Book Review: Ashley's War, The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

Ashley's War:  The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a non-fiction book published in April 2015.  The story follows several women and their quest to become the first women to be in combat along the Green Berets and Army Rangers. This is a book that was selected in my workplace for discussion between women and/or veterans.  The book discussion was broken into three parts much like how the story was broken up.  It garnered great conversations. Some of the things that happened in the book didn't surprise me, such as how physically demanding the tryouts were to be part of the special operations.  It's a demanding job that requires people to be not only physically strong but mentally strong.     What did shock me was that it took the military so long to allow women to fight along men on the battlefield.  Another thing that astonished me were how accepting most of the men in the Army Rangers were of the women fight

Book Review: Halloween Cupcake Murder (Irish Village Mystery, #9.5) by Carlene O'Connor, Carol J. Perry, and Liz Ireland

Halloween Cupcake Murder (Irish Village Mystery, #9.5) by Carlene O'Connor, Carol J. Perry, and Liz Ireland is a collection of three novellas by three different authors, all having to do with Halloween.  I'd like to thank NetGalley for the Advanced Readers Copy of this collection that I received for free in exchange for my honest review.

The first novella in this collection is part of a series and is named Halloween Cupcake Murder (Irish Village Mystery, #9.5) written by Carlene O'Connor.  Tara Meehan owns an architectural salvage yard and in search of new products for her store.  When she receives a cupcake and a cryptic message from a stranger, Tara becomes entwined with an ancient mystery tied to Samhain.  I found this story to be intriguing but a little hard to follow at times, but all in all, I really enjoyed this novella.  It was suspenseful without being scary, and I loved that their was a secret society involved.  It made me want to re-watch the movie The Skulls.  Four out of five stars.

The second novella is also part of a series and is entitled Mrs. Claus and the Candy Corn Caper written by Liz Ireland.  Mrs. Claus has introduced the holiday of Halloween to Christmastown, and the locals are planning a huge celebration that includes a candy corn themed bake off.  When an employee is found dead at the newest bakery in town, Mrs. Claus is determined to save the holiday by find out who would be so awful to kill.  I loved the concept of this novella because I love both Halloween and Christmas, but the story seemed to be targeted more towards tweens and teens instead of adults.  For that reason, I had a hard time connecting with this tale.  However, I am will to read other stories written by this author.  Three out of five stars.

The third novella is called A Triple Layer Halloween Murder written by Carol J. Perry and is part of a series as well.  The town of Salem, Massachusetts is amping up for its month long celebration of Halloween, and Lee Barrett is looking forward to covering all the festivities for the local news station.  However, when a local bakery owner goes missing, and Lee's security system captures the bakery owner catching a ride in front of her house, she knows she has to help solve this mystery.  This story was somewhat predictable, but I absolutely loved the fact it took place in Salem, which is one of my favorite places to visit.  The author did a fantastic job of keeping me engaged in the plot and wanting to know what happened next.  I definitely want to read more books in this series.  Four out of five stars.

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