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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/

RACE FOR THE SUN BY MINETTE LAUREN

This book has an interesting take on the afterlife. After death, in an incorporeal state, beings wait to be reincarnated. As they wait, they act as soul watchers. A soul watcher will choose one person on Earth to help. Soul-watcher Soledad, returning to the afterlife after committing suicide, chooses Ally, a relative from her most recent life, to aid.

Ally is my favorite character. As the one, able-bodied individual in her small family, many duties fall to her. Though exhausted and frustrated at times, she loves her family and strives to do everything possible to keep them safe and happy. Ally is a middle child. Her older sister, Jessica, is an intransigent, forty-year-old, type one diabetic in need of a kidney. Ally’s sweet, younger sister, Alyssa, was born with special needs and requires twenty-four-hour supervision. Their mother’s heart problems prevent her from performing many activities.

Ally is an animal-loving artist who loves riding motorcycles. I think that, since she has many responsibilities, she needs that freedom to fly—be it on the canvas or the road. Though confident in other areas of her life, after her divorce, she finds herself gun-shy around men. As Soledad spiritually guides Ally, we learn about both women, their goals, desires, mistakes—and come to care deeply for them. The secondary characters are written with equal care and detail.

Race for the Sun is a life-affirming journey. The author packs an emotional punch in her writing. I cannot recommend this book enough.

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.

A Two Horse Town by Kathleen Kaska

Review by Zoe Tasia

A Two Horse Town opens with a visceral scene. It’s a moonlit night in Big Sky Country. An acrophobic woman scales a boulder ever aware that one wrong step, one slip of a sweaty palm, could lead to a painful-at-best fall. A straight-outa-the-chute beginning to an excellent mystery.

 

Kate Caraway hadn’t anticipated how much she would miss Kenya, a place where she immediately felt a sense of home, and a research position that fulfilled her. But her husband had a prime job opportunity, so they moved to Chicago. Disliking her work at the University of Illinois, she eagerly agrees to help her student, Nate Springfield. She takes a leave of absence to go to Montana to save wild mustangs endangered by a purposed dam which would leave them without a water supply. Soon after her arrival, Kate discovers a dead body, that of her student’s grandfather. When Nate becomes the prime suspect, Kate struggles to not only save the horses, but also to clear his name.

 

In Montana, Kate stays with Nate’s great-grandmother, Ida, a gun-toting nonagenarian. She is against the building of the dam, but her reckless outspokenness may work against their cause. Kate also senses that Ida is not as forthright as she seems.

 

Time is against Kate, and the enemies aren’t afraid to use deadly force. I won’t spoil the ending, but will say it is full of heart-racing excitement and fascinating revelations.

 

When I read the vivid descriptions of the settings—so bright, compelling and very much a key part of the story—Nevada Barr’s series is brought to mind.  Kate Caraway has much in common with Barr’s main character, Anna Pigeon. Both feel strongly about protecting the environment and both have the willingness to take on an active role.

 

Like a mustang, the story gallops across the pages and I flew like a rider, gripping the horse’s mane in exhilaration. I encourage you to take that ride too. You won’t regret it.

 

A Two Horse Town

Review by Minette Lauren

Opera dogs, a feisty old woman and a cause worthy of a good fight or possibly murder? Kathleen Kaska’s, Two Horse Town, will reel you in with earthy descriptions of Montana’s mountainous terrain, dialogue that will make you snort with laughter and characters that are as lively as a pack of wild mustangs.

I have to say, I loved this Kate Caraway mystery even more than the first. Kathleen Kaska does an amazing job of filling the reader in on the previous details of book one without repetitive backstory. This book can be read as a stand alone, and the reader won’t miss a beat.

Kaska’s love of animals and nature bring life and humor to the book. I love that each mystery brings awareness to a real animal issue.

The rustic trails with their gravel switchbacks aren’t the only thing that twists and leaves you hanging off the edge. The author keeps the pages turning to find out what is at the bottom of her rustic, homespun mystery.

Kaska will leave you guessing until the end and waiting for another Kate Caraway story. If you love descriptive land scapes that make you feel the cool breeze on your skin or the Montana sun so bright you have to squint to see, you will love, Two Horse Town. Bravo Kathleen Kaska!

 

Second Chance for Love, Ginni Conquest

Second Chance For Love

 

Second Chance for Love is s feel good, sexy romance perfect for a relaxing day. I loved the theme of the young widowed wife, Becca, grieving for her dear departed husband. Denny is her guardian angel, who sets her back on the path to living her dreams and finding love again. I especially enjoyed the warm characters and their compassion for helping Becca fulfill her dreams of opening her own bakery. There is even s little mystery woven into this cozy read. The steamy scenes lend heat to this sweet story about two souls destined to be together with the guidance and blessings of Becca’s guardian angel. Sweet and steamy sums it up. A great read.

Unholy Sundering, by Deanna Browne

 

Unholy Sundering: Book 2 in the Dark Rising Trilogy by [Browne, DeAnna]

 

This compelling story, of a world taken over by powerful magic and the ruling wizards who wield it, is appealing to readers of every genre. The fantasy feels real and the characters are driven to find freedom. While Becca is working with her friends Caleb and Damion to free her sister from a demon, they are encountered by a community that is fighting for their own freedom in a secluded compound. I loved the champions in this imaginative story that had me addicted to my kindle every time I had a free minute. The author did an amazing job of story telling, character building and letting new readers know about the fantasy without tons of backstory. Now, I will have to go and read the first part this series. Really impressed with Browne’s imagination and ability to tell a great tale.

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The Girls Whispered Murder: An Izzy Walsh Mystery by [McPherson, Lynn]

Izzy has done it again in, The Girls Whispered Murder. This amateur sleuth’s heightened curiosity rivals that of the endearing Lucile Ball. Set in a time where women are meant to play the role of June Cleaver, Izzy manages to balance the life of a wife and mother, while still keeping the connections with her lifelong friends. With her sexy sidekick, Ava, and her other trustworthy, fun mannered friends, Izzy manages to find herself in hot water again, on an innocent girl’s night out. Harriot, a beautiful, young, alluring hostess with a very private countenance is all smiles with her much older husband when Izzy and the gang show up at The Mariner’s Whisper, a popular supper club in the sleepy, seaside town. Quick to entertain Izzy and her friend’s, because of the flattering article Jo wrote for the local paper, it seems butter wouldn’t melt in Harriot’s mouth. The engaging couple provides the perfect atmosphere for the locals to relax in elegance, but when tempers flare and things heat up in the kitchen, death ensues. When an infamous chef turns up dead, Izzy finds it impossible to stay away from the restaurant and the people surrounding the event. Izzy’s ADD tendencies to eavesdrop lead her to snooping around the remodeled restaurant, which has a mystery of its own. This book has many humorous moments of dialogue between Izzy and Ava and keeps a nice pace for dropping red herrings and clues for the reader. Don’t miss this cozy, page turning mystery with a smart list of characters and technicolor descriptions of the time period. A great choice for a relaxing vacation or a splurge for a rainy day.