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KRL is a California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal.
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Friday, March 24, 2017

“For Whom the Bread Rolls” A Pancake House Mystery series By Sarah Fox

by Kathleen Costa

Details on how to win an EBOOK copy of this book at the end of the review & a link to purchase it.

Marley McKinney had a rough start returning home, but when she inherited a beautiful Victorian house by the beach and local pancake restaurant from her grandmother’s cousin Jimmy, she decides to stay in Wildwood Cove. The Flip Side is doing very well, and Marley is settling in and making great friends. But, when she comes to work and finds graffiti painted across the front windows, prank calls all morning, and a new purchase stolen right off of her front porch, she knows something is not right. Believing Ida Winkler, curmudgeon extraordinaire, is the culprit, she decides to confront her and come to a friendly agreement. Ok…have you read a cozy mystery before? That’s right…Ida ends up dead, and Marley is a ‘person of interest.’


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Marley tries to keep things going at the restaurant and fend off all the questions about the murder hoping that tourists and regulars will not be scared away. She has Brett Collins along with her cat Flapjack and a new furry friend Bentley found injured on the beach to take her mind off the tragic events and gossip, but she decides to take a more active role to find the killer. She jogs about the area trying to clear her mind discovering suspicious dump sites down by the river, overhears more than one curious conversation, and spots shadowy figures skulking around the crime scene. There are several residents of whom she asks lots of intrusive questions, but she is always forthright in telling the police all she uncovers. They, however, continue to tell her to stay out of the investigation for her safety…but we know she won't do that.



Image source: Penguin

This book 2 in Sarah Fox’s Pancake House Mystery is great with or without maple syrup! She has written a delightful book with a clever mystery, sweet romance, and beautiful descriptions of the Northwest, the town, the woods, and the ocean. I enjoyed Marley and her clever deductions, and although I had someone else as the killer, the final solution was perfect…the clues were there, I just took them in a different direction. Those fans who have read book 1, The Crepes of Wrath, will be thrilled joining Marley and her friends on this adventure, and newbies, like me, will get enough background to be caught up quickly. However, there are some references to events in Book 1 that might be considered ‘spoilers,’ but maybe I misunderstood. I am not deterred and am headed off to read it like I would any prequel. The first book included some great recipes from Ivan’s kitchen at The Flip Side, but my ARC didn’t. But, looking at the book description on Amazon, you’ll discover some of the treats served up are included. Yummm! It’s a great entertaining read! I highly recommend this series.

“For Whom the Bread Rolls” earns 5/5 Ivan’s Maple Pecan Sticky Rolls! Yummm!
Be a Big Fan!
www.authorsarahfox.com
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To enter to win an EBOOK copy of For Whom the Bread Rolls, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “rolls,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 1, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please included your mailing address.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:



Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.




Thursday, March 16, 2017

“Mrs. Odboddy, Undercover Courier” By Elaine Faber

by Cynthia Chow

Details on how to win an EBOOK copy of this book at the end of the review & a link to purchase it.

The story is set during World War II. Agnes Odboddy, the heroine, is an elderly widow with an overactive imagination. An invitation to accompany the president’s wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, on a goodwill trip is forefront in her mind until Colonel Farthingworth of the nearby Army base brings her to his office in a most unorthodox manner. He sends Mrs. Odboddy on a mission to deliver a package to President Roosevelt, not an easy task.


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Before she even begins the trip, the enemy tries to discover and steal the package. Accompanied by her niece, Katherine, the two women begin their trip by railroad—a trip filled with danger. Mrs. Odboddy realizes she is being shadowed by a man—a man whom she suspects of being a spy and a murderer.

She and Katherine encounter others on their trip who may or may not be a threat to both of them. Mrs. Odboddy takes a harrowing detour, and when she and Katherine finally reach Washington D.C., they find they are still in danger.



Image source: Elaine Faber

This is a delightful and at times funny tale, filled with the problems civilians faced during the war years, plus the unusual and dangerous venture faced by Mrs. Odboddy. Despite her age, she manages to thwart her enemies even when under physical attack.

If you enjoy an occasional laugh while reading a thrilling tale, you’ll love Mrs. Odboddy, Undercover Courier. The previous book in the series is Mrs. Odboddy, Hometown Patriot.

To enter to win an EBOOK copy of Mrs. Odboddy, Undercover Courier, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “odboddy,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 25, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please included your mailing address.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:




Marilyn Meredith is a Springville, CA mystery author and an ongoing contributor to our Mystery section. Be sure to visit her website; fictionforyou.com

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.




Tuesday, March 14, 2017

"Logan" Movie Review

by Lorie Lewis Ham

Special coupon for Dinuba Platinum Theatre at the end of this review.

This week we have another video review from Jessica Ham, this one for the Logan movie.


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Image source: Fox




Logan is currently playing at Dinuba Platinum Theatres 6. Showtimes can be found on their website. Platinum Theaters Dinuba 6 now proudly presents digital quality films in 2-D and 3-D with 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound to maximize your movie experience.

Print this coupon and enjoy a special discount for Kings River Life readers only!


Jessica Ham is 24 years old and an ongoing contributor. With a love of all things nerdy, she's right at home covering entertainment. You can watch more of her videos on her YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/JessTheGoodWitch.


Friday, March 10, 2017

“Murder Go Round” A Witch City Mystery By Carol J. Perry

by Cynthia Chow

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review & links to purchase it.

Attending a public auction of unclaimed storage units would not seem to be the best way to spend a day in Salem, Massachusetts, but that’s where Lee Barrett and her Aunt Isobel Russell find themselves on a sunny day in August. While bidders gamble on buying lockers of junk and forgotten belongings, Aunt Ibby spots and wins a bid on what she thinks could be a hidden treasure. Indeed, Lee is startled to discover inside a faded carousel horse worthy of restoration, which she takes to furniture restorer Paul Carbone’s for repair. What truly startles Lee, is the vision she sees reflected in the samovar Aunt Ibby first spotted, indicating that Lee’s “gazer” morbid visions continue to be reflected on shiny surfaces. This time Lee sees a man dead with a bloody throat, a sight that becomes real when a body is discovered after a break-in at Carbone’s studio.


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The burglar’s dismantling of the horse has police believing that someone was willing to murder for something hidden inside, and Lee’s being followed by both a mysterious SUV and a bubble-gum chewing self-proclaimed incarnation of the Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia only reinforces the mystery. Now that Lee is teaching a course in Investigative Reporting, despite never having done any journalistic investigating herself, she takes the opportunity to put her learning to practical use. An online course in criminology further aids in her endeavors, especially when it reinforces her visions of royal treasures smuggled over by Russian immigrants in 1915. Present-day links to Lee’s ex-barely-boyfriend/former colleague at WICH-TV has police detective Pete Mondello acting territorial over his girlfriend, but they will all need to work together to decipher the mystery that extends back a hundred years but could have dire national implications.



Image source: Kensington

This is yet another enthralling mix of witchcraft and mystery, enhanced by the fascinating allure of historical treasures. The paranormal elements are through visions more than any magic, but Lee’s feline O’Ryan proves deft at knocking over just the right clue that could lead to a solution. The plot includes numerous threats to Lee, but what proves most intriguing are the characters who prove to be so much more than they first appear to be. The author’s deftness at weaving the past into the present succeeds in making both timelines compelling, with the jeopardy feeling equally dire. Lee’s increasingly vivid visions and her relationships evolve the more she shares her secret, promising even more captivating adventures in the future.

To enter to win a copy of Murder Go Round, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “round,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 18, 2017. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please included your mailing address.

You can use these links to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:






Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.




Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Lego Batman: Movie Review

by Lorie Lewis Ham

Special coupon for Dinuba Platinum Theatre at the end of this review.

This week we have another video review from Jessica Ham, this one for the Lego Batman movie.


➡ switch to KingsRiverLife.com for this week's issue ⬅





Image source: Warner Bros.




Lego Batman is currently playing at Dinuba Platinum Theatres 6. Showtimes can be found on their website. Platinum Theaters Dinuba 6 now proudly presents digital quality films in 2-D and 3-D with 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound to maximize your movie experience.

Print this coupon and enjoy a special discount for Kings River Life readers only!


Jessica Ham is 23 years old and an ongoing contributor; with dreams of being on Broadway, she's right at home covering Entertainment. You can learn more about her on your YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/JessTheGoodWitch.


Friday, March 3, 2017

“Pocket Full of Tinder” By Jill Archer

by Terrance McArthur

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review.

Nouiomo “Noon” Onyx lives in a post-Armageddon world ruled by demons. Through a pre-natal mix-up, she holds the “waning” magic reserved for men in Jill Archer’s “Pocket Full of Tinder.” Trained in demon law, magic, and battle techniques, Noon is sent to intern with a new sometime-drakon-demon-lord, Aristos, who had passed as human…and been Ari, her lover.

Assigned to find Displodo, a legendary rebel who keeps blowing up an unfinished dam, the young lawyer-judge-investigator leaves the big city for the mountain outpost of Rockthorn Gorge. She brings along her goofy, table-eating hellhound, along with her self-glamorizing Guardian Angel, Fara. They meet the Captain of the guard (a bunyip with an anti-human attitude, who wants to see Noon beaten up or dead in daily combat readiness drills), a queenly-feathered demon who has a history with Aristos, a squat worker demon, and a reptilian uber-demon who rules the water rights of the region.


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Noon’s mission to reveal Displodo is derailed by Aristos’s desire to make up for lost time with Noon, but she makes it hard for him to make up for his lies—I mean, how would you get over discovering that your lover was really a giant dragon, unless you were really into fairy-tale princess fantasies? (…and Noon wasn’t)

Archer’s Noon Onyx series is intricately detailed. She creates a world where God lost to Lucifer 2,000 years ago, where humans pray to demons, where people with a touch of demon blood in their heritage share a bit of the magic. Noon can bring objects and creatures into temporary real-world being with her powers. This talent grows as she studies it and is forced to use it to save herself, her friends, and her society.



Image source: Jill Archer

Some readers find Noon’s first-person voice whiny, but she has many causes for complaint: the only woman studying demon law, belittled for trying to succeed in a “male” profession, sent off to the middle of nowhere to work for a demon-lord, her ex-boyfriend is a demon, her landlady threw her out because her pet ate a table, and almost everybody at her new job wants to kill her. Try to be upbeat in those situations.

This is a good series that isn’t afraid to throw game-changers into the mix. It’s as if Mary Tyler Moore was hired to play Kojak. Yeah, that might be the whole idea.

To enter to win a copy of Pocket Full of Tinder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “tinder,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 11, 2017. If entering via email please include your mailing address.




Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a Librarian with the Fresno County Public Library, and a published short story author.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

“La La Land” Oscar Review

by Doward Wilson

La La Land brings us the story of an aspiring jazz musician, Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and an aspiring actress, Mia (Emma Stone) who repeatedly meet and eventually fall in love in Los Angeles. The film received 14 Academy Award nominations including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor (Gosling), Best Actress (Stone), and two nominations for Best Original Song (Audition) and (City of Stars).

The story is spread out over a year's time. The initial meetings between our musician and actress are both disasters but give us some good laughs. Their first encounter ends in minor road rage; their next meeting finds Mia trying to complement Sebastian over his impromptu jazz set as he is being fired for not sticking to the owner's playlist of Christmas music.


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A few months later, Mia finds Sebastian playing in a 1980s cover band, and they end up walking to their cars together and discovering more about each other. Mia takes him on a tour of the movie lot that she works at and explains her passion for acting, and he in turn takes her to a jazz club and shows her why he wants to open his own club. Later they make a date to see “Rebel Without A Cause,” and the romance heats up to the point they move in together.



Image source: Lionsgate

Still working towards their dreams, Sebastian takes a job as a keyboardist in a friend's jazz band and ends up being on the road touring, then back to the recording studio and then back on the road again. Mia in the meantime has mounted a one woman show and performs it to an almost empty house. The career bombs that they are both following put enough friction into the relationship, that Mia leaves LA to return to her parents home. Before she can settle in, Sebastian is at the door to tell her she has an audition for someone who saw and liked her one woman show. Mia aces the audition and is off to film for several months in Paris, effectively ending the relationship.

The film wraps up with a look at where Mia and Sebastian are five years in the future.

There are many fantastic well done dance and musical numbers which are also visually stunning. The romance is nicely balanced with some comedy and drama. All in all, this was an enjoyable outing combining music, dancing, comedy, and drama into an entertaining experience.


You can use this link to preorder the movie. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:




Doward Wilson is a retired and avid cozy, paranormal, and adventure reader who can’t say no to most books. He recently moved from Independence, Missouri to Gladbrook, Iowa. Located in Central Iowa, Gladbrook (population 900+) is small town, rural farming at its best.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases.