I feel that Violet gets better in every one of the books in this series. I loved the mystery in this story with the Easter Bunnies and the chocolate. I love the laughs in the story. I really enjoy getting to know Violet, her mother and Darren. I received a copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
I give this book a five out of five stars.
CELEBRATE GOOD CRIMES
When amateur sleuth and town journalist, Violet Rhinehammer, stumbles upon a dead body during the Hip Hop Hurray Easter Festival, she knows she has to get to the bottom of things.
As she delves deeper into the mystery, she discovers that one of the bunnies auditioning for the top spot was seen running away from the scene of the crime. With the added pressure of keeping her identity as the town’s Merry Maker a secret, Violet must work quickly to uncover clues and find the killer before they strike again.
But the investigation takes a delicious turn after some clues turn up at bake-off competition. Could one of the baking contestants have motive to commit murder over a prize-winning dessert?
Is this a case of chocolate bunny betrayal, or is there something even darker at play?
Violet encounters a cast of colorful characters, including rival bunnies competing for the top spot, a demanding Easter Bunny, and a group of mischievous bakers vying for the top baker spot. With twists and turns at every corner, Violet must use all of her skills and wit to solve the case before the killer hops away.
I enjoyed how this book flowed. I liked how the story went from present to past and back. I loved the twists and turns. I liked Jenna but I did not really click with her character. I liked the intrigue in the story. I received a copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
I give this book a four out of five stars.
Fool Her Once (A Novel) by Joanna Elm Category: Adult Fiction (18 +), 416 pages Genre: Thriller Publisher: CamCat Books Release date: Feb, 2023
to Mar 20, 2023 Content Rating: PG-13 + M. There’s adultery, language, some sexual content, and violent crime, but no explicit descriptions of the crimes.
Book Description: Some killers are born. Others are made.
As a rookie tabloid reporter, Jenna Sinclair made a tragic mistake when she outed Denny Dennison, the illegitimate son of an executed serial killer. So she hid behind her marriage and motherhood. Now, decades later, betrayed by her husband and resented by her teenage daughter, Jenna decides to resurrect her career—and returns to the city she loves.
When her former lover is brutally assaulted outside Jenna’s NYC apartment building, Jenna suspects that Denny has inherited his father’s psychopath gene and is out for revenge. She knows she must track him down before he can harm his next target, her daughter.
Meanwhile, her estranged husband, Zack, fears that her investigative reporting skills will unearth his own devastating secret he’d kept buried in the past.
From New York City to the remote North Fork of Long Island and the murky waters surrounding it, Jenna rushes to uncover the terrible truth about a psychopath and realizes her own investigation may save or destroy her family.
Joanna Elm is an author, journalist, blogger, and attorney. Before the publication of her first two suspense novels (Scandal, Tor/Forge 1996); (Delusion, Tor/Forge/1997), she was an investigative journalist on the London Evening News on Fleet Street in the U.K. She also wrote for British magazines like Woman’s Own.
Then, she moved to New York where she worked as a writer/producer for television news and tabloid TV programs like “A Current Affair.” She was also the researcher/writer for WNEW-TV’s Emmy-award-winning documentary “Irish Eyes.” In 1980, she joined the Star as a reporter, eventually becoming the magazine’s news editor and managing editor before moving to Philadelphia as editor of the news/features section of TV Guide.
After completing her first two novels while living in South Florida, (Nelson DeMille described Scandal as “fresh, original and unpredictable”) Joanna returned to New York, enrolled in law school, graduated summa cum laude, passed the NY Bar exam, and worked as a principal law clerk for an appellate division justice in the prestigious First Department. She has been married to her husband Joe for 35 years and has one son.
I loved this wonderful start for a new historical western romance. I loved the intrigue and the romance. I loved how witty the characters are. I loved Mariah and Clint. I love how each of these characters grows. I am looking forward to finding out what happens in the next book in the series. I received a copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
I give this book a five out of five stars.
About the Book
Book: Forged in Love
Author: Mary Connealy
Genre: Historical Romance
Release date: February 28, 2023
When sparks begin to fly, can a friendship cast in iron be shaped into something more?
Mariah Stover is left for dead and with no memory when the Deadeye Gang robs the stagecoach she’s riding in, killing both her father and brother. As she takes over her father’s blacksmith shop and tries to move forward, she soon finds herself in jeopardy and wondering–does someone know she witnessed the robbery and is still alive?
Handsome and polished Clint Roberts escaped to western Wyoming, leaving his painful memories behind. Hoping for a fresh start, he opens a diner where he creates fine dishes, but is met with harsh resistance from the townsfolk, who prefer to stick to their old ways.
Clint and Mariah are drawn together by the trials they face in town, and Clint is determined to protect Mariah at all costs when danger descends upon her home. As threats pursue them from every side, will they survive to build a life forged in love?
Mary Connealy (www.maryconnealy.com) writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has sold more than one and a half million books. She is the author of the popular series Brothers in Arms, Brides of Hope Mountain, High Sierra Sweethearts, The Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero.
More from Mary
I started plotting this novel when I found out that Wyoming was the first state (then a territory) in the Union to grant women the right to vote. Then I discovered it wasn’t just the right to vote; all sorts of other rights were given to women as well, like the right to run for elected office or be appointed to office. In fact, the first woman justice of the peace in the U.S. was from Wyoming. This inspired me to have one of my heroines be the second justice of the peace in the country.
As I continued my research, reading about all that went on in Wyoming was fascinating. They became a territory in 1868—with women voting—and yet they weren’t allowed statehood for another thirty years. With other states being granted statehood in only a few years, why was this? Because the U.S. government refused to let Wyoming in unless they took the vote away from women.
Because Wyoming adamantly refused to strip the vote from women, year after year they were denied statehood. When they finally did get it, the state’s women maintained their right to vote because Wyoming would not budge on the issue. The whole history of this was great reading.
So I wrote a three-book series called Wyoming Sunrise in which all my heroines play against the normal, conventional female roles of the day.
Now, what job could I possibly think of that wasn’t traditionally for women? How about Mariah who happens to be a blacksmith? And while I’m writing against stereotypes, I created a man named Clint who runs a diner. That wasn’t too unusual, for lots of diners were run by men back in the day. Yet not many of them were talented chefs trained in high-class restaurants in New York City. Clint is an excellent chef. Of course, an excellent chef in a small Wyoming town is kind of wasted on folks who prefer fried chicken and beef stew.
Clint makes chicken and beef, but he calls his dishes weird names and makes them unusually delicious. Meanwhile, Mariah is working over a hot forge for long hours every day. When her father and brother are killed in a stagecoach holdup, she becomes the only blacksmith in town.
There’s some resistance to her doing such a masculine job, but even among those who disapprove, well, they’ve got a broken wagon wheel or a hole in their kettle and it’s either let Mariah fix it or go without. Mariah is allowed to be a blacksmith out of pure necessity.
My second book, The Laws of Attraction, has a female justice of the peace, while the third, Marshaling Her Heart, features a tough lady rancher. I write westerns, and honestly, writing about tough, feisty lady ranchers like Becky the Rancher comes naturally to me. Writing about a blacksmith and a judge, however, presents more of a challenge.
Mariah, who survived the stagecoach holdup, learns that the robbers believe she might know something that will reveal their identity, and she needs to be silenced. Clint tries to protect her and finds himself stepping between her and a murderous gang of outlaws.
Through it all, love finds them, and they begin to forge a life together.
I really loved this story. I loved the romance and the secret of where Brianna really came from. I loved that Michael was such a different gentleman. I loved the twists and turns. I received a copy of the book from the publisher for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
I give this book a five out of five stars.
Brianna Kelly was abandoned at Ballymacool House and Boarding School as an infant. She has worked there since she was a wee girl and will likely die there. Despite a sense that she was made for something more, Brianna feels powerless to change her situation, so she consoles herself by exploring the Ballymacool grounds, looking for hidden treasures to add to the secret trove beneath the floorboards of her room.When Michael Wray, the son of local gentry, is sent to Ballymacool to deal with his unruly cousin, he finds himself drawn to Brianna, immediately and inescapably. There is something about her that feels so . . . familiar. When Brianna finds a piece of silver in the woods, she commits to learning its origins, with the help of Michael. What they discover may change everything.Fan favorite Jennifer Deibel invites you back to the Emerald Isle in the 1930s for this fresh take on the Cinderella story, complete with a tantalizing mystery, a budding romance, and a chance at redemption.
I really enjoyed this historical fiction story. I had never heard of this fire in Nantucket and I enjoyed the descriptions of the fire and how it was finally put out. I loved the women featured in the story. I enjoyed reading about what some women in this town might have been going through and how they handled being alone because their men were at sea for so long. I loved reading how strong these women were but also how vulnerable they were. I received a copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
Julie Gerstenblatt holds a doctorate in education in Curriculum and Instruction from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her essays have appeared in The Huffington Post, Grown & Flown, and Cognoscenti, among others. When not writing, Julie is a college essay coach, as well as a producer and on-air host for A Mighty Blaze. A native New Yorker, Julie now lives in coastal Rhode Island with her family and one very smart shichon poo. Daughters of Nantucket is her first novel.
“Gerstenblatt’s distinctive tale, a triumph in storytelling, celebrates the courage and tenacity of women.” —Booklist, starred review
Set against Nantucket’s Great Fire of 1846, this sweeping, emotional novel brings together three courageous women battling to save everything they hold dear.
Nantucket in 1846 is an island set apart not just by its geography but by its unique circumstances. With their menfolk away at sea, often for years at a time, women here know a rare independence—and the challenges that go with it.
Eliza Macy is struggling to conceal her financial trouble as she waits for her whaling captain husband to return from a voyage. In desperation, she turns against her progressive ideals and targets Meg Wright, a pregnant free Black woman trying to relocate her store to Main Street. Meanwhile, astronomer Maria Mitchell loves running Nantucket’s Atheneum and spending her nights observing the stars, yet she fears revealing the secret wishes of her heart.
On a sweltering July night, a massive fire breaks out in town, quickly kindled by the densely packed wooden buildings. With everything they possess now threatened, these three very different women are forced to reevaluate their priorities and decide what to save, what to let go and what kind of life to rebuild from the ashes of the past.
Read an excerpt:
ONE WEEK BEFORE THE FIRE
Monday, July 6, 1846
IN THE HEAT of summer, gossip spreads through Nantucket town like wildfire.
Everyone on the island knows that, including Eliza Macy. Usually, Eliza enjoys the chatter of the women in town, the way her neighbors walk and talk with baskets of goods on their arms as they exchange tales along the busy, brick-paved and cobbled streets that lead to the harbor, where thousands of kegs of oil wait to be processed and shipped. Usually, she’s very much a part of that very chitchat. On any given Monday, she might lean in close over a barrel of grain at Adams and Parker as so-and-so says such-and-such about you-know-who. And although she’s not proud of it, Eliza has been known to follow a small cluster of ladies out of Hannah Hamblin’s candy store on Petticoat Row just to catch the end of a particularly juicy tidbit about a Starbuck or a Coffin, prominent families on the island, even if she hasn’t yet purchased the black licorice whips she came in for. But today turns out to be anything but an ordinary Monday, which is why Eliza isn’t out socializing in town.
The morning begins with a vexing conversation with her husband Henry in the kitchen of their stately Colonial home on Upper Main Street.
“But, what do you mean, Henry? How can you possibly stay out at sea when we need you here at home?” Eliza asks. There is no answer. Eliza continues. “I just wish you would be clearer in your intentions. Less obtuse. It can be so very frustrating to be married to you!”
Well, not a “conversation,” exactly. How can one possibly be speaking with one’s husband when he has been off at sea for almost four years? Conversations exist mostly in her mind—and when she’s really annoyed, aloud—in a pretend dialogue with an absentee man. In reality, these conversations are monologues, long letters sent back and forth across the globe. Delayed worries and emotions so stale that by the time they get a response, Eliza’s concerns have moved on to something else entirely. In a letter, Henry will present a solution to a problem three months old—the leak in the roof Eliza has since gotten fixed, the seasonal cold that one of their twin daughters Mattie has recovered from—and think he is being helpful! And so Eliza thanks her husband of twenty years for his thoughtful ideas and lets him believe anything he says from the Pacific Ocean is meaningful to her everyday existence. Then she tells him what she really thinks from her kitchen. Alone.
The letter from Henry she receives this morning, by way of a sailor passing through to Nova Scotia, is one such missive. On folded parchment, in his slanting script, Henry informs Eliza of his new plans. She reads the line aloud to herself, imagining Henry’s deep baritone filling their home. “Although I promised to be back on Nantucket this summer, my love, this trip has been delayed due to unforeseen complications,” his letter says.
Eliza is trying to enjoy a cup of tea, while sitting at the small table tucked under the windows in a corner of their bright kitchen. The tea tastes bland and watery, for she is trying to conserve sugar. And tea leaves. She reaches to the wooden shelf on the wall beside her, locating the dark glass bottle of laudanum, and adds a dash or two of the powder into her china cup. She closes her eyes and holds the bitter liquid in her mouth for a second to let it cool before swallowing. There. The hot tea is surprisingly refreshing as she gulps it down, one quick sip after another, knowing the medicine will do the trick and ease whatever ails her. Nerves. Loneliness. Headache. Heartburn. Three to four times a day, the dosage on the vial suggests. Better to take more than less, to ensure effectiveness. It’s readily available on the island, so Eliza can always get more at the apothecary when she runs out.
She reads the letter again.
“What unforeseen complications, Henry? Please do tell!”
Henry doesn’t specify, leaving her confused. What else is there possibly to do at sea but catch and kill whales, dismantle them by means of stinking, gory masculinity, and turn the massive mammals into profits? Isn’t that what the captain of a whaling ship does, for goodness’ sake? Grow his whiskers long and bark at his crew and risk life and limb in pursuit of oil?
He says only that he’s reached the port of New Orleans and not to worry.
A puzzle. Apart from the obvious annoyances this letter implies—that she and her children, who haven’t seen Henry for forty-plus months, will have to wait even longer for his presence—is the practical impact that delayed return will have. For Eliza Macy, on dry land, is out of household money. And, until Henry’s ship comes in, weighed down with its hundreds of barrels of oil, albeit liquid gold (God willing!), no more money is to be found. She has gotten used to trading candles for goods and services, but now she is even running low on them.
Eliza takes a break from her worries by calling out to her twins, getting ready for the day in their bedroom above the kitchen. “Girls! Breakfast! School!”
“Five more minutes, Mother!” one daughter calls down the stairs.
“Where is my satin hair ribbon?” the other yell-asks.
Sixteen-year-old identical twin girls. Eliza goes to the front hall where the acoustics are better for shouting, and aims her voice up the grand staircase. “Girls, you know I cannot tell your voices apart unless you are standing before me. I found a hair ribbon on the floor last night, but couldn’t see the color. It’s on my nightstand.”
Footfalls above. Then, “I don’t see it. Let’s just go to Jones’s Mercantile after school and buy new bows.” It’s Rachel. The girl peeks her head through the spindles in the banister.
“Oooo, that’s a lovely idea!” Mattie says, right beside her sister. “And then we can shop for summer dresses. Maybe something new for our upcoming birthday?”
“Maybe,” Eliza concedes. Although she knows there’s no way they’ll be doing that. She must keep her entitled daughters away from the mercantile! As the girls finish getting ready upstairs, Eliza heads into the kitchen to avoid hearing them. With a small knife, Eliza cuts an apple into very thin slices and divides them onto two china plates with a slice of buttered bread.
Until Henry’s ship comes in, their wealth is all theoretical, their profits floating in wooden barrels at sea. Eliza has no money on hand with which to pay for flour or cornmeal or music lessons. No coins for bolts of silk and wool to make party dresses for their sixteen-year-old twin daughters about to enter society. Just ink and a quill to write Henry’s name on a black line in a leather-bound book at the dry goods store and the doctor’s office, to record what the Macys owe and what they will pay back when his ship the Ithaca returns.
But when will the Ithaca return?
The rant that follows is also one-sided, as Eliza paces the kitchen alone, letter in hand, responding to Henry, her frustration causing her to speak much louder than she should. Keep your voice down, Eliza, she scolds herself, a reminder that Rachel and Mattie are probably listening in from the grand staircase in the hall.
Eliza takes a last sip of tea, her arms tingling with vague numbness caused by the powder she’s added, as her mind fills with a pleasant fog. She pops the apple core into her mouth and chews. The twin girls enter the kitchen, both starving, not understanding why they can’t have eggs and hash and corn fritters for their breakfast. After all, they have to walk to school, and they can’t very well learn while their stomachs grumble, can they? Eliza does her best to appease their appetites while not arousing their suspicion that something might be amiss.
But one quick glance between the twins—with identical pale blue eyes like their father’s—is all it takes for Eliza to know that they are alert to her every move. It’s probably too late for her to continue pretending all is fine when it isn’t. But keeping the girls calm and happy while their father is Lord Knows Where with a harpoon in his grasp has been her job for their entire lives, and she’s not about to shirk her responsibilities now. Better her girls be left in quiet darkness than to deal with the harsh light of day, that’s Eliza’s parenting motto. There’s only so much a girl needs to know.
And so Eliza lies. “I’m just so busy with house chores, I haven’t had a moment to get to the grocer. You’ll help me later with the last of the housework after school, won’t you? Then maybe we can talk about the mercantile for another day.”
The girls roll their eyes but nod that yes, they will. Then up and out they go. How Eliza has managed to raise such idle creatures, she’ll never know. At least Alice, the oldest of the three Macy daughters, has some ambition. But then again, Alice isn’t actually hers. She is Henry’s daughter with his first wife.
Eliza gathers together items for a package she’s been planning to send to Henry, adding a new note to the parcel. She tries to be measured in her response, although the point of her quill scratches through the parchment twice. She is frustrated by the miles and miles of time, oceans of time, between his words and her retort.
Eliza then spends the rest of the morning alone, washing dishes, changing and cleaning bed linens, dusting the wooden staircase, darning old stockings, and polishing the silver set that belonged to Henry’s mother in anticipation of having to sell it. It used to sit atop a beautiful mahogany sideboard, but Eliza sold that piece six months ago for cash to run the house. Now she keeps the silver in a cupboard. Out of sight, out of mind, as the saying goes. That way, when she sells it soon, she won’t miss it.
A sparse and unfulfilling lunch follows, stale brown bread with thin jam in the silence of her now clean kitchen. In these moments she misses her former housekeeper, Mrs. Charles, terribly. For her elbow grease, certainly, but even more so for the pleasant conversation. Eliza reads Henry’s letter again over a second cup of tea. Then she sees clearly what she must do next, in response to Henry’s delay. She has no choice.
I really loved this story filled with grace, hope and inspiration. I loved the characters of Ruth and Frank. I love learning about the Harvey girls and about the hotel at the Grand Canyon. I did not want to put the book down. I enjoyed the romance and the intrigue. I received a copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
I give this book a five out of five stars.
About the Book
Book: A Mark of Grace
Author: Kimberley Woodhouse
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release date: January 3, 2023
When everything crumbles, her chance for a new beginning hangs in the balance.
Ruth Anniston survived an injury that left her physically scarred, broken, and angry at God. Now, she finds herself working behind the scenes as a kitchen and dining room supervisor at the El Tovar Hotel, hidden away from curious eyes and with little hope of finding love. When money begins to disappear from the hotel, Ruth’s entire livelihood is put at risk when she lands on the list of suspects.
Frank Henderson has at last succeeded in obtaining his dream job as head chef at the El Tovar. But competition in the kitchen is fierce, and one mistake could cost him his future. As the thefts at the hotel continue, and his affection for Ruth grows, Frank’s career–and his heart–are in jeopardy.
As tensions run high, Ruth and Frank must work together to save the El Tovar. They find themselves growing closer . . . but can their combined ingenuity overcome the odds against them?
Kimberley Woodhouse (www.kimberleywoodhouse.com) is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than 30 fiction and nonfiction books. Kim and her incredible husband of 30-plus years live in the Poconos, where they play golf together, spend time with their kids and grandbaby, and research all the history around them.
More from Kimberley
It is such a thrill to be able to bring readers A Mark of Grace, book three in my Secrets of the Canyon series. These books have been near and dear to me since 2009, right from the moment the idea of setting a Harvey Girls series at the El Tovar on the rim of the Grand Canyon first hit me.
Ever since the release of A Deep Divide, book one in the series, I’ve received tons of messages from readers who hoped Ruth would have her story. All along, the plan was for the final installment to be hers.
Ruth has been a strong character throughout the series. A mentor. A friend. A headwaitress. But when a crisis hits her life, it affects every area—emotional, physical, and spiritual—and her confidence in everything she thought she knew crumbles.
Life isn’t easy for any of us, and I love a good story that I can grow and learn through. I pray A Mark of Grace is that for you.
I loved this book filled with thrills and romance. I loved all the twists and turns in the story. I loved Zoey and Luca. I loved all the secrets that get revealed. I love the town of Gothic and look forward to many more stories based in this town. I love the bits of mysticism that Zoey has. I received a copy of the book from the publisher for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
I give this book a five out of five stars.
A submerged car is pulled from the bottom of the lake, and in an interesting twist, the driver has been shot in the back of the head. No other bodies are found; only the legendary Dragon’s Heart remains inside, and as it rises to the surface, greedy collectors from around the world gather. They’ll stop at nothing to gain possession of the priceless artifact, and only flower-breeder Zoey Phoenix, the unknowing heir, stands in their way.
Zoey remembers nothing about her early childhood; her mother’s desire to leave those years behind never worried her…until she’s almost killed in a hit and run and, days later, her mother disappears. Now Zoey fears her family secrets won’t stay buried long. She has no idea who almost killed her or why, but she’s determined to unravel the dangerous truths of her past—before they claim her future.
Forget what you know…yet the past remembers.
FORGET WHAT YOU KNOW, a full-length thriller by New York Times bestseller Christina Dodd, coming Mar 07, 2023 in trade paper, eBook, hardcover and audiobook. Pre-order your copy today!
I loved Addie and Isaac. I loved that there was some romance and some intrigue in the story. I love that Addie regains her faith. I love that this story is centered around the Alaska Yukon Pacific Expo that took place in Seattle, Washington. I loved learning a little about the Brownie camera also. I received a copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
I give this book a five out of five stars.
From the Yukon to Seattle, the hope of a new beginning waits just around the corner.
Addie Bryant is haunted by her past of heartbreak and betrayal. After her beau, Isaac Hanson, left the Yukon, she made a vow to wait for him. When she’s sold to a brothel owner after the death of her father, Addie manages to escape with the hope that she can forever hide her past and the belief that she will never have the future she’s always dreamed of.
Years later, Addie has found peace in her new life as a photographer, training Camera Girls to operate and sell the Brownie camera. During the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Expo in Seattle, Addie is reunited with Isaac, but after the path her life has taken, she’s afraid to expose the ugliness of her former life and to move toward the future they had pledged to each other.
When her past catches up with her, Addie must decide whether to run or to stay and face her wounds in order to embrace her life, her future, and her hope in God.
I loved this story of faith and romance and intrigue. I loved Elise and Sophie. I loved that each of these women learned about themselves and their families through the past and the present. I loved all of the minor characters in the story also. I think that this has been one of my favorite books in this series. I received a copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
I give this book a five out of five stars.
About the Book
Book: In Spotlight and Shadow
Author: Rachel Scott McDaniel
Genre: Christian Fiction / Historical Fiction / Mystery / Romance
Release date: February 1, 2023
A Gem of a Mystery Takes Center Stage
Walk through Doors to the Past via a new series of historical stories of romance and adventure.
Elise Malvern has a habit of letting people down. Her former boyfriend who hoped she’d be his bride. Her grandfather who hoped she’d take over the family’s auction company. But mostly she’s disappointed herself. What’s the point of pursuing her passion as a violinist, if she is too scared to audition for a seat in the Pittsburgh Symphony? Her internship at the elegant Heinz Hall places her in the wings of the stage, but never on it. By accident, she discovers an old stage prop. Her instincts tell her there’s more to the paste necklace than meets the eye. Whether a good idea or not, she accepts help from a childhood friend, who happens to be country music megastar—Peirson Brooks. Peirson and Elise share a history; one she doesn’t care to repeat. The more involved they become in the mystery, the more things get tangled, including her heart.
A century earlier… Sophie Walters longs for center stage, her name on the marquee, and all that jazz, but climbing her way into an acting career is more difficult than she imagined. Having spoiled all her chances in Hollywood, she returns to Pittsburgh, accepting an insignificant role in a popular production. She watches her dreams pass by from behind the curtain at the illustrious Loew’s Penn Theatre. She finally gets the coveted spotlight, but not for her talent. No, her surge to fame is all one terrible mistake. Somehow, she’s suspected to be a notorious jewel thief known around Pittsburgh as The Mirage. The man she pleads for help is none other than the man she jilted at the altar five years before, Sterling Monroe.
Rachel Scott McDaniel is an award-winning author of historical romance. Winner of the ACFW Genesis Award and the RWA Touched By Love award, Rachel infuses faith and heart into each story. Rachel can be found online at http://www.RachelScottMcDaniel.com and on all social media platforms. Her work is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency. Rachel resides in Ohio with her husband and two children.
More from Rachel
HISTORY OF THE LOEW’S PENN/HEINZ HALL THEATER
The Loew’s Penn theater in Pittsburgh opened its doors on September 6, 1927. Thousands of Pittsburghians crammed the streets hoping to enter. Those who were fortunate to claim a seat gasped at the grandeur of what that has been billed the ‘Temple of Cinema.’ The new hotspot in the Steel City was regarded as the most magnificent theater between New York and Chicago.
The Loew’s Penn was five stories high and could seat over 3,000 guests. The grand lobby had a 50-foot-high vaulted Venetian ceiling, gilded Corinthian columns, and two spectacular chandeliers. The crystal for the chandeliers was imported from Vienna. From silk drapes to artwork by Renaissance masters to Italian marble staircases the theater seemed more like a museum than a cinema palace. As for the entertainment, the night began with a live stage show followed by a silent film feature.
Attendance averaged around 60,000 theatergoers a week. And with an admission charge of $.50, the theater made around $30,000 a week. Which was a substantial fortune during the 1920s. The theater hosted live stage shows and they also brought in national acts including Paul Whiteman and the Rhtyhm Boys featuring Bing Crosby. Also Buster Keaton and Eddie Cantor graced the stage.
Over the years, the allure of the Loew’s Penn faded, and the theater fell into disrepair, finally shutting its doors in 1968. The Howard Heinz Endowment purchased the building, saving it from demolition. After a 16-month renovation that had cost over $11 million, the doors opened yet again under the new name of Heinz Hall. The plush red carpet is bold and beautiful, but also a subtle nod to … you guessed it … Heinz Ketchup. The grand lobby features the original marble flooring as well as the two 15-foot chandeliers. The main auditorium seats 2,661 guests. Heinz Hall is now the home to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra it also hosts concerts and Broadway touring companies.
I loved all the twists and turns in this wonderful mystery. I loved Chris, Helen and all the fantastic characters that are part of the Geezer Squad. I am glad there was a cast of characters at the beginning so I could see who everyone was. I loved the suspense and how the crime was solved. I received a copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
I give this book a five out of five stars.
Content Rating: PG-13 (Lauren Carr’s books are murder mysteries, so there are murders involved. Occasionally, a murder will happen on stage. There is sexual content, but always behind closed doors. Some mild swearing (a hell or a damn few and far between). No F-bombs!
“Carr is a master at creating unique, complex plots and colorful characters, both evident in her latest cold case mystery featuring Chris Matheson and the geezer squad. The plot is twisted, the mystery unique and the ending a surprise. A must-read!” – Review of CHRIS CROSSED MURDER (A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery, Book Four) byMarilyn R. Wilson, Author, Speaker, Book Reviewer
“Lauren Carr is among my favorite mystery writers. She knows how to write a fun tale while keeping readers engaged. …I would give Chris Crossed Murder one hundred stars if I could. I believe readers who enjoy reading well-written and clean cozy mysteries will most definitely want to read it. I have no doubt they will enjoy it as much as I did. The fifth installment from A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery series is on my radar for when it releases.” – Review of CHRIS CROSSED MURDER (A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery, Book Four) by Amy Campbell, Locks Hooks and Books
Book Description: It proves to be a Christmas to remember when the Matheson family receives the horrendous news that Chris Matheson’s body has been found in the woods near an international airport.
Everyone is stunned—especially Chris Matheson.
The mystery deepens when they discover the victim has Chris’s federal agent badge and appears to have been investigating one of his old cases.
The Geezer Squad’s latest case is not only a whodunit but who-got-dun. Is this a case of mistaken identity? Was Chris the intended victim? If not, then they must identify the murder victim to find his killer. With Christmas days away, join the Chris Matheson and the Geezer Squad as they race to piece together the clues to their most puzzling case yet.