Posted in Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, Spotlight on December 10, 2016

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Between A Rock and a Hard Place by Debbie De Louise
Publisher: Solstice Publishing
Approximately 330 pages

Synopsis

Librarian Alicia McKinney has put the past behind her…

Two years ago, Alicia discovered both a terrible truth and lasting love with John McKinney in the small town of Cobble Cove, New York. Now a busy mother of twin babies and co-author of a mystery series, Alicia couldn’t be happier.

Alicia’s contentment and safety are challenged…

Walking home alone from the library, Alicia senses someone following her, and on more than one occasion, she believes she is being watched. Does she have a stalker? When the local gift shop is burglarized, the troubling event causes unrest among Alicia and the residents of the quiet town.
John and Alicia receive an offer they can’t refuse…

When John’s sister offers to babysit while she and John take a much-needed vacation in New York City, Alicia is reluctant to leave her children because of the disturbances in Cobble Cove. John assures her the town is safe in the hands of Sheriff-elect Ramsay. Although Alicia’s experience with and dislike of the former Long Island detective don’t alleviate her concern, she and John take their trip.

Alicia faces her worst nightmare…

The McKinneys’ vacation is cut short when they learn their babies have been kidnapped and John’s sister shot. Alicia and John’s situation puts them between a rock and a hard place when the main suspect is found dead before the ransom is paid. In order to save their children, the McKinneys race against the clock to solve a mystery more puzzling than those found in their own books. Can they do it before time runs out?

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Guest Post

The Story Behind the Cobble Cove Mystery Series

When I present author talks at libraries and bookstores, people often ask how I got started in writing. Since I’ve been writing for over thirty years, the answer is often lengthy and a bit convoluted as I’ve written in many forms and mediums throughout different periods of my life. I would much rather discuss how I came to publish my first mystery series.

 A Stone’s Throw did not start out as the first book of the Cobble Cove mysteries. I initially thought of it as a standalone romantic suspense novel; but, after it was published, readers reviewed it as a cozy mystery. Then, as people kept asking if I was planning to continue the story, I decided to write a sequel. Between a Rock and a Hard Place was published this past October by Solstice Publishing. I have almost finished writing the next book tentatively titled Written in Stone. I feel the uniformity of the common phrases and euphemisms involving rocks and stones and their correlation to the storylines of each mystery further unite the books

In A Stone’s Throw, the title refers to how all locations in the small town of Cobble Cove are only “a stone’s throw away.” The title of Between a Rock and a Hard Place symbolizes the struggle the characters face in a situation that seems insurmountable no matter what they do. For Written in Stone, I chose the title because the plot resolves heavily around writers.

A Stone’s Throw takes place near Thanksgiving and introduces the main characters, the town, and a library cat, Sneaky, and golden retriever, Fido, who play minor but charming roles in the books and also help with clues on occasion. Between a Rock and a Hard Place occurs a year and a half later during December. It introduces more characters including two babies, a couple of college students, and a young girl who is ill. Many of the characters from the first book return; two of them with interesting personality changes. This book involves three crimes – robbery, kidnapping, and murder – not necessarily by the same perpetrator. In the upcoming book, there are new characters again mixed in with the regulars as some of their stories further develop as the new mystery unravels. As cozies, all three books feature no violence or sexual explicit scenes and focus on the characters.

The Cobble Cove mysteries basically evolved through reader request and the quirky and creative characters who seemed to insist that their stories continue. I don’t know how many more books there will be in the series, but I have lots of ideas and hope that there will be many more.

In addition to writing the series, I’ve also created a blog hosted by Sneaky, the Siamese library cat in the books. He “interviews” cat characters from cozy mysteries and other types of cat books. Visit Sneaky’s blog.

I’ve also just begun the monthly Cobble Cove Character Chats on Facebook where, on the first Wednesday of each month, a new character from the series answers questions posted by readers.

About the  Author

debbie-delouiseDebbie De Louise is a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island and has been involved with books and writing for over thirty years. She received the Lawrence C. Lobaugh, jr. Memorial Award in Journalism for her work as Features Editor on the Long Island University/C. W. Post student newspaper, the Pioneer. More recently, Debbie received the Glamour Puss Award from Hartz Corporation for an article about cat grooming that appeared on Catster.com. She has published a short mystery in the Cat Crimes Through Time Anthology and two novels,CLOUDY RAINBOW and A STONE’S THROW, the first book of her Cobble Cove cozy mystery series. Her short stories, THE PATH TO RAINBOW BRIDGE and DEADLINE appear in the anthologies, REALMS OF FANTASTIC STORIES and PROJECT 9, Vol. 2 published by Solstice Publishing. She is currently working on a psychological thriller, the third Cobble Cove Mystery, and a new pet-related cozy series. She lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and two cats.

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December 4 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – REVIEW, EXCERPT

December 5 – Books, Dreams, Life – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

December 6 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

December 7 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

December 8 – Omnimystery News – INTERVIEW – confirmation pending

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

December 10 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

December 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

Posted in Cozy, e-books, mystery, Spotlight on December 10, 2016

Rosie Genova, author of the Italian Kitchen Mysteries, serves up a new dish this week with the release of her e-book holiday novella, The Seven Course Christmas Killer: A Holiday Novella from the Italian Kitchen. Priced at .99, the e-book will be available on Amazon and most other retailers.

The story takes place on Christmas Eve, as Vic and the gang prepare the traditional Feast of the Seven Fishes for their annual holiday party. But before you can say “shrimp scampi,” Mayor Anne McCrae takes a nasty fall that may not be an accident. Add a nosy reporter, guests with grudges, and a missing kitchen knife—and Vic suddenly has all the ingredients for murder!

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Synopsis

On Christmas Eve, someone might be sleeping with the fishes. . .

It’s December at the Casa Lido, which means only one thing: the Rienzi family’s traditional Christmas Eve celebration, including wine, song, and seven Italian seafood courses. As Victoria and Tim prep scungilli and calamari, Nonna directs the cooking until all is in readiness for the big night.

But the holiday cheer is interrupted by the attempted murder of Mayor Anne McCrae, who asks Vic to investigate. Trouble is, there are as many suspects as there are fishes on the Christmas Eve menu . . .

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About the Author

rosie genovaA Jersey girl born and bred, national bestselling author Rosie Genova left her heart at the shore, which serves as the setting for much of her work. Her new series, the Italian Kitchen Mysteries, is informed by her appreciation for good food, her pride in her heritage, and her love of classic mysteries from Nancy Drew to Miss Marple. Her debut novel, Murder and Marinara, was named a 2013 Best Cozy by Suspense Magazine and is a finalist for a 2014 Daphne Award. An English teacher by day and novelist by night, Rosie also writes women’s fiction as Rosemary DiBattista. She still lives in her home state with her husband and the youngest of her three Jersey boys.

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Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on December 9, 2016

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Fatal Fiction
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (December 6, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-1601837325
E-Book ASIN: B01CWYTJVC

Synopsis

When kindergarten teacher Charli Rae Warren hightailed it out of Hazel Rock, Texas, as a teen, she vowed to leave her hometown in the dust. A decade later, she’s braving the frontier of big hair and bigger gossip once again . . . but this time, she’s saddled with murder!

Charli agrees to sell off the family bookstore, housed in a barn, and settle her estranged dad’s debt—if only so she can ride into the sunset and cut ties with Hazel Rock forever. But the trip is extended when Charli finds her realtor dead in the store, strangled by a bedazzled belt. And with daddy suspiciously MIA, father and daughter are topping the most wanted list . . .

Forging an unlikely alliance with the town beauty queen, the old beau who tore her family apart, and one ugly armadillo, Charli’s intent on protecting what’s left of her past . . . and wrangling the lone killer who’s fixin’ to destroy her future . . .

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Review

What a great start to a new series! I always love books set in small towns in Texas especially if the author gets the feel of the characters/town right, and Kym does that in this book.

I thought it was interesting that the main character was biracial. It took awhile before I actually figured it out, but even then it really wasn’t a big deal to the rest of the townspeople. Charli Rae was definitely something of a trouble maker when she was younger but perhaps because she had something to prove?

I thought it was humorous that everyone called her Princess, since that is what her dad called her, and it became even more confusing when she comes back to town and there is a pink armadillo also called princess.

The mystery itself was well written. I only suspected the killer based on a feeling. There are only so many characters and while there were a few I would rather have seen been the killer (mostly because they were jerks), the actual killer was something of a surprise and the reason behind it all.

Now you can’t have a mystery without a little romance. Charli was involved with Cade when they were teens and went their separate ways and meet back up when she comes to town and I think there are still sparks there. Only future books will tell us if I’m right.

Can’t wait to read the second book due out next year.  We give this book 5 paws up

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About the Author

kym-robertsThree career paths resonated for Kym during her early childhood: a detective, an investigative reporter, and…a nun. Being a nun, however, dropped by the wayside when she became aware of boys—they were the spice of life she couldn’t deny.

In high school her path was forged when she took her first job at a dry cleaners and met every cop in town, especially the lone female police officer in patrol. From that point on there was no stopping Kym’s pursuit of a career in law enforcement—even if she had to duct tape rolls of coins to her waist to meet the weight requirements to be hired.

Kym followed her dream and became a detective that fulfilled her desire to be an investigative reporter, with one extra perk—a badge. Promoted to sergeant Kym spent the majority of her career in SVU. She retired from the job reluctantly when her husband drug her kicking and screaming to another state, but writing continued to call her name, at least in her head.

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December 5 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

December 5 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

December 6 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

December 7 – deal sharing aunt – INTERVIEW

December 8 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

December 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

December 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

December 9 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW

December 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

December 10 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

December 10 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

December 11 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

December 11 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

December 12 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

December 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

December 14 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

December 15 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

December 15 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

December 16 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

December 17 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

December 18 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Spotlight on December 9, 2016

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Title: The Soul of a Seal

Series: West Coast Navy SEALs, #4

Author: Anne Elizabeth

Pub Date: December 6, 2016

ISBN: 9781492622246

Synopsis

Love may be the toughest battle of all

Captain Bennett Oscar Sheraton Navy SEAL, the best of the best

Dr. Kimberly Warren Brilliant engineer, founder of secret space program

When scientists on Dr. Warren’s super-secret space mission start dying, Navy SEAL Captain Sheraton is sent in as an astronaut candidate with a hidden agenda—find the person sabotaging the program.

Kimberly and Bennett’s instant attraction may prove to be a major distraction—or it might be the key to both of their dreams coming true…

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Interesting Seal Fact

FAKE SEALS don’t know the history of the Teams from Scouts and Raiders thru to SEALs or the year that SEAL Team was founded. FAKE SEALS cannot GIVE you information about their time in the Team, because if they did…they’d have to KILL you. That’s not true. This person is FAKE.

Excerpt

Her eyes lifted to his. She had no words as a flush that began in her toes rose to the top of her head. If she were to walk four feet to the mirror and look, she knew she would see herself as red as a cherry tomato. “Uh…s-s-sorry…” she finally said. What a time to stutter! Rubbing her hands together, she walked to the glass-enclosed shower, opened the door, turned on the water, and then took off her silk teddy and matching silk panties. It was time to be bold.

Glancing over her shoulder, it was her turn to smile. His jaw was practically on the floor.

“Can you hand me my loofah?” She turned toward him and pointed to the shelf next to the sink. “The fluffy pink one.”

He nodded his head, but it was several seconds before he turned and complied with her request. As he closed the distance between, she congratulated herself on being courageous…for changing the rules and making the playing field between them level. She’d seen his, and now he’d seen hers. That was out of the way, and they could move forward.

She put out her hand for the loofah, her smile smug and delighted. What she hadn’t prepared for…was him pulling her gently, and oh, so tenderly, against him so the heat of his body seared hers, and then kissing her until she was gasping for air as her hands held on to his biceps for dear life.

Time froze and the kiss lasted forever, or maybe it was only several seconds. It was hard to tell, because all thought had fled from her mind. When he urged her against the shower wall and slowly pulled away, she saw his smile—one of such male satisfaction that anger bloomed inside of her.

“That’s why they call me…Boss. Well, one of the reasons.” He waited, as if he wanted her to respond.

She couldn’t believe the idiot was just standing there. Why did he have to speak? Why doesn’t the male species know when to leave well enough alone? That kiss had been amazing! If only he’d chosen to be a gentleman, and mute. She sighed as she gave in to her emotion.

“Out!” she said indignantly. Men! She’d get him back in less than half an hour, when his first duty of the morning would be regurgitating his breakfast onto his lap.

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About the Author

Anne Elizabeth is a romance author, comic creator, and a monthly columnist for RT Book Reviews magazine. With a BS in Business and MS in Communications from Boston University, she is a regular presenter at conventions as well as a member of The Author’s Guild and Romance Writers of America. Anne lives with her husband, a retired Navy SEAL, in the mountains above San Diego.

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Posted in Cozy, excerpt, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on December 8, 2016

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Literally Dead (An Empty Nest Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Self Published (September 30, 2016)
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1940795386
E-Book ASIN: B01LWCW5C1

Synopsis

After her last disastrous episode as an amateur sleuth, Gracie Elliott is back. The budding romance writer has spent the past year crafting her first novel. Her hard work and determination pay off when her manuscript wins the Cream of the Crop award, a contest for unpublished writers, sponsored by the Society of American Romance Authors. First place entitles her to attend the organization’s annual conference, normally open only to published authors.

With husband Blake in tow, a starry-eyed Gracie experiences the ultimate fan-girl moment upon entering the hotel. Her favorite authors are everywhere. However, within minutes she learns Lovinia Darling, the Queen of Romance, is hardly the embodiment of the sweet heroines she creates. Gracie realizes she’s stepped into a romance vipers’ den of backstabbing, deceit, and plagiarism, but she finds a friend and mentor in bestselling author Paisley Prentiss.

Hours later, when Gracie discovers Lovinia’s body in the hotel stairwell, a victim of an apparent fall, Gracie is not convinced her death was an accident. Too many other authors had reason to want Lovinia dead. Ignoring Blake’s advice to “let the police handle it,” Gracie, aided by Paisley, begins her own investigation into the death. Romance has never been so deadly.

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Excerpt

The wheels of my suitcase couldn’t spin fast enough as I pushed through the revolving door of the Crown Jewel Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Once inside the lobby, I stopped short and gazed awestruck, soaking in the writerly atmosphere. My heart pounded so fast I could hear it reverberating in my ears. Or maybe that was the din of the voices from hundreds of romance authors filling the forty-story marble and glass atrium.

My eyes bugged out as I scoped the room. “Oh my God, Blake!” I reached for my husband’s hand and squeezed it. “That’s Liz Phillips,” I released my grip on my suitcase handle and pointed in the direction of the bar off to my right. “And Elise Robertson.”

“Friends of yours?” asked my husband.

“I wish! They’re two of the most successful romance writers in the world. I can’t believe I’m standing only a few yards away from them!” Talk about a fan girl moment! One more superstar sighting and I just might need a brown paper bag to ward off imminent hyperventilation.

“Hurry!” I pulled him along, nearly tripping over my Kate Spades as I race-walked toward the shortest of several lines that serpentined from the hotel registration desk around the chic silver, white, and gray lobby.

Blake grabbed me, preventing me from executing a face plant. Then he spun me around and settled his hands on my shoulders. Lowering his head until our foreheads nearly touched, he said, “I know you’re excited, Gracie, but take a deep breath. Slow down. The conference doesn’t start for several hours. You’re not going to miss anything.”

I humored him by continuing at a jog instead of a sprint until I reached the back of the line. “I can’t believe I’m here!” I squealed, bouncing on the balls of my feet.

A year of slaving over my manuscript had finally paid off. “Just think, by this time next year I’ll probably be returning as Gracie Elliott, published romance author.”

“Don’t you mean Emma Carlyle?”

“Right. Sorry.” Since Blake didn’t think the stuffy old academics of the university governing board would take too kindly to a faculty wife writing sensuous romances—not that my writing rose anywhere near Fifty Shades level—I’d promised to publish under a pseudonym. Thus, Gracie Elliott would become Emma Carlyle on bookstore shelves.

“Besides, aren’t you forgetting something?”

“Like what?”

“You need to sell your book first.”

Leave it to Mr. Logical to burst my bubble. “Yes, of course, but I’m sure I’ll have plenty of offers here at the conference. After all, I’m the winner of the Society of American Romance Author’s Cream of the Crop writing competition. That’s a huge award. You should be excited for me, Blake. And proud of my accomplishment.”

“I am excited for you, sweetheart, and I’ve always been proud of you. You’re the most amazing woman I’ve ever met. You set yourself a goal, and you work until you accomplish it.” He pecked my cheek. “I just don’t want to see you disappointed.”

“Why would I be disappointed? You just said I always accomplish my goals, didn’t you?”

“Yes, but some goals take longer than others. Did winning this contest guarantee you a publishing contract?”

“No, but—”

“The win gives you the opportunity to attend this writing conference, nothing more. Let’s keep everything in perspective, okay?”

“Fine. But you’re going to eat those practical words of yours by the end of these three days.”

“I’d love nothing better than to see you prove me wrong.”

We inched our way up in line. “Notice anything odd?” he asked above the cacophony of conversations around us.

I glanced up at my husband, then around the massive lobby. “Odd?” Although this was my first writing conference, I’d attended my share of business conferences and conventions over the years. Prior to the industry downsizing that outsourced my job as a fabric designer overseas and left me jobless and pension-less, I’d spent many hours cooling my Kate Spades and Christian Louboutins in long, slow-moving hotel check-in lines. “Not really.”

“It’s a veritable estrogen brigade here, Gracie!”  My normally unflappable husband suddenly looked like the clueless hero of a fish-out-of-water romance novel.

About The Author

lois-winstonUSA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry. newsletter at

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December 1 – A Date with a Book – REVIEW

December 2 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW

December 3 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST

December 4 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

December 4 – Community Bookstop – INTERVIEW

December 5 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

December 5 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW

December 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

December 7 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

December 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 9 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

December 10 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

December 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

Posted in Christian, Giveaway, Historical, Interview, romance on December 7, 2016

FOR THE RECORD

by Regina Jennings

  Genre: Historical Romance / Christian

Publisher: Bethany House

Date of Publication: December 6, 2015

Number of Pages: 336

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synopsis

 

for-the-record-coverRather Than Wait for a Hero,  She Decided to Create One

Betsy Huckabee has big-city dreams, but nobody outside of tiny Pine Gap, Missouri, seems interested in the articles she writes for her uncle’s newspaper. Her hopes for independence may be crushed, until the best idea she’s ever had comes riding into town.

Deputy Joel Puckett didn’t want to leave Texas, but unfair circumstances have made moving to Pine Gap his only shot at keeping a badge. Worse, this small town has big problems, and masked marauders have become too comfortable taking justice into their own hands. He needs to make clear that he’s the law in this town–and that job is made more difficult with a nosy reporter who seems to follow him everywhere he goes.

The hero Betsy creates to be the star in a serial for the ladies’ pages is based on the dashing deputy, but he’s definitely fictional. And since the pieces run only in newspapers far away, no one will ever know. But the more time she spends with Deputy Puckett, the more she appreciates the real hero–and the more she realizes what her ambition could cost him.

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PRAISE FOR FOR THE RECORD

“Jennings creates a perfect blend of love, mystery, and wit in this 19th-century romance.” —Publishers Weekly starred review

“Jennings’ latest is a delightfully entertaining historical romance featuring charismatic humor, unpredictable thrills, and vigilante justice. The plot is tense and exciting, and the novel sparkles with the wit and charm of its spirited heroine. It is more romantic and less stuffy than your average inspirational, and Jennings uses classic western touches like six-shooters, spurs, and white Stetsons to land readers squarely in the Ozark Mountains of 1885.” —Booklist

“This is such a delightful read with an adorable romance and a fun and entertaining story line. . . The interactions and dialogue between the main characters are sheer perfection. The mystery and drama with the hero’s backstory and the masked marauders keep the momentum of the story going at a nice pace and allows for no dull moments. There is so much to love here in this little gem, it is easily one of Jennings’ best.” —RT Book Reviews

AuthorInterview

What projects are you working on at the present?

My next series is set in Indian Territory just a few miles from my home in Oklahoma. The series is going to kick-off with a story about a dance hall singer who gets mistaken as a governess by the commander of Fort Reno. There’s going to be a lot of dashing cavalrymen, cowboys, Indians, and outlaws. Look for the first book, “Holding the Fort” in December of 2017.

Do you have any strange writing habits you’d like to share with your readers?

I’m not much on tradition or ritual. I pretty much have to write when I can, which usually means toting the laptop to basketball or football practice. That’s me, the anti-social one sitting in the car while the rest of the moms are visiting in the stands.

What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has?

You write about Betsy making the perfect hero…and then she realizes that the perfect man isn’t perfect. What are the key ingredients for a perfect hero?

For me, the first thing a hero must have is character. If he’s dishonest, unfaithful or unkind, he can’t be a good match for the heroine, no matter how handsome, talented or rich. And I think the perfect hero is also able to laugh at himself. Laughing at yourself shows confidence, and nothing is more attractive than confidence.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I have this conversation with my kids about once a week. While it would be noble to request the gift of healing, I have to say having instant teleportation would be a lot more fun. (And since this is make-believe, let’s have fun!) Can you imagine how cool that would be? I want to see the Eiffel Tower this afternoon…boom! I’m there. I want to take tea at Piccadilly Circus? Cheers! I’d probably even use it daily to run errands with the kids. How handy would that be?

My second choice would be time travel, but you still need teleportation to make it feasible. It’d be hard to time travel if you always end up in the exact place you left.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

My problem is that there are very few places I’ve traveled to that I don’t want to visit again. In fact, visiting somewhere usually makes me want to go back even more. If I’m visiting again, I’d say England and Scotland. If I’m limited to a country I haven’t been to, let’s try Australia. It looks so beautiful in the pictures and I hear that the people are very friendly.

If you could speak with any accent from anywhere in the world, what would you choose? What? You mean besides my Oklahoma accent? What’s wrong with that? OK, British I suppose. Probably north England, or Scottish. Nothing too posh.

What’s something fun or funny that most people don’t know about you?

Well, you see I’m Baptist and my parents were pretty strict, so I never got to take any dance classes or even gymnastics when I was growing up. Judging from an 8mm film of me dancing at four years old, I think that if I would’ve just had a few lessons I might have won the first Nobel Prize for a dancer. It would’ve changed the world. At least that’s what I thought until I actually tried it.

After I was married with kids my cousin and I enrolled in a dance class at the local community college, but not just any dance class… a belly dancing class. We had a great time, but I realized that my parents did not deprive the world of the next prima ballerina. They just saved them from some really awkward recitals.

What’s your funniest flaw?

I’m a morning person. I don’t know if that’s funny to some people, especially those who go to church camp or mission trips with me, but I find it amusing how the world caters to those who stay up late and punishes those of us who are evening-challenged.

Instead of high school football games that last until 10:00 or 11:00 pm, why not have them at 4:00 a.m. instead? Then we could celebrate the win and go off to work for the day. Same with firework celebrations. Why wait around on those long summer nights for it to get dark? I’m so sleepy! Let’s shoot off the fireworks at 5:00 a.m. before the sun is up. That sounds like a great way to start the day!

 

about the author

regina-jenningsRegina Jennings is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in English and a history minor. She is the author of Sixty Acres and a Bride, Caught in the Middle, and At Love’s Bidding and contributed a novella to A Match Made in Texas. Regina has worked at the Mustang News and First Baptist Church of Mustang, along with time at the Oklahoma National Stockyards and various livestock shows. She now lives outside Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with her husband and four children.

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THREE WINNERS EACH WIN A 3 BOOK SET OF THE OZARK MOUNTAIN ROMANCE SERIES WITH AUTHOR SIGNED BOOKPLATES:
(US & INTERNATIONAL; INTERNATIONAL WINNER WINS $30 AMAZON CARD IN LIEU OF BOOKS)
December 1 – December 12, 2016

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CHECK OUT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:

12/1 Excerpt Country Girl Bookaholic
12/2 Review Momma On The Rocks
12/3 Author Interview Missus Gonzo
12/4 Promo Kara The Redhead
12/5 Review The Page Unbound
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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance on December 7, 2016

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Synopsis

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Samantha Chase crafts a tender, hopeful family-centered romance

She knows him by reputation

Riley Shaughnessy knew that to stand out in his large family, he’d have to go big. Making a name for himself as a musician wasn’t easy, but he followed his dreams to rock-star success. But the relentless expectations of fans is not helping the slump he’s in now. So of course the person who attracts him is the woman who is not impressed by fame.

Which gives Riley Shaughnessy a lot to prove

Entertainment reporter Savannah Daly is completely unfazed by pretty-boy rock stars. She’s just here to get her interview and write her story. But spending an entire month with the Shaughnessys is going to show Savannah a side of Riley she never could have guessed.

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Thoughts from Samantha/Playlist

I’m one of those people who can multi-task.  To a point.  I do like almost complete silence while I write with the exception of my Sounds of the Ocean soundtrack playing.  I can have twenty tabs open online and be on social media while I’m writing, but please don’t make me listen to anything!  But amazingly enough, on most of my books I do end up with a playlist that helps me get the job done.

I just don’t listen to it while I’m writing.

I turn to it when I’m blocked – when I’m stuck in a scene and need to get hyper-focused on my characters.  This is Our Song was kind of easy to have a playlist to because Riley is a musician.  There were songs that I felt like I could imagine him singing or that the lyrics really applied to him.

So what was on my list and why?  Here’s just one of the songs that was on my This is Our Song playlist!

Our Song by Matchbox Twenty:

This was the song that was inspiration for the title of the book.  I love the song and it makes me happy and when I was trying to think of something fun for Riley and Savannah, this was my obvious choice!

Favorite line:  I don’t know if someone else could handle me
I don’t know what I’m suppose to be
You’re the only one who really sees
You get me

I was lucky with This is Our Song because of Riley’s career.  Some books it will just be a single (as in one) song that is on my playlist to help me over the humps.  And sometimes I’ll have to listen to that song like five times in a row to get me in the proper mindset to write what I need to write.

Happy listening and I hope you enjoy This is Our Song!!

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Excerpt

He didn’t just beat her in the best of three.

Oh, no. That would have been too easy.

No, Savannah—who realized too late that she was a very sore loser—kept egging him on until he finally put the paddle down after beating her in twelve games. Twelve! Why did she have to keep taunting him? Even while they were playing she couldn’t make herself ask him anything important. They talked about useless stuff—favorite bands, favorite foods—hell, at one point she’d even asked him his favorite color.

She hung her head low in defeat and put her paddle on the table. Riley had excused himself and went to get them each a drink. She prayed it was vodka. Something to make her forget this humiliation.

His prize at the end of the first three games was that she’d stay and have dinner with him.

After the next three she’d stay for a movie.

She really thought she was going to beat him in the third round. Unfortunately, it had been her biggest loss, and he’d simply chuckled and said he’d have to think about his reward. And he’d repeated that after the fourth and final win.

Riley cleared his throat when he walked back into the room and handed her a glass of ice water. They drank in silence for a few minutes. “That was fun,” he finally said, and Savannah realized he wasn’t being obnoxious and he wasn’t gloating. He genuinely looked like he’d had a good time.

And despite all the losing, Savannah would have to agree. It was fun.

“How do you feel about salmon for dinner?”

“It’s one of my favorites,” she said and was relieved he wasn’t gloating.

“It’s kind of early yet. Maybe we can watch a movie first?”

That was a reasonable request, and she agreed. Together they picked out a classic Neil Simon movie from 1967, Barefoot in the Park. “Ooo…Robert Redford.” She sighed. “Another favorite.”

Tucked away in a corner was one of the biggest flat-screen TVs Savannah had ever seen. Riley noticed her stunned look. “It’s one hundred ten inches. They don’t come any bigger than this right now. The picture’s great too.”

Two oversized recliners were centered in front of the screen and they each sat down. Riley started the movie and within minutes Savannah was more relaxed and they were both laughing along with the story.

She kicked her sandals off and tucked her feet up on the chair beside her. Next she pulled the clip out of her hair so she could relax her head against the back of the comfortable chair. Looking to her right, she saw Riley was watching her. His expression was intense and for the life of her, she couldn’t figure out what was wrong. “Is everything okay?”

He didn’t answer right away.

“Riley?”

“I still have to decide what I get for winning those last two rounds,” he said, his voice low and gravelly.

Savannah nodded, hypnotized by the way his eyes had gone so dark.

“I’m going to combine them into one request,” he said, and it sounded more like a warning than a statement.

“Okay.” Her own voice was almost a breathy whisper.

Leaning closer, Riley’s eyes zeroed in on her lips before meeting her eyes. “Savannah?”

“Hmm?”

“I’m going to kiss you. Twice.”

“Oh.”

His hand snaked out and around her nape and slowly drew her closer to him. And then his lips touched hers and Savannah’s brain simply stopped functioning.

About the Author

Samantha Chase, a creative writing teacher, released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Since then, she has published seventeen more titles and has become a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She lives with her husband of twenty-four years and their two sons in North Carolina.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Spotlight on December 6, 2016

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Synopsis

It’s been two years since Cason McPherson watched his best friend die in his arms. With shrapnel in his hip and a war behind him, he keeps focused on building a civilian life and not on what he wants most: the woman of his dreams, Savannah. If only she’d stop bringing up topics he has to keep secrets about.

Savannah Sparling has no time for baggage, and Cason McPherson brought home a matching set in scathing green—with a carry-on duffel bag full of lies. He’s the childhood friend who enlisted with her brother. He came home, and her brother didn’t.

Balancing work with demanding clients while fulfilling a personal vendetta against Cason consumes Savannah’s already full schedule—until a series of unstoppable events leads to a collision between Savannah’s work and personal lives. Her carefully structured path in the world is crushed, her own blood is spilled, and passion between her and an unlikely bedfellow ignite.

Cason and Savannah find the only the people strong enough to save them from themselves is each other. But will either one of them accept the help—and the love—that’s offered?

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Excerpt

Scene setup: Cason has an attack of conscience and needs to apologize to Savannah for his behavior the day before. He goes to Savannah’s posh condo before work and to his surprise catches her in the midst of her morning routine.

When it didn’t open after a few minutes, he knocked again and called her name. Cason looked down as he waited. There on her step, damp from morning dew, was a package from her cell company. He bent over, grimaced at his hip, and picked it up just as the muffled padding of footsteps sounded inside.

The door yanked open, slamming against its chain. “What?” she asked.

“Oh,” he said, taken aback, looking at her from bare foot to robe to towel on her head.

“Yeah, I’m getting dressed, but nothing you haven’t seen before. What do you want?”

Cason knew then, looking at her, that he was kidding himself on why he was there and felt instantly grateful for the bargaining chip he had just picked up. “I’ve got something to say,” he said, holding up her package, “in exchange for your cell.”

Her eyes narrowed in irritation. “You can put that back down and leave. I don’t need another demeaning lecture this morning on how to be a better person from Mr. Military Hero McPherson, so buzz off.”

“I know,” he said, believing he had earned that comment.

She looked at him, and there was a brief second when he was optimistic she’d not slam the door in his face.

“Can I come in? I’ll be nice,” he added for good measure.

After a long pause, she shut the door in his face. He heard the chain being removed, and then the door cracked open. The padding of her footsteps sounded on the polished hardwoods, walking away from the door.

Cason slowly opened the door, feeling the tenuous truce between them, and then closed it behind him. He scanned the room as he took his boots off. The floors were dark polished wood. Huge white leather couches in the middle of the room looked out over the golf course woods. There was a white fur rug on the floor, and on the far side of the room a metal-and-clear-plastic dining set with a whacked-out ruffled white chandelier thing hanging over it. The kitchen was open to his left; a white marble-topped bar ran the length of it. Polished stainless-steel appliances dominated; the rest of the condo was all windows and black-and-white photographs. It was icy cold compared to Savannah’s mother’s house, which felt like a warm, straight-from-the-oven cookie.

He saw her across the condo go back into the bathroom and begin putting on her makeup; she’d changed into one of her starched white collared shirts that fit her snugly. He felt a tug in his belly when he realized she’d hastily buttoned it, but only halfway. It was untucked over one of her kneelength black skirts. He was definitely interrupting her morning routine, and it felt like just because he was there she wasn’t going to alter it one iota. And he didn’t blame her; if it were him, he would have already punched himself in the face.

She turned her head to look at him. “You can put that on the counter and go,” she said and then turned back to the mirror.

Cason did put the package on the counter, but he wasn’t going; he still had something on his mind. Instead, he busied himself. She had a fancy coffeemaker, but it hadn’t been programmed to make coffee that morning. He spotted the coffee grounds next to the machine and set to work. As he dumped grounds into the filter and added water, he felt his palms begin to sweat.

What am I doing?

A few moments later, Savannah, her hair wet but her shirt now buttoned and a black knee-length skirt on, came out to the kitchen. She tore open the cell phone box. “You’re still here. So, what is it that you wanted to tell me?” She powered the phone on.

Cason wanted to start with an apology but couldn’t. “Did you know your mom is dating?” he asked, resting his good hip against the counter and crossing his arms. As he looked at her, he remembered the way they were before he’d been discharged. They’d been friends. Good friends. Maybe even best friends. Being friends, high-fiving good platonic friends wouldn’t break the promise. Before he could think better of it, Savannah responded, eyebrows raised as she looked up at him, making his gut do that thing again.

“Are you kidding me?”

“Last night I got back to the house—she was doing the crossword with some guy.”

Savannah’s warm-chocolate gaze studied his face. He felt himself swallow, as if gulping down words that would get him into hot water of the non-platonic kind.

About the Author

beckybanksBecky Banks grew up, like the generations of Bankses before her, in the Hawaiian Islands. With the islands as her roots, Becky was raised within the time-honored tradition of “talking story” before a backdrop of grassy fields, blue waters, and cloud-clad mountains. She moved to the mainland after high school to attend Oregon State University, where she studied forestry, natural resources, and science education. One fateful day she realized that her decades of scribblings promised the makings of a romance writer. Becky’s first novel, The Legend of Lady MacLaoch, achieved the Night Owl Reviews Top Pick Award and Amazon’s Best Seller for Historical Romanc

Becky lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, Keith, and their wild toddler, Sammy.

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Giveaway

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on December 5, 2016

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Crime and Catnip (A Nick and Nora Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Berkley (December 6, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425270226
E-Book ASIN: B01CZCW4ZY

Synopsis

Nick and Nora aren’t just pussyfooting around this time as they deal with a missing person’s case and murder.

While catering a gala for the Cruz Museum, Nora Charles agrees to look into the disappearance of director Violet Crenshaw’s niece, a case previously undertaken by her frisky feline friend Nick’s former owner, a private eye whose whereabouts are also currently unknown.

As Nora and her curious cat Nick pull at the string of clues, they begin to unravel a twisted tale of coded messages, theft, false identities, murder, and international espionage. Nora dares to hope that the labyrinth of leads will not only help them locate the missing young woman, but also solve the disappearance of the detective. That’s if Nora can stay alive long enough to find him…

INCLUDES DELICIOUS SANDWICH RECIPES

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About the Author

fred-profileWhile Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic. She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – and in Spring 2017, the new CAT RESCUE msyteries from Crooked Lane! She, Rocco and company make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York.

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November 30 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

November 30 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

December 1 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

December 1 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW

December 2 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

December 2 – Community Bookstop –  REVIEW

December 3 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY

December 3 – The Power of Words – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

December 4 – Mystery Playground – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

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December 5 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

December 5 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

December 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

December 6 – Melina’s Book Blog –  REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

December 6 – Readeropolis – REVIEW

December 7 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

December 7 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

December 7 – Varietats – Review

December 8 – Book Babble – REVIEW

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Posted in Book Blast, Christian, excerpt, romance on December 5, 2016

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sight-unseen

Title: Sight Unseen
Author: Erin Leigh Crisp
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 198
Genre: Christian Romance

Synopsis

Emilia Phillips is looking for a career and a way out of her day job. She is not looking for a man to rescue her heart.

Asher Mason wants his life back. He lost his sight and the hero-life he loved in a millisecond. He no longer trusts his instincts, especially about women. But the sweet-smelling waitress in his favorite café tempts him to trust. As Emilia helps Asher relearn everyday activities, the two find themselves falling faster than either expected.

Can a woman love a blind soldier? Will she want a man who doesn’t recognize himself anymore? As Asher’s shortcomings become more apparent to him, the wedge forced between he and Emilia widens. Can Asher trust the same God that took his sight to direct his future?

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Excerpt

“How long has it been?” Emilia could have bitten off her own tongue.

His eyes glanced over again, but they didn’t see her. He gave one huge breath and shrugged, like it wasn’t important. “Three months.”

Only three months? And he was walking around town and ordering coffee? No seeing-eye dog, no dark glasses? She wanted to compliment him, but she figured he wasn’t the type of man to take it for what it was. Instead, she eased her hand onto his shoulder for a split second and went for humor instead.

“I should have noticed when you didn’t wink back at me earlier.”

His head shot up, and his cheeks tinged the darkest pink.

Emilia covered her giggle and shook her head. “I swear I’m kidding. I wasn’t flirting with you, but I really should have noticed earlier. My brother was born blind. He’s seventeen.”

The man looked curious, but he was still blushing and she decided not to press him. “Anyway, if you need anything, my name is Emilia. I’ll be here all week.”

His lips turned up in the smallest smile. She reminded herself that she wasn’t looking for a man. She took three steps away before he called her name.

Her feet stopped. “Yeah?”

He swallowed hard, his fingers linking on the tabletop. His eyes searched for her face. “I’m Asher Mason. Thank you, again.”

“It was my pleasure.” She turned and walked away, but the damage was already done. Her heart thumped crazily. Her cheeks heated. Her teeth bit down to stop the smile that threatened. And I’m in a load of trouble, she thought.

About the Author

Erin was born and raised on the Florida/Alabama state line in a small farming community which has served as inspiration for her novels. She believes the heart of a happy ending is God and His plan for the lives of His people.

In 2014, Erin published her first novels for sale.  She currently has eight full-length novels and one novella for sale on Amazon. Erin makes her home in Northeast Georgia with her husband, four children and two fish. Erin has a bachelor degree in Christian Counseling and enjoys photography in her spare time.

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