Minette Lauren

Published: 116 articles

Werewolf Nights, by Mari Hamill

For Indie April, I wanted to show my support by picking two novels to read and review. Author Mari Hamill Tweeted her book to me and I couldn’t resist a book with such a cool cover. Here is my review…

Who knew love could be so hairy! This is a fun, love story filled with plenty of curious events, twists and turns. True love is never forgotten. Hardworking bakery owner, Catherine, finds herself caught up in several fascinating love affairs after a long stint alone as a widower. She takes one for team Wereville, giving up her day job to become a local Hollywood film’s leading lady. Punchy, mysterious and entertaining, Werewolf Nights has a fresh bite on romance.

The Lost Kitchen, by Miriam Green

 

 

The Lost Kitchen is a book of recipes, poems, and a heartfelt story of a woman working through the pains of losing her mother to Alzheimer’s. I didn’t know what I would think about the layout of this very different book, but it flows incredibly well. Mixing all the ingredients of the three subjects together, the author bakes up the perfect complex map of what it’s like to be with an individual battling Alzheimer’s. Miriam’s love and respect for her family is immense, and she tells the reader just how to weather the storm of loss, savoring the days for what they are.

 If you know someone, or have a loved one who has this illness, you will identify with Miriam’s plight. I lost a loved one to Alzheimer’s. This book touched my heart, made me laugh, cry and contemplate the meaning of each poem. (Frog in My Throat is one of my favorites.)I am not a huge fan of poetry, but I loved these funny, heartfelt, meandering sentiments that truly described the confusion and frustration of all given parties. I even bought another copy of the book for my sister in-law as a gift. I found it very therapeutic and inspiring to read.

With scrumptious recipes that have awakened my desire to try new things, Miriam Green makes things seem simple. Warm and inviting Cauliflower soup, Bubalehs, to peanut butter-chocolate cake, she shares recipes from across the Atlantic while describing her exotic location in Israel. I’m not Jewish but found her explanation of the food and culture interesting. The book is filled with enticing chapters of food, family, and  how her faith related to cooking. With humor and strength, Miriam shares the warm memories of her family together, in the kitchen of their past and present.

With respect, dignity and love, Miriam Green’s book is inspiring, humbling and teaches that we are all humans with the same essential needs. Savor the moment you are in and find a place in your heart to remember with love.

Dear Maude by Denise Liebig

Dear Maude is a fascinating adventure that resonates in most women’s fantasies—finding tall, dark and handsome, with a trip back to the time of Downton Abby. Twists and turns around every corner, make it an addictive read. I found myself getting in my car more often to listen to this Audible book. The reader was great. I wasn’t sure what I thought for the first ten minutes or so. I think it took a few minutes for the reader to find her groove, but the story was amazing, and the reader was fabulous once I got into the story.

 The author does a great job of describing the emotions of a young college student and the reasons that make her commit to this specific journey. I loved the warmth of Emily and the love she had for her family and respect of others. Her quirky thoughts, yet steadfast actions, propel the story along with great interest. I liked that the beginning was laid out over many chapters, showing the life of Emily and her relationship to Sophia. It threw me for a loop wondering how the time travel would possibly fit in. Then when the TIME came, I was thrilled to embark upon the adventure.

I keep a Kindle book and an Audible going at all times. I picked this book out of a long list of Indie author books for my support of #IndieApril. I love time travel, great characters and a story that keeps you guessing. I look forward to reading more from Denise Liebig.

Birdie and Jude by Phyllis H. Moore

In Phyllis H. Moore’s, Birdie and Jude, characters come to life and spark interest in the soul of the reader. Birdie, a lifetime resident of Galveston Island, keeps to a happy routine with her dog, Ollie.

Walking the shore on one of their usual excursions they pick up a visitor in distress. Not knowing much about the young woman, Jude, or her disastrous situation, Birdie invites her back to her home to shelter out the storm.

Through routine activities, the writer reveals glimpses of Birdies unique personality. Well loved by the community, Birdie has secrets and a strong desire to be left out of social graces, though she can fake it well enough for a few friends and her over protective nephew, Barry. Young and beautiful Jude also has a past and slowly reveals her situation to Birdie as they become fast friends.

The real part of this story is not in the daily lives of its characters or the events they are caught up in. This story transcends across time and has a warmth to it that stays with the reader long after the story is over.

Birdie and Jude has the sass of Rita Mae Brown mixed with the warmth and racial equality struggle of The Help. I strongly recommend this book for any occasion, but I picked it up on my vacation and couldn’t put it down. A wonderful page turner and hope for a future with loved ones past and present.

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Geza Tatrallyay’s, Rainbow Vintner, political intrigue and terrorism aren’t the only plot driven aspects of the book. Young and beautiful, American exchange student, Morgan Kenworthy, has taken up studies in France, where she forms a keen interest in a family friend’s son, Alex. Her school mate, Claire, Alex’s sister, is her local guide between the de Carduzac’s family estate, school and other social interest. Introducing her to important members of government, associated with the family, and socially challenging professors, with opposing political ideals, Morgan is swept up in the lavish setting of the Bordeaux region.
When Morgan runs across some interesting photos in the de Carduzac’s office, she begins to put together pieces of a puzzle that lead her into a political triangle. Russians, Jihadist, French right wing activist are all a part of a plot that may take down France, Morgan and Alex with it.
I was surprised by the depth of the characters in this international thriller and pleasantly intrigued by such details of upper class living. The descriptions of food, wine and ambiance was delectable. The author had an artful way of divulging information for the reader through dialogue, so you felt like you were a part of the conversation.
With issues that parallel our own daily news, readers will find themselves dissecting the political subject and categorizing their own passions for moral resolution. Vigilante espionage and a surprising ending that I didn’t see coming.

Murder at the Luther (Review by Minette Lauren)

Murder at the Luther by [Kaska, Kathleen]
Murder at the Luther, by Kathleen Kaska, is a very witty who done it. With tones of, I love Lucy, humor and Alfred Hitchcock eeriness, the story takes the reader on a rather captivating ride. Journalist, Sydney Lockhart, and her ragtag cast of supporting characters are more likely to dig the hole deeper than clear her name of murder. When a handsome stranger asks her to go birding and then ends up dead in her arms, Sydney is speechless. With her prints on the murder weapon and no one in Palacios, Texas to vouch for her innocence, her goose is all but cooked.
The cover of the book promises the reader a respite from modern conveniences and a stroll through past fashion magazines. Cousin Ruth’s shoe fetish and Mrs. Foghorn’s affinity for pants do not disappoint.
The 1952 New Year’s eve dance at the Luthor may be Sydney’s worst night ever, and she could sure use a hero. Her former interest in Detective Dixon may be her life raft in the turbulent storm that sweeps her away on murder charges, but the stubborn journalist exercises her feminist efforts to take care of herself. Secret messages, nosey hotel staff, an Ex-Lieutenant Governor and his illustrious wife, a Sherriff with a re-election agenda, a meddling cousin, a Cajun hit-man and more plague Sydney as she tries to find the real killer in this small coastal town.
Murder at the Luther is part of a series but reads wonderfully as a standalone. The expert author gives references to the previous experiences of the characters without dwelling on backstory.
Never a dull moment, with rollicking events that turn each page, Murder at the Luther spins an intriguing murder mystery that will keep you guessing until the end.

Extra, Extra, read all about it! New release today!

After a temperamental meltdown on stage, Sean Hightower, a regretful and resentful “one-hit wonder” rock musician hoping for a comeback, returns to his girlfriend’s condo seeking comfort from the woman he loves. But after letting himself in, he discovers her naked body on the bed, murdered from a bullet to the head. When the police detective arrives and sees the two taped pieces of paper on the wall with the word, “hello,” on one and “goodbye,” on the other, he realizes that the renowned serial killer, The Beatles Song Murderer, has struck again. In the days that follow, he reaches another conclusion—the Beatles Song Murderer is probably somebody Sean knows. Now the detective needs Sean’s help to find the killer.

After several years devoted to poetry, followed by a few minor achievements as a professional song lyricist, Keith Steinbaum eventually decided to write a novel, culminating in the completion of The Poe Consequence, a supernatural thriller/human drama that received Books-and-Authors.net’s Supernatural Thriller of the Year, Kirkus Reviews’ listing as a top Indy book of the year, and a Finalist placing in 2017’s International Book Excellence Awards competition.

His forthcoming second novel, published by Black Opal Books, is entitled, You Say Goodbye. It’s a whodunit murder mystery featuring The Beatles, a one-hit wonder ex-rock star, and a little girl with cancer who’s a big fan of the LA Lakers. The child’s character was inspired by the life, and unfortunate death, of Alexandra Scott from the Alex’s Lemonade foundation.

Although Steinbaum pays the bills through a long career in the landscape industry, in his heart he’s always considered himself a creative writer first and foremost. As he’s often replied when asked about his license plate that reads, Do Write, “I make my living through landscape, but I make my loving through writing.”

Rave reviews for Blinked!

What a nice surprise to wake up and see this link, to a review of Blinked, posted to twitter! William Dylan Powell does reviews on the Lone Star Lineup, and crafted a review that brought tears to my eyes. Blinked is a story dear to my heart, and I have often called it my trophy novel, proof that I can write anything with Zoe Tasia. I loved that he seemed to get it’s humor and decipher it’s deeper meaning. Please enjoy his review of our zany urban fantasy, Blinked.

https://www.lonestarlineup.com/

Kilts and Catnip, by Zoe Tasia

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Kilts and Catnip is a cozy fantasy with a sweet romantic flare, depicting the life of Becca Shaw, a young widow, who moves to the Scotland with her two young daughters after her beloved husband passes away. Filled with grief, Becca struggles to find happiness and the previous connection she shared with her children. Feeling the need to spend more time with her daughters and heal, she packs up the family and rents a cottage on an island for the summer. Unbeknownst to her, the Shrouded Isle is a place of mystical wonders and things a sensible teacher shouldn’t believe, but after a few hair-raising run-ins with a kilt clad stranger in the forest and local residents, Rebecca has to admit that something not normal.

Arriving at their summer destination tired, after the long day of travel, Becca sets up the cottage for their stay. It is only a short time later that her youngest daughter mysteriously disappears, and her oldest daughter is in a panic. Searching for her child, Becca gets turned around in the forest and meets a curious stranger in a kilt, who reunites her with her daughter. Discombobulated by the late-night events and filled with the terror of a mother who has lost her child, Becca shrugs off the stranger and his warning not to return to the forest.

Things heat up with a domestic, telepathic cat and scary wolves hot on their trail, but the residents don’t seem at all mystified about the odd mishaps. Becca remains concerned over her youngest daughter’s change in disposition and tries to figure out just what is wrong and how to fix it. She does a little research at the town library, consorts at the local gala and even cozies up to the neighbor to discover the mystery behind the elements at play. With the roller coaster of odd events and mishaps, she’s not sure she will ever find out the secrets of the Shrouded Isle but has no control over her winsome heart.

Warm, majestic and full of adventure, this fantasy is sure to entertain. I look forward to reading more of the fae filled forest and the budding romance between Becca and Greg. This fabulous story by author, Zoe Tasia, shows a promise of more great things to come. I truly enjoyed this cozy page turner. Don’t miss book one of The Shrouded Isle.