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This House is a Home - Review by Martha A. Cheves

This House is a Home - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds, A Book and A Dish

"Just go in and do your business,” Uncle Rich said as we approached the wooden shack.  “This is old school all the way.  Do me a favor though. See if you can find any toilet paper in there."  
I was stunned.  What did he mean by that?  I slowly walked into this small shack that looked like it was falling down and searched for the light switch.  Not finding one I left the door ajar to allow the sunshine to stream in. Once fully inside I saw a long piece of wood along one side of it that looked like a couch without any cushions. There was a hole in the middle of it with a toilet seat attached to it. I assumed this was where I had to go.  I closed the wooden door behind me that had a half moon cut out near the top if it and slowly lifted the seat.  A tremendously bad odor arose very quickly… I squeezed my nose shut with two fingers while I did my thing… Even though I didn’t need it, I looked around like Uncle Rich suggested and found no toilet paper. I did find a Sears catalog and wondered why it was there but there was nothing to wipe your butt with… Uncle Rich was waiting for me when I finished…. “What’s the catalog for?” I asked. ”That’s old-time toilet paper,” he answered with a smile. “You can read while doing your business and then just rip a page out and use it.”
In the 1970’s teenager Peter was assigned to do a summer report on his family history.  Being from a family of divorce he didn’t know his dad’s family all that well and knew very little about his mom’s side either. He did know his grandfather but when Peter tried to talk to him about the ‘good old’ days, his grandfather, Vern, would joke around, take a draw off his cigar and another swig of his always present bottle of whiskey.  Peter’s mom and uncle decided the best way for him to find out about his family was to go back to the coal mines of Southern Illinois. Boy was he in for a surprise, as well as an education.
Once in a while I pick up a book that takes me back in time.  This was one of those books.  As I read about the ‘outhouse’ I couldn’t help but go back to my own life in the 1970’s when we would visit my dad’s distant relatives in the North Georgia mountains. They too had the outhouses, the cow and chickens, the pot belly stove for heating and cooking, and the way of talking that only comes from the mountains.  My first visit was much like what Peter first experienced. I couldn’t believe people actually lived like this.  Where was the AC?  Where was the TV?  What was that thing my 4th cousin was pushing up and down after pouring milk into it?  And best of all, what did I just eat?  
Whether you grew up in the 1970’s or not, this book will not only transport you to the way life used to be, and I’m sure still is in some places, but it will also teach you the same lesson that Peter learned from his great-aunt Maddy, “A house is just a building, what makes it a home are the people in it. It doesn’t matter where you live or what you do as long as you have family you’re taken care of.”  
I love this book!



Ghost Writer - Review by Martha A Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish"I don’t believe in ghosts," I used to tell anyone who’d ask. I’m a ‘techie,’ acomputer programmer. I deal with data and facts, not fiction and fantasy. So how did I get mixed up with a temperamental, egotistical, rude, smart, funny, aggravating, self-centered, loveable… uh… spirit? Okay, if you insist, ghost. Nanette (or Nan as most called her) Burton found herself caught up in the downfall of the mortgage industry only five years after graduating from college. But that was just the beginning of her problems. The building she lived in went into foreclosure, so she was also out of a place to live. Then her live-in boyfriend decided to bail out when she received an eviction notice. Well, his leaving was actually a blessing because he didn’t work, wasn’t looking for work, and simply lived off Nan. So when her paycheck left, he found himself another victim to mooch from. Final step, move back home with Mom and Dad until she could find a job and buy a car. Oh yeah, her car died, too.Living with Mom and Dad wouldn’t have been so bad except they had turned her bedroom into Dad’s study so she had to sleep on the sofa. The Victorian sofa with all its wood and firm springs.Then Nan’s great-great-aunt Nanette Burton, whom she had been named after, passed away at the age of 104. When Nan and her dad were called to the lawyer’s office for the reading of the will, there seemed to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Nan would soon be living at her rich great-great-aunt’s beach cottage. Finally a place to live and a bed to sleep on. But her living at the cottage came with a few things Nan didn’t expect. One being her aunt’s dog, Mitzi, and the other being her aunt’s famous author friend Maximilian Alexander Murdoch. Max actually wrote women’s fiction under the name of Maxine du Bois and had done extremely well. But when Nan moved into the beach cottage, Max didn’t take it too well. This was his house and had been for years… before and after his death. Yes, Max is a ghost, who ends up allowing Nan to live in ‘his’ house if she will help him finish his last book.I can never get enough of this writer’s light reading. She always grabs me right in the beginning and continues until the very last page. She makes me laugh and she makes me feel sad now and then but she always delivers with a great book. You can’t help but love this book. http://j.mp/1nZTqBW
Ghost Writer - Review by Martha A Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

"I don’t believe in ghosts," I used to tell anyone who’d ask. I’m a ‘techie,’ acomputer programmer. I deal with data and facts, not fiction and fantasy. So how did I get mixed up with a temperamental, egotistical, rude, smart, funny, aggravating, self-centered, loveable… uh… spirit? Okay, if you insist, ghost. 
Nanette (or Nan as most called her) Burton found herself caught up in the downfall of the mortgage industry only five years after graduating from college. But that was just the beginning of her problems. The building she lived in went into foreclosure, so she was also out of a place to live. Then her live-in boyfriend decided to bail out when she received an eviction notice. Well, his leaving was actually a blessing because he didn’t work, wasn’t looking for work, and simply lived off Nan. So when her paycheck left, he found himself another victim to mooch from. Final step, move back home with Mom and Dad until she could find a job and buy a car. Oh yeah, her car died, too.
Living with Mom and Dad wouldn’t have been so bad except they had turned her bedroom into Dad’s study so she had to sleep on the sofa. The Victorian sofa with all its wood and firm springs.
Then Nan’s great-great-aunt Nanette Burton, whom she had been named after, passed away at the age of 104. When Nan and her dad were called to the lawyer’s office for the reading of the will, there seemed to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Nan would soon be living at her rich great-great-aunt’s beach cottage. Finally a place to live and a bed to sleep on. But her living at the cottage came with a few things Nan didn’t expect. One being her aunt’s dog, Mitzi, and the other being her aunt’s famous author friend Maximilian Alexander Murdoch. Max actually wrote women’s fiction under the name of Maxine du Bois and had done extremely well. But when Nan moved into the beach cottage, Max didn’t take it too well. This was his house and had been for years… before and after his death. Yes, Max is a ghost, who ends up allowing Nan to live in ‘his’ house if she will help him finish his last book.
I can never get enough of this writer’s light reading. She always grabs me right in the beginning and continues until the very last page. She makes me laugh and she makes me feel sad now and then but she always delivers with a great book. You can’t help but love this book. 
http://j.mp/1nZTqBW
Author Arleen Alleman’s Currents Deep and Deadly has been selected for Book Town’s 2014 Murder Mystery List.#mystery #mysteries #booktownusahttp://j.mp/1mnvIyL

Author Arleen Alleman’s Currents Deep and Deadly has been selected for Book Town’s 2014 Murder Mystery List.
#mystery #mysteries #booktownusa
http://j.mp/1mnvIyL

Book Town’s 2014 Summer Reading List

Book Town’s 2014 Summer Reading List

Chick and the Homestead Chickens of Grymme Creek Hollow - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A DishMany years ago a young man from the city decided to be a pioneer so he loaded up his belongings and started a homestead in Grymme Creek Hollow which, by the way, was in the Ouachita Mountains. It didin’t take long for the young man to decide this wasn’t for him so he packed up his personal belongings and moved back to the city. Legend has it that the chickens he left behind decided to make their own homestead out of what was left behind. These chickens became the Homestead Chickens of Grymme Creek Hollow.The homestead chickens were divided up into family groups known as broods. In each brook there was a Mother Hen who was in charge. The roosters in the brood were not in charge…. Among some of the more influential broods of the homestead were Midhens which were a combination of killer security guards and nannies. The leader was the Superior Mother Hen - Hypatia Rosecomb. She is advised by a group of Mother Hens which make up the Council of Aunties. There were also different classes of chickens which determined their pecking order. Like most, there were the upper class chickens and there were the lowerclass which were called coopies or coop chickens.The Pinfeathers family was the smallest and poorest chickens of the coop. They were June Pinefeather, the Mother Hen; Walter Pinfeather, her rooster; and of course their chick which they named Chick. Chick was a born explorer. Nothing amused him more than running around investigating everything that made up the homestead, even if it took him to the outskirts of the upperclass. But his real trouble came when he spotted a chick younger than him being bullied by another chick. His defense of this chick, named Peq, brought the anger of the bully’s mother who just happened to be Aunty Hysidia, the 2nd most powerful Aunty in the Council. Second only to the Superior Mother Hen. Her anger has her pressing charges against Chick’s father Walter for what boils down to theft and treason.I read a lot of books but this book is one that I can’t say enough about. We spend our lives hearing about bullying, discrimination, politics, and everyday life in general, but after a while it just becomes words that we hear but don’t listen to. As I read Chick and the Homestead Chickens I would be reminded of things happening around me. As Peq is bullied I pictured the kids on the news that attempted to kill their friend. As I read about the order of the broods, I pictured the different housing districts we have within every city. As I read about the Aunty Council, I pictured the court systems we have in effect. And as I read about the Superior Mother Hen, I pictured our presidents and their cabinets. This book, which made me laugh also made me pay attention to my own surroundings. This is a book that can be read by those of all ages and they will all learn something from it. OH YEAH! You do realize I learned this from a Chicken! Great Book!#novels #books #booktownusa

Chick and the Homestead Chickens of Grymme Creek Hollow - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Many years ago a young man from the city decided to be a pioneer so he loaded up his belongings and started a homestead in Grymme Creek Hollow which, by the way, was in the Ouachita Mountains. It didin’t take long for the young man to decide this wasn’t for him so he packed up his personal belongings and moved back to the city. Legend has it that the chickens he left behind decided to make their own homestead out of what was left behind. These chickens became the Homestead Chickens of Grymme Creek Hollow.

The homestead chickens were divided up into family groups known as broods. In each brook there was a Mother Hen who was in charge. The roosters in the brood were not in charge…. Among some of the more influential broods of the homestead were Midhens which were a combination of killer security guards and nannies. The leader was the Superior Mother Hen - Hypatia Rosecomb. She is advised by a group of Mother Hens which make up the Council of Aunties. There were also different classes of chickens which determined their pecking order. Like most, there were the upper class chickens and there were the lowerclass which were called coopies or coop chickens.

The Pinfeathers family was the smallest and poorest chickens of the coop. They were June Pinefeather, the Mother Hen; Walter Pinfeather, her rooster; and of course their chick which they named Chick. Chick was a born explorer. Nothing amused him more than running around investigating everything that made up the homestead, even if it took him to the outskirts of the upperclass. But his real trouble came when he spotted a chick younger than him being bullied by another chick. His defense of this chick, named Peq, brought the anger of the bully’s mother who just happened to be Aunty Hysidia, the 2nd most powerful Aunty in the Council. Second only to the Superior Mother Hen. Her anger has her pressing charges against Chick’s father Walter for what boils down to theft and treason.

I read a lot of books but this book is one that I can’t say enough about. We spend our lives hearing about bullying, discrimination, politics, and everyday life in general, but after a while it just becomes words that we hear but don’t listen to. As I read Chick and the Homestead Chickens I would be reminded of things happening around me. As Peq is bullied I pictured the kids on the news that attempted to kill their friend. As I read about the order of the broods, I pictured the different housing districts we have within every city. As I read about the Aunty Council, I pictured the court systems we have in effect. And as I read about the Superior Mother Hen, I pictured our presidents and their cabinets. This book, which made me laugh also made me pay attention to my own surroundings. This is a book that can be read by those of all ages and they will all learn something from it. OH YEAH! You do realize I learned this from a Chicken! Great Book!
#novels #books #booktownusa



St. Louis Hustle - Claire Applewhite, Author
Posted by Martha A. Cheves on July 8, 2014 at 1:24pm
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St. Louis Hustle - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A DishFrom the day that Angel moved into her apartment, the bills in the mail rack spilled out of the holder like garbage.  Now, in a neat pile, they looked like a deck of playing cards.  Nice, but not her style.  Suspiciously, she opened the pantry.  Rows of bottles and cans, arranged by size and shape, filled the space.  She crept into the bedroom… The top drawer of the dresser, usually a wild mess of lingerie, was not neatly organized by color and design.  But, the intruder made one mistake.  A pair of black panties had been jammed between the drawer and the dresser.  Angel wouldn’t have done that.  Who did, and why?… Angel works for Marvel Candy Company, along with Nick Davies.  They have been having a closet affair for some time and it’s become apparent that Angel wants more, but who would have gone through her apartment while she was meeting with Nick?Elvin Suggs, Dimon “Di” Redding, Elvin’s Vietnam friend Cobra Glynes and Elvin’s Airedale Savannah or just “Vanna” decided to open a detective agency after they were instrumental in solving a case at the Jewel Arms Apartments where Di had lived before it burned down.  Their agency The Grapevine Detective Agency has just taken on it’s first client, a lady named Emily Davies.  Apparently Mrs. Davies suspects her husband of having an affair with one of the women he works with.  Elvin and Cobra both see this as a simple case.  Follow the husband, see where he goes at night while the wife works and see who he meets.  Di, on the other hand, doesn’t see it quite that clearly.  She has a gut feeling that Mrs. Davies isn’t telling everything.  So while Elvin and Cobra follow the husband Nick, Di follows the wife.  Turns out, they both end up in the same place, the Coral Court Motel which is known for its by the hour rate.This book has more turns than a mountain road!  Most of the characters turn out to be totally the opposite of what they are shown to be in the beginning.  And someone is killing them off, one by one.  But who and why?  If you want a book full of twists, you can’t beat this book.  The ending was nowhere near what I expected it to be.

St. Louis Hustle - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

From the day that Angel moved into her apartment, the bills in the mail rack spilled out of the holder like garbage.  Now, in a neat pile, they looked like a deck of playing cards.  Nice, but not her style.  Suspiciously, she opened the pantry.  Rows of bottles and cans, arranged by size and shape, filled the space.  She crept into the bedroom… The top drawer of the dresser, usually a wild mess of lingerie, was not neatly organized by color and design.  But, the intruder made one mistake.  A pair of black panties had been jammed between the drawer and the dresser.  Angel wouldn’t have done that.  Who did, and why?… Angel works for Marvel Candy Company, along with Nick Davies.  They have been having a closet affair for some time and it’s become apparent that Angel wants more, but who would have gone through her apartment while she was meeting with Nick?

Elvin Suggs, Dimon “Di” Redding, Elvin’s Vietnam friend Cobra Glynes and Elvin’s Airedale Savannah or just “Vanna” decided to open a detective agency after they were instrumental in solving a case at the Jewel Arms Apartments where Di had lived before it burned down.  Their agency The Grapevine Detective Agency has just taken on it’s first client, a lady named Emily Davies.  Apparently Mrs. Davies suspects her husband of having an affair with one of the women he works with.  Elvin and Cobra both see this as a simple case.  Follow the husband, see where he goes at night while the wife works and see who he meets.  Di, on the other hand, doesn’t see it quite that clearly.  She has a gut feeling that Mrs. Davies isn’t telling everything.  So while Elvin and Cobra follow the husband Nick, Di follows the wife.  Turns out, they both end up in the same place, the Coral Court Motel which is known for its by the hour rate.

This book has more turns than a mountain road!  Most of the characters turn out to be totally the opposite of what they are shown to be in the beginning.  And someone is killing them off, one by one.  But who and why?  If you want a book full of twists, you can’t beat this book.  The ending was nowhere near what I expected it to be.

Book Town’s 2014 Summer Mystery Reading List.#mysteries #books #novels #booktownusahttp://j.mp/1mnvIyLA Murderer Among Us (A Twin Lakes Mystery Book 1) Murder a la Christie [Kindle Edition]Murder In Paradise

Book Town’s 2014 Summer Mystery Reading List.
#mysteries #books #novels #booktownusa
http://j.mp/1mnvIyL
A Murderer Among Us (A Twin Lakes Mystery Book 1) 
Murder a la Christie [Kindle Edition]
Murder In Paradise

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There are 1457 members on Book Town

5 new members have joined during the past week

#authors #bookpromotion #free #booktownusa

http://booktown.ning.com

The Deputy - C. M. Albrecht, AuthorThe Deputy - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A DishJust half a block from the sub-station, crossing the railroad track, Wayne’s eyes caught sight of a wiry bandy-legged little guy walking along by the track. The man limped slightly, and from the look of his oversize coat and unshaven face, he was obviously down and out. As he neared the man, he stopped and leaned out of his side window, said, “Howdy.” The little man stopped abruptly, looked over at Wayne sitting in his cruiser and hesitated. he looked as if he was debating whether to stay or run. “Hi,” the stranger said. “You’re new around here,” Wayne said swerving his vehicle to a stop in front of the man. “Just passing through,” he said. “I been looking for work.” “What kind of work do you do?” inquired Wayne. “Oh…most anything. “My name’s Deputy Terwilliger, but most folks call me Wayne. “I’m Ray Stark from Montana,” the man said. “Well, what I was thinking, Ray, is that I’m tied up here in town so much of the time. You know, a sheriff’s always on duty, and my wife, Janie, she’s alone out there at the farm all day with all those chores to take care of. I was just thinking, I can’t offer much in the way of money, but we do have a spare room. I’ve been using it for storage, but we could clear it out and make up a little room for you there and my Janie’s a good cook.” Wayne said to him. “As to wages, I just need maybe enough to keep me in a few things.” replied Ray. The two men shook hands as Wayne said, “Come on. We’ll get in the cruiser and I’ll take you out there. It isn’t far.” This was the hiring of Ray by Deputy Terwilliger to help his wife Janie with the chores around their farm.Ray couldn’t believe his luck in finding a job and by a Deputy to boot. This was going to make his life so much easier… so he thought. What he was unaware of was that the Deputy had other ‘chores’ in mind for Ray and they weren’t exactly up to Ray’s liking.What the Deputy lacked in morals he made up for in his bravery. When the bank in Franklin was robbed, he showed no fear in going after the robbers. He had a loving wife at home, Sandy in town, a job that made him proud and the ‘respect’ of those around him. So when he read about a bus load of convicts escaping after killing the driver, he came up with a plan and Ray fit in perfectly. A plan that would give him the freedom to do and have everything he wanted, and deserved.This book kept me on the edge. I was able to come up with Ray’s fit into the story but I had no idea as to how he would handle what had been planned for him to do for Wayne. The ending was a bit of a surprise for me. Loved this book as much as I’ve loved all books I’ve read by this Author. #booktownusa#marthacheves #booktrviewsReview Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com

The Deputy - C. M. Albrecht, Author

The Deputy - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

Just half a block from the sub-station, crossing the railroad track, Wayne’s eyes caught sight of a wiry bandy-legged little guy walking along by the track. The man limped slightly, and from the look of his oversize coat and unshaven face, he was obviously down and out. As he neared the man, he stopped and leaned out of his side window, said, “Howdy.” The little man stopped abruptly, looked over at Wayne sitting in his cruiser and hesitated. he looked as if he was debating whether to stay or run. “Hi,” the stranger said. “You’re new around here,” Wayne said swerving his vehicle to a stop in front of the man. “Just passing through,” he said. “I been looking for work.” “What kind of work do you do?” inquired Wayne. “Oh…most anything. “My name’s Deputy Terwilliger, but most folks call me Wayne. “I’m Ray Stark from Montana,” the man said. “Well, what I was thinking, Ray, is that I’m tied up here in town so much of the time. You know, a sheriff’s always on duty, and my wife, Janie, she’s alone out there at the farm all day with all those chores to take care of. I was just thinking, I can’t offer much in the way of money, but we do have a spare room. I’ve been using it for storage, but we could clear it out and make up a little room for you there and my Janie’s a good cook.” Wayne said to him. “As to wages, I just need maybe enough to keep me in a few things.” replied Ray. The two men shook hands as Wayne said, “Come on. We’ll get in the cruiser and I’ll take you out there. It isn’t far.” 
This was the hiring of Ray by Deputy Terwilliger to help his wife Janie with the chores around their farm.
Ray couldn’t believe his luck in finding a job and by a Deputy to boot. This was going to make his life so much easier… so he thought. What he was unaware of was that the Deputy had other ‘chores’ in mind for Ray and they weren’t exactly up to Ray’s liking.
What the Deputy lacked in morals he made up for in his bravery. When the bank in Franklin was robbed, he showed no fear in going after the robbers. He had a loving wife at home, Sandy in town, a job that made him proud and the ‘respect’ of those around him. So when he read about a bus load of convicts escaping after killing the driver, he came up with a plan and Ray fit in perfectly. A plan that would give him the freedom to do and have everything he wanted, and deserved.
This book kept me on the edge. I was able to come up with Ray’s fit into the story but I had no idea as to how he would handle what had been planned for him to do for Wayne. The ending was a bit of a surprise for me. Loved this book as much as I’ve loved all books I’ve read by this Author. #booktownusa#marthacheves #booktrviews

Review Stir, Laugh, Repeat at Amazon.com

Terror on Telderan a free Kindle download. Also free on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch,.barnes and noble, Smashwords and Mac.#smashwords #kindle #free #booktownusahttp://j.mp/1yUmfc2
Image by Lee Crytal

Terror on Telderan a free Kindle download. Also free on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch,.barnes and noble, Smashwords and Mac.
#smashwords #kindle #free #booktownusa
http://j.mp/1yUmfc2

Image by Lee Crytal