Book Review: Bookmarked for Murder

Happy Friday, friends!

Today I’m delighted to bring you my review of a cozy mystery by author V.M. Burns! Bookmarked for Murder is book #5 in her Mystery Bookshop series, which is considered a ‘clean read’ in the trusty cozy mystery formula of no excessive profanity and nothing explicit. Plus, I mean, it’s set in a BOOKSTORE so how can you go wrong? 😉

Bonus points: it can easily be read as a standalone

ABOUT THE BOOK

bookmarked for murderAmateur sleuth Samantha Washington’s shopping trip to Chicago takes a deadly detour when a man is murdered on her bus . . .

After some post-Christmas retail therapy in the Windy City, mystery bookshop owner and historical whodunit novelist Sam Washington is returning home to North Harbor, Michigan, on a chartered bus. With Nana Jo and her gal pals Irma, Dorothy, and Ruby Mae from Shady Acres Retirement Village along for the ride, it’s a lively trip. But one passenger is not so lively—a gentleman Irma befriended is found dead in his seat after an unscheduled stop. The ladies immediately shift gears to find out who punched his ticket, while Sam slips into the driver’s seat to make sure Nana Jo and her crew steer clear of fatal conclusions . . .

PURCHASE: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N


MY THOUGHTS

The Mystery Bookshop series is quickly becoming one of my fave cozy series, and the latest installment – Bookmarked for Murder – reminds me why. Witty, sweet, clean, and smartly written, it’s also lots of fun!

The delightful cast of characters is back and just as quirky as ever (Irma, I’m looking at you…), and they are definitely a big part of what makes the book so entertaining and endearing. I love Nana Jo & her Shady Acres gang of senior sleuths (picture a sort of Golden Girls ensemble cast), and Samantha is a strong protagonist that readers can easily relate to. These characters just make me smile as I get to know them, and add in the mystery bookstore setting & I’m a happy reader.

The mystery in Bookmarked for Murder is full of twists and turns and red herrings, as any good cozy should be. How it comes about is rather unique right from the beginning & that makes investigating it a little trickier than normal for Sam. There’s also an adorable little girl with a compelling story who will capture your emotion, adding an extra layer of heart to the plot.

As always, I love the mystery within a mystery that shows up when Sam works on her historical cozy mystery that I enjoy just as much as the current timeline’s story. It’s clear Burns has versatile talent, and this element to the story elevates this series a notch above other cozies. Readers get two-in-one, after all!

Bottom Line: Bookmarked for Murder thoroughly entertains and holds readers’ interest from beginning to end. The mystery itself is well-crafted and layered, and the characters are as well. Sam & Nana Jo & the Shady Acres sleuths are lots of fun, and I love the close community of family and friends that Sam has established around her mystery bookshop. You can’t go wrong with this series, and Bookmarked for Murder is even better than the last!

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
This review first appeared on Reading Is My SuperPower

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VM Burns picV.M. Burns was born in Northwestern Indiana and spent many years in Southwestern Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. She is a lover of dogs, British historic cozies, and scones with clotted cream. After many years in the Midwest, she went in search of milder winters and currently lives in Eastern Tennessee with her poodles. Her debut novel, The Plot is Murder was nominated for a 2017 Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and a lifetime member of  Sisters in Crime. Readers can learn more by visiting her website at vmburns.com

CONNECT: website | Facebook | Twitter


Do you like cozy mysteries?
If you could run a bookstore, what genre would you focus on?

Book Spotlight: My Beauty for Your Ashes + #Giveaway

Happy Wednesday!

Have you read Traci Wooden-Carlisle? If not, today’s a great day to do so. She’s giving an eBook copy of her book, so be sure to enter the giveaway.


About the Book

Four lives connected by one secret. The key to unlocking the answers…forgiveness.

Elder Paige Morganson has come back from the brink of suicide and dealt with most of the anger and pain from her past. Now, she serves as a well-loved minister at her church, and full-time writer and women’s motivational speaker.

As she juggles these roles, she is also artfully dodging her pastor’s attempts at matchmaking. Her world is rocked when a door she thought closed forever opens once again, spilling secrets even she was unaware of.

Elder Brandon Tatum has finally stepped out from under his father’s shadow and is looking forward to what God has in store for his new ministerial career. He has no time for stubborn, golden-eyed beauties who haunt his dreams.

Widower Mason Jenson’s top priority is his daughter, Vivian. When a near-fatal accident jeopardizes her livelihood, his search for a living donor brings him face to face with a beautiful, golden-eyed woman who looks oddly familiar.

Vivian’s grandmother, Victoria Branchett, would also do anything to ensure the health of her granddaughter. But in her mind, Mason Jensen is not to be trusted. Especially since she believes he is to blame for her daughter’s death.

As the years of secrets binding these four together begin to unravel, will they overcome their anger and prejudices to find the peace and love they have long desired?

Amazon | Goodreads


About the Author

Traci Wooden-Carlisle first considers herself a child of God, a lover of souls, and a passionate seeker of the beauty God sees in each one of His creations.

Born in Los Angeles, California, Mrs. Wooden-Carlisle desired to be a poet and novelist at the age of 11. She planned out her life at that time, until 26, but was unable to see beyond that year. Both of her parents were believers in the one and only living God and that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior.

Her love for God is a gift she treasures and wishes to continually share with everyone. She believes it is through that love that she was able to receive many answers to questions that plague people of a youthful physical age and maturity.

At 24 she found herself out of college and having a hard time with the transition from school to the workplace, but thanks to a Tuesday night Bible Study invite and Gods intervention she was fire baptized and began writing poetry under the unction of the Holy Spirit.

Her younger sister, whom she adores, speaks this of her. “Her love of dance and passion for reading and writing are, in many seasons, what God uses to minister to His people. Jesus Christ is such an integral part of her life, it emanates from her very being. Her desire for God speaks so loud all you can say is I want what she has. The love of God surrounds her and her husband of 11 years, which is a love she and her family believes to be a match made in heaven.”

Today, Mrs. Wooden Carlisle lives in San Diego with her husband. She is currently building her jewelry making business and writing her third book in the Christian-fiction series, Promises to Zion.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest


Giveaway

Enter Rafflecopter here.

Book Review: Tropical Kiss and Tell

Happy Friday! I am so glad to put this stressful week behind me – how about you?

One respite in the craziness that was the past few days was this delightful novella – Tropical Kiss and Tell by Liwen Y. Ho. I’ve been meaning to read her books for much too long and, now that I finally have, I can tell I’ll be adding her backlist (and future releases) to my teetering TBR mountain!

ABOUT THE BOOK

tropical kiss and tellTITLE: Tropical Kiss & Tell
AUTHOR: Liwen Y. Ho
SERIES: Tropical Kisses #2
GENRE: Christian Contemporary Romance
PUBLISHER: 2 Square 2 Be Hip
RELEASE DATE: November 2017
PAGES: 101

Falling in love with the girl next door was never part of his plan … until she fell for someone else.

Micah Chan has loved Lucy Choi ever since they were kids, but life—and some regretful decisions—stopped him from pursuing her. Now he has a choice to make: Let her marry another man or break up her engagement to make this Christmas the most memorable one of their lives?

Micah and Lucy were introduced as children in the books Tropical Kiss or Miss and Taking a Chance on the Enemy, respectively. Meet them now as adults on the brink of discovering their own happily-ever-after.

GOODREADS | AMAZON


MY THOUGHTS

I haven’t yet read the author’s previous books in which Micah and Lucy appeared (as children) but I definitely want to go back and read them soon – because I fell in love with both of these characters! Through the flashbacks of their close friendship that started in adolescence to the present day scenes where things could either go very right or very wrong with new awareness of deeper feelings… Micah and Lucy leapt off the pages and into my heart.

Micah seems at first to be Lucy’s polar opposite – he’s buttoned up where she’s free-spirited, for instance – but once we get to know them a bit more, we can see how alike they really are, too. Both have big hearts, both are loyal (even if they have different ways of showing it), both have a gift at connecting with people. They also have a similarly blended family, a shared cultural heritage, and hold onto the truth that God works all things for good for those who love Him. This smooth blend of personalities makes for some very sweet scenes as well as other scenes that will leave a grin on your face.

The author’s writing voice is engaging and bright, the characters layered and well-developed in spite of the relatively short word count. The plot progressed at a steady pace, and the transition between flashbacks to present day was seamlessly executed. I also loved the organic way that Asian-American culture & family life is part of the dimensions to both the characters and the plot. Micah and Lucy & their story could not be separated from their heritage and have the story still be as dimensional or enjoyable as it – a balance that’s sometimes hard to achieve in other books I’ve read but Liwen Y. Ho has done so in a way that feels effortless.

A well-written, tender, witty, and sweet friends-to-more romance that will have you rooting for Micah and Lucy to see (and embrace) what – and who – has been right in front of them all along.

(I voluntarily reviewed this book, which I read through Kindle Unlimited)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

liwenhoLiwen Y. Ho works as a chauffeur and referee by day (AKA being a stay at home mom) and an author by night. She writes sweet and inspirational contemporary romance infused with heart, humor, and a taste of home (her Asian roots).

In her pre-author life, she received a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Western Seminary, and she loves makeovers of all kinds, especially those of the heart and mind. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her techie husband and their two children, and blogs about her adventures as a recovering perfectionist at www.2square2behip.com.

CONNECT WITH LIWEN: website| Facebook | Twitter


Have you read any of Liwen’s other books? What interests you most about Tropical Kiss and Tell?

Open Disucssion: Diverse Books Coming in 2020

Happy New Year!

I can’t believe we’re in 2020. We at Diversity Between the Pages are so excited to bring you another year of blogging about diverse reads (clean and Christian fiction). This Saturday, let’s talk Diverse Books Coming in 2020. This list is not all inclusive (I don’t know what no one tells me 😉 ).

Please, this is an open discussion, so if you know about a book releasing that’s not listed, please share! Which one of these below are you most looking forward too?

*Click pic to be taken to pre-order link.


January Release

February Release

*Clean

March Release

*clean

April Release

*Some novellas diverse

May Release

Book Review: The Ranger Takes a Bride

Hi, reader friends! Today’s review features The Ranger Takes a Bride by Misty M. Beller, the second book of her debut series, Texas Rancher Trilogy.

About the Book

The Ranger Takes a Bride by Misty M. BellerThe bloody Las Cuevas War robbed Alejandra Diaz of her father, her fiancé, and her home—and left her with an intense hatred for men in uniform. She escapes across the border with her almost-mother-in-law and finds work on a quiet Texas ranch. The place seems like the safe haven she’d been looking for. Until she meets the rancher’s tall, handsome brother who wears the soldier’s badge of a Texas Ranger…

Edward Stewart has spent years proving his abilities as a man, separate from the overbearing protection of his family. As a Texas Ranger, he has the chance to help tame the Wild West and save the innocent. Innocents like the enchanting Mexican woman he rescued, who now lives and works on his sister’s ranch. But the moment she sees his badge, she won’t have anything to do with him.

Can Edward prove to Alejandra that he’s different from the cruel soldiers she’s known before? Will Alejandra hold onto the fear ingrained from her past, or can she open her heart to the kindness of this good lawman? When danger escalates in the form of a band of desperados with deadly intent, Alejandra must fight her hardest battle yet…

goodreads | amazon | BOOKDEPOSITORY | bookbub

 

My Thoughts

What a lovely trio of redemptive, feel-good stories! I completely enjoyed getting to know all the folks on this small-town Texas ranch. These stories have just the right amount of spunk and action to liven up the sweetly romantic plots. Settings and cultures are figuratively painted across each chapter with vibrant brushstrokes.

Alejandra’s plight is heartwrenching yet inspiring as she overcomes her fears and the language barrier (without the help of Rosetta Stone) to remain with her fiance’s mother in a foreign country. Edward isn’t perfect but he makes up for his flaws with a large helping of patience and compassion.

I’m a big fan of Misty M. Beller’s Mountain series so I’ve had my eyes on this Texas series for a while now and it does not disappoint! Since I listened to this book on audio, here are my brief thoughts on the recordings: in my opinion, the narrations for the series are fair to good. For me, the first book’s performance is best followed by the third book with the second book starting out a bit rough (almost echoing) but improving in quality as the story progressed.

I borrowed this book through an audible escape trial. The opinions expressed are my own.

 

About the Author

Misty M BellerMisty M. Beller writes Christian historical romance and is the author of the bestselling Mountain Dreams Series and the Texas Rancher Trilogy. 

She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.

God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.

Writing is a dream come true for Misty. Her family—both immediate and extended—is the foundation that holds her secure in that dream. Visit her website!

 

Texas Rancher Trilogy

The Rancher Takes a Cook The Ranger Takes a Bride by Misty M. Beller The Rancher Takes a Cowgirl

I love stories of cultures diverging in a peaceful blend of something new!
The Texas Rancher Trilogy is also available on Kindle Unlimited
!
Listening to this story gave me a richer experience than reading since my Spanish vocabulary is limited to foods, numbers one through ten, a few greetings, and “where is the bathroom?”!

Have you listened to any audiobooks with unfamiliar phrases or languages recently? 

Review by Beth Erin

Book Spotlight: An Alaskan Twin Surprise

Happy Wednesday – the first full week of January is already halfway behind us. Time is flying already!

Today I’m spotlighting a book that doesn’t release for a few more months but I’m already in love with the cover!!

ABOUT THE BOOK

analaskantwinsurprise

Title: An Alaskan Twin Surprise
Author: Belle Calhoune
Series: Home to Owl Creek
Publisher: Love Inspired
Release Date: May 1, 2020 (kindle) / April 21, 2020 (print)

The family he was supposed to have…
His runaway bride is back…
With twins!

The last person Gabriel Lawson expects to find in town is Rachel Marshall—especially with twin toddlers in tow. Gabriel refuses to risk his heart again on the woman who left him at the altar years ago. But working to renovate her mother’s house means he must spend time with Rachel and her adorable twins…and soon he can’t help but wish they were his family.

PREORDER IT NOW: Goodreads | Amazon | Harlequin | B&N


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

belle calhouneBelle Calhoune lives in Connecticut with her college sweetheart husband and two daughters. After a thirteen year career as a Federal Investigator, she chose to pursue a  writing career.  An avid lover of romance novels since she was a teen, she enjoys writing love stories and reading them. She loves spending summers in beautiful Cape Cod and traveling to new places. A dog lover, she has a mini poodle and a chocolate lab. More than anything, she believes in happily ever afters.

CONNECT WITH BELLE: website | Facebook | Twitter


Oh my goodness – those little girls on the cover have already stolen my heart. Are they not the cutest?!? I also love that four people of color are featured on the front. I can’t wait to read this book when it releases in April/May.

What about you? What interests you most about An Alaskan Twin Surprise?