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Kings River Lite:

KRL is a California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal.
Kings River Lite regularly offers a "bonus" review or article, beyond the full issues that go up weekly over at KingsRiverLife.com.

Be sure to follow the River and enjoy brand new articles throughout the week by following both sites. You can subscribe via the sidebar, like Kings River Life, and/or circle KRL for updates. Don't miss our timely & topical issues every Saturday, and check in here for updates and new articles if KRL Magazine is ever down.

Friday, October 26, 2012

If Mashed Potatoes Could Dance by Paige Shelton



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Diana Bulls


Check out details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of this review.

Isabelle "Betts" Winston and her grandmother, Missouri "Miz," run a "country" cooking school in Broken Rope, Missouri. This is the second book in the country cooking school series, following If Fried Chicken Could Fly.

Broken Rope prides itself on its history of legendary murders and has developed quite a tourist industry based on this history. To make things more interesting, ghosts from Broken Rope's sordid past tend to appear at the most inconvenient times. Ghosts who can only be seen by Betts and Miz, and who come to them seeking "help."



Image source: Berkley

Miz and Betts are getting ready for their next round of classes based on everything you might want to know about mashed potatoes, when Sally Swarthmore makes her appearance. Sally was accused of hacking up her parents with an ax (loosely based on the story of Lizzie Borden) and is trying to find her diary to prove she was the victim. It's not long before a tourist is murdered and two others are missing, and Betts is trying to solve two mysteries without getting herself "chopped!"

It's a cute story, but predictable and the action moved along a little slow for my taste. I also thought that there wasn't enough background information on Broken Rope or some of the characters. This was probably covered in the first book. I think potential readers should definitely read If Fried Chicken Could Fly first. If they can build a rapport with the characters in that book, then go on and read If Mashed Potatoes Could Dance. This is something I am going to have to do myself.

To enter to win a copy of If Mashed Potatoes Could Dance, simply email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Mashed”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 3, 2012. U.S. residents only.

Click here to order this book & you support KRL & Mysterious Galaxy, an indie bookstore:


Diana Bulls is an ongoing contributor to our
Hometown History section, having collected vintage kitchen utensils for over 40 years; she is also actively involved with the Reedley Historical Society.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Zom-B by Darren Shan



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Roy Runnels


Check out details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of this review. What better than a zombie book to review & giveaway during Halloween month!

Zom-B is something unusual for it’s genre, it’s different. Zombie stories are almost always the same song and dance with little to show for it in the end. It’s one of the many reasons why I stay away from most zombie movies and why I was hesitant to read Zom-B.

The first thing the book does right is not start in survival mode. The story doesn’t start a month into the zombie apocalypse, but instead asks the question what would happen if the world was infected one at a time. It’s something we don’t normally see. After a small town in Ireland gets infected, the news of the outbreak is broadcasted worldwide. Doubt immediately settles in for our main character, B, who doesn’t believe that such could exist. That it’s all a promotional scandal for an upcoming movie.



Image source: Little, Brown Books

The first three-quarters of the book are incredibly strong and brilliant. You struggle to root for B because of the internal struggle B has. You want to believe that B is a good person and can break away from the model left by the father. It’s different and adds something to the genre that is much needed, mystery. I breezed through the book in a night because it hooked me quickly and I needed to know what would happen. The last quarter of the book, however, is where the story falters.

I loved the mystery of the book, the problem I have with it is that it isn’t resolved. The book is meant to be the first in a series, but instead of resolving anything in this book, it just ends. Once the next book releases I’m sure my complaints will be answered, but as of the time of this writing, there are many questions I have that have not been addressed. The one reveal that is in the book felt a little forced and unnecessary. It certainly was shocking, but just not in the way it was intended to be.

Looking past the abrupt end, Zom-B is a great intro to what I’m sure will be a fantastic series. Be sure to check out Zom-B—it was just released on October 16—and stick around for the rest of the series.

To enter to win a copy of Zom-B, simply email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “B”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 27, 2012. U.S. residents only.

Click here to order this book & you support KRL & Mysterious Galaxy, an indie bookstore:


Roy Runnels is a 21 year old aspiring writer currently working on becoming an English teacher. He has a great deal of interest in television as well as video games, when he is not busy writing. Roy was born in Lake Jackson, Texas and moved to Reedley, California in late 2012.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cloaked In Malice by Annette Blair



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Sandra Murphy


Check out details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of this review.

Love vintage clothes? What would you do if every time you picked up a fabulous cape or beautiful dress, your mind was transported to the last time it was worn? Maddie loves the clothes but the visions are getting to be a bit much. When Paisley Skye comes into the shop, she’s vintage all the way. Her 70s outfits are to die for—and if Maddie can’t help Paisley figure out her past, it could be that they will be the ones who die.

Paisley lived on an island with the people who raised her but never felt like her parents. No visitors, odd deliveries, an electrified fence with no explanations leave Paisley looking for answers—but can she face the truth?



Image source: Berkley

During a trip back to the island, Maddie, her FBI agent boyfriend Nick and Paisley find much more than they bargained for. What was thought to be a pet cemetery reveals the bodies of….clowns, still in full makeup, floppy shoes clutched to their chests.

Russians, wartime in Paris, kidnapping and more play big parts in this mystery. The series can be read out of order but for the best reading experience, start with book one. Titles include:
A Veiled Deception
Larceny and Lace
Death by Diamonds
Skirting the Grave


And in another series:
The Kitchen Witch
My Favorite Witch
The Scot, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Sex and the Psychic Witch
Gone with the Witch
Never Been Witched
The Naked Dragon
Redeviled Angel
Vampire Dragon


To enter to win a copy of Cloaked in Malice, simply email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Malice”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 20, 2012. U.S. residents only.

Click here to order this book & you support KRL & Mysterious Galaxy, an indie bookstore:



Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra's short stories on UnTreed Reads including her new one Bananas Foster.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Sinister Sense by Allison Kingsley



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Sandra Murphy


As we continue to celebrate Halloween this month, this week we review A Sinister Sense by Allison Kingsley, featuring an amateur sleuth with visions. Check out details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of this review.

No matter how hard Clara Quinn tries, the visions still keep coming. Except when she really needs them. Now Rick from the hardware store across the street could use some help. A dead body’s been found in the bed of his truck and the man was killed with a tool stolen from the hardware store. The mayor’s pushing for a quick arrest but Clara’s sure Rick is innocent.

Clara’s cousin Stephanie is up for some good undercover work which can only lead to mayhem. Speaking of mayhem, Rick’s inherited Tatters, a very large dog with no manners. Now that he’s spending so much time defending himself against a murder charge, there’s no one to watch Tatters and tame his bull in a china shop ways. Clara knows there’s no way she can take him and besides her mother would have a fit so Clara’s surprised when her mouth opens and says, “Tatters can stay with me.”



Image source: Berkley

The Quinn Sense (intuition or psychic powers) are believable, the characters enjoyable and people you’d want to meet (except Roberta who only loves Roberta—besides, she didn’t like Tatters), and a nice setting make this an enjoyable read.

Second in the series, don’t miss the first, Mind Over Murder.

To enter to win a copy of A Sinister Sense, simply email KRL at life@kingsriverlife[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Sinister”, or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 13, 2012. U.S. residents only.

Click here to order this book & you support KRL & Mysterious Galaxy, an indie bookstore:


Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the arch, in the land of blues, booze and shoes—St Louis, Missouri. While writing magazine articles to support her mystery book habit, she secretly polishes two mystery books of her own, hoping, someday, they will see the light of Barnes and Noble. You can also find several of Sandra's short stories on UnTreed Reads including her new one Bananas Foster.