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Eastover Treasures

Eastover Treasures by [Dawn Brotherton]

Eastover Treasures is written by award winning author Dawn Brotherton. The story follows Aury and her fellow quilters, as she tries to solve a series of clues for a treasure hunt that was devised in the 1860s. Eastover Treasures combines a mystery novel with a slight hint of romance, and is an interesting read.

This intriguing cozy mystery novel is set in the same geographical area, over two time periods. Geographically, Eastover Treasures is set on a piece of land and buildings in Virginia. The first time period is the 1860’s. The land and buildings make up a large plantation. The time period is stated at the top of the chapter, but this is also supported by rich detail such as clothing descriptions, technology (or lack of) and the dialogue and speech of the characters. Subsequent chapters transition into the past as the characters read diary entries written in the 1860s. The present-day time setting is indicated by the land usage – a motel and discarded house, descriptions of nearby towns and available technology (electricity, internet, speech). The two time periods are linked in numerous ways: quilts found in both the house and quilts the women are making, remnants of buildings that existed in the 1860s and present day relatives of the family that lived on the plantation in the 1860s.

There are many fascinating characters that color this spellbinding story –  both present day characters and characters in the 1860s. Characters in the 1860s include Mary and her children, Frederick, Thomas, Noah, Sarah. The reader gains some insight into Mary’s feelings and motivations through her inner monologue. However, large parts of her life remain a mystery until the end of the novel. All of the children and their actions feature in subsequent diary entries. In the present day, Aury and Scott are the main characters of the novel. Both are well developed an authentic. Aury, an avid quilter, is an accountant by trade, whom has had her interest piqued in the estate by a mysterious treasure hunt she and her friends found reference to in a diary. Scott, owner of the estate develops an interest in both the treasure hunt and Aury herself. As the novel progresses their friendship develops and grows naturally.

Eastover Treasures is an interesting and worthwhile read. The geographical setting is well described and draws the reader into the enthralling story immediately. The characters are authentic, relatable and even heartwarming, and the relationship between Aury and Scott becomes a sub plot within the novel that was engrossing in itself. This is an mesmerizing historical mystery story that was a delight to read.

Pages: 210 | ASIN: B094D54C8R

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Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Island Idol

Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Island Idol (Skylar Robbins mysteries Book 5) by [Carrie Cross]

Skylar Robbins has been preparing for this for months. Daniel made a promise to be her partner in the next ACE adventure, and she believes he meant what he said. As part of the elite group of students who take part in the Accelerated Courses and Experiments program, Skylar and Daniel are no strangers to adventure and mystery. The only mystery right now, however, is how Hannah Hilton made it into the program and why Daniel seems to have forgotten that Skylar exists. What promised to be a fantastic summer is now looking like a huge disappointment. Will the trip to Koma Island turn things around for Skylar or will it be more than they all bargained for?

Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Island Idol, by Carrie Cross, is centered around young Skylar Robbins–gifted and talented and a member of ACE. With all the angst and stresses of late middle and early high school years, she is the perfect protagonist for today’s young readers. It is refreshing to still see writers placing an intelligent and forward-thinking female lead in their stories, and Skylar rivals and surpasses the budding detectives many of us are used to–Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. Kudos to Cross for putting motivated and capable young women at the forefront of her series. Our middle school readers need to see this more regularly.

Mysteries need to pop. They need to move quickly and hold the reader’s interest, especially when younger readers are the group toward which a series is aimed. Cross is a master at this. Skylar thinks quickly on her feet, and her friendship with Alexa provides a nice sounding board for her ideas. There lies within Cross’s work an amazing little cast of characters that provides readers with plenty of opportunities to visualize a vast array of personality types. It’s nice to see such a well-drawn cast of characters–all having wonderful quirks and offering their own contributions to Skylar’s role in the story.

Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Island Idol, by Carrie Cross is a rip-roaring young adult adventure/romance story that will keep readers on their toes. Centered around current technology and full of references younger readers will appreciate, this book has everything needed to engage readers and keep them coming back for more from Skylar and her gifted cohort.

Pages: 237 | ASIN: B08P5VXBQ5

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Liz, the Neighbour – Book Trailer

It all started when the bad guys tried to get clever in covering their tracks. Things get complicated.

Now a Special Forces operator, a Hollywood star, ex-soldiers, gangsters and cops are all lurking in the shadows, trying to catch one another and to purge the other team before they do them.

Liz and the gang get caught in the middle after accepting a seemingly straight forward case – locate a 75-year old missing aunt.

In this book, Liz and the gang team up with 3 retirees and a whole host of other colourful characters, to solve mysteries that revolve around a retirement home and the murder of a news reporter.

Who will survive?
Who will end up behind bars?
Will Liz find love again?

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Polish Dragon Stories

Steve Zimcosky Author Interview
Steve Zimcosky Author Interview

The Lineage Sword follows the Polish Dragon P.I. on a case that leads him into the realm of the Waiting Warriors. What inspired you to write this story?

Over the last several years a few of my Tai Chi students had asked me why I haven’t written a mystery about Tai Chi and I really had no idea about where to begin. Then I came across some martial arts stories about how the leadership of a school is passed down in the more traditional schools. The master when he is ready to retire or is near death will appoint his most senior student to take over and generally that turns out to be the oldest son. The Waiting Warriors came into play when I came up with the idea that, what if, when the last emperor of China fell that there was a secretly formed alliance of all of the old guards with one specific purpose. That purpose was to continue to train and wait for the fall of the Nationalist government of China and they could then re-instate the emperor. In the years that followed the alliance became worldwide and they continue to train and pass the training down through their families, still hoping for the return of the emperor. So, this story is dedicated to my Tai Chi students and martial artists everywhere.

I enjoyed the brevity of the story but because I love diving into Polish Dragon stories, I wanted there to be more. What inspired you to write a short story?

I like writing shorter stories so that people can read them in one sitting or one day. Some people have mentioned how they wish they could finish a story while riding the train or taking the bus to work. They don’t like to have to keep going back to the story and then they feel like they lose interest. If they could start a book and finish it in a short time they almost get the full sense of the story without, what some call, the mundane details. I want to give my readers the best parts of the story in a short amount of time. Plus, all of the Polish Dragon stories are linked together in some way.

I enjoyed the exotic location of the story. Do you have any personal experience in these places?

No, I have no personal experiences with these places as of yet. I do have them on my bucket list and hope to reach them soon. The Taiwan location came from my stepson and daughter-in-law’s blog, Nom_Life, and they gave me permission to use the descriptions and pictures for the book. When reading their post, I fell in love with the descriptions and the views that they shared. It was as if I was there and I could see and feel and hear all that was going on. I also did some research on the locations to add more to the storyline and there was quite a lot to learn about Jiufen. Mainland China was basically my idea of what the area might be like although the mountain range was real and I came to find out that Dreamworks used the famous mountain in their movie Kung Fu Panda.

What is the next Polish Dragon P. I. adventure that you are working on and when will it be available?

Our dim sum loving P. I. has been hired to investigate the death of two employees from a material handling company who have died from an overdose of heroin. The coroner rules them as death by misadventure but the president of the company feels that is something more sinister going on in his company. The Polish Dragon is referred to him by FBI agent Jalowiec and he must now go undercover as an employee to discover what might be happening there if anything at all. I am planning on having it finished mid to late summer, so stay tuned.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook

A young man whose family immigrated to the United States from Taiwan disappears right after his father’s death. He was to inherit his father’s martial arts school as is the tradition and the lineage sword was to be passed on to him. It to has disappeared and the Polish Dragon P. I. is called in to help find them both. It will not be an easy task as his investigation takes him to Taiwan and into the realm of the Guard Corp who were the protectors of the Chinese Emperor. As of now known only as the Waiting Warriors.

Polish Dragon P. I. (The Lineage Sword) – Book Trailer

A young man whose family immigrated to the United States from Taiwan disappears right after his father’s death. He was to inherit his father’s martial arts school as is the tradition and the lineage sword was to be passed on to him. It to has disappeared and the Polish Dragon P. I. is called in to help find them both. It will not be an easy task as his investigation takes him to Taiwan and into the realm of the Guard Corp who were the protectors of the Chinese Emperor. As of now known only as the Waiting Warriors.

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Talk to the Hoof

Talk to the Hoof: A Kallie Collins Cozy Mystery by [Lisa Shay]

Kallie can talk to animals and in Talk to the Hoof by Lisa Shay, two horses show her visions which plunge Kallie and her friends into a potentially deadly mystery involving a missing woman and a dead body. It’s a race against time for Kallie to find the killer before another body turns up.

I do love a good mystery to solve and would normally reach for a crime or thriller book that would be less cozy and more crazy. But the author hit the spot with this cozy mystery book. From the start of the book, I liked the character of Kallie and was rooting for her to avoid being the next victim. Her ability to communicate with animals gives this mystery a twist that is just unique enough to keep me engaged throughout this intriguing novel. The mystery is not straightforward, it takes some riveting turns, but the simple language keeps readers well oriented in the story so that we always know what’s going on. Kallie needed to solve the mystery of the images the horses shared with her to solve the mystery of the missing woman and the dead body. In fact, it was almost like two mysteries for the price of one – or three mysteries if you include trying to solve the mystery of which man Kallie will choose. The author has a lovely, flowing style of writing which was a delight to read. I liked the group of friends who are there to support and help Kallie, each were compelling in their own way.

The characters were all well developed and easy to warm to – or dislike, depending on which character! I even developed a soft spot for the animal characters. I think the suggestion of a cozy mystery always makes me think of a little old lady solving mysteries and that vision put me off the genre. This book has changed my mind about the genre, and I will be checking out the first book in this series, as well as adding cozy mystery to my list of genres I enjoy. 

Pages: 182 | ASIN: B08NB7WKWC

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