Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

13091560From Goodreads: Three strikes…you’re dead?

A Major League baseball team with a woman as manager? A starting pitcher who can not only throw a baseball with a the best but can throw a whole game to Las Vegas gamblers? A gang of drug smugglers who are attempting to take over the team for their own purposes? Las Vegas Gold is a novel that has all this and more.

Molly Malone is the red-haired manager of a group of American League baseball players all carefully chosen from the ranks of free agent and amateur players. Money for salaries is no problem. Mike Malone, Molly’s father and a former star Major League player turned billionaire business man, has obtained a franchise for Las Vegas. He names his daughter, a star and manager in women’s pro baseball as manager, hand-picks Larry Henderson as General Manager and gives them carte blanche to choose the players. He begins building a state of the art roofed stadium and tells Molly and Larry to be ready to play in two years. Molly gets her way with a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Tabby, a pitcher with a great arm and attitude to match.

What the team isn’t prepared for is the trouble that follows the manager and soon invades their lineup. Previously, the worst any of the players had to deal with was striking out or blowing a catch. Now, they find themselves up to their necks in murder, thrown baseball games, Las Vegas gamblers and drug lords.

Combining a murder mystery with America’s national pastime, while covering such hot button topics as illegal gambling in the sporting world and the import of illegal drugs, Las Vegas Gold will keep readers of both baseball and mysteries riveted from start to finish.


This is a novella for baseball fans everywhere!  With a murder mystery, illegal gambling, a no-nonsense female manager, and a hand picked team of fictional baseball players with attitude to boot, this novella sets the stage for a great read, especially for the hardcore baseball fan.

I, myself, don’t know much about baseball.  I went to my first (ever) game this Spring, and while I enjoyed the entire baseball experience, I didn’t understand any of the terminology my friends were using while the game played on.  At my second game, I asked questions and learned more about the game that is America’s favorite pastime, and it’s a good thing too, because honestly, I would have been quite lost in this novella had I not.  If you hate baseball, or sports for that matter, then this novella isn’t for you, but if you know a little bit about baseball and enjoy sitting in the stands and the overall baseball experience, then I highly suggest you pick this up.

While a bit top heavy with baseball statistics and terminology in the beginning, an aspect that bored me a bit, the novel picks up with the revelation that someone is after Tabby’s head.  And, as murder hits the baseball field, more than once, I was surprised and intrigued.  Likewise, the characters really began to grow on me as they turn out to be, in truth, quite caring and involved, which is somewhat of the opposite of how I view professional sports players, so this was a nice twist.  With a manager who refuses to back down, murders to solve, and a series to win, this novella surprised me and I found that I really enjoyed it.  Four stars.

4 stars

I received this novel from the published in exchange for an honest review.

9860895From Goodreads: They say crime doesn’t pay…but it can sure be funny Join Jim Newell as he takes you through an anthology of criminal caper short stories where the perfect crime goes horribly awry. In this book you’ll find everything from pampered cats to fat ladies singing, a woman on the run by way of bus to a woman fleeing it all by plane and go from cigar shoppers to bed hoppers. Just remember to leave your chicken outside (rest assured, the reason why is explained in this book), and you’ll be sure to enjoy these hilarious entries.


This is a novella full of short stories that deal with crime, the main focus being robberies. They’re well written stories, and many are a bit funny, though as with any anthology, the reader isn’t going to love every single entry. My favorite of the stories were “Never Use a Chicken!” because it was just so absurd.  Other than that, however, the stories somewhat blend together in my mind because I read them all in one sitting and they’re mostly about the same thing: a robber being taken advantage by another robber.

It’s always hard to review an anthology of short stories because I tend to like some stories more than others, and I felt like a lot of these stories were very similar, too similar even, so I suggest not reading the entire anthology in one sitting so as not to confuse yourself with the different entries.  Overall, some of it was an okay read, and some I liked, but I would have liked it more, I think, had the stories been more spread out, dealing with different topics.  Three stars.

3 starsI received this novella from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

et cetera
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