Read: Dec 28 - Dec 31
Source: public library
Category: Leader
Pages: 301

This is the first of the White House Chef series and was, for a cozy mystery, filled with personalities, intrigue and suspense.

This story starts with Assistant Chef Olivia Paras whacking an intruder to the White House grounds with the Sterling silver frying pan that is supposed to be Chief Executive Chef Henry's retirement gift. The intruder is trying to reach the President to warn him of a plot but is prevented and later killed before he can disclose the specifics to the Secret Service.

Olivia is involved more than she wants to be and more than the Secret Service suspect and the clues and tricks of the mystery are cleverly woven throughout.

I believe of the 45 new series that I started in 2009, this is one of my favorites.



Read: Dec 26 - Dec 28
Source: public library
Category: Christmas Challenge
Pages: 198

This was a light cozy mystery that brought the character Dominic from Anne Perry's original Pitt book forward as a main character with life changes and personality changes as well. I enjoyed the book as a simple fill in for the season and the end of the year.
Dominic and his new wife take on the responsibilities of a small village as fill in vicar and find that it may be more than that.


Second Chance Winner...

Renee didn't respond so I picked again and the winner is....

I have notified Jasmyn by e-mail and if I don't get an answer again, I'll chose a third.



Read: Dec 23 - Dec 26
Source: Public Library
Category: Overflow - Follower (Christmas Challenge)
Pages: 193

Toward the end of 2009, my sister again introduced me to another challenge (The Christmas Challenge) so I found several books that were related to the holiday that I had not initially intended to read. This one I truly enjoyed because I read Anne Perry's books and recognized the characters.

This tale is about Grandmama Ellison from the Thomas & Charlotte Pitt series. Those who have read the series, know this character as a mean-spirited, grumpy old lady who is shuffled from family member to family member. For this Christmas she is sent to spend the holiday with her daughter-in-law (who has remarried a man younger than herself and actor, horrors!) Then when the new "son-in-law" receives a message from his aunt that another aunt is being sent to his house, also for the holiday, Mrs. Ellison is extremely put out because she will not be receiving the attention she feels she deserves. The story evolves in an unusual manner but is reminiscent of a Christmas Carol for the spirit of redemption. It is amusing to watch the character change.


Read: Dec 24 - Dec 26
Source: publisher for review
Category: ER/ LT Recommendations (Christmas Challenge)
Pages: 248

This was a cute book aimed at children to entertain with the tale of the lives of the Christmas tree ornaments and what they do when the humans go away. The story revolves around three ornaments Larry, Debbie, and Splint and Larry's "dog" Tinsel who head out away from the safety of the Christmas tree to find out why Larry's brother Terrence didn't make it back it the tree this year. They encounter numerous obstacles and injuries that they need to overcome before they can return to the tree with their story of what has happened.

I have read several Christmas tales, and while this one is amusing, I think that it is better suited for children less than 6 yrs old. It reminded me of the book [Doll People] that I read earlier this year, but not quite on the same level of quality.


Christmas Sucks: What to Do When Fruitcake, Family, and Finding the Perfect Gift Make You Miserable by Joanne Kimes

Read: Dec 21 - Dec 22
Source: Public Library
Category: Overflow - New Writer (Christmas Challenge)
Pages: 160

First, let me say that Christmas is my favorite, absolutely favorite, time of the year. I start preparing for Christmas in June and July so that I can setup my Christmas display and have it ready by Thanksgiving. It doesn't come down until February at the earliest. That said, why would I read a book with this title? I thought it might be interesting to see how the other half look at this wonderful occasion and so I started, prepared to not like it at all.

Okay, so here is the scoop, I really enjoyed this book. I laughed so hard at parts that tears streamed down my face, and my husband ( the original Scrooge), has a look on his face, like - okay she's really lost it now.

The writer has this wonderful style for sarcasm and her descriptions are just to die for! She addresses all the issues surrounding the holiday preparations - shopping, Santa Claus, parties, gift giving, decorating, traveling, family gatherings - and even gives you tips on how to avoid the stress in all these areas.

Here are just a few of the humorous words from Joanne Kimes on a few subjects surrounding the holidays.
Shopping " Black Friday is a modern day version of a Roman Gladiator match"
Parking at the mall - "vultures circling over a dying zebra"
purchasing a gift the 3rd week in December - "If you are hoping to get something monogrammed, get out your Sharpie."
Gift Giving - "Create a nice gift. This year I am giving out infused Vodka. It's easy to make, looks great in a pretty bottle, and who couldn't use a stiff shot this time of year?"
Hosting a Party - "Ask a close friend to come early to have an extra set of hands around because your husband is still busy SITTING ON HIS ASS."

I could go on and on, but then I would just be re-writing the book here. If you need a good laugh to make you believe that it is all worthwhile, this is the book to get.


And the Winner is.....

Random.org selected.....


I have notified Renée by e-mail and if I don't get a response by Christmas, I'll pick another winner. Thanks to everyone who entered.


Read: Dec 15 - Dec 21
Source: Website www.CoffeehouseMystery.com for review
Category: Overflow - Followers
Pages: 384

I started the Coffeehouse mystery series earlier this year and when I got the chance to read the latest and get a signed copy from the author I had to jump on it. I was not disappointed.

The downturn in the economy has Claire Cosi trying to come up with new ideas that will draw customers into the Village Blend coffeehouse so when a Traveling Santa, a frequent customer, suggests the Fl-la-la-la Lattes, Claire is happy to incorporate the idea into their holiday menu. On the night that the new lattes are to be taste-tested, Claire invites the Santa to join the party and when he is a no show, goes out into a snow storm to find him. What she finds is his body and carafes of trouble.

The police think it is a random mugging, but Claire sets out to prove it was murder.
As she follows the clues, Claire's investigation becomes a sleigh ride of mishaps which eventually land her in some cold water as the trail gets hotter.

The story is entertaining and will hold your interest until the end. Definitely a great addition to this series.


JOHN TYLER: the American Preisdent series by Gary May

Read: Dec 15 - Dec 20
Source: Public Library
Category: Overflow - Histories//Biography
Pages: 208

John Tyler became the 10th President of the United States upon the death of William Henry Harrison having been in office for only 1 month.

Tyler's time in office was filled with firsts of all kinds - he was the first man to take office after the death of his predecessor, first President married while in office, first President to have his entire cabinet resign because they disagreed with his policies, first President to be abandoned by the party that he represented at election. He was known for the numerous vetoes that he exercised and after leaving office, for voting for Secession and supporting the Confederate States of America.

John Tyler was not a popular President with either the people or the politicians of the day. His time in office was marked by the death of his first wife as well as constant battles with the Congress regarding policies. He was extremely proud of the fact that his administration was responsible for finally settling the border issues between Maine and Canada so that that the threat from Britain was eliminated.

This book wasn't very large but it did give sufficient information so that I can move on to the next president.


Giveaway ending!

Comment to enter. Sunday midnight is the end!


Read: Dec 16 - Dec 19
Source: Public Library
Category: Overflow - Follower/ Audio Book
Pages: 400

I have been enjoying this series about Temeraire, a Chinese Celestial Dragon. Installment #3 tells the tale of Temeraire's return travels from China back to England during the Napoleonic wars.

Laurence and Temeraire receive orders to go to Istanbul to retrieve 6 dragon eggs and bring them back to England. Their travels take them through the desert, a Sultan's palace, battlefields in Prussia before their return to England.

The commentary of this tale is an very interesting way of showing the social and political issues related to slavery and property ownership. Temeraire's innocence easily shows the reality of the world and how power and abilities can be misunderstood all wrapped up in an adventure for an alternative history.


THRONE OF JADE by Naomi Novik

Read: Dec 4 - Dec 14
Source: Public Library
Category: Overflow - Follower/ Audio Book
Pages: 398

The Temeraire series continues in this installment of the tale of this Chinese Celestial Dragon. Captain Laurence has to cope with the bureaucrats of the English government as well as the diplomats from the Chinese government.

Requests have come from the Chinese government asking for the return of Temeraire since Celestial Dragons are only supposed to belong to the royal family of China. Laurence and Temeraire board a dragon transport and travel to China.

The adventures of these two close friends enchant and entertain with tales of sea serpents, dragon love and intrigue.

Death du Jour by Kathy Reichs

Read: Dec 8 - Dec 14
Source: Public Library
Category: Overflow - Follower
Pages: 632

This is the second installment in the Temperance Brennan series and it was as interesting as the first as the reader is provided a three tiered mystery that is woven masterfully tying together an century old excavation to a modern day murder mystery.

Tempe takes on a private excavation of a convent cemetery to identify the remains a nun that is being submitted for canonization during the slow time of a Canadian winter. Not expecting the Great Quebec Ice Storm of 1998 – the ice and cold preserve crime scenes, but hamper investigations.

Unfortunately, the discovery of 6 bodies including 2 babies during the investigation of a fire interrupts her private work and threatens her academic schedule. Returning to UNC in Charlotte, NC Temperance encounters other mysterious deaths that lead her to some unusual circumstances and mysterious adventures.

How all the pieces are woven together so intricately is amazing and yet holds the reader spellbound. Definitely a great series to be followed.


William Henry Harrison : A Political Biography by Dorothy Burne Goebel

Read: Nov 29 - Dec 9
Source: Public Library - ILL
Category: Overflow - Histories/Biographies
Pages: 380

William Henry Harrison was the man who held that office for the shortest period of time, just one month. This is what most people know about this man. Because of this fact, there are few books about this man's life, he is, it seems just a mere mention in other histories.

Most people, besides his short term in office, also remember that he was the "hero" of the battle of Tippecanoe (the presidential campaign slogan was "Tippecanoe and Tyler too"). He served as the governor of the Indiana Territory due to partisanship appointment during the Madison administration which led to this battle. The Battle of Tippecanoe truly didn't have much of an impact on the War of 1812 but did bring Harrison to the forefront since he was so arrogant when he refused to serve under General Winchester and insisted on command. "As a soldier, he was never taken off his guard, and his nerve never failed him; the victories of Tippecanoe and the Thames will always stand to his credit." However, "he was prone to rest content with a single victory when he should have pressed on toward the successful conclusion of the war."

As a legislator, Harrison worked in the House of Representatives and Senate for the betterment of the lot of army officers and enlisted to prevent the amount of men who deserted. He disliked the political process but it was not beyond him to use political connections to better his own standing. "He desired public offices and frankly sought them, in office he did his best, but he lacked the powers of a Calhoun, a Clay, or a Webster."

After his election, his one month in office was spent in a round of celebratory parties and ranglings over Cabinet positions.This book was detailed with the events of Harrison's life but lack details on the issues of the times which led to his election. It mainly dealt with the political process.This book is "a true picture of a man as he was - kindly, courteous, brave and cheerful, endeared to his family and his friends."


Eggs in Purgatory (A Cackleberry Club Mystery) by Laura Childs

Read: Dec 3 - 7
Source: Owned
Category: Overlap - Leader & Crafts/cooking in the background
Pages: 418

Laura Childs has a new series - the Cackleberry Club which is about 3 women - Suzanne a widow, Petra whose husband has Alzheimer's, and Toni in the midst of a divorce. Together they run a restaurant/book store/craft store. It's as if the author is combining the Tea Shop series with the Scrapbook series and adding a twist. The characters are entertaining and heartwarming.

One morning, Suzanne notices that her lawyer's truck is still the parking lot when she lets the dog out for a run. She goes over to see if everything is alright and finds him dead. That same day on her way home, she sees a truck run off he road. The following night, hr lawyer's office is burglarized. A crime spree seems to have hit the little town of Kindred and Sheriff Doogie seems to be in over his head. Before the week is over, Suzanne is also confronted with accusations of embezzlement against her late husband.

Fueled by the need to clear her husband's name, Suzanne is embroiled in a state investigation surrounding the embezzlement and an abusive cult down the road. The solution was a little forced but entertaining.


The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship by Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel

Read: Dec 2
Source: FSB Associates for review and giveaway
Category: Overflow - New Writer
Pages: 358

All of us in our lifetime have somehow "misplaced" a friend or someone who was extremely important at one time in our lives. This is the story of two women who were best friends, who helped each other through puberty, adolescence, and much more and then due to a miscommunication, lost that closeness and drifted apart.

Lilly and Val are two enormously different people and yet you see, in this book, how a friendship that was forged in childhood could be integrated into adulthood. They shared everything, their differences and their similarities and struggled through the errors that we all make as we grow up.

I loved this book. I received it and I am so proud that this book was a first giveaway on my book blog. It was delightful, so much so that I couldn't put it down which is something that happens rarely for me. The story is told in the form of letters and e-mails and the Recipes that are included sound absolutely scrumptious. Makes me want to start a recipe club myself.

My only problem with this book was trying to decide where to shelve it - cookbooks or fiction - it would fit either.


THANKSGIVING by Janet Evanovich

Read: Nov 30 - Dec 1
Source: Public Library
Category: Romance
Pages: 243

Megan Murphy is a potter living in Williamsburg, Va. She supplements her income on the weekends by being a tour guide n the historical area. The story begins with a hungry bunny nibbling on her skirt and her confrontation with the owner, a handsome young pediatrician.

The story evolves into a light hearted romance complete with an Patrick (the doctor) being caught by Megan's father wearing her pink chenille bathrobe and nothing else. It was utterly delightful. The antics surrounding the Thanksgiving dinner are enough to make you laugh until you cry.


Read: Nov 29 - Dec 1
Source: Public Library
Category: Overflow - Follower
Pages: 229

Jennifer Shane is named the Businessperson of the Year but before she can accept her award, the body of her sister's arch enemy and brother-in-law's mistress is found stabbed to death.

Jennifer is thrown into the investigation when her apartment building is torched and she takes it as a warning, maybe she knows more than she thinks she knows.

This is a delightful light and entertaining cozy mystery series, which even includes tips and tricks for making your own greeting cards.