she wants to do. Only in San Francisco could a general contractor be a woman who shows up for work in sequins dresses and occasional feathers with steel toed work boots. It is great how she jumps in and gets the job done, whether it is helping a ghost, taking a wall down or putting in a window. She is so like her father. I like that she restores the homes instead of tearing them down or apart. She is like a ghost talking Rehab Addict.

In this addition to the series, Mel takes on a new project that starts out as one of her ghost helping clients, so murder is soon involved. Mel keeps asking questions until motives start to surface. We meet some new characters and some of the old return. Mel is different in this book, she doesn’t talk about running away to Paris, and she seems more accepting of her life as it is. Mel’s definitely fitting in her own skin now. Although she is still a workaholic, she seems to finally be over the ex and has an understanding of what she wants. Her Dad is sort of accepting of her ghost helping in the volume. Mel seems happy.

She has quite a collection of ghosts to assist this time. There is one ghost who cleans the kitchen when it is messy. Honestly, I think I would learn to get along with that ghost. In this book more so then before she has to jump through the living hoops to assist the ghosts. Mel meets the murder victims’ family, however this time she feels an unexpected pull towards the brother of the victim. Mel isn’t sure if she can trust her feelings as she doesn’t seem to know what she is doing with regards to this gentleman and her boyfriend is out of town (again) on business.

I think that Ms. Blackwell has created such a great world of rich characters and history. She makes it so easy to follow and has creative plots. I am giving this 5 Stars and completely recommended it. Such a wonderful cozy mystery.

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

 

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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.


Beyond Death by Deb McEwan

Posted August 6, 2017 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Death, Drama, Fantasy, Fiction, Ghosts, Mystery, Paranormal, Paranormal People, Review, Series, Supernatural / 1 Comment

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.

Beyond Death by Deb McEwanBeyond Death (Afterlife, #1) by Deb McEwan
Published by Createspace on June 18th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Paranormal
Pages: 190
Format: ebook
four-stars

A DEAD WOMAN'S STORY
“With so many supernatural tales on the shelves it’s hard to find something genuinely original yet Beyond Death fits the description well, with author Deb McEwan bringing a distinctive new voice to this ever popular genre.” Book Viral
What really happens when we die? Twenty-something Claire Sylvester is about to find out. The morning after the best night of her life she is taken before her time.
Claire is suspended in her strange new world. She watches as the secret lives of those she loves unravels, and sadistic villains are punished on the road to their own personal hell.
All the while a higher authority ponders her ultimate fate.
More than Claire knows depends on her actions and those of the unlikely partner who accompanied her on her journey.
What will be her final destination?
Beyond Death - a supernatural thriller of love and loss, deceit and revenge, with a little romance and humour.

My take on this book:              Beyond Death by Deb McEwan is a pretty interesting read. What first caught my interest is the plot then the book cover. The plot was well-crafted and made me interested in reading the book. Since this book isn’t what I normally read and everyone who knows me and has read this blog knows that. I do know that this is bad to say but I also sometimes judge a book by its cover but not all the time. Anyways I’m giving this book a four-star rating because it did keep me entertained but it did have something keeping it from being five stars.

One of those things is how the first act seemed a bit choppy especially with introducing so many characters at first in the beginning and then not seeing them again until the middle act. She did have a lot of subplots going on and she did finish them all up which is a good thing. Ms. McEwan is a pretty good author and a bit of the book seemed like it still needed some work to truly be a good book. What I mean by that like she could have gone back to reread it and make sure that it flowed nicely with the rest of the book.

All the character in the book were very well developed and I liked them all. Even the ones that are evil because of how well developed they all are. I especially liked the transformations of Claire, Ken, and Ron. Claire because she did it the most. She died at a young age and has to go through with the fact that she isn’t alive anymore and that she needs to let go and forgive the people that she loves down on Earth. Ken also did the most as well. He was first introduced as a bad guy and then he died. He has been going through more of a tough time than Claire and Ron ever did since dying and he is hoping to redeem himself. Ron kind of did as well. The reason for that is because he is also trying to learn to let go and forgive the people that he loves down on Earth while trying to figure out if he should do a hard thing at the end of the book.

I do recommend this book to my more adult readers of this blog if they are interested in this book. Beyond Death is a good book and I am glad that the author contacted me to read it. I am also at this moment unsure if I will be reading the rest of this series.

Anyways until the next time enjoy this review brought to you by

Baroness’ Book Trove.

four-stars

About Deb McEwan

Following a career of over thirty years in the British Army, Deb and her husband moved to Cyprus to become weather refugees.

She’s written children’s books about Jason the penguin and Barry the reindeer and adult books about aliens, the afterlife, soldiers, and netball players.
The first book in the latest series ‘Unlikely Soldiers’ is set in nineteen seventies Britain. The second covers the early eighties and includes the Falklands War, service in Northern Ireland and (the former) West Germany. ‘Friends and Revenge’ is the third in the series, and takes a sinister turn of events.

‘Court Out (A Netball Girls’ Drama)’ is Deb’s latest book. Using netball as an escape from her miserable home life, Marsha Lawson is desperate to keep the past buried and to forge a brighter future. But she’s not the only one with secrets. When two players want revenge, a Tsunami of emotions is released at a tournament leaving destruction in its wake. As the wave starts spreading throughout the team, can Marsha and the others escape its deadly grasp, or will their emotional baggage pull them under, with devastating consequences for their families and team-mates? ‘Court Out’ will be published in August 2017.

Deb spends her time writing, avoiding housework and playing tour guide. She occasionally blogs about her books and (tongue in cheek) from Donut the dog’s point of view. She also tries – and mostly fails – to keep the pounds off.


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!


Chakana by W.E. Lawrence

Posted May 29, 2017 by karenbaron in Adult Fiction, Adventure, Fiction, Mystery, Review, Romance / 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.

Chakana by W.E. LawrenceChakana by W.E. Lawrence
on January 4, 2016
Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Romance
Pages: 347
Format: Kindle
five-stars

In 1940, before the start of World War II, James Fleming, the original British secret agent, races on a high-stakes chase to track down the ancient lost treasure of King Huascar of the Incas. He must recover it before the Nazis do or the whole world will be in imminent danger.

But this is no ordinary treasure hunt. The Incas have proven their cunning and intellect in not only how they hid their treasure, but how they protected it. Fleming joins forces in the remote ruins of Peru, South America with Kate Rhodes, a policewoman on leave from the United States, her archaeologist brother, Nick, and their college professor, Dr. Charlie. Together, they must decode, interpret the clues, and face the challenges of the Chakana on their hunt for the treasure.

If this wasn’t difficult enough, the group is hounded throughout their search of the ancient Sacred Valley by international artifact smugglers, familiar with the Chakana and working with the Nazis, who are determined to acquire the treasure to help finance their war effort. Intrigue, danger, suspense, action, adventure, and even romance abound in this brave band’s quest to save the free world.

My take on this book:              Chakana by W.E. Lawrence is a great book. I was so happy when this book hit the top of my TBR List to read it. Most definitely a cross between Indiana Jones and James Bond.

The main character of this book is Kate Rhodes.

What I like about Kate Rhodes is the fact that she’s the youngest kid in her family. She knows what she wants in life. By this, I mean that by the age of eighteen she knew that she wanted to be the first female Chief of Police but that kind of changes further into the book. What I also like about her is that she can hold her own in a fight or even with a gun which is needed as a police officer but even more with what she needs to do thanks to her brother. What I didn’t like about her is that when it comes to James Fleming, who I will introduce soon, is that she at times lets her emotions get the better of her. And we all know that can be used against her. Then again, none of us can help that happening, at least most of the time or who we fall in love with.

The secondary character of this book is James Fleming.

What I like about him is that he tries to protect Kate even if she doesn’t want him. He tries to honor her request but he can’t help the way he was raised and wants to protect her as best as he can. Another thing that I like about him is that he tries to hide his obvious affections for Kate Rhodes and focus on the Incan trails that they have to face along with not being captured. He also struggles with this a lot throughout the book. James struggles with not only his feelings for Kate but also doing what is right by contacting his boss and stopping the smugglers from getting the gold.

The antagonist of this book is obviously the international smuggler.

He’s named in the book but I want you to find out about him on your own and draw your own conclusions about him. All I have to say about him is that Mr. Lawrence is great at creating bad guys.

Chakana by W.E. Lawrence is a great book and one that I couldn’t put down once I started to read it. I am giving this book a five-star rating. I love Indiana Jones and James Bond and that this book was a great mix of the two even though none of the two characters, that are in the male and female lead roles, have anything to do with archeology much. This book does have some grammar and spelling mistakes but not enough that it takes me out of the book to wonder what the author meant. I am definitely recommending it to my readers of this blog. Well to my adult readers this book does have some sex scenes in it.

Anyways until next time enjoy this book review brought to you by

Baroness’ Book Trove

**Where to find this book**

** Goodreads **

five-stars

About W.E. Lawrence

W. E. Lawrence graduated in 1978 from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill with a BS in business administration. He has run a successful home health care supplies distributorship for the past twenty-three years.

Passionate about God, writing, reading, family, sports, politics, and America, Lawrence currently lives in Davidson, North Carolina, with his lovely wife and their two wonderful children.

W. E. Lawrence enjoys writing historical romance novels filled with action, adventure, and suspense. He published his debut novel Guardian of Paradise in October 2014.