Reviews

Review: The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl by Theodora Goss

Book Review

The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl
by Theodora Goss
(The Extraordinary Adventures
of the Athena Club #3)
Historical Fantasy, Mystery
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Synopsis
Mary Jekyll and the Athena Club race to save Alice—and foil a plot to unseat the Queen, in the electrifying conclusion to the trilogy that began with the Nebula Award finalist and Locus Award winner The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter.

Life’s always an adventure for the Athena Club…especially when one of their own has been kidnapped! After their thrilling European escapades rescuing Lucinda van Helsing, Mary Jekyll and her friends return home to discover that their friend and kitchen maid Alice has vanished— and so has their friend and employer Sherlock Holmes!

As they race to find Alice and bring her home safely, they discover that Alice and Sherlock’s kidnapping are only one small part of a plot that threatens Queen Victoria, and the very future of the British Empire. Can Mary, Diana, Beatrice, Catherine, and Justine save their friends—and save the Empire? Find out in the final installment of the fantastic and memorable Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club series.

What I thought
This is the final book in the Athena Club at least for now. I really hope that the author/publisher decides to come back to these characters they were just so fun to read. After the second book, I was a little worried how big this book would be and I was happy to see that this book was more condensed. I am not sure how the author did it but all the new storylines that were introduced in the second book along with the ones remaining from the first were beautifully tied up.

This installment picks up right where the second book left off with the kidnapping of Alice and the unknown whereabouts of Sherlock Holmes. One of my favorite elements of this story is that all of these characters are unique. They all have strong personalities and yet they all complement each other.

The injected banter between the characters about what is being written continued to add to the story. It gave these women that are essentially experiments (by men) a very human feel. At its core this is about women being able to save themselves and not needing men to survive, which is a very different ideal than what was believed during the Victorian times.

I would love to see the Athena Club made into a TV/Netflix series.

Have you read the Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter yet? I have a review for it here if you are interested.

If you have read this series how do you feel about this ending?

My Rating: /5

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Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? July 20, 2020

It's Monday What are you reading.png

Good Morning!

It’s the start of another week. It’s Monday! What are you Reading is hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind. So my reading slowed down a lot mostly due to The Shadow of What was Lost. I just could not put that book down.

I am not sure what happened but after finishing the audio book for The Affair of the Mysterious Letter I did not pickup anything else up. Here is to hoping for a better week this week.

Recent Books

The Affair of the Mysterious Letter by Alexis Hall | Fantasy, Mystery |Add to Goodreads

In this charming, witty, and weird fantasy novel, Alexis Hall pays homage to Sherlock Holmes with a new twist on those renowned characters.

Upon returning to the city of Khelathra-Ven after five years fighting a war in another universe, Captain John Wyndham finds himself looking for somewhere to live, and expediency forces him to take lodgings at 221b Martyrs Walk. His new housemate is Ms. Shaharazad Haas, a consulting sorceress of mercurial temperament and dark reputation.

When Ms. Haas is enlisted to solve a case of blackmail against one of her former lovers, Miss Eirene Viola, Captain Wyndham finds himself drawn into a mystery that leads him from the salons of the literary set to the drowned back-alleys of Ven and even to a prison cell in lost Carcosa. Along the way he is beset by criminals, menaced by pirates, molested by vampires, almost devoured by mad gods, and called upon to punch a shark.

But the further the companions go in pursuit of the elusive blackmailer, the more impossible the case appears. Then again, in Khelathra-Ven reality is flexible, and the impossible is Ms. Haas’ stock-in-trade.


Currently Reading

I am at 50% when I wrote the post.

Champagne Charlie and the Amazing Gladys by B.G. Hilton | Steampunk, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Hungover aristocrat Edward “Charlie” Decharles awakens in the back of a steam-cab, only to discover that the driver has been murdered. Unused to feeling responsible for anything, he feels compelled to find the killer. As he investigates, he meets “The Amazing” Gladys Dunchurch, a stage magician’s assistant whose employer has disappeared – and not in a good way. They form an alliance – Charlie will help Gladys with his considerable resources and Gladys will help Charlie with her even more considerable brains.

Soon they discover that their respective mysteries are not only connected to each other, but related to other seemingly unrelated strangeness transpiring in London – the murder of an astronomer, an attack on a patent medicine factory, a mysterious cult in an idyllic town, and reports of deadly creatures in the London sewers.

Charlie and Gladys find themselves pitted against dead-eyed assassins, murderous pirates, wingless flying machines, and perhaps even creatures from beyond this Earth. And lurking behind it all lies a sinister cabal that knows the secret origin of the steam-powered society that powers their world. Can our heroes save the day, or will the fallout from that secret destroy two worlds?

Champagne Charlie and the Amazing Gladys is a fun, witty Steampunk adventure yarn, featuring a cast of eccentric characters.


What are you hoping to read this week?

Let’s chat in the comments below!

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New Releases

Blog Tour: Winning the Game of Work by Terry Boyle McDougall @teebeemhp @RRBookTours1 #NonFiction #RRBookTours

Welcome to the blog tour for Winning the Game of Work, by Terry Boyle McDougall! Today I have an excerpt from the book, and a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!

Winning the Game of Work: Career Happiness and Success on Your Own Terms by Terry Boyle McDougall

Publication Date: April 10, 2020
Genre: Non-Fiction/ Career Coaching Guide

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Purchase on Amazon

You can be happier and more successful when you learn to play the game of work. If you’re not currently satisfied in your career, it could be because you’re playing by the wrong rules.

In Winning the Game of Work, Terry Boyle McDougall shares the rules she learned from wise mentors and coaches, as well as the lessons she learned the hard way. She entered the workplace as an ambitious “go-getter” and was confused about why she wasn’t advancing at the pace she expected. She learned that being smart and working hard aren’t enough. The reward for developing a strategy for the game of work is success and happiness with less stress and duress.

This book will help you:

  • Get recognized for your value on the job
  • Develop and appreciate your unique “superpowers” at work
  • Cope with a bad boss without burning out or getting fired
  • Get the promotion you deserve
  • Deliver more impact on the job with some simple hacks
  • And more…

Winning the Game of Work is the essential guidebook to help you develop your unique skills as a “player.” Now is the time to see the whole field, make the savvy moves and win the game of work on your own terms!

Giveaway: You can win a $25 Amazon gift card!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Excerpt from Winning the Game of Work: Career Happiness and Success on Your Own Terms by Terry Boyle McDougall. (New Degree Press) Released April 2020.

Chapter 8
Becoming Your Own Agent: Understanding and Leveraging Your Value

Joy, feeling one’s own value, being appreciated and loved by others, feeling useful and capable of production are all factors of enormous value for the human soul. –Maria Montessori[1]

Often you may not recognize things about yourself that others can see clearly. As I’m fond of saying,

“You can’t read the label when you’re inside the bottle.”

The purpose of this chapter is to provide you with perspective and resources that will help you see yourself the way others see you.

When you understand how you’re viewed, you can make intentional changes so that your self-image and the image you project are much more aligned. This is the first step to being compensated for the value you provide to your organization.

Lessons from HGTV

I’m going to confess a deep, dark secret . . . I’m a sucker for HGTV. I love settling in for marathons of House Hunters, Property Brothers, Fixer Upper, and scores of other real estate–related shows. I find something strangely appealing about watching people search for their dream home in Malibu or renovate their mid-century modern in Kansas City.

I won’t call it a guilty pleasure, because after hundreds of hours of HGTV, I’ve learned a valuable career lesson. Buyers abhor uncertainty and will put off buying or require a big discount to overcome any perceived risk.

You’re Always Selling

If you’re wondering what “buying” has to do with your career, it’s simple. Anytime you’re trying to influence someone—be it your boss, a colleague, or the hiring manager at a company you aspire to work for—you’re selling, and they need to buy in order for you to achieve your goal.

Getting hired is an important sales job. Bringing on a new employee, like buying a house, can be fraught with risk. Organizations make a significant investment when they hire a new employee. Interviewing takes time. When a candidate is hired, they need to be trained and introduced to the people they’ll work with.

They may need to meet and form relationships with clients. And all this happens before the new employee ever starts creating value for the company. If the new hire doesn’t work out, a lot of effort and political capital will have been wasted.

“I Just Need a Chance!”

I’ve heard this refrain hundreds of times: “All I need is for someone to take a chance on me—once they hire me, they’ll see I was worth the risk.” I’ve said these same words myself at times in my career. It was frustrating when I was ready to move up and I couldn’t seem to get my foot in the door.

However, I understood it much more clearly once I became a manager. Given what is at stake for the manager, most aren’t keen on taking chances without ample evidence that it will pay off. Even if you are able to do a particular job, your résumé needs to say that clearly.

For most managers, they want some assurances that the person they’re considering has at least some experience similar to the job they are hiring for. Even when a candidate has had similar responsibilities at another company, it’s often hard to get clarity on the intangibles like work ethic, cultural fit, and the quality of their work.

Prove It to Me

Some of my worst hiring mistakes were when I convinced myself that someone was a good bet rather than making them convince me. I gave them the benefit of the doubt rather than insisting that they prove to me that they were worthy of my trust and confidence. When I look back, I recognize that I had some reservations, but I didn’t delve deeper when I should have.

I was anxious to get the roles filled and get on with the normal routine. Only later did I realize that I’d let my own impatience or optimism cloud my judgment. This would be analogous to buying a house and taking the homeowner’s word that there were no problems with the furnace rather than consulting a home inspector to confirm it.

Creating Career Curb Appeal

Enter the lessons from the HGTV gurus! When a homeowner is trying to sell a home on those programs, professionals advise the seller to get their property ready for the market by creating curb appeal—clean it up, declutter, paint, cut the grass, get new carpet, and even pay a company to stage the home.

This allows the home to be shown to potential buyers in the best possible light. It eliminates the need for potential buyers to overlook the stains on the carpet or the neglected garden. When a home looks like it’s “move-in ready,” buyers are inclined to believe what they see and want to buy.

“As Is” Requires a Leap of Faith

Alternately, when homeowners list their homes “as is” and make no investment in fixing up the home before listing it, it is typically sold at a big discount. The uncertainty of potential problems is priced in.

The beauty of many programs on HGTV is that experienced real estate and building professionals will examine a fixer-upper and can tell if the issue is just cosmetic or if it’s an expensive fix. Your average buyer doesn’t have the time or expertise to do that and therefore shies away from buying “as is” homes. They just want to close, move in, and get on with their lives.

Most hiring managers don’t have time to examine each candidate’s potential in any depth. They are like the home buyer that just wants to buy a “move-in ready” house.

Taking time to hire a new employee is a huge disruption from their day-to-day job. The last thing a manager wants to do is invest time and effort to hire someone, then not have them work out. The consequences could be costly in both lost productivity and reputation.

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

When you’re looking for a job, make your value and attractiveness immediately visible on your résumé and LinkedIn profile. When you get a screening interview, be ready with clear examples of how you’ve been successful in previous roles that align with the job.

Be sure to bring the energy as well. Many managers will choose to hire someone who really wants a job over a slightly more qualified candidate who doesn’t show a high level of interest in the position. Blasé is not a good look when you’re serious about getting a job.

Invest to Reduce Perceived Risk

What can you do if you want to pivot to something new or you’re a new graduate who doesn’t have any professional experience? Invest in yourself to reduce the perceived risk of hiring you.

Here are a few things that you can do to gain career curb appeal:

  • Learn to tell your story in a concise and compelling way.
  • Spruce up your résumé.
  • Get your LinkedIn profile to all-star status.
  • Get some additional training in areas where you have gaps.
  • Make sure your image fits the role that you’re aiming for (invest in a stylist if needed).

If you’re not sure what blocks stand in the way of your career goals, hire a professional. Like a realtor advising a homeowner on getting their home to appeal to the largest number of buyers, a career coach can help you get yourself ready for the job market so you’re also in demand.

Trying to Get Hired “As Is”

Years ago, when my boss left the large bank we worked for, I applied for his job. I had been his right-hand person and was heavily involved in the operations of the department and the interactions with leaders in the business. In the months after he left, I stepped up to provide leadership to the team and felt that I had a good shot at being officially promoted into the role.

Assumptions Can Lead to Big Mistakes

I applied for the role, but I didn’t do anything special to prepare myself for the interview. I had been at the company for about eight years at that point and would be interviewing with people who I had worked with in different capacities over the years. I assumed that they understood the value I brought to the organization. In retrospect, that was my big mistake.

Because most of the interviewers supported other businesses and were in another city, they actually didn’t understand what I did. Their knowledge of my expertise and contributions was shallow. In addition, I hadn’t interviewed in the eight years since the company hired me.

A Crushing Humiliation

The first interview was with human resources and was basically a screening interview. I did well enough to be granted a second interview. The second-round interview was with a panel of marketing leaders from other areas of the company. I had never been in a panel interview before and wasn’t sure what to expect. Disappointingly, in the interview, I became anxious and didn’t perform well. Let’s just call it what it was—I bombed!

I felt so humiliated, not only because I hadn’t presented myself in my best light, but also because I would continue to work with and see these people at departmental events. I felt like they would be looking at me as a lightweight and unworthy of performing at a management level. It was embarrassing.

Getting Professional Help

Frankly, I don’t like viewing myself as less than an all-star. Though I realized that I wouldn’t be progressing to the next phase of the interview process, I was motivated to get at the heart of my disastrous performance.

I hired a career coach to help me get over my interview anxiety. With her help, I learned how to talk naturally and persuasively about the value that I brought to the organization. I used the PAR method to concisely frame up:

  • The problems I encountered
  • The actions I took
  • The results I delivered.

Going From “As Is” to “As If”

My career coach also helped me recognize how to package myself so employers would see me as ready to deliver value at the next level. I went on a shopping spree and bought some suits and dresses that were more tailored and higher quality than what I typically wore to work. I was dressing for the job I wanted rather than the job I was currently in. I started acting “as if” I were already at that next level.

The recruiting process for the open role continued, and eventually a candidate was offered the position, but she declined to take the job. The hiring manager didn’t feel comfortable offering the role to any of the other candidates, so he started the recruiting process again from square one.

Disappointment Turns to Hope

I reapplied for the role, and using the skills and new mind-set I’d practiced with the help of my coach, I progressed to the final round of interviews. It was down to me and an external candidate. I felt much more confident going through the process the second time, and I was able to easily communicate the value that I provided for the organization. I was hopeful that this time I’d earn the promotion.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. When I found out that they offered the role to the external candidate, I was disappointed. But it didn’t take long to realize that the universe had a different plan for me. The day I learned that the other candidate had accepted the job, while I was at lunch, a recruiter left a voicemail about a role that was a great fit for me at another company.

Persistence Pays Off

It was as if I was being told that since I’d prepared, something bigger was in store—and indeed there was. That message began an active period of interviewing. By the time I finally moved on from that company, I had two job offers and was actively interviewing with a third company.

The investment I made in improving my skills and promoting myself mentally to the next level resulted in the outcome I’d been seeking. Instead of naively expecting people to see me the way I saw myself, I learned to present myself in a way that made them feel confident “buying” and gave them no doubt that any investment in me would be worth it. The investment I made in myself paid off.

[1] Montessori, Maria. Brainyquote.com. Accessed February 2, 2020.

Terry Boyle McDougall is an executive coach, speaker and best-selling author of Winning the Game of Work: Career Happiness and Success on Your Own Terms. She works with managers, executives and professionals who want to draw upon their greatest, most authentic abilities to positively impact their organizations. She supports clients who are creating change, driving innovation, and navigating transitions.

Terry relies on both her formal training as a coach and firsthand experience as a corporate leader to support her clients as they work towards their goals. In coaching engagements, Terry serves her clients as a partner and encourager as they break new ground; as a sounding board, supporting them as an objective listener; as a scout, who sees the larger context, their possibilities and potential; and, as a catalyst, helping to spark their commitment and action.

After 30 years of corporate business experience, 15 of which were in senior managerial roles, Terry chose to become a coach to concentrate on helping leaders step fully into their potential to lead satisfying careers. Though the majority of Terry’s professional experience is in financial services and marketing, her work exposed her to a wide variety of industries, business climates and corporate transitions such as mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and restructures.

Areas of leadership skills development include: Goal setting Prioritization Staff management Delegation Strategic thinking Decision making Project management Facilitating meetings

Change management Effective communications Customer relations (internal/external) Onboarding & career transition

She has worked with clients from: AbbVie ACCO Brands BMO BMW Chubb Ernst & Young Four Square Hyatt

JLL JPMorganChase Kendra Scott MediaCom

Mindshare Motorola Newsela Nuveen

Univar Solutions USG Corporation Wells Fargo Zillow

EDUCATION CERTIFICATIONS University of Maryland, MBA College of William & Mary, BA, Economics iPEC, Coach Certification Training ICF, Professional Certified Coach iPEC, Master Practitioner, Energy Leadership Predictive Index, Talent Optimization Partner

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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen:

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars
by Christopher Paolini
Genre: Science Fiction
Expected Publication: September 15, 2020
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Kira Navárez dreamed of life on new worlds.

Now she’s awakened a nightmare.

During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, Kira finds an alien relic. At first she’s delighted, but elation turns to terror when the ancient dust around her begins to move.

As war erupts among the stars, Kira is launched into a galaxy-spanning odyssey of discovery and transformation. First contact isn’t at all what she imagined, and events push her to the very limits of what it means to be human.

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Memes · TBR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? July 13, 2020

It's Monday What are you reading.png

Good Morning!

It’s the start of another week. It’s Monday! What are you Reading is hosted by Kathryn from Book Date, this is a weekly event to share what we’ve read in the past week and what we hope to read, plus whatever else comes to mind. So my reading slowed down a lot mostly due to The Shadow of What was Lost. I just could not put that book down.

Recent Books

The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski | (The Winner’s Trilogy #2) |Young Adult, Fantasy |Add to Goodreads

Lady Kestrel’s engagement to Valoria’s crown prince calls for great celebration: balls and performances, fireworks and revelry. But to Kestrel it means a cage of her own making. Embedded in the imperial court as a spy, she lives and breathes deceit and cannot confide in the one person she really longs to trust …

While Arin fights to keep his country’s freedom from the hands of his enemy, he suspects that Kestrel knows more than she shows. As Kestrel comes closer to uncovering a shocking secret, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth.

Lies will come undone, and Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them in this second book in the breathtaking Winner’s trilogy.


The Shadow of What Was Lost by James Islington | (The Licanius Trilogy #1) | Epic Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

It has been twenty years since the end of the war. The dictatorial Augurs – once thought of almost as gods – were overthrown and wiped out during the conflict, their much-feared powers mysteriously failing them. Those who had ruled under them, men and women with a lesser ability known as the Gift, avoided the Augurs’ fate only by submitting themselves to the rebellion’s Four Tenets. A representation of these laws is now written into the flesh of any who use the Gift, forcing those so marked into absolute obedience.

As a student of the Gifted, Davian suffers the consequences of a war fought – and lost – before he was born. Despised by most beyond the school walls, he and those around him are all but prisoners as they attempt to learn control of the Gift. Worse, as Davian struggles with his lessons, he knows that there is further to fall if he cannot pass his final tests.

But when Davian discovers he has the ability to wield the forbidden power of the Augurs, he sets into motion a chain of events that will change everything. To the north, an ancient enemy long thought defeated begins to stir. And to the west, a young man whose fate is intertwined with Davian’s wakes up in the forest, covered in blood and with no memory of who he is…


Currently Reading

I promise I really am going to read this one this week.

Champagne Charlie and the Amazing Gladys by B.G. Hilton | Steampunk, Fantasy | Add to Goodreads

Hungover aristocrat Edward “Charlie” Decharles awakens in the back of a steam-cab, only to discover that the driver has been murdered. Unused to feeling responsible for anything, he feels compelled to find the killer. As he investigates, he meets “The Amazing” Gladys Dunchurch, a stage magician’s assistant whose employer has disappeared – and not in a good way. They form an alliance – Charlie will help Gladys with his considerable resources and Gladys will help Charlie with her even more considerable brains.

Soon they discover that their respective mysteries are not only connected to each other, but related to other seemingly unrelated strangeness transpiring in London – the murder of an astronomer, an attack on a patent medicine factory, a mysterious cult in an idyllic town, and reports of deadly creatures in the London sewers.

Charlie and Gladys find themselves pitted against dead-eyed assassins, murderous pirates, wingless flying machines, and perhaps even creatures from beyond this Earth. And lurking behind it all lies a sinister cabal that knows the secret origin of the steam-powered society that powers their world. Can our heroes save the day, or will the fallout from that secret destroy two worlds?

Champagne Charlie and the Amazing Gladys is a fun, witty Steampunk adventure yarn, featuring a cast of eccentric characters.


The Affair of the Mysterious Letter by Alexis Hall | Fantasy, Mystery |Add to Goodreads

In this charming, witty, and weird fantasy novel, Alexis Hall pays homage to Sherlock Holmes with a new twist on those renowned characters.

Upon returning to the city of Khelathra-Ven after five years fighting a war in another universe, Captain John Wyndham finds himself looking for somewhere to live, and expediency forces him to take lodgings at 221b Martyrs Walk. His new housemate is Ms. Shaharazad Haas, a consulting sorceress of mercurial temperament and dark reputation.

When Ms. Haas is enlisted to solve a case of blackmail against one of her former lovers, Miss Eirene Viola, Captain Wyndham finds himself drawn into a mystery that leads him from the salons of the literary set to the drowned back-alleys of Ven and even to a prison cell in lost Carcosa. Along the way he is beset by criminals, menaced by pirates, molested by vampires, almost devoured by mad gods, and called upon to punch a shark.

But the further the companions go in pursuit of the elusive blackmailer, the more impossible the case appears. Then again, in Khelathra-Ven reality is flexible, and the impossible is Ms. Haas’ stock-in-trade.


What are you hoping to read this week?

Let’s chat in the comments below!

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New Releases

Cover Reveal: Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse by Sherrill Joseph @MysteryAuthor7 @RRBookTours1 #MG #Mystery #MGReads #RRBookTours #Teachers #Librarians

I’m so pleased to reveal the new cover for the latest Botanic Hill Detectives Mystery book, Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse by Sherrill Joseph. Coming this fall!

Eucalyptus Street: Green Curse
by Sherrill Joseph

(A Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries #2)
Expected Publication: Fall 2020
Genre: MG Mystery/ Middle Grade – 9 to 12
(For fans of Nancy Drew type mysteries)

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In 1945, Isabela de Cordoba’s great-grandfather, the famous silent movie actor Lorenzo de Cordoba, mysteriously hid a legendary, multimillion-dollar emerald somewhere on the family’s sprawling Eucalyptus Street estate. Seventy years later, the gem remains concealed. Nicknamed the “Green Curse,” the emerald is blamed for the Southern California familia’s numerous, untimely deaths.

On her twenty-first birthday, Isabela receives a secret letter with a cryptic poem. These documents from the long-deceased Lorenzo invite her to hunt for the gemstone. But first, she must decipher the poem’s eight stanzas for clues.

To assist, Isabela hires her thirteen-year-old neighbors, the four Botanic Hill Detectives—twins Lanny and Lexi Wyatt, and their best friends, Moki Kalani and Rani Kumar. Eerie footsteps inside the mansion, unexplained occurrences in the adjacent cemetery, and the mysterious tenant in the backyard casita challenge them. But they ingeniously make progress on the poem’s meaning with startling discoveries. Sliding wall panels, a secret room, and hidden passages reveal much. The detectives aren’t the only ones looking for the emerald. The perilous race for the de Cordoba treasure is on!

“GREEN CURSE is a spooky mystery that starts during a lightning storm in a big empty mansion. The tension ratchets up continuously as the story goes, alluding to ghosts, vampires, tombstones, graves, and a scary old woman that could be a witch. There’s a mystery within the mystery, a broad range of diverse characters, and interesting lore about gemstones of antiquity. My 12-year-old son and I recommend this page-turner that we just had to finish in one day!” -–BEN GARTNER, author of The Eye of Ra series

“This book was shocking, fun, and clever. I was at the edge of my seat the whole time. One of the best books I have ever read!” –LIAM M., age 11, Macungie, PA

Other Books in the Series:

Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets
by Sherrill Joseph
(A Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries #1)
Publication Date: February 1st, 2020
Genre: MG/ Middle Grade/ Mystery (Ages 9 – 12)

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Egyptian Secrets is available for review!
Request copy 

World-famous Egyptologist Dr. Winston Thornsley died suddenly two months ago in disgrace. His widow, Ida Thornsley, remains convinced her husband was falsely accused of stealing an ancient burial urn he discovered in Egypt last summer, but local and federal law enforcement officers are stumped.

Mrs. Thornsley, desperate for answers, calls in her thirteen-year-old neighbors, the Botanic Hill Detectives—twins Lanny and Lexi Wyatt, Moki Kalani, and Rani Kumar. Their exciting mission? To find the urn and its real thief, bring the criminal to justice, and exonerate Dr. Thornsley so his spotless reputation can be restored.

A roomful of venomous snakes, the poisoned Egyptian pond, and Dragon Pit Man are just a few of the tests awaiting the four tech-savvy teenagers. As the detectives begin to unravel the sinister plot, the mystery takes a dangerous turn. Answers are at their fingertips—if they can only convince their parents to let them solve the case.

Sherrill Joseph will be forever inspired by her beautiful students in the San Diego public schools where she taught for thirty-five years before retiring and becoming a published author.

She has peopled and themed the Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries with children and adult characters of various abilities, races, cultures, and interests. Sherrill strongly believes that children need to find not only themselves in books but others from different races and social situations if all are to become tolerant, anti-racist world citizens.

In addition, the author created her detectives—patterned after her own fifth-grade students and twelve-year-old twin cousins—to be mature, smart, polite role models that will appeal to parents, teachers, but especially to kids who seek to realize their greatest potential with courage and self-respect.

Sherrill is a lexical-gustatory synesthete and native San Diegan where she lives in a 1928 Spanish-style house in a historic neighborhood with her poodle-bichon mix, Jimmy Lambchop. Other loves include her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter. She can’t leave out dark chocolate, popcorn, old movies, purple, and daisies. Having never lived in a two-story house, she is naturally fascinated by staircases. Sherrill is a member of SCBWI and the Authors Guild and promises many more adventures with the squad to come.

Sherrill Joseph | Newsletter | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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New Releases

Waiting On Wednesday: The Enforcer Enigma G.L. Carriger

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday was a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Each Wednesday you got to highlight a book that you were really looking forward to. Unfortunately, the original creator is no longer able to host the meme and it has now linked up with Can’t Wait Wednesday over at Wishful Endings.

This week I’ve chosen:

The Enforcer Enigma G.L. Carriger
(San Andreas Shifters #3)
Genre: Steampunk, Fantasy, Romance
Expected Publication: August 1, 2020
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Charming urban fantasy from New York Times bestselling comedy author Gail Carriger.

ENFORCER

Judd has wandered from pack to pack his whole life, searching for wolves who will accept him for who he is and who he loves. Now he believes that he’s finally found the right pack and the right man.

NERD

Rejected by his family for being gay and geeky, Colin has never fit in with werewolves, yet now he is one. He doesn’t know how to react when Judd starts courting him. He’s even more lost when a famous singer, the selkie mob, and the feds also start chasing him.

Can Judd protect Colin and still prove his love? Can Colin figure out why enemy shifters are invading his favorite cafe? And what’s with all the gold sparkle? Find out in The Enforcer Enigma.

Delicate Sensibilities?

This paranormal romance contains M/M sexy times, horrible puns regarding country music, and men who wear suits without shirts underneath. If you get offended easily, then you probably will. The San Andreas Shifter stories include blue language, dirty deeds, and outright admiration for the San Francisco Bay Area. Not for the faint of heart (or mouth or tongue). 

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