Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Blog tour, Cozy, mystery, Review on May 31, 2014



Academic cover


Murder Is Academic
(Laura Murphy Mystery Series)

File Size: 1626 KB
Print Length: 223 pages
Publisher: Lesley A. Diehl (March 29, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.


Laura Murphy, psychology professor, thinks there’s nothing she likes better than coffee and donuts on a summer morning until she says yes to dinner with a Canadian biker and finds herself and her date suspects in the murder of her college’s president. Laura’s friend, the detective assigned the case, asks her to help him find out who on the small upstate New York college campus may be a killer.  The murder appears to be wrapped up in some unsavory happenings on the lake where Laura lives.  A fish kill and raw sewage seeping into the water along with the apparent drowning suicide of a faculty member complicate the hunt for the killer.  And then things become personal.  The killer makes a threatening phone call to Laura. With a tornado bearing down on the area and the killer intent upon silencing her, Laura’s sleuthing work may come too late to save her and her biker from a watery grave.


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This was an interesting twist on a cozy, at least in my opinion, because there were lots of different pieces to the puzzle.  I don’t know if it was me (perhaps a reading funk?) but the book didn’t really start to grab me until near the end.  It seemed like the story went along but I couldn’t figure out how the pieces were going to fit together.  But a little more than halfway through things really started to roll and some of the characters showed their “evil” side.  I don’t think I would have figured out the killer with the clues provided…but I did suspect this character, if nothing else as being weird and something was up.

Laura is a strong character and sometimes I wondered if she was running over Der who was the police detective.  It was a different twist to see a detective basically authorizing the amateur sleuth to actually look into things…of course the murders would never have been solved without her sticking her nose into the situation and nearly getting killed.  I do like that Laura was not afraid to poke around and try and figure out who the killer was and why.

I’d give this 3 1/2 paws and it will be interesting to see if there is another book to follow this one (considering how it ended – maybe a series, maybe not)


About The Author

LES DIEHLCROPPEDLike me, my protagonists choose to live their lives close to nature.

From the deep, green river valleys and tree-covered mountains of upstate New York to the palm-treed pastures of the Big Lake Country in Florida, these women have found their homes and their hearts in rural America.

These plucky snoops are joined by a transplant from Connecticut, Eve Appel, who moves to rural Florida to set up a consignment shop with her best friend and partner, Madeleine Boudreau.

All these amateur sleuths yearn for the simple, artless existence of hard work coupled with rustic pleasure.

That’s why they live away from big cities, but murder and violence have a way of stalking us, even our plucky heroines, who think they’ve avoided life’s perils.

Website * Twitter




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Tour Participants

May 15 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
May 16 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review,
May 17 – The Book Junkie – Review, Giveaway
May 19 – Bea’s Book Nook– Review,
May 20 – fuonlyknew ~ Laura’s ramblins and reviews – Review
May 21 – deal sharing aunt – Interview, Giveaway
May 22 – Victoria’s Pages of Romance – Guest Post
May 23 – Traci Andrighett’s blog – Review
May 26 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review, Guest Post, Giveaway
May 27 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Interview
May 28 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – Review
May 29 – Back Porchervations – Review, Interview
May 30 – Community Bookstop – Review
May 31 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review

Posted in 4 1/2 paws, Book Club, Review, romance, women on May 30, 2014

In the craziness of my last month (losing my father and my job of 23 years), things have taken a bit of a back seat to my blog….and I forgot to share with you May’s Book Club Book aka BCB.  So here it is a few weeks late!

We enjoyed Crazy Little Thing by author Tracy Brogan.  We had a shorter discussion since this book didn’t have any discussion questions, but I think we all agreed that it was good but Sadie made us a little nuts with her insecurities!  Aunt Dodie we loved….but then how can you not love an eccentric relative?!?!  This is a fun summer read.

crazy little thing


Sadie Turner can organize just about anything — except her own life. When her cheating spouse topples Sadie’s impeccably tidy world, she packs up her kids for a summer vacation at her aunt’s lake house, hoping to relax, reboot, and formulate a new plan — one that does not include men.

Any men.

But eccentric Aunt Dody has other plans; she’s determined to see Sadie have a little fun—with Desmond, the sexy new neighbor. Tall, tanned, muscular—and even great with her kids, Desmond is Sadie’s worst nightmare. He must have a flaw—he’s a man, after all—so Sadie vows to keep her distance. But as summer blazes on, their attraction ignites, and the life Sadie is trying so hard to simplify only gets more complicated. But maybe a little chaos is just what she needs to get her future, and her dreams of love, back in order.



The book had me laughing out loud in many places but I deducted half a star because Sadie was so negative and while I understand she got a bad rap from her ex, at some point you have to stop focusing on what “might” happen and enjoy what is in front of you.

I still thoroughly enjoyed this book and do recommend it and give it 4 1/2 paws!



Author Website * Twitter * Goodreads

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Posted in 4 paws, Blog tour, excerpt, mystery, Review on May 30, 2014

The Focaccia Fatality Button 300 x 225


cover a focaccia fatality


THE FOCACCIA FATALITY, Book 3 in the Deadly Bakery Series

Author: J.M. Griffin



Melina Cameron is single, and looking. For a date. Not another dead body.

Her former flame, the sexy Scotsman, Aidan Sinclair, went MIA after he proposed a few months ago, so Melina isn’t wasting any more bread and tears on that one! When hunky police detective Porter Anderson asks her out, she says yes. She could do worse than dating a cop. She and Porter already have a lot in common given her penchant for finding dead bodies.

When high-ranking politician Vincent Gallagher hires Melina to cater his swanky party, and specifically requests her famous focaccia, Melina looks forward to the event, and the potential new customers it could bring. Not to mention, flirting with the cute waiters.

But two things happen on that fateful night that could change the course of Melina’s future. First, Aidan walks into the party with a tall, sultry blonde. Second, that same tall, sultry blonde winds up dead, and Melina is the one who discovers the body!

This can’t be good for business let alone Melina’s love life.

Now, Melina has to figure out how to stay away from Aidan, and figure out who killed the blonde, or she might be the one to take the fall.



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Another cute book in this series. It is more of a novella in length which is ok with me! This mystery was interesting in the fact that the killer wasn’t really one of the characters, so if you can figure it out you are smarter than me! That didn’t really detract from the story and I think this book focused more on the personal life than the mystery. I still enjoyed the book, it was just different.

We give it 4 paws up


A Focaccia Fatality

Chapter 1

Weeks turned into months, which had passed in a flurry of activity. My bakery business had grown and Sean had dropped a few hours of the selling burden. While I piled rolls on shelves under the glass countertop and stacked loaves in baskets tipped on their sides that were braced against shelf edges, it occurred to me that another holiday season was fast approaching. Thanksgiving had just come and gone. Christmas loomed on the horizon with only three weeks to go.

My grandmother, an elderly woman who’d fallen hard for a Scotsman living in her apartment complex, had decided to enjoy life more and stay out of trouble. Glad that she’d done so, I’d searched high and low for a helper to fill the hours Seanmhair’s absence had left vacant. A middle-aged woman had been referred to me by one of my fellow business tenants. We’d hit it off immediately, and I’d hired her on the spot. I usually go with my first impression, and was happy I’d done so this time round.

The rear door of my kitchen opened, bringing with it a cold wind off the bay. In a rush, Seanmhair, pronounced shen-u-ver, tossed her hat, coat and handbag into the tiny alcove I used as an office. The Hole in the Wall Bakery is in a string of eight shops housed in a historical building on Wickendon Street. This delightful part of the historic neighborhood bordered Narragansett Bay’s east edge of Providence, Rhode Island.

With a chuckle, I asked, “Late night?”

Seanmhair smiled and brushed away the question. “Not at all, I had to wait for an accident to be cleared from Benefit Street. Cars were lined up in funeral procession order. The only thing missing was a hearse.”

Her explanation tickled me. Tying her apron around her plump middle, my grandmother resembled a sweet little gnome. Seanmhair swept past just as the front door to the bakery opened.

“I can see that I’ve arrived just in time. There are four customers tumbling through the door,” she murmured over her shoulder.

Her warm greeting came through the double doors, which separated the kitchen from the store front, as they swung to and fro. With a grin, I returned to work and shuffled through the mail left by the postman. What looked like a greeting card lay at the bottom of the bundle. Curious, I stared at the postmark, ran my fingers over the smooth vellum surface of the envelope and dreaded opening it. The card held a Scotland postmark.

A Christmas greeting lay inside. I studied the gold embellishment that rimmed the inside edge of the card front. A Christmas tree, adorned with colorful ribbon was featured in the center space. Slightly hesitant, I opened the card and read the handwritten greeting. Aidan wished me merry holidays and noted on the bottom that he hadn’t forgotten we had unfinished, personal business. No explanation of where he’d gone, why he’d never shown up or called, nothing to indicate whether I’d see him again or not. I crumpled and tossed his card aside as Seanmhair waddled into the alcove.

I looked up from the desk. “What’s up?”

She gave the crumpled vellum a brief glance and then said a gentleman was out front and insisted on speaking with me.

“Did he seem perturbed?” I asked softly. The fall had been hell, summer a nightmare, and all I wanted was a quiet holiday season. We’d gotten through Thanksgiving without a murder or an attempted one. If Christmas was the same, I could greet the New Year with pleasure.

Standing on her tiptoes, Seanmhair peered at the man through the porthole window of the door and whispered, “He’s well-dressed, business-like, and determined to speak to you personally. He doesn’t appear upset, so why don’t you go along and deal with him?”

Doing as she’d asked, I gave her a nod and a wink. I strode into the shop and smiled at the stocky, middle-aged man I’d seen on the local news. A Rhode Island politician of sorts, Vincent Gallagher chewed a mouthful of Focaccia bread he’d taken from the sliced chunks in the counter basket. I found more people bought different types of bread when they had an opportunity to taste them and left a basket of various nibbles out daily.

He extended his hand and I shook it. “Mr. Gallagher, nice to see you. What can I do for you today?” I asked with a smile.

“My wife adores this bakery and suggested I place an order. Since I was nearby, I decided to stop in. We’re having a party at my home. Olga would like you to make various breads and rolls for our guests. There should be at least four or five different kinds of both for people to select from.” He bit off and chewed another mouthful of focaccia while he glanced at the shelves. He held up the morsel of bread in his hand and asked, “Can you bring some of this? I haven’t had any like it since my grandmother passed away.” He smacked his lips. “Very tasty, Ms. Cameron.”

I smiled at his lip smacking antics, and agreed to his request. We set a date and time for delivery. Gallagher asked that I stay during the shindig to refill containers as needed and rambled on about the guest list while I wrote his instructions down on the order pad. “How many guests are you expecting?” I asked.

“Forty to fifty. Mostly close friends and fellow politicians.”

“Do any of them have dietary needs? You know, wheat allergies, and such?”

“Not to my knowledge. I’ll have Olga find out and call you,” he answered.

“That would be wonderful, thank you. I’ll see you next week. Please call if there are any changes in the order,” I said. His flaming red curls bobbed when he nodded. After he finally moseyed through front door, Seanmhair joined me behind the counter.

“He’s a weird mix, that one,” she muttered. “Half Italian and half Irish. What a combination. He does look more Irish, though, don’t you think?”

“Mm, red hair, pale skin, stocky, and smells like cigars. You’re right, he’s quite a blend of both nationalities.” I tucked the order from the pad into my apron pocket.

About to walk away from Seanmhair, I stopped cold when she asked, “Why did you crumple that beautiful card from Aidan?”

“No reason,” I answered as glanced over my shoulder and scooted into the kitchen, all the while knowing Seanmhair would never leave it at that. Sometimes it sucks to be right.

Hot on my heels, Seanmhair rocketed in right behind me. “You haven’t heard from him for some time, then? Is that why you’re upset?”

With a sigh, I turned to her. “If you must know, he was supposed to stop and see me the day after Mr. Seever was arrested. He didn’t come by, call, email, text or anything else until that card arrived.” I raised my hands and said, “I haven’t any idea what’s going on with him. He blows hot and cold at the best of times. There’s no excuse for his actions, Sean. None.”

Silence speaks volumes, or so it’s said. Seanmhair waited until I stopped pacing and asked, “What did he mean by personal business?”

In search of something to say that wouldn’t be a lie, I shrugged and opened my mouth, not knowing what would come out. The bell over the door jingled, signaling a customer, which took Seanmhair out of my way and into theirs.

“We’re not finished with this conversation. I’ll be back in a jiffy,” she said with raised brows and a meaningful look.

As she rang up sales, I considered Aidan’s actions. I’d stopped worrying over the reason I hadn’t heard from him. I’d once considered him the man of my dreams, but now I wasn’t so sure. His handsome features and charming personality no longer took front and center when I thought of romance. The last time I’d seen him, he’d asked me to marry him. We’d been celebrating the introduction of his ale to Rhode Islanders at a local pub by drinking too much of it, at least, I had.

Why had he abandoned me? What had happened to make him change his mind about marriage? Or had he? Aidan’s silence was both disturbing and a relief. If he’d come back the next day as promised, would I have said yes or no to his proposal? The answer hadn’t come, no matter how I’d tried to make a final decision.

I picked up the wrinkled card which Seanmhair had smoothed out, and read it over again. Disappointment, combined with anger swept over me at the way I’d been treated. The card hit the trash basket and I returned to work. I had orders to fill, and presents to shop for. There was no time to feel misused, insecure, or angry. As far as I was concerned, those were negatives that weren’t part of my lifestyle.

Seanmhair stayed busy, while I figured out what breads and rolls to make for Mr. Gallagher’s party. Scribbled notes lay next to the various cookbooks littering the stainless steel worktable. Satisfied with the variety, I added focaccia to the list and pinned it to the office wall.

I heard, rather than saw, Samantha Carter stumble into the kitchen. Tall and clumsy, the middle-aged woman was a dear. Her angular features and tightly secured graying hair were softened by her wide smile that made everyone she met smile in return.

“Glad you’re here, Samantha,” I called to her.

“The traffic is hellish today,” she grumbled as she clomped into the alcove. Her height alone overshadowed me, let alone her wide-shouldered frame.

With a grin, I said, “Sean had the same issue this morning.”

I’d no sooner mentioned her, when Seanmhair entered the room. Space was tight and made all the more so when a plump woman and a tall, broad woman crowded into the cramped office space with me. I shooed them away and breathed in relief when they’d backed out.

“Melina, you need more space for an office,” Samantha remarked.

“If only that could be done.” I laughed. “Where would I put the ovens?”

“Point taken,” she said with a grin.

“We’re down to a dozen flatbread,” Seanmhair informed me while she donned her hat and coat. “The rest is in pretty good standing. You should be okay for the remainder of the day.”

“Great, thanks, Sean,” I said and kissed her cheek.

“We’ll finish that talk tomorrow,” she said with a sly glance.

“What talk?” I asked as if I didn’t know.

Her eyes narrowed, Seanmhair gave me a serious look. “You know which talk.” She slid her handbag onto her arm and gave me a smile before she left.

Off the hook for the moment, I breathed a sigh and joined Samantha in the shop. She’d begun to bag rolls as she did every day. While I stared out the front windows, I heard her say, “Something bothering you today, Melina?”

“Not really, I’m simple wondering if we can manage getting through the holidays without a catastrophe of any kind,” I said with a grin as Samantha plunked three bags of rolls into a basket.

With a chuckle, she said, “You’re too funny. I’m sure we’ll be so busy we won’t have time for murder and mayhem.”

I nodded and went toward the kitchen. I’d reached the swinging doors when a customer entered. I glanced back and stopped short. Detective Porter Anderson stepped inside and gave me a wide grin. Relief that this wasn’t an official visit swept over me and I smiled in return.

“Hey Porter, good to see you,” I said.

“You, too, Melina. My mother called and asked if I’d get some rolls for her, so I figured I’d stop by and see what you have left.” He eyed the offerings and plucked a piece of focaccia from the basket. While he studied the variety of breads, he munched the focaccia and took more.

When he’d placed his order, Samantha bundled the bread into a paper bag and readily took his money. I told her to include a loaf of focaccia at no charge. A look of surprise crossed her face, but she nodded and added the loaf while Porter insisted it wasn’t necessary.

“Just take the bread,” I remarked dryly. “Otherwise, you’ll only be on the back doorstep later filching a sandwich made from it.” On more than one occasion the detective had come to the shop to question me concerning his investigation, only to end up eating half of a sandwich I’d made for myself.

He laughed, nodded, and asked if he could speak with me privately. Motioning him into the kitchen, I sat on a stool near the table filled with cookbooks and he took a seat across from me.

“What can I do for you?” I asked warily. It was unlike Porter to say he wasn’t here on business and then ask to speak in private.

“The department is having a holiday party this weekend. I wondered if you’d accompany me?” he asked sheepishly.

“You want me to go to your party?” I asked with surprised pleasure.

He dipped his head and said, ‘If you’re not busy, that is. Or engaged to the Scotsman, or whatever.”

I shook my head. “I’m definitely not engaged to anyone, and I’d enjoy being your date.”

His face lit up as he smiled which brought a light chuckle from me. “Great, I’ll pick you up at eight on Saturday night.”

“Good enough. I’ll be ready,” I said and watched him leave by way of the front door.

My spirits soared as I considered an evening out with a nice guy, who was a bit on the shy side, except when it came to police business. Filled with excitement, I rushed out the back door along the railed deck that ran the length of the building and softly opened the door to BettyJo’s tarot card shop. I listened a moment to see if she was in the middle of a reading. The shop was silent so I entered and called her name.

BettyJo Seever and I had been friends for years. While I’d become a bread baker, BettyJo had realized she had a knack for reading tarot cards and telling fortunes. Coincidentally, we ended up next door to one another. Her Tingly Tarots Shop was well known and frequented by everyone from the rich to middle class, and even high school and college students came for readings. Her popularity never waned, no matter the time of year.

Footsteps sounded on the stairs and I looked up. Garbed in her tarot reading attire which gave her a gypsyish appearance, BettyJo seemed to drift into the room. Her willowy figure was surrounded by black and purple gauze-like fabric with tiny golden stars and moons printed on the fabric. Wrapped around her forehead, lay a deep purple, band of velvet embellished with sparkling beads.

I grinned and said, “I’d guess you’re reading today.”

She nodded and swirled in a circle. “This is my new outfit. Do you like it? The old one was getting a bit worn around the edges.”

“Very nice, I like it a lot. The style becomes you.”

“Thanks. What brings you over?” BettyJo asked.

“Porter just stopped by.” When BettyJo’s face paled, I shook my head and said, “It’s not what you think. No crime has been committed on our watch, he simply wanted to ask me out.” I giggled as if I were a fifteen year old asked to the prom by the football team captain.

BettyJo gasped. “Get out, really? I told you he liked you, didn’t I? What did you say?”

“I said I’d be delighted to go to the party with him,” I said with a sniff. “After all, Aidan has made it quite clear he’s no longer interested, so why the hell not get on with my life, right?”

With a sad look, BettyJo said, “True, but I know you aren’t taken with Porter like you are with Aidan. It’s really Aidan’s loss, Melina.”

The doorbell chimed as clients entered BettyJo’s sitting area. She glanced over her shoulder and then at me and murmured, “I’ll come over after they’ve left. We’ll grab a bite to eat, if you can, that is?”

“Sure thing. See you later.”

*   *   *

My mood light, I left Samantha to handle the shop and straighten the kitchen while I rifled my closet for an outfit to wear on my date. Shopping isn’t my strongest area of expertise. That area would be bread making. I dreaded going to malls and wandering aimlessly from one store to another without the slightest idea of what to buy. Slumped against the door jamb, I gazed at the array of clothing that did nothing to make me want to wear any of it to a party with Porter.

I leaned into the closet, peered toward the furthest end of it and locked my gaze onto the least likely, but most tempting of outfits. I pulled the rich red dress, layered with sparkling stones across the bodice, off the rack and sized it up. I’d bought it in January when stores were attempting to unload their stock. I draped the dress against me and gave it the once over in the full length mirror than hung on the closet door. This was exactly what I’d hoped to find among my belongings. I quickly tried it on and realized it fit me better than it had when I’d bought it.

Happy to not have to shop for a dress, I hung it up and skipped down the stairs and into the kitchen.

After the bakery was closed and Samantha had gone for the day, BettyJo sauntered in. Chatting, we walked up the street to Mack and Mutt’s sandwich shop on the corner of our long building. I mentioned the dress I planned to wear and asked to borrow some jewelry from BettyJo to complete the look I wanted for the party.

Excitedly, she said, “I have the perfect set. You’ll love it. When we get back, I’ll bring it over.”


About the Author

JM Griffin
J.M. Griffin/Dana Stone grew up in rural Maine. She relocated to Rhode Island and lives in the north western part of the state with her husband and two cats. J.M.’s first published novel For Love of Livvy, began a series of humorous mysteries featuring Lavinia “Vinnie” Esposito. J.M. has also written a romance under the pseudonym Dana Stone.

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Comments Off on Book Blitz & Review: The Focaccia Fatality by J.M. Griffin @mycozymystery
Posted in Book Blast, e-books, fiction, Free, Giveaway, Historical, romance on May 29, 2014

Capturing the Earl's Love photo CapturingtheEarlsLove_zps85bbe9be.jpg

 photo CapturingtheEarlsLoveHighRes_zps3b7c55b9.jpgTitle: Capturing the Earl’s Love
Author: Jane Lark
Genre: Regency Romance (Historical)
Publish Date: May 29, 2014
Publisher: HarperImpulse
Event Organized By: Literati Author Services, Inc.


~Synopsis ~

From Kindle bestselling Historical romance author, Jane Lark, comes a brand new FREE novella to accompany her breathtaking Marlow Intrigues series.
“Pure, unadulterated romance.” Best Chick
Don’t miss the other novels in the series,
The Illicit Love of a Courtesan
The Passionate Love of a Rake
The Scandalous Love of a Duke
and coming soon…
The Lost Love of a Soldier

This novella tells the story of secondary characters from The Illicit Love of a Courtesan Rupert Stanforth, Earl of Morton, is exasperated by his sister’s choice of friend. Meredith Divine, clings, using Rowena’s plain appearance as a foil for
her auburn curls and fuller figure. He would break the friendship, but the more he complains the more time the girls spend together. Ceasing his disagreement, he hopes the friendship will die, believing Meredith will take a wrong-step soon…

Meredith clings to her only friend, Lady Rowena Stanforth, despite the disgusted looks thrown by Rowena’s proud, judgemental brother. Lord Morton cannot abide Meredith because of her low standing but Meredith’s heart favours
him… then in his single act of kindness, Meredith grasps an opportunity she cannot resist…

Goodread’s Capturing the Earl’s Love


Capturing the Earl’s Love Excerpt

Lord Rupert Stanforth, Earl of Morton, watched his sister, Rowena, approach.

She was smiling, and her friend, Meredith Divine, clung to her arm.

His gaze briefly passed over the other girl. He was increasingly convinced Miss Divine only kept Rowena as a friend because Rowena was the perfect foil to show off Miss Divine’s more striking looks. Her auburn curls glowed in the candlelight beside Rowena’s lacklustre, light-brown locks.

Miss Divine was also slightly taller, and a little fuller in the bust.

While they crossed the room, she appeared to press as close as she could to Rowena’s side, letting Rowena’s less impressionable looks make Miss Divine’s stand out among the white-clad debutantes in the ballroom.


His eyes focused on his sister once more. She was out of breath, having just completed a country dance, and her cheeks were flushed, while her eyes glowed, expressing the fun she was having.

“I want to introduce Meredith to Ellen. Will you escort us and do the honours? Meredith is dying to meet her.”

Mmm, now what is this little game? He glanced at Miss Divine only to receive a very bright but subtly restrained smile.

She was trying to win his approval.

He was not interested. He wished nothing to do with the little schemer. Her father was in some sort of trade. Rupert had not even wished Rowena to befriend Miss Divine, let alone become so thick with her. The two of them were inseparable; or rather, Miss Divine hung about Rowena like a moth around a flame. Except Miss Divine was no moth. Her beauty was far too vibrant.

Rupert was Rowena’s guardian. Their father had passed on long ago, so Rupert was responsible for keeping his sister safe. It fell to him to help her choose her friends wisely. Yet the more he disparaged Miss Divine, the more Rowena favoured the girl. He’d ceased his complaints. Their friendship had still blossomed. He’d hoped it would wither and die back. It had not—yet.

He expected Miss Divine to make a wrong step soon though, one which would open his sister’s eyes, and end this arm-in-arm behavior.


FREE Novella




Marlow Intrigue Series Reading Order

The Illicit Love of a Courtesan photo TheIllicitLoveofaCourtesan_zpsb3afb0e4.jpg
Title: The Illicit Love of a Courtesan (Marlow Intrigues #1)
Author: Jane Lark
Genre: Regency Romance
First Published: April 15, 2013
Published by HarperImpulse: October 3, 2013


Trapped under the reign of a cruel keeper, Ellen Harding longs to be free. Under his oppression, her soul and conscience have died while her body lives on, fulfilling his dissolute desires. She is empty—a vessel—deaf to the voice of morality and blind to shame.

When her eyes are drawn to a beautiful man for no other reason than his looks, she imagines what it would be like to escape her chains for a night by giving her body to him.

But Edward Marlow is kind and gentle when he touches her, and her subconscious whispers, this man could be her salvation. Yet how can he help her when she has secrets which prevent her freedom?

Edward is restless, lonely, and a little angry with his lot in life—it is his only excuse for being drawn to another man’s mistress. The woman’s dark hair and pale eyes are striking, and he cannot take his gaze off her while she watches him over the top of a fan with an illicit intent in her eyes.

Once he’s known her, he cannot forget her, and once he’s seen the evidence of her supposed benefactor’s brutality, he wants to help her. But how can he when she will not run any more than she will speak of her past?

When a desperate Ellen finally relents and shocks Edward from his sleep, he doesn’t hesitate, he helps her flee. He just doesn’t know he’s running headlong into the secrets of her past.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

The Passionate Love of a Rake photo 18687792_zps30dfe787.jpgTitle: The Passionate Love of a Rake (Marlow Intrigues #2)
Author: Jane Lark
Genre: Regency Romance
Published: November 17th, 3013
Publisher: HarperImpulse


The only woman who had power over notorious rake Robert Marlow was now walking away from him, again.

He’d heard Sutton had died, and known Jane was free, but he’d always thought his desire would only be for revenge, not her. Yet here he was, unable to deny what he felt for her…what he’d never felt for any other woman before…

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

A Lord’s Desperate Love #2.5 ~ a Free Fourteen part story posted on Jane’s blog

 photo TheScandalousLoveofaDukeHighRes_zps4221490a.jpgTitle: The Scandalous Love of a Duke (Marlow Intrigues #3)
Author: Jane Lark
Genre: Regency Romance (Historical)
Publish Date: April 3, 2014
Publisher: HarperImpulse



Book three in Jane Lark’s Kindle best-selling Regency romance series!

Isolated by life and choice, John Harding, the Duke of Pembroke, sees an angel in a pale mauve dress across a room and is drawn closer as lust grips firm and hard in his stomach. The wheat-blonde hair escaping her dull dove-grey bonnet and caressing her neck lures his eyes to a spot he’d like to kiss. She speaks with animation her hands moving. Then as if she senses his gaze the stranger turns and looks at him.

A rush of pain and longing spilled from Katherine’s heart into her limbs. It was so long since she’d seen John but her reaction was the same as it had been more than half-a-dozen years before. She loved him, secretly, without hope, but a chasm of years and status stood between them.

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About the Author

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Jane is a writer of authentic, passionate and emotional Historical and New Adult Romance, and a Kindle top 25 bestselling author.

She began her first historical novel at sixteen, but a life full of adversity derailed her as she lives with the restrictions of Ankylosing Spondylitis.

When she finally completed a novel it was because she was determined not to reach forty still saying, I want to write.

Now Jane is writing a Regency series and contemporary, new adult, stories and she is thrilled to be giving her characters life in others’ imaginations at last.

You might think that Jane was inspired to write by Jane Austen, especially as she lives near Bath in the United Kingdom, but you would be wrong. Jane’s favourite author is Anya Seton, and the book which drew her into the bliss of falling into historical imagination was ‘Katherine’ a story crafted from reality.

Jane has drawn on this inspiration to discover other real-life love stories, reading memoirs and letters to capture elements of the past, and she uses them to create more realistic plots.

‘Basically I love history and I am sucker for a love story. I love the feeling of falling in love; it’s wonderful being able to do it time and time again in fiction.’

Jane is also a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development in the United Kingdom, and uses this specialist understanding of people to bring her characters to life.

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This giveaway, includes an antique English necklace worth £150, plus signed copies of

The Illicit Love of a Courtesan

The Passionate Love of a Rake

And The Scandalous Love of a Duke

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Posted in fiction, Spotlight, women on May 29, 2014

lemon orchard



Luanne Rice



People Magazine (3 out of 4 stars)

“Lovely and compelling, with quiet yet brave social commentary.”

Kirkus Reviews

“An intensely touching book.”


New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice returns this summer with an enchanting new novel, THE LEMON ORCHARD,which tells the unexpected love story of two people from different worlds who share an incredible bond.

It has been five years since Julia visited her aunt and uncle’s lemon orchard in Malibu and in that time Julia’s world has been turned upside down by her daughter’s death. When Julia arrives to housesit, she finds their home and the grove are just as breathtaking as she remembered. A virtual hermit, Julia expects to pass her time in Malibu quietly, with her dog Bonnie as her sole companion, but before long, she finds herself powerfully drawn to the handsome man who oversees the lemon orchard.

Roberto appreciates his job at the grove—it is good, steady work that allows him to support his father in California, as well as his extended family back in Mexico. He expertly tends the orchard but his obsession for his daughter who was lost during their crossing from Mexico preys upon his mind. Consumed by the weight of a terrible secret, Roberto finds a confidant in Julia—this small, pale woman with silver hair and arresting blue eyes—haunted by her own heartbreaking past.

Set in the sea-and-citrus-scented air of the breathtaking Santa Monica mountains, THE LEMON ORCHARD is an engrossing story about loss, rupture, and the fragility of our lives, but even more it is a tale about picking up the pieces, and the strength of love when we are most vulnerable.



Luanne Rice is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty-one novels that have been translated into twenty-four languages.  The author of Little Night, The Silver Boat and Beach Girls, Rice’s books often center on love, family, nature and the sea.  Rice is an avid naturalist and bird-watcher and is involved with Georgetown University Law Center’s Domestic Violence Clinic.  Born in New Britain, Connecticut, Rice divides her time between New York City and Southern California.

THE LEMON ORCHARD ▪ Luanne Rice ▪ Penguin Books

On-Sale: May 27, 2014 ▪ $16.00 ▪ 978-0-14-312556-3 ▪ Also available as an e-book


Visit Luanne Rice online

Visit Penguin online


Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is the U.S. member of the internationally renowned Penguin Group.  Penguin Group (USA) is one of the leading U.S. adult and children’s trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Berkley Books, Dutton, Frederick Warne, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Grosset & Dunlap, New American Library, Penguin, Philomel, Riverhead Books and Viking, among others. The Penguin Group is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.

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Posted in Book Blast, Fantasy, Giveaway on May 29, 2014




Blue Moon (The Blue Crystal Trilogy) by Pat Spence


“Forget vampires,” he laughed dismissively.

“Who wants to drink blood for eternity? What we have discovered is far more seductive and a great deal more dangerous…”

When 17-year old Emily Morgan meets beautiful but strange Theo de Lucis, there is an immediate attraction between them. But what is his secret? What ancient link ties him to Emily? And what is the significance of the Blue Moon Ball?

As Emily is drawn irrevocably into the glamorous and mysterious world of the de Lucis family, so she is forced to change every perception she has ever had about life, love, aging and death. The truth is terrifying and the consequences unthinkable…

A supernatural horror story, based on society’s obsession with aging and the desire for eternal youth, Blue Moon is the first book in the ‘Blue Crystal’ trilogy.


Check out the book trailer


Blue Moon has received over 23 five star reviews, here’s some of the comments Blue moon has received.

By JGH 5/5* Verified Purchase – Excellent first novel. Exciting and original ideas which leave you guessing what’s coming next. Gripping to the end. Looking forward to book 2.

By Lou 5/5* – Verified Purchase – Really enjoyed this book, great Twilight feel to the book with a very dark side. Never read a book like it before and it kept me gripped to the end. Looking forward to book 2 🙂

By Jim 5/5* – Verified Purchase – Great story, well written, really good to read – enjoyed it very much – looking forward to the next book




Meet the Author


Pat Spence is a freelance writer and ex- magazine editor. She has worked as a copywriter in advertising agencies, a freelance trainer teaching personal development and a massage therapist/aromatherapist. She is married with a daughter, and has a degree in English Literature.

‘Blue Moon’ is her fictional debut, a supernatural love story about a strange family, with an ancient secret, who arrives in an English village to renovate an old manor house. When local girl, 17-year old Emily Morgan, falls for the glamorous and mysterious Theo, she is forced to change every perception she has ever had about life, love, aging and death. This is the first book in the ‘Blue Crystal’ trilogy, which takes its inspiration from the Victorian classic ‘She’ by Rider Haggard, a story about eternal youth. In our current youth-obsessed society, the theme seems more appropriate than ever… ‘True Blue’ and ‘Into the Blue’ are to follow.

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Posted in 5 paws, Blog tour, excerpt, fiction, Giveaway, Novella, romance on May 28, 2014

Immersed tourImmersed NewImmersed by Jennifer Griffith

Lisette Pannebaker speaks five languages and has a brilliant business plan—personal language immersion. Clients can hire her to shadow them and speak all day in any language they need to learn for business or travel—whatever.

But there’s a major hitch: she’s far too pretty. Clients with less than honorable intentions sign up just have Lisette at their side. Solution? A make-under. Way under.It works like a charm. None of her male clients show her the least bit of interest.

Until… Erik.

Erik Gunnarsson is charming, kind, and smart—everything she’s ever looked for. Even though he seems to have a secret and she swore she’d never date a client, Lisette is tempted to shed her disguise—even if it means jeopardizing her career.



Erik Gunnarson was unbelievable. Her mouth went dry when she saw him. Lisette hadn’t seen anything this good in months. Years. Maybe ever. At least not in person. Sure, in movies, when men were all filter-lit and filmed from just the right angle, they might have looked this good, but not in person.

Suddenly the room was far too hot for this stupid fuzzy pumpkin sweater with the shoulder pads. And this wig? She felt like a blooming fool in it.

“Hello. I’m Lisette Pannebaker.” She extended her hand, but immediately saw it tremble. His olive skin. Those dark brown waves in his thick hair. She could feel her voice quavering. Tiny beads of perspiration formed on her upper lip, and she touched the side of her eye, then her neck.

He looked up at her, looked puzzled a moment, and then gave her a crooked smile before standing to shake her hand. When he touched it, the trembling went into high gear, like she’d received an electric shock. Did he feel it too?

“Ah, you are speak the English now. I see.” His voice was like…butter. He cleared his throat and said, “I am please to meet you. My name is Erik Gunnarson.”

The accent came heavy, and the lilt was definitely Scandinavian. She’d lived in Norway, traveled all the Scandinavian countries. Was he Danish? He looked Danish. Lots of Danes she’d met had darker hair. Like Erik’s.

With effort she remembered to speak to him. “Where do you come from, Mr. Gunnarson?”

He squinted and shook his head, a sign she’d seen a thousand times before in these meetings, so she asked it more slowly.

“I come from Reykjavik. No.” He puzzled a moment and then continued. “A village…near…Reykjavik.”

Oh, Iceland. She wanted to ask him all about his life there, his upbringing, his family, his plans for a family of his own, and could she please be the mother of his children?

Get a hold of yourself, Lisette. She nearly slapped herself. This had to be professional. What a crying shame, too. He had such a nice crooked grin. And those upper arms. While most clients wore stinky sport coats over golf shirts or boring business suits and ties, Erik Gunnarson wore a plain grey Henley shirt—and looked like he’d just been at Henley itself, pulling the oars in the Thames. Those triceps. Who did he think he was? Thor?



The last novella in the Ripple Effect series. What an interesting story! Lisette is beautiful and has to have a make-under to get male clients to stop hitting on her and take her seriously as a Linguist. Sam/Rose from book 5 is the one that gives her the makeover to be less attractive. Then she meets Erik who wants her to help him with his English and she is drawn to him for some unknown reason. You might figure out why as the story progresses but am not saying too much because that would give it away! There is a nasty character, Mort, that needs someone to take him down. He is very slimy, but thankfully he is mostly spoken about and rarely “seen”.

In a small way I was disappointed that the tie in this book to the previous book was very miniscule. Usually in the previous books, a minor character was the focus of the next book but not in this book. The story was still very enjoyable and worth the read.  We give this book 5 paws up!


jennifer griffithAuthor Jennifer Griffith

Jennifer Griffith studied French, German, Japanese, and a wee bit of Spanish in her school days. Her grandmother was Norwegian, and Jennifer grew up with lots of Scandinavian traditions floating around, including fabulous cardamom laced cookies called Krumkaker, made on a fancy waffle iron. However, she’d never dream of trying to teach someone any of those languages. And she might botch the cookies. Instead, she writes novels in English, drives her five kids a million places, and laughs with her husband, who came up with the plot for Immersed because he’s just a cool muse like that.

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Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 6/9/14
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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Posted in 4 paws, Blog tour, excerpt, Giveaway, Review, romance on May 27, 2014

Missing Lily Tour

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missing lily

Missing Lily

“You don’t know who I am,” I whispered. He didn’t move—either away from me, or closer—and after an interminable moment, I stepped back and hurried out of the house.

He didn’t follow me as I fled into the night.

Lylin was not used to being alone—much less alone, hurt, and lost. So when she is separated from her guard and forced to abandon her horse, she counts herself lucky to stumble upon a manor house. Still frightened by those who chased her into the night, she keeps her identity a secret, calling herself Lily as she accepts the help of kind servants, and the compassion of Lord Fallon. When they fall into an easy friendship, she wonders if her secrecy was too hasty. However, as she gets to know the manor and its residents, Lylin discovers that she’s not the only one hiding secrets, and it may be a very good thing that her host doesn’t know her true identity as a member of the royal family.


I found a cloak in the wardrobe and put it on, then quietly unlatched the door, hoping to leave without anyone’s notice.

Rhys sat on the floor, leaning against the wall opposite my door, sleeping. It broke my heart to see him there, obviously waiting for me to come out. But with any luck, he wouldn’t discover my departure until later. I slipped through the door and crept past him, trying to keep my breath quiet even with my nerves jumping every which way. I reached the top of the stairs before his voice stopped me.

“Where are you going?”

I looked back. His head still rested against the wall, but his eyes were fixed on me.

I faced the stairs again, contemplating running down them. I cleared my throat. “I’m just going for a walk outside to clear my head.” My foot stepped down.

“The sun is down.” Confusion infused his voice as he stood to follow.

My pace increased. “I won’t be gone long.”

He grabbed my arm, stopping me. “What has you so upset?”

I tried to hold his gaze He hated me, even if he didn’t know it. “I’m just…worried.”

“That’s not it.” How could he know such a thing? “There’s something else.”

I tried to invent a lie, but my thoughts wouldn’t cooperate. He moved closer to me, making my neck grow hot. I swallowed, desperately searching for something to say, or even something to focus on besides the warmth spreading through me. I ignored it. I didn’t know this man, he may very well be a traitor, a conspirator. But all I could feel was his proximity.

“Won’t you tell me?” he pled. I made myself look at him and his eyes delved into mine, searching for any clue to explain my behavior.

I closed my eyes, whispering, “I can’t.”


I opened my eyes at his pleading tone, then opened my mouth, trying to say something. His eyes locked on my parted lips and I stopped trying to talk. He lowered his head, glancing at my eyes before refocusing on my mouth and moving closer. He was going to kiss me. Half of me wanted it, desperately. The other half was terrified. It was all wrong. This was wrong. He was wrong.

I turned my face away and he froze.

“You don’t know who I am,” I whispered. He didn’t move—either away from me, or closer—and after an interminable moment, I stepped back and hurried out of the house.

He didn’t follow me as I fled into the night.


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I really enjoyed this book as it showcases Lylin (Lily) one of the 7 daughters of the royal family. Lily meets Lord Rhys Fallon under difficult circumstances and manages to fall for him in a short period of time. He doesn’t know who she really is and is betrothed to another, someone he hasn’t ever met.

The author writes a beautiful story and I am hoping she writes more books about this family and features more of the sisters. Sure several of them are already married but I bet there would be interesting stories to tell!

We give this book 4 paws up and if you haven’t read Just Ella you should, it is good too!


AnnetteAuthor Annette K. Larsen

I was born in Utah, part of a crazy, fun family of nine. I grew up in Flagstaff, AZ and St. Louis, MO before striking out on my own college adventure in Virginia. I decided to try my hand at writing novels after I was married and living in Idaho. I write clean romance because it’s my favorite genre, but often difficult to find.

I have Charlotte Brontë to thank for the courage to write novels. After being bombarded with assigned reading about women who justified abandoning either their families or their principles in the name of love, I had the great fortune of reading Jane Eyre. And that was it: finally, a heroine who understood that being moral and making the right choice was hard, and sometimes it hurt, but it was still worth it. After rereading it several years later, I realized that if I wanted more books to exist with the kinds of heroines I admired, then I might as well write a few myself. My books are about women who face hard choices, who face pain and rejection and often have to face the reality of sacrificing what they want for what is right. The consequences are often difficult or unpleasant, but in the end, doing what’s right will always be worth it.

I believe there is no substitute for good writing or good chocolate. Fortunately, one often leads to the other.

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Not yet read Just Ella?

It is on sale for $3.99 for the duration of the blog tour.

Grab your copy on Amazon.

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 6/15/14

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

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Posted in Book Blast, excerpt, Giveaway, Young Adult on May 25, 2014


A if for Abstinence by Kelly Oram

Six-time Grammy Award wining musician Kyle Hamilton has it all—money, fame, talent, good looks, and a job he loves. His only regret in life: walking away from a certain notorious virgin because he was too prideful, stubborn, and even afraid to give her the only thing she asked of him—his abstinence.

Four years and a broken heart later, Kyle realizes that sex isn’t everything, and he suddenly can’t stop thinking about the girl that got away. Virgin Val Jensen got under is skin like no one else ever has. He wasn’t ready for her then, but things are different now. He’s grown up, he’s learned a few things, and he’s finally figured out exactly what he wants, or, rather, who he wants.

Kyle Hamilton wants a do-over, and this time he’s willing to do—or not do—whatever it takes.

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I’d never seen Val so upset before. I’d flustered her on a regular basis back in the day. I’d always pushed her to her limits on purpose, trying to get her strong façade to crack and she never once had. She was the strongest person I’d ever met. It said something about her emotional state of mind that she’d asked for a few moments to collect herself before having to do the signing with me.

I knew she probably wanted these few minutes alone, but I couldn’t pull myself away. I couldn’t leave her like this. I cleared my throat to gain her attention, and she jumped at the intrusion. She whirled around, hastily wiping away a tear or two as she forced her emotions down and reverted back into the calm, controlled woman I’d seen onstage.

She opened her mouth as if to explain herself but shut it again, realizing that there was no hiding what I’d just witnessed. Instead she decided to ignore it. “Kyle Hamilton.” It was a warm greeting and a sigh at the same time.

Her smile was sincere, and her eyes held genuine pleasure, but there was a wariness about her that made me afraid to approach her. We stared at each other in silence, both cataloging the changes four years had brought. I wasn’t sure what to do or how to break the silence between us, so Val took the initiative. “I didn’t think I’d ever see you again,” she said with a small shake of her head.

“Me, either.” I finally broke from my stupor and managed a small smile. “Hug for an old friend?”

I held out my arms, still not taking any steps further into the room, letting her come to me on her terms. It took her a moment to decide, but eventually she pushed her smile up into her eyes and crossed the room to me.

We sank into the embrace and simply held each other as the tension left our bodies. Her arms were low around my waist and mine tight around her shoulders. Thanks to her heels she was only a few inches shorter than my six-foot-three inches, putting her at the perfect height to rest her head on my shoulder, which she did with the smallest sigh. My eyes drifted shut and I enjoyed the moment. It was a long time before I whispered, “Are you okay?”

She sucked in a sharp breath and pulled herself out of my arms. “I’m fine.”

I didn’t believe her. The words sounded too much like a personal pep talk. “Val, if you’re not up for sticking around to sign autographs with me, I’ll understand. I’ll tell them you’re not feeling well.”

Val gaped up at me, stunned by the offer. She was shocked that I’d let her off the hook. Normally I wouldn’t, but the image of her crumpling to pieces alone in this room was not one I was going to forget anytime soon.

“The thing about surviving fame,” I told her, “is knowing when to say no. The public will always take everything you give them. They’ll take and take and take, and it will never be enough. You have to remember that ultimately you come first. If there’s ever something you need, you have to put your foot down.”

For instance, not singing your most popular song again no matter how much it pisses people off and lets them down. I didn’t voice the thought, but I wondered if she was thinking about that, too.

“If you’re not up for it today, then go.”

Val studied me for a moment, and her nerves melted away. Giving her the chance to say no had apparently been what she needed to say yes. “It’s okay, Kyle, I don’t mind staying.”

She sounded much more confident, but I still asked, “You sure?”

“I’m sure,” she promised. A smile crept over her face, reaching all the way up into her eyes and she said, “I can’t let you go out there alone. Who knows what kinds of rumors you’d start. I’d probably wake up tomorrow and learn that I’d been hospitalized after going into severe shock when you kissed me backstage.”

Surprised, I burst into laughter. “That does sound like something you’d do,” I teased.

She laughed with me and we headed back to the main studio and our waiting fans. “It may have been four years, Kyle, but that doesn’t mean I don’t remember how you operate.”

I snatched her hand as she reached to open the door to the studio. I wasn’t ready to end this moment alone with her. “You don’t think I’ve learned a few things since then?”

She smirked and shook her head. “New tricks. Same dog.”

It was impossible not to take her words as a challenge. I pushed her back until she was pinned against the door and leaned in close enough that our breaths mingled. Her eyes snapped wide the same way they always had whenever I’d invaded her personal space, and I watched, satisfied, as she sucked in a lung full of air and held it.

“That mentality will be your downfall this time around, Val.” I leaned in, letting my lips linger at her jawline for a moment too long before bringing them to her ear. “Same old tricks,” I whispered. “New man.”

With that, I kissed her cheek and breezed past her into the studio, leaving her flustered and in need of another moment to collect herself all over again.



Author Kelly OramKelly

Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which family and friends still tease her. She’s obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and loves to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children.

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 Blast Giveaway

$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 6/16/19

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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 and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in 4 paws, fiction, Review, romance on May 23, 2014

heartbreak cafe


Title: Heartbreak Cake
Author: Cindy Arora
Publisher: Simon & Fig (November 13, 2013)


Business is sweet for pastry chef Indira Aguilar. Her indie bakery, Cake Pan, is fast becoming the talk of the wedding circuit for its unique take on cakes and homespun creations for the modern bride, garnering national recognition and drawing in celebrity clients. But while her professional life is blossoming, her personal life is crumbling. Indira may have a talent for blending buttercream into bliss, but when it comes to relationships, she’s got a lot to learn. Considering that the love of her life, Josh Oliver, is not only married, but also runs the award-winning pastry department of her fiercest competition, Crystal Cove Resort, Indira puts much more at stake than just her heart when she ends her affair with him. Rumors begin to fly as the small seaside community of Long Beach learns of her secret relationship, and Indira must defend not only her actions, but her wedding business and her reputation while trying to maneuver the choppy heartbreak waters of starting over, finding new love, and facing her past. With the support of friends, family, a fondness for butter, and a determined spirit, Indira may just bake her way back to happiness and possibly into the heart of Crystal Cove’s dishy new chef, Noah. But one thing is certain. Where there’s heartbreak, there must be cake.


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This book reminded me a little of the scene in When Harry Met Sally and Carrie Fisher’s character realizes that the married man she is seeing will never leave his wife.  Indira is in a similar situation and is blinded by what she thinks is love, and it might be love on her side but if he really loved her he would extract himself from his marriage and continue a relationship with her.  It doesn’t help that he works for a competitor and his wife is trying to ruin Indira’s business by spreading malicious rumors (while somewhat based in fact, not totally) and Indira has to reevaluate her life and what is important.

I did get hungry reading this book while they discussed all of the yummy desserts they were making!

The characters did deal with real life situations but at times Indira was annoying when dealing with Josh (the married man) and may lose out on a guy that is perfect for her by not confronting Josh and moving on with her life.

We give this book 4 paws up!


About the Author

Cindy Arora was a staff writer at The San Gabriel Valley TribuneThe Orange County Register and Sacramento Magazine. She’s been published in SaveurTasting TableOrange Coast Magazine and Fodor’s. She’s also a mother, a feminist, a whiskey enthusiast, and proud to call herself a Chick Lit author. Heartbreak Cake is her debut novel.

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