Posted in 4 paws, Middle Grade, Review, Western, Young Adult on January 20, 2017

Synopsis

When Annabelle Fortune, the fastest gunslinger in the wild west, inadvertently stops a stranger from attacking a train — and he wears a suit that enables him to fly! — the government believes she’s the only one to have witnessed the Locomotive Reaper and survived to tell the tale.

Promising to find out what he can about her missing father, the Director of the Secret Service persuades Annie to swear in. Too soon, her detested nickname re-stakes its claim.

Partnered with Beau Slokam, whose penchant for gambling leads them straight to the Doom Gang, Misfortune Annie guides the smooth-talking Southerner in a chase through the Rockies, with her Cheyenne friend, Wontoa, rounding out their unlikely trio.

When Annie again meets the Locomotive Reaper, his gadgetry proves far more advanced — and deadly — than even top scientists could have imagined.

A sequel is already underway! Visit Annie at MisfortuneAnnie.com for updates on release, as well as announcements regarding future books in the series!  You can also check out the Facebook page.

Praise

“At a time when women weren’t typically adventurers, especially at Annie’s age, it’s great fun to see a story about a girl who loves an adventure, is capable, and well-respected.  Annie is a great model for young girls.”

“Annie is whip smart and a dead shot. If you are looking for western action, train robbers, and a sharp shooter – look no further.”

“A fast-paced, action filled adventure in the Wild West with a wonderful heroine. Misfortune Annie’s bravery and determination leap off the page from the first scene.”

Review

This book was entertaining and a little different from what I normally read, but enjoyable all the same.

Annie is a gunslinger, and while I don’t know her age, I assume she is rather young (teenager or early 20’s at the oldest). Despite that, she is apparently known for having misfortunes on a regular basis, hence the nickname. She is persistent and when shooting at people tries not to kill them, but rather shoot guns out of their hands or just wound them. Sometimes that is to her detriment as they seem to continue coming after her. She is also a whiz with a rope and does some impressive roping throughout the book. Despite her scrapes and adventures, she is a character that is very likable.

Despite the era, she is educated and likes to read. That is a plus near the end of the book…but I can’t tell you why because it will spoil some of the anticipation while reading the book.

The book does leave you with a little of a cliffhanger that I assume will be addressed in a future book.

This book would be great for kids to read because of the action adventure, humor and historical setting.

We give this book 4 paws up!

About the Authors

Janet Fogg

Janet Fogg’s focus on writing began when she was CFO and Managing Principal of OZ Architecture, one of Colorado’s largest architectural firms. Fifteen writing awards later, she resigned from the firm to follow the yellow brick road. Ten months after that, she signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press for her historical romance Soliloquy a HOLT Medallion Award of Merit winner.

With husband Richard, Janet co-wrote Fogg in the Cockpit (Casemate), one of five books nominated in 2012 by the Air Force Historical Foundation for best World War II book reviewed in Air Power History.

Keeping her historical knowledge sharp, Janet manages the 359th Fighter Group’s Facebook page, sharing WWII stories and photos about the Fighter Group.  She is also a proud member and 2015/16 Vice President of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She previously served as Published Author Liaison in 2010.

Website | ChiseledInRock.com |  Janet “The Kid” Fogg on Facebook | Goodreads | YouTube

Dave Jackson

Not your typical author, Dave Jackson started writing in his constant pursuit to become a renaissance man, but later fell in love with the art form. He performs stand-up and skits regularly, as Comedy remains one of his many passions and he writes and performs skits, as well as stand-up. Also a songwriter and guitarist, Dave has composed over 300 musical titles.

A country boy, Dave was raised in Oklahoma and taught 6th grade English for two years. He enjoys sharing the tale about when he climbed high into a towering black jack tree and grabbed a dead branch. Snap! He hurtled toward his death, but he held tight to the branch and it slowed his fall, saving his life.

In 2013, Dave enjoyed the release of Tattoo Rampage by Curiosity Quills Press. The novel follows Evangelina Marquez-James, a strong female heroine, who gets her first tattoo as a symbol of courage to carry on after her police officer husband dies in the line of duty.

 ”Gusto” Dave Jackson on Facebook |  Goodreads


 

Posted in 3 paws, Review, romance on January 19, 2017

Synopsis

From the Power of the Matchmaker series:

Mary Buchanan has bigger worries than the radical journalist moving in next door who’s spoiling her father’s digestion: unrequited love for a footman, a fractious aunt, patiently awaiting her destiny…

Already she’s nearly eighteen. No sign of destiny yet, but Mary’s certain he’ll be handsome.

Then she meets the reformer, this Mr. Samuel Brown. Destiny is closer at hand than Mary has supposed—if she can just get Mr. Brown to realize it.

Review

This is a continuation of the Matchmaker series. The books don’t tie to each other except for one character, Pearl, who matches people together.

In this book, Pearl plays a very minor role and in fact I wasn’t even 100% sure she was in the book since she was referred to as Mrs. Chin.

That aside, the story was set in England with Mary Buchanan wanting more from her life than just being a wife. She takes an interest in politics and the new neighbor who is a journalist. Granted she meets him by accident but takes an interest in what he has to say about what is happening in the world of politics.

Mary may be 18 but she is very naive about the world around her. Probably because her father and aunt seem to keep her sheltered. This was probably very common for that time period, but it hindered her in the beginning because she wasn’t really tuned into the world. However, I liked that it made her step out of her comfort zone and meet other people and take an interest in the country she lived in and how they were ruled (a good thing for everyone to do no matte where they live).

Mary thinks she is in love with Samuel Brown, but it is his friend (and brother in law) Mr. Murray that is who she is meant to be with according to Mrs. Chin. I liked that he took a trip to Bath to check on her when she disappeared and how he got to know her during that time. He may not have known or thought she was for him, but it was apparent that they were better suited.

It was a good read, probably my least favorite in this series, but still enjoyable.  We give it 3 paws up!

Posted in 5 paws, fiction, Review, women on January 16, 2017

Synopsis

A nearly tragic accident leads to a discovery that rocks the Sweeney family’s world

Some families never resolve conflicts. Not so with the Sweeneys. Their sense of family, their love for one another, and their willingness to forgive have always triumphed and brought them back together. Until now. The latest crisis threatens to tear the family apart and crumble the foundation that has always proved itself rock solid.

At the heart of the matter are sixteen-year-old Annie Bethune and her boyfriend, Cooper. At stake are their dreams for the future. As to these dreams, no one in the family holds back when asserting an opinion.

Annie soon begins to feel like a puppet on strings with all those she loves telling her what to do. When those strings become tangled and a family feud develops, Annie, unable to bear the pressure, runs away. Straight into the arms of danger.

Review

This is such a great series and this is no exception. It is heart wrenching in places, keeps you on the edge of your seat in others and gives you a ringside seat into family squabbles where everyone is right and wrong but too stubborn to see the other side.

The main focus of this book is Annie, who is a half sibling to Jamie (Samantha’s son). She is 16 and has a streak of bad luck that sets up the story in this book. She is put into some situations that many teens face on a daily basis and I felt like the portrayal was pretty accurate. It doesn’t help that some of these situations bring out the worse in Jackie and Faith and that inadvertently makes things worse and might be the cause why some things even happened. I know…vague, but when you read the book you’ll understand! Let’s just say they are acting like how most parents would act faced with various situations.

I felt for Annie and while she made decisions that she could based on the time and situation, I wondered how I might react if I were in her shoes. Annie does learn a lot in this book (which spans about a week) and while some situations are sad and others are scary, they leave a good message for anyone reading the book to look at all sides of a situation.

I do hope there might be another book to continue the saga, but if not it ended on a good note and it is left open for more books to follow.

We give this 5 paws up!

About the Author

Ashley FarleyAshley Farley is a wife and mother of two college-aged children. She grew up in the salty marshes of South Carolina, but now lives in Richmond, Virginia, a city she loves for its history and traditions.

After her brother died in 1999 of an accidental overdose, she turned to writing as a way of releasing her pent-up emotions. She wrote SAVING BEN in honor of Neal, the boy she worshipped, the man she could not save. SAVING BEN is not a memoir, but a story about the special bond between siblings.

HER SISTER’S SHOES—June 2015—is a women’s novel that proves the healing power of family. Merry Mary—October 2015—a holiday novella, a young woman longing for a child stumbles upon a Christmas miracle. BREAKING THE STORY released on March 17, 2016. A romantic political suspense filled with passion, peril, and a scandal that will rock American politics.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Subscribe to Ashley Farley’s Newsletter for monthly updates, release info, sneak peeks and more.

 

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on January 15, 2017

Curried Away: A Spice Shop Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books (December 13, 2016)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250081254
E-Book ASIN: B01G1J80H8

Synopsis

Piper Prescott, proprietor of Spice It Up!, has persuaded Doug Winters, the mild-mannered vet she’s been dating, to demonstrate Indian cuisine at her shop. But before Doug’s presentation of classic chicken curry is completed, Ned Feeney, local handyman, bursts in with news of a murder.

Sandy Granger, the director of a local production of Steel Magnolias, was found strangled in the third-floor balcony of the Brandywine Creek Opera House. Sandy, it seems, had not endeared herself to cast or crew. Complaints about her ran the gamut from her management style to her lack of people skills. Everyone connected with the production falls under suspicion, including Piper Prescott’s BFF, Reba Mae Johnson, who made it well known how unhappy she is that she was cut from the cast.

When the spotlight for the dastardly deed shines on Reba Mae, Piper rushes to her friend’s defense. Who among Sandy’s detractors was angry enough to wrap a silk scarf around her neck—and pull tight? Will Piper succeed in solving the case before she becomes the killer’s encore performance? And will she ever learn just how to prepare the perfect curry? As delicious as it is charming, the latest entry in Gail Oust’s mouth-watering Spice Shop Mysteries is sure to delight both old fans and new.

About the Author

Friends often accuse Gail Oust of flunking retirement.  While working as a nurse/vascular technologist, Gail penned nine historical romances under the pseudonym Elizabeth Turner for Avon, Pocket, Berkley, and Kensington.  It wasn’t until she and her husband retired to South Carolina that inspiration struck for a mystery.  Hearing the words, “maybe it’s a dead body,” while golfing with friends fired her imagination for the Bunco Babe Mystery series originally published by NAL.  In conjunction with Beyond the Page Publishing, the Bunco Babe series has  been republished in digital format as the Kate McCall Mysteries complete with new titles and a whole new look.  Gail is currently writing the Spice Shop Mysteries for Minotaur/St. Martin’s.  When she isn’t reading, writing, or sleeping, she can usually be found on the golf course or hanging out with friends.

Website * Facebook * Goodreads

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check out the other blogs on the tour

January 6 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

January 6 – Girl with Book Lungs – SPOTLIGHT

January 7 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

January 8 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

January 9 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST

January 10 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &,Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

January 10 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

January 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – COZY WEDNESDAY

January 12 – Readeropolis – REVIEW

January 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 13 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GUEST POST

January 14 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

January 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 15 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

Posted in chick lit, cooking, Romantic Comedy, Spotlight on January 14, 2017

Synopsis

Born with a silver spoon in her mouth, Manhattan upper-cruster Cecily Sinclair now uses that pricey utensil to dish up fancy French fare on her cooking show, Serving Romance. When there’s an executive shake-up at the network, she’s not worried. Not much anyway. Her show’s a hit after all. Why would the new CEO want to mess with success?

The driving force behind several buzzed-about networks, Devlin Hayes is considered to be a wunderkind in the television industry. Although his plans to rebrand CuisineTV and make Serving Romance more Millennial-friendly don’t thrill Cecily, her charming, blue-eyed boss is a hard man to say “no” to and she really wants to keep her job—even if that means sharing screen time with a loathsome blast from her past.

Mercurial Italian chef Dante Marchetti a.k.a. “Il Duce” was once Cecily’s boss, and she has the PTSD to prove it. Now the owner of one of the hottest restaurants in town, Dante’s egomania knows no bounds and his constant attempts to provoke and upstage Cecily make her want to conk him on the head with a sautééé pan. She thinks they’re toxic together, but viewers love their chemistry and clamor for more.

As Cecily battles to maintain the integrity of her show, she finds herself scheming and manipulating right along with Dante and Devlin. Is she fighting a lost cause? Does she really belong on TV, or would her culinary talent be better served elsewhere? And could one of the men who makes Cecily’s blood boil ignite a passion in her for something other than food?

About the Author

An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O’Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play she penned. (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she also starred in and tried to direct the production.)

Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a “real” job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. Mixing It Up is her fourth Chick Lit release, and in it Tracie finally got to live out her fantasy of being a Cordon Bleu-trained chef.

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Posted in excerpt, humor, Spotlight, Trailer on January 13, 2017

Synopsis

Doesn’t it seem as if someone issues a new apocalypse prediction every week? Y2K? The Mayan apocalypse? The Rapture? Doesn’t it seem endless? As opposed to the traditional trend of post-apocalyptic literature, Apocalypse All the Time is post-post-apocalypticism.

Marshall is sick of the apocalypse happening on a weekly (if not daily) basis. Life is constantly in peril, continually disrupted, but nothing significant ever happens. The emergency is always handled. Always. Marshall wants out; he wants it all to stop…one way or another. Apocalypse All the Time explores humanity’s fascination with the end times and what impact such a fascination has on the way we live our lives.

Excerpt

Chapter One

Someone ran into the room where Marshall had been sleeping. He’d been dreaming of being pursued by robed riders on skeletal horses. One person ran into the room, and then more people followed, their steps echoing everywhere. It got louder. He opened a tired eye, but he was alone in his apartment. The rumbling continued.

Then, the building was on log rollers, rumbling back and forth. Marshall was disoriented as he lay in bed. His body, always feeling a little oversized, seemed disconnected from up or down. Rudderless.

An earthquake.

Marshall tried to remember if they were still on Earth. So many things had happened and it was di cult to keep track of everything. If he was still on earth then it was only an earthquake. Otherwise, it’d be a something else quake.

Same difference for what it meant, but the distinction seemed as important as anything else. It was at least as important as the fact it was happening, which itself wasn’t a big deal.

Marshall grabbed the side of the bed to pull himself out from under the blankets. He let his body roll onto the door and tried to stand. Nothing fell off the walls, but only because Marshall had never bothered putting anything up. He started toward his front door.

It was just the apocalypse. An earthquake apocalypse. The ground under people’s feet would betray them. Great cracks would open and swallow up men without thought, without intention. Buildings would crumble. People would die. Continents would shift. Life would change forever.

Marshall yawned. He rubbed sleep from his eyes. He ran a hand through his shaggy, black hair. Then he emerged from his apartment, sure his pale skin made him seem like a naked mole rat tentatively greeting the day.

Oh well.

In the hall, a flood of people screamed, and owed toward the stairs, pulling Marshall awkwardly along with them. He couldn’t be sure who was screaming. There were so many people everywhere. Nobody seemed to be yelling, but everybody seemed to be. It was disembodied screaming, and Marshall stopped thinking about it when he remembered he didn’t care about who it was.

The flow swept him down the cement stairs. No one took 
the elevators during an emergency. They were well trained. The flow surged Marshall downward. Some people tumbled, but only onto other people. No big problem. No one seemed to be getting crushed. There was that at least.

The mass broke outside, each out for themselves, running anywhere away from the buildings.

The open.

The instinct was to head for the open.

Marshall found himself in a nearby green space. It was like a park, but with nothing in it. Like a vacant lot, but mowed. It was probably important for something, but for the moment, Marshall thought it best for avoiding earthquake dangers.

There was a tearing sort of roar. Marshall looked up to see an apartment building separating into halves. Like a wishbone, though Marshall didn’t bother making a wish. Steel frames shrieked and twanged, snapped. Bricks crumbled to powder. The whole thing fell to the ground as if it was tired and needed to sit.

No people died though, apparently. It looked like everyone had gotten out. That was a nice thing.

Other buildings fell.

Then the shaking stopped. People looked around, Marshall along with them. Thousands of voices buzzed, probably trying to ask what was going on. Confusion. It all merged into a giant mass of noise-thought. Indistinguishable sound like listening to all the broadcast stations at once. No message remained in all the messages. Then the rumbling began again. Stronger.

A red-haired woman in a brown jumper grabbed Marshall. She pulled him down to her and jammed her tongue into his mouth, searching. Need.

Surprised, Marshall returned the rutting kiss.

The woman was short and curvy. The jumper stretched, emphasizing attractive bulges. Not that he’d had a chance to judge, but Marshall felt attracted. His instinct wasn’t to push her off.

She ground her hips into him, something to which Marshall was unaccustomed. It wasn’t like he’d never been with a girl before, only it was usually a lot more work. Meeting, expressing interest, pursuing, and mood setting. A choreographed and stylized dance. It was kind of refreshing to have one just show up.

Her hands groped at his belt. She moaned. “Come on. We don’t have much time. This could be it.”

Marshall froze, disgusted. His arousal drained. The redhead repulsed him. She smelled of saliva and sweat, though she’d smelled of sex a moment before. Her grinding now seemed like an attack, desperate. She clung like a maggot, a greasy, rotting maggot. The taste of bile rose in Marshall’s throat.

The redhead didn’t seem to notice, still humping Marshall’s leg. Maybe she didn’t care. She still pulled at his clothes, frantic. Drool leaked out one side of her mouth.

“Get me off. We’re going to die.”

Marshall broke away. Stunned, he didn’t go far. He had to get the redhead o him, get her out of his face. He couldn’t breathe.

The woman didn’t pursue. She almost didn’t pick up on his departure, instead grabbing a fat man nearby. She latched on and the fat man did the same.

“We’re going to die,” the woman shrieked as a crack tore through the green space, splitting earth, and knocking everyone o their feet. “Do it, now.”

The redhead and fat man pulled at their clothes, frenzied. As soon as a path was open, she thrust herself onto him. The fat man grunted, red-faced, and pumped furiously. They looked like pigs.

Marshall stared in horror, wishing he could look away. “Faster,” the woman screamed, “before it’s too late.”

The fat man’s flesh rolled. It jiggled and shook more than the world around them. The coarse hair on his hide was flecked with bits of white deodorant, and the scent of rotting milk wafted o of him. He groaned and squealed, frantically trying to finish. He barely seemed to notice the redhead.

Trailer

About the Author

David S. Atkinson is the author of Apocalypse All the Time (forthcoming from Literary Wanderlust), Not Quite So Stories, Bones Buried in the Dirt (2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards® finalist, First Novel (under 80,000 words)) and The Garden of Good and Evil Pancakes (2015 National Indie Excellence® Awards finalist in humor). His writing has appeared in Bartleby Snopes, Grey Sparrow Journal, Atticus Review and other literary magazines and journals.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * GoodreadsBlog

Posted in 5 paws, Giveaway, mystery, Review, Time Travel on January 12, 2017

Book One: Temple of Indra’s Jewel

SERIES: Time Traveling Bibliophile Series

Rachael Stapleton

Genre:  Cozy Mystery, Science Fiction Time Travel

Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Date of Publication: (Dec 12 2016)

ASIN: B01N4DDOBU

Synopsis

This Librarian is Just Killing TimeTravel. 

Sophia Marcil loves her grandmother’s twisted tales almost as much as the sapphire ring passed down to her. Wearing it, however, could be her downfall. After slipping the jewel onto her finger she is pushed from a cliff—landing splat in the middle of 19th Century Monaco, where a killer plot to seize the throne could consume her entire future—past and present. Sophia believes she’s being forced into an eccentric millionaire’s dinner theatre but a hidden diary, a secret passage and a whispered conversation reveal to her that the role of a princess is not all fun and games. With the help of a man from outside the palace walls, Sophia undertakes a spellbinding journey straight out of a Grimm tale. Learning the gem’s secrets and the powerful curse behind it are only the beginning.

With time and the constant threat of death hanging over her, she must take a page out of her own history to hunt down someone who isn’t killing by the book. Can she do it before she’s checked out for good?

Review

This book has a little bit of everything in it – mystery, suspense, romance, time travel and mysticism. It is bound to appeal to nearly everyone!

I had no idea what to expect when I said I would review this book. I like all forms of mystery so figured it couldn’t be bad at all. I was not expecting to be kept on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next. And the ending? Leaves you hanging so you HAVE to read the next book to see how the story continues. (love and hate that!).

I thought Sophia was a brave character especially when she traveled back in time and had to adjust. At least she is a librarian and works in a historical section, so she was able to adapt somewhat to the times.

I thought it was interesting that the premise is that spirits are stuck due to bad choices and the same ones stick together to help right the wrong. You can see who some of the characters are from the past to the present…but there are a few that I think aren’t revealed but I have my suspicions.

All in all a great book and now I have to get the next book to see how the story continues.

We give this 5 paws up.

Other Books in the series

Book Two: Temple of Indra’s Curse

SERIES: Time Traveling Bibliophile Series

Rachael Stapleton

Genre:  Cozy Mystery, Science Fiction Time Travel

Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Date of Publication: (Dec 11 2016)

ASIN: B01MYZ2VAO

 

Synopsis

Family Secrets Can Be a Real Curse. 

Former Librarian turned Time Traveler, Sophia Marcil is looking forward to a shiny new beginning, and that’s just what she gets when the man of her dreams proposes. Unfortunately, the ring Cullen O’Kelley slips on her finger holds a piece of the very sapphire that’s cursed her. Wrenched back to a stately home in 1920, she discovers a hidden chapter in her own family story. In an effort to re-write the past, things get foggy in a London bookshop; long-lost relative’s re-surface, and as a family gathering rapidly goes awry, Sophia ricochets back to the present. Someone close to her is a killer, and this time she’s determined to read between the lines. Her ex-boyfriend seems to be the likely character, but evidence to the contrary soon has her questioning whether she wrote the wrong guy off.

With her wedding day fast approaching Sophia needs to figure out if Cullen’s love, spells death? Jewels are a girl’s best friend, unless they’re cursed, then they’re just worth killing for.

 

Book Three: Temple of Indra’s Lies

SERIES: Time Traveling Bibliophile Series

Rachael Stapleton

Genre:  Cozy Mystery, Science Fiction Time Travel

Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Date of Publication: (Dec 18 2016)

Synopsis

The Past Is Never Far BehindIt Also Won’t Stay Buried. 

The page has turned at last. Sophia Marcil’s nemesis is six feet under and she’s off to return the cursed sapphire to India, so she can settle into the next chapter of her life—a new bookshop and wedded bliss.  One problem, her wedding day has come early and the wrong man stands at the altar. The mysterious temple has sent Sophia back into the past, more specifically, into the body of the soon to be murdered bride of Dunlace Castle—a place she was hired to research. Thankfully her detour into the past is brief and she returns to safety in her own time. But how safe is she? Three dead bodies and her missing groom have Sophia wondering if her time travel has changed more than the castle’s structure. To make matters worse an empty grave leads her to believe that her nemesis is alive and forcing her fiancé to time travel.

Sophia is determined to dig up the truth but will it mean returning to a place she swore she’d written off? Everyone has their cross to bear and Sophia’s might just live to haunt her.

 

Book Four: Temple of Indra’s Witch

SERIES: Time Traveling Bibliophile Series

Rachael Stapleton

Genre:  Cozy Mystery, Science Fiction Time Travel

Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Coming SOON 2017

 

Synopsis

Closing the Book on the PastDoesn’t Mean It Can’t Be Opened. 

Between The Mysterious Ink Spot, Sophia O’Kelly’s cozy Dublin bookshop, and her role as mother and wife, she is more apt to exchange books and banter these days than blows with a bad guy. But living in the present has its pains; and Sophia can’t help but wonder if her migraines are connected to her fate. Sixteen years ago it was foretold to her that her daughter would become a dark and powerful witch, and stealing Sophia’s ancient spell book might just be the first step in proving the grim prediction true. Looking for answers and relief from the pain, Sophia agrees to a hypnotic regression. Unfortunately for Sophia, time’s up and she finds herself manipulated, betrayed and imprisoned for witchcraft. Meanwhile, back in Ireland, Sophia’s husband and best friend uncover a painting, offer hope that Sophia could be alive. The answers lie in a fifteenth-century castle—all they have to do is navigate time to get there. Of course, they’re not the only ones searching; Sophia’s daughter is determined to tag along, and she’s leading the traitor right to them.

It’s been sixteen years since Sophia O’Kelly closed the book on her past but someone wants revenge and they’re eager to open that particular volume of secrets.

About the Author

 

Rachael Stapleton lives in a Second Empire Victorian home with her husband and two children in Ontario, Canada and enjoys writing in the comforts of aged wood and arched dormers. To learn more about Rachael Stapleton,

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Blog * Amazon

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January 5 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

January 6 – The Book’s the Thing  – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

January 7 – Books,Dreams,Life – GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

January 8 – Deal Sharing Aunt – INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY

January 8 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

January 9 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT

January 10 – T’s Stuff – INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

January 11 – Sleuth Cafe – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

January 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

January 13 – Community Bookstop –  REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

January 14 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

January 15 – 3 Partners in shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, too! – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

January 16 – Celticlady’s Reviews –  SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

January 17 – Lori’s Reading Corner – CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

January 18 – Polished Nails and Puppy Dog Tales – REVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on January 11, 2017

Towhee Get Your Gun (A Bird Lover’s Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Lyrical Underground (January 3, 2017)
288 Pages
ASIN: B01E2H1NQG

Synopsis

When Birds & Bees owner Amy Simms volunteers to act in a local production of Annie, Get Your Gun, she finds herself upstaged by a killer waiting in the wings . . .

Who’s got time for birdwatching? Amy has enough to do running her shop, fighting attempts by the town planning commission to demolish her old Victorian house, and rescuing an injured towhee. Yet somehow she allows herself to get roped into performing in the Ruby Lake, North Carolina, community theater’s new musical after some cast members get injured by mysterious mishaps. The production seems plagued by bad luck, but events turn tragic when a member of the company is found murdered in a locked dressing room.

Trading in her binoculars for a magnifying glass, Amy steps into the role of amateur sleuth and soon discovers the victim ruffled a lot of feathers. With a flock of suspects, Amy will need to beat the bushes before the cagey killer takes flight. After all, the show must go on . . .

About the Author

j r ripleyJ.R. Ripley is the pen name of Glenn Meganck, the critically acclaimed author of the Tony Kozol mystery series. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, he has chaired the Edgar committee for Best Original Paperback novel and served on the Best Short Story Committee. As a member of the International Association of Crime Writers, he has served on the Hammett Award committee for Best Novel. When not writing books, Glenn is writing songs, often singing them to the consternation of his audience and neighbors, or involved in one of his many passions, none of which have involved any of the dead bodies that seem to keep cropping up in his mysteries.

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check out the other blogs on this tour

January 9 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

January 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 12 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

January 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT

January 14 – Girl with Book Lungs – SPOTLIGHT

January 15 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &. Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

January 16 – A Date with a Book – REVIEW

January 17 – Turning the Pages – SPOTLIGHT

January 18 – Varietats – REVIEW

January 19 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

January 20 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW

January 21 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

January 22 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

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Posted in fiction, Giveaway, Spotlight, women on January 10, 2017

friends-fornever
Friends ForNever by Melissa Baldwin

Erin Taylor is a hard-working journalist with a serious TV addiction and lack of a social life. She’s focused on her career and determined to leave her tiny cubicle behind for a fabulous corner office! But when a new co-worker, a friendship drama, and a hot workplace crush collide, Erin finds it harder and harder to focus. Especially when that crush on the oh-so-yummy Aiden Thomas starts to materialize into what feels like a magical relationship. Erin’s life seems to finally be heading in the right direction…until suddenly friends aren’t such great friends after all, her magical relationship hits a bumpy road, and her career could be derailed by it all. Erin learns a lesson the hard way: Sometimes people aren’t who they seem to be. With her happiness on the line, can Erin rise above her disappointments and create the life she’s always dreamed of or will she be stuck being Friends ForNever?

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Praise for the Book

Friends ForNever is a cleverly written book that will keep you wanting for more until the very end! I highly recommend this book!

Friends for Never is like listening to your best friend tell you about her day at work! And anyone who has worked in an office will totally relate to this book. I was absolutely sucked in. The love story was great!

It was well paced and funny!
The author is really good.

An intriguing look at the demands of family and friendship when personal goals are at risk.
A novel of back stabbing emotions.

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Melissa BAbout the Author

Melissa graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications; she has always had a love for writing. An avid journal keeper, she took her creativity to the next level by fulfilling her dream with her debut novel, An Event to Remember . . . Or Forget. Since then, she has written and published four more novels, Wedding Haters, See You Soon Broadway, Not Quite Sheer Happiness and Friends ForNever.

Melissa resides in Orlando, Florida, with her husband and young daughter. When she isn’t writing, this multi-tasking master organizer is busy being a mother, wife, chauffeur, PTA President, and Fitness Trainer.

When she has free time, she enjoys traveling, running, fitness, and taking a Disney Cruise every now and then.

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$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 1/26/17

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 excerpt, Monday, mystery, Spotlight on January 9, 2017

Title: A Darker Shore
Author: Malia Zaldi
Publisher: Bookbaby
Pages: 400
Genre: Historical Mystery

Synopsis

1926: A year has passed since the events of “A Poisonous Journey” and Lady Evelyn has made a home for herself in Greece, living with her cousin, Briony, her husband, Jeffrey and Daniel Harper. Disturbing this island idyll is a letter, which arrives from France with troubling information about the Daniel’s long-believed-dead brother, Henry. A new journey awaits! With the shadows of the Great War reaching out, Lady Evelyn and Daniel voyage to Amiens in Northern France with the aim of discovering the truth behind the ominous letter. Upon their arrival, they are met not with clarity but rather with crime. Murder, to be precise. Is it linked to their presence in France, or even worse, to Henry himself?  Evelyn and Daniel must confront their history as they try to make sense of the present before the killer can strike again, and the secrets of the past are lost forever.

Excerpt

Prologue

Near Pozières, France 1917

            We came here to die.

My heart beats the rhythm of the shell blast. Boom. Boom. Boom. Ready to burst, ready to break. Boom. Boom. Boom.

“Get down!”

An explosion of earth, light, and fire twenty feet beyond our trench.

“Close one that?” McCragh bellows into my ear.

I only manage a nod. Too many sounds echoing through my body, the steady pulsing of my heart, the tinny ringing in my ears. But silence can be just as bad I have learned. Silence can be death. My discovery weighs heavy on my mind. What will I do? Do I have a choice?

“What are the orders?” asks a young man, whose name I cannot remember, standing at my other side, leaning heavily against the dirt wall of our trench, his feet squelching thickly in the mud underfoot.

“Awaiting orders,” says McCragh with a sneer. “Won’t do us much good, waiting ‘ere much longer, better get out, better to be moving.”

The nameless young man shies away from us, from the bitter words of the burly Scot

Before I can respond, another man, the Runner, comes catapulting into the ditch. I help him right himself. His face is smeared with dirt and dust, but this mask cannot conceal his tender age. I shudder. We will all die here today.

“Orders are to stay. Enemy—” he gasps for air, “enemy is showing signs of retreat.”

“Retreat?” McCragh frowns. “Bleedin’ cowards!”

“Are you certain?” I ask, feeling the quiver in my voice.

“Yessir, orders from above. Told us to wait it out.”

“Right, well done, son,” I say, though the boy could be my brother. “Go on, then. Best make the rounds.” I try to sound calm, reassuring, to keep my voice steady, while I know I fail and only hope my fear is disguised by the screams and blasts from above.

“Yessir.” He takes a breath and sets off at a brisk trot, as fast as the bodies crowded into this tight space will allow.

“Another day to live in hell, then. Lovely.” Lewis, a Cornish fellow with a missing left ear comments wryly as he materializes at our side.

“Sounds about right.” McCragh rolls his eyes, but makes an involuntary sign of the cross nonetheless.

“Four months they told us,” Rawlins, another man with a raspy voice adds, sticking a cigarette between his thin, flaking lips. “‘Four months, lads, serve King and Country’, eh? Bleedin’ liars.”

“Watch what you’re saying, or I’ll ‘ave you for treason!” McCragh winks and rubs his beard.

Time passes slowly. The sky goes from gray to purple to black tinged orange, and still the thrumming of the guns, the intermittent blasts, grow only slightly fainter, move only slightly farther away. We crouch together in the black, damp, misery of our trench, our only light is the flicker of orange at the end of a cigarette.

“What will you do when this is all over?” comes the whispered voice of a young nameless soldier, who has drifted to my side.

“If I’m not—” I start.

“If yer not dead,” chimes in McCragh. “If we get out of this pile o’ shite in one bit, you mean, laddie?”

“Stop pissing about, McCragh,” Rawlins says sharply. It is an unspoken rule not to mention the very real likelihood of us never seeing the end of this war.

“Oh, right,” comes McCragh’s chastised reply. “I fer one will be gettin’ back me ol’ missus. Seein’ the kids.”

“How many have you got, then?” Lewis asks, keen for any distraction from the agony of numb legs, and the even worse terror raging above us.

“Two. Two little girls. Bessie and Mary. And I thank the Lord fer that. I’ll never be sendin’ them off to be blown to bits. I won’t let them out of my sight again. Future husbands beware.”

We chuckle, though I do not doubt the sincerity of his statement. Future husbands beware indeed!

“And you? How about you, son?” Lewis asks.

“Just go home,” I say. “See my mother, father. See my brothers.”

“How many?”

“Two. One—” I swallow, a sudden tightness in my throat, “one is here, somewhere . . .” I let the word float into the night, knowing the others understand. Silence descends upon our group, and soon I hear the faint sound of snoring. Can it be? Is one of them actually sleeping while the sky is falling down on us?

After some moments, I sense a sudden motion to my right. I turn my head, though I cannot see my hand before my eyes.

“Hello?” I whisper, but before I can hear an answer, a sharp stab of pain swells in my chest. I gasp, my hand flying up, meeting . . . meeting wetness. Wetness? Sticky . . .

I can’t breathe; I grapple around, touching the soft, earthen wall, the rough fabric of a uniform.

“I-I . . .” I swallow hard, pain explodes inside me, louder, more forceful than the shells above. My mouth feels dry, I try retching, but nothing comes. I am on the ground. “Help.” I croak.

I feel a hand on my shoulder. Hear voices, raised in concern. All I see is blackness and stars.

We came here to die.

About the Author

Malia Zaidi is the author of A POISONOUS JOURNEY. She attended the University of Pittsburgh, and studied at English at Oxford University. Having grown up in Germany, she currently lives in Washington DC, though through her love of reading, she resides, vicariously in countries throughout the world. A POISONOUS JOURNEY is her first book in the Lady Evelyn mysteries series. The sequel, A DARKER SHORE, is her latest novel.

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