Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Death of Kitchen Diva by Lee Hollis Book Review

Hayley Powell is a single mom who likes to cook and is the new food columnist with her newspaper. Her rival on the other newspaper is devious and determined to outdo her, even if it means stealing her recipe. Hayley gets angry enough about it to threaten her with death. When she's the one to find Karen dead, she's also a major suspect...

Kensington sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you). It's available now at your local bookstore.

Hayley is trying hard to find some extra income to help pay for repair of their home and the children's sports activities. She's thrilled to have the chance to write another column and get an extra $50 a week. But she sure didn't expect to be suspected of murder. She also didn't expect half the town to believe it could be true.

This is a cozy set in Maine with some zany characters. Hayley's two best friends are a beautiful real estate agent who dresses the best in town and a relaxed lobster woman who always seems to be pregnant. When she gets in trouble, they attempt to help her solve the crime to protect her.

This is a fun light read that will make you smile as you watch the girls go through their various antics. This author keeps you busy with the various relationships and the distinct lack of clues. There are seven recipes in the book, too. Of course, Hayley's investigation goes around the edges of legal. That makes it even more complex when the police chief is her brother's boyfriend.

I enjoyed my walk through Bar Harbor, Maine. Why not get a copy of this book and see what you think of the neighborhood?

Jo Ann Hakola
4225 Harrison St
Las Cruces, NM 88005
Proud Member of IOBA, Independent Online Booksellers Association

Monday, March 12, 2012

So Pretty It Hurts by Kate White Book Review

Bailey Weggins is back and now she's involved with the high and mighty of the fashion world. Being beautiful does not always mean you're nice...

HarperCollins sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you). This book is being published this month, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

This was my first read about Bailey Weggins and the author does an excellent job of writing an interesting story and introducing you to the world of high fashion. It's not uncommon for the women trying to be successful finding themselves falling victim to pills, drugs, starvation, heart attacks and other illnesses. But this death was no natural accident. Someone combined medications and caused Devon's death.

Since Bailey was staying at the home where the death occurred that weekend, she isn't willing to walk away from the story. She's a journalist that is after a hot story but is also an investigator that loves a mystery.

The people in this story are all a bit warped. You don't get to the top of fashion modelling by being shy or kind. It's a scramble to the top and you climb person by person until you're the one on the top of the mountain. Then the rest of the ladies attempt to knock you off the mountain.

This author gives you lots of suspects to think about, lots of twisted relationships, and the ending is one of the most ironic I've read in a while. I won't spoil it for you, but it really grabbed me and was the final finishing touch on a good story. Payback is a bitch.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Night She Disappeared by April Henry Book Review

He had it all figured out. He picked a nice submissive young lady and noted that she did pizza deliveries. Then he placed an order to fictitious address and kidnapped her. But the girl's had switched days and he got the wrong one...

Henry Holt, a division of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group and Net Galley allowed me to read this as an ebook for review (thank you). It will be published March 13th, check with your local bookstore for a copy.

This is a scary story because it could very well happen. The story is written for young adults but it's strong enough older readers will enjoy it, too.

Drew answered the phone and took the order and ignored the guy's comment about the girl who drove the Mini Cooper. When Kayla doesn't return, he calls the police. All he remembers is what pizza the guy ordered, he didn't give him any other clues. There is no sign of Kayla.

When Drew tells Gabie that the caller asked about her Mini Cooper, she realizes that she was the intended victim and she won't give up trying to find Kayla. The police believe she's dead, so they aren't a lot of help.

Drew and Gabie both have some issues in their personal life (don't we all?) and as they work together to try to find Kayla, they have to admit some of things they were hiding at work. It's all very believable.

This author makes her characters strong and determined. They won't give up. I like that attribute in people and I liked this book.

If dark areas of the mind bother you, this book will make you shiver.

Happy reading.


Jo Ann Hakola
4225 Harrison St
Las Cruces, NM 88005
Proud Member of IOBA, Independent Online Booksellers Association

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Blue Monday by Nicci French Book Review

Rose and her little sister are heading home from school together. She has enough money to stop at the candy store and get some sweets. She checks to see that her sister is right behind her and goes in for the candy. And that was the last time she saw her sister...

Pamela Dorman Books, a division of Penguin, and Net Galley allowed me to read an ebook for review (thank you). It will be published on March 5th.

If you like thrillers, this book fits the bill. It's the story of little boy who has gone missing in the present and the little girl that went missing twenty-two years ago. It begins a bit slowly as details are presented and the characters involved begin to take their places. Once the pace increases, the story becomes a fascinating look at psychological mind games and the relationship between twins who don't know each other.

The main characters are the cop and the psychiatrist. Neither likes the other person much, but they have to work together to find this missing child. Along the way, they discover much more.

I can honestly that the last few pages of this book scared me. There is a twist at the end that I did not see coming and it made me stop and stare in horror. This author had me hooked on the story and the characters and that's part of why the impact was so extreme.

Why don't you get a copy and see how you feel about the ending?

Happy reading.


Jo Ann Hakola
Las Cruces, NM 88005



2 tbs roughly chopped parsley or cilantro

16 corn tortillas

3 cups shredded chicken


1/2 cup low fat sour cream

Vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups salsa

6 radishes, thinly sliced

2 limes, 1 halved, 1 cut into wedges

1 avocado, halved, pitted

SCOOP avocado into a blender. Add sour cream and juice of 1/2 lime, pulse until smooth. Season with salt. Squeeze remaining 1/2 lime over radishes in a bowl, sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt. Toss chicken with 3/4 cup salsa in a bowl. Wrap tortillas in paper towels microwave until soft, 45 seconds. Spoon chicken mixture down the middle of tortillas. FOLD in the ends, roll up like a burrito, secure with toothpicks. Heat 3/4" oil in a skillet. Fry rollups until golden brown 3 min. drain on paper towels, remove toothpicks. SERVE with avocado cream, radishes, parsley, lime wedges and remaining salsa...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Far from Here by Nicole Baart Book Review

When her husband flies off to do a temporary job in Alaska as bush pilot, Danica is not happy. She knows she can't stop him, though, flying in Alaska is part of his dream.

Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you). It was published the 7th of February, so you can get a copy at your local bookstore now.

Jo Ann Hakola
4225 Harrison St
Las Cruces, NM 88005
Proud Member of IOBA, Independent Online Booksellers Association

Etsell and Danica were high school sweethearts who married shortly after school. Etsell lived to fly. Danica lived for Etsell and hated flying. After being married ten years, she knew she couldn't get in between Etsell and flying. She'd lose. So she reluctantly lets him go fill in as a bush pilot in Alaska.

When she gets a phone call that tells her he's missing, her life falls apart...

This author has good insight on emotional trauma, the anatomy of marriage, and shows an accurate response to a spouse disappearing. Is Etsell dead or will he be found alive? Is he making his way home now? Or is he gone forever?

None of those questions are quite as clear cut as they seem. The Etsell Danica knew is not the one that went missing in Alaska. And, suddenly, Danica isn't even sure of who she is anymore.

This a novel about a traumatic life event that is written very well and makes you feel like it happened in your life. There are life lessons in this story. It's sad, but it ends with hope. It's well worth a read.

Happy reading.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ali in Wonderland And Other Tall Tales by Ali Wentworth Book Review

Ali Wentworth writes a memoir that is honest, amusing and shocking. This is the story of her life and as you read it you think this couldn't possibly all happen to ONE person. Yes, it can!

HarperCollins sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you). It was published February 7th, so you can find a copy at your local bookstore now.

I was not familiar with Ali but had read that she had a sense of humor, so I decided to try her book. I'm not fond of non-fiction, but this reads like fiction. She pulls no punches talking about her escapades. From well planned ideas that failed to experiences that were less than rewarding, Ali soldiers on with life. She's blunt and honest about her road to adulthood. Ali has traveled more than I would think anyone would in her younger years. She learned more from that than she did from college. And she also learned to use humor to make life more bearable and interesting.

She finds love on a blind date, with a man named George. It wasn't until I started some blurbs online that I learned that "George" is George Stephanopoulos. I'd have married him, too.

This is a very entertaining read that is never boring. If I were to put it in a few words, Ali is nuts. She'd be fun to go out to lunch or dinner with. We may have nothing in common, but the stories she could tell...

This book is a very enjoyable read. If you'd like to get my copy of the ARC, please leave a comment here on my blog and then email me at info at bookfaerie.com with your NAME AND ADDRESS and tell me why you'd like to read the book. I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Happy reading!