Reads

My 2022 Reads So Far

I am very much a mood reader which means I’m terrible at reading challenges, creating TBR’s for coming weeks/months, and keeping track of what I’ve read. Since January I’ve read a few books but because I was so focused on my writing deadlines and dealing with my parents, I wasn’t very good about logging my reads.

And because the past six months have been a blur, I feel that I’m missing a book or two from the list below. I decided not to let that little detail keep me from sharing the books I do remember reading with you today.

Now, this is only a list of my reads so far for 2022. If you’re looking for a review, you won’t find one here. I’ve made the decision that since I am an author, I will not write book reviews on my blog. If I share a book with you know that it’s a book that I’ve enjoyed. I will not share a book that I didn’t finish or that I hated.

While I know the importance of book reviews for authors, I doubt you’re visiting my blog for reviews because there are plenty of other blogs who do that so much better. And even though I’m not writing reviews, I do encourage you to write reviews for the books you’ve read because it’s a great way to support your favorite authors. If you’re unsure of how to write a book review, I do have a free pdf you can download here.

Okay, ready for my short list?  BTW, at the bottom you’ll find the next three books I plan on reading over the summer.

 

THE JEAN HARLOW BOMBSHELL BY MOLLIE COX BRYAN

When it comes to writing Golden Age Hollywood biographies, the pen is deadlier than the sword

Charlotte Donovan’s overbearing boss, Justine Turner, is a world-famous biographer of Hollywood stars. It comes as no surprise to Charlotte when Justine requests an emergency meeting related to her latest in-progress biography. It is a surprise, though, when Justine up and dies before their urgent discussion can begin.

In the wake of such a tragedy, all Charlotte wants to do is finish the Jean Harlow biography that Justine had started. Instead, she finds herself in grave danger―stalked both online and in person by a drop-dead Jean Harlow look-alike. Together with police sergeant Den Brophy, Charlotte uncovers shocking revelations. But will these revelations be enough to catch the killer?

THE AUDREY HEPBURN HEIST BY MOLLIE COX BRYAN

When it comes to writing Golden Age Hollywood biographies, the pen is deadlier than the sword.

Charlotte Donovan’s life changed drastically when her boss died, leaving her a grand New York City apartment and a small fortune, but with stipulations. While writing an Audrey Hepburn biography, Charlotte consults on a new “Holly Golightly” miniseries, and a reality TV show where America selects the lead of the new series. When the actress who’s the national favorite is murdered at Charlotte’s cast party, she feels obligated to pursue justice for the young ingenue.

Charlotte, along with her detective boyfriend and best friend, follow a a dangerous trail of smoke and mirrors. Nothing is as it appears, and nobody is who they seem to be, starting with the murder victim. With each detail Charlotte unearths, the more frightened she becomes—and the more determined.

THE CAT OF THE BASKERVILLES BY VICKI DELANEY

Sherlockians everywhere will enjoy puzzling out clues alongside Baker Street bookshop owner and sleuth, Gemma Doyle—a cozy mystery for fans of Miranda James and Kate Carlisle

When Jayne Wilson’s mother is accused of murder, Jayne and Gemma have to eliminate the impossible to reveal the true killer.Legendary stage and movie star Sir Nigel Bellingham arrives on Cape Cod to star in a stage production of The Hound of the Baskervilles put on by the West London Theater Festival.

When Sir Nigel, some of the cast, and the director visit the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop at 222 Baker Street, Gemma Doyle realizes that Sir Nigel is not at all suited to the role. He is long past his prime and an old drunk to boot.The cast, in particular the much younger actor who previously had the role, are not happy, but the show must go on.Before the play opens, Leslie Wilson, mother of Gemma’s best friend Jayne, arranges a fundraising afternoon tea to be catered by Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room. The tea is a huge success, but when it’s time to leave, Sir Nigel has gone missing—only to be found at the bottom of the rocky cliff, dead.

Along with the dead body, Gemma finds evidence incriminating Leslie Wilson. When the police, in the presence of handsome detective Ryan Ashburton and suspicious detective Louise Estrada, focus their attention on Leslie despite the numerous other suspects, the game is once again afoot and it’s again up to the highly perceptive Gemma and the ever-confused but loyal Jayne to clear Jayne’s mother’s name.

THE SECRETS WE SHARE BY EDWIN HILL

At first glance, Natalie Cavanaugh and Glenn Abbott hardly look like sisters. Even off-duty, Natalie dresses like a Boston cop, preferring practical clothes and unfussy, pinned-up hair. Her younger sister, Glenn, seems tailor-made for the spotlight, from her signature red mane to her camera-ready smile. Glenn has spent years cultivating her brand through her baking blog, and with the publication of her new book, that hard work seems about to pay off. But her fans have no idea about the nightmare in Glenn and Natalie’s past.

Twenty years ago, their father’s body was discovered in the woods behind their house. A trauma like that doesn’t fit with Glenn’s public image. Yet, maybe someone reading her blog does know something. There have been anonymous online messages, vague yet ominous, hinting that she’s being watched. And with unsettling coincidences hitting ever closer to home, both Glenn and Natalie soon have more pressing matters to worry about, especially when a dead body is found in an abandoned building . . .

Natalie is starting to wonder how much Glenn really knows about the people closest to her. But are there also secrets Natalie has yet to uncover about those she herself trusts? For two decades, she’s believed their father was murdered by their neighbor, with whom he was having an affair. But if those events are connected to what’s happening now, maybe there’s much more that Natalie doesn’t know. About their father. About their neighbors. About her friends. Maybe even about herself.

But there are no secrets between sisters . . . are there?

Here are the three books I have in queue to read next. I’m dying to dive into all three.

THE SECOND HUSBAND BY KATE WHITE

WITH A SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE BY LENA GREGORY

MURDER IN A CAPE COTTAGE BY MADDIE DAY

 

What are you reading now? What’s on your TBR for the summer? Share below in the comments.

Debra

 

Notes from Deb

Notes from Deb

How was your week? I felt like mine flew by because there was so much going on. Between work, work and work (I’m this-close to my deadline, so the focus has been on writing for months), and life (my mom has a doctor’s appointment this week and there’s always drama leading up to it), and the beautiful stretch of weather we had this week (after an unpleasant preview of summer this past weekend), I felt like there weren’t enough hours in each day. But I made sure to carve out time to write this post. It’s been a hot minute since I’ve blogged and I’ve missed it. Over the past two years, it felt like every time I committed to being more present here on DS.com, something sidetracked me and my beloved blog fell to the wayside. I’d love to change this pattern. Yeah, I know…it’s up to me. And I’m giving it another try. So, I thought today I’d kick off with a look at this past week. It was a good one considering all the challenges.

I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve been up to this week and share a few links.

But, first let’s start with a writing update. On May 1st, I turned in SLEUTHING IN STILETTOS, a Resale Boutique Mystery series, to my publisher. Good news, it was accepted! I’m waiting on the cover. Can’t wait to see it. The book is available for pre-order at your favorite retailer and will be released on 12/6/22.

I’m participating in a virtual mystery conference this week, Maple Leaf Mystery Conference. Unfortuntealy I missed the sessions from the first two days but I caught last night’s two sessions. Luckily, there will be replays.

My favorite workout this week was this shoulder one from Caroline Girvan over on You Tube. It was short but it was definitely worked my shoulders.

Check out this colorful, book filled home of author and co-bookstore owner, Emma Straub. So much fun!

On June 21st, I’ll be joining with a group of authors for the Spring Into Summer Book Hop on Facebook. The grand prize will be a collection of first in series books form the participating authors plus prizes from each author you visit during the hop. For more details, visit the events page and then mark your calendar.

I wasn’t the only one who had a busy week. Connie had her grooming appointment and then a play date with her bestie Maura. I snapped this photo after leaving the grooming appointment.

With the week almost behind me (just a few hours to the end of my workday), I’m thinking about the weekend. It’s a three-day one. For me, the most important thing to do is to be thankful to the men and women of our military for keeping us safe. Then, I think my weekend will consist of a lot of weeding (I’m so far behind) and grilling. What are your plans?

 

Debra

 

 

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Resale Boutique Mysteries, Sunday Snippet

Sunday Snippet 2/13

She froze as her eyes focused on the figure clad in a faux leopard coat blocking the doorway of the cottage. Same height, same frame.


HOW TO FRAME A FASHIONISTA

 

☑️ Fashionista turned consignment shop owner.
☑️ An old nemesis returns.
☑️ The rise and fall of an online fitness guru
☑️ Furry feline

“The author does a first rate job creating a seemingly simple plot then layering in a lot of subterfuge for readers to dig through to get to the bottom of the perpetrator’s agenda.” ~Goodreads 5-star review

***Blurb***

Applying her Manhattan fashion sense to the sensibilities of a Long Island clientele, Kelly Quinn is setting new trends with second-hand name brand apparel—and finding killers with a deadly sense of style . . .

The fortunes of Kelly’s Lucky Cove Resale Boutique are sinking fast—literally, as the weathered roof of her grandmother’s old consignment shop springs a new leak with every rain. She hopes her latest client, overnight fitness and social media sensation Tawny Nicole, has enough valued and wanted items she can sell fast enough to keep her roof from crumbling down.

When Kelly arrives at Tawny’s home to appraise her attire, she’s stunned to find Serena Dawson, “the Dragonista of Seventh Avenue,” there. The last time she saw her ex-boss was when Serena humiliatingly and publicly fired her from her New York City job. Now Tawny is married to Serena’s ex-husband and is caught in the crossfire of some unfinished divorce settlements.

But when Kelly returns to Tawny’s the following day, she discovers her dead body—and Serena standing over it. Her former employer may be nasty and unrepentant, but she’s no killer—prompting Kelly to pick up the threads to try and find the real culprit . . .

Resale Boutique Mysteries, Sunday Snippet

Sunday Snippet 1/30

“If the man standing in front of her was Mark Lambert, then little old Mrs. Mueller had hired McHottie Lawyer to represent her.”

MURDER WEARS A LITTLE BLACK DRESS

☑️ First-in-series
☑️ Fashionista turned consignment shop owner.
☑️ A psychic with a vision of murder
☑️ Furry feline

“Fantastic storytelling, wonderfully written characters, and a first-class mystery with a reveal that left me totally surprised, there wasn’t a thing I didn’t enjoy about this book.” ~ Lisa Ks Book Reviews

***Blurb***

She’s opened a stylish new consignment shop—and the clothes are to die for . . .

Manhattan fashionista Kelly Quinn thought she’d left her Long Island town far behind . . . until the Seventh Avenue expat returns home to revamp her grandmother’s consignment shop into an upscale boutique—and unwittingly sets a trend for murder . . .

After her rising career as a Manhattan buyer is derailed, Kelly has mixed feelings about relocating back to Lucky Cove, in spite of her big plans for the soon-to-be-renamed Curated by Kelly Resale Boutique. What’s left of her luck starts running out when a customer puts on a black lace dress that triggers visions of someone being murdered. As if the haunted “Murder Dress” isn’t enough to kill business, the psychic’s doppelganger cousin has just been found bludgeoned to death.

Was Maxine LeMoyne the real target or was it a case of mistaken murder? With some creepy pre-Halloween bargain hunters walking the night and Kelly suddenly a person of interest, a second murder rocks the close-knit town. Now Kelly could be the one who ends up talking to dead people when she’s stalked by a killer determined to take her out in high style . . .

Resale Boutique Mysteries, Sunday Snippet

Sunday Snippet 1/16

Just before she turned to leave something caught her eye and the hair on the back of her neck prickled.

MURDER WEARS A LITTLE BLACK DRESS

☑️ First-in-series
☑️ Fashionista turned consignment shop owner.
☑️ A psychic with a vision of murder
☑️ Furry feline

“I enjoyed everything about the story. It was well-written, and the author threw in twists and turns that kept me guessing.” ~ Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews

**Blurb***

She’s opened a stylish new consignment shop—and the clothes are to die for . . .

Manhattan fashionista Kelly Quinn thought she’d left her Long Island town far behind . . . until the Seventh Avenue expat returns home to revamp her grandmother’s consignment shop into an upscale boutique—and unwittingly sets a trend for murder . . .

After her rising career as a Manhattan buyer is derailed, Kelly has mixed feelings about relocating back to Lucky Cove, in spite of her big plans for the soon-to-be-renamed Curated by Kelly Resale Boutique. What’s left of her luck starts running out when a customer puts on a black lace dress that triggers visions of someone being murdered. As if the haunted “Murder Dress” isn’t enough to kill business, the psychic’s doppelganger cousin has just been found bludgeoned to death.

Was Maxine LeMoyne the real target or was it a case of mistaken murder? With some creepy pre-Halloween bargain hunters walking the night and Kelly suddenly a person of interest, a second murder rocks the close-knit town. Now Kelly could be the one who ends up talking to dead people when she’s stalked by a killer determined to take her out in high style . . .