Posted in Book Reviews, Diane Morasco, Diane Morasco Reviews, Uncategorized

eBook Review: Breaking a Legend by Sarah Robinson

Breaking-a-Legend_Robinson-2Synopsis: As one of the big names at his family’s gym, Legends, MMA star Rory Kavanagh is used to being in the spotlight—until a gruesome leg injury knocks him out of the cage. Rory is left feeling sidelined in more ways than one, battling the inner demons that come with losing the one shot at his dreams. Then Clare walks into his life and gives him a new dream: winning her heart. There aren’t many new faces in Woodlawn these days, but this tough, beautiful stranger makes Rory want to get his life back into fighting shape.

 

Clare Ivers doesn’t think she’ll be able to tell anyone what really brought her to the close-knit Bronx neighborhood where she just started bartending. But her life’s on pause and her past is catching up fast, try as she might to move on—with new friends, steady work, and a chiseled alpha male trying to get her attention. Even though Rory’s more than a little intense, she can’t deny that her heart beats faster when he looks at her with those soulful silver eyes. Clare thought she was done with love, but Rory might just be man enough to show her she thought wrong.

My thoughts: Robinson’s prose is sumptuous. Robinson’s storytelling is unequivocally spellbinding. The way Robinson creates gut-wrenching, fall on your knees, richly constructed raw emotion is absolutely flawless.

Clare and Rory are magic, mesmerizing and memorable. Robinson sketched legendary characters who harken back to unforgettable lovers of remarkable timeless literary fiction.

Even the most stoic of readers cannot escape shedding warm tears from the beautifully crafted introduction to the Kavanagh family the proficient Robinson has created with Breaking a Legend.

 

Breaking a Legend is a masterful narration brimming with courage, excitement, hope, redemption, spice, and spectacular, heart-wrenching, gripping prose that leaves you breathless!

Sarah Robinson’s writing is liquid velvet.

 

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

 

Review first appeared in Long Island Book Reviews Examiner.

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Posted in A Writer's Life, Book Reviews, Diane Morasco Interviews, Diane Morasco's Writers on Writing, Uncategorized, Writers on Writing

Writers on Writing: Patti Benning

REV BBQ kindle coverPatti Benning has lived in Marquette Michigan for what seems like forever, and she absolutely wouldn’t trade it for the world. Benning has a loving and supportive hubby, and furry friends Sadie and Rags, who seem to be constantly underfoot, which is just fine with her. Benning was the editor of her high school newspaper and has written short stories, just for fun, ever since she can remember. When Benning’s not tapping out Cozies on her faithful, and still running, laptop, she loves working in her vegetable garden and cooking, of course. Readers often ask Benning for recipes, but unfortunately, she is one of those gals who just puts in a sprinkle of this, and a dash of that, tasting as she goes. Benning has made every dish that is described in the Darling Deli series, with varying degrees of success, and fortunately, her hubs is very patient with her cooking adventures.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned about writing?

To take creative criticism to heart and learn from it. Being a writer means having so many people read your writing in all of its various stages – if I’m too sensitive, I might miss out on a learning experience, so I try to take comments in stride.

 

How has this helped you as a writer?

Well, it certainly keeps me humble. I get so excited when readers really love my story, but I learn a ton from the ones who don’t, as well as through the editing and proofreading process. When a manuscript gets bounced back to me for a revision, I don’t take it personally, I just try really hard to make it better the next time. No matter how much I write, I am still learning and evolving as a writer every day.

 

Mac or PC?

Definitely. I have just now joined in on the 21st century and created my very first Author Facebook Page! I’m pretty shy about using new technology.

 

Do you use Word or Scrivener?

I use Word and have never tried Scrivener. Word is just so user-friendly and that is just what I need.

 

Do you write or take notes with an iPad or tablet?

I use good old fashioned pen and paper when I take notes. I have a notebook right next to me at all times and am always writing something down to help me stay organized. I even keep one in my handbag for when I am on the go and get a crazy idea and need to jot it down.

 

Do you have any writing rituals?

I like to write when I first wake up in the morning. I feel like I am at my best at about 5am. I make myself a cup of tea and head over to my desk in the den that overlooks the back yard and get right down to it. I generally get several hours in every morning.

 

Do you start by writing or researching first?

I don’t do a huge amount of research, but when I’m working on a new book, I do like to get an outline going that I TRY to follow. I spend some time checking out new recipes though, and that’s always a ton of fun!

 

Favorite spot to write in the winter?

My den, except instead of sitting at my desk, I curl up in my lounge chair and grab my laptop and work from there. There’s just something about being warm and cozy that helps get the creative juices flowing.

 

Favorite spot to write in the summer?

Out by the pool, for sure. Usually around mid-May we get it opened up for the year and I just love sitting out on my little patio with a cold glass of lemonade and a snack, feeling the sun shine down.
Visit Patti’s FB page for all the latest news.

 

 

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

Posted in Book Reviews, Diane Morasco, Diane Morasco Reviews, Uncategorized

eBook Review: Clambake Murder by Summer Prescott

 

SPCBMSynopsis: Clambake Caterer Becca Rogers is back from her Caribbean vacation ready to plunge headlong into the busy season. With back to back weddings and more beachfront clambakes than she can handle, Becca has no idea of the heart-pounding thrills and chills she’s about to experience, and how grateful she’ll be to be rescued by her hero-in-residence, the handsome and shy Detective Lance Reynolds.

My thoughts: It is evident with this second outing Summer Prescott is a talent to watch. Clambake Murder is an entertaining blend of courage, fun, homicide, mystery, quirkiness, and tenderness nestled in a novella.

Clambake Murder showcases the wide range Prescott has as a storyteller. With Clambake Murder it is clear Prescott found both her confidence and footing to deliver to readers the goods by digging deeper with character, plot and setting. She blew the first book in the series out of the water and I LOVED that one. Kudos to Prescott for writing in panoramic view as opposed to a simple snapshot on an old Fuji.

 

I have no doubt that the talented Prescott’s storytelling skills are akin to fine wine – she will only get better with age…as in with each book she writes.

 

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

Posted in Book Reviews, Diane Morasco, Diane Morasco Reviews, Uncategorized

eBook Review: New England Clam Murder by Summer Prescott

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Synopsis: Divorced caterer Becca Rogers feels more than a little bit out of her league when she roams the ballrooms of the rich and shameless, serving the finest seafood in the region. Finding herself smack dab in the middle of a very mysterious set of circumstances when her ex-husband’s new socialite wife is murdered, Becca’s normal existence gets turned upside down as she learns that nothing is as it seems and no one can be trusted.

 

My thoughts: New England Clam Murder is addictive, entertaining, lively, and just plain ole’ fun! I could not put New England Clam Murder down. In fact, I scoffed this little snack bite read in a snap…and went for seconds…as in the second installment of this delightful series. Yes, there are editing flaws. Yes, the scene breaks aren’t tightly constructed, but that doesn’t hinder the enjoyable time readers will have getting to know Becca.

 

Prescott’s Rocky Cove series has a promising start and is definitely worth expanding beyond a two book tease. The characters are charming. The New England setting is accurately depicted. The plot is firm. Prescott should be applauded for not scribbling flimsy red-herrings as frivolous filler to create an unpalatable whodunit, which sadly, seems to be the norm with drivel disguised as mysteries of late.

New England Clam Murder is a short story that leaves readers wishing it was a full-length volume; however, despite the truncated word count, New England Clam Murder is worth investing your priceless reading time with.

New England Clam Murder is a must for mystery enthusiasts wanting to be amused.

 

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

Posted in Book Reviews, Diane Morasco, Diane Morasco Reviews, Uncategorized

eBook Review: Invitation to Murder by Beth Prentice

InvitationtoMurder (2)Synopsis: When Alexandra Anderson is invited to a work place reunion at the television station where she formerly worked, she’s excited to catch up with old friends. And the theme of the reunion is a Murder Mystery Party, so that should be fun, right? Wrong! Alexandra’s first horror is coming face-to-face with her ex-boyfriend and his brand new, gorgeous wife. Second, the party happens to coincide with one of the worst storms of the season, knocking out utility lines and cell service. And when her less-than-beloved ex-boss becomes the Murder Party’s fake victim, Alexandra and her “team” are tasked with solving the fake murder before anyone else. The only bright spot? The sexy cameraman on Alex’s team with the sparkling blue eyes and soft, full lips.

 

But what starts out as a game becomes all too real when Alexandra stumbles upon the actual dead body of her ex’s new wife. Did someone take the game too seriously? Is there a real murderer among the party-goers? Can following the clues to a fake murder help Alex solve a real one? Trapped by the storm, with “players” disappearing and time running out, Alex finds herself in the middle of a deadly game of cat and mouse… where not everyone will make it out alive!

 

My thoughts: *double whistle* Beth Prentice has crafted an extremely addictive, edge-of-your-seat, splendidly layered, suspense-filled page-turner with the brilliantly written Invitation to Murder.

Wow! Invitation to Murder is a mystery aficionado’s buttercream-frosting-cherries-on-top decadent treat kinda read. Prentice is unequivocally a prose bombshell. Which makes this a must read for summer on the beach, on the shore, on a boat, at the cabin, on the lake, on your patio, on the lawn, on your couch, on a recliner, in bed, on a plane, train or bus…you get my drift.

 

Prentice’s storytelling skills are smokin’ hot! As the mystery unfolds, readers will wonder what on earth is going to happen next with Alex, as they feverishly flip pages. Please note, “whilst” in the process of devouring Alex’s adventure, readers may even forget to exhale as they experience the tightly woven mystery Prentice has proficiently designed unfold.

 

The secondary players are as three-dimensionally sketched as the protagonist and that is a mark of not only a noteworthy writer, but a remarkable reader who delivers the goods she likes to receive in her reading excursions.

Prentice’s Invitation to Murder is an invitation to one of the most delectable mystery jaunts you will encounter in your life! Pssst- remember to breathe!

 

Visit Prentice’s website.

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

 

Review first appeared in Long Island Book Reviews Examiner.

Posted in Book Reviews, Diane Morasco, Diane Morasco Reviews, Uncategorized

eBook Review: Grilled and Seasoned with Murder by J R Pearson

JPJRB1Synopsis: Josie Rizzo has a lot on her plate. (Double bacon cheeseburger not included).

She and her furry companion, Petey, set out to start fresh in the food loving town of Greenville. Josie is excited to introduce the readers of her food blog to the town’s delicious creations.

But when a young woman is murdered at a local burger joint, Josie must sacrifice all she has planned to accomplish to prevent a person from her past from being wrongly accused of the woman’s death.

And things start to heat up when the killer sets his sights on Josie.

Will she be able to enjoy Greenville’s belly-rubbing cuisines and begin a new chapter in her life?

Or will the killer cut Josie’s dreams short and make sure that basket of onion rings are her last?

 

My thoughts: Despite the slight editing blemishes my eyes discovered, but my mind promptly revised, J R Pearson is the breakout cozy mystery debut star of 2016!

Pearson’s Josie Rizzo Cozy Mystery – with a culinary twist – radiantly captures the essence of a smart, sparkling, stylish contemporary cozy mystery.

Pearson’s Grilled and Seasoned with Murder is sassy, scrumptious and savvy. Pearson effortlessly delivers the goods and keeps readers salivating for more.

Amateur sleuth Josie Rizzo is a stellar standout and Pearson simply ignites with her energizing cozy debut. Warning: Petey  will steal your heart!

Pearson’s storytelling is flawless. Pearson breathes new life into a genre that is excessively saturated, exceedingly cooked and desperately decayed with the same old drivel.

Many seasoned scribes in both the cozy genre and the culinary cozy subgenre need to follow Pearson’s lead and shake up the game or turn in their chocolate chips.

Pearson is undeniably a star on the rise and is reviving the cozy and culinary categories, not to mention, setting a blaze under the complacent buttery buttocks who churn out the same ole’ same ole’ recycled slop.

Pearson is Good Readin’ for the Cozy Readers Soul!DM JRQ

Visit J R Pearson’s website.

Click here to read J R’s Writers on Writing interview.

 

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco

Posted in Book Reviews, Diane Morasco Reviews, Uncategorized

eBook Review: Passion, Poison & Puppy Dogs by Elizabeth Ashby, Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00026]Synopsis: When Lizzie Jones, pet sitter extraordinaire, is asked to watch over her best friend’s two spoiled dogs at the posh gated community of Craggy Hill Estates, the last thing she expects is to wind up in the middle of a homicide. But that’s exactly what happens when she finds her best friend’s cheating husband and Danger Cove’s celebrity bodybuilder champ, Mr. Jupiter, floating face down in his hot tub. To make matters worse, the police aren’t looking any further than the wife for a suspect—isn’t it always the wife? Well, not in this case—at least Lizzie refuses to believe it.

Between dealing with Craggy Hill’s hot security guard, Tino Morales—who also just happens to be the man who broke Lizzie’s heart in high school, caring for her grieving friend, and watching three rambunctious dogs, Lizzie has her hands full. So she recruits her famous granddad, retired network field correspondent, Jimmy John Jones, to help her put two and two together to find the real killer. Was Mr. Jupiter murdered by one of his women on the side? A jealous, disgruntled employee? Or someone with a bitter and deep-seated hatred of the superstar? It’s up to Lizzie, Jimmy John, and Lizzie’s own pug, Vader, to crack the case before the killer claims another victim…this one much closer to Lizzie’s own heart!

 

My thoughts: If Jessica Fletcher were to ever pull up stakes and leave Cabot Cove due to a decline in body count, I know she would end up in Danger Cove where the bodies are plentiful!
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Move over Batman and Robin, Smith and Steffens are the coolest, sharpest and wittiest crime fighting duo to come along since you donned your tights! Ba-Bam!

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This series installment written by the extremely gifted Smith and Steffens team reveals just the precise meld of animal adoration, juicy storytelling goodness and a well-plotted mystery to hook readers to the Danger Cove series and the pair’s well-stocked backlist.

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Passion, Poison & Puppy Dogs introduces an intriguing new sleuth with the energizing Lizzie Jones and endearing sidekicks guaranteed to charm readers of all genres and leave them famished for more.EAshby

The duo’s captivating Pet Sitter installment does an outstanding job at further layering the foundation in the Danger Cove community.

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Passion, Poison & Puppy Dogs is littered with rollicking laughter, a dazzlingly romance with delectable banter, a cache of whimsical characters to showcase interminable and untapped opportunities while superbly illustrating just what makes a cozy a cozy.

 

 

Copyright © 2016 by Diane Morasco