Tag Archives: Yoga

Book Review: A Fatal Twist – Yoga, Puppies, Babies and a Murder!

Karma's a Killer

Kate Davidson is a multi-tasking maven. She juggles owning and teaching classes at her yoga studio with her busy personal life. She has a beloved dog Bella, who isn’t really too fond of other dogs, some people, has separation anxiety and to top it off lacks an essential enzyme which makes mealtime dicey at best. Kate also has a live-in boyfriend, Michael who is pretty understanding considering Kate has stumbled upon more than one dead body. He is less happy about her urge to jump in and help solve the crime.

You might be thinking that you are as busy as Kate (minus the dead bodies of course) but she stepped up her game in this book. She is dealing with a young woman that she really doesn’t like, but has agreed to let her work at the studio to pay off a debt. Again, what could really go wrong?

Kate’s best friend Rene is expecting twins. So, Kate agrees to be her Doula (a non-medical person that gives moral support during and after the birth of her child, or in this case children). And the cherry on the top of Kate’s crazy triple scoop sundae of her life – Michael brings home a pair of adorable abandoned puppies. They wiggle their way into Michael and Kate’s hearts, but unfortunately also wiggle their way out of an escape proof crate and proceed to leave a path of destruction in their wake.

As if this wasn’t enough to wear out our favorite Yoga instructor, during the open house for the brand new birthing center where Rene will have her babies, a dead body shows up. Then someone Kate knows is arrested, but she knows her friend is innocent and sets out to prove it with an unlikely accomplice. Michael has warned her against sticking her nose in where it shouldn’t be, but Kate can’t help herself. Will this be the time she steps over the line?

Tracy Weber’s Downward Dog Mystery series is entertaining and fun. She also treats readers to a solid mystery. By the end of the book, before the crazy climax of finding out who the killer is there are no less than eight plausible suspects. And we aren’t talking way out, red herring, reader groaning connections. LOTS of people wanted to kill this guy and they all had good reason. But it was only one of them. It took until the very end to figure it out. The clues were laid out perfectly, as a mystery buff, it is satisfying to realize I could have figured it out, but didn’t.

Weber’s characters are people you would meet every day at work or in your social life. I didn’t necessarily want to spend time with some of them, but others seem like they’d be really fun to invite to a party. Each book adds more layers to the main characters, but you could honestly read these as stand-alone cozy mysteries. This is the fourth book in Weber’s series, so you may want to start at the beginning, but you really don’t have.

If I haven’t convinced you to give this series a try, I only have one more thing to say – babies and puppies. Both adorably cute, frustratingly funny if they aren’t yours. I highly recommend this fast paced cozy mystery.

Copyright © 2017 Laura Hartman

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.

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Children’s Book Review: A Morning with Grandpa – Delightful Story with Beautiful Illustrations

A Morning with Grandpa

http://inkygirl.com/inkygirl-main/2016/5/2/advice-for-writers-taxidermied-piranhas-and-family-memoriest.html

Author: Sylvia Liu

Illustrator: Christina Forshay

Reading level: Pre-K – 2nd grade

(picture source: http://inkygirl.com/inkygirl-main/2016/5/2/advice-for-writers-taxidermied-piranhas-and-family-memoriest.html)

Mei Mei (little sister) and Gong Gong (Grandpa) spend the morning together in the garden, both of them learning new things. Gong Gong is practicing Tai chi. He slowly goes through the motions, just as this form of martial arts requires. Mei Mei tries to follow Gong Gong’s motions, but can’t help putting her own spin on his moves.

Then Mei Mei shows her grandpa the yoga poses she has learned in school. This are more difficult for Gong Gong as he isn’t as limber as his young granddaughter. But that is okay, he does his best.

This delightful tale of the love between generations and the value of the time they spend with each other. Neither requires perfection, and that is the treasure of sharing something you love with a person you love.

Sylvia Liu’s story brings us into the garden with Mei Mei and her Gong Gong. The beauty of the morning shines through her words as well as the love her characters have for each other. It is obvious Liu has put her heart and soul into A Morning with Grandpa, making it a story that your children will love to have you to read them over and over and you will enjoy it as much as they do.

Christina Forshay’s created exquisite works of art to accompany each page of A Morning with Grandpa.  Her colorful illustrations are mesh perfectly with Liu’s story, both children and adults will enjoy them.

Before the story begins, Liu gives the reader translations of words so everything is clear before you start to read. This picture book also has a section in the back with simple instructions for  yoga and  Tai chi moves as well as pictures of the poses.

Sylvia Liu’s award winning book (Lee & Low Books New Voices Award 2016) will become a well-loved book by preschoolers and early readers alike. It is the perfect book for teachers to read to their classes.

I was very excited to win a copy of A Morning with Grandpa from Kathy Temean’s blog “Writing and Illustrating”. You can check it out here:  https://kathytemean.wordpress.com/. On a personal note, my first grandchild is scheduled to arrive in October and A Morning with Grandpa is one of the first books for his or her library. All children should have a library of fabulous books and I don’t think it could be complete without this book.

 

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Book Review: Karma’s a Killer – Cozy Mystery Full of Critters and Karma

 

Karma's a KillerKarma’s A Killer
By Tracy Weber
277 pages

Yoga teacher Kate Davidson has her plate full. She owns and teaches classes Serenity Yoga and even though she is successful, owning a business is not a walk in the park. That is why she wonders why she is standing in Seattle’s Green Lake Park getting ready to teach a “Doga” class, which is basically yoga for dogs. It is against her better judgement, but she is willing to look silly to help raise funds for Dogma a local no-kill animal shelter. And her boyfriend Michael organized the event so naturally Kate wants to help make the event fun and profitable.

Right away her Zen is challenged by a group that is protesting the idea of a shelter, especially one with animals other than dogs and cats. An altercation soon has the potential to turn dangerous when the protesters become reckless. During all the mayhem that ensues, someone dies.

Kate finds out the woman arrested is claiming to be her estranged mother, Dharma. She is conflicted over helping the woman that abandoned her, but Kate cannot let an innocent person go to prison for a murder she didn’t commit.

Once again, Kate knows better, but has to jump into an investigation to find the real killer. She enlists the help of Michael, who is a reluctant participant. She assures him all will be well, especially with her protective German Shepherd Bella on the job. But when someone messes with Bella, Kate throws caution out the window to find the perp before someone else is hurt.

This is a perfect cozy mystery. Kate is an entertaining amateur sleuth. She is funny, flawed and loveable. Her past isn’t really pretty, but she doesn’t dwell on it. Her relationship with Michael isn’t always a romp in the park, but true to life. Then there is her pogonophobia, which leads to humorous situations. I love the rest of the characters. A particular favorite of mine is Dale Evans, the goat farming lawyer. He is a hoot and even bakes Bella goat cheese treats.

Karma’s a Killer is the third book in the Downward Dog Mystery Series. I have not read any of the other books in the series, but was not confused or “lost” at any point. I highly suggest this book if you are a fan of cozies, animals and/or are into yoga.

Copyright © 2016 Laura Hartman
DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review.


 

 

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