An Alisa Review: Murder in the Condo Next Door by Edward Kendrick


Rating: 3 stars out of 5

When the crazy woman from hell, as he thinks of her, moves in next door to Michael, he isn’t happy about it. When she’s murdered, he’s even less ecstatic, especially when he has to deal with a detective’s suspicions and a nosy reporter.

Reid Hanson is a good reporter with a nose for a story. When he tries, and fails, to interview Michael, he’s intrigued by the man’s resistance. It takes all his persuasive powers to get Michael to open up to him about the murder … and his past.

When Michael does, the two men set out to try and learn more about the woman’s murder … and a related one a week later. In the process they begin to fall for each other. Will their attraction come to fruition or will the killer manage to eliminate Michael, the only witness to his existence, before that happens?

This story was alright but didn’t connect we me.  Reid meets Michael after his neighbor’s murder and Reid’s investigating brings them closer together.

Okay, so Michael’s neighbor from hell hadn’t even been there a month and he was already making a big deal out of it that just seemed a bit preemptive.  And I don’t know I didn’t connect with Michael or Reid and their relationship felt forced with Reid trying to figure out the murder even more than them actually having anything in common.  In the end this story just didn’t work for me.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs works well for this story

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 100 pages

Published: August 10, 2019 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781646560240

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Review Cole and His Dog by Edward Kendrick


Rating:  3 stars out of 5


Kicked out of his home at eighteen, Cole ends up at The Haven, a drop-in spot for homeless teens, run by Adam Franks. Unable to spend the nights there, he ends up sleeping rough, is attacked by a pair of punks — and rescued by a Bullmastiff he names Bull.


Cole and Bull become inseparable. Cole also meets, and is attracted to, Ky, a friend of Adam’s, who twice saves Cole from more attackers. After the second attack, things suddenly change in Cole’s life when he finds out why someone seems to be after him.


Will Ky be able to convince Cole he’s told him the truth, while dealing with his own attraction to Cole? And can Ky and his friends keep Cole safe from a man who claims to be Cole’s real father?


This was an interesting story and from the description I definitely didn’t expect it to have shifters, but that isn’t a bad thing since I love those types of stories.  Cole is trying to get his feet under him after his parents kick him out, though his situation isn’t quite as bad as many you read about.  He is quite lucky to find people that want to help him and he begins to get his life together.


We see most of this story through Cole’s eyes and he is genuinely grateful for the helps he receives though I’m not sure he realizes that he seems to get a lot more immediate help than those around him.  Ky is forced to tell Cole the truth about himself and help him stay safe but as the story continues Ky’s interest becomes more personal.  These two work together to solve the mystery of Cole’s parentage before they jump into a relationship together.  I had trouble connecting the shifter lifestyles in this book as it just seemed as some were extremely into their animal sides that just didn’t seem possible in the real world.  With that and Cole’s luck at getting the help he needed from the right people from the beginning it just made it seem so much more unrealistic however it was still entertaining.


The cover art by Written Ink Designs is nice and gives a good visual of the Cole and Ky.


Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N


Book Details:

ebook, 216 pages

Published: April 15, 2017 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634863667

Edition Language: English

January 2014 Summary of Books Reviewed


Winter trees longs

The new years has started with an explosion of wonderful books and new authors for me.  SE Jakes and two of her marvelous series dropped into my hands and heart so I will be passing those recommendations on to you.  SA McAuley released a new contemporary fiction novel, Treadmarks and Trademarks, the start of a new series.  Ditto Susan Laine with her Sparks & Drops.  LA Witt inspired with her gender shifter novel Static, a must read for all.  Shira Anthony’s Symphony In Blue brought her Blue Notes characters together for a series holiday story, perfect reading for all lovers of romance and music.  Horror, fantasy and comedy are all represented here as well as a great non fiction tale by Joel Derfner, Lawfully Wedded Husband:How My Gay Marriage Will Save The American Family, a must read.

So many great books, see what stories you have missed, and make a list.  And don’t forget to check out the best book covers of the month at the end.
S series
C contemporary
SF-science fiction
YA-young adult

Rating Scale: 1 to 5, 5 stars is outstanding
5 Star Rating:

Catch A Ghost by SE Jakes C, S
Long Time Gone by SE Jakes C, S
Static by LA Witt, SF
Symphony In Blue by Shira Anthony, C, S
The Engineered Throne by Megan Derr, F
The Fall by Kate Sherwood C. S

4 to 4.75 Star Rating:

A Small Miracle Happened by Mari Donne, (4.5 stars) C, holiday
Dirty Deeds by SE Jakes (4.75 stars) C, S
Home for the Hollandaise by BA Tortuga,Julia Talbot *4.5 stars) C
Horsing Around by Torquere Authors, (4.5 stars) A, C
In Discretion by Reesa Herberth (4.5 stars), SF
Lawfully Wedded Husband by Joel Derfner (4.75 stars) N
Refined Instincts by SJ Frost, (4 stars) SP, S
Serenading Stanley by John Inman (4.5 stars), C
Sparks & Drops by Susan Laine (4.5 stars), P, S
Texas Christmas by R.J. Scott (4.75 stars), C, S
The Dreamer by M. King (4 stars), HR
The Lightning Moon by Sylvia A. Winters (4.75 stars) SP
Tread Marks & Trademarks by S.A. McAuley (4.5 stars) C, S

3 to 3.75 Star Rating:

Ashland by Lynn Lorenz (3.5 stars) SP, S
The Actor and the Thief by Edward Kendrick (3.75 stars) C, S
Tor by Lynn Lorenz (3.5 stars), SP, S

2 to 2.75 Star Rating:

Dime Novel by Dale Chase (2.75 stars) H

1 to 1.75 Star Rating:  None


Best Book Covers of January 2014

This month includes just an overall gold star to LC Chase whose great covers include the Hell or High Water series and Dirty Deeds.

InDiscretion_500x750Mindscape_500x750Sparks & Drops cover

Tread Marks and Trademarks cover

Static coverCatch a Ghost cover


In Discretion by Reesa Herberth, Artist Simone’
Mindscape by Tal Valante, Artist LC Chase, who is having an incredible year
Sparks & Drops by Susan Laine, Artist Brooke Albrecht
Static by LA Witt, Artist LC Chase.  A Stunner with it’s Shifting Gender Person
Tread Marks & Trademarks by S.A. McAuley, Wilde City Press, no artist credited

Review: The Actor & The Thief by Edward Kendrick


Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

The Actor and the Thief coverAdam Murray and his castmates had just finished their nightly performance in a play in Denver.  Now it was time for some food, some drink and relaxation.  Then he sees someone unexpected, someone he hasn’t seen for over 20 years. The only man he has ever loved…Craig Byrnes, thief,  and recently released from prison after serving time for robbery.

Craig headed out to Denver as soon as he was released.  He is a man with a plan.  But things start to go wrong almost immediately.  Craig’s mentor and friend is killed and it looks like the killers are after Craig.  Then he runs into the one man he never stopped loving, Adam Murray.  He followed Adam’s career in prison but is surprised to see him again in that small bar.

Their meeting reignites old feelings, ones that never really died.  But trouble is on their heels and their lives are in danger.  The smart thing to do would be to walk away from each other.  Will they part again for the final time or find a way to safety and a future they always wanted?

The Actor and the Thief is a short, lively, and suspenseful romance by Edward Kendrick.  There were so many elements to this story that I enjoyed, starting with the fact that its main characters were older, seasoned by their life experiences and yet still hopeful enough to reach out for future with the person they loved.  Kendrick’s characters make this story.  He has given each man enough layers and texturing to bring them to life, grounding them and their life choices in the real world.  We believe in them because the author has done his job well.

Craig is an unrepentant thief, good at his job and tough enough to endure prison and emerge relatively unscathed by the experience.  Craig slid into a life of a criminal early on and found he liked the easy money and he was good at being a burglar.  His only regret was that his profession cost him Adam Murray, the man he loved.  You kind of have to love someone who is not going to apologize for his choices, to use that old phrase….Craig “is who he is”.  Unfortunately for him the past does have a way of catching up and it has for Craig in the plot.

Adam Murray is a lovely character. Clearly the author has pulled from his own experiences in the theatre to create Adam Murray so authentically as an older actor at the zenith of his career. He has played all the roles and now is aging out of the new plays and roles being written.  It’s an ironically wry outlook leaving Murray rueful and yet grateful for the career he has had.  He is also at the point in his life that he is evaluating his next step and looking towards retirement.  And at that moment, his past arrives in the form of his only real love, thief Craig Byrnes.

Kendrick’s plot includes some very nasty killers and  the requisite buildup of suspense as all the characters head towards the climax of the story.  I love this aspect of the story where the hunted and the hunters pursue and are pursued in equal measure.  My interest was riveted to the scheming and action involved and my emotions engaged by the characters and their attempts to outsmart the killers and stay alive.

My only issues with this story is the lack of back history of Craig and Adam’s part and their relationship.  We are given only a small amount of knowledge of their past together as well as the fact that neither man ever got over the other.  But to deepen their relationship for the reader and make us really believe in this enduring love, we needed more of them in the past and we don’t get it.

What we do get is two chapters that move the story forward in time at the end.  The actors and the readers are rewarded with an ending guaranteed to bring satisfaction and happiness all around.

Looking for a great little romance featuring older main characters and a happily ever after?  The Actor and the Thief is the story for you.  Pick it up and enjoy.

Cover art by Wilde City Press.  I have to admit that I found this cover off putting.  Both the models and the split cover design just don’t work for me.

Book Details:

ebook, 85 pages
Buy links Wilde City Press,
Kindle Edition, 85 pages
Published December 12th 2013 by Wilde City Press (first published November 20th 2013)


A New Addition to the Garden, the Week Ahead in Reviews and the Sazerac, an American classic cocktail


So, here we are again.  It’s a rainy Sunday in Maryland, perfect day for reading and snoozing with the pooches.  I was out earlier in the week, gallivanting around and made a quick stop into one of our local nurseries to check out their perennial sale (50 percent off woo hoo!) and what did I behold? A zen froggy waiting for someone to take him home.  Really how could I pass him up?  Here’s are 2  pictures.   He is now perched in all his zen-like concentration behind the fish pond to Kirby’s everlasting confusion.  I watch Kirby looking at him every time he goes out and can just see the slow wheel turning in our third smartest dog’s mind.  Like “hmmmm, didn’t see that before, wonder if it is edible” “will he play with me?”.  Cracks me up everytime.  So I believe our zen froggy deserves a name.  Any suggestions?


Now on to the Week in Reviews.  There were just some lovely books this week. Lashings of Sauce was a standout based on just the shear number of great authors who contributed to this anthology. We run the gamut from contemporary romance to supernatural lovers this week:

Monday:                           (Un)Masked by Anyta Sunday & Andrew Q.Gordon

Tuesday:                           Shelton’s Homecoming by Dianne Hartsock

Wednesday:                    Wick by Megan Derr

Thursday:                         Lashings of Sauce-a British Anthology

Friday:                               Weekends by Edward Kendrick

Saturday:                           The Cool Part of His Pillow by Rodney Ross

Cocktail of the Week: The Sazerac

The Sazerac, created in New Orleans in the 1800’s, an American Classic Cocktail


1 1/2 teaspoons (1/4 ounce) club soda
1 sugar cube (preferably rough-cut and unbleached*) or 1/2 teaspoon raw sugar, such as turbinado or Demerara
4 to 5 dashes Peychaud Bitters
5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces) VSOP Cognac
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) absinthe
1 cup ice
1 lemon

In chilled cocktail shaker or pint glass, pour club soda over sugar cube. Using muddler or back of large spoon, gently crush sugar cube. Swirl glass until sugar dissolves, 20 to 30 seconds, then add bitters and Cognac and set aside.
Pour absinthe into chilled double old-fashioned glass or stemless wineglass. Holding glass horizontally, roll between your thumb and forefinger so absinthe completely coats the interior, then discard excess.
Add ice to cocktail and stir until well chilled, about 20 seconds. Strain cocktail into chilled glass rinsed with absinthe. Using channel knife, cut thin 4-inch strip of peel from lemon directly over glass, then place peel in glass and serve.