Hanukkah at the Great Ice Greenwich Ice Creamery

Hanukkah at the Great Ice Greenwich Ice Creamery
Hanukkah at the Great Ice Greenwich Ice Creamery by Sharon Ibbotson

Land of Wolves

Land of Wolves
Land of Wolves by Craig Johnson

Friday, December 6, 2019

Hanukkah at the Great Greenwich Ice Creamery by Sharon Ibbotson- Feature and Review


Hanukkah days, Christmas nights and strawberry ice cream
Cohen Ford is a man who could do with a little bit of sweetening up. It’s no surprise that when he walks into The Great Greenwich Ice Creamery on a typically gloomy London day before Christmas, he insists on a black coffee rather than his childhood favourite – strawberry ice cream. 
But then he meets River de Luca, the woman behind the flavours. After their first encounter, Cohen begins visiting the ice creamery every Tuesday, gradually learning more about the intriguing River. Could her influence encourage cynical Cohen to become the man who embraces Christmas, Hanukkah and even strawberry ice cream?



Hanukkah at the Great Greenwich Ice CreameryHanukkah at the Great Greenwich Ice Creamery by Sharon Ibbotson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hanukkah at the Great Greenwich Ice Creamery by Sharon Ibbotson is a 2019 Choc Lit publication.

A divinely enchanting and whimsical holiday treat!

World weary Cohen Ford grudgingly weathers the London gloom to run an errand for his mother. His mission takes him to a Greenwich ice creamery where he comes face to face with River De Luca-the daughter of his mother’s best friend, who is definitely off limits. His world tilts on its axis, causing him to pause and take stock of his life.

River’s life couldn’t have been more different from Cohen’s. She is deaf, abandoned by her birth parents, and hasn’t had the best luck in the romance department. How could Cohen, the wealthy man with a hardened heart be the right guy for her?

I loved this story!!

The atmosphere of the story immediately drew me in, and suddenly I could see the dreary London scenery and the charming brightness of the ice creamery by contrast. I knew this story would be good, and I was not disappointed.

The diversity and mingling of different religious celebrations are also a big draw. Cohen’s mother is Jewish, so she celebrates Hanukkah, and her faith has a big role in the story, as does her relationship with her son.

The challenges the deaf or hearing- impaired face is gently approached, with great respect, and is also an integral part of the romance.

The book is short, so things progress rapidly, but the relationships are fleshed out, and character growth, along with true love, develops beautifully. The story has its moments of poignancy, and can be emotive, but the tone has a fantastical quality to it, as well, making it feel positively magical!

Overall, this is simply a delightful story from start to finish!!






Sharon Ibbotson was born in Sydney, Australia, to British emigrant parents and lived there until her sixteenth birthday, at which point she was schooled in the U.K. She started writing from an early age, including a long-foray into 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' fanfiction, and was a Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer of the Year in 1997.

Her first novel, 'The Marked Lord' was published by Choc Lit in January 2019, followed soon after by 'A Game of Desire' in June of the same year.

By day she can mostly be found parenting her two small children and two (even smaller) cats, while by night she writes, often into the early hours.

Sharon currently lives in London, the U.K, with her husband, son and daughter.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Land of Wolves by Craig Johnson- Feature and Review


Recovering from his harrowing experiences in Mexico, Sheriff Walt Longmire returns to Absaroka County, Wyoming, to lick his wounds and try once again to maintain justice in a place with grudges that go back generations. When a shepherd is found dead, Longmire suspects it could be suicide. But the shepherd's connection to the Extepares, a powerful family of Basque ranchers with a history of violence, leads the sheriff into an intricate investigation of a possible murder.

As Walt searches for information about the shepherd, he comes across strange carvings on trees, as well as play money coupons from inside Mallo Cup candies, which he interprets as messages from his spiritual guide, Virgil White Buffalo. Longmire doesn't know how these little blue cards are appearing, but Virgil usually reaches out if a child is in danger. So when a young boy with ties to the Extepare clan arrives in town, the stakes grow even higher.
Even more complicating, a renegade wolf has been haunting the Bighorn Mountains, and the townspeople are out for blood. With both a wolf and a killer on the loose, Longmire follows a twisting trail of evidence, leading to dark and shocking conclusions.



Land of Wolves (Walt Longmire, #15)Land of Wolves by Craig Johnson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Land of Wolves by Craig Johnson is a 2019 Berkley publication.


Longmire is back on familiar ground in this fifteenth installment. A complicated family situation, and the strange death of a shepherd, initially labeled as a suicide, has Longmire back at work while still recovering from the soul-crushing experience he barely survived in Mexico.

This is one of the best installments in this series I’ve read in a while. The 'arc' centered around Walt’s trip to Mexico to rescue his daughter, was very dark and gritty. I felt I was quite patient with Johnson’s off the beaten path meanderings. However, I was beyond ready to get back to Absaroka County, Wyoming!!

This mystery is interesting, and complex, as are the characterizations and motives. The wolf, and the symbolic spiritualism it represents, is very befitting of this series, which has always had a spiritual undertone. The story is also back on procedural grounds and the guessing game is as good as it gets.

“In my culture, animals are celebrated as beautiful, mysterious, powerful, dangerous, and benevolent. There was a period, before we lost the ability to listen, when the animals took pity on us, protected and taught us to the point where they became human in times of need.

Johnson does set a different tone here, however, as Longmire’s previous escapades are not a distant memory, just yet. Walt presents with some classic PTSD symptoms and is often in physical discomfort. As though realizing, and accepting his limitations, readers will probably pick up on an unfamiliar fragility about Walt, but the story has an edge many of the pre-Mexico stories don’t.

I wonder if Johnson is signally readers that the series may progress into a different sort of crime story, removed from the usual cozy-like atmosphere of old. There are still a few laugh out loud moments and our favorite characters are back in their element, as well, which was so nice to see.

I thoroughly enjoyed this latest installment in the series. Although the tone is a bit gravelly, it was still a comforting return home, so to speak. Overall, this was a stellar addition to the series and I’m once again feeling very excited about the next installment!

4.5 stars






Craig Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of twelve Walt Longmire mystery novels, which are the basis for Longmire, the hit Netflix original drama. The Cold Dish won Le Prix du Polar Nouvel Observateur/Bibliobs. Death Without Company, the Wyoming Historical Association's Book of the Year, won France's Le Prix 813, and Another Man's Moccasins was the Western Writers of America's Spur Award Winner and the Mountains & Plains Book of the Year. The Dark Horse, the fifth in the series, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and Junkyard Dogs won The Watson Award for a mystery novel with the best sidekick. Hell Is Empty, selected by Library Journal as the Best Mystery of the Year, was a New York Times best seller, as was As the Crow Flies, which won the Rocky for the best crime novel typifying the western United States. A Serpent's Tooth opened as a New York Times bestseller as did Any Other Name and Wait for Signs, Johnson's collection of short stories. Spirit of Steamboat was selected by the State Library as the inaugural One Book Wyoming and included visits to sixty-three libraries. Johnson lives in Ucross, Wyoming, population twenty-five.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Right Reason to Marry by Christine Rimmer- Feature and Review


She turned him down. Twice.

Karin Killigan refuses to marry Liam Bravo solely for the sake of their pending baby. This time, the widowed mother of two is holding out for true lasting love. And even though she is knee-deep in kids and family chaos, Karin and Liam’s attraction is hotter than ever, but Karin won’t settle. Liam will have to prove he’s in it for love if he wants a family for his baby’s first Christmas.



The Right Reason to MarryThe Right Reason to Marry by Christine Rimmer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Right Reason to Marry by Christine Rimmer is a 2019 Harlequin Special Edition publication.

Once bitten, twice shy-

When Karin discovers she is pregnant, informing the father isn’t a priority for her. But, when she runs into her former lover, Liam Bravo, at the supermarket, the proverbial cat is out of the bag. Not only that, Karin’s worst fears come to light when Liam immediately steps up, insisting he do his part, and begins an all -out campaign to convince Karin to marry him, and is much more persistent than she had anticipated. But, Karin’s first marriage fell apart under the exact same set of circumstances and she’s not about to make the same mistake twice…

Liam is stunned to discover he's about to be a father. However, he’s determined to do the right thing by Karin and his child. But, while Karin is convinced his feelings stem from a sense of duty, Liam knows deep down that his feelings for Karin, and the baby, are far more complicated than that. But no matter what he says or does, Liam can’t talk Karin into taking another chance on love.

We’ve all loved and lost at some time, and we know people like Karin, who thought getting married was the right step to take after an unplanned pregnancy. We’ve all made mistakes, made decisions we regret, and we hope that we learn from those mistakes.

However, there is a big difference between learning from our mistakes and being so afraid of making another one we never take a chance or try again, for fear of failure. Karin falls into the latter category and while she makes some valid points along the way, she’s asking for something none of us ever get… a guarantee.

Now, ladies- Liam Bravo? Whew! He’s my kind of guy! I wish this type of hero would show up more in romance novels. I don’t always like the message the ‘bad boy’ stories send, or the suggestion that there are no good guys out there anymore, because, let’s face it- we seldom hear about those stand-up guys who talk the talk and walk the walk. Rimmer reminds us that yes, there really are mature, respectful, guys out there who are committed to making their relationships work, are hands on parents, and family men.

However, because Karin couldn’t quite screw up the courage to admit Liam was solid gold, and that he had real feelings for her, and she for him, I became really frustrated with Karin before all was said and done. I was team Liam all the way!! This guy will make your heart melt!

But life is and love is a gamble- you’ll lose sometimes, but you’ll have to stay in the game if you ever want a shot at winning. Karin may have lost a few rounds, but I’d say she finally hit the jackpot…. Big time!

By now, if you follow my reviews, you’ll have noticed I tend to stick with just a handful of romance authors these days, mainly those I’ve followed or read for ages. Christine Rimmer is one of those authors and this book happens to be her 115th Harlequin romance novel! Congratulations Christine and thanks so much for all these touching stories that brighten our lives!




A New York Times and USA-Today bestselling author, Christine Rimmer has written more than 100 contemporary romances for Harlequin Books. A reader favorite, Christine has won Romantic Times BOOKreview's Reviewer's Choice Award for best Silhouette Special Edition. She has been nominated seven times for the Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA award and five times for Romantic Times Series Storyteller of the Year. Christine lives in Oregon with her family.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

What Rose Forgot by Nevada Barr- Feature and Review

Rose Dennis wakes up in a hospital gown, her brain in a fog, only to discover that she's been committed to an Alzheimer's Unit in a nursing home. With no memory of how she ended up in this position, Rose is sure that something is very wrong. When she overhears one of the administrators saying about her that she's "not making it through the week," Rose is convinced that if she's to survive, she has to get out of the nursing home. She avoids taking her medication, putting on a show for the aides, then stages her escape.
The only problem is—how does she convince anyone that she's not actually demented? Her relatives were the ones to commit her, all the legal papers were drawn up, the authorities are on the side of the nursing home, and even she isn't sure she sounds completely sane. But any lingering doubt Rose herself might have had is erased when a would-be killer shows up in her house in the middle of the night. Now Rose knows that someone is determined to get rid of her.
With the help of her computer hacker/recluse sister Marion, thirteen-year old granddaughter Mel, and Mel's friend Royal, Rose begins to gather her strength and fight back—to find out who is after her and take back control of her own life. But someone out there is still determined to kill Rose, and they're holding all the cards.



What Rose ForgotWhat Rose Forgot by Nevada Barr
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What Rose Forgot by Nevada Barr is a 2019 Minotaur Books publication.

Wildly entertaining, darkly humorous, with the best unreliable narrator ever!

Rose Dennis, a widow in her sixties, awakens in a hospital gown unsure of what has happened to her. Her memory is murky, to say the least. Yet, she soon discovers she has been admitted to a nursing home and is being housed in the Alzheimer’s ward. Overhearing an ominous conversation suggesting she might not make it through the week, Rose realizes her life is in danger and not because she has dementia! She begins planning her escape, although she has a few lingering doubts about the sharpness of her mind. However, her suspicions that someone is out to get her are confirmed when she catches someone breaking into her home.

With the help of her reclusive sister and her granddaughter, Mel, Rose sets out to discover who wants her dead and why…

I have been meaning to check out Nevada Barr's long running Anna Pigeon mystery series for a long time. I still intend to do that, but when I saw this was a stand-alone novel, my interest was instantly piqued.

I had no idea what to expect, but the story grabbed me right away- and Rose!! OMG! She’s a real hoot! The plot is a unique one because the reader has no idea how stable Rose really is. Her memory may not be reliable, but it does begin to return in fits and starts as the story progresses. The reader has no more of a clue than Rose what is going on, but her investigative methods are unconventional to say the least, and her inner dialogue is hysterical. She has the uncanny ability to think fast and lie hard, which is also really funny, and adds another quirky element to the story. The secondary characters complement the atmosphere and play off of Rose’s antics perfectly.

This story is, at the end of the day, a standard whodunit, but the presentation is certainly outside of the box, which sets it apart from the standard traditional mystery. The author’s execution is pitch perfect, making this one of the most entertaining mysteries I’ve read in a long time. I loved the dark humor, the witty dialogue, and the occasional moment of poignancy in the midst of the screwball action and suspense.

Overall, it’s nice to have stumbled across a pure mystery that is fresh and inventive, and keeps the reader off guard, and thoroughly entertained, at the same time!






Nevada Barr is a mystery fiction author, known for her "Anna Pigeon" series of mysteries, set in National Parks in the United States. Barr has won an Agatha Award for best first novel for Track of the Cat.

Barr was named after the state of her birth. She grew up in Johnstonville, California. She finished college at the University of California, Irvine. Originally, Barr started to pursue a career in theatre, but decided to be a park ranger. In 1984 she published her first novel, Bittersweet, a bleak lesbian historical novel set in the days of the Western frontier.

While working in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Barr created the Anna Pigeon series. Pigeon is a law enforcement officer with the United States National Park Service. Each book in the series takes place in a different National Park, where Pigeon solves a murder mystery, often related to natural resource issues. She is a satirical, witty woman whose icy exterior is broken down in each book by a hunky male to whom she is attracted (such as Rogelio).

Currently, Ms. Barr lives in New Orleans, LA.

Monday, December 2, 2019

MANGA MONDAY- The Twilight Man: Rod Serling and the Birth of Television by Koren Shadmi- Feature and Review


A illustrated biographical tale that follows Hollywood revolutionary Rod Serling's rise to fame in the Golden Age of Television, and his descent into his personal Twilight Zone.

We recognize Rod Serling as our sharply dressed, cigarette-smoking tour guide of The Twilight Zone, but the entertainment business once regarded him as the "Angry Young Man" of Hollywood. Before he became the revered master of science fiction, Rod Serling was a just a writer who had to fight to make his voice heard. He vehemently challenged the networks and viewership alike to expand their minds and standards―rejecting notions of censorship, racism and war. But it wasn’t until he began to write about real world enemies in the guise of aliens and monsters that people lent their ears. In doing so, he pushed the television industry to the edge of glory, and himself to the edge of sanity. Rod operated in a dimension beyond that of contemporary society, making him both a revolutionary and an outsider.


The Twilight Man: Rod Serling and the Birth of TelevisionThe Twilight Man: Rod Serling and the Birth of Television by Koren Shadmi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Twilight Man by Koren Shadmi is a 2019 Life Drawn publication.

An imaginative biographical novel Rod Serling would approve of!

Well, how cool is this? The second I saw this book I knew I had to read it! Why? Because I love, love, love The Twilight Zone! I was also a fan of ‘Night Gallery’ and loved Serling’s narration of both anthology series.

But, once I started reading the book, I realized I didn’t really know anything at all about Rod Serling. As his story unfolds, I learned about his military service and some daredevil stunts he participated in. But, before he found success, he went through more than his fair share of rejections. He was just too far ahead of his time, unafraid of addressing uncomfortable subject matter.

His journey to success is fascinating. He was indeed a revolutionary, challenging the television establishment- which earned him the moniker of “Angry Young Man”. I think we owe Serling more than we realized!

This is a must for fans of the Twilight Zone and Rod Serling, but anyone who likes entertainment history will find this book very interesting. Rod packed a lot of living in his short life and his legacy is one that has far surpassed his wildest imagination. The deep meanings of some of the Twilight Zone episodes go far beyond mere science fiction and unexplained phenomena.

While I do believe I have watched every episode at least twice, I sometimes find myself in the mood to watch the series over again. Each time I am struck by the imagination and genius of the show- now I’m struck by imagination and genius behind the show!





Koren Shadmi is an American-Israeli, Brooklyn based graphic novelist and illustrator. His books have been published internationally and include: In The Flesh, The Abaddon, Mike's Place and most recently: Love Addict: Confessions of a Serial Dater.

Koren's illustration and comics have appeared in publications such as: The Wall Street Journal, Wired, BusinessWeek, the Village Voice, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, Mother Jones, Playboy, and many others. His illustration work has won several awards at the Society of Illustrators.