The Great Jewel Robbery:A Front Page Mystery Book 1
Category: Adult Fiction, 204 pages
Genre: Cozy mystery
Publisher: Elizabeth McKenna
Release date: May 28, 2019
Tour dates: August 19-30, 2019
Content Rating: PG-13
There is no profanity. There is drinking, desire, and a kiss.
Mystery with a splash of romance…Chicago Tribune reporters Emma and Grace have been best friends since college despite coming from different worlds. When Grace is assigned to cover an annual charity ball and auction being held at a lakeside mansion and her boyfriend bails on her, she brings Emma as her plus one. The night is going smoothly until Emma finds the host’s brother unconscious in the study. Though at first it is thought he was tipsy and stumbled, it soon becomes clear more is afoot, as the wall safe is empty and a three-million-dollar diamond necklace is missing. With visions of becoming ace investigative journalists, Emma and Grace set out to solve the mystery, much to the chagrin of the handsome local detective.
This book was received from the Author, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own
The Great Jewel Robbery by Elizabeth McKenna is the first book in this delightful cozy mystery series.
Chicago Tribune reporters Emma and Grace have been best friends since college despite coming from different worlds. Grace has been assigned to cover an annual charity ball and auction being held at a Lakeside Mansion on shores of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. When her boyfriend has a change of plans she brings Emma along.
I was immediately sucked into the narrative and devoured every single page of this highly entertaining and deceptive book. Once I started reading it I was hooked and so absorbed in the storyline that I lost all sense of time. The author ability to keep my attention in this intriguing cozy mystery. I was definitely lost in this book and nothing was going to distract me until I finished reading it.
An entertaining and quick read with the right amount of romance, a robbery, murder..a weekend party at a mansion. What more could you ask for?
This is a fun, breezy mystery that totally enchanted me. The storyline is engaging tension filled who-did -it.
A great light hearted mystery, that keeps you guessing all the way through.
Faced paced exceptional dialogue with well developed characters.
I definitely recommend this book and I am looking forward to reading more from this author.
Do you read cozy mysteries, The light hearted who don it’s?
Cozy Sweet Cream Pancakes Recipe
• All-Purpose Flour
• Baking Powder
• Baking Soda
• Vanilla Extract
• Heavy Cream
• Milk, to thin the batter if desired
Toppings for Pancakes
These pancakes may take a few extra minutes to cook, but boy is it worth it! I feel like pancakes are kind of like the blank canvas of breakfast food!
You can add different toppings to create totally different experiences.
Gwendalyn G Anderson
Meet the Author:
Elizabeth McKenna’s love of books reaches back to her childhood, where her tastes ranged from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to Stephen King’s horror stories. She had never read a romance novel until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene). She combined her love of history, romance, and a happy ending to write the historical romance novels Cera’s Place and Venice in the Moonlight. Her contemporary romance novel, First Crush Last Love, is loosely based on her life (she eventually married her first crush)
The Great Jewel Robbery is her debut cozy mystery, and she hopes readers will like it as much as they have enjoyed her romances. Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn’t writing, working, or being a mom, she’s sleeping.
A story told through a variety of interfaces, Written in the form of journal entries, text messages, emails, and excerpts of the novel Crystal is writing, A brilliant romantic comedy about mothers and daughters, and the hilarious consequences of a not really telling the real truth. The characters were all endearing and the subject matter was interesting and I really liked the format the author chose to write the book in.
What really stood out for me and what I really loved about this story was the development of the relationships between the Women in the story, and the complexity of the mother-daughter relationship.
It’s a creative a perfect summer read. Fast paced and enjoyable book that you won’t want to put down.
Overall, this is creative Romantic comedy that I would recommend to anyone looking to read and is a big fan of a contemporary novels
I Couldn’t put this Rom-Com down!!
This book was received as an ARC from the Galbadia in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own
Crystal Hemmingway is a corporate washout and novelist. She lives in Los Angeles with her favorite person and two cats. In her spare time, Crystal enjoys binge-watching TV shows, eating sugary cereals, and pretending to write at coffee shops.
“If Lorelai Gilmore of Gilmore Girls was dropped into a thriller, it might resemble this appealing novel.”–Kirkus Reviews
What We Do For Lovewon the Chick Lit category and made finalist for Best Cover Design/Fiction in the 2019 Next Generation Indie Book Awards!
Thirty-eight year old Nicole Adams has given up on finding love. Instead, the single mother focuses on the things she cherishes most—her sixteen-year old son Justin, her friends, and her art.
When she convinces a prominent Los Angeles museum to feature a piece of her work, a large-scale installation, she thinks her life has finally turned a corner.
Then Justin brings a girl, Daniela, home to live with them. Daniela’s angry parents have thrown her out of the house, because she’s pregnant with Justin’s child. Shattered, Nicole takes Daniela in and, in so doing, is drawn into the inner circle of Daniela’s family—a frightening world of deceit and violence.
Nicole struggles to keep life going as normal. Forced to deal with people she doesn’t trust or like, fearful for the future of both her son and the grandchild they’re expecting, Nicole wonders if she can do what she tells Justin to do: always have faith in yourself and do the right thing.
What We Do for Love won the Chick Lit category of the 2019 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, and finalist for Best Cover Design/Fiction!
Funny how one’s life can make a U-turn.
My life made two. In a single day.
I started that day as a mere potter—yes, a person who hand-makes vases and dinner plates for a living—wearing borrowed clothes and driving to the most important interview of my life. A few hours later came U-turn number one: the board of directors of CCMLA, the Contemporary Crafts Museum of Los Angeles, offered me a place in their upcoming show!
In an instant, I had become an artist. I pondered this fact wonderingly as I drove home that afternoon. I was to provide them with a brand-new, never-before-seen mural in ceramics, an installation piece. My wall would be located at the entrance to the exhibit, the first thing you saw as you walked in. This was my chance, an incredible opportunity.
I was an artist!
It didn’t bother me that desperation clearly underlay the board’s decision. All the better when I saved the day with a great contribution to their show!
Flushed with success, I revved my ancient Toyota, Bernice, up to twenty-two miles per hour. We practically skipped over the potholes as we barreled our way up the Trail of Terror. This was the name my son Justin had given the rutted, one-lane road that wound its way up the side of Laurel Canyon to our house.
Of course, I was a fill-in, hired at the last minute. I’d gotten this job when Miriam Fletcher, a customer of mine who happened to be on the museum board, moaned to me that an artist had dropped out of a show scheduled to open in six weeks. “We’re in such a pickle! We don’t know what to do!” Though her crepey neck revealed a senior citizen, Miriam otherwise projected youth, running long acrylic nails through her cropped, bleached and spiked hair, her copper earrings swinging.
My cue to pipe up. “I’m sure I could help you!”
Miriam trained her eyes upon me. She had recently ordered customized hand-made pieces from me to give to her granddaughters—a miniature tea set for the youngest and a statuette of a mermaid for her older sister.
“You do such beautiful ceramics work, Nicole!”
“What you’ve seen is my commercial work, which I do through my business Clayworks. I create as an artist under my own name.” That is, Ihopedto create as an artist under my own name, if I could ever get the proper start.
And now I had. I could hardly wait to tell my son the news. After sixteen years of single motherhood and hard work, struggling to support myself and Justin, I couldn’t blow this chance. And yet, I’d never done anything like this before.
A twelve-by-nine foot mural. In just six weeks.
You can do this, I told myself. I had to. Letting the museum—and myself—down was unthinkable.
I could practically hear the snap-crackle-pop of my nerves.
I pulled into what we called the car park, an open space situated beside the house at the top of the Trail of Terror, big enough to park a half dozen cars. Justin’s Ford Focus wasn’t there.
When he got home from school, which should be any minute, we would raise a toast, our champagne glasses filled with sparkling apple cider.
The day was unseasonably hot, and I was boiling in Bernice, her air conditioner long dead. Thank heavens my hair had stayed up all day in the deliberately loose knot that I’d coaxed it into this morning, with pretty little bits of hair hanging down around my face. A chignon, according to the YouTube tutorial. One more degree of humidity and my whole head would have coiled itself into a giant Brillo pad right there before the entire board of directors.
And thank goodness I’d been able to borrow my sister’s striking red-and-orange color-blocked linen dress, which had given me just the boost of artist/business woman confidence that I’d needed. Now though, its linen skirt was hopelessly creased and hiking up around my hips. I bounded out of the car and proceeded along the circuitous route that we all used to enter the house, going through the rickety side gate, and past what was technically our front door, which no one ever opened. Instead, I followed the path that ran along the side of the house toward the yard and pool, giving a glance to my irises and roses, which grew under our bedroom windows.
The white, yellow, and purple irises stood tall and elegant, but it was the roses I really loved—the fluttery, home-grown variety that came in every color of the sunrise. I would have to harvest some for tonight’s dinner table.
As I reached the yard, I stepped from the cool shade of the side path into direct, hot sunshine. The sliver of Los Angeles ahead of me that appeared on clear days like this one, the perfume of herbs and blooming plants, the swimming pool that shimmered invitingly—except for my college years, this had been home all my life. Along with my sister Caroline, I’d inherited the small, dilapidated house on its magnificent parcel of land in the Hollywood Hills. At today’s prices, neither of us could have ever afforded to buy it.
Entering the house as always through the French doors off the living room, I waltzed into my bedroom. It was the beginning of a new era. Soon there would be no more making pottery on consignment! No more sets of dinnerware for twelve!
I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. Of course, I would continue to operate Clayworks. Those dinner sets paid the bills after all. Still though, there was now a chance I could taper off the business over time, if I could sell some of my more creative pieces. Imagine me, finally, at age thirty-eight, beginning to show in museums and galleries!
I changed into my regular daywear—a sleeveless cotton blouse, long flowy skirt in the coolest feather-light cotton, and Teva sandals.
My old friend Mike Sawyer would be over to eat with me and Justin, as he did most weeks, once or twice. Maybe I’d give them both my wonderful news at the same time.
No, I couldn’t wait that long to spill the news. I knew I would tell Justin the minute he walked in.
Hearing the muffled noise of a door opening, I sprinted to the kitchen, where my son, home at last, would for sure want to hear all about it.
I stopped short when I saw that Justin was not alone.
Hi! I grew up in the desert around Phoenix, Arizona, where I had a bay quarter horse named Dolly. If I wasn’t riding, I was holed up somewhere reading Laura Ingalls Wilder or the Oz books or, later on, Jane Eyre and The Grapes of Wrath. Horses eventually faded as an interest, but I ended up with a lifelong love of books and reading.
After college and eight years of living in cold places like Chicago and New York, I escaped back to the land of sunshine. I now live in California, one mile from the Pacific Ocean, with my dachshund Taco. I have worked in banking and as a pro bono attorney, doing adoptions and guardianships for abandoned children.
As a writer, I’d always been interested in children’s books, since they had meant so much to me as a kid. I’ve found I especially like writing books about teens and twenty-somethings, an age where you make so many decisions about who you are and how you want to spend your life.
I love hearing from readers, so please write to me any time at my website www.annepfeffer.com.
Hello BookishFriends, Today is my Stop on this Month long Mega Tour
Welcome to the month-long mega tour for Charlie Laidlaw’s newest book, The Space Between Time, due for release on June 20th! There will be fantastic bloggers participating, who will be posting interviews, excerpts, reviews, and other exclusive content!
Additionally, there are loads of goodies being given away, so be sure to enter at the bottom!
The Space Between Time
Expected Publication Date: June 20th, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/ Dark Comedy
There are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth…
Emma Maria Rossini appears to be the luckiest girl in the world. She’s the daughter of a beautiful and loving mother, and her father is one of the most famous film actors of his generation. She’s also the granddaughter of a rather eccentric and obscure Italian astrophysicist.
But as her seemingly charmed life begins to unravel, and Emma experiences love and tragedy, she ultimately finds solace in her once-derided grandfather’s Theorem on the universe.
The Space Between Time is humorous and poignant and offers the metaphor that we are all connected, even to those we have loved and not quite lost.
It wasn’t an afternoon that I like to remember, and not just because of my shrieking tantrum. Once I’d calmed down, Mum told me I’d been very silly, because it was all make-believe on a cinema screen. I reminded her that she’d cried when Bambi’s mum died, and that was a film and a cartoon. Mum said that it wasn’t the same thing at all. But I wasn’t being silly because I wasn’t old enough to know the difference between pretence and reality.
Dad had looked pretty dead on the screen. The blood on his chest had looked pretty real. If it had been a different dead person, I would have been OK. Children don’t really know where make-believe ends and the real world begins and, partly because of who I am, it’s remained pretty hazy ever since. I also don’t like to remember that film because it was the moment when I realised that our lives were about to change, and I didn’t know if that would be a good thing.
Sounds strange, yes? Here’s something stranger: I am a child of the sea, I sometimes think, and have done ever since we first moved to live beside it. I feel subject to its vagaries and tempers, with its foaming margins framed against a towering sky. I am familiar with its unchanging mood swings. That’s how I like things; I find the familiar comforting. I find change threatening.
I am the daughter of someone who, not long after that ghastly cinema outing, became one of the most famous actors of his generation and, importantly for me, the granddaughter of a rather brilliant but obscure physics professor. But despite their overachievements, I have inherited no aptitude for mathematics and my father positively hated the idea of his only offspring following in his thespian footsteps. He knew how cruel and badly paid the profession could be. But I still look up to my grandfather, and think of his ludicrous moustache with affection.
Gramps once told me that there are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on Earth. Just think of all those sandpits, beaches and deserts! That’s an awful lot of stars. He then told me, his only grandchild, that I was his shining star, which was a nice thing to say and why I remember him talking about sand and stars. On clear nights, with stars twinkling, I often think about him.
I still believe in my grandfather, and admire his stoic acceptance in the face of professional disdain, because I believe in the unique power of ideas, right or wrong, and that it’s our thoughts that shape our existence. We are who we believe ourselves to be.
I gave up believing in my father long ago, because speaking other people’s words and ideas seemed like a lame excuse for a job, even if he was paid millions, and met the Queen on several occasions. She must have liked him because she awarded him an OBE for services to film, theatre and charity. Charity! Who the hell told the Queen that?
I stopped believing in him one Christmas Day, a long time ago, when he simply didn’t turn up. It wasn’t his presents that I missed, or even his presence, but the warm, fuzzy feeling of being important to him. During that day of absence and loss I concluded that his wife and daughter couldn’t much matter to him, otherwise he’d have made a bigger effort to get home. That Christmas Day, my father was simply somewhere else, probably in a bar, immaculately dressed, his hair slicked back, the object of male envy and the centre of every woman’s attention for miles around.
In that respect, Dad was more tomcat than father, except that by then his territory, his fame, stretched around the globe. I know this: by then he had a Golden Globe to prove it. He gushed pheromones from every pore, squirting attraction in every direction, and even women with a poor sense of smell could sniff him out.
I feel mostly Scottish, but am a little bit Italian. It explains my name, Emma Maria Rossini; my dark complexion, black hair, the slightly long nose, and thin and lanky body. Obese I am not, and will never be, however much pasta I eat, and I eat lots. It also explains my temper, according to some people, although I don’t agree with them, and my brown cow’s eyes, as an almost-boyfriend once described them, thinking he was paying me a compliment, before realising that he had just become an ex-almost-boyfriend.
But mostly I am a child of the sea. That’s what happens if you live for long enough by its margins: it becomes a part of you; its mood echoing your mood, until you know what it’s thinking, and it knows everything about you. That’s what it feels like when I contemplate its tensile strength and infinite capacity for change. On calm flat days in North Berwick, with small dinghies marooned on the glassy water, and loud children squealing in its shallows, it can make me anxious and cranky.
The sea, on those days, seems soulless and tired, bereft of spirit. But on wilder days, the beach deserted, or with only a hardy dog-walker venturing across the sand, with large waves thundering in, broaching and breaking, then greedily sucking back pebbles into the foam, I feel energised: this is what the sea enjoys, a roaring irresponsibility, and I share in its pleasure. We are all children of the sea, I sometimes think, or we should be – even those who have never seen an ocean or tasted its saltiness; I can stand for hours and contemplate its far horizons, lost within myself, sharing its passion. In the Firth of Forth is the ebb and flow of my past and my existence, wrapped tight against the west wind. It is what I am, placid and calm, or loud and brash.
This book was received as an ARC, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own
Charles Laidlaw, delivers a compelling, intriguing, thought-provoking, and well-written read here that totally captivated and immersed me into the storyline. Emma Maria Rossini is the main protagonist of the story. Immediately you were drawn into Emma’s narrative, and the world she is in. Laidlaw has masterly created an engaging and and thoughts provoking book.
The book is an exploration of many emotionally resonant themes of anxiety, depression and suicide. Laidlaw also skillful captivates the Reader with comedic timing and dialogue. Over all what really grabbed my attention was how the author’s execution of Emma character development, from a young girl to a woman. Emma perceptions of her childhood and her parents. Through Emma’s eyes we see her world unravel, and we become full invested with her hardships and struggles. Laidlaw writing style continually makes the characters jump of the pages.
I really enjoyed the concept of having every chapter began with an equation, the solution of which is the chapter number and the chapter title is mostly related to a theorem. Eg.; The last chapter is called The Chandrasekhar Limit and there is an equation too, the solution of which is the chapter number.
I definitely will be recommending this book to my family and friends
“He was our star, we circled in uneasy orbit. Mum was a moon; I sometimes felt like a small piece of space junk.”
I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault. That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father. That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.
I was brought up in the west of Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.
I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist. I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics. I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.
I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries. Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa. What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember
Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then. However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.
Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.
I am married with two grown-up children and live in central Scotland. And that’s about it.
I have 2 signed copies of The Space Between Time to giveaway, 3 fun coffee mugs featuring all 3 of Charlie Laidlaw’s books, and 3 digital copies of the book in the winner’s format of choice! Amazing right? Click the link below to enter!