Monday, February 3, 2020

Bonbon with the Wind by Dorothy St. James - Spotlight

Book: Bonbon with the Wind
(Book 4 in the Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery)
Author: Dorothy St. James
Publication date: 9 December 2019
Publisher: Barking Dog Press
Number of pages: 251 pages
ASIN: B082L528GS

Today, I'm featuring Bonbon with the Wind, a cozy mystery involving a chocolate shop by Dorothy St. James in a spotlight.


There's a legend in the Sea Islands that before a hurricane hits the Gray Lady can be seen walking down the beach warning of doom. Penn doesn’t believe in such silly stories, but she does believe weather forecasters. A powerful hurricane is heading their way. Everyone on the island of Camellia Beach is busy boarding up windows and securing valuables to upper levels of buildings. Joe Davies, a local treasure hunter with an unquenchable sweet tooth, claims to have seen the Gray Lady walking toward him just that morning and is terrified for his life.

After the storm passes everyone returns to survey the damage. As Penn walks her little dog Stella on the beach, she finds Joe Davies’ body washed up onshore. Not only that, it looks as if an exploding transformer caused Joe’s seaside shack to burn to the ground. Did the Gray Lady claim another victim? Many on the island believe that is exactly what happened.

Penn is sure there’s another explanation. She follows the clues and hints of lost gold to discover that the truth behind the treasure hunter’s death is as much of a maze as the boating channels winding their way through the local marshes.

Here's an excerpt from Bonbon with the Wind by Dorothy St. James

"What’s going on?”

“Dead body on the beach,” Byrd answered for me. “Your girlfriend found it.”

Harley tripped over his own feet. “Penn, really?”

I nodded.

“We haven’t been back in town for more than”—he checked his watch—“two hours, and you’re already stumbling across dead bodies?”

“It wasn’t on purpose. Besides, it wasn’t me. Stella found it.”

“You’re blaming the dog?” He scrubbed his hand over his face. “Whatever you do, don’t let Fletcher hear about it. He’ll declare it was a murder.”

“He won’t hear about it from me, but this is Camellia Beach. If he’s returned, there’s a good chance someone has already told him,” I said.

Fletcher was my newest employee. He had this unnatural interest in playing amateur detective. It was an interest that had nearly gotten him killed a few months ago.

Harley groaned. “That boy is looking for murders. He was wearing a Sherlock Holmes deerstalker hat the last time we saw him, for goodness sake.”

“It might be a murder,” I mumbled. Not quietly enough, apparently.

Harley paled.

I felt for him. He was likely remembering the last murder on the island. He’d helped me track down the killer. Things had turned downright dangerous at the end. Matters between Harley and me had also turned steamy right before we’d confronted someone who had no moral qualms against killing anyone who had gotten in their way.

Like Fletcher, we’d also been lucky to escape with our lives.

“Don’t misunderstand me,” I said. “I hope it’s nothing. I hope I’m seeing dead bodies where none exist.”

We arrived where I’d found the suspicious-looking shirt. Perhaps I was wrong. Perhaps that stinky lump in the sand wasn’t a dead body. I grabbed Harley’s hand and held it tightly as both Byrd and Marion donned plastic gloves.

Marion produced a little whisk brush from her medical bag—not something I was expecting she’d have in there and then squatted next to the suspicious lump. With fast, efficient swipes she removed the top layer of sand from a small area. A moment later, Byrd cursed.

I leaned forward to see what had upset him.

A mistake.

What I saw wasn’t something I’d wanted to see. I quickly pressed my face to Harley’s chest, sandwiching Stella between me and her arch nemesis. She wiggled and growled low in her throat.

“I didn’t want to be right,” I choked as I tried to soothe my angry little dog. “Truly, I didn’t.”

“I know, Penn.” Harley rubbed his hand up and down my back.

Marion had uncovered from the sandy grave what was clearly a man’s hand. The action of her brush had dislodged something disc-shaped from his fingers.

“Is that a gold coin?” Harley asked.

“Looks like it,” Marion answered as she continued to clear away the sand.

“It’s an accidental death,” Harley whispered in my ear. “Someone stayed during the storm who shouldn’t have stayed. It’s tragic, but far more common than you might think.”

“I hope you’re right.” It didn’t feel like he was right.

About the Author:
Dorothy St. James is the author of the White House Gardener mysteries. For the past twenty years she made her home on Folly Beach, an artsy island community in South Carolina with her sculptor husband. Dorothy is a member of Mystery Writers of America (MWA), Sisters in Crime (SiNC), and the International Thriller Writers (ITW). This is her fourth Southern Chocolate Shop mystery.

Connect with Dorothy St. James via her Website, Facebook, Twitter, and BookBub.

Purchase Bonbon with the Wind by Dorothy St. James via Amazon 


As part of the blog tour, there is a GIVEAWAY for Chocolate Gift Basket (Open to US residents only). Use the Rafflecopter link or widget below to enter.

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Keep up with the rest of the tour for Bonbon with the Wind by Dorothy St. James via Escape with Dolly Cas; this includes book reviews, author interviews, and guest posts.

February 3 – Nadaness In Motion & Literary Gold – Spotlights & The Power of Words – Book Review

February 4 – Sneaky the Library Cat's Blog – Character Interview & Laura`s InterestsBook Review & I'm All About Books – Character Guest Post

February 5 – Celticladys Reviews & Hearts & Scribbles & Reading Is My SuperPower – Spotlights & Jane Reads – Guest Post

February 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book & Books a Plenty Book Reviews – Book Reviews & A Blue Million Books – Author Interview

February 7 – Baroness' Book Trove & View from the Birdhouse Book Review & Brooke Blogs – Spotlight & Recipe & eBook Addicts – Spotlight

February 8 – Christy's Cozy Corners & My Reading Journeys  Book Reviews & I Read What You Write – Book Review & Guest Post

February 9 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – Spotlight & A Wytch's Book Review Blog – Book Review & Character Guest Post & My Journey Back – Author Interview

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Takhayyal writing prompt 104: Telekinesis

New month, new writing prompt!

Welcome back Ladies and Gentlemen, Artists, Poets, Writers, Authors, Dreamers, Friends and Family; Welcome EVERYONE to Nadaness In Motion's MONTHLY picture-prompt writing challenge Takhayyal or Imagine.

All you have to do is look at this image and open an empty word document or your favorite notebook and let the words flow... 

Are you up to this challenge?

Arabic for Imagine, Takhayyal is a challenge for writers of all ages and genres; a place to spark creativity and explore new genres.

Your post can be in English or Arabic, prose, poetry, short story, flash fiction, an imaginary situation, an artistic thought; you name it and write it.

General rules:

·        No nudity, violence, and/or abuse.
·  Use the image for inspiration and write your piece in the comments below or publish it on your blog and leave the link to it in the comments
·        Your piece MUST be inspired in some way or other by the above picture
·        Multiple entries allowed
·     It is not required but it is a nice and encouraging gesture to comment on others' pieces.
·        Feel free to add your Twitter handle (@....) so I can tag you in my tweets or tag me @NadanessSobhi and I'll retweet you :)


Monday, January 27, 2020

Lost in Beauty - Poem by Nada Adel Sobhi

The wind in my face
The music in my ears
The waves at my feet
And the sun gazing upon us all…
My definition of summer

The tune changes
Loreena McKennit fills my ears
And I know the magic will begin
Its power passing
From my music player
To the wind and water

I close my eyes
As the pen moves of its own accord
She too speaks of the sea
The water flows at my feet                            
Keep me cool
Against the curious sun
I drop my pen
As my senses become lost
In the beauty before and around me

By: Nada Adel Sobhi

Photography by Nada Adel Sobhi. Location: North Coast, Egypt, KM 87

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Nadaness In Motion's To-Be-Read List for 2020

I saw a fellow book blogger (Armed with a Book) write a list of books they have reserved for 2020 and I was inspired to do the same.

There are many books I wanted to squeeze in 2019 but couldn't so including them in my 2020 to-be-read (TBR) list was the logical next step.

Also, having this list would keep me on track on how I was progressing with books I want to read.

With the Cairo International Book Fair launching in late January and with new books being written, published, and discovered, and review requests coming in, this list will probably get larger - the bookworm's dilemma. But for now I'll like to see if I can finish this list in 2020.

So here's the list, including fiction and non-fiction.

1.  No Longer Safe by A.J. Waines
I've had this book and another by Waines on my TBR pile for a while, but I don't want to rush them because they're psychological thrillers and Waines was a psychoanalyst so I want to dive into her books without distractions.

I've previously featured A.J. Waines on my blog through an interview and excerpt of No Place to Hide and another interview about No Longer Safe.

2.  A Fantasy Writer's Handbook by Richie Billing

Another book I planned to read in 2019; this was a review request that I wanted to dedicate time and energy to. It's about 300 pages long and I wanted to take my time with it as I work on my own fantasy novel(s).

3.  Letters to a Young Novelist by Mario Vargas Llosa
I originally added this book to my TBR pile in 2018, but haven't had a chance to start it. I was told that people studying for their Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) had this Nobel-Prize-winner as part of their syllabi so I figured I'd read it as well. It's short, about 130 pages, and so far the index indicates it would be a good read. Will read it in 2020 and let you know.

4.  Reading Like a Writer, a Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose

Another book that I was told was part of the MFA program and that I included in my TBR pile. The book title is catchy and while I've been critiquing books for some time (You can see that on my Book Reviews page), I'm curious what and how others look at it. 
With these types of books and with book reviews, it is likely there'll be parts I agree with and others that I don't. But I won't pass judgement yet.

5.  Atomic Habits by James Clear
I've heard a great deal about this book and I found that my cousin, whose Kindle account we share, had downloaded it. Atomic Habits moved from my I'm-considering-this-book-but-won't-add-it-yet pile to my ever-growing TBR pile :D
So, will see what the hype is about.

6.  Bound (A Doyle Cozy Mystery) by Kirsten Weiss
I love reading Kirsten Weiss' books, in fact I've already reviewed several of her works. But this one is a paranormal cozy mystery so I couldn't pass the opportunity when I downloaded it free (it was on sale for subscribers to Weiss' newsletter).

I have several other books by Weiss on my TBR pile, but I'll focus on this one first.
Books I've reviewed for Kirsten Weiss include: The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum (Book 1 in a series by the same name), Pressed to Death (Book 2 in The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum series), Tales of the Rose Rabbit (a poetry collection that's part of the Doyle Witch series).

Last but not least, I interviewed Kirsten in October 2019. Here's our interview.

7.  Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business by Frances Frei & Anne Morriss
Another book I found on the shared Kindle account but one with a really cool and quirky cover. Also, as I delve into non-fiction, business development, and marketing, I feel this book would be great to read, review, learn from, and perhaps write about.

8.  Achieving the Paris Climate Agreement Goals
One of the things I've developed an interest in over the course of 2019 was green technology and renewable energy. Something I plan to write and blog more about via LinkedIn (and my upcoming freelancer writer's website).

9.  Magora: The World Beyond by Marc Remus
The last book in the middle-grade Magora series by author and artist Marc Remus, the most-likely-epic conclusion to this amazingly artistic and magical series.
I'm super excited about this. In 2018, I read the first 4 books in the series, this year I read the 5th and as far as I know the 6th book will be released in 2020. Remus will tie up all the loose ends, Holly will come face to face with the Duke of Cuspidor and hopefully all the questions from previous books will be answered.
Here are my reviews of the previous books: Magora: The Gallery of Wonders (Book 1), Magora: The Golden maple Tree (Book 2) Magora: The Bridge in the Fog (Book 3), Magora: The Uprising, and Magora: The Woodspeople. I've finished reading book 5, but will do the review in 2020.

10 & 11.              The Laws of Jartin Books 2 & 3
I picked up the first book in this Arabic paranormal-ish series as 
part of a book club. It's been a while since I've been hooked on an Arabic book. It's not amazing but the writing style is definitely similar to many English books I read. 
I plan to buy books 2 & 3 during the Cairo International book Fair in January and read them during the course of 2020. 
Book review of Book 1 is a work in progress.

12.              Past Deeds by Carolyn Arnold
A thriller that is similar to the series Criminal Minds. This will be the second read for me in this series by Carolyn Arnold. 
The first was On the Count of Three in December 2018.

And these are just the books I already have planned, aside from the requests that keep coming in and books I pick up as part of a book club I joined. :D

In 2019, I published a post titled Why I Fear Reading Self-Help Books, but since then I've not only overcome this fear but have developed an appetite for non-fiction, seeking as much knowledge as I can.
As much as I can, I'll be publishing book reviews for all of the above-mentioned books. If you've read any of them or plan to read them, let me know, and we can do a short talk or we can compare notes (especially for the non-fiction books).

Don't forget to Check out My Top Books of 2019.