Saturday, September 15, 2018

Selkie Moon series and Onyx Webb series

Quick short plug for a couple of my favorite series and authors.

Both have updated their covers and now have the series in box sets.

Selkie Moon by Virginia King - three book set. Virginia is working on Book 4. Yay.
You can get this set on Kindle for $14.99. You may want the paperbacks though. Cool covers.



"Selkie Moon’s business card should read Reluctant Psychic.

Travelling the world to run business seminars, she’s drawn into solving mystical mysteries that spring from the local folklore.

Armed with psychic twinges that are hardly reliable, she must untangle the truth from the superstition – and face down the demons in her own mind.

“Imagine an Indiana Jones adventure only on a more personal, psychic level – with mystery and suspense embedded in the bigger picture of self-discovery.” Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

The First Lie
Escaping her abusive husband to start over in Hawaii, suddenly Selkie’s on an odyssey through mystical clues and psychic messages to discover who’s trying to kill her. As the threats escalate, her visions hint at long-buried secrets of love and betrayal – and a danger that lurks closer than she could have imagined. Will she uncover the life-changing truth before time runs out?

The Second Path
1. Selkie wakes one morning to find a bizarre collection of items scattered across the floor, items she gathered in her sleep: a rock, a spoon, a message scrawled in lipstick … What do they all mean? Filled with mythical clues, fear and laughter, her investigation leads her around the globe from Honolulu, to Sydney, then Paris – to unravel the mystery behind the word that keeps haunting her: home.

The Third Note
When Selkie receives a parcel from her great grandmother 35 years after her death, opening it seems like such a bad idea. But curiosity wins and the contents plunge Selkie into long-buried family secrets. Suddenly an old mystery echoes with the present: frightening visions, deadly encounters and a pull from the past that won’t let go. Drawn into a web of psychic clues, Selkie must delve deep into the folklore of Ireland where superstition still weaves a powerful – and fatal – spell.

If you love mysteries that keep you turning the pages – with lightning pace, twists and turns you never see coming, quirky clues and a sprinkling of the supernatural – then you’ll love The Mysteries of Selkie Moon."


2. Onyx Webb by Diandra Archer - nine book set

Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton have released this series with the pen name Diandra Archer and new covers. I love them. I think they are working on another book related to this series...

Onyx Webb (9 Book Series) by  Diandra Archer


"For Onyx Webb, life was difficult. And it hasn't gotten any easier now that she's dead.
After billionaire playboy Koda Mulvaney sees a girl in a mirror, his obsession with her turns his life upside down. After Juniper Cole disappears from her prom in 1979, her brother's best friend becomes the number one suspect. Onyx Webb visits the 1906 World's Fair and what happens there will alter her life forever.

These events begin a dark and twisted web of betrayal, revenge, murder and love. Like binge watching your favorite supernatural show on Netflix, you will get hopelessly entangled by the characters, both dead and alive. If you don't believe in ghosts now, don't worry. You will. 

The only way out is to keep going."
These books are very quick reads and one leads to the next, so I recommend you get the nine book series. Through Kindle Unlimited, the set is only $34. BUT the covers are so awesome, you may want to get the paperbacks.
If you want to take a closer look, here is the website:

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton on Masterpiece.

Did you watch the first episode of The Miniaturist on Masterpiece last Sunday?

I kept seeing the ads for it but ignored it. When I got an email from our local PBS station about it, and read it, I tuned in. I had no idea it was kind of a mystery. Would you call it that?
So I watched it and was spellbound. No pun intended. What's more, I realized of have the ebook and hadn't looked at it. Geez.


Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam--a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion--a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant.

"There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . ."

On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office--leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.

But Nella's world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist--an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .

Johannes' gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand--and fear--the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?

Enchanting, beautiful, and exquisitely suspenseful, The Miniaturist is a magnificent story of love and obsession, betrayal and retribution, appearance and truth."

This television adaptation has wonderful scenery and costumes. It is also very eerie. Nella's mother encourages Nella to accept a marriage to Johannes Brandt, a man she has never met. He will pay off the family debts if Nella agrees to marry him. When Nella arrives at the house, Johannes isn't there to greet her. Only two servants and Marin, Johannes' sister are there. She is stern and weird. Right away, she won't let Nella keep her parakeet she has brought with her, in her room. He is banished to the kitchen. (I am a little worried about him.) Marin instructs Nella to keep the huge draperies opened at all times so the town can see Johannes' "new wife".

As above, Johannes finally shows up and gives her a large replica of the house, to do with what she wants. Marin puts her in touch with a person in town that can make miniatures for it. When Nella visits the shop, there is no one there and it is closed. But she places her order for a few items under the door. Her order is delivered but in addition to what she ordered, there are other items that she did not order. A cradle. A replica of Johanne's dog. A desk including a key. A chair. Dolls of Johannes and Marin. Nella promptly stands the Marin doll on her head in her room. lol

Soon Nella realizes the things are exactly as things in her room, i.e. the chair. She freaks out, sure that someone is spying on her and sends a note to pay for the items but says she will not order anything else.

Johanne is kind of nice to her, bought her a bunch of new dresses to show her off in etc. But otherwise he ignores her. Between his treatment of her and the creepy "doll house",  Nella is not very happy. 

I won't spoil the ending of the first episode. I highly recommend this series. It is creepy and mysterious. 

 There are two more episodes. Sunday's on PBS, 7 p.m. central time.  Looks like you will have to watch the first online, but well worth it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Great American Read

Thought this was worth sharing.

The Great American Read Season Two series starts tonight on PBS at 7 p.m. central time. You may have seen an opportunity to vote for your favorite book this summer. This series will feature the top 100 American books based on this national survey. I voted for a couple of my favorites and am pleased to see them on the list.

"THE GREAT AMERICAN READ is an eight-part series that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey)*.  It investigates how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience.  

The television series features entertaining and informative documentary segments, with compelling testimonials from celebrities, authors, notable Americans and book lovers across the country. It is comprised of a two-hour launch episode in which the list of 100 books is revealed, five one-hour theme episodes that examine concepts common to groups of books on the list, and a finale, in which the results are announced of a nationwide vote to choose America’s best-loved book.  

The series is the centerpiece of an ambitious multi-platform digital, educational and community outreach campaign, designed to get the country reading and passionately talking about books.

*PBS does not endorse any titles on the top 100 list."

Check out the website.
They list of books is available with a check list so you can check off which ones you have read. You can still vote for your favorites. There is a Great American Read NY Crossword Puzzle, a Great American Read book club and other resources. 

Looks like I have read 27 of the 100 books and seen 25 of the movies, some of which I have seen the movie but have not read the book. Also, I think I can put my hands on 5-10 others that are in my house from when my kids read them in school. 

Fun for a book lover to peruse. I will be watching the series.

How many of the books have you read?

Friday, August 24, 2018

Featuring on Friday - Gigi Pandian

The last author I am going to feature is Gigi Pandian. I don't remember how I found her books but really like them.


Gigi Pandian

"I’m Gigi Pandian, a USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning mystery author, breast cancer survivor, and accidental almost-vegan. I write the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mystery series (about a globe-trotting Indian-American historian), and the Accidental Alchemist mysteries (about an alchemist and a gargoyle chef in Portland, Oregon).

I’m the only child of cultural anthropologist parents from New Mexico and the southern tip of India. I spent my childhood being dragged around the world on their research trips, and that’s when I started writing stories that were a cross between Agatha Christie and Indiana Jones. It’s what I still do today.

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my husband and a gargoyle who watches over our backyard organic vegetable garden. My debut mystery novel, Artifact, was awarded a Malice Domestic Grant and named a “Best of 2012” Debut Novel by Suspense Magazine, and several of my other books and stories have gone on to win additional mystery awards. Yes, this has been a fun ride! I’m now six years cancer-free, and I’m having a wonderful time on this journey."
Gigi writes two series and short stories.
1. The Accidental Alchemist series - 3 books in the series with #4 coming out January 2019
The Accidental Alchemist, The Masquerading Magician, The Elusive Elixir. The Alchemist Illusion is coming out in 2019.
An Accidental Alchemist Mystery (4 Book Series) by  Gigi Pandian
"Unpacking her belongings in her new hometown of Portland, Oregon, herbalist and reformed alchemist Zoe Faust can’t help but notice she’s picked up a stowaway. Dorian Robert-Houdin is a living, breathing three-and-half-foot gargoyle—not to mention a master of French cuisine—and he needs Zoe’s expertise to decipher a centuries-old text. Zoe, who’s trying to put her old life behind her, isn’t so sure she wants to reopen her alchemical past . . . until the dead man on her porch leaves her no choice."
Zoe gets involved in local mysteries in town while trying to figure out how to keep Dorian from turning back to stone. Dorian is/was master chef and cooks up lots of delicious cuisine while Zoe solves mysteries. I have read two of the three Alchemist books and really like the story line. I love the character Dorian the gargoyle. He is a lovable character, not an ominous, scary gargoyle like you think of on old buildings. And I like whimsical, odd characters.
Bonus: the books include recipes from Gigi. I make the Vegan Oatmeal cookies once or twice a month. So good and good for you.
2. Jaya Jones Adventure Series: 5 books in the series
Artifact, Pirate Vishnu, Quicksand, Michelangelo's Ghost, The Ninja's Illusion
A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery (5 Book Series) by  Gigi Pandian
"When historian Jaya Jones receives a mysterious package containing a jewel-encrusted artifact from India, she discovers the secrets of a lost Indian treasure may be hidden in a Scottish legend from the days of the British Raj.

But she’s not the only one on the trail.

From San Francisco to the Highlands of Scotland, Jaya must evade a shadowy stalker as she follows hints from the hastily scrawled note to a remote archaeological dig.

Helping her decipher the cryptic clues are her magician best friend, a devastatingly handsome art historian with something to hide, and a charming archaeologist running for his life.

When a member of the dig’s crew is murdered, Jaya must figure out which of the scholars vying for her affections might be the love of her life—and which one is a killer. "
Short Stories:
1. The Library Ghost of Tanglewood Inn: A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery
"An unsolved murder from the 1930s.
A ghost story to explain the impossible crime.
A dead man in the haunted library.
And no way for the authorities to reach the survivors until the snowstorm clears…

A snowstorm waylays Jaya Jones and Tamarind Ortega. It seems almost too good to be true that they find rooms for the night in beautiful old inn—until they find a dead man clutching an Agatha Christie novel in the secluded hotel’s library. Worse yet, Tamarind is accused of the crime.

To clear her friend, Jaya must delve into the history of the hotel’s haunted library. The present-day mystery is eerily similar to a mysterious unsolved death in the 1930s—could it be the work of the library’s avenging ghost?"
This is a "locked room mystery. I have read it and it is excellent. This has opened my eyes to the Jaya Jones series.
2. Six anthologies of locked room mysteries featuring Jaya Jones stories
Malice Domestic Most Conventional
Katherine Hall Page Presents Malice Domestic 11: Murder Most Conventional
Asian Pulp
Boucheron Anthology: Murder at the Beach
Fish Tales: The Guppy Anthology
Fish Nets: The Second Guppy Anthology
Sisters In Crime Los Angeles: Ladies Night
Other People's Baggage: Three interconnected mystery novellas
Coming out in October 2018 is The Cambodian Curse & Other Stories: A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Short Story Collection. These are stories from the above anthologies written by Gigi. 

"A treasure trove of nine locked room mysteries. Appearing here for the first time, novelette The Cambodian Curse:  When an ancient and supposedly cursed Cambodian sculpture disappears from an impenetrable museum, and the carving’s owner is killed by an invisible assailant while a witness is a few feet away, historian Jaya Jones and her old nemesis Henry North team up to solve the baffling crime.
Stories included: “The Cambodian Curse,” “The Hindi Houdini,” “The Haunted Room,” “The Library Ghost of Tanglewood Inn,” “The Curse of Cloud Castle,” “Tempest in a Teapot,” “A Dark and Stormy Light,” “The Shadow of the River,” plus bonus novella Fool’s Gold."
It is available for preorder. I have mine queued up.

You can read more about Gigi, how she came to writing books, all of her research adventures and more of her bio at this link. She is very interesting and I recommend her books if you like adventure/treasure hunting books, mysteries with whimsy and/or locked room mysteries. And I love the covers of her books.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Fields' Guide to Abduction by Julie Mulhern

Julie Mulhern has a new series; Poppy Fields Adventures.

I read the first book; Fields' Guild to Abduction a few weeks ago and really enjoyed it.


"Poppy Fields, Hollywood IT girl extraordinaire, agreed to a week at the newest, most luxurious resort in Cabo. After all, what's better than the beach when a girl is feeling blue? When Poppy is abducted, she'll need all her smarts, all her charm, and a killer Chihuahua, to save herself in this new series from the USA TODAY bestselling author of The Country Club Murders.

Dead body #1 found in bed, with me. That was a shock.

Dead body #2 found in bed, not with me. That was a relief.

Dead body #3 died telling me I’m a lousy actress. I already knew that.

Dead body #4 died trying to kill me.

Dead body #5 died kidnapping me.

Dead body #6 died guarding me.

Dead body #7 was a really bad man.

Dead body #8 was an even worse man.

That's a lot of dead bodies for a girl looking for a week's relaxation in Cabo. And, I’m probably leaving a few out—math isn’t my thing. Unless I can escape the cartel, I might be the next dead body."

Poppy is the daughter of a famous actress. She was raised around actors/actresses, has plenty of money etc. When her boyfriend dies of an apparent overdose, she needs to get away. She has an offer to go to a resort in Mexico as part of a PR event, all expenses paid. Sounds like just what she needs.

This was such a good book! Poppy may be rich, and have everything at her beck and call but she can take care of herself. All the money and "things" are just fluff. Poppy gets into quite a predicament but out smarts the bad guys. The writing is great. You will feel like you are right there with Poppy. I "jumped" several times and shouted "no don't do that!".  She meets up with Consuelo, a Chihuahau  whom she bonds with. Small but mighty. You will be rooting for the dog too.

I am looking forward to the next Poppy adventure. which is in the works.

I received a free copy and voluntarily provided this review.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Featuring on Fridays - Chris Patchell

This week I want to talk about Chris Patchell. She is back on my reading radar this week.
I read her first Holt Series book, In The Dark and loved it. While waiting for the second book in the series, I got off in the book weeds and missed it. BUT In The Dark stuck with me and with her newsletter this week, the little bell went off in my head. Yoo Hoo! You wanted to read her next book and now look! She has even more!

Chris Patchell

About Chris:

"Chris Patchell is the bestselling author of In the Dark and the Indie Reader Discovery Award winning novel Deadly Lies. A tech worker by day and a writer by night, Chris Patchell pens gritty suspense novels set in the Pacific Northwest.

Writing has been a lifelong passion for Chris. She fell in love with storytelling in the third grade when her half-page creative writing assignment turned into a five-page story on vampires. Even back then Chris had a gift for writing intricate plots that were so good her father refused to believe she didn't steal them from comic books.

Her novels have been praised by Kevin O’Brien and Robert Dugoni, and her rich complex plot lines and well-drawn characters will keep you turning pages well into the night. When she’s not shipping software or writing books, Chris is hanging out with her husband, kids, and two crazy dogs."

1. Holt Foundation Series:

In The Dark: A Holt Foundation Story #1
Huffington Post Top Indie Books of 2016
Indie Books Top 10 Readers Choice June 2017
In the Dark

"Marissa Rooney stands in her daughter’s empty dorm room, a half-used vial of insulin clutched in her trembling hand. Brooke has been missing for days. Her roommate hasn’t seen her since that night in the bar. And if Marissa has Brooke’s insulin, it means that Brooke does not. But Marissa isn’t alone in her terror. A phantom from her past is lurking in the shadows, waiting in the night, and holding her family captive…
In the dark."
I read this book when it came out. It is a real page turner. 
Dark Harvest: A Holt Foundation Story #2
Dark Harvest (A Holt Foundation Story Book 2)

"When a single-mother-to-be goes missing on a snowy Seattle night, the investigators at the Holt Foundation fear that the police have zeroed in on the wrong suspect. With the baby's due date weeks away, two lives hang in the balance as the harrowing search for the missing woman unfolds.
For single-mother Marissa Rooney, the case feels personal. With her own daughter still recovering from the trauma of being kidnapped, Marissa is torn between trying to help her daughter recover and her growing responsibilities at the foundation. Her fragile new relationship with the scarred widower, Seth Crawford, adds another layer of complication to an already difficult situation.
Then a second pregnant woman goes missing.
As the Holt Foundation's chief investigator, Seth desperately races to unravel the threads linking the two missing women and their babies. His success or failure could mean the difference between life or death for another innocent woman and her unborn child. Then a chilling clue surfaces, revealing a sinister motive behind the crime. With time running out, Marissa has a secret of her own that could make her the target of a madman and throw all their lives into jeopardy.
Entangled in the roots of a growing madness, Seth and Marissa are in a race against time to stop a killer before he can reap his dark harvest..."
2. Jill Shannon Murder Series
Deadly Lies: Jill Shannon Murder Series Book One
Winner of the 2015 Indie Reader Discovery Award for Best Fiction
Indie Book Award 2015
Deadly Lies"As a teenager, Jill Shannon fell victim to her stepfather's cruel abuse. Now, as an adult, Jill's made it-she has a successful career and a solid, if not static, marriage to Detective Alex Shannon. Together they live out what seems to be a perfect life in Seattle.
The vow she made as a teenager to never again be a victim lies dormant-until one day a reporter lures her to his hotel room under the pretense of an interview-and suddenly it all comes rushing back.
Jill seeks revenge on the reporter, triggering a series of events that leads Jill down a wormhole of retribution, forcing her to spin an ever-widening web of lies.
Meanwhile, Alex is on the case of a series of murders that began as cyber relationships. There seems to be a familiar fingerprint on these crimes, but Alex refuses to believe that the murderer could be so close to him."

For those who couldn't put down The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo comes a thrilling ride a la Mr. and Mrs. Smith, where husband and wife stand on opposite sides of a divide created by lies and rooted in a dark and deadly past."

Vow of Silence: Jill Shannon Murder Series Book Two
Winner of the Pacific Northwest Literary Contest for Best Mystery/Thriller 

Vow of Silence (The Jill Shannon Murder Series Book 2)
"Vows made in silence will scream the truth.

Five years after the brutal slaying of her husband, software executive Jill Shannon is ready to take the next step in her life. But with her wedding to prosecuting attorney Conner Manning just eight weeks away, her future father-in-law’s political ambitions for her fiancĂ© threaten all her hopes. Jill’s past holds dark secrets. Secrets she can’t afford to have exposed under the relentless lights of a political campaign. 
When Phoenix Detective David Shaw turns up at Jill’s door asking questions about a reporter's murder, he has no idea what a lethal Pandora’s Box he’s just opened. Was the womanizing reporter killed by a jealous husband, or was it related to his drug use? Or did it have something to do with the secret expose the reporter was working on? Jill Shannon looks like a dead-end lead but Shaw can’t shake the feeling the beautiful widow has secrets she’s not sharing.
Jill is caught between the sins of her past and the shattered hopes for her future. Shaw finds himself drawn deeper into a twisted labyrinth of lies and danger. One thing is clear: some vows are made out loud in front of witnesses. But some vows are made in silence, and witnesses can’t be left alive. "

Mostly Murder Till Death is a mystery anthology that Chris contributed to.


"Collected here are eleven mysteries; ten of them brand new. We are proud to include a classic short by Lawrence Block, New York Times bestselling author and Mystery Writers of America Grand Master.
Open this collection and plunge into the stories... some grim and bloody, some light and even a little bit funny. You won't know what you're getting into until you reach the end of each cunning mystery."

Chris's story is Forsaking All Others: A home invasion turns deadly for Mally and Jack Gardiner, whose rocky marriage is built upon a twisted bed of lies."

Although I have only read one of these books, I really recommend them if you like thrillers. All of the reviews are excellent and I really liked In The Dark. 

Here is Chris's website:

You can also go back and read my review of In The Dark. 

Excuse me. I have to get reading.