Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Book Review Tuesday: Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich #bookreview #stephanieplum #janetevanovich

Book Review for: Finger Lickin' Fifteen
Written by: Janet Evanovich
St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 978-0-312-38328-2
I read: the hardback

4 stars


Evanovich pens a fun, character driven, totally entertaining cozy mystery with "Finger Lickin' Fifteen." Lula, Stephanie's plus sized friend, is a witness to a gruesome murder and the only police officer she trusts is Joe Morelli. Unfortunately, Stephanie and Joe are 'off.' The cherry on the top? Ranger, who runs a security company, has asked Stephanie to help him find out who is breaking into his clients' homes. Stephanie has her hands full with catching her own skips, Ranger's job, and keeping Lula safe.

Stephanie and Lula soon learn the murder victim is Stanley Chipotle, a world's famous chef who was entered into a local BBQ contest. Lula decides the only way to catch the killers is to enter into the BBQ contest herself, but she's got no idea how to cook BBQ. She enlists the help of Stephanie's grandma, and Larry the fireman, who has a side job as the "Cluck-in-the-Bucket" chicken.

The stakes get higher when Joe identifies Marco the Maniac as Chipotle's killer. Marco is after Lula, too. Can Lula and Stephanie capture Chipotle's killer without losing their own heads and burning the BBQ?

This effort was much better than "Plum Spooky." The writing is easy to read and instinctively makes the reader feel like a fly on the wall watching the events unfold.

The characters are likable and engaging, driving most of the action. There are plenty of laughs as Lula and Grandma attempt to perfect their BBQ. This was a very entertaining installment of the Stephanie Plum series. It reads fine as a stand alone and I was biting my nails up until the very end. This is a great book to curl up with next to the fireplace on a rainy weekend.

Question: Who's your favorite Stephanie Plum series character? 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Snippet Sunday: 99 cent vintage romance: Journey of the Heart #snippetsunday #wewriwa

Hi all, I'm participating in the Weekend Warriors Snippet Sunday. This month, I'll be taking snippets from my sweet vintage romance, Journey of the Heart. You can find the Weekend Warriors Snippet Sunday list at:

About this snippet:  


James walked toward the counter, his sandwich and soda in hand. Something in his gut told him she needed help – really needed it. The sound of her voice? The way she avoided the man's question? The hint of desperation in her expressive eyes? 
"I'd like to sell you three cases of my best wine."
He raised a bushy eyebrow, "The 1928 Chardonnay?"

"Why, I shared a bottle with your father before he died. He was very proud of that vintage – wanted to save it for special occasions."



James returns to his home in California after World War II only to find out he's lost his farm. His way of life gone, James becomes a journeyman, selling Bibles, looking for a sense of purpose. 

Rachel Santori's winery is in trouble. She's looking for someone to trust. When Rachel meets James, she can't deny how he penetrates her soul with his long, lonely looks. 

Can James find a sense of belonging at Rachel's winery? Can love mend both their weary hearts?

5 Stars, AngelE, Amazon Reviewer:  "I would recommend this short sweetie of a story. Good job, author."

5 Stars, Joy Cagil, Amazon Reviewr: "The story is fluid, pleasant, and the characters are very well drawn."

5 Stars, Nicole Laverdure, Amazon Reviewer:  "I loved this story, it's sweet and found it a small interlude to enjoy. I recommend this novella!"

AMAZON: http://amzn.com/B008G1JI6C

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/journey-of-the-heart-stephanie-burkhart/1119887250?ean=2940046043884

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/452561


Friday, April 15, 2016

Happy Birthday Corolla! #toyotacorolla #toyota

Antigone circa 1992
I'm a firm believer in the Toyota Corolla. This dependable and reliable car is one of the best selling cars worldwide and it just turned 50 in the USA!

My 2nd care was a 1985 Toyota Corolla. I got it 2nd hand in 1988. It was red, had no AC (air conditioning) a hatchback, and had 2 doors. It said "twin cam" on the side and it was a stick. (manual transmission). I was in the Army back then, back before I had kids, and it followed me to the 295th MP Company at the Seneca Army Depot in New York. I loved exploring upstate New York in my little "putt-putt." Eventually I gave it a name - Antigone.

My corolla had character. All I had to do was keep up with oil changes and rotate the tires. It was mega-dependable and fun to drive. In 1989 when I was assigned to Fulda, Germany, I shipped the car overseas and drove it all over Europe. Antigone visited Berlin, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Paris, France, Berchesgarten and Garmish. Maintenance was easy. I must have went over 400,000 miles while Germany. (I was young back then and didn't pay much attention to the mileage, just enough to get my oil changes).

In 1992 I had it shipped to Ft. Irwin, CA. Boy, did I miss not having AC then! I kept up with my maintenance, but Antigone finally sprung a gasket and starting leaking so I sold her in 1994.

The Corolla has gone through 11 generations since 1966. Antigone was the 5th generation. Corollas are a compact car and nowadays you find them in automatic with 4 doors.

There's a reason why Corollas are popular: They've got great gas mileage, they're dependable, easy to care for, and fun to drive. With just a little love, they'll last forever.

Last year I bought another Corolla. I drive 32 miles each way to work and I needed a compact car with good gas mileage that was affordable and fun to drive. The Corolla fit the bill. I found one in a stick, but most are automatics now. It's got 4 doors, a moon roof, and AC - a must in southern California.

My 9 year old son has named the car "Shortez," (the z is silent) because it's small and short compared to our 4Runner.
Shortez (the z is silent) 2015
We've already taken Shorte on a trip to Pismo Beach and we're looking forward to exploring California with him.

So, all said, "Happy Birthday Toyota Corolla!" You're one fun and dependable car. Now, you just need a Hybrid model.

Question for you: Do you have a Toyota? If so, what make? If you don't have a Toyota, what was your first car?  For those curious about my 1st car, let me know.

Smiles to all