Friday, July 20, 2018

Featuring on Friday - Barbara Venkataraman

Happy Friday! Boy is it hot here. Good weekend to stay in and read. :)

I shared the book Engaged in Danger by Barbara Venkataraman this week, so thought I would tell you more about her and all of the books she writes.

About Barbara: 

"Award-winning author Barbara Venkataraman is an attorney and mediator specializing in family law. Her works include: "The Fight for Magicallus", a children's fantasy; "If you'd Just Listened to Me in the First Place", a humorous short story; and three books of humorous essays: "I'm Not Talking about You, Of Course," "A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities," and "A Smidge of Crazy", from her series, "Quirky Essays for Quirky People. Two of her books of humorous essays won the "Indie Book of the Day" award. "Engaged in Danger" was chosen as Book of the Day by and won first place in the Amateur Detective category of the Chanticleer Murder & Mayhem Mystery Writing Competition. Her popular Jamie Quinn Cozy Mystery Series includes: "Death by Didgeridoo," "The Case of the Killer Divorce," "Peril in the Park," "Engaged in Danger" and "Jeopardy in July", the fifth Jamie Quinn mystery! "

Jamie Quinn series: As the blurb says, there are five books in the series. It is a cozy mystery series set in Hollywood Florida. Jamie is a "reluctant attorney" specializing in divorce. She is often trying to decide exactly what she wants to do. I like how the books follow Jamie in a regular day to day routine, interacting with peers, family and friends. Something always happens though and she gets involved in two different situations, that may or may not cross paths. There is also humor sprinkled throughout the books.

Books 1-3: Death by Didgeridoo, Death by Divorce and Peril in the Park are available as a "box" set in paperback, Kindle and Audible.
Book 4: Engaged in Danger
Book 5: Jeopardy in July - (currently listening)


Barbara has also written several non mystery, humorous books.


Quirky Essays for Quirky People includes two book; "A Trip to the Hardware Story and Other Calamities" and "I'm Not Talking About You, Of Course". 

About: A Trip to the Hardware Store"
"These humorous essays explore such quirky topics as: disastrous home repairs, ("A Trip to the Hardware Store"), an unfortunate dinner party ("Dinner is Served"), the truth about lazy people ("Lazy Bones"), the weird life of a debt collector ("Your Account is Past Due") and obsessions with gadgets ("Gadget Girl"). Other essays examine how surreal the aging process is ("Where Did the Time Go?"), why you shouldn't judge a person by their job ("Beyond Belief"), and how to complicate simple transactions ("High Finance").
"I'm Not Talking About You, Of Course"
A collection of humorous insights into important topics ranging from annoying pet people ("I'm Not Talking About You, Of Course"), to analyzing your inner child ("Irrational Fears"), to living like the Amish in the aftermath of a hurricane ("A Jolt of Electricity"). Other essays examine just how much damage can be caused by a sneeze ("It All Started with a Loud Sneeze"), why it is so complicated to buy a tube of toothpaste ("Ask Me No Questions"), how a parent's obsessive hobbies can become an inescapable vortex ("Crazy Hobbies"), and why spending the night in a sleep clinic is like being abducted by probing aliens ("Nightmare at the Sleep Clinic"). "

Teatime with Mrs. Grammar Person
About:  "Fear not, Gentle Writer, Mrs. Grammar Person is here and she has the answers to all of the questions you never thought to ask. As a dedicated and serious grammarian, she will do what it takes to be entertaining and enlightening, but never vulgar or coarse. Heavens, no! Where are her smelling salts? Warm and witty, Mrs. G.P. makes grammar interesting with rhyming, wishful thinking, story-telling and a champagne toast. You are cordially invited to join her for a spot of tea."
I read and reviewed this in April 2017. I really enjoyed it.


If You'd Just Listened to Me in the First Place...
About: "Meet Ella Boudreaux, a self-confessed nag. By no means -- as Ella herself insisted -- is she a negative person. Persistent might be a better word; she is the kind of person you'd ask
for directions if you were lost, or provides you with a long chat while waiting
in line at the grocery store.

"Nobody, and I mean nobody, can nag like I can." Written from a first person point of view, protagonist Ella Boudreaux immediately establishes her unique skill set.

And where has it gotten her? Nowhere, that's where.

She can't hold onto a job and she can't find her true calling, but she knows it's out there. Could a handsome stranger help her find her destiny? Or maybe he was her destiny."

I read and reviewed this also in April and enjoyed it also. It is a short story.

Barbara's most recent set of humorous insights is A Smidge of Crazy.

A Smidge of Crazy

About: A collection of humorous insights into important topics ranging from being targeted by annoying ads ("Nowhere to Hide"), to resorting to symbols when you've forgotten your words ("At a Loss for Words"), to figuring out what door that extra key opens ("My Extra Key"). Other essays examine how sitting is the new smoking (whatever that means), and why it is just so hard to focus when you have the attention span of a gnat." 
This is queued up in my TBR list.

Last but not least is a children's fantasy: The Fight for Magicallus.


About: "While experimenting with a magic wand, two young brothers are pulled into a computer game called: The Fight for Magicallus. In the land of Magicallus, they encounter goblins and knights who are on the brink of war because their ruler has mysteriously disappeared, and the knights blame the goblins! The boys learn of a frightening prophecy that foretells the end of Magicallus. They must find an ancient book hidden in a dragon’s lair before the prophecy comes to pass and they are all destroyed...

Can the boys find their way home? Will the knights and goblins go to war? Or will the dragon destroy them all? With both humor and suspense, this story pulls you in and doesn't let go."

Quite versatile! I haven't read all of Barbara's books but I have read several and really liked them all.
If you want a new cozy series, I recommend Jamie Quinn. If you need a laugh, check out her humorous books. Like fantasy or have children who like fantasy - The Fight for Magicullus looks good and has great reviews.

I hope you will check out Barbara's books. They can be found on Amazon and Goodreads. Her blog is A Trip to the Mobius Strip found at


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