The Rosary Murders, first published in 1978, is coming to readers again. This cozy mystery is fun, easily followed, and easily read. The Rosary Murders was made into a movie, starring Donald Sutherland, in 1987. This book is one of some twenty-four crime novels featuring Father Robert Koesler.

William X. Kienzle spent twenty years in the priesthood after leaving due to a disagreement with policy. He was editor of MPLS Magazine in Minneapolis, then later was director of Center for Contemplative Studies at University of Dallas. His wife carries on his publishing career today.

Kienzle leads us on a merry chase as the seemingly innocuous death of a priest near death in a hospital becomes more  important as the first death in a series of murders. Key elements are the joking between colleagues in the police department and the conversations between priests during meals. The trust the Catholic priests and nuns place in their parishioners is important. Not only in real life, but in The Rosary Murders, that trust is what makes priests and nuns so susceptible to danger, especially when working in the less desirable areas.  The police wisely pay attention to Fr.  Koesler as he offers his help and is open to their suggestions to catch the culprit and solve the crime.

This is a short, easy read. Fun and not complicated. The Rosary Murders makes a good read for a quiet day or to lull to sleep at night.

Because the reader may be accustomed to today’s technology, please remember this is an older book. Cell phones are not around every corner.

All in all, I’d give this a 4 out of 5 stars for its ingenuity of the time and the easy writing style.

So what are you waiting for? Go read it!

NOTE: I was provided this book by request to NetGalley in return
for an honest review.

Book Two: Publishing – Real Life Tips for: Writing, Publishing, and Promoting Your Own Books. (On a budget of almost

By Michael Esser


I was interested in Mr. Esser’s book because I am an aspiring  novelist. Also, because I want to know how self-published authors get from their  word processor to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the like. Mr. Esser did have  some interesting information.

He suggests proofreading and getting a professional editor for  the self-publisher. He is correct in that suggestion. As an editor for a small  publishing company, and as a reader, this is a very important step that should  not at any time be ignored. Good friends and family, even if they’re quite adept  at the English language, spelling, and punctuation, are sometimes too lenient on you. Hiring a professional means you’re probably going to find better editing, making your book a better seller. There’s little more upsetting than people talking about your book because the editing, or even the formatting, was horrible. The public expects more, even in the day of the self-publisher.

His tips on where and how to format seem appropriate without going forward and attempting it myself. He tells his readers where and how the ISBN is appropriated. He discusses marketing, but slightly misses the mark without more specific information. He tells how to figure out pricing of your published piece.

Mr. Esser, however, falls short in his own work by not following his own advice. Spelling is incorrect (“by” instead of “buy” for example), bad formatting in spots, etc. His sentence structure and wording are lacking in places, which is something a good, or even half-good, editor would have helped fix. Considering this is a how-to for self-publishers, I expect much more from him.

If you want some information in the self-publishing steps, go ahead and get it. This book as of today (May 30, 2012) is a free download for nook. As long as you remember he did not follow his own advice, there are some helpful tips here. Do not let this be your only resource, however. There are more appropriate books available for the self-publisher to become more prepared with their self-publishing journey.

Unfortunately, I hate to give bad reviews, but this can only get a 2 of 5 stars from me and that is for content.

Magic Bridge by Thomasina Burke

Thomasina Burke, in her debut novel, has brought reading to a level that touches your heart and soul. Her characters, Bridgette and Matt, are friends, then lovers, then soul mates. They have a typical life in facing challenges and surmounting them, but that is not where and how the story ends. Magic Bridge takes us to the heart of their lives. Bridgette, a nurse and volunteer rescuer in Crown King AZ, is a damaged soul that isn’t open to love. Matt is a construction worker and bicyclist who is caring and giving. Their meeting is unique, their courtship is fun, and their end is not an end.

It is not a spoiler to let future readers know that Matt will not finish the story; Ms. Burke points that out in her prologue. What she does not do in the prologue is explain to her reader that she is going to touch your heart and soul in ways it may not have been touched before.  Development of the characters, including the cast of secondary characters, allows Bridgette and Matt to have a fullness that is not often found in novels.

Travelling the globe, Bridgette and Matt find new dimensions to their relationship and fall in love over and over again. The description of their visits is fully developed, allowing the reader to see the landscape and feel the breezes. This home-body is almost ready to hop on a plane to experience these travels with Bridgette and Matt.

On the editing side, this is one of the best-edited self-published novels I’ve read. Ms. Burke did not skimp in her endeavor. On  the emotional side, I was touched. I am not a “crier” yet I cried as Bridgette dealt with her sense of loss and mourning.

I was given this book by the author, upon request. She is a friend of a friend. Frankly, I was prepared to think it was an “okay” book. It’s not. I was blown out of the water. I sincerely hope Ms. Burke is working on a new book now. Magic Bridge left me wanting more. Not more of Bridgette and Matt, she gave it all in Magic Bridge, but she left me wanting more of her powerful writing.

Overall, if you don’t read this book, you’re going to miss an experience. Fair warning to future readers: read this book with tissues close by.  Although there is sadness in the book, it is more than that. It is a power of love and devotion that is often missed in today’s fast-paced dog-eat-dog world. If possible I would give this novel 10 out of 5 stars.

Thank you Thomasina Burke, for allowing me to read and experience emotions and feelings that I thought I could never feel. I am praying that this book has given you the impetus to write another.

Dalya Moon is an independent author with several books under her belt.  The Smart Mouth Waitress is the second book of her Life in Saltwater City Series. Her books in this series have characters that might appear in other novels, but are very stand-alone reads.

Peridot, Perry to her friends or Dottie to her mother, is an 18-year-old young lady that wants a boyfriend. She thinks she’s very individual and off-beat, yet her wants and needs are very mainstream. She finds herself agreeing with things her mom has done or said, which is slightly disgruntling yet normal for a young lady transitioning from teenage crazies to adulthood. Her friend, Courtney, has a new lover that brings a bit of angst to their relationship. Britain (the new lover) and Perry do not see eye-to-eye, yet Courtney thinks they all should be friends. Of course, this brings some scenes  that require Perry to make decisions about their friendship.

Perry’s two possible boyfriends bring different things to her decision making. She finds herself drawn to both of them, and they’re friends with each other. Then, she finds that “getting” a boyfriend is not as easy as she thought. She changes her looks hoping to catch the eye of the first one, only to catch the eye of the second. They go through the come-hither, go-away issues until Perry’s mind is made up for her.

Her work place is a fun place where being a smart mouth is a plus. It brings fun, engaging conversation and embarrassing occasions to Perry. She takes on added responsibilities as her mom leaves town to pursue her career and Perry is left in charge at home. Her younger brother is fun, gets in a spot of trouble, yet we get to see the sibling interaction as realistic. Her dad has some issues with ADD and anxiety yet is still the “dad” for the family.

Overall, I’d say The Smart Mouth Waitress is a fun read that is easy to read as well. As an  independent I only found one typo in it, which is a huge plus with indie publishing.

NOTE: I won this book through MemberGiveaways on LibraryThing.

Dakota Franklin is author to the series Ruthless
to Win
. Each book of the series, however, is stand-alone with references
that do not require the reader to know the story of other books. She lives in
Switzerland and writes exciting, technical novels. For the average reader,
Requiem at Monza might contain too much technical information, yet it will
continue to hold the reader in its grip of intrigue.

Jo Ann, the main character, is a securities specialist searching
for a vehicle part that the Italian authorities will not release for inspection.
The intrigue involves authorities and criminal minds allowing a lot of action
and twists to the plot. About the time you think the mystery will be solved, a
new twist steps in. Jo Ann, being the strong, tall woman she is (yes, tall is
important to Jo Ann), is able to think ahead most of the time to the possible
implications of the situation. Jo Ann brings a little humor, a lot of intuition,
and her ability to think outside of the box to give the reader enjoyment.

This is not a novel for the light reader, but is one that will
probably hold the attention of any racing fan to the brutal end. The race track
and drivers figure prominently yet do not overshadow the action. The high-tech
influence on the cars is important and explains many things that the non-racing
fan might grasp to understand the technology involved in putting these
high-dollar cars on the track.

NOTE: I received this book as a Member Giveaway on

The youngest sister of Katherine Woodville played a quiet part
during the War of the Roses. Today’s reader never hears about her. She was born
to a noblewoman accused of witchcraft, was sister to the queen that considered
an upstart, and wife to a traitor to the crown. Married as a child, she was
married for 18 years and had four living children as her husband turned
  traitorous to Richard III. She was in her twenties when it happened.

Higginbotham takes us through the War of the Roses with Kate
  Woodville, as an added bonus she uses Harry’s voice (Henry, Duke of Buckingham)
  to describe the events of War of the Roses. Harry was also a child when he and
  Kate married. He was liked, but never favored, with Edward IV. Only with
Richard’s throne did he begin to have the titles and tribulations a duke would
expect from the crown. But at what price? It cost the lives of Kate’s brother
and several nephews, including the crown

Kate and her children survive the traitorous acts of her husband
to live on when Henry VII comes to the throne. Her little known story is just
one of the many that should be told. Love, betrayal, and death surround her
family as the quest for the throne is

Susan Higginbotham has done her research well and used the facts
to form a compelling story that any fan of the War of the Roses will find this
fictional account a must-read.

NOTE:  I purchased
  this book with my own funds.

Plain Jane written by Laurien Gardner, is a
rare view at Jane Seymour, third wife of Henry VIII. She isn't a beauty in the
traditional sense like Anne Boleyn. Gardner present Seymour as a woman with an
inner beauty determined not to be beheaded or be set aside as her predecessors
were. Although Jane is one of the lesser-known wives, she is important in that
she was the only wife to successfully bring a son, an heir, to the monarchy.
Gardner brings us a story that gives Jane substance and gives the reader
appreciation for this little-known queen. She is quiet, obedient, and faithful.
She does stand up to the king, but in a quiet way unlike her predecessors.
Jane's death, so soon after Edward is born, is treated with empathy and is given
a dignity that Jane so richly deserves. Well done, Laurien Gardner.

NOTE: This book was purchased with my own funds.