Death by Diploma book tour #review & interview

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Welcome to my stop on the Death by Diploma book tour. It’s my first cozy and I’ll be sharing an interview with the author and a review. Many thanks to Kelley for allowing me to take part.

Death-by-Diploma-800 Cover reveal and Promotional

 

Death by Diploma

By Kelley Kaye

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Emma Lovett leaves her philandering husband and crosses the country to begin her teaching career at a high school in Pinewood, Colorado.  There, she meets Leslie Parker, a fellow teacher given to quoting Shakespeare to fit all situations, and the two become fast friends.

Arriving at work early one morning, Emma discovers the body of the school custodian, a man who reminds her of her late father. When the police struggle to find the killer, the ladies decide to help solve the murder. Their efforts lead them to a myriad of suspects: the schizophrenic librarian, the crude football coach, the mysterious social studies teacher, and even Emma’s new love interest.

As Emma Lovett discovers the perils of teaching high school, she and Leslie learn more than they ever wanted to know about the reasons people kill.

Review

This was my first cozy so I didn’t know what to expect from this genre. I got a good little story about a new teacher, her new fast friend and fellow teacher who decide to solve a murder they’ve practically stumbled upon. I enjoyed the read and would recommend this book to those who like cozy mysteries.

Interview –

Please tell me about yourself

My real name is Kelley Gusich, but I write cozy murder mysteries under the name Kelley Kaye (which is my middle name, but without the ‘e’.) I grew up in Grand Junction, Colorado, went to school in California to become a teacher. I started my career in Lake Tahoe, but then a 1994 diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis brought me back to Colorado and the comfort of family, where I taught at my old high school for 16 years. Issues with my health brought me back to California, to the more temperate climate of San Diego.I’ve been in SD since 2011, writing whenever possible, and now that my two little boys are in school full tIme, I get to write full time! My debut novel, cozy mystery Death by Diploma, was released in February! ;

Can you tell me something about you that no one knows?

I practice what I’m going to say in my head before I say it. All the time. I think that’s one of the reasons I love writing so much, because it’s the BEST way to practice (and practice, rewrite, ponder, reflect, redirect and obsess) what you’re going to say before you say it.

What are you reading now?

Right now I’m reading a book called Flesh and Blood, by Patricia Cornwell—it’s been a while since I read her, but Kay Scarpetta is a great character. I’m working on reading my next Book Club book, which is nonfiction titled The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Have you ever heard of Hela cells? Well I hadn’t either, but it is fascinating! Also I’m working on two of the newest books by other RAP authors: Stephen Kozeniewski and John DeBoer.

Some favourite books and authors?

I think, until I die, I will read anything and everything written by Harlan Coben, Dean Koontz, and Stephen King. My favorite favorite titles by those three are, respectively, Innocence, Life Expectancy, and 11-22-63. Now that I say that, of course, forty other titles by those writers come to me and I want to change my answer—so many choices! I love Lee Child. I reread the Wrinkle in Time trilogy about every three years, also To Kill a Mockingbird and/or Of Mice and Men and I still cry every time.

What is your work space and routine like?

This is the corner of my bedroom, AKA my office (picture at bottom).

There’s a sign taped next to the chair, on the dresser. It lays out my schedule for each day, which starts with my magazine writing job—I write for a set of 11 community magazines in North County San Diego called Zcode Magazines. So I do that first, then the rest of the day is divided between writing (I have four fiction and one nonfiction project in progress right now), social media, sending queries and other marketing.

Did any of your own personal teaching experience end up in the book? 

I think some of Emma’s interactions with students might be true to the way I would talk to students, but as far as specific experiences in the book—they’re all made up!

What do you have planned for the Chalkboard Outlines series?

All your cozy fun—more quirky characters, fun relationships, and of course more Shakespeare! Each of the books will have an alliterative title and be about teaching and murder!

What can readers look forward to next?

I’ve started writing book #2 in the Chalkboard Outlines series, so, more fun with Emma, Leslie and Shakespeare! I’ve just finished the first draft of a humorous self-help memoir (not a genre. Yet.) for which I’m seeking representation, and if I EVER get any more time it’ll be to work on more Cozy Mysteries, more Narrative Nonfiction, and more Young Adult Paranormal. Count on seeing me!

COZYkELLY

Author Bio

Kelley KayeKelley Kaye taught High School English and Drama for twenty years, but her love for
storytelling dates back to creating captions for her high school yearbook. Maybe back to the tales she created around her Barbie and Ken — whatever the case, the love’s been around for a long time.

Kelley is married to this amazing man who cooks for her, and they have two funny and
wonderful sons. She lives in Southern California.

http://www.kelleykaybowles.com/

On Twitter: @kelkay1202

Check out the book trailer for Death by Diploma: https://youtu.be/CAMXkR3kA-8

 

 

 

Superghost by Scott Cole #review

Scott Cole

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Title : Superghost
Author: Scott Cole
Published: 2014
Pages:: 85
Format:: ebook

 

Mad science, giant monsters, and a whole lot of severed limbs…

Things were bad when Darren lost his arm to a drunken farmer driving a stolen bulldozer the wrong way down a one-way city street. All he had left was the strange tingling sensation where his arm had been and a life that was no longer there. Now, even that is about to be stolen from him.

The foulest mad scientist the world has ever seen has plans for Darren’s phantom limb, and the limbs of all the other amputees he can attack. He is gathering them to build the greatest Frankenstein ghost ever made from phantom body parts – a SuperGhost designed to destroy the world! And it will take Darren and a ragtag band of amputation survivors to bring down the creature and save mankind from total destruction!

 

A disgruntled mad scientist creates a monster with the ghost limbs of amputees. That right there is the story in a nutshell. It was fun, quirky, and entertaining. A short read as are all NBAS reads so this is a good taste of what one would have in store if trying bizarro for the first time. My fave part was the inclusion of an octopus and its limbs which while highly inaccurate as octopi will regrow limbs, not that this story is factual but non the less phantom octopus limbs don’t happen. Be that as it may I enjoyed Sexy the Sexopus and his little wiggly ghost appendage. < That sounded wrong.

Hades’ Disciples by Michael West #review

Michael West

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Title : Hades’ Disciples ( The Legacy of the Gods : Book 2 )
Author: Michael West
Published: 2014
Pages:: 301
Format:: ebook

Terrifying creatures exist all around us, hiding in plain sight. Ancient. Deadly. They gather in secret, conspiring, dreaming of nothing less than humanity’s destruction, and their numbers are growing.

Earl Preston knows the danger all too well. After tangling with a horde of mythological sea monsters in Colonial Bay, he has been tasked with finding these beasts and exposing their plans whatever they may be. But Earl is not the only one with a mystery on their hands. At the very top of the world, Carol Miyagi has stumbled onto an artifact from Earth’s past, something magnificent held captive in a prison of ice and snow. Now, Carol and Earl must work quickly to decipher the will of the gods–a plot that defies imagination–and to stop their followers from carrying it out.

They thought the nightmare was over, but they are about to discover that the horror has only just begun.

 

This is a seriously good series that I wish more people knew about. I enjoyed book one which I read ages ago. The only problem I had with reading book two was that some things I had forgotten so reading the two books closer together would have been beneficial. The series continues with mythological and fantasy creatures tied to modern day. We have good guys in a race against time to keep the bad guys from implementing their evil plan. Well written characters that are so fascinating to read about I so want to get my hands on book three. Michael has written what is a super fun and entertaining urban fantasy that gets the reader hooked and desperate for more. You’ll also have a sex scene that will blow your mind. For a man who is arachnophobic Michael sure does go in depth in their sex lives.

Hurry and write book three Michael and put us out of our misery, that was one mega cliffhanger.

Highly recommended.

Michael West

 

The Wall by Marlen Haushofer #review

Marlen Haushofer

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Title : The Wall
Author: Marlen Haushofer Translated by Shaun Whiteside
Published: 2013 – First published in 1963
Pages:: 244
Format:: Print

 

“I can allow myself to write the truth; all the people for whom I have lied throughout my life are dead…” writes the heroine of Marlen Haushofer’s The Wall, a quite ordinary, unnamed middle-aged woman who awakens to find she is the last living human being. Surmising her solitude is the result of a too successful military experiment, she begins the terrifying work of not only survival, but self-renewal. The Wall is at once a simple and moving talk — of potatoes and beans, of hoping for a calf, of counting matches, of forgetting the taste of sugar and the use of one’s name — and a disturbing meditation on 20th century history.

 

I enjoy watching movie trailers, I’ll visit IMDB and check out trailers for movies from time to time. See what’s coming, what looks good. Like a book cover I can often be sold on a good trailer. Once I found one for a movie called The Wall it was I discovered based on a book. As it was a foreign language film it wasn’t being promoted by Hollywood, it was already out on DVD I found so I went and ordered the DVD and book right away. I had the DVD for a couple months before I watched it spellbound and heart broken for this fictional woman. The book sat on my TBR shelf for a long time and due to school and life I just didn’t get a change to read it till now. I’m sorry I waited so long. I’m sorry I didn’t know about this book sooner. I’m sorry everyone doesn’t know about this book, that its not required reading in schools is a loss.

This everywoman who is like no one, who has strength and determination that many would envy. There are many feminist fictional titles most notably The Handmaids Tale. Margaret Atwood being the go to author for this genre. I can’t say I’m well versed on the genre, I have much to read and learn but The Wall is so captivating and one that isn’t nearly as well known but I certainly feel after reading it that it should be. The unnamed woman who’s story pulled me in and made me so sad, so proud, so amazed by her courage and determination. It has been said it is a perfect example of clinical depression, perhaps so. I’m no expert on mental illness either, but I am a reader, and I was mesmerised by this story.

I cannot recommend this book enough. The movie was also well done and did justice to the book. A rare occurrence indeed.

Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig #review

Mockingbird

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Title : Mockingbird
Author: Chuck Wendig
Published: 2012
Pages:: 400
Format:: Print

 

Miriam is trying. Really, she is.

But this whole “settling down thing” that Louis has going for her just isn’t working out. She lives on Long Beach Island all year around. Her home is a run-down double-wide trailer. She works at a grocery store as a check-out girl. And her relationship with Louis–who’s on the road half the time in his truck–is subject to the piss and vinegar Miriam brings to everything she does.

It just isn’t going well. Still, she’s keeping her psychic ability–to see when and how someone is going to die just by touching them–in check. But even that feels wrong somehow. Like she’s keeping a tornado stoppered up in a tiny bottle.

Then comes one bad day that turns it all on her ear.

 

I loved Blackbirds the first in the Miriam Black series and didn’t think it could be topped for awesomeness. After reading book 2 its clear one should never underestimate the power of Chuck Wendig. This book blew me away. I simply loved it.

Miriam Black is one of the most appealing messed up kick-ass characters ever put on paper. Mockingbird it a dark, slick engrossing urban fantasy and I can’t wait to read book 3. Miriam sees how people die when she touches them, with a man in her life she’s trying to keep it together and live as normal a life as Miriam can which for her is not remotely normal. Thankfully or the story would be short and sweet Miriam is faced with death of a scale she can’t stand and takes it head on. Fate bites back and the action gets hard and relentless.

I love you Chuck Wendig and if we ever meet at a convention be prepared for the ear shattering fan girl squeal of a lifetime. Majorly recommended as everyone should be a fan girl of Chucks.