Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on September 20, 2017

Hair Brained (The Bad Hair Day Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
14th in Series
Orange Grove Press (September 12, 2017)
Print Length: 342 pages
E-Book ASIN: B072XVHPPH

Synopsis

Was the car crash an accident or a deliberate attempt to run Marla’s friends off the road?

When hairstylist Marla Vail’s best friend is hurt in a suspicious car accident, Marla assumes guardianship of her infant son. No sooner does Marla say, “Baby want a bottle?” than she’s embroiled in another murder investigation. Her husband, Detective Dalton Vail, determines the crash may not have been an accident after all. But then, who would want Tally–or Ken in the car with her–out of the way? As Marla digs deeper into her friends’ lives, she realizes she didn’t know them as well as she’d thought. Nonetheless, it’s her duty as their son’s guardian to ensure his safety, even if it means putting her own life at risk. Can she protect the baby and find the culprit before someone else ends up as roadkill?

iBook * Google Play

Guest Post

Killing Off a Character in Your Book by Nancy J. Cohen

Fiction readers, same as TV series fans, hate to see their favorite characters die. It could mark a series death when a writer terminates a main character like a promising romantic lead. I’d be annoyed at the writer myself and maybe wouldn’t pick up her next book. But killing off the villain or an irritating relative no one likes or a minor secondary character is acceptable, as long as it isn’t your sleuth’s faithful sidekick.

One reason I didn’t start watching Game of Thrones was because I’d heard they beheaded a character everyone liked. I didn’t want to get vested in someone only to lose him.

Reader reactions may depend upon the genre as well. In a thriller, you expect more folks to get bumped off, and a lot of the suspense comes from not knowing who will survive and who won’t. But in a romance, you don’t want to disappoint readers with an unexpected death, and the same goes for cozy mysteries. Just as you don’t kill the cat or dog in a cozy, you don’t eliminate someone readers truly adore.

In the recent Wonder Woman movie [spoiler alert!], I was shocked when Steve didn’t reappear. True, the movie’s action shifted from World War I to the present to frame the shot from the beginning, but I still felt let down. The action in the comics had taken place during World War II, and Steve played a large role in those stories. So where will this remake go now?

But other secondary characters are fair game, and I take advantage of this situation in Hair Brained, #14 in The Bad Hair Day Mysteries. The tone of this story is more somber than my prior books. This one has some humorous scenes, but the general theme could be said to enjoy what you have now because it could be gone tomorrow, and to prepare for when that day comes. I didn’t feel great pangs about killing off a secondary player. Maybe I’d never really liked the person to start. But a lot of suspense comes from the threat to a character we do hold dear. Will she or won’t she make it out alive by the story’s end?

Marla, my hairstylist sleuth, has to deal with the fallout when her friends Tally and Ken go missing in Hair Brained. She and her husband Dalton go to Tally’s house to pick up her son Luke from a babysitter. Here’s an excerpt with her reaction:

Marla slung the diaper bag’s strap over her shoulder. Holy highlights, that thing weighed a ton! How did mothers do it? Back in the living room, she shot a panicked glance at Dalton as he shut the door on the babysitter’s retreating back.

“Wait, how will I know what to do?”

Dalton rounded on her, his eyebrows arched and his gray eyes like polished pewter. “What’s there to know? You change the kid’s diapers, feed him, and put him to sleep.”

Oh, yeah. Easy for you to say. You’ve been through it once with your daughter.

“Put him to sleep in what? We don’t have a crib in our house.”

“That’s okay; we’ll rig something up that will work for tonight. This shouldn’t last too long. Tally and Ken will reappear at some point.”

“Yes, but what if they don’t? I mean, we’re not equipped to handle an infant. Our house isn’t child-proofed. We don’t have a crib or a changing table or any of the other stuff.”

“Including a car seat, now that you mention it. I’ll look in the garage. Maybe Tally’s BMW is still inside.” He loped off in that direction, hollering a few minutes later that Tally’s car was parked there, and he’d retrieve her equipment.

Meanwhile, Marla wondered what she would do if Tally failed to show up in a timely manner. She had clients scheduled at the salon, as well as other commitments.

Dear Lord. Her throat closed until she reminded herself this wasn’t about her. It was about caring for Luke.

So how do you feel about recurrent characters who die in the midst of your favorite series?

 

About the Author

Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list and been selected by Suspense Magazine as best cozy mystery. Nancy has also written the instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. Her imaginative romances, including the Drift Lords series, have proven popular with fans as well. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, she enjoys fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping.

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check out the other blogs on this tour

September 12 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

September 12 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

September 13 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

September 14 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

September 14 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

September 15 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

September 16 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 17 – A Holland Reads –  GUEST POST

September 18 – Deal Sharing Aunt –  INTERVIEW

September 18 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

September 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST

September 19 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

September 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

September 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

Posted in Children, Giveaway, Middle Grade, Spotlight on September 20, 2017


The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby

Violet Barnaby searches for the joy in life after losing her mother in this sweet and funny follow-up to The Charming Life of Izzy Malone.

Violet Barnaby is a having a blue Christmas. She’s still grieving the loss of her mother, and to make things worse, her dad has just married Melanie Harmer, a.k.a. the meanest teacher at Dandelion Hollow Middle School. But on the day Violet and her dad are packing up and moving into the new house they’ll share with Melanie and Melanie’s two children, Violet finds a letter her mother wrote to her before she died, asking Violet to enjoy Christmas, along with a Christmas Wish List—things her mom wants her to do during the holiday season. On the list are exactly the kinds of things Violet doesn’t want to do this year, like Be Someone’s Secret Santa; Give Someone the Gift of Your Time: Volunteer; and Bake Christmas Cookies.

Violet shows the letter to her friend Izzy’s Aunt Mildred, who calls a meeting of the Charm Girls, a club Izzy and Violet belong to along with their friends, Daisy and Sophia. Aunt Mildred decides she will give them each a charm to put on their bracelet if they do all of the tasks on the Christmas Wish List, which Violet is not too happy about. She’d rather forget about the list completely, but feels compelled to honor her mother’s wishes.

And when Izzy’s crush confides a big secret to Violet, Violet feels like she is stuck between her best friend and the boy who she just might have a crush on, too…

 

Praise for The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby

“[an] emotionally perceptive novel of grief and recovery.” – Kirkus

You’ll fall in love with Violet and love every minute of living in her wondrous world! – Stephanie Faris

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * IndieBound

 

About the Author

Jenny Lundquist was born and raised in Huntington Beach, California, where she spent her time unsuccessfully learning how to surf. When she was younger, she wanted to be either a rock star or a published author. After she taped herself singing and listened to it on playback she decided she’d better opt for the writing route. Jenny is the author of multiple YA and Middle Grade titles including Seeing Cinderella, The Charming Life of Izzy Malone, The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby and the forthcoming The Carnival of Wishes and Dreams (2019).

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amazon or paypal$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

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Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Historical, romance on September 19, 2017

Title: Highland Flame

Author: Mary Wine

Pub Date: September 5, 2017

ISBN: 9781492602538

Synopsis

NEWLY MINTED LAIRD SEEKS WIFE, PREFERABLY RICH

Laird Diocail Gordon has just inherited his uncle’s run down castle and rag-tag clan. He knows the sorry sight of the castle would send any woman running, but is determined to find a wife to help return his home to its former glory.

Widowed lady Jane Stanley is determined to return to England, even if she has to tromp through the Scottish Highlands on foot to get there. Her travels lead her straight into the midst of a troop of dangerous Highland warriors. The mysterious, brawny laird forbids his men to harm her, and the spark between them is immediate. The only way Diocail can keep her safe is to take her home with him, but will the miserable state of his clan douse her newly ignited Highland flame?

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble |

Kobo | Chapters | iBooks | Indiebound

 

Historical facts you should know

  1. A reverence was the proper greeting for this era, sometimes called courtesy. You stepped back with one foot, bent at the knee, keeping your back straight and ‘lowered’. If you were the higher ranking person, you would do the same and it was called ‘offering courtesy’, meaning it was a polite way of greeting one another. Even Queen Elizabeth Tudor lowered herself before the archbishop of Canterbury.
  2. Every house had a buttery….it was where the butts of ale were stored.
  3. A butler was the man who kept the keys to the buttery. In this period, he was huge and someone who could defend those keys with his brawn because ale was essential to survival in winter.

Excerpt

They both fell silent again as they consumed more of the food and faced a topic neither of them had any experience with. Not many a man did. It was why men wed, and women too, because together a man and woman might combine their knowledge to make a successful home. He’d been taught the logistics of defense and negotiation needed to foster relationships with other lairds.

But how much fare to put on the tables?

He had no idea or even how to go about making sure there were ample hands to prepare the food. Diocail felt his brain throbbing as he contemplated all the things needed to run a kitchen, and those were only what he knew about. What truly nauseated him was that he knew damned well how lacking his knowledge was. He knew how many men to ride out with, how many horses, and his education continued on to include how many blacksmiths it took to make sure those horses were shoed, how many stable lads it took to make certain those animals were fit to ride, how much feed and what sort was needed to maintain a horse’s strength.

A hundred details, and a kitchen was no different. No wise man made the mistake of thinking it an easy thing to keep running smoothly. Their current circumstances were proof of that surely enough.

“Ye need a wife, one raised with the education to see this place set right. No’ that any decent girl would have this house as it is,” Muir added. “Try to contract one, and she’ll run home to her father the moment she sees the condition this castle is in. But ye need one. A wife, that is.”

“I hoped to have a bit of time before getting down to that part of being laird,” Diocail groused.

“Best set yer secretary to sorting through the offers in Colum’s study.” Muir didn’t offer him any respite.

“Do nae hold out any hope,” Diocail replied. “There is a decade of letters sitting there. Any offers are long past their time of opportunity.”

His new lairdship was proving to be far more challenging than he’d ever thought it might be. Somehow, in all the times his mother had spoken to him of the day he’d take over the Gordon clan as laird, she had never mentioned just how complicated the duty was. There was building to consider, horses, men, training—and the list went on. All things he’d been taught as a man.

Now there was the kitchen, and God only knew what else went along with running one

smoothly.

Well, not God.

He let out a grunt. Here was something he knew less about than the Lord above.

Women.

And, more precisely, a lady and the duties she would have been trained to do.

There were reasons a laird wed a woman from a highborn family, and one was that she would come with an education as diverse as any given to a laird’s son. Running a kitchen was more than turning bread; it was knowing how much bread to set out to rise in the morning so that the supper table was full and how much grain was needed to make it through the winter and how many hands were needed to produce it all. His head began to ache. He didn’t know what went into bread, much less how much was needed to see an entire castle through a day, but as laird, his duty was to make certain the tables were laid with fare.

Nor did he know anything at all about helping a lady settle into the place he hoped she’d make into a home.

Muir was correct; she would run back to her father before sunup.

Diocail took another swig of the whisky, wishing it would dull his senses.

But all it did was warm him enough to make him conscious of the draft coming through the holes in the roof. He tipped his head back and discovered stars peeking at him where tiles were missing, likely from the winter storms. Colum was a bastard for leaving his people to such circumstances.

Laird of the Gordons. Diocail’s mother’s dream.

And his nightmare, it would seem.

About the Author

Acclaimed author Mary Wine has written over 30 works of Scottish Highland romance, romantic suspense and erotic romance. An avid history-buff and historical costumer, she and her family enjoy participating in historical reenactments. Mary lives in Yorba Linda, California with her husband and two sons.

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Giveaway

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, Monday, mystery on September 18, 2017

Body on Baker Street: A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (September 12, 2017)

Synopsis

Gemma Doyle and Jayne Wilson are busy managing the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium on Baker Street and adjoining Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room in anticipation of the store’s upcoming book signing with the illustrious Renalta Van Markoff, author of the controversial Hudson and Holmes mystery series. But during the author Q&A session, dedicated Sherlockian Donald Morris verbally attacks Renalta and her series for disgracing Sherlock’s legacy, only to be publicly humiliated when the author triumphantly lashes back and gains the upper hand. That is until Renalta collapses on the table―dead.

Donald insists he didn’t do it and pleads to his friends to clear his name. Fortunately, Gemma and Jayne have no shortage of suspects between author’s bullied personal assistant, her frustrated publicist, the hapless publisher, a handsome rare book dealer, an obsessively rabid fan, and a world of other Sherlock enthusiasts with strong objections to Renalta’s depiction of the Great Detective. It’s up to the shrewd sleuthing duo to eliminate the impossible and deduce the truth before the West London police arrest an innocent man in Body on Baker Street, the second Sherlock Homes Bookshop mystery perfect for fans of Miranda James and Kate Carlisle.

Guest Post

Stocking the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium

By Vicki Delany

Great Escapes Book Tour Sept. 2017

When I first had the idea of creating a cozy series around a Sherlock Holmes Bookshop, I thought the idea would be fun but a bit far-fetched.   It’s been rather surprising to discover it really would be possible to have an entire store of nothing but Sherlock Holmes.

I dove into the crazy world of Sherlock, and I’ve had a lot of fun stocking my fictional shop.

First, the stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  There were sixty original Sherlock Holmes stores, including four novels. Not a lot with which to stock an entire store, but the legions of books they’ve inspired is incalculable, what’s call the pastiche – novels and short story collections in which Sherlock and Dr. Watson are characters, in some form or another (e.g. Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series).  I expanded the bookshelves by including a section of Gaslight novels, meaning books set in the Victorian or Edwardian eras, most of which are mysteries (e.g. Gaslight series by Victoria Thompson or the Molly Murphy series by Rhys Bowen). We also have a non-fiction section for books about Sir Arthur, his writing, his contemporaries, and their life and times.

And then we can stock merchandize.  DVDs of TV shows and movies, posters, life-sized cut-outs, puzzles, games, coloring books, mugs, cups, tea towels.  The list is practically endless.

All of the stuff sold in the Sherlock Holmes bookshop can be found in the real world.  All, that is, except for the books in the Hudson and Holmes series by Renalta Van Markoff, for reasons which shall become clear in Body on Baker Street, the second book in the series.

I’ve enjoyed finding Sherlock pastiche and gaslight books and dropping their names into the books. It’s been a hoot trying to match a real book to a fictional character who comes into the shop.

After engaging in a frenzy of shopping, my customers have to go someplace for refreshments and where better than next door to Mrs. Hudson’s Tea Room.  There they can enjoy a cream tea or full afternoon tea, perhaps served in a Sherlock themed tea pot and cups.  Quite a few of the things Jayne serves in the tea room have been made by me at some time, or at least eaten by me!

Research is tough but someone has to do it.

About the Author

Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers. She is the author of twenty-three published crime novels, including standalone Gothic thrillers, the Constable Molly Smith series, and the Year Round Christmas Mysteries.  Under the pen name of Eva Gates she is the national bestselling author of the Lighthouse Library cozy series.

The first in Vicki’s Sherlock Holmes bookshop series, Elementary She Read, will be released in March 2017 from Crooked Lane Books.

Vicki lives and writes in Prince Edward County, Ontario. She is the past president of the Crime Writers of Canada.

Website * Facebook * Twitter (Vicki) * Twitter (Eva)

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

September 11 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 11 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 12 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 12 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

September 13 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 13 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

September 14 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

September 14 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW

September 15 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

September 15 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW

September 16 – Varietats2010 – REVIEW

September 16 – Carole’s Book Corner – REVIEW

September 17 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 17 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 18 – CelticLady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

September 19 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

September 19 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 20 – Book Babble – REVIEW

September 20 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

September 21 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

September 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

September 22 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – INTERVIEW

September 22 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

September 22 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW

September 23 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

September 23 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 24 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on September 17, 2017

Cat Got Your Secrets: A Kitty Couture Mystery 
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (September 12, 2017)

Synopsis

Lacy Marie Crocker has settled into a comfortable groove back home in New Orleans, and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, she’s busier than ever running a thriving pet boutique, helping her mother organize the upcoming National Pet Pageant, and untangling her complicated love life. But when delivering a king-sized order of dreidel-shaped doggy biscuits for a Saint Berdoodle’s bark-mitzvah, Lacy stumbles into yet another murder scene—and the last person to see the victim alive was her own father.

It’s up to Lacy to clear her dad’s name from the suspect list before Detective Jack Oliver has to cage him for good. But just when she starts pawing at the truth, she receives a threatening letter from a mysterious blackmailer bent on silencing her with her own secrets. And Lacy’s not the only one with bones in her closet.

Amazon * B&N * BAM!* IndieBound

Guest Post

What’s So Funny About Murder???

Definitely nothing. Nothing is funny about murder, but I’m a huge fan of humor, so I put it in all my murder mysteries. I also apply it regularly to my life, but I especially enjoy humor in books. The little chuckles provide a break from all that tension, and it feels really good to me as a reader, so I never skip it as a writer.

Something else I love about cozy mysteries? The murder and crime scene are secondary to the story. Yes, the murder is the catalyst, but cozies aren’t really about the murder. They’re about the adventure that follows and the unraveling of a great mystery.

Which leads me to my favorite thing about cozies. An amateur sleuth always solves the crime. Someone just like me (but infinitely braver) steps in to find justice and three hundred bumbling pages later, she does it! Can you imagine solving a crime? I can’t. I don’t like rocking the boat, being nosy, pushy or too forward. But my heroines do! They love asking questions and digging around for clues. Every day heroines are smart, sassy, resourceful and so much fun. I’d read the stories of their adventures any day.

When your local librarian, consignment shop or pet boutique owner steps in to chase the clues, the results are fantastic, and you’re guaranteed to have a good time.

If you’re in the mood for a new author, book or series, I hope you’ll give my Kitty Couture Mysteries a try.

About the Author

Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency. Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

 

Giveaway

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

September 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

September 12 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW

September 12 – Community Bookstop – INTERVIEW

September 13 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

September 13 – Books Direct – GUEST POST

September 14 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

September 14 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

September 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 16 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

September 16 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

September 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

September 17 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

September 18 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

September 18 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

September 19 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

September 19 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW

September 19 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

September 20 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

September 20 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

September 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – COZY WEDNESDAY

September 21 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

September 21 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – INTERVIEW

September 22 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 22 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 23 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 23 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

September 24 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

September 24 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

September 25 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW

September 25 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

Posted in 5 paws, excerpt, Giveaway, Review, romance on September 16, 2017


The Pursuit of Lady Harriett by Rachael Anderson

When wills clash and hearts collide, who will reign victorious?

Termed an Incomparable during her first London season, Lady Harriett Cavendish is beautiful, spirited, and confident, capturing the attention of a great many suitors. Unfortunately, they all failed to capture her attention, and she concluded the season as unattached as she’d begun it.

Only weeks prior to her second season, Harriett encounters Lieutenant Christopher Jamison while visiting Tanglewood Manor. Recently returned from war, the lieutenant is everything that Harriett’s previous suitors were not. He’s arrogant, ungentlemanly, irritating, and challenges her at every opportunity. When he goes too far, Harriett decides that it’s time to turn the tables on him. But as she sets out to put the lieutenant in his place once and for all, she discovers there is more to him than meets the eye, and when it comes to matters of the heart, she has no control whatsoever.

Excerpt

Harriett looked at what remained of the cake. Appar-ently, he didn’t intend to finish it off after all, so she collected their forks and stood. “Forgive me for saying so, but you look quite done in, Chris. If you do not go up to bed now, you will probably fall asleep here. Only imagine what Mrs. Caddy might say if she discovers you here with the mostly-eaten cake. For your own sake, you ought to retire. I will do my best to tidy things up.”
Before she could move away from him, he grabbed her hand and guided her to sit back down, keeping hold of her fingers. “Not so fast, my lady. I meant it when I said that I’m in desperate need of the distraction that only you can provide. Thus far, all I have done is burden you with my troubles.”
“I do not feel at all burdened, sir.” Indeed, Harriett suddenly felt breathless and somewhat giddy. The effect this man had on her was something of a wonder.
“Sir?” he asked. “I thought we were beyond that.”
“I thought so as well, but you only just called me ‘my lady.’”
He frowned and blinked as though he hadn’t realized he had. “Forgive me, Harry. I fear my exhaustion has muddled my thinking.”
This time, she did not let the name slide. She snatched her hand free and frowned at him. “Obviously it has.”
He laughed—not a tired attempt at a laugh, but a real one filled with the richness that warmed her straight through. Only this time, it did not bother her at all. In fact, it felt wonderful, almost like a compliment.
“I knew you’d come through for me,” he said, leaning close enough to touch shoulders with her. “You have no idea how much I needed to laugh or how good that felt. I could honestly kiss you right now.”
Harriett tried her best not to blush or appear astonished by the suggestion—he had obviously made the comment in jest—but when his smile widened into a devilish grin, she knew she’d failed. He leaned in closer, and his gaze wandered briefly to her mouth before returning to her eyes. She could smell vanilla and lemon and a hint of something else—leather perhaps? A delightful pulse whipped down her arm, and she was hard-pressed not to shiver.
“Admit it,” he said. “You have missed me.”

Review

I didn’t realize this was the 3rd in a series but that didn’t matter because the story stands on its own merit without having the background of the other stories and those characters that appear here as well.

In the craziness of today’s world and how anything seems to go, it is nice to sit back and read a book that kissing is as far as it goes in the romance department. I also enjoy going back in time when men woo’ed women and while women were not meek, they had the grace to let the men do the chasing…with a little help from the women pointing them in the right direction.

Christopher is a strong male lead but he is woefully lack in his wooing skills much to Harriett’s chagrin. But even with his faults he manages to win her heart, but he did have to work at it in the end.

A wonderful story and well worth reading.  We give it 5 paws up.


 

RachaelAbout the Author

A USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can’t sing, doesn’t dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

Website

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 10/1/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in Giveaway, Spotlight, suspense, Thriller on September 15, 2017

Lies She Told
Crooked Lane Books (September 12, 2017)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683312956
ASIN: B06XW3MGZB

Synopsis

Sometimes the truth is darker than fiction.

Liza Cole has thirty days to write the thriller that could put her back on the bestseller list. In the meantime, she’s struggling to start a family with her husband, who is distracted by the disappearance of his best friend, Nick. With stresses weighing her down in both her professional and her personal lives, Liza escapes into writing her latest heroine, Beth.

Beth is a new mother who suspects her husband is cheating on her while she’s home alone caring for their newborn. Angry and betrayed, she sets out to catch him in the act and make him pay for shattering the illusion of their perfect life. But before she realizes it, she’s tossing the body of her husband’s mistress into the East River.

Then the lines between fiction and reality begin to blur. Nick’s body is dragged from the same river and Liza’s husband is arrested for his murder. Before her deadline is up, Liza will have to face up to the truths about the people around her, including herself. If she doesn’t, the end of her heroine’s story could be the end of her own.

About the Author

Cate Holahan, author of the acclaimed psychological suspense novel The Widower’s Wife, is an award-winning journalist and a former television producer. She currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children.

 

Website * Facebook * Twitter

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check out the other blogs on this tour

September 5 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

September 5 – Readsalot – GUEST POST

September 6 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

September 7 – Girl with Book Lungs – INTERVIEW

September 8 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW

September 9 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

September 10 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW

September 11 – Must Read Faster – REVIEW

September 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 13 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 14 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

September 14 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 15 – Storeybook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 

September 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

September 16 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

September 16 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 17 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

September 18 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 18 – Books Direct – REVIEW

Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, paranormal, romance on September 15, 2017

Title: Her Dark Half

Author: Paige Tyler

Series: X-Ops, #7

Pub Date: September 5, 2017

Synopsis

Trevor Maxwell

  • Coyote shifter with an attitude
  • Covert operator
  • Trusts no one, especially his devastatingly beautiful new partner

Alina Bosch

  • Former CIA, newest operative on the covert team
  • Hired to spy on her partner
  • Motto: “Never be deceived again.”

Coyote shifter Trevor Maxwell is teamed up with CIA agent Alina Bosch to catch a killer. But when the mission becomes much more dangerous than they expected, they’re going to have to ignore the attraction between them and learn how to trust one another to come out on the other side…

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | IndieBound

Excerpt

“What’s the plan here?” she asked Trevor quietly as the restaurant’s patrons eyed them curiously. “Because I don’t see anyone warming up to us enough to invite us into the back room.”

“We’re Trevor and Alina Hoffman, a filthy rich, newly married couple from Silicon Valley,” Trevor said, glancing around as if taking in the ambience. “We’ve been on an extended honeymoon for the past few months and are currently heading for a trans-Atlantic cruise out of New York City. We decided to do some gambling and got tired of dealing with all the crap at the local casino.”

“You think they’ll buy that?” she asked as he led her across the room toward the door with the guards.

“You sell the fact that we’re a newly married couple, and I’ll make them believe I’m a rich guy with a gambling addiction.”

She could do that. Then she realized one big flaw in their cover story. “If we’re a newly married couple, shouldn’t I be wearing a ring?”

Trevor gave her a sidelong glance. “What makes you think you aren’t?”

She looked down at her hand in confusion and almost fell off her stacked heels as she saw the monstrously large diamond he’d somehow slipped onto her ring finger when she wasn’t looking. Oh crud, it was huge! And as beautiful as any she’d ever seen.

“When did you put this on? More importantly, is this thing real?” she whispered.

Thank goodness she had his arm to keep her steady. She was feeling faint at the idea of wearing a diamond that was probably worth more than her entire apartment.

“I put it on you when we were married on the first of June in Monaco,” he whispered back. “And of course it’s real. I would never put something fake on the love of my life.”

“Trevor, I’m serious,” she said.

He made a face. “Okay. I slipped it on your finger when I was helping you out of the SUV. And yes, it’s real, so don’t lose it. I had to sign my life away to get it out of the DCO safes.”

She gulped. “How much is it worth?”

“Nothing compared to you, sweetheart,” he said in a romantic tone as they stopped in front of the two guards.

The bouncers working this door were a little bit more professional than the ones outside.

“Can I help you?” one of the men asked in a deep, rough voice that made Alina wonder if he chewed gravel for fun.

“Someone told me a man might be able to find a friendly game of poker somewhere near here,” Trevor said casually. “I don’t suppose you two might be able to point my wife and me in the right direction for a game like that?”

The two men regarded him suspiciously.

“I think you’re talking about the Horseshoe Casino,” Gravel said. “It’s nearby, very clean and friendly.” Trevor chuckled. “The Horseshoe is very friendly. But the place doesn’t have the quite the atmosphere we’re looking for. It’s a little too…what’s the word?… sanitized for our liking.”

Gravel studied Trevor for a moment, then glanced at the bar, giving someone there a nod. Ten seconds later, a slim man in an expensive suit appeared at their side.

“My name is Teddy,” he said in a cautious yet friendly tone. “What can I do for you?”

“I’m Trevor Hoffman. This is my wife, Alina. We’re getting ready to head out on a cruise in a few days and decided to do some gambling while we’re in town. Someone told us this place runs a clean game, so I thought I’d spend some money here.”

Teddy surveyed them with a practiced eye, taking in the cut of Trevor’s suit and her expensive gown, not to mention the big honking ring she wore. He must have liked what he saw, because he nodded.

“If I could get some identification and a credit card from you, Mr. Hoffman, I can quickly check your credentials and set you up with a line of credit.”

Alina tensed as Trevor handed over the requested ID and credit card. They could be in trouble. The fake ID and credit card by themselves would have taken quite a bit of time and money to pull off. Coming up with an Internet background to support that would take even longer.

“What are they going to find when they run your name and that credit card number?” she whispered as he slipped his arm around her and casually urged her away from the two men guarding the door.

“Relax.” He flashed her a grin. “They’ll find us with all the relevant financial and societal tidbits one would expect to see when looking at the rich and bored.”

She glanced at Teddy. He typed something into a computer just out of sight behind the bar. A moment later, he lifted his head and frowned in their direction.

“Something’s wrong,” she whispered.

Even the two guards were eyeing them funny now. She was starting to wish she had a weapon. If things went bad, they were in trouble.

“Alina,” Trevor said softly as he tightened his arm around her waist and tugged her closer. “Now’s the time for you to sell the newlywed thing.”

She opened her mouth to ask him exactly how he suggested she do that when he pulled her even closer.

She wished she could have said it was years of CIA training that took over and made her kiss him. But that wouldn’t have been true. Instead, it was a totally different kind of instinct. The kind that made a woman want to kiss a hot guy.

About the Author

Paige Tyler is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy, romantic fiction. Paige writes books about hunky alpha males and the kick-butt heroines they fall in love with. She lives with her very own military hero (a.k.a. her husband) and their adorable dog on the beautiful Florida coast.

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Giveaway

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Posted in Giveaway on September 14, 2017

Banned Books Week, the annual celebration of the freedom to read, will be held the week of September 24th in 2017. For this year’s celebration, the coalition of organizations that sponsors Banned Books Week will emphasize the importance of the First Amendment, which guarantees our inherent right to read.

Censorship is happening and it is infringing on the right of readers.

According to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) – which tracks reports of book challenges and bans and compiles an annual Top Ten Challenged Books List – there was an alarming 17% increase in book censorship complaints in 2016. Since most challenges are not reported, the actual number is probably much higher. Even more disturbing, while only 10% of the titles reported to OIF are normally removed from the institutions receiving the challenges, half of the most frequently challenged books were actually banned last year.

If you are interested in finding out what books have been challenged/banned over the years you can visit this site and it is broken down by year.

In support of the Freedom to Read any book we want, I will be giving away these 2 books to 2 lucky winners!

 

   
Synopsis:

Winner of the 1921 Pulitzer Prize, The Age of Innocence is Edith Wharton’s masterful portrait of desire and betrayal during the sumptuous Golden Age of Old New York, a time when society people “dreaded scandal more than disease.”

This is Newland Archer’s world as he prepares to marry the beautiful but conventional May Welland. But when the mysterious Countess Ellen Olenska returns to New York after a disastrous marriage, Archer falls deeply in love with her. Torn between duty and passion, Archer struggles to make a decision that will either courageously define his life—or mercilessly destroy it.

Synopsis:

When a young English widow takes off on the grand tour and along the way marries a penniless Italian, her in-laws are not amused. That the marriage should fail and poor Lilia die tragically are only to be expected. But that Lilia should have had a baby — and that the baby should be raised as an Italian! — are matters requiring immediate correction by Philip Herriton, his dour sister Harriet, and their well-meaning friend Miss Abbott.

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on September 14, 2017

Passport to Murder (Professor Prather Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Camel Press (September 15, 2017)
Paperback: 272 pages

Synopsis

Start with an unlucky number. Throw in a romantic location. Include a dashing Frenchman and an uncompromising professor. And you have all the ingredients for a passport to murder.

This semester, it seems that Professor Prather’s dreams are about to come true. Ever since she was a young girl, she’s imagined going to France, and her French colleague, André Duman, has finally made that trip possible. Over spring break, she and André are to lead a group of students and faculty to Paris to explore the City of Light. But before she can utter her first bonjour, a professor dies, and they are stuck in Minneapolis. She returns to Copper Bluff with an unstamped passport and a mystery to solve.

When André becomes the prime suspect, Emmeline puts her research skills to good use, determined to find out who really killed the professor and spoiled their spring break plans. With thirteen travelers assembled, the possibilities are varied and villainous. Luckily, her dear friend and sidekick, Lenny Jenkins, is close by. Together, they will sort through the conflicting clues even if it costs them time, trouble, or tenure.

Guest Post

A few thoughts (and a recipe!) from Mrs. Gunderson

As Emmeline’s neighbor and a general authority on Copper Bluff, South Dakota, I’m happy to introduce myself. My name is Mrs. Gunderson, and I’m a stalwart of the community. Four generations of my family once farmed near Copper Bluff. However, I’m content living next to Emmeline. Her cat, Dickinson, makes it extremely difficult at times, and my dear dog, Darling, hardly knows what to do when it hisses at him. But he is such a servile animal. He endures, and so do I, despite the particular comings and goings next door. On more than one occasion Emmeline’s had the police visit, and last year, she even had a break in! Can you imagine? On our street? Such things never happened before she came, not that I’m the type of person to make assumptions. But it’s coincidental to be certain.

There are good things about living next to Emmeline, too. She’s very quiet. She doesn’t blare rap music like the young people down the street, who live closer to the college campus. I’ve seen her spend an entire day on the porch, quietly reading a book. Of course she says it’s for class, but I don’t believe all those books could be read in sixteen weeks. Sometimes it’s best to let her believe certain things, though, especially when it comes to her books. When it comes to her cooking, however, I feel brutal honesty is the best policy.

Emmeline doesn’t cook very well. I’m not being cruel; she’ll admit as much herself. I’m fairly certain they banned her meatballs from the faculty potluck. Well, they “encouraged” her to bring a dessert this year. I’ll let you decide for yourself what that means. So I’m sharing an easy recipe to one of her fall favorites: pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting.

Emmeline has a terrible sweet tooth. Candies, cookies, cakes. Did you know she visits St. Agnes just for the sweets? She says the Catholic Daughters bake the best seven-layer bars, though I was told by a reliable source that the Lutherans made more money on theirs at the bake sale. I said, “There’s nothing hard about baking, Emmeline! All you have to do is follow the recipe.” But I fear, like her love life, she neglects the rules. Of course, there’s that Lenny fellow, who seems patient enough, and I do hold out hope for him.

Truth be known, I’ve grown fond of Emmeline, despite her eccentricities. She’s always happy to help me, though I rarely require assistance, and I do love baking for her. She thinks everything with frosting is delicious! So I leave on lots of lights for her at night because I know she can’t sleep. I think she’s frightened in that house all alone. If she just had a dog, I know she’d feel more secure. But lights are the very best next thing, lights and the company of a nice neighbor, like me.

Mrs. Gunderson’s Pumpkin Bars

Beat together:

4 eggs

1 c. oil

1 2/3 c. sugar

1 16 oz. can of pumpkin

Add:

2 c. flour

1 tsp. of baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. of salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

Pour into an ungreased 13×9 cake pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

To make frosting, beat 3 oz. of cream cheese, ½ c. of butter (softened), 1 tsp. of vanilla, and 2 c. of powdered sugar. Spread over cooled cake.

 

About the Author

Like her protagonist in the Professor Prather mystery series, Mary Angela lives on the Great Plains and teaches college writing and literature. When she’s not grading papers (when is she not grading papers?), she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She and her husband have two amazing daughters, one adorable dog, and a cat who would rather not be limited by an adjective.

 

Website * Blog * Goodreads * FacebookTwitter

 

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

September 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 15 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

September 17 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

September 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

September 19 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW *

September 20 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  *

September 20 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

September 21 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

September 22 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

September 23 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW *

September 24 – Varietats2010 – REVIEW

September 24 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

September 25 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW *

September 26 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW