Blurbs to Fight the Winter Blues

Barbara Vey -- February 27th, 2008

Will this winter never end?  It seems the weather is main conversation everywhere you go these days.  Snow seems to be in almost every forcast and cold, bitter cold.  You’d think after living all my life in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin I’d be used to it, but I’m not.  I long for the sunshine to warm my bones and allow me to shed the 10 pounds of outer wear that drags me down.  But the good news is that it’s perfect weather to curl up with a good book, preferably one that takes place in a tropical setting.  Here’s the WW Ladies and friends winter reads of the week.

Foul Play: A Sofie Metropolis Novel
by Tori Carrington

Read by Joyce

 Sophie Metropolis is a mid-twenties PI in Astoria, Queens, NY.  In the tradition-oriented Greek-American community Sofie should by now be happily married and raising a family,  but the marriage didn’t happen, so she’s developing her skills at catching cheating spouses and finding lost pets.  Occasionally something bigger comes along with higher stakes and greater danger.   In Foul Play, the Mets are on a run for the National League Pennant, and, along with thousands of others, Sofie is an excited fair-weather fan.  When the wife of the rising star pitcher hires Sofie to find out why he’s behaving strangely, Sofie gets an inside peek into the lives of the rich and famous.  In this case, she’s not happy with what she finds as she realizes the stakes are more than money, but reputations and lives, including her own. 

When you get to page 30 in a book you’ve started and you laugh at least once per page, surely you’re on to something good.  And I was!  The Sofie Metropolis mysteries do make me laugh, and each one gets better.  The thing I like best is that the laughs aren’t just dependent on outrageous slapstick comedy, although there is sometimes that, but on Sofie’s thought processes in her narrative.   The problem with this 3rd book in the series is that now I have to wait months and months to find out what Sofie gets into next.  Mysterious, funny, romantic and sometimes poignant, Sofie will be worth waiting for. 

Helping Me, Help Myself  by Beth Lisick

Read by Loretta   This author, although happily married with a charming 5 year old son, is a published author of several books, but longs for help to change her disorganized household, obtain a more stable financial picture and improve her life.   She begins a year-long self help journey toward those ends by consulting the big money pros and national experts, attending seminars and classes plus trying to avoid their pitches to improve THEIR finances.   Her sparkling sense of humor bounces throughout the chapters of this book making this a fun learning experience for all of us.

These Boots Were Made for Stomping by Julie Kenner, Jade Lee, and Marianne Mancusi

Read by Joyce   From the time she’s a tiny tot until she has to slip into orthopedic walkers, a woman knows that shoes are all about magic.  Put on the right footwear, and there stands a whole new woman.  These three stories take that "whole new woman" idea a bit further when the shoes bought from an unusual on-line site tout they will give a girl her heart’s desire.  And they do…  (, Home of the Goddess Shoestra)   With self-confidence and new found strength, these super-heroines fight off bad guys, save the day, and get the guy.  What’s more magic than that?  

A Wicked Liason by Christine Merrill

Read by Anne

Constance Townley, Duches of Wellford is a widow looking for a new husband.  Anthony de Portnay Smythe is the gentleman cat burglar who now secretly works for the government.  When the two meet in Constance’s bedroom, where Anthony is sent to look for evidence of treason, Constance is sure he’s just a common thief…just very polite.

This delightful Regency historical wraps you up in a cozy relationship with a man who keeps trying to follow his head, but his heart gets in the way.  Their unorthodox relationship (he keeps climbing in her window) and quest to trap the bad guy (who tries to blackmail our heroine into his bed) make this book an enjoyable way to fight off the winter blues and leave you with a warm heart and a smile.

Shallow Grave by Lori G Armstrong  
Read by Joyce
Julie Collins is a PI in Rapid City, South Dakota. She’s tougher than she looks, and softer than she wants to be.  While working on a workmans comp case, she happens upon the remains of a young woman who’s been missing for 5 years.  As in the other two books in the series, she feels a personal obligation to find resolution and retribution for the person lost.  Her investigations take her to a Rapid City strip joint, into a biker gang club house, and out to the reservation.  The intrigues in these stories don’t involve just her current cases; her life and her relationships are as suspenseful and fascinating as the mysteries.   Shallow Grave kept me in its grip till the end, and I’ll be back for more.

Bottom Line:  I really need to make more friends that live in warm places (and have a guest room…and maybe a pool…heated, of course, with a liquor bar with those little umbrellas for the drinks and maybe…)

37 thoughts on “Blurbs to Fight the Winter Blues

  1. Jade Lee

    A good pair of shoes are worth their weight in gold, aren’t they? I had so much fun writing my shoe story that it’s almost a bonus when someone else likes the story too. Truly, I hope Love Spell does more of these books because…well, because a good pair of shoes makes all the difference! Actually, the truth is that I prayed and prayed for a pair of magic shoes as a kid. I almost feel like I got them!

  2. Tori Carrington aka Lori & Tony

    Ah, yes. We highly recommend that everyone begin their day on such a fantastic high note. Joyce…what can we say, you know, beyond THANK YOU?! We’re thrilled you’re enjoying our girl Sofie’s (mis)adventures. It’s always been our goal to take her from amateur sleuth/pet detective to kick-ass, master PI, um, pet detective. The fact that we’re having an unqualified blast every step of the way is an unexpected but welcome perk. (We just turned in final revisions for WORKING STIFF, the fourth Sofie book, out in August. Let’s just say the second word in the title is, um, a recurring theme throughout the story. ::zipping lips:::) Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you, Joyce. Your invigorating words are just what these two battle-scarred writers needed to help them navigate through the maze-like middle of their current WIP. Virtual baklava all around! xoxo Lori & Tony :> ;>

  3. Tori Carrington aka Lori & Tony

    On the winter blues…I hear ya, Barbara. Yesterday we woke to another six inches of that blasted white stuff (uttering the word in our house just now requires a five dollar addition to the curse jar). At first, we weren’t all that bummed. Temps hovered around 30, there had been no wind so every branch, every power line, every roof looked like a baking fairy had sifted powdered sugar over them. And by late afternoon, half of it had melted, roads were pretty much clear, and there had been no major misshaps. Ah, yes, every storm should look so magical and pass so quickly. Then this morning we woke to 5 degrees, with that ridiculous wind chill factor dipping to god only knows where (know how you love the wind chill factor), and all that melting had caused a lot of freezing. Ugh, ugh, and ugh again. I am sooooo ready for this winter to be over and done with. At this point I’m afraid not even the warm, summer sun will be able to thaw these cold bones. L – praying March roars in like a lion so this Greek fam can roast the damn, retreating lamb on a fire… ;>

  4. Christine Merrill

    So happy that you enjoyed the book, Anne. And that it did anything to shake off the last of the Winter blues. I am pretending today that winter is over. And if I go outside, I will not lose a shoe in the snow bank while chasing the dog and almost freeze my toes, like I did yesterday. It’s got to be sandal and high heel weather eventually, right?

  5. Christine Merrill

    So happy that you enjoyed the book, Anne. And that it did anything to shake off the last of the Winter blues. I am pretending today that winter is over. And if I go outside, I will not lose a shoe in the snow bank while chasing the dog and almost freeze my toes, like I did yesterday. It’s got to be sandal and high heel weather eventually, right?

  6. Barbara Vey

    Jacquie, Warrior’s Bride is coming up in the next couple of weeks. It’s in my TBR pile. Jennifer, if I get an invite, I’ll let you know. Tori, I’m licking my sticky fingers from the Virtual baklava. Thanks for dropping by all, your books are all terrific.

  7. violet s

    Good morning Barbara! Thanks for the new book suggestions/reviews–I agree that Wisconsin’s winter weather is good for cuddling up with my coffee & a good book, if nothing else!!

  8. Marianne Mancusi

    Thanks Joyce! Glad you liked the boots anthology. It was so much fun to write a heroine with super powers! Especially when they come from magical shoes! Julie and Jade’s stories are so much fun, too! I’m happy to be in such good company!

  9. Lori G. Armstrong

    Yes, Vanessa, Rapid City is in South Dakota – Joyce you’re forgiven for the slip – because we’re so used to people still calling us the “Dakotas” (we’ve been separate states since 1889). I will say, we are much warmer here than North Dakota…

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