Thursday, January 14, 2021

Review: For Whom the Book Tolls

For Whom The Book Tolls

Laura Gail Black

When Jenna Quinn arrives in Hokes Folly, North Carolina, to stay with her uncle Paul and help out around his antique bookstore, she finds him dead at the bottom of the stairs inside the store. To make matters worse, the police suspect Jenna had something to do with the death. Jenna is already trying to move on from a troubled past so, she doesn't need the police breathing down her neck. On top of trying to find a killer, she also has to decide if she wants to stay in the small town and run the bookstore uncle Paul left her.

For Whom The Bell Tolls started a bit slow, but as I read on, the action picked up, and the story turned out to be quiet exciting. It's full of delightful characters and enough twists and turns to keep readers guessing who the murderer could be right up to the end. Hopefully, there will be more to come in this series.

This review was written by me and originally published by City Book Review.


Friday, January 8, 2021

Review: Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You)


Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You)

Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy and Griffin McElroy

Have you ever thought about starting a podcast? Or maybe just wondered what's involved in the development of one. If so, you might be interested to know that the McElroy brothers, co-creators of podcasts that include My Brother, My Brother, and Me, have created a guide that covers every aspect of how to create one.

They cover all the essentials in this book, such as developing your idea, coming up with a good title, and structuring your show. They also discuss the tools you will need and explain what to do after you have recorded your first episode. They have useful tips for making it audience friendly and cover issues that deal with post-production, such as advertising and growing your audience.

The best thing is that they do all this with wit and humor, making this both an entertaining and informative book to read. If you are interested in podcasting, this is one you will not want to miss.

Thanks to Harper Perennial for allowing me to read and review this book in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Review: Embrace Your Southern, Sugar!

Embrace Your Southern, Sugar!

Julia Fowler

I feel fortunate to have started the New Year with a book that made me laugh out loud! This one had me remembering things from my past that I'd plum forgotten. But don't worry, you don't have to be a Southerner to enjoy this little gem. Just grab a glass of sweet iced tea, sit back (preferably on a front porch if you have one), and let Julia tell you all about what makes Southerners tick. Be it hospitality, health, the weather, or sports; she's pretty much covered it all in Embrace Your Southern, Sugar!

With humor and wit, she manages to capture not just what she adores about this unique region of the country but why she's so happy and comfortable with her own country roots. The only thing I was missing as I read this one was a slice of pecan pie. But Julia thought of that as well and included not one but two family recipes for this southern classic.

Thanks to LibraryThing and Gibbs Smith Publishing for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, January 4, 2021

Review: Feel Better in 5

Feel Better in 5

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee

Feel Better in 5 is all about making small changes in your daily routine that lead to lasting results. The book is divided into three sections: Mind, Body, and Heart. Within each area, Dr. Chatterjee presents what he calls "health snacks" designed to make you feel better throughout the day. By devoting five minutes three times a day to his suggestions and exercises, you can create a new routine that will positively benefit your mind, body, and heart. By finding time in the day that works for you, whether it is before your day begins or at the end of the day, these tips are designed to have a ripple effect in your life. Once you start to feel good, you will want to incorporate more of the exercises into your day; at least, that's the idea. And I'm happy to say that there are many interesting options listed throughout the book. I enjoyed the physical exercise snacks the most.

If, like me, you are one of those people, who start diets and exercise programs only to give up a few days or weeks later, Feel Better in 5 presents a new way of addressing health and fitness. It's easy to follow and it doesn't require a lot of time or willpower. As far as I'm concerned, that makes this one a winner.

This review was written by me and originally published by City Book Review. 

Monday, December 21, 2020

Review: Murder in the Bayou Boneyard: A Cajun Country Mystery


Murder in the Bayou Boneyard

Ellen Byron

It's Halloween in Pelican, Louisiana, and that would be great if Maggie Crozat were a fan of this spooky holiday, but she isn't. Nevertheless, the Crozat family has decided to add some special events at the bed and breakfast they operate in the small town to attract more guests. The Crozat family are also expecting to meet some long lost cousins who are arriving from Canada. But when one of them turns up dead at a Halloween event hosted in a cemetery, Maggie is not only surprised; she's the main suspect. Which means she now has to find out who is behind the killing if she's going to stay out of jail. But it's Halloween, and there are far more tricks than treats in this story, and Maggie will have to dig deep to find out what's going on.

Murder in the Bayou Boneyard is a fast-paced, fun cozy mystery with a great deal of atmosphere. I enjoyed the story and the main characters. I especially like the sense of place in this one. I felt like I was in a Louisiana small town the whole way through. Plus, the author includes a few recipes in the book as well.

This review was written by me and originally published by City Book Review

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Review: The Vacation


The Vacation

T.M. Logan

Kate and her three friends from university are set to spend a glorious vacation in a villa located in the south of France. It's meant to be a time for their families to reconnect and relax. But Kate suspects her husband is having an affair. To make matters worse, she suspects it's with one of her friends at the villa, but which one? That's what she's going to try and find out.
What she finds is a lot of lies. Along with the complicated lives they all lead, Kate finds that some of her friends are better at keeping secrets than others. If they come out, these secrets may end up costing these friends more than they can imagine. And one will stop at nothing to make sure that doesn't happen.

The author has written a compelling story full of suspense and mystery. I couldn't put this book down. Everyone has something to hide, and it isn't always clear whether the next page will hold a clue or another mystery. I love how the author creates twists and turns in the story, much of which I didn't expect. All of it kept me guessing until the end. I can't wait to see what Logan writes next.

Thanks to St Martin's Press for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, December 11, 2020

Review: Stuff Every Tea Lover Should Know


Stuff Every Tea Lover Should Know

Candace Rose Rardon

If there is anything you want to know about tea, chances are this slim book covers it. From a short history of this popular beverage to how to host a tea party, Ms. Rardon explains the many aspects of tea culture. I particularly enjoyed learning about the different tea varieties. There are six of them: white, green, yellow, oolong, black and dark. But they are all derived from the same plant species, Camellia Sinensis, first discovered in China.

One of the interesting facts about tea is that it contains less caffeine than coffee, and an amino acid known as theanine in the leaves slows down the caffeine's absorption rate. For this reason, it does not cause the same jolt of energy one often experiences with coffee. I appreciated the information provided on teabags versus loose tea. After reading this, I will likely now focus on purchasing better-quality, loose tea.

The author also gives a wonderful glimpse into tea culture around the world. And while I did wish the book had been a bit on the larger size to make it easier to read, I nonetheless enjoyed it. I felt inspired to go out and try something new. And with tips on how to make the perfect brew, I think this would make a great little gift for any tea lover.

This review was written by me and originally published by City Book Review.