Monday, February 27, 2012

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone!

Wild Rose PressRead an Excerpt

Author Jan Romes is my guest this week. One Small Fib and Lucky Ducks are her humorous romances.
Hello, my name is Jan Romes, and I’m an introvert! (Oops! I thought this was Shy Persons Anonymous) Since I’m already here, I might as well stay and discuss something I’m commonly afflicted with – a bad case of RUT! Being a rather shy person, I take comfort in safe and familiar territory. As all of you know, however, safe and familiar equates to dull and unpromising, AKA Rut!
Inside every shy person lurks an extrovert dying to step out of their comfort zone, to rattle the bushes, to enjoy all that life has to offer. For years I was that person. I seldom strayed from what I knew. Boring! Then something spectacular happened – I had my fiftieth birthday! Reality hit me right between the eyes. My dream of becoming a published author was still out of reach, I was afraid of my own shadow, and had done nothing on my own. Some may define my awakening as a midlife crisis. I prefer to call it magic in the number 50! From that birthday forward, things have been different.
Always a lover of exercise, I took a part-time job as a fitness instructor at a local gym. This forced me to come out of my shell and I found that I enjoyed mingling. Strange but true.
With new found confidence, I started to submit the stories I had been writing for years. Of course, some rejections happened. The magic of 50 wouldn’t let me stay discouraged for long. I went back to writing and re-writing with a vengeance. Back to submitting. Finally, the heavens opened and voila! A book contract!
The publishing business has undergone a metamorphosis in the last few years, and authors are now expected to promote their books. Ack! No safe harbor for shyness. I wasn’t comfortable talking about my books until I embraced social media. I tiptoed out of the safety zone by making a Facebook page. A month later, a few more toes went across the line and I signed up for Twitter and Goodreads.
It took me little bit, but the extrovert that had been dying to get out has finally seen the light of day! I’ve stepped fully out of the comfort zone and would prefer not to go back in. In all that I do, I try to let people see the real me; the sometimes funny, self-deprecating person who does enjoy mingling, who isn’t afraid to put herself out there anymore, who loves all that life has to offer.
I have two humorous contemporary romance books that have been published and two more that will be released before summer. For my current work-in-progress, I’ve decided to mix things up by writing a romantic suspense. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve accepted the challenge.
I’ve revved up my life with joy and adventure by pushing the boundaries. Thanks to a good friend, I can now add ziplining to an ever-growing list of things I’m glad I’ve done. I go to writing conferences and get caught up in the fun and networking.
My life has changed tremendously; all because I decided to break out of the rut that had been my existence. Occasionally, I backslide. Sometimes, all it takes is an inspirational quote to get me back on track. ‘Nobody ever died of discomfort, yet living in the name of comfort has killed more ideas, more opportunities, more actions, and more growth than everything else combined’ ~ T. Harv Eker
About Jan
Jan Romes grew up in northwest Ohio with eight zany siblings. She likes to read all genres, writes witty contemporary romance, is a part-time fitness trainer, and enjoys growing pumpkins and sunflowers. You can find her at and on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Interests, Artists, and Characters

J.M.W.Turner. Death on a Pale Horse.
1825-1830. Oil on canvas. Tate Gallery, London .

I enjoy art and paintings, even thought I might be a fine artist once upon a time. That was before I jumped from a tiny pond into a big one and found I wasn't as good as I'd thought. 
The Tate Gallery in London owns paintings by some of my favorite artists: J.M.W. Turner, Camille Pissarro, Paul Cézanne, and so many others. Impressionists and romanticists especially draw me. Years ago, I spent some happy hours at the Tate, absorbing the magic of those masters. And to add to my experience, I went in a London taxi, one of those black, old-fashioned-looking cars where the doors open backward. And finished with a proper English tea. Heaven.
So, based on those experiences and dreams, I made the hero in Cold Comfort an artist (among other things). Riley's paintings are dark and stormy, reflecting his view of life. He's a sailor, so much of his work involves rough seas and sails whipping in the wind. I (and therefore he) love J. M. W. Turner. Riley's style is similar but bolder, depicting harsh seascapes. In his house, Claire finds a small painting that gives a clue to the images that haunt Riley's dreams. 
Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851)
The Shipwreck
circa 1805. Oil on canvas
Current location: Tate Britain
In her house, Claire has a portrait of her mother by contemporary Alabama artist Jackie Williams and a reproduction of Norham Castle by Turner, which added to Riley's interest. I'm not sure mention of Norham Castle survived one of my revisions, but it's there in her living room. Trust me, I know.
That's one of the benefits of being a writer. You can create worlds, situations, dream up characters, and give them the ability to cope with it all.
Do your interests drift into your writing? Do your characters sometimes fulfill unrealized dreams? 

Monday, February 20, 2012

War Dogs and Their Soldiers

I am honored to have Kevin Hanrahan, writer and soldier (Major Hanrahan), as my guest this week. I interviewed him about his work with military heroes, namely dogs. 

How did you decide to write a novel?
I remember the moment the idea of writing a book popped into my head vividly. I was in Kabul. It was early November, 2010, and United States forces lost three military working dogs and two handlers to the enemy in a single day. We had a really bad few week period where we were losing dogs or handlers almost every day. I was reading the reports and thought to myself, people need to know what these kids and their dogs are doing out here. These kids and their dogs are heroes. At the time I was reading a lighthearted book about a vineyard in Tuscany and thought to myself, I could do this. I can write a book. In fact I’m gonna write a book. Yes, it was as easy as that. I just decided one day to do it.
Did it start out as therapy or was it a way to relieve boredom?
I’ve been deployed five times. It is never easy. You miss your family and friends, worry about them and count the days until you will be with them again. I’ve always found the mental aspect of being deployed so much harder than the physical. Traditionally, I’ve found refuge through working out in the gym and running. The problem is I have torn ligaments in my right wrist, a herniated disk, two bulging, and degenerative disk disease in my back. So my ability to express myself through exercise has been significantly reduced. I had no outlet this last deployment to Afghanistan and desperately needed one. My novel became my therapy.
Are some experiences too painful or you feel the public wouldn’t understand?
No. I find talking about my experiences is quite therapeutic. Stuffing things deep down inside ones’ self isn’t the way to cope with the horrors of war. I would never say the public doesn’t understand what veterans go through. However, I would never say that I understand what a woman goes through during child birth. I can imagine, visualize and sympathize but can’t honestly understand.
U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Isaiah Schult, an
improvised explosive device dog handler, jokes with Afghan children
Once you started writing, did you collect stories? 
Absolutely. There were many weeks I wrote nothing for my novel because I was travelling around Afghanistan. It was easy for me to do field research because my duties and responsibilities required me to travel the country talking with military working dog handlers and unit leadership. I took notes in a small green book I carried everywhere. I also read every report involving Military Working Dogs in Afghanistan last year. I’ve read thousands of pages of after-action reviews for military working dog employment.
How do you incorporate your experiences into your novel?
Well, I write about American Soldiers and the dogs that protect them in the alien and treacherous terrain of Afghanistan. I know Soldiers because I am one. I know dogs because I’ve always loved them and have my own. I lived and breathed working dogs for a full year in Afghanistan. I even dreamed about them! As a Military Police Officer, military working dogs are part of our organic unit. I’ve been around Military Working Dogs for sixteen years.
What parts of writing do you struggle with most?
Most definitely my grammar. I should have paid better attention as a child in English class! But honestly I suffer from something it seems a lot of writers share... Is my writing good enough to be published? Confidence in my writing ability plagues me. However, I believe that there are different styles of writing for different people. My style will appeal to normal everyday folks. Probably because I am one.
What's easiest for you?
The story and plot line for the book. It just comes to me when I’m working out or walking my dogs. I write down my ideas in a notebook or now type them into my iPhone. I’ve always been able to create with my pen…now a computer keyboard.
When do you expect to finish the novel? Are you working with an agent?
I actually just shipped the revised edition to my editor this past weekend. The book has made a major transformation since my last round of submissions. The core of the story is still intact though. The novel has better pacing and is quicker to get into the action. I’m hopeful we will go into a final line edit and then back to the agents. I’m not working with an agent but have several that have asked me to submit the revised version to them. I’m hopeful that I’ll land an agent this spring.
I understand Paws on the Ground, your WIP, is about war dogs. Your love and admiration for dogs is apparent. Did you work with dogs in the Army?
I sort of already covered that above but my official title last year was United States Forces - Afghanistan Deputy Provost Marshal. Part of my responsibility was overseeing the working dog program for Afghanistan. Honestly though the program was such a beast to handle that it practically consumed me for the entire year. Fortunately for me I had two super- duper military working dog experts, Air Force Master Sergeant Barbara Black-Diaz and Navy Master Chief Scott Thompson on my team.
Were you a dog lover before you went in the military?
The most vivid books from my early childhood were Marmaduke and Clifford the Red Dog. I grew up reading Jack London, Wilson Rawls, watching Lassie and went back in forth between wanting Red Tick Hounds, a Husky or even a wolf! I got my first dog when I was in second grade. Alfredo was a small dachshound and I cherished her. She bit a child and was removed from our home when I was thirteen. I never had another dog and always wanted one. Military life is tough though especially if you are constantly deploying. I wanted to be a responsible pet owner. I finally put my foot down in 2004 while in Iraq. I decided that life was to short and if I survived that deployment I was getting myself a dog.
Did you train them?
I obedience trained my own dogs. I like to think that they are trained, but sometimes their behavior indicates otherwise. Personally, I believe that they humor me and allow me to believe they are trained. Umm, maybe you meant the military dogs! No, I personally don’t train them…the training aspect is the responsibility of the terrific noncommissioned officers that I work with.

Is there one in particular you'd like to tell us about?
I actually just posted on my site about a really cool prodigy dog, Uti. I love her. She is stationed here in Virginia and I’ll get to go see her again in a few months. She is a picture perfect Belgian Malinois. In Afghanistan there was one dog that really stood out to me. Archie, the chocolate lab, was an explosive-finding machine. When I saw him down in Kandahar I could see every rib on his body. The heat and constant patrolling really took a toll on him. He was back in Kandahar to rest and was just a sweetheart. I based one of the characters in my novel on this lovable 4-legged explosive-finding machine. Many of the explosive finds Archie had in Afghanistan are exactly the same ones that Paws of the Ground star Chica has in the book.
Do soldiers have to express a love for dogs before they're assigned to work with one?
Absolutely, it is in the military regulations. Dog handlers are all volunteers. You must build a strong bond with your dog to be an effective team. You can’t have a strong bond with a dog without the loving dogs.
Do the soldiers learn to love their dogs once they're around them?
Marc and Anax on Patrol
The bond between a military working dog and handler is deep. They rely on one another for survival. It is a bond they might have with their own dog.
How much comfort is there in having a dog with you?
Having a dog with you in a combat zone is like having a slice of home. Dogs are absolutely making an impact on the fight but their impact on the mental stability of our troops is immeasurable.
In the field, do soldiers and their dogs sleep together?
Yes they do. If they are back at camp then the dog sleeps in his/ her kennel.
Wouldn't you sleep better having a dog beside you? Do you share the warmth?
I’m sure the troops feel safer with their 4-legged pals sleeping next to them.
Do soldiers carry food for their dog? In the field, do they share rations?
Military Working Dog diets are very strict. They eat High Performance Science Diet. When troops go to into the field they must also pack for their dog. These are great details that I’ve actually put into my novel.
I've read about temperatures of 120 and 130 in parts of the Middle East. Are the dogs' feet protected?
Anax, who came home with three legs
There are different types of dog booties but normally the dogs hate them. The best thing to do for a dog’s feet are to a get them callused before they deploy to Afghanistan. The next best thing they can do is apply “Tough Paw” which actually provides a protective coating for the pads on their paws. Because of the terrain, heat and conditions, we still have lots of problems with torn pads.
I know you aren't supposed to pet service dogs while they're working, but do military dogs have time off?
Dogs need to decompress just like humans. They also need to interact with other dogs. Some dogs are aggressive and can’t interact with other dogs. But yes, military dogs get time off. They are living breathing creatures and need time to just be silly dogs.
Are local children allowed to pet them?
This depends on the temperament of the dog. Whenever you approach a working dog, you should ask the handler if it is all right to pet the dog. You can pet most but I never do unless I ask permission first. Some of these military working dogs are vicious.
Do other dogs attract them? Do they attract dogs?
Handsome Sammy and Sassy Stella
This is a big problem we have with local dogs getting near our military dogs. There are many times that even though our dogs are trained to work off of a leash, they are kept on the leash. We don’t need a military dog getting hurt by a pack of mutts.
Do they have toys to play with as rewards?
Absolutely! I love all your questions! It shows me that the factual details I put into my novel will answer many curiosities that folks have about military working dogs. Rewarding your dog is a fundamental of dog training, and we do it in the military as well.
I see from your website that you have Hungarian Vizslas. Aren't they unusual? How did you find them?
I mentioned before that when I was in Iraq in 2004-2005 I decided I needed a dog. My company First Sergeant was also going to get a dog when he returned. He is into Beagles and trains them for hunting. We conducted extensive research in our free time to determine the perfect dog for my personality. We settled on the Vizsla for several reasons. They are short-haired, very energetic, can run forever, and they are Velcro-like dogs, highly intelligent, medium size and great with kids. They are incredible pointers but are also great family dogs. The military and many other agencies are starting to use them for explosive detection because of their intelligence and high drive. They are definitely not mainstream dogs, but I think they should be. I want to spread the word on this great breed of dogs.
I found my Sammy online. The breeder sent me his lineage, which was quite impressive. The breeder seemed like a great lady so I took a leap of faith. One of the best decisions I ever made. I bought Stella three years later and they have had one litter together. We are hoping that this spring they will have another. I love Vizsla puppies!

 Kevin's blog is
You can find him on Facebook and Twitter.

All the pictures came from Kevin. You can see them and read about some of the dogs and their handlers, including how Anax lost a leg, on his blog. There's also a post about Cairo, the SEAL Team Six dog.   

Friday, February 17, 2012

Book Reviews Reviewed

On Amazon
My guest is debut author and friend Una Tiers. Una is the pen name for a Chicago lawyer, so she knows what she's talking about.
My first mystery, Judge vs Nuts, will be released soon.  A year ago, when the editing process started, I dreamed of reviews raving about the magnificence of my book, written by scholars who begged for more. My potential reviewers included authors who write non-fiction books about the law or who had ties to Chicago.  Of course the occasional celebrity author would stop me on the street and ask about doing a review too.   
At the Printers Row Lit Fest last June, I attended a panel discussion with three women authors who talked about the  low numbers of women reviewers.  That made me realize my list of hopefuls were all men.  Later I approached one of the authors to thank her and asked if she was interested in taking a look at my book.  I’ll come back to this.
At the early stage “book review” pretty much sounded like “book report” to me.  As I started to read reviews I realized they were not a means to establish reading the book but an analysis or opinion after reading the book.  Reviews can cover, plot, characters, pace, grammar and more.       
Since then, my understanding continues to grow along with my confusion.  Reviews come from many sources:  readers, friends, and professional reviewers.   Now I know that “book cover blurb” means a short piece, maybe three or four sentences that would be on the back cover or inside the book.  These are my favorite.  The Amazon reviews have no set pattern.  Many reviews are so long they give away too much of the story or are just too long to read.  Some reviews are exchanges with one author helping another.  These come under heavy criticism although writers are prolific readers and well versed to write reviews.  When any denied bias is balanced with pointers on making the writing stronger, I have no complaint.  
As an attorney, I think the terms of the review should be specific and, yes, in writing.  Items to consider are:  receipt of manuscript; word count; time frame; how you will use the review and what you want.  Will the reviewer post the review on their blog or website?   Invite the reviewer to tell you if they can’t meet the time frame.  If your release is pushed back, let them know. 
The bad review is controversial.  There are reviewers who think honesty means to be simply mean and write like a bear with a thorn in their paw.  When asked about constructive comments, they are a defensive group.   There is a group that says a bad review should have explanations.  Others decline to write a bad review, meaning they write nothing.  Then we have my pet peeve group, the hiders.  Those folks make an agreement to review your book and then avoid you when you follow up.  Did they hate the book?  Want it for free?  Lose it?  Change their tiny minds about doing the review?  You won’t be able to get the answer, because the hiders, well, hide.      
There are also people in the ambiguous category.  You ask them if they would like to review your book and they respond they don’t read eBooks, don’t have an eReader, can’t read on the computer and can’t print the book out.  Is this another way to say no?  Should you print out a copy?
Despite my efforts to date I have one review.  It is short and sweet and from an author whose writing I admire.  Barbara D’Amato went to great lengths to write the review for me.  This was not only a testament of her understanding of the business but shows what a nice person will do to help a stranger with their debut book.   It means more to me now after the other reviews fell through for one reason or another.  Thank you Barbara D’Amato.  
The review:
Judge vs Nuts is a hilariously funny take on judges, but also a scathing indictment of judicial politics.  Lawyer Fiona Gavelle narrates with a wonderful, self-deprecating wit, as she goes about unraveling the murder of a Cook County judge. 
Barbara D'Amato
Author of Other Eyes
*  *  * 
Dying to visit Chicago?  Join Fiona Gavelle, attorney at law, as she unravels the mystery of the death of Judge Laslo King.  It’s a cozy, a mystery, legally oriented, traditional mystery and over all a humorcide. Judge vs Nuts.
Stop by and say hello:  and we will send you an excerpt.   Una's website is       

Monday, February 13, 2012

Love and Torture

At Amazon

This week my friend Polly Iyer, who writes romantic suspense, is my guest. She's the author of Murder Déjà Vu, InSightand Hookedwith another soon to be released.
This is Valentine’s Day, so I’m going to write about love. And torture. You may not think those two things go hand-in-hand, but in my books, they do. My critique partners knew that when they started one of my stories, my characters would suffer unimaginable hardships. I couldn’t help it. I had to put them through hell before they found love at the end of the book. And I mean hell.
Psychologist Abby is blinded by her schizophrenic ex-husband before she meets Luke, the cop who lost his hearing on the job. Wealthy architect Reece spent fifteen years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit before meeting the ex-wife of the unscrupulous DA who wants to send him back to prison by any means he can. Tawny, the ex-call girl with a PhD in art history, is blackmailed into going back into the life by a hot sex-crime investigator. Former child psychic turned entertainer Diana is the target of a man who went to prison because of clues she unearthed as a child. Oh, and he’s psychic. Not only do these characters have to overcome their personal baggage, they have to dig themselves out of the holes others have created for them. Namely, me. Is it manipulation on my part? Sure. But they find love at the end—justification, in my mind, for their torture. See? I’m really not a bad person.
At Amazon
Since this is Valentine’s Day, I want to share another kind of love: personal love. Not my family. That goes without saying. No, my self-indulgent love of writing. My greatest joy at this point in my life is sitting in my home office and banging out twisted stories where my characters extricate themselves from one threatening situation after another. It took a long time before I was comfortable telling people I was a writer, and now I’m proclaiming it in black and white. I still have to force myself to think it, write it, and say it, fearful readers will find out I’m a fraud.
I know this is a “love” day, but along with the love of writing comes other things I don’t love, so forgive my digression. I don’t love the PR involved in getting my name out there. The blatant self-promotion makes me uncomfortable. I know it’s part of the package, but I don’t have to like it, nor do I do it well. There’s a fine line separating the right amount of promotion with overkill, and we’ve all seen that. It’s a turn-off, and a writer has to be careful not to cross the line. I like Facebook—it’s fun, and I’ve met some great people. I tweet, but I haven’t caught on to it yet to make much of a difference. It’s time-consuming, and I’d rather write. I don’t have a blog. Maybe I should, but I can’t imagine I have anything to say others haven’t said better. I’ve probably made my point with this blog post. I rest my case.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. Love someone tonight, even if it’s on a page of your book.
Polly Iyer was born on the coast of Massachusetts and now resides in the beautiful Piedmont region of South Carolina in an empty nest house with her husband and a drooling mutt named Max. She’s been an artist, importer, designer, and store owner, but writing is her passion. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime. Her stand-alone novels can be found on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can learn more about her at:
Murder Déjà Vu is free on Amazon Feb 14-16. Yes, that’s today. After wealthy architect Reece Daughtry spent fifteen years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, someone’s framing him again. This time he won’t be railroaded. He goes underground to find the killer, or die trying.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Those Kisses! What makes them memorable?

What are some of the greatest kisses you can remember—on-screen or off, if you care to tell? What made them stay with you?
Some screen kisses have been truly memorable. Who could forget the surprise and joy in Adrian Brody's Oscar night kiss of Halle Berry? He certainly did it well, holding her so carefully while bending over her. Such exuberance! Didn't it make you smile?
For sheer romance, there was the not-quite-kiss between Daniel Day Lewis and Madeline Stowe in Last of the MohicansHer expression and pose made that memorable, but it didn't hurt that he was the one holding her.  Be still, my heart! 
What about Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh in Gone with the Wind? What were the emotions in that kiss? Love and lust come to mind. He loved her, wanted her, and admired her spirit. Scarlett, having set her heart on Ashley Wilkes, could never admit to wanting Rhett, not until it was too late.
Kisses come in all kinds, romantic, tender, passionate, and everything in between. They can be fun, compassionate, or overflowing with love. They depend on so many things to make them memorable: the circumstances anand the persons involved are first. The kiss itself is important. What makes a kiss special to you? How do you describe it? Or do you avoid the specifics? Post some of yours. I dare you. I'll go first.
Here's a tender kiss from Cold Comfort. He turned and pulled her into his arms, kissed her swollen eyes. "I'll bring you back. I promise."
One with more passion: When she kissed him, snaked her tongue between his lips, he drew her against him, could feel the pounding of her heart.
Another from Haunting Refrain. He held her head between his hands and tilted it back, tracing the line of her throat with gentle kisses.
Searching for the word kiss in my manuscripts turned out to be an interesting exercise. Try it. You may learn something about your writing. Are they similar? Varied? Does the mood change?
Come on, share your thoughts. YYY

Monday, February 6, 2012

Eleanor Anders reviews A Catered St. Patrick's Day

Check it out!

My guest this week is Eleanor Anders, book reviewer. Today she's reviewing Isis Crawford's A CATERED ST. PATRICK'S DAY.
Book Blurb (courtesy of Kensington Publishing's website):
Gastronomical dream team Bernie and Libby Simmons wade into a Celtic knot of malice and mayhem when a St. Patrick’s celebration goes terribly wrong… 
To most of the people of little Longely, New York, St. Paddy’s Day means good food, great music, and plenty of Guinness. But when the lifeless body of Mike Sweeney floats to the top of a vat of green beer, it looks like the luck o’ the Irish has just run out.
Unfortunately for the Simmons sisters, the number one suspect is related to one of their very best catering customers, the pampered and powerful Bree Nottingham. When Bree visits A Little Taste of Heaven to beseech them to clear her nephew’s name, they just can’t say no.
But the more information Bernie and Libby stir up, the more Duncan Nottingham looks like a killer. Known for his hot temper and love of the drink, Duncan and the deceased were both part of the Corned Beef and Cabbage Club, a group with more buried history than the Emerald Isle. And each member—especially Duncan—had a motive to sing Sweeney his last Irish lullaby. A motive they don’t want anyone revealing.
For Bernie and Libby, the situation is deadly and in danger of boiling over. And they can’t count on good old Saint Pat to drive out the snake in their midst…they’ll have to do it themselves, before a murderer strikes again.
Includes Original Recipes for You to Try!  
*Courtesy of Kensington Publishing's website.
         Eleanor's review of . . .
by: Isis Crawford
Publisher: Kensington 
Published: January 31, 2012       
Format: Hardback (304 pages)     
ISBN: 9780758247407           
Series: A Mystery with Recipes             
Origin: Publisher

***Though the publisher provides the free book, I offer the opinion.***
My Look:
Four leaf-clover shaped cookies, green beer, St. Patrick's day festivities, and murder.
Bernie and Libby Simmons are tossing dough and bantering around the worth of silly superstitions, when a telephone call interrupts them.  Bernie's boyfriend, Brandon, insists the sisters meet him, but he doesn't say why.
It's not until they arrive at the bar that these sisters become his witnesses of sorts; Brandon needs them to witness a death scene, just in case he's arrested.  However, odd as that may sound, it isn't.
The sisters along with their father, Sean, are famous around town for their sleuthing and interesting ways of finding out the whodunit, much to the Police Chief's chagrin.  He feels this crime solving family makes him the "Barney Fife" of Longely, New York and he would love to find them guilty of something.
Although the bar owner insists that this "accident" should not ruin business for his expected holiday crowd, Chief Lucas Broadbent makes an arrest.
Now, Bernie, Libby and Sean are on the case, to help.
However, when Sean discovers a second body, this sleuthing family gives the police chief even more charges to hang on the man they were supposed to help.  Have they just met a case they couldn't crack?  Or is there something they are missing?

My Take:
I recommend Iris Crawford's A CATERED ST. PATRICK'S DAY.
These two sisters are just like any set of siblings, they cajole, push each other's buttons, banter, and support each other through it all.  Their father, Sean, is a grounding force to the pair, and he's always bringing another avenue of investigation to the hunt.
Iris Crawford's characters are funny and a bit quirky, but her plots are engaging and deadly. Moreover, her recipes are to die for!
A CATERED ST. PATRICK'S DAY is a stand-alone title. Nonetheless, you'll want to catch up on the other books in the series, such as A CATERED THANKSGIVING (Kensington November 2011), A CATERED HALLOWEEN (reprint Kensington September 2011), A CATERED BIRTHDAY (reprint Kensington September 2009) just to name a few.

Mysterious Eleanor
About Eleanor Anders:
A book reviewer, Sisters in Crime member, writer, mum, dog mom, cat mom, wife, and lover of good food who is always on a diet!
Reviewing great reads direct from publishers including: Kensington Books, Forever Romance (imprint of Grand Central Publishing), B&H Publishers, Barbour Publishing, WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group(through Blogging for Books), Bell Bridge Books, Tyndale (through Tyndale Blog Network), and others.
Come visit me on Google+, Pinterest Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, LibraryThing, Shelfari, Wordpress, and Publishers Marketplace.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Cape Fear Crime Festival

I just got home from the Cape Fear Crime Festival in Wilmington, NC. Lots of fun, some excellent panels and information, a few pictures. I didn't get pictures of everything.

Joyce Lavene