Sunday, March 31, 2024

Cracklin' Rosie by Jennifer Lynn Cary Blog Tour Book Review

About the Book

Book: Cracklin’ Rosie

Author: Jennifer Lynn Cary

Genre: Historical Christian Romance

Release Date: November 20, 2023

She’s a strong-willed chiropractor…

…He’s an old-fashioned MD.

Sparks fly—but will they burn them or make them sizzle?

When Rose Crackinbush D.C. sets up her modern (for the 1970s) practice in a new town, heaven help anyone who thinks chiropractors aren’t legitimate doctors.  Those naysayers will eat their words. Or she might make them cookies—she can be nice.

And if she can keep her temper about the town’s Jokester MD, she might win some new patients.

But this MD isn’t just a jokester. A dedicated family doctor, Brett Shoffner uses humor to help heal his patients. Only it seems newly-arrived lady chiropractors aren’t ready for his quips — no matter how pretty and smart they are. This specific lady chiropractor, not the quips.

Life would be so much easier for these two if they could avoid each other. But fate keeps throwing them together. Can they see beyond the symptoms and diagnose the real reasons behind their push-pull attraction?

And if so, will they choose the best cure?

Welcome back to 1972 Kokomo, Indiana in Cracklin’ Rosie, the fourth installment of the Weather Girls Wedding Shoppe and Venue series, where the Great Physician can adjust callings and purposes in ways never imagined.

You will enjoy Cracklin’ Rosie, a sweet, clean romcom inspired by Neil Diamond’s 1960’s song of the same title, because everyone knows that the plans we make don’t always end up as we thought they would.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It is set in 1972 when women were still trying to make their way in so many professions. It was also a time when chiropractors were really looked down upon by the traditional field of medicine. Our heroine, Rose, is a female chiropractor so she had a really hard time earning the respect of others. She and Brett, an MD, are thrust together and they get off to a rough relationship. I love the quips and humor Cary adds to the dialogue. Cary is a wordsmith and it shows in this novel. Here is just one example of her clever writing: “petite chiropractor who'd adjusted his way of viewing medicine...”

This is a wonderfully entertaining novel covering a number of issues. Besides the women breaking into traditionally male professions and chiropractic practice, there is also a good lesson on forgiveness and the exploration of the pain of dementia on others. We get to see the developing relationship between Rose and Brett from both of them in alternating sections. That was fun and not at all confusing.

Cary's writing style is a pleasure to experience. I have read several of her books, such as the Weather Girls series and have enjoyed them all. This is a good novel for readers who like an entertaining story with a few thought provoking issues and a fun historical setting.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

About the Author

Historical Christian Romance author, Jennifer Lynn Cary, likes to say you can take the girl out of Indiana, but you can’t take the Hoosier out of the girl. Now transplanted to the Arizona desert, this direct descendant of Davy Crockett and her husband of forty years enjoy time with family where she shares tales of her small-town heritage and family legacies with their grandchildren. She is the author of The Crockett Chronicles series, The Relentless series, and The Weather Girls trilogy as well as the stand-alone novel, Cheryl’s Going Home, her novella Tales of the Hob Nob Annex Café, and her split-time novels The Traveling Prayer Shawl and The Forgotten Gratitude Journal. Cracklin’ Rosie is the fourth book of her spin-off series The Weather Girls Wedding Shoppe and Venue.

More from Jennifer

I’ve long been a fan of 60s music—since the 1960s! Neil Diamond has been a favorite performer since that time. I must have been in fourth grade with “Thank the Lord for the Nighttime” was released. I had no idea of any deeper meaning, just loved the song—it would’ve gotten full 98 score from me for having “a great beat and fun to dance to” if I’d been a judge on American Bandstand with Dick Clark.

Fast-forward a good fifty plus years, and I’m researching 60s music where the song title has a girl’s name in it for my Weather Girls Wedding Shoppe and Venue series and I run across “Cracklin’ Rosie.” That was one song I sang with gusto. So fun. But I never was sure of the meaning. What or who was Cracklin’ Rosie? Then I got an inspiration that made me laugh out loud. I even contacted friends to share—tickled me to no end. What if Rosie was a chiropractor? That was the genesis for this story.

Of course, it needed to be funny. And who better to add humor and conflict than a medical doctor who fancied himself as an amateur comedian? The idea stuck and the brainstorming began. I have to tell you my critique partner, Diana Brandmeyer, understands humor. It was a blast coming up with ways to make it funny.

I hope you will agree, and that there will be moments when you snort or chuckle. Or even laugh out loud and have someone look over at you, so you tell them, “You gotta read this book.” Anyway, whether anyone watches you read, I hope you’ll enjoy this latest addition to the Weather Girls Wedding Shoppe and Venue series, Cracklin’ Rosie.

Blog Stops

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, March 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 30

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 31

Texas Book-aholic, April 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 2

JESUS in the EVERYDAY, April 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 4

Blogging With Carol, April 5

For Him and My Family, April 6

Cover Lover Book Review, April 7

Splashes of Joy, April 8

Exploring the Written Word, April 9

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, April 10 (Author Interview)

Mary Hake, April 10

Pause for Tales, April 11

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Saturday, March 30, 2024

When the Flames Ravaged by Rhonda Dragomir Blog Tour Book Review

About the Book

Book: When the Flames Ravaged

Author: Rhonda Dragomir

Genre: Christian / Historical / Romance

Release Date: March, 2024

Will Faith Perish in the Big Top’s Flames?

Introducing a new series of 6 exciting novels featuring historic disasters that transformed landscapes and multiple lives. Whether by nature or by man, these disasters changed history and were a day to be remembered.

Evelyn Benson’s husband perished in the Bataan Death March but not her faith. The World War II Gold Star widow is taken in by her brother and soothed by the love of his wife and children. Evelyn refuses to cower to grief. She may not understand God’s mysterious ways, but she has never questioned Him—until the circus fire.

The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus train chugs into Hartford, Connecticut, on a sweltering day one month after the Allies invaded Normandy. Among the roustabouts is a reluctant clown, Hank Webb. He may hide from his murky past behind grease paint as Fraidy Freddie, but God wants to offer Hank a chance to be found. Though first, what little Hank believes about God will endure a fiery trial.

On Thursday, July 6, 1944, a devasting blaze of unknown origins consumes the circus tent along with Evelyn’s hopes and Hank’s anonymity.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

We hear of a disaster and might think nothing further of it. Dragomir has really brought out the personal aspect of a tragedy. Real people are involved and here we also experience the aftermath of finding survivors and identifying victims. That part of the novel is a bit gruesome. I appreciate the Author's Note identifying the actual facts of the tragic event.

The strength of this novel is the theological issues the characters talk and think about. Why does God allow tragedies? Where does the providence of God end and the responsibility of man begin? These are weighty issues and they are handled well in this novel. There is also a good faith message about trusting God after running from Him for years.

Readers who like historical fiction based on actual events will like this one. Dragomir's writing style is good and this book on a serious subject was easy to read.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author

Rhonda Dragomir is a multimedia creative who treasures her fairy tale life in Central Kentucky, insisting her home is her castle even if her prince refuses to dig a moat. She has multiple published works in anthologies and periodicals, along with numerous Bible studies studied weekly by more than 10,000 women around the world. Rhonda has garnered numerous writing awards for both fiction and nonfiction, including her selection as 2019 Writer of the Year by Serious Writer, Inc. In 2020 she was also a finalist in ACFW’s Genesis Contest for her first novel, a 16th century historical romance.

More from Rhonda

The heroine’s last living family members are struck down in a tragic fire. Will she crumble? Will she tumble into bitterness? Will she forsake her faith? We view life through her eyes and wonder, “What would I do?”

The best fiction sails the vast sea of human experiences and explores how we survive when storms roil the waters. Triumph, tragedy, victories, valleys—though we have not lived through the exact events as the characters, we feel the same elation on the crests and despair in the troughs of the waves.

This is why I love to write historical fiction, especially romance. I interweave my own thoughts and feelings with those of my characters. My words become theirs, and their responses mirror my own as I fight to keep my head above water.

I spent dozens of hours researching When the Flames Ravaged, the story of a horrific circus fire in Hartford, Connecticut on July 6, 1944. I gasped, I wept, and I marveled at the courage of rescuers who sacrificed their own lives to save others. True, live-or-die battles fueled my imagination, and composite characters leaped to life.

At one point, my hero dives into dark water, grasping with frail human understanding to comprehend the scope of the disaster. He decides good and evil are locked in an everlasting struggle, and humans are mere pawns stuck in the middle. Then he asks, “What is the use of serving God if He won’t protect you?”

Who has never asked the same thing when tragedy strikes? Pat answers and platitudes won’t suffice. Only a personal quest to discover an acceptable answer to this age-old question will help us find peace in the midst of the churning sea of doubt.

I hope my novel will toss a live preserver to everyone treading water.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 30

Pause for Tales, March 30

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 2

Texas Book-aholic, April 3

Simple Harvest Reads, April 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 4

Betti Mace, April 5

For HIm and My Family, April 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 6

Blossoms and Blessings, April 7

The Lofty Pages, April 7

Connie’s History Clasroom, April 8

Labor Not in Vain, April 9

Holly’s Book Corner, April 9

Cover Lover Book Review, April 10

Inkwell Inspirations, April 10

To Everything There Is A Season , April 11

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, April 12 (Author Interview)

Life on Chickadee Lane, April 12


To celebrate her tour, Rhonda is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon e-Gift Card & a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Tracking the Truth by Dana Mentink Blog Tour Book Review

About the Book

Book: Tracking the Truth

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: March 26, 2023

To expose a suspect, he needs evidence…

and a K-9’s instincts.

After Emery Duncan is abducted and dumped in a lake, private investigator Roman Wolfe and his bloodhound partner rescue her from an icy death. Someone doesn’t want Emery to find out what really happened the night her father confessed to attempted murder. To keep Emery and her baby nephew safe, they must uncover the connection between her father’s confession and the attack…or they’ll be silenced for good.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This inspirational romantic suspense starts off with a bang and keeps going with the continuous tension of further possible attack. I like the idea of training dogs to track and especially Wally the bloodhound involved in this novel. He has a mind of his own but when someone's life is on the line, he steps up to the canine hero task.

Mentink has done a good job of crafting believable characters with issues and needs. Emery's needs are real and Roman and his family well suited to help her. There are a number of support characters in Roman's family and I am sure we will see each of them them lead in future novels.

The plot develops well as Emery and Roman try to uncover the truth behind an attempted murder. There is a bit of suspense near the end that caps off a good novel. The romance is well done and there is a good faith message too. This is the beginning of a new series by Mentink and I will be watching for the next adventure.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author

Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of over forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Poisoned Pen Press.

More from Dana

Bloodhounds everywhere! I was thrilled to be offered a contract to write a WHOLE SIX BOOK SERIES with these amazing creatures and their private eye humans! Bloodhounds have been described as “noses with dog’s attached.” Isn’t that quaint? I hope you will enjoy reading about Wally. He’s a young dog who did not receive the proper training and he’s a tad…well…naughty. Good thing he’s got a handler who’s equally as stubborn. It’s a battle of wills between Wally and Roman and there’s plenty of room for fun along with the suspense. Bloodhounds, take it away!

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 28

Madi’s Musings, March 28

Bigreadersite, March 29

Texas Book-aholic, March 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 30

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 30

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 31

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 1

EmpowerMoms, April 1

She Lives to Read, April 2

Blogging With Carol, April 2

Simple Harvest Reads, April 3 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

For Him and My Family, April 4

Splashes of Joy, April 4

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 5

Devote To Hope, April 5

Blossoms and Blessing, April 6

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 6

Labor Not in Vain, April 7

Betti Mace, April 8

Paula’s Pad of Inspiration, April 8

Wishful Endings, April 9

Holly’s Book Corner, April 9

Pause for Tales, April 10

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, April 10

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The Machine Murders by CJ Abazis Blog Tour Boook Review

The Machine Murders

by CJ Abazis

March 25-April 5, 2024 Virtual Book Tour


Desert Balloons

A Dubai balloon festival is attacked by the most lethal social engineering exploit the world has ever seen. Pilots die. Local politics crumble. Is AI to blame?

A prime moment to be working for Interpol.

Manos Manu, Interpol data scientist, arrives in the United Arab Emirates to solve a series of murders that have shaken the Middle East.

Interpol’s Singapore back office has proven world-class, with a machine learning team of the best engineers from around the globe - including Manos’ girlfriend Mei. Tested under pressure in the field, his custom system is nothing short of brilliant.

But this time, his arch-nemesis is not simply a killer. Not even a web of determined developers, scattered across the world.

His enemy is his very own nature.

My Review:

This novel is an immersion in all things advanced technology and AI. I was captured by the idea of using a program to identify murderers by concentrating on negative personality characteristics. I appreciate being taken to a very interesting location for the balloon festival and then a harrowing ride on one.

Abazis' writing style required some extra concentration from me. I wasn't familiar with many of the terms and the technological actions taken. Because of that, I am not sure this septuagenarian understood all that went on. This would be a fine novel for those interested in and knowledgeable of the advancing areas of technology.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Book Details:

Genre: Suspense
Published by: Publisto
Publication Date: January 2024
Number of Pages: 284
ISBN: 979-8871582299
Series: The Machine Murders, 2 (stand alone novels)
Book Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:


Manos Manu was running his fingertip along the spines of books, as if automatically scanning their contents. He knew his data would be crystal-clear seen below the Singapore sun which grew hotter every day, but for the moment it was as though he could hear it, the data echoing like the descending scales of a piano, every note feeding a neural network. From one shelf to the next, his query never wavered: What is the soul?

“Bye, Baby! Planning on wasting much time there?” Blowing a kiss over her lovely shoulder, Mei was gone.

Leaving what? Artificial intelligence has consciousness, even ingenuity. So what sets machines apart from humans besides the soul?

He turned back to the books. There weren’t that many: Barber’s Bayesian Reasoning, works of Bishop and Hinton, Sutton’s Reinforcement Learning: An Introduction, and a few titles about neural nets. There was also an untouched Michael Crichton mystery, though not Jurassic Park. But such was Mei. If you want history, she’d say, read papers. If you want to learn, read code. If you need to know what people are saying about a piece of code, jump on X. Books were about as useful to AI as military theory was on the battlefield. What you need in the trenches is ammunition. In AI, just code. Just GitHub, the goings-on of which were too big for any conceivable library.

He also couldn’t stop thinking of Lena Sideris. In the two months since his return from Greece he kept remembering her body, cut open on a marble table like a broken porcelain doll being sent back to the factory. Her eyes glassy orbs. Did they hold consciousness? Emotion? They didn’t. A soul? He didn’t trace the spines of books now, but grabbed one of Barber’s works, opened to a random page and ripped it out. He returned it to the shelf, moving on to Sutton and all the others, tearing out a page from each one till he had about fifty. Incomplete, these books would now confront anyone reading them with inconsistency. Making sure the books were replaced perfectly so that Mei would never notice, he shredded the pages in his hands till they looked like ticker-tape confetti and went back out onto the balcony.

Different weather awaited him. Broad heavy clouds skittered across the sun’s rays, leaving traces as if from speeding aircraft. He threw some of the shreds over the glass railing, where the wind swept them past the ceiling, high overhead. He hurled the rest into the air and stared, mesmerized by their flight.

Was this a gesture Artificial General Intelligence would choose to make?

It wasn’t. An AGI would have carefully selected which pages to discard. He’d barely thought to read them.

This was futile, illogical, diabolical. He’d destroyed books from his beloved’s library.

And he felt wonderful.

Was this having a soul? He’d committed a decidedly wicked act. This is what separates us from machines. Evil.

Then he remembered what he’d been trying to forget: And murder.


It was Sunday morning and the first time she’d left him alone at her place. Before long, he received a message to meet up for brunch at Marina Bay. Mei would also swing by the office for the latest build of Mei-Nu, which was the name of their custom-made dating platform. They’d sifted through the crawled data correlating user profiles from sites like Tinder, Bubble, Coffee Meets Bagel, and Lovoo, elaborating a few of their own layers beyond basic personality tests. But both knew Myers-Briggs would only get them so far.

They needed more and better data: time to start seeing other people.

He arrived at Jypsy, late as usual. Mei was already seated with a couple at a table overlooking the Marina.

“And here’s Manos!” Mei called, with a cheerful smile.

“Sorry. Traffic,” he mumbled, his eyes fixed on his new date.

Her name was Daria, a pretty twenty-seven year old maritime attorney. She was of average build with big Anime eyes. Her psychometrics had indicated she was the enfp type, matching well with Manos’ intj. Creative, funny, a communicator. A handful, like him. He glanced over at Mei’s match, who was clearly regretting he’d come at all.

Mei launched their routine: “Thanks so much for meeting like this. I just wouldn’t feel comfortable by myself. Manos is a faithful friend.”

“Of course!” gushed Daria. “I’m chicken too - on dates, I mean . . .”

Bullshit. She’s fearless.

“It’s a bit strange,” said the young man. “A blind double date. It’s a good idea, but . . .”

His name was Marc, a banker from France. Type infp: diplomatic, introverted, yet apparently open-minded. Manos sensed he was very attracted to Mei and felt a pang of jealousy. Who wouldn’t be crazy about her? He would have to get used to it. Mei read his thoughts with a breezy smile before focusing on her date. They had work to do. For the next half hour, Manos and Mei worked through their mental checklist item by item to examine the people caught for them by the neural network they’d cast. This tête-à-tête had parameters culled from a somewhat small set of their respective right-swipes. Hidden biases lurked. For all. For example, if, as he claimed, Manos preferred the Chinese type to the Mediterranean - say, the actress Sun Li versus a Lena Sideris - then what the hell was Daria doing here, with her cascading black curls, fresh as lemon groves on the Amalfi coast?

With well-preprocessed data, even half an algorithm nails you!

Half an hour of small talk revealed where they were from, where they worked, their favorite movies, where they would love to travel, Like, if you could just leave tomorrow . . . .

It also revealed to Manos they’d made a mistake. Sex was a mistake. Which made Daria a mistake.

They had pulled profiles without timestamp-based clustering. This allowed data from hastily created profiles, like those made by married travelers looking for a quick hookup, which they hadn’t had time to isolate from the training datasets. Classic case of overfitting[1]. The algorithms worked, but with so much noisy data, spontaneity was redefined as fear. Fear’s not attractive. Fear degenerated into aggression and haste. Since we’re here, let’s do it right on the seafood bar, by the open oysters . . .

Another possible issue was voiced by Marc, who was saying:

“I’m not convinced double blind dates work.”

But Mei knew the problem was Manos himself. Always botching things! Attempting to "eliminate system biases” he’d added a stupid line of code actually designed to test the weights of their own Asian-American romance: sorted_data = sorted(data, key=lambda x: x['Asian']). Sweet of him, really.

Daria and Marc, each suspicious of these two nutjobs giving each other flirtatious looks and running the conversation along some shared secret formula, suddenly got up to use the restrooms.

Mei opened her laptop, steam practically coming out of her ears.

“I saw it this morning! I can’t believe you!”

“I don’t think it’s the command,” he murmured.

“The data –”

“Mei, it’s psychology, it’ not smooth world[2]. Anyway,” he smiled, cooling the tension. “I think Marc likes you.”

“You know he’s not my type.”

“Oh, but trust your data.”

“Manos Manu, are you trying to get rid of me?”

“No,” he said. “You’re my ground truth.”

Ground truth. A tech term they’d appropriated, meaning she mattered more to Manos than anything. Mei flushed with a thrill as he pulled her close, kissing her. They were swept up in vertigo, their kisses wet in all the right places. The world disappeared, as if their neurons were drunk and brimming over.

Until Daria reappeared. With Marc.

Neither took their seats. Instead they stood staring.

“I guess blind dates work out after all,” Marc teased.

Daria gave a crooked smile, a few locks of her glossy hair spiraling out wildly. Something had apparently happened in the bathroom.

“Noise!” cried Manos, triumphant.

Mei’s smile was as funny as Daria’s as she tumbled back into Manos’ arms. In the confusion, Daria’s much-needed enfp leadership came to the rescue.

“Ok, this started off wrong, but let’s make it right,” she said. “Marc and I want to hit a beach club in Sentosa.”

They all looked at each other, and Daria added, “You guys are super-nerds, but . . . do you want to come?”


[1] Machine learning term. Manos means the models they used were overly complex, resulting in incorporating irrelevant data in order to achieve the desired outcome ("noise"), such as the profiles of married individuals, for example.

[2] “Law of the smooth world” in machine learning refers to real-world data,


Excerpt from The Machine Murders by CJ Abazis. Copyright 2024 by CJ Abazis. Reproduced with permission from CJ Abazis. All rights reserved.


Author Bio:

CJ Abazis manages a software company in Athens, Greece.

Catch Up With CJ Abazis:
BookBub - @abazis
Instagram - @themachinemurders
Twitter/X - @CJAbazis
Facebook - @manosmanuseries


Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews!

Click here to view The Machine Murders by CJ Abazis Tour Hosts.

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Tours

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Partners in Crime Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Partners in Crime Book Tours.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Monday, March 25, 2024

Listen Do You Want To Know A Secret by Teresa Trent Blog Tour Book Review

Listen, Do You Want to Know a Secret

by Teresa Trent

March 18 - 29, 2024 Virtual Book Tour


A Swinging Sixties Mystery

Everyone has a secret, and in 1964, Dot Morgan’s new job at KDUD Radio is filled with them. Her boss, Holden Ramsey, is a terrible flirt, but he’s also engaged to a beautiful socialite. When Dot finds out he’s hiding involvements with other women, these secrets lead to a grisly murder. Can Dot figure out who is murdering the women in Holden’s life before she finds herself next on the hit parade?

My Review

This novel is a trip down memory lane. This book in the series focuses on music. So many song titles and artist names bring back wonderful memories. Trent also brings out some of the cultural issues of the day, such as the difficulty Blacks experienced in getting recording contracts. They also faced prejudice like being accused of a crime when there was no evidence. There is also quite a bit about weddings and preparing for one in this novel. Who doesn't remember punch made from 7-Up and lime sherbet?

There is a murder but it really takes a back seat to the romance issues of Dot, her friends and her boss. It is a good novel for readers who would like to be immersed in the radio station and recording scene of 1964 as there is not much of an emphasis on solving the murder. There is a little suspense near the end.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

You can read my review of an earlier book in the series, If I Had a Hammer.

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: January 2, 2024
Number of Pages: 230
Series: A Swinging Sixties Mystery, Book 3
Book Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

I've known a secret for a week or two.
Nobody knows,
Just we two
~The Beatles

February 9, 1964

"Hurry, Ellie. It's about to start," Al called out.

"I'm just putting the popcorn in the bowl, Al. Keep your shirt on," Ellie yelled back. The jaunty theme song to "My Favorite Martian" played in the background as it capped off the adventures of everyone's favorite Uncle Martin.

"You're not even married yet," Ben said, "and you already sound like an old married couple."

"Yeah, well," Al said as Ellie squeezed in next to him, reaching for a handful of popcorn. "I don't have to report to prison until June." He gave us a smile, cheeks bulging with popcorn. "Isn't that right, sweetie?" He looked like a mischievous squirrel.

Ellie gave him a sour grin and then playfully hit his shoulder. "You're the luckiest man in the world." She lowered her nose slightly, giving Al a piercing, no-nonsense gaze. "Go on and admit it."

"Yes, dear," Al responded automatically. I loved the way they bantered back and forth. You could tell they loved each other dearly.

Ben reached out and took my hand on the crowded couch, and I lay my head on his shoulder. What we had was different, but that was because we hadn't been dating as long as Al and Ellie had. I tried to keep that in mind. Meanwhile, Ed Sullivan appeared in front of the gray-toned curtains. When they panned the audience, it was filled with women. Young women, and they all looked like they were about to witness the second coming. There were so many expectant looks to the stage. One girl had her fists clenched and held to her chin. I had seen the Ed Sullivan show for years, but never had I witnessed such awe-filled excitement.

"Just look at them all." Ellie squinted at the television. "Do you see any men?"

Instead of answering her question, Al added, "Do you see anyone over thirty?"

Ed Sullivan looked somewhere between excited and terrified. "Ladies and gentlemen, the Beatles," Ed Sullivan yelled, and the screams rose to a feverish pitch.

I had never witnessed mass hysteria, but was sure I was seeing it on Ellie's new Phillips television set. "This is unbelievable. Those girls are going insane." The camera went from the audience to John, Paul, and George. Ringo was set up on a raised platform with his drums. They knocked out "I Want to Hold Your Hand," and with each measure the crowd screamed even more.

"I can barely hear the song for the caterwauling going on in the background," Al said.

"I wonder if they can hear each other." Ellie popped a handful of popcorn into her mouth.

"I told you the Beatles were big news." Ben was the room's professional reporter.

I couldn't get over how excited the fans were. I considered myself a bit of an expert in popular music since I landed my job at KDUD, The Smile on Your Dial. I wasn't spinning records, but I was answering the request line. We were getting more and more requests for the Beatles. Unfortunately, my boss chose Perry Como over John Lennon and Montavoni over Paul McCartney. Sometimes it felt like I was spending my days in a department store, listening to never-ending soulless melodies. Sales were down, and our listenership was too. If my boss would only switch to the popular music of the day, we'd be playing in everyone's kitchen.

It was more than these girls' crazy behavior in the presence of the Beatles. They bought the records. This was a big industry, and these four kids from England were taking America by storm. The rival station across town, KOOL, was playing them nonstop, and that's who people were listening to on their radios. Ellie told me they even made jokes about our station. We were oldies for the oldies. As Charlie Brown would say, "Good grief".

I needed to count my blessings. I had a job I enjoyed. I just hated to see how they were missing an opportunity with their choice of music.


Excerpt from Listen, Do You Want to Know a Secret by Teresa Trent. Copyright 2024 by Teresa Trent. Reproduced with permission from Teresa Trent. All rights reserved.


Author Bio:

Teresa Trent is the author of the Swinging Sixties Mystery Series published by Level Best Books featuring The Twist and Shout Murder (2022), If I Had a Hammer (2023), and Listen, Do You Want to Know a Secret (2024). She has been writing and publishing mysteries since 2011 starting with the Pecan Bayou Mystery Series and followed by the Piney Woods Mystery Series. When Teresa isn't writing novels and short stories, she spends her time creating narrated excerpts on her podcast, Books to the Ceiling, where she gets to use all that community theater experience from her teens and twenties along with a little audio editing she learned from her daughter. Teresa is a former English teacher, but also spent many years teaching music to preschoolers working with children of all abilities. Teresa makes her home in Texas with her husband and son.

Catch Up With Teresa Trent:
BookBub - @TeresaTrent
Instagram - @teresatrent_cozymys
Twitter/X - @ttrent_cozymys
Facebook - @TeresaTrentMysteryWriter


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I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Partners in Crime Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Partners in Crime Book Tours.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)