Monday, May 9, 2011

Evil Eclairs by Jessica Beck - Sneak Peak

Its the beginning of the work week, the second Monday in May and Summer is almost here. Almost.

This week my sneak peak is a food mystery by Jessica Beck and its coming from a new source Criminal Don't let the title fool you. Its a website devoted to books that fall in the category of Murder/Mystery/Suspense. I know that there are a lot us who enjoy these genres and Criminal Element has loads of resources for us to enjoy. So, use the link and check out

As for Evil Eclairs, Its been published since April 26th and already, lots of readers have given their views on the book. On most people describe it as a "fun and light read", perfect to add to your summer reading list.

The website provided two chapters for the sneak peek but i abbreviated it a bit so that you you guys can enjoy it better. The link to the full excerpt is included at the end of the excerpt.

If you were lucky enough to have read Evil Eclairs, let me know your thoughts on this mystery.

Hope you guys enjoy!

Title: Evil Eclairs: A Donut Shop Mystery
Author: Jessica Beck
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 304
Publishers: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (April 26, 2011)
Chapter 1
Owning and running a donut shop is not for the faint of heart. If I’m going to get anywhere close to the minimum six hours of sleep I need before I get up at one a.m. every morning, I have to be in bed by seven every night. 
Tonight I’d pushed my bedtime back too far and I knew I’d pay for it in the morning. As I drifted off to sleep just after eight, I heard the name of my donut shop mentioned on the radio. That was odd, since I had never been able to afford even their low advertising rates to tout my specialty donut and coffee shop. 
Then I realized that Donut Hearts wasn’t being described with any affection. Lester Moorefi eld, the local news jockey on WAPS, was broadcasting another of his diatribes, and this time, I was evidently his target. His show ran in the morning, but his editorials  were always done at night. 
“Donuts are a perfect example of how we are slowly killing ourselves. To give you just one instance, I sat in my car across the street from Donut Hearts this morning, and in one hour, I saw countless overweight or downright obese people stumbling out of the place with glazed looks on their faces and powdered sugar on their lips. Suzanne Hart feeds this sickness within her customers, catering to their base cravings like some kind of dealer. Her products are toxic, deadly dough, if you will, and we in the community need to take a stand. I propose that over the next seven days, the citizens of April Springs, and all within the sound of my voice in North Carolina, boycott this shop, and others of its ilk, and stand up to those who would enslave us with their tempting but fatal offerings.” 
Suddenly I was wide awake. 
Momma was sitting by the radio downstairs, and from the expression on her face, she hadn’t missed a word of Lester’s diatribe, either. I’d barely taken the time to throw on some sweatpants and an old T-shirt before I’d raced downstairs. 
“That man is a menace to society,” she said. “Someone should stop him.” Though my mother was physically slight, barely five feet tall, she more than made up for it with her fi erce spirit. 
“He’s gone too far this time,” I agreed as I threw on my running shoes. I  wouldn’t win any Best Dressed awards for my ensemble, but I  wasn’t about to take time to consider my wardrobe. 
“What are you doing?” Momma asked. 
“Isn’t it obvious?” I asked as I struggled with one shoelace that had somehow managed to knot itself into a mess. “I’m going to go see him at the station.”

Read the full excerpt here.

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!!!

To all of the mothers in the book blogging community, I wish you Happy Mother's Day. Today is your day and I hope you enjoy every minute of it : )

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Video Verite- William Petrick

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by Bostick Communication for the purpose of a review. The views expressed here are honest and are in no way influenced by the author or the publisher.


In our media-saturated world, the line between reality and fiction has grown thinner and more confusing. With sharp, clear prose and an insider's view of the media, Petrick's stories take us into a hall of mirrors where men and women struggle to understand themselves and their relationships with one another. In a climate defined by images, does love stand a chance when no one is certain what is real? In the title story, an accomplished skydiver goes airborne with a video camera to capture the love of his life, but a small oversight upends his best intentions. In "Sins of the Father," a man arriving in Huntsville, Texas, to commute his son's death sentence clashes with a documentary producer intent on chasing the story to its bitter end. In "Telling Time," a corporate video producer, conflicted by his own immoral conduct, learns that sometimes the absolute truth is the most effective lie.

My Review

Video Verite and Other Stories marks my second attempt at a book by William Petrick.  In September of 2010, I read my first book by the author entitled The Five Lost Days. Unfortunately I was unable to finish and I had to retire the book to my ‘did not complete pile’. You can read all about the experience here.

With Video Verite and Other Stories, the experience was different. Firstly this book is a compilation of short stories. Due to its size, I was able to finish the entire book in just a few hours.

Also most, if not all of the stories are centered on one theme, the blurred lines between reality and fiction. When you think about it, it is quite germane of today’s society. The stories are also mostly focused around people/characters who are either directly involved in photography or there is an element of the art form in each story. Petrick is an Emmy Award winning documentary producer/director who lives behind the camera so it was quite interesting to see his interpretations on things.

The stories moved quickly as is expected with short stories. The author has only a short space of time to establish a character, introduce the problem and find a resolution (not in that particular order). Admittedly I liked all of the characters as they each carried their stories well.

While I enjoyed the book, I’m not sure if this one is for everyone. There is a lot of photography jargon that at times just flies right over your head. However once you continue on with the story you may gain an appreciation for it.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Butterfly’s Daughter- Mary Alice Monroe

Disclaimer: A copy of this e-galley was provided by Simon and Schuster for review. The views expressed here are honest and are in no way influenced by the author or the publisher.


our very different women embark on a transformational journey that follows the migrating monarchs across the United States to Mexico. The story begins when Luz Avila's grandmother, the local butterfly lady, purchases an old, orange VW bug for a road trip home to Mexico. When she unexpectedly dies, Luz is inspired to take her grandmother's ashes home. In the manner of the Aztec myth of the goddess who brings light to the world, Luz attracts a collection of lost women, each seeking change in their lives. The Mexican people believe the monarchs are the spirits of the recently departed and Luz taps into ancient rituals and myths as she follows the spectacular, glittering river of orange monarchs in the sky to home.

My Review:

Finally, I have found the perfect introduction to Mary Alice Monroe’s narration style and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I have heard a lot about the author through the reviews of several other book bloggers and I have always wanted to have the same awestruck experience that they have while reading her books. While the story line was a bit predictable, The Butterfly’s Daughter struck me from the get go and kept me interest throughout the entire story.  It is truly a beautifully constructed coming of age story told through the analogy of the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly.

Monroe is known to produce novels that are environmentally conscious and she delivers yet again by paying tribute to the Monarch Butterflies. Not only does the reader appreciate their sheer beauty but they also get an insight into their resilience, expert navigational skills and their sense of home that leads them on their perilous journey during the winter. I also loved the detail paid to Mexican culture. You can almost smell the tamales and envision the bright coloured kitchens in which they were cooked. 

With characters such as Luz, Ofelia and Mariposa, there was much to feel happy and also to cry about. My heart went out to Mariposa as I found her story to be very emotional and realistic. It was touching reading about her mood swings and her obsession with seeking forgiveness and approval from her family. It was an emotional roller coaster but I was glad to have run this course with her.

Honestly I could have done without the ‘road trip’ but after completing the book, I understand the importance of it to the story. Although Esperanza raised Luz to be a strong minded, logical young woman, she really matures in front of the reader on her journey. On her journey she meets several young women from various backgrounds, each having their own characteristics and each time she learns something new about herself. As the story progressed, this new strength of character proves quite useful to Luz.

Now that I am more familiar with Monroe’s work, you can expect me to be reading more of her work.

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Book Watching "Unsaid"

Wow, Its the first Sunday in May. We're five months into 2011 already. Were has the time gone?!

Well its great to have you back again for another edition of Book Watching. For the newbies let me just  remind you about what we do here on Sundays-Book Watching is a weekly meme where I share trailers for upcoming or newly released books. This meme may cause your TBR pile to grow or in some cases topple over. But don't just take my word for it.

This week's trailer hails from a book that is simply "remarkable". I hope to have this one in my tbr pile soon. Check out the trailer below and let me know what you think.

Title: Unsaid: A Novel
Author: Neil Abramson
Genre: Literary Fiction
Pages: 368
Publishers: Center Street (August 4, 2011)
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