Taking Some Time Off

CampingWe are off to do some camping, maybe even a little fishing.

We want to join in on the birthday celebration for the National  Park Service.

Happy Birthday!

Thanks for many, many years of happy travels you have given us.

We’ll be back in a week or two.

Posted in This and That | 3 Comments

TLC Book Tour and Book Review: The Branson Beauty

Branson Beauty

Today I am the tour host for Claire Booth’s TLC Book Tour. Join me as I tell you about this delightful new novel.

I choose to participate in this blog tour because of the story’s location, Branson, Missouri. Branson is in a beautiful area in southwestern Missouri. Several decades ago we lived in the Kansas City area and often went down to the area for camping and fishing vacations. Back then Branson was a sleepy little tourist town. Then, one day, the Nashville music world discovered it. Soon thereafter there were huge concert halls, other music-style venues, various tourist establishments and giant tour buses. The traffic became impossible and it was no longer attractive. We stopped going, but kept our fond memories of the old days. I’m curious about how the town is doing so I decided to take a fictional visit.

Publisher’s Blurb:

The Branson Beauty, an old showboat, has crashed in the waters of an Ozark mountain lake just outside the popular tourist destination of Branson, Missouri. More than one hundred people are trapped aboard. Hank Worth is still settling into his new role as county sheriff, and when he responds to the emergency call, he knows he’s in for a long winter’s day of helping elderly people into rafts and bringing them ashore. He anticipates a lot of anxiety, many arguments, and extra costs for emergency equipment that will stretch the county’s already thin budget to the breaking point. But those are the least of his worries after he discovers high school track star Mandy Bryson’s body locked inside the Captain’s private dining room.

In her captivating debut novel, Claire Booth has created a broad cast of wonderfully compelling characters, and writes with a style that perfectly blends humor with the emotional drama and heartache of a murder investigation. (Publisher: Minotaur Books July 19, 2016)

My Thoughts:

This was a very good mystery – a good story. It did not read like a debut novel at all. Of course, the author has a strong journalism career behind her (see below) which helps. Claire Booth definitely knows how to write.

And, she definitely knows how to develop characters. I really liked the main character, Sheriff Hank Worth. He’s a professional, but he has common sense, a sense of humor, and an ability to handle the public with kindness, care and sensitivity. He’s great with his staff too. I like the nicknames he has for various members. Since Hank is going to be the star of this series, I’m glad he’s so likable.

Hank isn’t the only character I liked or who made the story interesting and fun. There is actually a pretty big cast of characters. I like that at the beginning of a series. As the series unfolds I get to see how these “people” I met in book 1 are progessing. It also shows that the author is thoughtful enough to create a whole book community we can visit with every time she writes a new book. I don’t know why more series authors don’t do this.

There’s no doubt I’ll be reading book 2 and 3 and however many more there will be. Good writing, good story, well-designed plot, and best of all, great realistic characters. Although there is a murder, this is not a blood and gore novel. On the other hand it’s not a sickly-sweet cozy either. It’s the kind of story mystery lovers like me appreciate. I’m happy to recommend The Branson Beauty to you.

Claire BoothAbout the Author:

Claire Booth spent more than a decade as a daily newspaper reporter, much of it covering crimes so convoluted and strange they seemed more like fiction than reality. Eventually, she had enough of the real world and decided to write novels instead. Her Sheriff Hank Worth mystery series takes place in Branson, Missouri, where small-town Ozark politics and big-city country music tourism clash in, yes, strange and convoluted ways. For more about Claire, her books, and some of the true crimes she’s covered, please visit her website.


Thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book and to TLC Book Tours for allowing me to be a part of it all. To see other stops on the book tour, visit the schedule here: Claire Booth’s Book Tour Schedule

tlc tour host

Posted in B Books, Mysteries | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Wondrous Words #361

WWWEvery week word-lovers post new words they’ve discovered while reading. It’s called Wondrous Words Wednesday and was created by Kathy at Bermuda Onion’s Weblog.

I saw this word on Tribute Book’s Mom last week. Mary Ann’s Wondrous Words Wednesday blog post was defining alewives, which I didn’t know, but the definition had a word I also didn’t know. It’s a pretty keen thing to know, so I’m glad to add it to my vocabulary.

anadromous: “Alewives is an anadromous species of herring found in North America. It is one of the “typical” North American shads.”

AnadromousAnadromous (əˈnadrəməs) is an adjective and means a fish that migrates up river from the sea to spawn.

Friday our family is heading up north, way up to the top of  California to do some camping and perhaps a bit of fishing. I don’t think we’ll see any anadromous fish, however, since it’s the wrong time of the year for that. Anyway, see you in a week or so.

That’s it for me this week. I hope you found some words worth celebrating. Feel free to join Wondrous Words Wednesday. Be sure to visit Kathy for the details.

Posted in First Paragraph | 4 Comments

What Am I Reading? The Branson Beauty by Claire Booth

This week I’m featuring The Branson Beauty by Claire Booth. It’s a book I’m reading for an up-coming book tour. It takes place in an area where we’ve vacationed in the past, southwest Missouri. Here’s how the story begins:

Branson BeautyHis feet crunched on the snow as he stumbled behind the Company Man. The guy had loafers on and still managed to keep his footing as they scrambled down the incline toward the lake. Hank’s heavy-duty snow boots, on the other hand, were not living up to their billings, he thought, as his feet went in opposite directions on a patch of ice.

What do you think?

Would you keep reading?

firstparagraphEvery Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea shares the first paragraph of a book currently being read. Feel free to join the fun.

Posted in First Paragraph | 8 Comments