Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fun Stuff & a Book Reviews: The Nightshade Mystery series by Kerry Blair

On Monday, my writer-girlfriend Christine sent my AuthorsIncognito group a link to this post on Mormon Mommy Writers, and told us all how much this video inspired her to write. She also said this video reminded her a lot of me and another of my writer-girlfriends, Nichole & that she could totally picture us up in front of our writers group singing and dancing away to this song. I was so flattered - I mean, hey, the singer in this video is young, hip, and let's not forget thin! :)

Here it is for your viewing enjoyment . . .



I love the energy and passion in this video, because no matter what we do, we have to be passionate about it. I absolutely love being a writer. I love the feeling of words flowing from my head through my fingers and appearing on the page in front of me. I love writing non-fiction that will help others. I love creating a fictional setting filled with down-to-earth-real-life characters my readers fall in love with. I just love the whole craft of writing and creating.

If I wasn't passionate about writing, I would have set down my pen a long time a go after my first, second, or third rejection. It's passion and determination that keeps me moving, that keeps any of us moving towards developing our talents and succeeding.

My favorite lyrics in this song are:

When life puts you to the test,
There's nothing better than your best,
Show them what you've got,
You've got a lot
,
Show 'em what you've got!
Get up, Get up!
Get up, up, up!

Get ready or not here I come!


I hope you're inspired to start your day with passion and energy!

Another thing I noticed while out on the Mormon Mommy Writers blog, is their subtitle. I don't know why it's never jumped out at me before, but today it did. Their subtitle is really their mission statement: Changing the World One Book At a Time.

Today, I am reviewing a series of books by an author who I feel fits that mission statement perfectly. Kerry Blair is not only a fabulous writer, but a woman who is truly passionate about writing and helping others succeed in their writing dreams as well. I love it when we attend the same conferences. Her smile just lights up her face and her hugs make you feel like a long lost friend. I'm excited to tell you about her Nightshade Mystery series.

The first book of the series is Mummy's the Word. Blurb from Kerry's website:

When Samantha Shade is offered the opportunity to run Nightshade Investigation, her uncle's private detective agency, she literally jumps at the chance. It has always been her dream to work at the famously quirky firm. But when a wealthy, eccentric client hires Nightshade to protect a priceless artifact, and the relic is almost immediately stolen from right under Samantha's nose-her dream turns into a terrible nightmare.

With a long list of suspects, and a short supply of experience, Samantha must accept the help of an antagonistic and reluctant policeman and the eclectic staff at Nightshade to solve the case and keep her uncle's beloved firm from disaster.


I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this mystery series. I love Samantha, the main character. She gets into the most hilarious scrapes, but is quick-thinking enough to eventually get herself out. Her brother Arjay is so unique - he's allergic to sunlight. Seriously, I kid you not. I love his personality. The romantic in me fell in love with Officer Thom Casey, literature lover turned police officer. Sigh. Another character who brings quite a lot of humor to the series is Samantha's cousin, Chaiya. Let's just say Chaiya has a word problem and truly needs to invest in both a dictionary and a thesaurus. All in all, this series has a five-star cast of characters. And let me tell you, the plot is five-star, too! The book kept me guessing. I thought I had it all figured out, but then would realize that my guess couldn't possibly be right . . . and I would be lead down another path of guessing. If you love detective novels, you'll definitely enjoy Mummy's the Word!


The second book in the series is Ghost of a Chance. Here's the blurb from the back of the book:

Samantha Shade has been hired to find out if there is something more than rats and feral cats haunting the crumbling San Rafael Mission, home of Father Rodriguez's impoverished flock. But soon, the donut-addicted rookie private investigator is sidetracked by a series of murders occurring within the parish--and by the bookish, yet attractive, police detective leading the investigation.

Several young men are found murdered in the same manner--and each is discovered with a marigold between his lips. The clues all seem to lead to someone at the San Rafael Mission. Who could be responsible? Soon Samantha comes all too close to the answer as she is led through the crypts below San Rafael's cemetery on a journey that could only end on the Day of the Dead.

If you're a fan of spooky mysteries, Ghost of a Chance is right up your alley. Cause let me tell you, it scared the pants off of me! I seriously had to put it down three nights in a row because I was too afraid to read any further. Of course, it would have helped if I hadn't been reading in bed. One night, I even woke up my hubby so he could snuggle close to me and scare away the shadows. Okay, I admit it . . . I'm a bit of a scaredy cat. All those tingles shooting up my spine make my feet go cold! Brrr! Even though I was scared witless for Samantha, I still found lots of good humor and some very intriguing romantic tension between her and Thom--something had to keep me reading all that scary stuff, and Thom & Samatha's budding romance was just the ticket!

I'm glad to have The Nightshade Mysteries on my bookshelf. I can't wait for the third book to come out to see what happens with Samantha and her supporting cast next!

6 comments:

Cindy Beck said...

Thanks for the review. I most definitely want to read both of them. And the titles are catchy enough that I'll remember them when at the library/bookstore!

Danyelle Ferguson said...

You'll definitely enjoy them Cindy. You'd love the humor, as well as the mystery!

G. Parker said...

I've read mummies the word, and I didn't really like it...I'm wondering if I was just in a bad mood. I just finished her very first book, and LOVED it. Unfortunately, it looks like she changed her writing style afterwards, and the next book I checked out, This Just In, is very similar to Mummies the word. So...I'm sure others just love them.

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Hey Gaynell - have you read her baseball series - The Heart Has Its Reasons, etc? Those were her first books & the style is very different from her other suspense books. That's the series that made me fall in love with Kerry Blair. So romancey, with just a bit of suspense - and so totally me. :)

Rebecca Talley said...

I read "Ghost of a Chance" and LOVED it. I love Kerry's writing style and her humor. She's also a wonderful person!

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Review Disclaimer: Sometimes a book I review has been sent to me for free by a publisher or an author. This in no way effects my review, which is my own opinion about whether the book was a good read for me, fit my tastes, and if I would recommend it to others. Other than possibly a free book, I am not compensated in any way for posting a review.