Category: Kindle Unlimited

Plant Based Diet Guide for Beginners
November 19th, 2019 by diane92345

The Plant-based Diet Guide for Beginners is a combination of a health guide, diet book, and cookbook. It provides a brief overview of all of the modern diets even the meat-based ones like Atkins and Keto. It also describes what diseases each have been reported to prevent, cure, or maintain (without worsening the condition) along with warnings for potential health issues with some of the diets.

The fifty recipes are the stars here. Many are unusual—in the US at least. Miso and Sweet Potato Soup, Spicy Sweet Potato Enchiladas, Lemongrass Pumpkin Soup, Chickpea-free Falafel with Coriander, and Peanut Coconut Curry with Eggplant and Zucchini all contain new and innovative flavor combinations. However, the raw bread and crackers made from gluten-free ingredients in a slow low oven or dehydrator are what set my taste buds on fire. I have never tried raw bread or crackers before but it sounds delicious. I can’t wait until I can try it.

Each of the recipes includes nutritional information, preparation and cooking time, which diets it works with, what ingredients are necessary, and clear instructions on how to prepare it. The book also offers five different seven-day meal plans following a specific diet goal: paleo/vegan, high-protein, weight loss, anti-inflammatory, and child-friendly. My only complaint is the lack of pictures of most of the completed foods.

Overall, the Plant-based Diet Guide for Beginners is a good entry point for someone who wants to be healthier through the food they eat. It has both book and documentary references in case you want more information about a particular diet. After all, you may not be able to control your genetics but you can control what you put in your mouth. 4 stars!

Thanks to the author for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Kindle Unlimited, New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with:

30-Minute Vegetarian Cookbook
November 18th, 2019 by diane92345

Becoming kinder to animals is much easier with the 30-minute Vegetarian Cookbook. Whether you are a full-time vegetarian or just looking for some innovative ideas for Meatless Mondays, this book will show you how with its impressive collection of both fast and easy recipes.

From breakfast to dessert and every meal in between, the 30-minute Vegetarian Cookbook clearly labels each recipe when they are gluten-free, soy-free, oil-free, vegan, dairy-free, and nut-free. There is also nutritional information for each dish. Most recipes come with some substitution ideas adding variety to the recipes. The ingredient lists are simple and don’t include many expensive “vegetarian” products. Most of the items are found in any kitchen pantry.

This is an excellent cookbook. I just wish it had a picture of each of the recipes. But other than that one qualm, the recipes are yummy and budget-friendly. I’ve been gluten-free for years and even the recipes that are not labeled gluten-free can easily be made so by using non-wheat-based flours, breads, and tortillas. The recipes are mostly low-calorie and are perfect for those watching their weight. Many of the ingredients are zero point foods on the MyWW (Weight Watchers) blue plan. Finally, the recipes come from many cuisines like Italian, Indian, Middle-Eastern, Greek, Chinese, Japanese, and American. Overall, it’s a great cookbook to save some money, time, and animals’ lives. 5 stars!

Thanks to Rockridge Press and Callisto Publishing Club for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Kindle Unlimited, New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: , ,

Murder at First Pitch Guest Post
November 9th, 2019 by diane92345

Murder at First Pitch: Ball Park Mysteries
by Nicole Asselin

Guest Post by the Author

This book is a bit of wish fulfillment for me. A dream would be to work for some sort of baseball team in some sort of facility. Unfortunately, I never got the chance, but I have had some awesome jobs throughout the years including swim teacher, grocery store clerk, and now technical writer for the past 10 years.

One such job that I LOVED was working at my college library all four years of school. Curry College Levin Library was my home away from home during that time. I started out doing work study but ended up working as weekend circulation manager and Interlibrary loan assistant. I remember vividly after one big snowstorm the library was still open and I made the trek across an unplowed school to make sure the library was open for students. It was super quiet (no pun intended), but it was open. My dream was to continue to work in the library field, but unfortunately real life got in the way (and real life bills). I still dream of working at a library or a bookstore. I think most authors have that secret dream.

Murder at First Pitch Library Pic A

I recently went back to my old stomping grounds for Homecoming weekend. I returned to my roots at Curry College and brought my newly released book baby on a little field trip to my old stomping grounds. I introduced her to the places I knew and loved during my time there. It wasn’t always peaches and cream, but the library was my safe zone.

The campus itself has undergone MASSIVE changes since I competed my English degree there, but it still feels memorable when I walk across the green. I spent many afternoons and weekends in the library and returned to the circulation desk. I probably scared the poor kids working by asking if I could take a picture of my book there, but I’m a weird debut author. So I hope they understood.

Murder at First Pitch Library Desk

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for five copies of the eBook below!

About Murder at First Pitch


Murder at First Pitch: Ball Park Mysteries
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Pandamoon Publishing (September 4, 2019)
Paperback: 188 pages
ISBN-10: 1950627217
ISBN-13: 978-1950627219
Digital ASIN: B07TDGL668

32-year-old Madeline Boucher’s Grandfather instilled a love in the Boston Red Sox into her from an early age and increased that love by purchasing a local Independent League Baseball team, the Abington Armadillos.

After losing her corporate job in Boston, Madeline realizes her best option is to join the family baseball business. As the new “Social Media Director” for the team, Madeline attends her first business function and witnesses an argument between her brother Ben, and a strange man.

A few days later when walking the ballpark during her early morning hours, she finds the body of a man beaten to death with a baseball bat in the Visitor’s Dugout. It was the man her brother was arguing with at the party. Madeline is concerned that her brother would be considered a suspect. Through the local Detectives and Davis – the head of security for the ballpark she learns the victim is Christopher Dailey, a local baseball scout and prior felon.

When her brother is arrested and taken to the police station, she realizes she needs to figure out who the real culprit is, so her brother doesn’t take the fall for something she knows he didn’t do.

About Nicole Asselin

Nicole Asselin grew up a Navy Brat, and spent her formative high school years in the middle of Pennsylvania but always identified with her New England roots. Nicole’s family is originally from Connecticut, and her Grandpa Asselin introduced her into the Red Sox nation where she has been a member for her whole life and her Grandma Asselin introduced her to the world of mystery novels.

Nicole graduated from Curry College in Milton Mass with a degree in English/Creative Writing, minoring in Dance in 2004. She also attended George Mason University and received a Master’s in Arts Management… Now working just outside of Boston as a Technical Writer, she lives on the South Shore of Massachusetts with her three cats Julia, Jacques, and Madeline (no relation to the main character of her book).

Nicole is a current member of Sisters in Crime (National and New England) and the Mystery Writers of America. She sits on the Board of Directors for the NE branches of both groups as Social Media Liaison.

Author Links

Website – https://Nicoleasselinwriter.com

Twitter – @nanazlyn

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/nasselin

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19339211.Nicole_Asselin

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/nanazlyn/

Purchase Link – Amazon

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November 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

November 3 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

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November 5 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 6 – Literary Gold – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 7 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST

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Serf and Turf
October 27th, 2019 by diane92345

Serf and Turf: A Silicon Valley Mystery
by Marc Jedel

Author Interview

How did you get started writing cozy mysteries?

I’ve wanted to write a book forever. For the longest time, it seemed I couldn’t come up with a good plot. Unfortunately for my prospective writing career, I had learned that having a plot is critical for a successful book. One day, I received this awesome birthday drawing from my nieces. And my kids, or nieces, or one of our friends’ kids had done some crazy things. Probably all of the above.

One thing led to another and the idea formed to loosely base a mystery with a self-absorbed, fashion-backward software engineer, his sister, and his nieces on my life. It’s clearly fiction. I mean, I’m not a software engineer. Check out the drawing on my blog (www.marcjedel.com/blog).

After that, the ideas kept flowing so I had characters, plot points, and concepts for more books. Although the books can be read standalone, they share many of the same characters. Serf and Turf, starts the day after Chutes and Ladder ends. And that book took place only about six weeks after book 1, Uncle and Ants, ended.

How do you flesh out the ideas for your books?

Much dog walking is involved. Well, the dog doesn’t seem to contribute all that much dialogue but he’s a good listener. My wife is amazing. She’s taken on an unpaid role as brainstormer-in-chief, but she doesn’t complain often. I also do a lot of outlining. That keeps me from forgetting who killed whom.

Are the anecdotes in the book autobiographical?

A frightening number are based on truth. The escapades of Buddy the Labrador are based on a family friend’s dog. The cat scene in Serf and Turf comes from another friend. And the ice cream truck story that finishes chapter two in Uncle and Ants is completely true, believe it or not. As for the rest, it’s loosely based on reality except where I’ve exaggerated, made it up or falsified my memories to fit the story.

Do you tell a lot of dad jokes?

Well I’ve been a dad myself for a long time so I’ll plead the fifth. Also, it’s not my fault that I did grow up with a master dad joke teller. But, don’t worry about too many stupid jokes in the book. That’s the best part about editors — they keep writers honest. Mine kept saying “that’s funny, but put more focus on the mystery.” Hearing that she thought my writing was funny sure felt good. After the warm and fuzzy feeling wore off, I followed her advice and made sure the story balanced humor with a crisp pace and an interesting mystery.

What’s different about your book from other cozy mysteries?

Besides the author? Well, my book doesn’t take place in a small, seaside town where the main protagonist runs a bakery, bookshop, or bed & breakfast. While I like those cozies as much as the next reader, I find myself getting bored by similar settings and characters over and over. Setting my novel in Silicon Valley allowed me to show a little more of its unique people and environment without delving into boring techno-babble. Many readers write me to tell me which characters they like best and I love that. Some of the recurring and other wacky side characters help and some hinder the protagonist’s progress in solving the cases.

Any last comments?

Serf and Turf, book 3 in the Silicon Valley Mystery series, can be read standalone. All of the books in the series are free for Kindle Unlimited readers. Buy them on Amazon at: amazon.com/gp/product/B07PHNT7XM and watch for the audiobooks of the whole series from Recorded Books coming later this year. For more about my books or me and to sign up to hear about special offers and free chapters, please visit www.marcjedel.com.

For another author interview with the same author for an earlier book in this series, go here.

My Review

The third zany mystery in the Silicon Valley Mystery series, Serf and Turf, is here!

Bumbling amateur detective, Marty, once again tries to juggle family, relationships, and work with determining who murdered girls’ soccer coach Gio. It appears that everyone who wasn’t sleeping with Gio hated him. So why does Marty’s girlfriend, Meghan, admire him so much?

The books in the Silicon Valley Mystery series just keep getting better. Serf and Turf is the best so far! It reminds me of early Stephanie Plum mysteries. First, start out with a seemingly simple idea. In this book, it is for Marty to help his girlfriend investigate Gio’s death. After all, Marty is convinced that he is almost a police consultant. Unfortunately, the police don’t appear to agree with him. Second, mix in several odd settings and top with a witty sense of humor. The investigation involves many of Gio’s side hustles—from a science camp to a Renaissance Faire. Both are shown with humor and moments of pure hilarity. Reading this book’s description of the RenFaire inspired me personally to dress as an Irish maiden for Halloween—that is how far into this book I got! Finally, add an unusual family known for their eccentricities. Marty’s sister, two nieces, and their dog are uproariously human–yes, even the dog that has a sweet tooth.

Everyone who loves funny cozy mysteries should pick up this book. It promises to be a great series and this book is a fun ride. 5 stars!

Thanks to the author and Great Escape Book Tours for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

About Serf and Turf


Serf and Turf: A Silicon Valley Mystery
Release Date – October 7, 2019

BGM Press

Print Length – Approximately 200 pages

He’s afraid of losing his girlfriend. But maybe he should be more concerned about the dead body she’s crying over?

Marty Golden can barely string a voicemail message together, let alone keep up with his new love. This quirky uncle’s hectic Silicon Valley lifestyle needs a reboot when a youth league soccer game becomes a murder scene. And nothing can stop him from donning his amateur sleuth uniform when he discovers his sweetheart used to have quite a thing for the dead guy …

With a not-so-helpful paw from Buddy the Labrador, he does his best to sniff out a long list of possible suspects. But between gossipy soccer moms and the costume-clad members of a Renaissance Faire, Marty’s theories fall harder than a jousted knight.

Can Marty solve the case before the trail and his new flame grow cold?

Serf and Turf is the third book in the zany, Silicon Valley cozy mystery series. If you like laugh-out-loud comedy, dorky sleuths, and a festival of old-world fun, then you’ll love Marc Jedel’s humorous murder mystery.

Buy Serf and Turf to sign in to a great mystery today!

About Marc Jedel

For most of my life, I’ve been inventing stories. Some, especially when I was young, involved my sister as the villain. As my sister’s brother for her entire life, I’m highly qualified to tell the tale of this evolving, quirky sibling relationship.

My writing skills were honed in years of marketing leadership positions in Silicon Valley. While my high tech marketing roles involved crafting plenty of fiction, we called these marketing collateral, emails and ads.

The publication of my first novel, Uncle and Ants, gave me permission to claim “author” as my job. And achieving Amazon Best Seller status gave me even better adjectives to use in front of “author.” This has led to way more interesting discussions than answering “marketing.”

My family would tell you that Marty’s character isn’t much of a stretch of the imagination for me, but I’m comfortable with that situation.

Like Marty, I live in Silicon Valley and can’t believe that otherwise normal people would willingly jump out of an airplane and call it fun. Unlike Marty, I have a wonderful wife and a neurotic but sweet, small dog, who is often the first to weigh in on the humor in my writing.

Author Links

Website: www.marcjedel.com

FaceBook: www.facebook.com/MarcJedel.Author

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mjedel/

GoodReads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/18403497.Marc_Jedel

BookBub: www.bookbub.com/profile/marc-jedel

Purchase Link – Amazon
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Poison Garden
October 25th, 2019 by diane92345

It’s the day before her one-year wedding anniversary and Elise has a problem in the new gaslight-esque thriller, Poison Garden.

When Elise arrives home one day early from a trip, she finds her husband, Kieran, in their marital bed with another woman. He swears it was a one-time fling, but her neighbor, Chantal, tells her she has seen the woman sneaking into the house once before.

Elise also finds her herb store unlocked and in disorder. Did she really sleepwalk into the store the night before she left on her trip? Or is Kieran plotting to kill her with the poisonous plants kept in her shop? And what did he and his lover’s pillow talk about patience and playing the long game really mean?

The cat and mouse game between Elise and Kieran is the best part of the Poison Garden. You feel Elise’s shock at her husband’s betrayal deeply. You want to see her succeed in getting herself and her money away from him. Neighbor Chantal’s story is intriguing and adds depth to the plot.

Overall, the genuineness of the characters and the compelling plot forced me to stay up late to finish this book in one sitting. 4 stars!

Thanks to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Kindle Unlimited, Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: ,

A Very Vegan Halloween
October 23rd, 2019 by diane92345
A Very Vegan Halloween: The Witch’s Cauldron Cookbook
The Vegan Holiday Cookbook Collection #1
by
Rebecca Henry

My Review

With thirteen snacks, eight main dishes, seventeen desserts, and four drinks, A Very Vegan Halloween allows you to share Halloween with your friends and family without giving up your values.

Just because they are vegan doesn’t mean that these recipes can’t be fun and on theme. Some examples that I liked are:

  • Hocus Pocus Jack-O’-Lanterns made with stuffed bell peppers imitating carved pumpkins
  • Perfect Party Cutie Pumpkins, which are clementines with celery stems (and so cute!)
  • Poltergeist Party Mashed Potatoes made with potatoes and non-dairy milk.

All are made with plain fruits and vegetables. Nothing expensive or hard to locate.

If you are vegan or just want some new ideas for Halloween munchies (while saving a few animals in the process), pick up A Very Vegan Halloween. I am removing one star for not having nutritional information or number of servings. Still, the ideas are charming. 4 stars!

Thanks to the author and Silver Dagger Book Tours for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Halloween has always been an important holiday in my home and a time for food
and parties. This book contains traditional, bootiful Halloween
recipes prepared from nondairy and cruelty-free ingredients.
With 41 bewitching recipes to chose from, you will have a spooktacular
selection of recipes to inspire your little ghost or goblins to
gobble up their plates! Being a mom of two, and so no stranger to
hosting Halloween parties for little ones, I understand the
importance of presentation. If the food is fun and engaging, children
and adults alike will want to try vegan options. The recipes come
with creative decorating ideas, party suggestions, and terribly
terrifying recipe names, to get your cute little ghouls eager to bake
with you in the kitchen.
Goodreads
* Amazon
 
Best-selling Amazon Author of Hybrid: Adapt or Die. Her debut novel was
The Lady Raven: A Dark Cinderella Tale, which was published in 2017.
The Lady Raven is for those who have an infinity for fairy tales
retold with a link to witches, magic and the macabre. Rebecca’s
second novel, Louisiana Latte, a chick-lit comedy was released
February 28th, 2019. Louisiana Latte is a feel-good comedy that
focuses on the bonds of sisters, and how audacious life can be when
you have a diva for one! Rebecca’s third novel Hybrid: Adapt or Die,
is a sci-fi, horror, romance novel. It takes the reader on a wild
ride of government conspiracy theories, ancient aliens but also
touches your heart with a tender love story. Hybrid was released
on August 1st, 2019. Her fourth novel Conjure Lake, a young adult, dark fantasy,
horror novel will be released in 2020. The entire first chapter is
included at the end of Hybrid first edition copies. You can find all
of Rebecca’s books on Amazon.

Rebecca Henry is a world traveler living abroad in England. Besides being an
author, Rebecca is also a podcast talk host on the show The Latte
Talk. The podcast was inspired by her latest novel, Louisiana Latte
and her diva sister Deb. She is a serious vegan, gardener, crafter,
wife, and mom who practices yoga. She loves to laugh, her drug of
choice and loves all things witchy with a hint of the macabre. Her
favorite holiday is Halloween and her favorite movie of all time is
Practical Magic.
Website
* Facebook *
Twitter * Instagram
* Amazon
* Goodreads
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Haunted House Ghost
October 11th, 2019 by diane92345

Haunted House Ghost: Death At The Fall Festival
(Braxton Campus Mysteries)
by James J. Cudney

My Review

It’s Halloween and Professor Kellan is renovating his newly purchased rundown mansion in the Haunted House Ghost.

A current mystery and a historic one compete for Kellan and his potential girlfriend, Sheriff April’s attention. Between that, a Fall Festival, a ghost, home renovations, a psychic, and a skeleton, no wonder Kellan and April can’t even find the time to go out on a date!

Good thing there is a guide to Who’s Who in the front of the book. This book has the largest cast of any tale shorter than a 19th-century Russian novel. Luckily, you don’t need to memorize them all. The Haunted House Ghost quickly narrows down to a handful of suspects. Kudos to the author for making me second guess my thought on who was the murderer—multiple times right up to the reveal. Overall, an enjoyable cozy mystery. 4 stars!

Thanks to the author and Great Escapes Blog Tours for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Don’t forget about entering the giveaway shown below!

About Haunted House Ghost

Haunted House Ghost: Death At The Fall Festival
(Braxton Campus Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Gumshoe Books – A Next Chapter Imprint (October 1, 2019)
Digital Edition, 275 pages
ASIN: B07WGKGZ9J

It’s Halloween, and excitement is brewing in Braxton to carve jack-o’-lanterns, go on haunted hayrides, and race through the spooky corn maze at the Fall Festival.

Despite the former occupant’s warnings, Kellan renovates and moves into a mysterious old house. When a ruthless ghost promises retribution, our fearless professor turns to the eccentric town historian and an eerie psychic to communicate with the apparition. Meanwhile, construction workers discover a fifty-year-old skeleton after breaking ground on the new Memorial Library wing.

While Kellan and April dance around the chemistry sparking between them, a suspicious accident occurs at the Fall Festival. Soon, Kellan discovers the true history and dastardly connections of the Grey family. But can he capture the elusive killer – and placate the revenge-seeking ghost.

About James J. Cudney

James is my given name; most call me Jay. I grew up on Long Island and currently live in New York City, but I’ve traveled all across the US (and various parts of the world). After college, I spent 15 years working in technology and business operations in the sports, entertainment and media industries. Although I enjoyed my job, I left in 2016 to focus on my passion: telling stories and connecting people through words. My debut novel is ‘Watching Glass Shatter,’ a contemporary fiction family drama with elements of mystery, suspense, humor and romance. To see samples or receive news from my current and upcoming books, please subscribe with your email address at my website: https://jamesjcudney.com

What do I do outside of writing: I’m an avid genealogist (discovered 2K family members going back about 250 years) and cook (I find it so hard to follow a recipe). I love to read; between Goodreads and my blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, I have over 900 book reviews which will give you a full flavor for my voice and style. On my blog, there is humor, tears, love, friendship, advice and bloopers. Lots of bloopers where I poke fun at myself all the time. Even my dogs have segments where they complain about me. All these things make up who I am; none of them are very fancy or magnanimous, but they are real and show how I live every day.

List of Books

Watching Glass Shatter (October 2017)

Father Figure (April 2018)

Braxton Campus Mysteries

Academic Curveball – #1 (October 2018)

Broken Heart Attack – #2 (November 2018)

Flower Power Trip – #3 (March 2019)

Mistaken Identity Crisis – #4 (June 2019)

Haunted House Ghost – #5 (October 2019)

Websites & Blog

Website: https://jamesjcudney.com/

Blog: https://thisismytruthnow.com

Next Chapter: https://www.nextchapter.pub/authors/james-j-cudney?rq=cudney

Social Media Links

Amazon: http://bit.ly/JJCIVBooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamescudney4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JamesJCudneyIVAuthor/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BraxtonCampusMysteries/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jamescudney4/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jamescudney4/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jamescudney4

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamescudney4

Purchase Links – Amazon

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Their Last Breath
September 27th, 2019 by diane92345

Their Last Breath is an engrossing British police procedural where nothing is as you expect.

Gillian Lane is running for her life down a quiet English lane from a masked assailant when she is hit by a taxi and taken to hospital. When the police investigate, they find her husband and another woman tortured and strangled in her kitchen.

Meanwhile, retired detective Warren is called back to duty to investigate a mass death scene that appears to implicate one of the police’s own. An abandoned hospital is the site of a horrific fire where six women are found chained to their room’s wall. Five are dead when the firefighters arrive but one is clinging precariously to life. Could the name scratched on the floor, Hayat, be the same woman telling her tale of being a Syrian refugee in alternate chapters?

It doesn’t take a Mensa ID to figure out the dead woman is the refugee. But how the cases are connected and especially the thrilling twist at the end makes Their Last Breath a great read for police procedural fans. 4 stars!

Thanks to Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Kindle Unlimited, Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with: ,

Author Guest Post for Chutes and Ladders
September 27th, 2019 by diane92345

Author Interview with Marc Jedel

 

Marc

Q: Tell us about your novel and series.

MarcChutes and Ladder is the second book in the Silicon Valley Mystery series, but can be read standalone. Marty Golden is not your typical, cozy mystery protagonist. As a male sleuth who doesn’t own a bakery, bookstore, or bed & breakfast, or live by the beach, he stands out from the crowd of cozy protagonists. Marty does bumble his way through the investigations, armed with nothing but an eye for detail and powers of self-delusion.

In Chutes and Ladder, Marty discovers the dead body of his friend while failing as chaperone for a Girl Scouts camping trip. After the police rule it an accidental death, he disagrees and decides to investigate because friends don’t let their friend’s death go unsolved.

One reviewer called it “a gem with its great plotting and unusual cast.”

Q: Where do you get your ideas for your stories?

Marc: I tend to pay attention to the strange stories in the newspaper, especially about unusual deaths or bizarre situations. This became a lot more socially acceptable once I become a published mystery author. Almost like a puzzle, I enjoy trying to merge together multiple situations into a coherent plot and trick the reader.

Q: Is there a theme in your story?

Marc: In a rare moment of introspection, I decided that the book should be about more than just humor wrapped in a mystery. A literary scholar, if one ever were foolish enough to select my novels for their dissertation, might say they’re about a search for family life, friends and happiness. However, Marty typically doesn’t realize this is what he wants out of life, so he tries hard to return to the quiet, simple and peaceful life that he had before his sister and his nieces moved to town.

Marty frequently mentions advice and etiquette lessons that his parents gave him when he was young. He’s often dismayed that their lessons didn’t cover the unusual predicaments that he finds himself in.

Q: How do you create your characters and do you have a favorite?

Marc: I’m obviously partial to the protagonist, Marty, since the novel is told in first person. My friends and family believe this fashion-backward, self-absorbed software engineer is not exactly a huge stretch of the imagination for me to write. But it’s fiction. I mean, I’m not a software engineer. I enjoy writing Marty’s nieces, especially young Megan. They’re loosely based on my own nieces and kids, exaggerated and merged with other kids that I’ve known. Perhaps my favorite side character is Mrs. Quarles, the school secretary. Marty struggles mightily to deal with her, and I always laugh as I’m writing her scenes. A surprising number of readers tell me she’s one of their favorite characters too. I’d love to hear from your readers which characters or scenes they like best.

Q: How do you bring to life the place you are writing about?

Marc: I’ve lived a long time in Silicon Valley, working in high-tech, marketing roles. A lot of interesting characters work in big, high-tech companies. While I haven’t based any character directly off someone I’ve known, let’s just say that certain people influenced some of my characters more than others—especially the nuttier or more villainous characters.

If Silicon Valley is portrayed in fiction, it tends to be a very one-sided and biased view. I wanted to highlight more of the diversity and unusual personalities that I’ve encountered in my novels.

Q: What research do you do?

Marc: I’ve found that writing has made me more willing to talk to strangers in different situations and more observant and patient in lines and crowded situations, as I’m looking for material. I’m normally more of an introvert. Who’d have thought that the solitary occupation of being an author would make me more socially outgoing?

Most of my detailed mystery research is done via the internet. I’m hopeful that no law enforcement agencies are watching my searches and wondering what I may be up to. Not to be paranoid or anything, but I’ll use this space to remind them: “Marc Jedel is a fiction writer of humorous murder mysteries. Fiction!”

Q: Anything else you’d like to tell readers about the book?

Marc: I’ll quote a reviewer: “I enjoyed this fast-paced humorous mystery just as much as Uncle and Ants. His writing is clever, and the plotting is meticulous and exceptionally well-executed.” And I swear that reviewer wasn’t related or a friend.

Chutes and Ladder, book 2 in the Silicon Valley Mystery series, can be read standalone. It and Uncle and Ants are free to Kindle Unlimited readers. Serf and Turf, book 3 in the series, will be released in mid-October 2019 so this is a perfect time to catch up. Buy them on Amazon at amazon.com/gp/product/B07PHNT7XM. For more about my books or me, please visit www.marcjedel.com.

Follow
the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
Enter the giveaway here:

Chutes
and Ladder
A
Silicon Valley Mystery Book 2
by
Marc Jedel
Genre:
Cozy Mystery 
When
a camping trip uncovers a murder, this amateur sleuth is stuck
putting out the fire …
 
Marty
Golden enjoys time with his nieces, but he wanted to spend the
weekend with his new girlfriend — not chaperone a Girl Scout
camping trip. Once he stumbles upon the corpse of a friend in the
woods, the outdoors adventure becomes an open-air disaster. When the
police label it an accidental death, the meticulous Marty vows to
investigate the murder. After all, it’s poor manners to let your
friend’s death go unsolved.
On
the hunt for clues the cops ignored, Marty uncovers a disturbing
connection to himself. And as he digs deeper, a misbehaving pup, a
kooky cousin, and a maniacal ninja put his survival skills to the
test.
Will
Marty unravel the mystery before the killer, or his imagination, gets
to him?
Chutes
and Ladder
 is
the side-splitting second novel in the Silicon Valley cozy mystery
series. If you like quirky sleuths, wacky side characters, and
laugh-out-loud moments, you’ll love this offbeat whodunit.
Buy Chutes
and Ladder
 to
decode a great mystery today!
Goodreads
* Amazon

 

Uncle
and Ants
A
Silicon Valley Mystery Book 1
 
Mysterious
attacks. Mischievous nieces.
 Can
a clueless uncle catch a tech-savvy killer … and be home before
bedtime?
 
When
a freak accident hospitalizes Marty
Golden’s sister and condemns him to
babysitter duty, he thinks it’s just another case of hardwired bad
luck in Silicon Valley.
Until a suspicious murder suggests the mishap was no mere
coincidence. Something must be done.
Too
bad this quirky, fashion-backward
uncle isn’t exactly hero material.
Convinced
his sister is in mortal danger, this
amateur sleuth follows clues to an
oddball array of suspects. Armed with nothing but an eye for detail
and powers of self-delusion, Marty
tangles with gangsters, a cantankerous school secretary, and a
perplexing woman he can’t help but fall for. Glitches in his
investigation seem like a piece of cake compared to dinner-prep and
bedtime stories with his two precocious, pre-teen nieces.
Can
Marty catch the culprit, save his sister, and get his life back in
order before he gets unplugged?
Uncle
and Ants
 is the first novel in
a refreshingly modern mystery series set in Silicon Valley. If you
like clever humor, sassy side characters, and average Joes facing
extraordinary circumstances, then you’ll love this twisty mystery.
Buy Uncle
and Ants
 to login to a fresh,
funny mystery today!
Goodreads
* Amazon
 

Jedel writes humorous murder mysteries. In his high-tech marketing
roles, he’s also written fiction. These are just called emails, ads,
and marketing collateral.
In
his family, Marc was born first — a fact his sister never lets him
forget, no matter what milestone age she hits. For most of Marc’s
life, he’s been inventing stories. Some, especially when he was
young, involved his sister as the villain. As his sister’s brother
for her entire life, he feels highly qualified to tell tales of the
evolving, quirky sibling relationship in the Silicon Valley Mystery
series.
Family
and friends would tell you that the protagonist in his stories, Marty
Golden, isn’t much of a stretch of the imagination for Marc, but he
proudly resembles that remark.
Like
Marty, Marc lives in San Jose, the heart of Silicon Valley, where he
writes within earshot of the doppler effect of the local ice cream
truck. Unlike Marty, Marc has a wonderful wife and a neurotic but
sweet, small dog, who much prefers the walks resulting from writer’s
block than his writing.
Visit
his website, marcjedel.com, for free chapters of upcoming novels,
news and more.
Website
* Facebook *
Bookbub *
Amazon *
Goodreads

 

Posted in Book Tour, Giveaways, Kindle Unlimited, Mystery & Thrillers Tagged with: ,

What You Did
August 9th, 2019 by diane92345

At an informal college reunion, Karen staggers in from the patio. She claims she was raped by Ali’s husband Mike, who denies it. Ali tries to determine the truth in What You Did.

Ali and her husband Mike, Karen and her son Jake, Jodi and her husband Callum, and Bill are celebrating the 25th anniversary of starting college at Ali and Mike’s house. Their children—Cassie and Benji—are in the house as well.

There are some sticking points for me about What You Did. First, hitting us over the head with the irony of Ali working for a battered women’s shelter seemed a bit obvious. Second, the lack of redeeming characteristics for all the characters. I felt no empathy for any of them. But mostly the obvious bad guy. If you have read any previous thrillers, you don’t need to read this one. 2 stars.

Thanks to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Kindle Unlimited, Mystery & Thrillers, New Books Tagged with:

English Grammar
July 8th, 2019 by diane92345

Filled with common writing issues, English Grammar is a fun (yes, actually fun!) way to correct your grammar, punctuation, and word use.

Quick! What is the easiest way to determine whether to use “further” or “farther” and “affect” or “effect”? If you said for the first pair, farther refers to distance, you would be correct! For the second choice, if you said affect is a verb and effect is a noun, you would match what I thought before reading this book. But you would be wrong! Both can be used as nouns or verbs. It depends on usage. Affect is a noun when writing about the flat affect of someone’s face. Effect is a verb when you mean to make happen. You can effect change in your grammar if you read this book. If you wonder how I could be writing a review of a grammar book and start a sentence with “But”, you need to read the author’s section on the changing face of English grammar. Starting a sentence with a conjunction is fully acceptable everywhere but in an English composition class. Just a side note on my side note, does anyone else hear the Conjunction Junction song in their head every time they read or hear the word “conjunction”? They really should bring back the Schoolhouse Rock cartoons.

The author uses clear explanations and examples to explain grammar and punctuation rules. There is even a quiz afterwards for the more complex ideas. There is also a section about the differences between English (from England) and American English. For example, theatre is the English (from England) spelling but theater is the American English spelling. However, just to confuse everyone, Americans use the British spelling when trying to sound refined. Also, Shakespeare used the American spelling. English grammar differences are nothing but inconsistent. Thanks Noah Webster, who the author blames for trying to un-French the English language in An American Dictionary of the English Language in 1828.

If you read through my review all the way to this paragraph, you will probably enjoy English Grammar (the book—not necessarily the subject). It is an excellent reference that is short and to the point. And it entertains while it is teaching you something most writers, reviewers, and basically humans, need to use daily. 4 stars!

Thanks to Zephyros Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Kindle Unlimited, New Books, Non-fiction Tagged with: ,

Midnight Call
June 6th, 2019 by diane92345

“ ’I think I killed someone.’ The man’s voice whispered across the phone lines.” Jessie is a pregnant attorney who receives this Midnight Call from her mentor, high school teacher Terrence Butterfield.

Terrence claims he remembers nothing of the incident after his whiskey-fueled anger that kids were tagging his walls. The police determine that Jessie had a strong link to the victim. When Terrence betrays Jessie to free himself, Jessie must prove her own innocence by finding the true killer.

There are many subplots within this novel. Perhaps slightly too many as it is difficult to keep them all straight. I believe this is the first romantic triangle involving a very pregnant female I have ever read. So kudos for originality! The legal system is fully described in this book for those aspiring lawyers among us as the author is an attorney in real life. Midnight Call is an enjoyable night’s reading for legal thriller readers. 3.5 stars!

Thanks to Immortal Works and Meryl Moss Media for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Kindle Unlimited, Mystery & Thrillers, New Books, Pre-releases Tagged with: ,

Limited Wish
June 1st, 2019 by diane92345

In Limited Wish, Mark is a busy sixteen-year-old. He is still playing Dungeons & Dragons with his high school buddies. However, now he is a freshman at Cambridge University. He is getting over a breakup and finding a new love. He is battling cancer. All while dealing with time travel, paradoxes, and, of course, saving the universe.

This book is set six months following its predecessor in the Impossible Times trilogy, One Word Kill (reviewed here). The author provides an in depth spoiler-filled synopsis of the prior book in this book’s prologue but the series is best read in order, if possible. If you read the prologue in this book, you will ruin all the surprises in the first book.

Admittedly, math is not my favorite subject despite having taken it through calculus in college. I also never took a physics class anywhere due to my previously mentioned aversion to math. I do like string theory, in theory at least, so the time traveling multiple universe plot was fine. However, the parallel universes did get a bit confusing as the plot was much more complex than One Word Kill. However, there is still some human emotion and humor on hand here too. Overall, Limited Wish is highly recommended for science, math and science fiction fans. For all of us just regular thriller readers, I give it 4 stars and again recommend reading One Word Kill first. Still, I can’t wait for the final book in this series, Dispel Illusion, out in November 2019!

Thanks to 47North and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Kindle Unlimited, Mystery & Thrillers, New Books, Romance, Science Fiction Tagged with: ,

Ghost of Hollow House
May 30th, 2019 by diane92345

It seems like the Ghost of Hollow House may have been Agatha Christie as this tale fits right in her wheelhouse.

In Victorian England, Mina uncovers fraudulent mediums. She also writes fictional mysteries that include spiritual elements. When she is asked to uncover the reason for the haunting of a newly married friend’s mansion, she is skeptical. But when she sees a mysterious lady in white in the window when first arriving at Hollow House, she becomes intrigued. Perhaps this haunting will bring her real evidence from the other side.

Mina is a great character. Her ability to press past her disabilities and the oppression of females prevalent in Victorian times is empowering.

The mystery was challenging as well. Though I didn’t figure out whodunit or why until after the intrepid Mina, I clearly saw the clues in hindsight.

Ghost of Hollow House did resemble Agatha Christie’s mysteries in both its complexity and portrayal of English village life. I would have liked slightly more backstory for the main characters. I’ll be looking for the previous three books in this series, as well as any future entries, when I feel like reading a jolly good mystery. 4 stars!

Thanks to Sapere Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Kindle Unlimited, Mystery & Thrillers, New Books, Paranormal Tagged with: ,

One Word Kill
May 22nd, 2019 by diane92345

Nick is just trying to survive high school in One Word Kill…literally.

Nick, Simon, John and Elton are best friends, high schoolers, and Dungeons & Dragons fanatics in 1986. Nick also has a crush on their newest player, Mia. Plus Nick has cancer.

Bullies Devis and Rust are rumored to have burned a homeless man to death. What is undeniable is that they have fun taunting the nerds in their high school. Nick’s secret weapon is the mysterious Demus, who appears exactly when he is needed and has strange forecasting powers. The plot just gets better from there.

One Word Kill is a smart, nerdy, many worlds’ hypothesis treat for anyone who loves Back to the Future, 1980s gaming, or physics class. Thirty years after the time period of this book, the nerds clearly have won. Right, Mr. Gates and Mr. Musk? But back in the 80s, the victory wasn’t so assured. That uncertainty is a large part of the charm of this book. If you’re a fan of The Goldbergs on television, I guarantee you will enjoy this book as much as I did. 4 stars!

Thanks to 47North, Amazon Publishing UK, and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Kindle Unlimited, Science Fiction Tagged with:

Relatively Normal
November 22nd, 2018 by diane92345

It’s that time of year when you look around at your assembled family during your holiday party and decide they look Relatively Normal.  At least they will, after you read this laugh-out-loud book.

Cat runs an event planning company in New York City. She meets and becomes engaged to Ethan, an actuary. Ethan is a planner. After Ethan and Cat are engaged and living together for two years, he insists on their two families celebrating Thanksgiving together at Cat’s family farm in rural Illinois.

Cat doesn’t know to explain her family to Ethan. Her mom collects obscure household goods like shortbread pans and various cozies. Cat’s dad is staunchly Scottish. He plays the bagpipes badly and dresses up stuffed mice as Scottish heroes. Her grandmother, Nan, says whatever she thinks. Unfortunately, she is usually thinking with a sailor’s vocabulary due to numerous small strokes. Cat’s brother, Travis, is a 29-year-old clown college dropout living in his parent’s basement.

When Cat, Ethan and his parents get to the farm all hell breaks loose. Cat’s dad has invited Cat’s high school boyfriend and former love of her life, Sam, and his parents. Unfortunately, Dad forgot to mention Cat’s engagement.

The absurdity of the Scottish Thanksgiving dinner is hilarious. Cat’s family never lie so they don’t hesitate to tell her Ethan isn’t her perfect match. When a medical emergency occurs, Cat contemplates her relationship with Ethan and her still fiery feelings for Sam, a feeling that Sam shares.

Relatively Normal starts as a superb farce. When the romance begins to heat up between Cat and Sam, Cat must decide what is important for her. The characters are so believable. You’re rooting for them to make the best decisions and live happily ever after. I recommend this book both to fans of zany humor and non-explicit romance. If you like the Stephanie Plum series, you will also like Relatively Normal. 4 stars!

Thanks to 33 Partners Publishing and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Humor, Kindle Unlimited, Romance Tagged with: ,