Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Book Club Murders by Leslie Nagel #CozyMystery #Suspense #Humorous


Charley Carpenter has poured heart and soul into her clothing store, Old Hat Vintage Fashions. She’ll do anything to make it a success—even join the stuffy Agathas Book Club in order to cultivate customers among the wealthy elite of Oakwood, Ohio.

Although mixing with the most influential women in town has its advantages, Charley finds the endless gossip a high price to pay. But after two women with close ties to the Agathas are brutally murdered, everyone falls under threat—and suspicion. When key evidence indicates that both murders are the work of the same hand, Charley realizes that the killer has arranged each corpse in perfect imitation of crime scenes from the Club’s murder mystery reading list. She uses her membership in the Club to convince Detective Marcus Trenault to use her as an inside informant. Not that he could stop her anyway.

Intelligent, fearless, and every bit as stubborn as Marc is, Charley soon learns the Agathas aren’t the only ones with secrets to protect. Passions explode as she and Marc must race against time to prevent another murder. And if Charley’s not careful, she may find herself becoming the killer’s next plot twist.

About the Author:

Leslie Nagel is a writer and teacher of writing at a local community college. Her debut novel, “The Book Club Murders”, is the first in the Oakwood Mystery Series. Leslie lives in the all too real city of Oakwood, Ohio, where murders are rare but great stories lie thick on the ground. After the written word, her passions include her husband, her son and daughter, hiking, tennis and strong black coffee, not necessarily in that order.


The Book Club Murders was a fun cozy mystery. The small town of Oakwood, Ohio, is shaken when a woman is murdered. It’s a nice little town with very little crime, which is one reason Marc Trenault gave up his job as a homicide detective in Chicago and moved home. The last thing he wants or needs is more murder. Yet, that’s what he gets—not one murder, but two, and then more. And to make matters worse, he finds Charley Carpenter in the middle of every crime scene he tries to investigate. And she’s the one who identifies the crime scenes as set-ups from the book club’s latest reads.

There were plenty of suspects among the town’s elite book club members, and lots of scandal to wade through in figuring out who dunnit. Ms. Nagel kept me guessing right up to the end. Is my brain slowing down or are writers getting better?

Author Website:
Warnings:  Descriptions of Murder Scenes
Length:  271 Pages
Digital Price:  $3.99

You’ll notice we always include the publisher’s buy link. That’s because authors usually receive 40-50% of the net proceeds from the publisher. Editors and cover artists usually receive about 5%. When you buy a book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or another third-party vendor, they take a hefty cut and the author, editors and cover artists receive their cuts from what is left. So, if a book costs $5.99 at E-Book and you buy from there, the author will receive about $2.40-$2.99. If you buy the book at Amazon, the author will receive about $1.70-$2.10.

Download the file from the publisher onto your computer as you would any other file. I’ve created a folder for books on my computer, with subfolders by source (Marketing for Romance Writers, Net Galley, Authors who find me on Kindle lists, etc.). That way, if there’s a glitch with your Kindle, the books are on your computer. Some publishers send books in all digital formats. If my Kindle breaks and my kids buy me a Nook, I won’t have to replace all of my books. If you have a Kindle and your hubby has a Nook, you won’t have to buy separate copies, so buying directly from the publisher can save you money.

Moving the file from your computer to your e-reader is as easy as transferring any file from your computer to a USB flash drive. Plug the larger USB end of your e-reader charging chord into a USB port on your computer and simply move the file from the folder into which you’ve downloaded the book to Documents/Books directory on your e-reader. You can move the file by highlighting it and dragging it to the documents directory in you Kindle you want to move it to. Or right click on it, and then left click copy or move. Or hit Control/C for copy, Control/X for cut, and Control/V for paste.

Your author will be happy you did when he/she sees his/her royalty statement.

Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Hineni Here I Am by Marshall Schoenke


If you were to look around you, and I mean really open your eyes and look around, a revolutionary change is being prayed for before we destroy this world.

Jesus is back and he is willing to jeopardize his life again, to be laughed at, spit upon, tortured, imprisoned, rejected, and murdered—again.

He wants you to know you are just as loved as he is, and he is not returning to be worshipped.

The Reality is Jesus has returned to Destroy death, as is the full prophecy of Immanuel found in Isaiah from the Oldest known remnants of ancient Hebrew Scriptures. Just who could this be who has known the oldest priesthood of the one and only Most High God Before Abraham?

Peace be upon you.

About the Author:

Marshall Schoenke is a musician/carpenter from Wildwood, Illinois who has had some startling spiritual revelations. He comes from a large religious family, and is married with two daughters, one step-daughter, and a granddaughter who has him wrapped around her pudgy little finger. He and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Lake County, Illinois with their dog, Amonte and cat, Amoshi.


Again, I realize editors should not review the books they work on. But this one was just too fascinating to pass up.

A few years ago there was a pop song that started out, “What if God was one of us? Just a slob riding on a bus…” What’s really funny is that I’ve reviewed quite a few apocalyptic novels lately. What’s not funny is that this man really believes he’s the reincarnation of Jesus.

Hineni Here I Am is a thought-provoking book, to say the least. Mr. Schoenke tells his autobiography. He claims to remember the moment of his conception. Not so much gestation, and the story of his birth is told more from the memories of his parents than a first-person account (thank goodness!). He tells anecdotes of his childhood like the time he pulled his baby brother out of the crib, propped him up with a bunch of stuffed toys and proceeded to give them Communion. When his mother, aunt and grandma questioned him, he told them he was going to be the “top dog priest.” Another time, when serving as an altar boy, Mr. Schoenke was shocked to learn the youngest child of a family he was close to was being buried. He became hysterical, sure he could raise the child from the dead. He could always feel other people’s pain, and never understood why.

In fact, Mr. Schoenke didn’t understand much of what was happening to him until a wasp stung him and he coded. Most people go to the light and see deceased love ones. Mr. Schoenke saw three globes of blindingly bright blue-white light and heard music emanating from them. One came forward and said, “Welcome home, Jesus. You’ve done well.”

Up to that point, all he’d done was write a few songs with spiritual lyrics. He felt he had a lot more to do and said so. The Mother retreated, and a deep, masculine voice emanated from the center globe. “So mote it be. You may return.” When he returned to the room, he hovered over his body. The paramedics had already called time of death and were packing up. One had a breathing bag just sitting on his face. Mr. Schoenke returned to his body and moved his arm to get the guy with the bag to help him start breathing again. He suffered no brain damage.

That is just the beginning of Mr. Schoenke’s journey. He states he is not here to be worshipped, and that was not the message he was spreading the first time he was here, either. Actually, he confirms many of my beliefs about Jesus Christ, what his ministry was originally about, and how it got garbled as it came down to modern Christians. To be honest, in light of my own beliefs, I can’t completely dismiss the man’s claims. But I can’t completely accept them either. Nor does he want money.

Hineni Here I Am is clearly not written by a professional author. Mr. Schoenke even apologizes to me in the acknowledgments for not always taking my advice. (We did some wrangling, and a lot of my comments ended up being “Argh!” But it’s his book.) If you want something to think about with entertaining moments, I highly recommend Hineni Here I Am.

Author Website:
Heat Rating:  G
Length:  387 Pages
Print:  $15.99
Digital:  $2.99
Buy Link:  TBA

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Plague by Buzz Bernard


In only a matter of days, 9/11 and the destruction of the Twin Towers will be rivaled by a lone-wolf terrorist attack on America. Atlanta is targeted as Ground Zero for the most horrifying plague in modern times.

Deep in the secret recesses of a Cold War lab, the Russians created tons of deadly bio-weapons. Now, decades later, a protégé of that Russian research is about to release weaponized Ebola into the heart of the South’s most iconic city: Atlanta, where the symbols of American “decadence” range from a happily diverse population to the Coca-Cola museum and CNN building.

A preliminary test of the horrifying virus demonstrates the unspeakable suffering of its victims—and alerts the Centers for Disease Control that a terrible pandemic is in the making. CDC Virologist Dr. Dwight Butler begins a frantic effort to track down the source before it’s too late.

For new BioDawn CEO Richard Wainwright, it quickly becomes clear that the “accidental” plane crash that killed the pharmaceutical company’s entire executive hierarchy may have some connection to the evolving threat. Suddenly Richard is being stalked by a hit woman. He and Butler join forces to find the lone terrorist at the center of a plan that could unleash a modern Black Plague on the western world.

About the Author:

H.W. “Buzz” Bernard is an Air Force veteran and retired Weather Channel meteorologist. His 2010 hurricane thriller, Eyewall, became a number one bestseller in e-book. Visit him at


I like a good thriller, especially by an author who does his/her homework, as Mr. Bernard obviously has done. While Dr. Butler is a colorful character, he takes his job seriously, and is uniquely able to track down the bug that is plaguing the people of Atlanta. Richard Wainwright comes out of retirement to take over direction of BioDawn when the entire Board is killed in a plane crash. He’s only an interim boss until someone permanent can be found, but he still wants to know what’s going on in the guarded building the even he’s kept out of, and why funding for that research doesn’t show up on the company’s books. Even when a hit woman tells him to mind his own business. Especially then.

Mr. Bernard kept me on the edge of my seat from the first page of Plague until I finally finished it. Again, carve out a block of time before you pick up Plague. You won’t want to put it down once you do.

Author Website:
Warnings:  Graphic Descriptions of Hemorrhagic Fever Symptoms
Length:  232 Pages
Print:  $13.91
Digital:  $5.38

Thanks for visiting.