Posted in 4 1/2 paws, Blog tour, fiction, Giveaway, Review, romance on October 1, 2014

Spinster Tour

Tour Schedule

 

thirty twoThirty-Two Going on Spinster by Becky Monson

Julia Dorning is a spinster, or at least on the road to becoming one. She has no social life, hates her job, and lives in her parent’s basement with her cat, Charlie.

With the arrival of Jared Moody, the new hire at work, Julia’s mundane life is suddenly turned upside down. Her instant (and totally ridiculous) crush on the new guy causes Julia to finally make some long-overdue changes, in hopes to find a life that includes more than baking and hanging out with Charlie.

But when the biggest and most unexpected change comes, will the new and improved Julia be able to overcome it? Or will she go back to her spinster ways?

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Purchase your copy for just $2.99!!

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * iTunes * Kobo

 

Praise for Thirty-Two Going on… Spinster

“Oh my, oh my. I have just finished wiping the tears of laughter from my eyes. This is seriously funny.”

~Julie Darley (Never judge a Book by its Movie)

“This was a refreshing change of pace for me to read. Some good clean romance was found in it’s pages and that is a rare find these days. It was some great chick-lit. I would not have thought this was Becky’s debut book, it was so well done.”

~Liberty Ann (SnifferWalkBooks)

Excerpt

Cupcakes are in the main break room. Enjoy! – Julia

I’m not going to lie. It took me over an hour to come up with this e-mail. Other drafts consisted of “Cupcakes up in the break room, y’all! Go and get ya some!” and “Yo, cupcakes in the break room. Peace.”

I’m feeling pretty solid with the one I went with.

It’s ridiculous that I’m all in a tizzy (yes, that’s right I said tizzy) about these cupcakes. I’m feeling… I don’t know how to describe it… vulnerable? I think I might know why.

So here is the deal with me: I live inside my head a lot. This has always been a part of who I am. Perhaps it’s not that abnormal. Of course, I have to because as I have already established, apart from work and baking, I have no life. So I tend to exaggerate things in my head a bit. I say this because it is highly possible that, in the late hours I was up making cupcakes, I may or may not have had a few, ahem, fantasies about the new guy, Jared. And no, they were not those kinds of fantasies.

They mostly consisted of… no really, they are just too stupid to admit. Okay, fine. They mostly consisted of him taking one bite of cupcake and falling madly in love with me and then we ran away into the sunset. It varied a little, but that is the gist of it. In my fantasies, he was no longer the job-stealing-smirking-jerk that he actually is, but this incredible guy who says and does everything right. You know, the type of guy who doesn’t actually exist.

It’s ridiculous, right? I mean I don’t know the guy at all. If I honestly think about it though, it’s not that ridiculous. Not the part about me fantasizing about a guy I don’t even know – no, that is totally ridiculous. But I work at an office full of complete and total nerds (and, by the way, I looked up “nerd” in the dictionary, and it said: “an unstylish, unattractive, or socially inept person”, which is so incredibly fitting, it’s scary) and along comes someone who is so not a nerd, well, I couldn’t help myself. Jerk or not.

 

Review

Julia is stuck in a dead end accounting job that she doesn’t like because she doesn’t like change.  She still lives in her parent’s basement for the same reason.  In fact, she thinks she is a spinster at 32.  Enter Jared, the new HR guy that shakes up her life for the better.

Despite the desire to shake Julia up to get her to stop being “safe” and go for her dreams, I found that I could relate to Julia a bit.  I could relate to her situation in a way, no relationship and not sure what I really wanted to do with my life.

This story is about finding your passion in life and it was interesting to see how Julia’s life would turn out with all of the situations that she was placed in during a very short period of time.

Definitely enjoyed the book especially since Julia loves to bake, and I love to eat!

We give this 4 1/2 paws

pawprintpawprintpawprintpawprinthalfpaw

Becky MonsonAuthor Becky Monson

By day, Becky Monson is a mother of three young children, and a wife. By night, she escapes with reading books and writing. In her debut novel, Becky uses humor and true-life experiences to bring her characters to life. She loves all things chick-lit (movies, books, etc), and wishes she had a British accent. She has recently given up Diet Coke for the fiftieth time and is hopeful time will last… But it probably won’t. Becky runs a large book club on Facebook called “This Chick Reads”.

 

Facebook * Website * Twitter * Pinterest * Goodreads * Blog

 

 

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 10/12/14

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.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Book Blast, Giveaway, romance on October 1, 2014

Married One Night Book Blitz Banner

We’re happy to be hosting Amber Leigh Williams and her MARRIED ONE NIGHT Book Blitz today! Be sure to enter the $25 Amazon Gift Card giveaway below. Giveaway ends 12 a.m. October 2!

Married One Night 2

Title: Married One Night
Author: Amber Leigh Williams
Publisher: Harlequin Superromance
Pages: 384
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

What happened in Vegas…followed her home!

Olivia Lewis is not the marrying type. So when a wild weekend in Vegas leaves her with a surprise husband, she’s happy to sign anything to erase her mistake—even if that mistake is handsome, charming and comes with an English accent. Fortunately, her groom has other plans.

Bestselling author Gerald Leighton knows he can make his new bride fall in love with him—he just needs time. In exchange for a quickie divorce, Olivia grudgingly gives him a few weeks to attempt to woo her. And whether Olivia likes it or not, Gerald plans on using every second to win her heart!

Excerpt

Before Olivia could shoulder her way through the door, it opened quickly. She felt herself pitch over, tripping over the edge of the bedsheet. Cursing, she fell against the lean, chiseled chest of the man on the other side of the bathroom doorjamb.

She heard his surprised whoosh just before his arms snagged her under the shoulders and curled around her to keep her from falling at his feet. Her cheek pressed tight against his sternum. He was so warm. The deep timbre of a chuckle trebled beneath the ear pressed to his chest and words, rough around the edges, came floating from his mouth. “Ah, she wakes.”

When she tried to pull herself back, he held her fast to him for a moment longer to make sure she had her footing. With a murmured, “Easy there, love,” he released her and she stepped away, seeking his face.

He was smiling. The soft expression was tense around the edges, probably from what she could guess was a good deal of pounding happening on the inside of his head, too. She drew in a breath. His eyes were a brilliant shade of green. Dimples, or laugh lines, dug in around his mouth and the corners of his eyes. A man who smiled often and laughed well, Olivia surmised. His hair was blond and wet from a shower she assumed, judging by the steam behind him. He’d combed the hair back from his forehead, leaving his high brow bare.

A towel hung loosely around his waist. She blinked. She was staring. But the longer she stared, the more she could remember from last night, and the giddy spontaneity and blistering heat of all that had transpired made her forget for a moment how miserable she felt.

And, bless him, he didn’t seem to mind the staring. He was doing a good bit of his own. The smile on his lips deepened into a full-fledged grin, eyes softening further as he took her in. “Well. Aren’t you a sight for sore eyes.”

She found a smile curving at the corner of her mouth. He was British. His words were enunciated with the high-class sounds of English breeding and good humor. His voice was like fine-aged wine. Or whiskey.

Whiskey, she decided. It had a good, old-fashioned burn to it.

Lifting her hands to the sheet knotted just under her collarbone, she made sure it was in place before dragging a hand back through her long, curly, bedraggled tresses. “Erm…good morning?” Olivia said, unsure of herself. Usually, she knew how to navigate the awkward, morning-after interlude. But this stranger’s clean-cut, unexpected appeal threw her for a loop.

He beamed and held out a hand, skimming far and above the awkwardness of the situation with good-natured ease. “Gerald Leighton. It’s lovely to meet you…again.”

About the Author

Amber Leigh Williams

Amber Leigh Williams lives on the Gulf Coast. A southern girl at heart, she loves beach days, the smell of real books, relaxing at her family’s lakehouse, and spending time with her husband, Jacob, and their sweet, blue-eyed boy. When she’s not running after her young son and three, large dogs, she can usually be found reading a good romance or cooking up a new dish in her kitchen. She is represented by Joyce Holland of the D4EO Literary Agency.

 

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Blog * Contact

More of Amber’s Books

Giveaway!

Amber is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway begins 12 a.m. October 1 and ends 12 a.m. October 2.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on Friday, October 3.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Book Blast, excerpt, fiction, Giveaway, suspense, Thriller on September 30, 2014

agencybanner

 

Welcome to the Virtual Book Tour for Agency Rules by Khalid Muhammad. This critically acclaimed political thriller is an action-packed page-turner!

agency rules

 

touraoutthebooka

Agency Rules

Celebrated as a ragtag force that defeated and broke the Soviet Union, no one predicted the Mujahideen would bring with them a plague that would spread like wildfire through Pakistan in the years to follow. When the battle-worn fighters returned with no enemy or war to fight, they turned their sights on the country that had been their creator and benefactor.

From the same battlegrounds that birthed the Mujahideen, a young Kamal Khan emerges as a different breed of warrior. Discarding his wealthy family comforts, Kamal becomes a precision sniper, an invincible commando and a clandestine operative bringing intimidation, dominance and death with him to the battlefield. Ending the plague is his prime directive.

Shrouded in political expediency, hampered by internal power struggles, international espionage and doublespeak that makes Washington’s spin doctors proud, Kamal’s mission is a nightmare of rampant militant fundamentalism that threatens to choke and take Pakistan hostage. For him, the fight is not just for freedom, but the survival of a nation.

 goodreads-badge-add-plus

 Amazon

 

Excerpt from Agency Rules – Never an Easy Day at the Office

 

Standing in the hall of the abandoned warehouse, blood dripped from his body, leaving a trail on the grimy floor. A body was slumped in the chair in the middle of the hall with a singular light hanging above, illuminating a small radius around it. Another lay in the doorway propping the door open. The fight inside had been more than expected from the three days he spent surveying the warehouse. By his count, there should not have been more than five men both inside and out. Instead, he had found almost seven men around the facility.

They had prepared well for his arrival.

On his approach, he saw one man guarding the entrance. There were usually two… where’s the other one? Kamal shook off the thought and sized up his enemy, noting that he was a scrawny soldier that didn’t fill his uniform. He ducked into the shadows where he could use the darkness against the soldier, catching him by surprise. He rushed the guard, knocking him to the ground before he could set himself or draw his weapon. With a quick strike to the head, the first guard was neutralized. Before he could get up, he heard the door to the warehouse open. Jumping to his feet, Kamal saw the second guard emerge, finding Kamal hovering over his partner’s incapacitated body. The guard, surprisingly, dropped his AK-47 and rushed at Kamal, driving him into the concrete wall of the warehouse with a shoulder block. As he pulled back from Kamal, he landed two solid right crosses to his jaw stunning Kamal and giving himself time to set for the fight. Kamal pulled himself up from one knee, gasping for air and taking the time to assess his opponent. The guard didn’t wait for Kamal to position himself and struck again with a swift kick to his midriff, bring the taste of blood to Kamal’s mouth. Oh, that is just unacceptable.

Kamal spat the blood onto the ground and spun around, taking the guard’s legs out with a vicious kick to his knees. As the guard hit the ground, Kamal launched himself onto him, grabbing his neck in a chokehold. The guard threw elbows behind him, and kicked helplessly in the air as Kamal increased the pressure on his throat. Within minutes, his body stopped fighting and he was down.

Kamal stood, spitting a few times to clear the blood that had filled his mouth, finally using the sleeve of his shirt to wipe the remaining away. He smirked, admiring his work. Not as tough as he looked.

Standing over both bodies, his plan rapidly changed. Grabbing the second guard by the legs, he dragged him around the corner and pulled his uniform off. Silently and rapidly, Kamal undressed and pulled on the FC garb. Wow, this fits well. The guard had seemed so much larger than himself. He ripped his own shirt in half, using half to tie the guard’s hands together and the other half to seal his mouth, in case he came to and tried to warn the others. Kamal laughed silently, giving the guard another hard kick to the head. Just for good measure, you son of a bitch.

He entered the warehouse corridor, looking for the other guards. Spotting one about fifty feet down, he straightened his shoulders and called to him, “Did he come through here?”

The guard was surprised by the question. He hadn’t heard or seen anything. He strolled over to Kamal to find out what his colleague was talking about. “What?” Kamal waited till he was close enough, and casually raised his arm, as if to indicate towards the door. Gun in hand, he brought his arm down in a vicious swipe to the guard’s head, knocking him out cold. He fell hard into the wall from the blow and as he slid down, his gun clattered to the ground noisily. The commotion alerted another guard who came rushing around the corner, sidearm in hand. Seeing his compatriot laid out on the ground, with a fellow soldier standing over him, he slowed down.

“What happened to Ayaz?”

“I don’t know! I came in looking for the guy that knocked Sheraz out and found him like this,” Kamal said, quietly pulling his sidearm from the holster. “We should warn Faheem that we have a guest,” the soldier said, turning to warn his superior. Kamal waited for him to get a safe distance away and fired two rounds into his back, dropping him to the ground like a wounded deer. The guard tried to roll himself over to fire back at Kamal, but the round had damaged his spine badly, leaving him face down on the floor. Kamal went over and fired another round into his head, and almost like a second thought, changed his sidearm with the guard’s.

Kamal moved a few yards down the corridor when another soldier jumped from behind a crate hitting him with the butt of his AK-47, stunning him. What the fuck? Kamal thought, reaching up to find blood coming from just above his eye. “What’s your problem soldier? Don’t you recognize your own?” he said, glaring at the attacker. The guard hesitated for a moment but something must have alerted him, because he drew his weapon back again. Kamal used all his body weight to jam the weapon and soldier against the wall; he could feel his eye swelling up already, and he preferred not to expend any more energy than he had to.

tourabouttheauthora

Khalid pic

By day, Khalid Muhammad is a mild-mannered business executive keeping himself busy running a marketing and brand management company. He takes someone else’s product and creates concepts, ideas and brand stories—things that make consumers want to buy, invest and save their hard-earned money.

By night, his alter ego emerges; one that has a penchant for sadistic retribution towards those who have wronged him, and that spends its time devising intricate and detailed plans for a nefarious end.

If he hopes to continue to have friends and family, though, he has to keep his alter ego under control.

So, Khalid chooses to write novellas, novels and short stories to let the wickedness escape; the other option means a great deal of blood, numerous torture implements and…well, infinite ways to dump a body. The writing is better for everyone involved and less dangerous for the guilty… until he writes them into another story.

Website  | Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

 

Giveaway

This Giveaway is open internationally. Must be 16+ to enter.

There will be five winners each of a $10 Amazon Gift Card

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

 

This tour is brought to you by

mythtoursbanner

 

Please check out the other hosts on the tour for chances to enter the Giveaway!

9/23/2014        http://thecoverbybritt.blogspot.com/

9/23/2014        http://www.mmbearcupoftea.com

9/23/2014        http://www.literarylitter.blogspot.com

9/24/2014        http://danielledevor.wordpress.com

9/24/2014        http://thecoverbybritt.blogspot.com/

9/25/2014        http://thecoverbybritt.blogspot.com/

9/26/2014        http://thecoverbybritt.blogspot.com/

9/26/2014        www.bookpurses.blogspot.com

9/27/2014        http://sallyawolfreads.blogspot.ca/

9/27/2014        http://www.mythicalbooks.blogspot.ro/

9/27/2014        http://thecoverbybritt.blogspot.com/

9/28/2014        http://abookaddictsdelight.tumblr.com

9/28/2014        http://thecoverbybritt.blogspot.com/

9/29/2014        http://thecoverbybritt.blogspot.com/

9/30/2014        http://cheshirecatlookingglass.com

9/30/2014        http://storeybookreviews.com/

10/2/2014        http://roomwithbooks.com

1 0/3/2014        Http://www.fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com/

10/4/2014        http://dream-reader-dreamer2229.blogspot.com/

10/5/2014        http://mythbehaving.com/

10/6/2014        http://dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com/

10/7/2014        http://fit4amom.blogspot.com

Posted in Cover Reveal, romance on September 30, 2014

Zack Love's The Syrian Virgin CR Banner
CoverSyrian Virgin_ecover
Book Info

Title: The Syrian Virgin

Author: Zack Love

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover Design: PinkInk Designs (Cassy Roop)

Release Date: October 20th 2014

55666-add-to-goodreads-button

Synopsis
Anissa is traumatized by the most brutal conflict of the 21st Century: the Syrian Civil War. In 2012, Islamists in Homs terrorize her Christian community and destroy everything in her life. Narrowly escaping death, Anissa restarts her devastated life as a college student in NY. She is bewildered and lost — a virgin in every sense.

But despite her inexperience with men and life in the United States, Anissa is quickly drawn to two powerful individuals: Michael, the Syrian-Christian American who leads the political effort to protect his community, and Julien, her college professor who runs a $20 billion hedge fund. Complicating matters, Michael is still attached to his ex-girlfriend and Julien is the most sought after bachelor in Manhattan. Anissa’s heart and her communal ties pull her in different directions, as she seeks hope and renewal in a dark world.

LIFE shattered her. LOVE empowered her.

::::Sign up for an alert when The Syrian Virgin is available::::

TeasersSunrise in a forest in autumn with fog
Zack Teaser 1
Meet & Connect      With    Zack Love
Zack Love graduated from Harvard College, where he studied mostly literature, psychology, philosophy, and film. After college, he moved to New York City and took a corporate consulting job that had absolutely nothing to do with his studies. The attacks of September 11, 2001 inspired him to write a novelette titled “The Doorman,” and heightened his interest in the Middle East. A decade later, that interest extended to the Syrian Civil war, which provided the backdrop for his latest work. In late 2013, Zack began releasing his unpublished works of fiction and became a full-time author. He has published comedy, psychological and philosophical fiction, and romance. Zack enjoys confining himself to one genre about as much as he likes trying to sum up his existence in one paragraph.

 

Facebook | Twitter | Website | Amazon | Goodreads

Hosted ByCLP_BANNER_PIC
Image by Cool Text: Logo and Button GeneratorCreate Your Own Logo

Posted in 4 paws, Blog tour, Cozy, mystery, Review on September 28, 2014

embellished to death large banner640

 

EMBELLISHED front under 2mb

Embellished to Death
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Henery Press (September 23, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-1940976273

 

Synopsis

When Faith Hunter agrees to help PI Bob Roget find an identity thief at a local scrapbook retreat, her friendly croppers’ weekend quickly morphs into a dangerous one. As croppers share their own memories, a killer collects them for her new identity, and doesn’t appreciate Faith in the picture. Faith struggles to balance her professional, detecting and personal lives as threats and secrets keep her off-balance. Things turn deadly when a woman is killed and Faith is blackmailed. Truth and lies collide when Faith discovers croppers aren’t the only ones embellishing, and the results might end her life.
goodreads-badge-add-plus

amazon buy

Review

What a great new installment in this series.  The book starts off quickly and doesn’t slow down until it ends.  There are several mysteries going on, but Christina does a great job of writing the story that there is no confusion with the characters.  I like seeing Faith’s relationship with Steve progress but will she share her past with him?  And what surprises does Steve have for Faith?

Since I am also a scrapbooker (and attend retreats!) it was easy to imagine myself there with the other croppers and the different personalities.

We give this book 4 paws!

pawprintpawprintpawprintpawprint

 

About Christine Freeman

Christina FreeburnThe Faith Hunter Scrap This Mystery series brings together Christina Freeburn’s love of mysteries, scrapbooking, and West Virginia. When not writing or reading, she can be found in her scrapbook room or at a crop. Alas, none of the real-life crops have had a sexy male prosecutor or a handsome police officer attending.

Christina served in the JAG Corps of the US Army and also worked as a paralegal, librarian, and church secretary. She lives in West Virginia with her husband, children, a dog, and a rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid or allergic to felines.

 

Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Website * Blog

 

 

Giveaway

2 print copies of Embellished to Death
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

great escape button160

Tour Participants

September 23 – Mommasez… – Review, Guest Post

September 24 – Books Are Life  – Vita Libri – Review

September 25 – Mystery Playground – Guest Post

September 26 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review

September 27 – Community Bookstop – Review

September 28 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review, Guest Post

September 29 – Brooke Blogs – Review

September 30 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review, Guest Post

October 1 – Back Porchervations – Review, Interview

October 2 – a chick who reads – Review

October 3 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Interview

Posted in Cozy, Guest Post, mystery on September 28, 2014

Today I welcome author Christina Freeburn who has written a series of cozies that involve a scrapbook store.  You may not know this about me, but I like to scrapbook and make cards.  I am not creative and therefore rely on my group of scrapbooking friends (The Scrappy Bunch) to help me out with ideas or to just get the creative juices flowing.

freeburn books

A Novel Friendship

 

In Embellished to Death, I took my heroine Faith out of her hometown and placed her in Morgantown, West Virginia where she vended at a scrapbook retreat. Along with a new location, Faith, the readers, and yes even me the author, were introduced to some new characters. One of the secondary characters – Bob Roget – had made a cameo appearance in Cropped to Death (the first book in the series) but besides rounding out Detective Ted Roget’s characters, he didn’t play a large role in the book. Embellished was the time that I and Faith got to know more about Bob.

And in learning more about his personalities, likes, dislikes, quirks, and especially his loyalty and strength, I (the author) found myself falling in love with Bob. This leads to a problem as when I fall in love with a character, I have a tendency of upping their role and giving them an opportunity to take over the story. Bob was allowed a little more leeway by me and Faith. I found Bob inserting himself into every scene and doing the majority of the “protagging” rather than Faith. She also liked Bob so much she willing stepped back and allowed him control. Faith also wanted to know him more and see what made him tick so gave him plenty of opportunities to show her.

While I enjoyed getting to know him, and watching Faith expand her world and allowing someone else into her life, I knew the story was in trouble. It was her plot to figure out, not Bob’s. At one point in writing the book, I went back to the beginning to scale his role back; adding in another secondary character as a nemesis for Faith yet a close friend of Bob’s to put a wedge in the blossoming friendship so my heroine was once again front and center in the storyline.

That plan didn’t work out for the story. This new character added a complication in the plot that made the twists and turns detract from the overall story rather than enhance it. I also didn’t like the problem I inserted into the friendship. It didn’t feel right for either character and felt forced. The mystery plot was the most important one, but in a way this new friendship was a sub-plot and Faith grew through it.

It was time again for another edit and my new goal was to rein Bob in. He and I had a little conversation on the role he must accept in this book – Faith lead and he followed. Even though he was an honest, to goodness, private investigator, he needed to step back when Faith fulfilled her part of the sleuthing and act as her partner and confidante. We both understood that while the book didn’t work without him having a key role, the book also couldn’t be about him.

I always enjoy getting to know new characters and will admit that so far Bob Roget is the one I had the most fun creating. I loved not only getting to show Bob’s relationship with his life partner but also seeing Ted through his brother’s eyes. I also had a chance to learn more about Faith as I watched her enter into a friendship with the couple.

In a way, Faith had “instant” friends in the first book as they were there before Faith solved her first murder. In Embellished, I was with her when her and Bob went from acquaintances to friends. It’s one of the journeys Faith has taken that I enjoyed watching take shape on my screen.

Posted in 4 paws, Blog tour, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on September 27, 2014

stirring the plot large banner 640

 

STIRRING THE PLOT

 

Stirring the Plot (A Cookbook Nook Mystery)
Series: A Cookbook Nook Mystery (Book 3)

Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley (September 30, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-0425258064

Synopsis

Halloween in Crystal Cove, California, is a big deal, involving a spooky soiree where the Winsome Witches, a fund-raising group, gather to open up their purse strings and trade superstitions. But party magicians, fortune-tellers, and herbalists are only the beginning of this recipe for disaster…

Jenna Hart has packed The Cookbook Nook chock-full of everything from ghostly texts to witchy potions in anticipation of the annual fund-raiser luncheon. But there’s one unexpected addition to the menu: murder.

When the Head Priestess of the Winsome Witches is found dead under mysterious circumstances, there’s no logical answer and plenty of blame to go around. With her aunt, Vera, unable to call on her ability to foresee the future, Jenna will have to use more than just sleight of hand and a few magic tricks to conjure up the truth…

goodreads-badge-add-plus

amazon buybn buy

Review

This series continues to get better!  The author does a great job of hiding the murder in plain sight because in all 3 books, I never figured it out.  I always thought it was a different character.

I like that there are not a lot of new characters introduced in the book.  There are some (otherwise where would the murderer come from?!) and they add an interesting dynamic to the storyline.  I also like how Daryl incorporates other cozy series of books and LOTS of cookbooks.  I am going to have to go look all of them up.  And of course the recipes at the end of the book.  I think I gained 5 lbs just reading them!

Jenna is becoming more likeable to me.  She is slowly calming down and isn’t as spastic as she was in the first book.

We give it 4 paws and look forward to the next installment.

pawprintpawprintpawprintpawprint

About the Author

DARYL WOOD GERBER writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mystery series featuring a cookbook store owner who is an avid reader and admitted foodie, set on the coast of California. As AVERY AAMES, she pens the Agatha Award-winning, nationally bestselling Cheese Shop Mystery series featuring a cheese shop owner amateur sleuth, set in the fictional town of Providence, Ohio. Daryl’s short stories have been nominated for the Agatha, Anthony, and other awards. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl has appeared in “Murder, She Wrote” and more.

Find Daryl here: Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Find Avery here: Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

 

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway #2

This giveaway is from the author and me!  Open to US residents only please.

The author is giving 1 winner the choice of her 3 books in this series, Final Sentence, Inherit the Word or Stirring the Plot.

I am giving away a print copy of Final Sentence (first book in the series) and the ARC of Stirring the Plot that I received.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
  great escape button160

Tour Participants

 

September 23 – Books-n-Kisses – Review, Recipe

 

September 24Brooke Blogs – Review, Recipe

 

September 25rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review, Recipe

 

September 26A Chick Who Reads – Review, Interview, Recipe

 

September 27StoreyBook ReviewsReview, Recipe

 

September 27Escape With Dollycas – Review

 

September 28Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Interview, Recipe

 

September 29Back Porchervations – Review, Interview, Recipe

Posted in cooking, Cozy, Guest Post, mystery on September 27, 2014

I am very excited to have author Daryl Wood Gerber (aka Avery Aames) here today on StoreyBook Reviews and especially with a “killer” cheesecake recipe.  My friends know I adore pie, and well, cheesecake is pie shaped and could sort of be considered pie…at least more than cake!

Bon Appétit
killer chocolate

 

Killer Chocolate Cheesecake

By Daryl Wood Gerber

 

I adore cheesecake and I adore chocolate. How could a combo of the two be bad?

When I joined Mystery Lovers Kitchen, a blog by authors who love to cook up crime, I was just starting out with the Cheese Shop mysteries. Now I write the Cookbook Nook mysteries, too. This recipe, found in a cookbook and made with cheese, is the perfect blending of using both of my series for an inspirational cake!!

Which cookbook? I found this in Luscious Chocolate Desserts while I was doing research for my next Cookbook Nook mystery, FUDGING THE BOOKS. In the series, I cite lots of cookbooks. This one is terrific! By the way, STIRRING THE PLOT, the 3rd in the series, comes out September 30, just in case you wanted to know.

Anyway, I was searching for ideas for a chocolate something that I could make. I saw this and had to make it right then!! FYI, I never copy someone else’s recipe and use it in my books. Mine are all original, but I’m not above finding inspiration in someone else’s recipe. Also, because I need to eat gluten-free, I often have to tweak a recipe that might be ideal for all you “normal” eaters. Note: the tweaks to the original recipe are minor at best. Nothing got lost in translation. This cheesecake is killer!

 

Killer Chocolate Cheesecake

Tweaked from Luscious Chocolate Desserts

Ingredients:

Crust:

One package 4.6 ounce chocolate wafers [Cookbook recipe asks for 9-ounce package chocolate wafers]

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted or room temp

 

Filling:

1 pound bittersweet or semisweet baking chocolate, chopped

¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temp

1 cup sugar

4 large eggs

pinch of salt

1 ½ cups sour cream, at room temp

2 teaspoons vanillin (if real vanilla is gluten-free, may use real vanilla)

 

Directions:

For crust:

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan, place a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom. Wrap the entire outside tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Have a roasting pan (can be disposable) ready. Put a kettle of water on to boil for the water bath (*see below).

Pulse the chocolate wafers in a food processor until finely ground. With the motor running, add the butter, and process until blended. Press the mixture onto the bottom of the springform pan (on top of parchment paper).

Bake the crust for 8 minutes until it is set. Let cool on a wire rack.

 

To make the filling:

Melt the chocolate with the butter. [The cookbook says over simmering water – I did this in the microwave, on medium heat for 3 minutes.] Remove from microwave and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder. Let the mixture cool to room temp.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer, starting on low and increasing to medium-high. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. [Note: I put all the eggs into a measuring cup and poured one in at a time. Amazing how that works!] Beat in the pinch of salt. Beat in the chocolate mixture until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the sour cream and vanilla. Beat until smooth, scraping down the sides.

Transer the filling to the springform pan. Set the pan in the roasting pan, place it in the oven, and carefully pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Center will STILL be slightly jiggly; do not overbake—the cake will firm as it cools. Remove the roasting pan from the oven (carefully!!!) and let the cheesecake cool in the water bath for 15 minutes.

Remove the springform pan from the water bath and let cool on a wire rack, completely, about 2 hours. Remove the foil (messy) and refrigerate the cheesecake, loosely covered with saran wrap, utnil thoroughly chilled, at least 12 hours.

To serve, let the cheesecake stand at room temp for 20 minutes. Remove the pan sides, smooth the sides of the cheesecake with a table knife, and cut into wedges.

 

Serves at least 12 because this is SOOOO rich!

* * *

Below is a tidbit about STIRRING THE PLOT, the next in my Cookbook Nook mysteries. It comes out September 30! FYI, though I write a series, each book is a stand-alone and can be read first, even if you haven’t read the others in the series.

STIRRING THE PLOT

(3rd in Cookbook Nook Mysteries)

Halloween in Crystal Cove, California, is a big deal, involving a spooky soiree where the Winsome Witches, a fund-raising group, gather to open up their purse strings and trade superstitions. But party magicians, fortune-tellers, and herbalists are only the beginning of this recipe for disaster. Jenna Hart has packed The Cookbook Nook chock-full of everything from ghostly texts to witchy potions in anticipation of the annual fund-raiser luncheon. But there’s one unexpected addition to the menu: murder. When the Head Priestess of the Winsome Witches is found dead, there’s plenty of blame to go around, and Jenna will have to use more than just sleight of hand to conjure up the truth…

[This is NOT a paranormal story. It is a traditional cozy mystery.]

 

Posted in Book Blast, Free, Giveaway, romance on September 26, 2014

nigth storm banner

Night Storm Cover

Synopsis

Book One, Bones and Gemstones series

A promising young apothecary picks up the pieces of her life, only to collide with the ruthless thief-taker who once shattered her dreams and her heart.

When the love of his life chose an apprenticeship in Scotland over his marriage proposal, thief-taker Cameron Adair buried himself in his work–building an unmatched network of underworld spies. Forged by his reputation as a ruthless, greed-driven businessman, he has amassed a fortune. But he has one vulnerable spot in his armor–a brilliant, green-eyed apothecary, who continues to haunt his heart. When a murder investigation brings him back into contact with Charlotte Fielding, Cameron sets aside the past to find a killer and to distract a headstrong apothecary, clue by clue, kiss by kiss.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Amazon * ARe * B&N * Google

Excerpt

In the distance, Charlotte Fielding spotted the simple, white-lettered sign that marked her destination. Apothecary. The tension she’d been carrying in her shoulders since entering the Whitley residence loosened its biting grip. The strain between husband and wife had not lifted in her two-day absence. If anything, it had grown worse, now that Mr. Whitley felt well enough to defend himself.

Charlotte’s brisk pace slowed. A man was slumped on the pavement between her shop and the boarded-up bakery next door. He sat with one leg stretched out across the walkway, the other bent at an angle. The rim of his hat protected his face from identification. So, too, did the long black woolen coat and matching muffler around his neck.

The tension in Charlotte’s shoulders returned full force. Even though she could not identify him, she knew what he wasn’t—a beggar. Everything about him was too fine for him to be living in the streets. She glanced around, checking the evening shadows as best she could with only lamplight to aid her. Anderson’s lending library, Patterson’s coffee shop, Gertrude’s lace boutique, Tilly’s former bakery—they all stood silent and free of loitering troublemakers and customers. If she cried out for help, would the shopkeepers hear her from their snug, upstairs apartments?

She considered entering through the back of her building, an area normally reserved for deliveries, but she couldn’t bring herself to venture down the dank, narrow alleyway at this time of night. Drawing in a calming breath, she reached into her reticule and pulled out her pouch of pepper. A poor defense, she knew, but she always kept it, thinking it would give her a small chance of escape if thrown in an assailant’s face.

Increasing her pace, she stopped in front of her shop’s weathered door, the color of a cloud-streaked blue sky. The man remained motionless, silent. Eerily so. She experienced a moment of indecision. Should she nudge him? Could he be hurt and in need of assistance? Or should she continue on inside her own shop and mind her own business?

“Hello, Charley.” The voice was unmistakable.

A chill started at the base of her neck and swept through her body. Bone deep and breath stealing. With slow, precise movements, her gaze lowered to the source of the too-familiar voice. A voice that belonged to the only man who had ever called her Charley.

The man’s uplifted face revealed itself. Thick, bold eyebrows stood out on a pale, pain-filled face. A once-beloved face. Cameron Adair. What little air she had left disappeared at the sight of Cam—Cameron. Other than a brief glimpse of him a few months ago, she hadn’t seen him for years. But she would have known him anywhere. The shock of seeing him held her immobile, terrified in a way she hadn’t been since the early days of their falling out.

“Charley, I need your help.”

His words, laced with a strain born of hard-fought control, snapped her out of the past and plunged her back into the present. Cameron Adair was sprawled at her door, hurt, needing her help.

She slid her key into the lock. Metal scratched against metal until she heard a familiar click. Setting her bag inside the door, she returned outside. “Are you able to get to your feet?” She managed to keep her voice calm, unaffected. But inside, a violent tremor began and a maelstrom of questions flooded her mind. Why come to her? Where was he hurt? Why show up on her doorstep after complete and utter silence for five miserable years?

Carefully, she folded her hands at her waist and locked her knees before she could humiliate herself with senseless emotion. She had decided long ago to waste no more of it on Cameron Adair.

Something like disappointment flared in his blue, ice-chipped eyes. “Yes, with assistance.”

“Where are you hurt?”

“Left leg, right shoulder.”

“Let’s get you inside out of the cold, and I’ll hail a hansom cab to take you to Dr. Hollingsworth.”

He shook his head and mumbled, “I’ve been shot. Lost too much blood.”

“Cameron, I can’t—”

“You must,” he interrupted. “I haven’t the strength to go elsewhere.”

She knew what it had cost him to admit to such weakness. And because she knew this about him, an unrivaled fear forced her to his side.

Positioning herself in a crouch, Charlotte took a steadying breath before sliding her arm around his broad back. Blood, sweat, and a masculine scent uniquely Cameron’s filled her nose. She gritted her teeth against an overwhelming desire to inhale deeply.

“Ready?” she asked.

He nodded once, his full lips pressed into a thin, determined line. Bending forward, he wrapped an arm around her shoulder to brace himself. The new position put them face-to-face, breath-to-breath.

About the Author

TraceyDevlynTracey Devlyn is an award-winning author who writes historical romantic thrillers (translation: a slightly more grievous journey toward the heroine’s happy ending). She’s a co-founder of Romance University, a group blog dedicated to readers and writers of romance, and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, Chicagoland’s exciting new reading salon devoted to romantic fiction.

An Illinois native, Tracey spends her evenings harassing her once-in-a-lifetime husband and her weekends torturing her characters. For more information on Tracey, including her Internet haunts, contest updates, and details on her upcoming novels, please visit her website.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

 

 

Freebie!

Also, for a limited time, Tracey will be giving away the first short story she ever published—HIS SECRET DESIRE—re-edited and re-packaged with a beautiful new cover. FREE for a LIMITED TIME at the following locations.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * iTunes * Kobo * All Romance * Google

Giveaway

$25 gift card to any online bookstore of the winner’s choice, plus a “Custom-made Sachet by Tracey” – Open for International Shipping

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, mystery, Review on September 26, 2014

inherit the word

 

Synopsis

Jenna Hart moved back to Crystal Cove, California, to recapture her joie de vivre and to help her aunt Vera run the local culinary bookshop and café. But it’s hard to follow a simple recipe for relaxation when murder gets thrown in the mix…

The Cookbook Nook is set to host the town’s upcoming Grill Fest, a tasty tradition which pits local amateur chefs against one another to concoct the most delicious dishes. This year’s challenge: grilled cheese. But with competing chefs bearing grudges from past years, more mouths are running off than savoring the fare.

The expression “too many cooks” proves all too true when the eight-time champ is found murdered in the alley behind the café. Soon a local diner owner (and Jenna’s “second mother”) is suspected of bumping off the competition, and Jenna has to douse the flames before the wrong person gets burned.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Review

I liked this book more so than the first one. Jenna learns some things about her deceased husband that gives her closure…and there is a little bit of a mystery involved too (but that is a side note). Jenna also seems to have calmed down in this 2nd book and isn’t quite as high strung as she was in the first.

I thought it is clever that the author mentions her other series of books written as Avery Aames AND she also mentions lots of cookbooks…what she doesn’t know is that I am a cookbook-aholic and probably don’t need to know those titles! LOL

I liked seeing Jenna and Rhett move their relationship forward a little bit, and that they are not rushing anything.

We give this book 4 paws.

pawprintpawprintpawprintpawprint

About the Author

DARYL WOOD GERBER writes the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mystery series featuring a cookbook store owner who is an avid reader and admitted foodie, set on the coast of California. As AVERY AAMES, she pens the Agatha Award-winning, nationally bestselling Cheese Shop Mystery series featuring a cheese shop owner amateur sleuth, set in the fictional town of Providence, Ohio. Daryl’s short stories have been nominated for the Agatha, Anthony, and other awards. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl has appeared in “Murder, She Wrote” and more.

Find Daryl here: Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Find Avery here: Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

Copyright 2014 ©  Storeybook Reviews