Posted in Book Blast, excerpt, Middle Grade, Young Adult on August 31, 2013

silver strand

The Silver Strand

Ever since twelve year old Isabelle Tresdon’s silver strand of hair sprouted, it’s been nothing but trouble: bleeding pink dust and sparking like a firecracker. Refusing to be known as the girl with the freaky, grandma hair, she wishes it never grew and the hair withers and tarnishes.

The only problem is, the strand is Isabelle’s source of magic, and she can transform particles of energy into matter. It’s also her ticket into Mastermind Academy, a secret school inside the earth’s core. Five days remain before the strand drains her magic and life, forcing Isabelle to enter into a deal with two trickster Masterminds to save it. But what she doesn’t count on is there is more at stake than just her life.

The Silver Strand, a MG Fantasy Adventure for 9-12 year olds, is book 1 in the Mastermind Academy Series.

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louisaAuthor L.J. Clarkson

One thing you need to know about LJ Clarkson is that she tells BIG lies. She tells everyone that she gave up her career as an Environmental Engineer and Project Manager to write full time. But that’s not entirely true. Ten percent of the time she sleeps in. Fifteen percent of her day, she spends surfing the internet, researching for new books and her business. Ok, fine. Two percent is for research. But she’s only admitting it so she doesn’t end up like Boldrick. For eighteen point seven five percent of her day, she runs her promotional and support site for authors, called Indicated (www.indicated.com.au). The rest of her time involves writing, reading, watching movies and TV, walking her dogs and falling asleep whenever her boyfriend talks technical computer lingo. Truthfully, she hates early mornings, mondays, grammar (yuck! just ask her poor editor!), broccoli and cleaning. If you would like to drop her and line and let her know what you think of the book, she would love to hear from you. Just not before 8:30am in the morning.

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Excerpt

“Did you know Isabelle has a silver, alien antenna?” Bimouth’s voice sang out over the shouts and chatter of the school bus, capturing everyone’s attention. “In science class, a magnet flew out of Mr. Higgins’ hand and stuck to her antenna. How freaky is that?”

Isabelle’s back pressed against her seat.

Bianca leapt up like a jack-in-a-box. Her voice came out as a hiss. “Shut your face horse mite or I’ll shut it for you.”

Looked like the bus ride might end in death.

Bigmouth turned to face Bianca. “What if Isabelle’s antenna, like, turns us into alien zombies?”

A chorus of whispers broke out.

Catching the bus was a very bad idea. Isabelle prayed again for that black hole to open up and suck her in. Better yet, she wished it would gobble up the bigmouth. Isabelle tugged on Bianca’s arm and said in a low voice, “Just cut it off.”

Her friend’s eyes softened. “You sure, Boof?”

“The hair’s caused nothing but trouble since it sprouted.” The little voice inside Isabelle’s mind begged her not to, but she didn’t listen.

“Ok.” Something in Bianca’s school bag rattled as she riffled through it. She yanked a pair of scissors free.

Isabelle’s gut clenched as her friend laid the strand between the blades. “Wait!” She suddenly felt unsure about whether to get rid of it. What if it were special and magical like Bianca had said? A magnetic hair, although cool, was hardly magical. Isabelle decided to test it. Closing her eyes, she willed her strand to turn Bigmouth into a toad.

But Bigmouth’s voice still carried throughout the bus. “And in gym class, like, she bled this weird, pink dust.”

“Definitely an alien,” someone nearby agreed.

So much for Isabelle’s strand being magical. “Cut it,” she said, exchanging a sideways look with Bianca.

Her friend squeezed the handles together. Fuchsia-colored sparks shot out and scalded Isabelle’s right cheek. The strand sizzled and hissed like a firecracker, drawing the attention of Bigmouth.

She shrieked like a real girl. “Look! Isabelle’s antenna’s on fire.”

 

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BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 9/15/13

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, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in Book Blast on August 31, 2013

Legend of the Timekeepers is prequel to the novel The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis. They can be read in any order, for more information on The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis check out HERE.

Find the book here:

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 About the book:


There is no moving forward without first going back.
Lilith was a young girl with dreams and a family before the final destruction of Atlantis shattered those dreams and tore her family apart. Now refugees, Lilith and her father make their home in the Black Land. This strange, new country has no place in Liliths heart until a beloved high priestess introduces Lilith to her life purposeto be a Timekeeper and keep time safe.
Summoned through the seventh arch of Atlantis by the Children of the Law of One, Lilith and her new found friends are sent into Atlantiss past, and given a task that will ultimately test their courage and try their faith in each other. Can the Timekeepers stop the dark magus Belial before he changes the seers prophecy? If they fail, then their future and the earths fate will be altered forever.
RELEASED AUGUST 30!

About the author:

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, available through Musa Publishing. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, yoga, kayaking, time with family and friends, and single malt scotch. Sharon lives in the wilds of Muskoka in Central Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, a water-logged yellow Labrador and moody calico cat.

 

Connect with Sharon via:

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Posted in Book Blast, New Adult, romance, Young Adult on August 30, 2013

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Synopsis:

Born into a life of privilege and secrets, Nora Blakely has everything any nineteen-year-old girl could desire. She’s an accomplished pianist, a Texas beauty queen, and on her way to Princeton after high school. She’s perfect…

Leaving behind her million-dollar mansion and Jimmy Choos, she becomes a girl hell-bent on pushing the limits with alcohol, drugs, and meaningless sex.

Then she meets her soulmate. But he doesn’t want her.

When it comes to girls, twenty-five-year-old Leo Tate has one rule: never fall in love. His gym and his brother are all he cares about…until he meets Nora. He resists the pull of their attraction, hung up on their six year age difference.

As they struggle to stay away from each other, secrets will be revealed, tempers will flare, and hearts will be broken.

Welcome to Briarcrest Academy…where sometimes, the best things in life are Very Bad Things


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About the Author:

Ilsa wrote her first work at the age of twelve when she penned a little ditty about a handsome prince who had no sense. Since then, she’s written plays, poems,and short stories. Very Bad Things is her first full-length novel and part of a new series called Briarcrest Academy.

She graduated summa cum laude with a master’s in English. When she’s not typing away at a story, you can find her drinking too much Diet Coke or coffee, jamming out to Pink, or checking on her carefully maintained chocolate stash.

She loves to hear from fans and fellow avid readers.

Website * Facebook

Posted in chick lit, Spotlight on August 29, 2013

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Synopsis:

What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out.

A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read Bridget Jones’s Diary, Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm.

While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads–and pages–across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox–for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.

What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out.

A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read Bridget Jones’s Diary, Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm.

While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads–and pages–across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox–for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.

Excerpt:

“What blog?”

I felt a flush creep across my cheeks as I turned around to face the source of the question. I wasn’t surprised, since I blushed whenever I talked to Nicholas, even when the phone rang at work and I saw his name on my caller ID.

“You didn’t know about Kim’s blog?” Rob asked, his blue eyes reflecting amusement.

Nicholas shook his head, not removing his eyes from mine.

All I could think about was running my fingers along the dark stubble on his jawline. Never completely clean shaven, he currently looked like he hadn’t touched a razor in several days. I held his gaze willing my voice not to give away my crush, but the heat on my face suggested a crimson complexion that probably already had. “I have a blog where I write book reviews.” I figured Nicholas didn’t know about my blog since our opportunities to socialize outside of work had been few and far between in the four months we’d worked together. It was that unfamiliarity which I blamed for my chronic bashfulness in his presence. Well, that and his overwhelming sex appeal. Unable to maintain eye contact a second longer, I glanced back at Rob hoping he’d pick up the dialogue.

“It’s incredibly popular. Publishers actually beg my secretary to read and review their client’s novels on a daily basis.” Rob beamed at me like a proud uncle as if he was somehow responsible for my blog’s immense popularity.

I turned back to Nicholas and smiled shyly. “Every other day basis is probably more accurate but yes, it’s a widely read blog. I have several thousand followers and get requests from authors, publicists and agents pretty often.”

Nicholas looked at me with admiration. “Awesome. What types of books do you review?”

I hated this part of telling people from work about my blog. I never knew if the attorneys would raise their noses in the air and judge my taste in “literature.” Here goes nothing. “Chick lit,” I admitted.

Nicholas tilted his head to the side. “Like the gum?”

I giggled as if I’d never heard that one before. “Yes, it’s called chick lit, like the gum. But it’s also a book genre. Like Bridget Jones’s Diary, The Devil Wears Prada. You know?”

Nicholas looked thoughtful as he rubbed his thumb along his chin. “My ex-girlfriend had a bunch of books with pink covers. Were those chick lit?”

Forcing myself to stay focused instead of wondering what his ex-girlfriend was like, how long ago they broke up and why, I smiled and said, “Probably.” Although chick lit had certainly evolved beyond stereotypical pink covers, it wasn’t the time to go into defense-mode.

Nicholas smiled wide. “Very cool, Kim!” Glancing at his empty glass, he said, “Time for a refill. Be right back” and walked towards the bar.

I tore my eyes away from the back of Nicholas’ light blue business shirt and back to Rob. But Rob was now talking to Lucy about some guy she had deposed the previous day. Boring work talk. I downed the rest of my prosecco and walked over to the bar. After quickly getting the bartender’s attention, I ordered another glass, on Rob’s tab of course, and observed Nicholas finish sending a text. As he smiled into his phone, I felt my Hanky Panky thong practically melting off. At only about 5”7’, his stature might have kept him off of some women’s top five lists but since I was vertically challenged too, he was currently number one on mine. I couldn’t even think of who would follow him in second and third place.

“Penny for your thoughts, Blogger Girl.”

I snapped out of my list making and faced Nicholas, silently praying he was not a mind reader.

He looked at me expectantly.

I swung my free hand in dismissal and lifted my drink towards him. “Nothing important. Cheers!”

Nicholas clinked his glass against mine, said, “Cheers” and took a sip of his drink.

Following his lead, I took a sip of mine.

Nicholas inched closer to me. Speaking in almost a whisper, he said, “Having fun yet?”

Very aware that we’d never stood this close to each other and that these were practically the most words we’d ever exchanged one on one, I replied with faux nonchalance, “Can’t really complain about free drinks. You?” The cuffs of his shirt sleeves had been pushed up to his elbows and I pondered whether the dark hair on his arms was coarse or soft. I wondered what it would feel like to run my fingers up and down his arm. I also wondered if he could hear my heart beating through my chest.

“Definitely can’t complain about that,” Nicholas agreed. “And a break from work is always welcome, especially these days.” He smiled. “Doing anything good this weekend?”

I had practically forgotten it was Thursday night, which was odd for me since I lived for the weekends when my secretarial duties did not get in the way of my reading. “Not sure yet. Probably drinks with friends. And I need to catch up on some reading. For the blog. What about you?” Please don’t mention a girlfriend.

“Oh, this and that.” His eyes glowed, almost like he was holding back a secret.

I bit down on my lip and without thinking, blurted out, “Do This and That have last names?”

Nicholas gave me a once over before shaking his head laughing. “I’ll probably spend most of it at work actually. So, tell me more about this blog.”

I tipped my head to the side. “What do you want to know?”

“I don’t know. Like, what made you start it?”

“The condensed version or the truth?”

Nicholas cocked an eyebrow. “How long of a story is the truth?”

“Why? Do you have a date to rush off to?” I swallowed hard. Nice, Kim.

Laughing, he said, “It’s just that your answer was rather mysterious, you know?”

I shuffled my feet. “Well, I usually tell people I started the blog because I’ve always loved to read, blah, blah, blah.”

“Blah blah blah. Gotcha.”

After he said that, he winked at me and when my knees wobbled in response, I grabbed the bar with my free hand. “The truth is that one day I was bored at home surfing the internet and I found all of these blogs dedicated to romance books, like Harlequin stuff, and then I found some more devoted to science fiction, thrillers and so on. But I could barely find anything dedicated to chick lit and it pissed me off because I love it. I figured if I love it, there must be other girls who love it too and maybe if I started this blog, I’d find them and we’d bond.” I paused. “Aren’t you glad you asked?”

As his phone rang, Nicholas distractedly responded, “Yeah, that’s cool,” before bringing it to his ear. He whispered, “Sorry” before answering it.

I wondered if it was from “This” or “That.”

Buy the Book:

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About the Author:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA born and bred New Yorker, Meredith Schorr discovered her passion for writing when she began to enjoy drafting work-related emails way more than she was probably supposed to, and was famous among her friends for writing witty birthday cards. After trying her hand writing children’s stories and blogging her personal experiences, Meredith found her calling writing “real” chick lit for real women.  When Meredith is not hard at work on her current work in progress, she spends her days as a trademark paralegal.  Meredith is a loyal New York Yankees fan and an avid runner.  Blogger Girl is her third novel.

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Posted in Book Blast, contest, fiction, Giveaway, women on August 29, 2013

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Synopsis:

The crossing paths of friendship, family, love, and loss are often complicated.

June Deckert and Caroline Smith sparked a friendship in college that carried them through graduation. Although they are complete opposites in every way, they have spent the last four years inseparable.

That is, until now.

June finds herself falling for a man who seems unattainable. As she works side by side with him on a new media campaign, their feelings for each other come alive. But when his actions start to speak louder than words, she wonders if she’s missing something.

Meanwhile, Caroline is fighting against her feelings for a recent acquaintance, and she decides to keep her new love interest a secret from June. Overwhelmed by these new emotions, her moods change swiftly, swinging up and down like a yo-yo.

While June and Caroline try to maneuver their way through new relationships, Caroline starts lying to June to protect her from a truth that threatens to break her heart and tear them apart.

In the end, Caroline’s deceit will test their friendship, and June will have to decide if her chance at love is worth putting her heart on the line.

Excerpt:

I’m not sure why I did it, but I got up two hours early, took an extra long shower, made sure my hair cooperated, and put on my good makeup. Okay, that’s a lie. I know exactly why I put so much effort into getting ready. Today, I am supposed to see Cohen. Not only am I supposed to see Cohen, but we also have plans to go out to dinner. Once again, I’m unsure about what he wants to discuss, but this time, I’m trying not to make any assumptions. Also on the agenda, I hope to not injure him or myself while we’re spending time together.

I walk into the office with my chin up and a big smile on my face. If he is already here, I want to look like I’ve been fine. I sure as hell don’t want him thinking that I’ve been moping around and pining away for him since last Friday morning. Making my way through the maze of cubicles toward my office, I see no sign of him. I let out a sigh as I step through my door. I place my workbag next to the desk, and I turn to glance at the clock.

Something moves in my peripheral vision. It scares me enough to make me jump back, causing me to fall into my large potted plant-tree-thing in the corner. To avoid hitting the ground, I sit cockeyed in the pot. My face is covered in limbs and large green leaves. Peeking through the human-eating plant, I can see Cohen sitting on the comfortable sofa with one hand held over his mouth. I don’t hear any sounds, but from the looks of it, he’s laughing. For some reason, my usual standoffish self takes a holiday. I launch myself up from my seat in the pot holding the plant, and I take brisk steps toward him.

“What are you doing in my office? Do you enjoy scaring the crap out of women and causing near catastrophes? Or is it just when you see me?”

His eyes grow wide, and those sexy wrinkles beside his eyes fade. Thank God. I don’t think I could hold on to my angry attitude if he kept smiling.

“Mr. Hargrove wanted me to tell you that we’ll be meeting in the conference room at eight thirty. I have to leave by the end of the week, so we need to get started on the rest of our project. I came to tell you, but you weren’t here yet, so I made myself comfortable. I’m sorry if I scared you.”

“Right. Okay. Well, you can go now. I’ll see you at the meeting,” I say, turning toward my desk.

With my shoulders back and head held high, I walk over to my desk chair and sit. Looking back at Cohen, I give him the meanest stare I can muster.

“See you there.” He stands to leave, but then hesitates as if he wants to say something else. His mouth is open, but then he bites down on his bottom lip, holding back.

“Did you need something else?”

“Actually, I was just going to tell you that unless you enjoy the feel of sitting on bark, you should probably find a mirror and wipe off your skirt.”

You have got to be kidding me!

He walks out of the office with the wrinkles by his eyes reappearing.

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Author Bio:

Melanie_Stinnett_author_photo

I have enjoyed reading and writing since I was very young. Some of my fondest memories from childhood are of spending time with my mom or grandma reading a good book. Over the years, it never crossed my mind that writing my own novel would be an attainable goal. After reading several independently published novels by Jamie McGuire, Colleen Hoover and others, I decided I needed to give that dream a chance.
When I’m not reading and writing, I enjoy spending time with my three favorite guys: my husband and my two little boys.
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Posted in 4 1/2 paws, Review, Romantic Suspense on August 28, 2013

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Synopsis:

The ghost of la Llorona is said to haunt the riverbanks, always searching for her drowned child. She also haunts high school teacher Johanna Rios, whose own mother believed so deeply in the legend she tried to drown her daughters. And now the ghost has become real, a young woman murdered, and the safe world Jo created is falling apart.

Since returning home from his last tour of duty to become a school principal, Ray Vargas has fought his attraction for his employee, the sensual woman who’d once been the girl next door. But the Llorona Killer will not stop until he claims his final victim—Johanna—and Ray will do anything to protect the woman he’s come to love.

With a serial killer out to prove the curse is real, will Ray and Johanna’s future be drowned in the ghostly waters of the past? Or will the power of their love give them the strength to stop a killer…and heal their wounded hearts?

Review:

I love Melissa’s Dressmaker cozy series and thought it would be fun to read a romantic suspense by her to see how the writing styles differed.  While getting the information to write this review, I noticed that this is actually the second book in a series and the first is called Sacrifice of Passion.  Who knew?!  Not me, that’s for sure!  The two books are about two brothers, Vic and Ray, who while have other jobs also own a bar together.  Ray and Johanna knew each other as kids and I think Ray had a thing for her back then. I started reading the book and it took me just a little to get into it ONLY because I am so used to her lighter Dressmaker series that I had to turn that style of writing off in my brain.  I was able to do that and WOW what a book!  I liked how the book centered around a curse that Johanna truly believed in (even wrote her Master’s thesis on it) and that maybe it really wasn’t a curse, unless you let it control your life.  The characters were laid out nicely and I had some suspicions about some of them and turns out I was partially correct!  (That RARELY happens!)

Anyway, this is definitely a romantic suspense book….lots of action, some romance (but not too much) and characters that you might even feel a connection with on some level.  If you like romantic suspense then I think you will enjoy this book, and probably even Sacrifice of Passion!  We give it 4 1/2 paws up.

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About the Author:

Melissa-Bourbon-RamirezMelissa Bourbon, who sometimes answers to her Latina-by-marriage name Misa Ramirez, gave up teaching middle and high school kids in Northern California to write full-time amidst horses and Longhorns in North Texas. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with yoga and chocolate, is devoted to her family, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.

She is the founder of Books on the House, the co-founder of The Naked Hero, and is the author of the Lola Cruz Mystery series with St. Martin’s Minotaur and Entangled Publishing, and A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series with NAL. She also has two romantic suspense novels, and is the co-author of The Tricked-out Toolbox, all to be released in 2012/2013.

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Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Blog tour, Cozy, mystery on August 27, 2013

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Synopsis:

Book Details
Genre: Cozy Mystery – New Series
Published by: Wordsmiths4u
Release Date: April 22, 2013
Number of Pages: 242


In this first Darla King novel, Darla returns to square dancing in midlife following tragedies in both her personal and professional lives. She moves from Florida to Texas and from high-powered investigator to life in a small town and a job as far removed from crime as she can think of—she becomes a square dance caller. But when an unconscious stranger turns up on the ranch of one of her dance club members, her specialized knowledge may hold the key to the identity of his assailants. At first, Darla is concerned that her friend Doug is the target. When the same square dancer is assaulted not once but twice, she realizes something else is wrong. Even more telling is the secretive but disturbingly handsome FBI agent that enters the picture.

Darla didn’t plan it this way, but her curiosity pulls her into the case and she has to use the investigative skills from her past that she thought she’d left behind. She’s inquisitive by nature, and looks for patterns to unravel it all. Patterns like the ones she uses to choreograph a dance. Combined with her contacts as a square dance caller and her square dance knowledge, she’s just the person to fit all the pieces fit together. Darla, along with her close friends from the Clearton Squares Dance Club, ends up in the thick of things—and in danger.

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Review:

I’m always up for a new cozy series because you never know when you will find a winner.  While I’m not sure that this is a new series that I will follow, it wasn’t too bad for a first book.  There was a crime but no murder…which was sort of a deviation from cozy books that no one died.  Someone was attacked and left for dead but that was about as close as it got.  Since this book follows the square dancing circuit, I thought it might be interesting to learn more about this type of dance.  I’m not sure that I really learned anything, and probably had more questions than answers.  The book did seem to get better towards the end and there was some excitement as they were solving the crime.

Overall I’d give it 3 1/2 paws.  I’m not sure this is a series I will follow but if you saw my stack of books to read you’d probably understand!

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About the Author:

Rosalee

Rosalee Richland is the pen name of two real-life square dancing writers. As Rosalee, co-authors Cyndi Riccio and Rhonda Brinkmann joined forces to create the Darla King cozy mystery series. Darla and her friends portray the best of the square community, the warmth and friendship among people in it, and the enjoyment square dancing brings worldwide. Darla’s curiosity often puts her squarely in the midst of unusual circumstances, and Darla can’t let go until the mystery is solved.

When not writing, Darla’s co-authors enjoy reading, traveling, meeting readers and fans, networking with other authors, and – of course – square dancing. They are learning to blog, and are always working on Darla’s next mystery. If you have a chance, stop in at a book signing and find out which half of Rosalee shows up! In the meantime you can stay in touch with Rosalee and Darla on on Facebook, Goodreads, or the Darla King Series blog. Or just search for “Rosalee Richland” anywhere in cyberspace.

Website * Goodreads * Facebook

 

Buy the book:

Amazon * B & N * Book World

 

 

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Tour Participants

August 26 – Mommasez… Review
August 27 – StoreyBook Reviews Review
August 28 – Brooke Blogs Guest Post
August 29 – A Blue Million Books Interview
August 30 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner Review
September 2 – readalot blog Review
September 3 – Books Are Life – Vita Libri Review
September 4 – Melina’s Book Blog Review
September 5 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading Review, Interview
September 6 – THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK Review

Posted in Cozy, Monday, mystery on August 26, 2013

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Yes, it is another “first in a series” on Mystery Monday.  What can I say, I like to read new book/series and hopefully will be finding some good ones in what I’ve been posting recently!

 

Synopsis:

At Gram’s Country Cooking School, Betts and Gram are helping students prepare the perfect dishes for the Southern Missouri Show-Down, the cook-off that draws the first of the summer visitors. Everything is going smoothly until they discover the body of local theater owner Everett Morningside in the school’s supply closet, and Everett’s widow points an accusatory finger at Gram. Now, Betts has to dig deep into Broken Rope’s history to find the modern-day killer-before the last piece of chicken is served

 

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Posted in fiction, humor, Spotlight on August 25, 2013

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Synopsis:

Zack Zapp and Milton Burdass-Nuttall, two unemployed young poops, are tricked into signing up as priests by a fast-talking church recruiter, who forgot to mention priests don’t date. Enjoying a night out on the town, they are secretly filmed kissing the same lemon-haired girl, the footage posted on her site. When Zack next falls in love with a British spy and Milton with a CIA operative, the two reluctant clerics set out on a mission to destroy the incriminating footage before they are revealed not only as men of the cloth but also libertines of the worst kind. Before long they are up to their clerical collars burgling bishops, blackmailing cardinals and even taking a crack at the papal safe.

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This is a series of books.  The follow up books are The Mysterious Moxie and The Schuman Shenanigans.

About the Author:

Ever since I was a kid I was bitten by the writing bug: at age 10 I decided—in a moment of either divine inspiration or extreme hubris—to become the next Agatha Christie—the male version, obviously. I got to the second page of my magnum opus when I realized: this stuff is pretty damn hard. And whodunit anyway?

It was the start of a long relationship with the muse: over the years I wrote articles for the school newspaper, a national newspaper, dabbled in poetry, launched a couple of websites, blogs, penned a couple of novels, a few short stories and labored over many a screenplay.

I started writing in earnest in 2004 and, after thumbing through about a hundred books on How to Write the Perfect Romance, How to Write the Perfect Thriller, How to Write the Perfect Mystery…  finally decided to write something I was good at instead: a comic novel. Whether I was right remains to be seen.

By education I’m a political scientist and as you probably guessed from the name I was born and raised in Belgium, land of Tintin, JCVD, beer & chocolate, Bruges and the one and only Manneken Pis. I live in Ghent with my wife Anzhela and our chubby red cat Tommy.

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Comments Off on Spotlight: The Zapp Imbroglio by Jos Van Brussell
Posted in 4 1/2 paws, Blog tour, contest, excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Young Adult on August 22, 2013

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Book Title: Unstoppable (Book #2 in the Fierce Trilogy)

Author: Ginger Voight

Release date: August 20, 2013

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Book Summary:

His eyes were rimmed red when they met mine. “I die inside every time he touches you, and there’s nothing I can do about it. You’ve made it clear that you’re going to go on with this sham of a marriage, no matter who it hurts in the process. You lie to everyone, Jordi, including the people you’re supposed to love the most. And I just can’t take it anymore. This is not the way I want to live my life.”

“I thought I was worth it,” I mumbled.

“You have no idea what you’re worth,” he said softly. “That’s the problem.”

In book #2 of the Fierce saga, Jordi Hemphill has joined her true love Jace Riga on cross-country tour with Giovanni Carnevale and Dreaming in Blue. The star-crossed lovers anticipate the freedom to explore their burgeoning relationship, despite the continued complications of her ties to her tormentor Eddie Nix and Jace’s new standing as a rock icon. Nothing is as it seems, which make the pair fodder for the rumor mill. Forces from all directions threaten to tear them apart, but it is Jordi’s own insecurities that drive a wedge between the aspiring diva and her hero.

Author Ginger Voight further delves into the key issues that keep Jordi from defeating her demons once and for all. This sweeping saga unearths revelations that will rock Jordi’s world forever… and set her on the path to the path to her story’s epic conclusion.

Review:

This book was just as good as the first one and it was hard for me to put down.  I kept wondering if Jordi was ever going to get rid of Eddie and be able to have a life with Jace or if she was doomed for the rest of her life.  Eddie is definitely a scumbag with a capital S!  It was hard for me to believe that Jordi was putting up with his actions and attitude towards her.  I wanted to send “Vito” after him to persuade him to leave.  On the flip side, Jordi’s lack of self-esteem did get frustrating by the end of the book.  She needs to work with a therapist and realize her worth and STOP being the victim!

We give this 4 1/2 paws and suggest you read Fierce first before diving into this book.

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Find the books:

Fierce – eBook on Amazon

Fierce – paperback on Amazon

Fierce on Barnes & Noble (paperback and eBook)

Unstoppable – paperback on Amazon

Unstoppable – eBook on Amazon

Visit the Blog Tour on Facebook!

Excerpt:

By the time I got to the arena, I felt like a big, fat loser. It bled into my performance, which Terrell cut short. He gave the band a short break while he took me aside. “You’re getting weaker every single week, Jordi. What’s going on?”

“Just the back I guess,” I offered my pat excuse, but he wasn’t having it.

“Bullshit. You were fine once you went back to your regular set. It’s this half-hearted ballad stuff that has zapped your energy. So what’s up?”

“I’m just not loving the set,” I confessed. “People use my number to get refreshments or go to the bathroom, or even find their seat.”

“Then you have to make them pay attention,” Terrell said. “The problem is that this was never your set. You need something edgier. You sound like you’re auditioning for a school play every time you sing these ballads.”

I nodded. Thanks to my back, I couldn’t perform all of Shelby’s songs, so I had to improvise with the covers she used on the show. I was never crazy about Shelby’s set, but after singing them for weeks I had grown to hate them. I had wanted to suggest a few different songs, hell… even my songs… but I didn’t want to complicate the tour the way I had complicated the show. I had a hard enough time overcoming my diva reputation as it was. “Sure that won’t cause the band to revolt?” I asked with a teasing smile.

He laughed. “I bet they could use the change as well. You think you’re bored!” He consulted the calendar on his phone. “Think you can be in Orlando by Sunday?” he asked. “That way we can practice one new song by next week?”

I nodded. “I’ll be there.”

He smiled. “Good girl.”

When I headed off stage, I noticed that Shelby had been standing nearby, waiting for her turn to rehearse. Unfortunately, she had been close enough to hear the conversation. “You’re changing the set?” she asked.

“Yeah,” I stammered. “Just trying to get away from the slower songs. I want something with more of a challenge,” I tried to explain, but realized too late how it sounded.

“I see,” she said as she crossed her arms in front of her.

“Just one for now,” I clarified, but I knew it didn’t help. So I kept digging. “We’re just two different people. It’s OK that we’re two different artists. We shouldn’t be interchangeable.”

“Sure,” she said, but I could tell she was still offended. Then she lowered the boom. “If you’re going to discard these songs anyway, I’d like incorporate them into my set.”

“Of course,” I said instantly, and then she told me the one she wanted. It was the showstopper – the only one of the three that planted butts in the seat and made the audience pay attention to my performances.

But it wasn’t as though I could tell her no. They were her songs, after all.

The showstopper I gave her, but whatever.

So I was starting from scratch. It wasn’t the first time.

I retreated to my dressing room to scour through my thousand-song playlist for some ideas. I had jotted down about ten possibilities by the time Jace came knocking on the door. Despite how my heart leapt just looking into his handsome face, I could see by the hardened look in his eyes that he was livid.

He shut the door behind him and turned to me with a cold, controlled voice. “Whatever has happened between the two of us, don’t take it out on Shelby.”

In all this time he had said nothing to me, he had let our relationship go down in flames without a fight, and yet he was willing to stand there and defend Shelby? It immediately raised my hackles. “I haven’t taken out anything on Shelby,” I informed him coolly.

“Oh really? Then maybe you can tell me why she’s in her dressing room, crying her eyes out, because you slammed her set as boring and unchallenging.”

“I never said that,” I corrected. “I just told her that I didn’t want to do the ballads anymore. These weren’t my songs in the first place. Why should I have to sing them night after night just to spare her feelings?”

“You were the one who took over the set,” he reminded. “You gave up your songs. Remember?”

“And you know why,” I shot back.

“No, Jordi. I don’t know why. I don’t know why you do half of the things you do.”

After a brief stare down I had to look away. “This isn’t about us,” I said at last. “I’m the opening act for a rock concert and I’m putting everyone to sleep with slow love songs I never would have sung in the first place. She gets the better set, the better songs and the best song of her own set. Why am I the bad guy here?”

“You really have no idea how inferior she feels to you, do you?”

“Well, fucking ditto!” I exclaimed as I shot out of the chair. “In case you haven’t noticed, Jace, I’m the one going down in flames on this goddamn tour. The fans love Shelby. The crew loves Shelby. PING loves Shelby. She’s everyone’s little sweetheart. I’m the whale people feel compelled to harpoon. It’s on every website, it’s in every paper. She sings my song half as good as I do but everyone is willing to blow sunshine up her ass because she’s a size 2.”

Jace was dumbfounded. “Wow. Are you even listening to yourself?”

“Are you listening? Have you ever? You’re the big hero who can do no wrong. Fans fall at your feet whenever you look their direction. You don’t know what it’s like to hustle for every last crumb of affection, for acclaim… for credit. I’m torn every which way by everyone. And worst of all, you know how screwed I’ve been and how many hits I’ve taken. You’re the only one who does. And yet even you take up her mantle after letting me go without a fight.”

I was in tears as I finished so I turned away. His fingers curled around my elbow and he turned me back. “How dare you say I never fought for you? I’m the only one that ever has.”

“Then where are you now that I need you the most?” I cried.

I lost myself in those incredible green eyes, eyes that scanned my face. A tear streaked down my cheek and teetered precariously on my chin. He gently captured it with his spare hand. “I’m right here,” he said.

I fought a sob back as I pushed against his chest, but it was useless. He pulled me into his arms and he held me tight. His hard body felt like heaven against my own, but I had been burned one too many times before. I knew that happiness was a trap. No matter what happened in that embrace, he’d turn from me and he’d go back to the fair damsel in distress who needed him to be her big protector.

He’s a dog with a new bone, evil Eddie whispered in my ear.

I tried to pull away but Jace held me fast. “No, Jordi,” he said in a low, commanding voice. “You don’t get to run away. You don’t get to call the shots. You don’t get to make the rules.”

“If I honestly thought that I could, then we’d be together,” I muttered into his shoulder. “No complications. No delays. Just us and nothing more.”

He tipped my head to look at him. “Don’t you know that’s all I want?” he asked as his thumb brushed my dampened cheek. “You’re my heart.”

My eyelids fluttered shut as his head descended toward mine. The minute his mouth closed over mine, a bolt of lightning shot through my entire body. Instantly I deepened the kiss, it was beyond me not to. I was his. I had been branded and claimed.

About Ginger:

gingervoightGinger Voight is prolific author, freelance writer and optioned screenwriter. Her fiction is diverse, with novels like the edgy, coming-of-age drama DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS, and the fun family adventure for kids of all ages, COMIC SQUAD.

Having grown up reading different authors like Danielle Steel and Stephen King, Ginger has always been drawn more to story than to genre. This shows up in her various stories. Titles such as MY IMMORTAL and TASTE OF BLOOD are a delicious, heady mix of horror, suspense, and romance.

Genre romance, however, has held a special place in her heart, ever since she read her first Harlequin novel when she was only eleven. As a result, Ginger is making a name for herself writing romances of her own, starring women who look more like the average American woman rather than those traditionally represented in the size-biased American media. Her Rubenesque romances were created especially for those heroines with fuller figures, who can still get the man of their dreams if only they believe they can. Such titles include UNDER TEXAS SKIES, LOVE PLUS ONE, THE GROUPIE TRILOGY, FIERCE and PICTURE POSTCARDS.

Ginger was included in the best-selling book by Smith Magazine NOT QUITE WHAT I WAS PLANNING, featuring her six-word memoir.

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**A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review**