The Bestseller Job by Greg Cox

The Bestseller Job by Greg Cox

Hey Readers!

This we I am reviewing, a book about a heist: The Bestseller Job by Greg Cox. I’m not normally into heist books, weird right considering I love action and procedural novels, but I just haven’t ever picked them up. This one was already on my bookshelf when I started planning my 2018 reading challenge and so I went for it. Might as well clear out some space, right? If you’ve seen the show before, you have an idea what Leverage: the book series is all about: a high action con team playing robin hood with a little action on the side. Having watched a few episodes, I knew what to expect, and while I usually love novels connected to tv shows, I wasn’t expecting gold here. I struck it anyway. Continue reading

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July Fitness Challenge

Hello Readers!

My fitness journey has taken me into all sorts of interesting places. This past month, I was approached by a personal trainer at my gym and offered a free consultation. I was neutral about the idea, because I’ve been doing this for a while and feel like I have an idea what I’m doing, but hey. I haven’t been making any progress on my own, and I can assume he has more professional experience, I can always stand to learn more, right? So, I took him up on the offer, and I stand corrected. While I do know more than the average bear about fitness, and the general rules of health, I still learned a hell of a lot in a short 45 minute session. I’m really excited to share these tips with you. Continue reading

How to throw an Epic Dinner Party

Hey Readers!

Something I always love doing in the summer is hosting dinner parties! Whether you have outside space or not, it is a great way to get people together, in the midst of all the summer busy-ness, and really connect. It is also a great opportunity to introduce people whom you think would be an interesting match, and I don’t mean romantically, that that can work too. I have a few tips and tricks to hosting an epic dinner party, and keep the night sailing smoothly. Continue reading

The Smart Cookies Guide to Making More Dough Review

The Smart Cookies Guide to Making More Dough: How to Spend Smart, Get Rich and Live a Fabulous Life by Jennifer Barrett, Angela Self, Katie Dunsworth, Robyn Gunn, Sandra Hanna, Andrea Baxter

Hey Readers!

This week I am reviewing a book that sat on my shelf for many, many years, producing much guilt and collecting much dust, Smart Cookies Guide to Making More Dough by The Smart Cookies with Jennifer Barrett. My mother gave me this book when I started college in an attempt to help me manage my money and make healthy financial choices. Until now, I hadn’t so much as flipped through the pages, and I regret it. I added this book to my 2017 reading list because it fit the challenge category; a book with career advice. While the book certainly has some career advice; for example, how to negotiate a raise, and how to determine if a job offer is worth the switch, it is definitely about making money moves.

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Tasting Fruit and Fruit conditions: Wine Lessons in Action

Hey Readers!

Earlier this month we talked about fruit and fruit conditions in wine. Meaning, we discussed the different fruits you can smell and taste in a wine, differentiating between ripe, underripe, cooked, stewed and other such conditions, and what that means in regards to the wine’s age, production style, and region. It was a lot to go over in one blog post, and so I thought it would be great to give you some examples. I had the opportunity to visit one of my favorite local vineyards, Blenheim Vineyard, this past weekend with a good friend of mine, and we spent a good deal of time noting the different fruit qualities in the different wines and what secrets those notes held. It felt like a perfect example to share with all of you. Continue reading

Bullet Journal : Habit Trackers

Tracking Habits In Your Bullet Journal

Hey Readers!

We are five months into 2018. How are your “New Year’s Resolutions” going are you looking for new ways to beef up your self-improvement or progress, or just to feel like you have your shit a little more together? I know that feeling. When you look back over the changes, or lack thereof, of that last few months and wonder, what in the world have I been doing? It’s not the best feeling, but it’s not something you can give yourself too hard of a time over. Being the list queen that I am, I use my bullet journal to keep me on track, and not just by making lists. Professionals say it take 21 days to build a habit 90 to build a lifestyle. There is certainly a lot more that goes into it than simple habit repetition, but consistency is certainly key. Continue reading

Time of Death by J.D. Robb

Time of Death by J.D. Robb

Hey Readers!

This week I am reviewing Time of Death by J.D. Robb. I read this paperback to fit my 2018 PopSugar Challenge category: a book written by a female writer using a male pseudonym. I thought about reading a Robert Galbraith work instead however, I already had this one. Back when I worked at Barnes and Noble they had an undiscussed program for employees where we could take home books that were destined for the dumpster. I was a huge fan of this program and would check every night and grab any that seemed remotely interesting. This is how I collected almost the entire series of Sookie Stackhouse Series books and why a large portion of books in my library do not have front covers. Whenever I start planning a reading challenge, I try to incorporate as many of these titles as I can, as my collection is substantial. Much to my happiness, this book is actually three in one: Eternity in Death, Ritual in Death and Missing in Death. I enjoyed each one quite a bit.

J.D. Robb’s “In Death” Series combines crime novels with aspects of fantasy and science fiction in a delicious cocktail that doesn’t require too much suspension of belief. Better yet, the main character, Lieutenant Eve Dallas is just the right balance of skeptic and open-minded to ease the reader into the “far-fetched” criminals of each novel. Complete with her more new-age partner Peabody, and her husband Roarke, a sizzling multi-millionaire with a dark edge, she solves gruesome murders that would leave other detectives reeling. J.D. Robb is actually Nora Roberts, the prolific romance novel writer. She began writing under the pseudonym J.D. Robb in 1995 taking the initials J and D from her the names of her two sons; Jason and Dan, and Robb as a shortening of her existing last name. Since then, she has completed 39 books for the “In Death” Series on top of her other publications.

Time of Death is a great collection of stories, and a satisfying example of J.D. Robb’s storytelling skill. In Eternity In Death Dallas faces off against a seductive ex-con turned club-owner who is manipulating wealthy women with the promise of eternal life as his vampire bride. In him, Eve sees her own monsters and dark past, and struggles to rectify her desire for justice with the desire to wipe his greasy memory from her city, future New York. In Ritual In Death one of Roarke’s properties, and some of his employees are targeted by magic-capable citizens in order to carry out a satanic ritual. From the outside the plot seems foolproof, down to the should-have-been-dead patsy found roaming the halls doused in the victim’s blood. But even the One God isn’t a match for the combined powers of New York’s Finest. Finally, in Missing In Death, Eve and Roarke go toe to toe with each other in a real life game of Spy VS Spy. You’ll have to read to find out whether good or evil wins in this book. Decide for yourself where the line is drawn.

I really enjoyed these books. They were very quick reads, and the relationship between Dallas and the other characters was fun and honest. Her team at work and home respected her, but not without fault, and her romantic life took at much effort as her work. J.D. Robb did a great job of characterizing the strengths of woman, without falling into the stereotypical weaknesses. I have never read any other works by Nora Roberts, so I am not familiar with her writing style, but I am very interested in picking up one of her books to compare. These books would be great for anyone looking for a quick, satisfying read, or viewing fans of shows like Castle or Law & Order SVU.

If you enjoyed this book or this genre you should check out The Nikki Heat Series by Richard Castle, another procedural cop series written under a male pseudonym, but with a tie in to a great TV Show. If you haven’t seen it watch it.

If you enjoyed the writing style here, look into some of Nora Roberts other works, there are nearly three hundred to choose from. Maybe you can start with The Witness, where one crazy night changes a woman’s life forever.

For another twist on Romantic Suspense, take a look at Samantha Jellicoe series by Suzanne Enoch. In this action packed series the criminal must prove her own innocence. Will she tripped up by love?

 

Have you read any of these books before? What do you think of the In Death Series, or Nora Roberts’ other works? Have you seen any of her TV Movies, or Castle? I’d love to hear what you have to say so please comment below or email me at cherrieschocolateanddirt@gmail.com!