Monday, October 9, 2017

Book Spotlight and Giveaway - The Case of the Clobbered Cad (Nosy Parkers Mysteries) by Debra E. Marvin

Book Synopsis
Inspired by the famous Girl Detective, the members of the Olentangy Heights Girls’ Detective Society, affectionately known as the Nosy Parkers, spent their formative years studying criminology, codes, and capers. Unfortunately, opportunities to put their unique skills to work were thin on the ground in the post-war boom of their little corner of suburbia and they eventually grew up to pursue more sensible careers. Until…

Heather Munro’s youthful devotion to The Girl Detective led to a passion for digging around in history. Now pursuing her Master’s Degree in Celtic Studies, Heather must balance exploring Edinburgh with her determination to excel in her all–male classes at the University. Unfortunately, on her first night working in the Archives room, she discovers the dead body of a visiting professor, the same would-be lothario she’d hoped never to see again.

As clues come to light, it’s clear someone hopes to frame Heather for the murder. Besides her quirky landlady, whom can she trust? How can she clear her name? The police and the American Consul have plenty of suspects, but only two seem to have both motive and opportunity: Heather and the quiet Scottish historian she longs to trust.

Author Bio
Debra E. Marvin tries not to run too far from real life but the imagination born out of being an only child has a powerful draw. Besides, the voices in her head tend to agree with all the sensible things she says. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, and serves on the board of Bridges Ministry in Seneca Falls, NY. She is published with WhiteFire Publishing, Forget Me Not Romances, and contracted with Journey Fiction, and a judge for the Grace Awards for many years. Debra works as a program assistant at Cornell University, and enjoys her family and grandchildren, obsessively buying fabric, watching British programming and traveling with her childhood friends.

Author Links:
Amazon Author Page

Buy Links
Amazon  B&N  kobo

(1) Prize Package Including Paperback of The Case of the Clobbered Cad --Paperback of The Counterfeit Clue --Hardcover of The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes (Nancy Drew)-- and a hand quilted table runner in shades of green.  Ends 10/23.
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Book Review - Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller

Book Synopsis

In this novel authorized by the Little House Heritage Trust, Sarah Miller vividly recreates the beauty, hardship, and joys of the frontier in a dazzling work of historical fiction, a captivating story that illuminates one courageous, resilient, and loving pioneer woman as never before—Caroline Ingalls, “Ma” in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved Little House books.

In the frigid days of February, 1870, Caroline Ingalls and her family leave the familiar comforts of the Big Woods of Wisconsin and the warm bosom of her family, for a new life in Kansas Indian Territory. Packing what they can carry in their wagon, Caroline, her husband Charles, and their little girls, Mary and Laura, head west to settle in a beautiful, unpredictable land full of promise and peril.

The pioneer life is a hard one, especially for a pregnant woman with no friends or kin to turn to for comfort or help. The burden of work must be shouldered alone, sickness tended without the aid of doctors, and babies birthed without the accustomed hands of mothers or sisters. But Caroline’s new world is also full of tender joys. In adapting to this strange new place and transforming a rough log house built by Charles’ hands into a home, Caroline must draw on untapped wells of strength she does not know she possesses.

For more than eighty years, generations of readers have been enchanted by the adventures of the American frontier’s most famous child, Laura Ingalls Wilder, in the Little House books. Now, that familiar story is retold in this captivating tale of family, fidelity, hardship, love, and survival that vividly reimagines our past.


Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

My Review
Like most young girls, I grew up with Little House on the Prairie.  First came the books, checked out time and again from the little local library.  Then there was the TV series.  I loved everything about Little House, and this love of all things Laura Ingalls Wilder has endured into my adulthood.  I still listen to three Little House podcasts and read everything I can find that is related to this series.

So of course I wanted to read Caroline.  From the first description of this book, I anticipated reading it.  And I have to say the book far exceeded my expectations.  It is amazing!

Caroline tells the Little House story from the perspective of Laura Ingalls Wilder's mother, Caroline.  When we first glimpse Caroline in this novel, she is a young wife and mother living in Wisconsin with her beloved husband Charles and her little girls, Mary and Laura.  She is pregnant with her third child when Charles tells her he wants to move to Kansas.

Caroline bravely puts aside her personal feelings and travels across the country in a covered wagon.  The descriptions of the journey are so vivid and detailed.  I could visualize everything from the storytelling.

I will admit that I grew up focusing on Laura's story, and had not thought as much about what this journey and pioneer life meant to Caroline.  I am so glad that Sarah Miller masterfully brought her story to life here.  I found Caroline so remarkable as she left her relatives and friends behind and braved this long trip despite being pregnant.   I admired her resourcefulness and her loving care of her children.  I also loved her relationship with Charles!

The writing in this book is absolutely beautiful. Sarah Miller writes about the journey:

"The West was a song Charles wanted a hand in composing" (eBook loc. 100).

She also adds about Laura:

"Like her pa, all of Laura's visions of the West had begun with the journey, not the departure" (eBook loc. 353-54).

One more example of the beautiful writing in this book is seen when Caroline soothes the girls en route:

"Under her fingers, Laura's pulse had slowly quieted into a beat of feathery kisses.  Caroline drew up her knees, making a nest of herself.  Laura was too big now to fit inside it as she once had, but her breath, still tinted with maple sugar, filled the small spaces between them" (eBook loc. 821-23).

I have to add that the historical details in this book were fascinating.  I enjoyed details like reading how Caroline cooked over a fire when the family was traveling cross country.  The food descriptions were also very interesting, and I was very struck by how grateful the Ingalls family was for such simple things.  This was one of the things that stuck with me most from Caroline's story.

Caroline will surely be one of my favorite reads of the year, and I recommend it highly for anyone who loves children's literature, historical fiction, and especially for other Little House on the Prairie fans.

Author Bio
Sarah Miller began writing her first novel at the age of ten, and has spent the last two decades working in libraries and bookstores. She is the author of two previous historical novels, Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller and The Lost Crown. Her nonfiction debut, The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century, was hailed by the New York Times as “a historical version of Law & Order.” She lives in Michigan.

Find out more about Sarah at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

I received a copy of this book from HarperCollins and TLC Book Tour.