You are now entering the world of my thoughts.

This blog is my diary of works in progress. The only way a writer can improve upon her skill is to practice, practice and practice some more. Here, in this place of quiet peace, I pen to paper my thoughts and creativity. Welcome to my world.

Copyright © 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 SN Taylor, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Blog Tour and Review: Danse Macabre by Cristelle Comby

Every police detective should have a Neve & Egan as sidekicks!

Book Blurb: 

Private investigators Alexandra Neve and Ashford Egan are hired to succeed where the police have failed, to safely return home a missing ballerina. With no lead to pursue and no idea who could be behind the young woman’s kidnapping, they soon find themselves at a loss as to what to do.

To make matters worse, the heart of England seems to be caught in the middle of a little Ice Age. With snow endlessly falling and Tube lines either too cramped up to use or out of service, it is a pain to do any legwork in the huge metropolis.

Oh, and because trouble never comes alone, there may also be a serial killer on the loose in the streets of East London...

My Review:

What does a singer, dancer, and pianist have in common? Death. A gruesome death that seems to baffle the New Scotland Yard police force. 

Once again, Neve and Egan are back in action with what appears to be a not-a-runaway investigation. When the police give Mrs. Doughton the brush off, she hires Alexandra and Ashford to find her missing daughter, an up and coming ballet dancer and ballet teacher. It's winter time and their mystery soon turns in to something even more sinister when they find the poor girl recently murdered in a very gruesome manner. Her body is staged as if she were dancing and her eyes are sewed open. Just when things can't get any worse, Ash's apartment is ransacked, a threatening note left behind and another kidnapping is announced. The race is really on to find the killer before he gets to stage another Danse Macabre.

I love how Comby really pulls the reader into the story at the beginning and keeps you there. She has fleshed out more of the main characters, especially my favorite character in the book, Ash. He never ceases to amaze me. This is one page turner that any one who loves a good mystery will not want to put down. I must say, if you have trouble sleeping at night after reading something scary/gory (my standards of gory that is) then proceed with caution and read this in the day time :D

About the author: 
Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, in Greater Geneva, where she still resides. Thanks to her insatiable thirst for American and British action films and television dramas, her English is fluent. She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.

Danse Macabre is her third new-adult novel, and she’s hard at work on the next titles in the Neve & Egan series.

Rafflecopter GIVEAWAY HTML embed code ($25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash): a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cristelle Comby's Web Site:
Cristelle Comby's Twitter:
Cristelle Comby's Goodreads:
 Cristelle Comby's Instagram:
 Cristelle Comby's Newsletter:
 Danse Macabre Goodreads: Tribute Books Blog Tours Facebook:
Danse Macabre blog tour site:

Monday, December 15, 2014

Book Review: Mr. Monk Is Open For Business by Hy Conrad

Title: Mr. Monk Is Open For Business

Author: Hy Conrad

Book Blurb: 

After failing to win back his girlfriend Ellen in Summit, New Jersey, Monk returns to San Francisco where he is surprised to find another relationship has taken a new turn. Natalie decided to make things official by setting up an office for Monk and Teeger, Consulting Detectives. With Monk’s typical response to change of any kind, they have more than a few wrinkles to iron out of their new routine. But when Lieutenant Amy Devlin comes to them for help, it’s time to stop bickering and get to work.

A disgruntled employee of a small import business, Wyatt Noone came into work one day and started shooting, killing three coworkers and leaving one female hostage severely wounded. Spotting Wyatt through the office windows, the police surrounded the building, but he still managed to disappear—leaving Lieutenant Devlin with a messy and baffling mystery on her hands.

Visiting the bed-ridden survivor, Sarabeth Winslow, Monk finds her to be helpful, cooperative and—now that he’s on the rebound from Ellen—quite charming as well.  But as he and Natalie try to track down Sarabeth’s assailant, they discover that Wyatt has left barely a trace of his past behind, almost as if he managed to disappear from existence all together…

My Review:

So I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads. It is not my normal rating for my beloved Monk series. It is not that I did not like it, I did, but it just was not the same. Monk was not the same. I missed many of his compulsive quirks that I found entertaining in the books Goldberg wrote. He still has a few in this story but his behavior, attitude and desire to have a love life is not characteristic to the Monk I know. But like I said, it was still a good read. I wont write off one of my favorite detective series for now, I will read a couple more authored by Hy Conrad to see if I can handle this new Monk. But on a side note, I love seeing more of Natalie's character in the story. :)

Monk and Teeger open their own agency and takes on a big case the very first day they open their doors. A lawyer's client, Henry Pickler is in jail on suspicion of killing a man in his field but Pickler is not talking, not even to his lawyer. Another case they take on at the same time is a case that Amy Devlin has brought to them. A man named Wyatt Noone kills his coworkers leaving one badly shot but manages to escape under the noses of the police force, including Amy Devlin. With her reputation and career on the line she gets help from none other than Monk and Teeger. Monk is on the rebound after his girlfriend dumped him for getting her brother arrested. Now, he is in love with Sarabeth, the lone survivor of the shooting spree. As Monk and Teeger investigates, a lot of things don't add up and with Monk's attention else where, Teeger has to a lot of leg work. But she manages to get Monk's head back in the game before it is too late and they catch the real killers in both cases.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Wheels of Change winner!!!!

Mary Preston!!!!

Congratulation Mary. You will be hearing from us shortly. Thank you and we hope you enjoy Wheels of Change. Be sure to stop by and let us know how you like the book :)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

And the Winner Is..........Debut Author Giveaway Hop....

The winner of the Debut Author Giveaway Hop is.......

Sara K

Congratulations Sara!!!!!! 

Thank you everyone for participating in the hop. Check back from time to time to enter more giveaways.

Disclaimer. The winner has 72 hours to claim your prize via email (which has already been sent to you). If we do not hear from you, another winner will be chosen.

Blog Tour & Book Review: Meow If It's Murder by T.C. LoTempio

Book Blurb:
Nora Charles doesn’t believe in fate, even if she is a crime reporter who shares a name with a character from The Thin Man. In fact, she’s moving back to Cruz, California, to have a quieter life. But after finding an online magazine eager for material, and a stray cat named Nick with a talent for detection, Nora’s not just reporting crimes again. She’s uncovering them…

Back in her hometown, Nora reconnects with old friends and makes some new ones, like Nick, the charming feline who seems determined to be her cat. But not everything about Cruz is friendly. Writing for a local online magazine, Nora investigates the curious death of socialite Lola Grainger. Though it was deemed an accident, Nora suspects foul play. And it seems that her cat does too.

Apparently, Nick used to belong to a P.I. who disappeared while investigating Lola Grainger’s death. The coincidence is spooky, but not as spooky as the clues Nick spells out for her with Scrabble letters—clues that lead her down an increasingly dangerous path. Whether fate put her on this case or not, solving it will take all of Nora’s wits, and maybe a few of Nick’s nine lives.

My Review:

This is definitely an easy book to cozy up with. My favorite character? Nick of course! That is, Nick the kitty. :) Who doesn't love a kitty with attitude, that can play word games, kick butt to save his lady master and solve a crime(s) to boot?

Nora Charles is a crime investigative reporter (she thinks she is a sandwich maker/sandwich shop owner) but investigating crime is in her blood. Once a mystery tickles her fancy not even her close friend or the hunk of a detective she meets can persuade to stop investigating the suspicious death of Lola Grainger, a close and good customer of her late mother's. She meets a feline who makes it's self at home in her shop. She settles on the name Nick after a favorite movie character. The cat has unusual talents that assist Nora in finding out the truth about the mystery behind the suspicious death of Lola as well as Nick's missing owner.

I enjoyed this story a lot, even though there were a few mistakes that caught my eye, but despite that, the story was packed with action and lots of interesting twists that kept me glued to my screen. If you like crime mysteries without the gore and horror, this is the book to read. There is a hint of romance, nothing that would make me gag but enough to make it fun.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Wheels of Change Book giveaway

Wheels of Change

Racial intolerance, social change, and sweeping progress make 1908 Washington, D.C., a turbulent place to grow up in for 12-year-old Emily Soper.

For Emily, life in Papa’s carriage barn is magic, and she's more at home hearing the symphony of the blacksmith’s hammer than trying to conform to the proper expectations of young ladies. When Papa’s livelihood is threatened by racist neighbors and horsepower of a different sort, Emily faces changes she'd never imagined. Finding courage and resolve she didn't know she had, Emily strives to save Papa’s business, even if it means going all the way to the White House.

Age Range: 8 - 13 years
Grade Level: 2 - 8
Hardcover: 180 pages
Publisher: Creston Books (September 23, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 193954713X
ISBN-13: 978-1939547132
Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 7.8 inches

Notable Reviews
"Changes fomenting both locally and nationally during the final year of Theodore Roosevelt's presidency are seen through the eyes of feisty, bighearted Emily Soper, daughter of a carriage maker in Washington, D.C. Twelve-year-old Emily loves helping her father in his barn; she even dreams, in futility, of becoming a blacksmith like her father's beloved employee, Henry. She and her best friend, Charlie, ponder such things as gender roles, women's suffrage and 'horseless carriages.' She dutifully tries to become a lady even while working on a secret that uses her 'masculine" skills.' As the year progresses, Henry falls ill, and Emily and her family are subjected to the uncertainties of changing times as well as some nasty treatment from white supremacists. Resemblances to To Kill a Mockingbird are strong, especially during a tea party hosted by Emily's mother. A nice touch: Throughout much of the book, Papa teaches Emily—and vicariously, readers—new vocabulary words. The strength of the text lies in Jacobson's ability to evoke a different era and to endear readers to the protagonist. The prose is straightforward and well-researched, heavily peppered with historical references and containing enough action to keep readers' attention. Readers will empathize with Emily as she goes through her own changes, and they will applaud her heroism in more than one chapter." (author's note, photographs, recipes, bibliography, websites) (Historical fiction. 8-11)

Winter Candle
by Jeron Frame

When each family at the diverse Juniper Court apartment complex needs something to light up the dark of winter, the stumpy, lumpy candle provides a glow brighter than the fanciest taper, revealing the true spirit of each holiday it illuminates.

Age Range: 4 - 11 years
Grade Level: Preschool - 6
Hardcover: 28 pages
Publisher: Creston Books (November 11, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1939547105
ISBN-13: 978-1939547101
Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8 x 10.2 inches

Notable Reviews:

"Light symbolizes hope, and festivals incorporating light and candles are found in many cultures, especially during winter.Ashford uses a single candle to weave a story of intergenerational and multicultural friendship. On Thanksgiving, Nana Clover realizes that she doesn't have a candle for her table and asks the super for one. Later, another family doesn't have a special braided havdalah candle to mark the Jewish Sabbath's end and borrows the half-used candle from Nana Clover. A few days later, the Ericksons find that one of the candles on their Saint Lucia crown is broken. They ask the Danzigers, and the same little candle continues its trip. The African-American family in 5A celebrating Kwanzaa needs the candle next, because the baby has eaten one of the seven candles for the kinara. Finally, a winter storm causes a power outage, and Nasreen and Faruq, who have just moved in, are concerned that their father won't find the building. Their mom suggests borrowing a candle from their neighbors, and the stubby piece of wax lights their father's way. Soon, all the neighbors join in to welcome the new family. The richly textured paintings highlight the glow of the small candle; the family portraits, too, glow with warmth. An author's note provides a brief overv iew of each celebration. The story's acknowledged tidiness facilitates its reassuring theme of neighborly sharing and assistance and makes it easily adaptable to a wide variety of settings. (Picture book. 5-8)"

--Kirkus Reviews

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Debut Author Giveaway Away Hop 2014 Dec 4 - 11th

I am happy to be participant of the Debut Author Giveaway Hop! I love reading debut novels and learning about new authors with new voices. A big THANK YOU to Bookhounds and I Am A Reader for hosting this blog hop.

For this hop, I would like to feature debut author Hend Hegazi and her novel, Normal Calm. As always, this is a blog hop, so hop along and visit the other participants. You never know what fun and new treasures are to be found! :) 

Book Description: 

Amina is an Arab American woman attending one of the best universities in the US. During the spring of her junior year, Amina is raped by one of her friends, making her essentially unmarriageable in the eyes of her parents and, possibly, the entire Arab community. When her mother experiences a nervous breakdown, Amina fears that she is to blame for her mother's condition. Eventually she falls in love with Sherif, but his reaction to her rape proves him to be unworthy. Deciding to forgo love, Amina focuses on her career. When her best friend introduces her to Mazin, however, she sees in him only good qualities. He is successful, kind, generous...but she feels no love for him. When Mazin asks for her hand in marriage, Amina struggles with the idea of settling for a man she does not love. Knowing that he, too, may abandon her when he learns of her rape is another burden she continues to bear.

About the Author:

Hend Hegazi was born and raised in Attleboro, Massachusetts. She graduated from Smith College in 2000, majoring in biology and minoring in religion. In 2002 she moved to Egypt to be with her husband. Hend is a stay at home mother of four and finds that writing helps in the struggle to keep her sanity. Her book was published by FB Publishing, January 7, 2014     

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Click here to find a list of participant blogs...

Member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators