Posted in 3 1/2 paws, excerpt, Review, romance on September 1, 2017

Synopsis

Welcome to the small island town of Cloud Bay, where it’s never the wrong time to find a love that’s oh-so-right. . .

Caleb White knows what he wants out of life—and being a star tennis player is not it. After speaking to the press about his plans to retire, Caleb decides that a trip to quaint, beautiful Cloud Bay for its legendary music festival is exactly what he needs. There will be time to figure out what to do with his life without a racket in his hand soon enough. Until then, Caleb is content to be stuck on an island with CloudFest’s gorgeous director Faith Harper. . .

The daughter of a famous rock star, Faith knows all about fame, fortune, and hot flings that aren’t meant to last longer than a few good songs. Gorgeous, built Caleb is a temptation she can’t resist, but she’s not prepared for the way he makes her feel. . .and the dreams that they both share. What begins as a carefree distraction deepens into something real. But is Caleb ready to put his celebrity behind him and give life in the slow lane with Faith a chance?

Amazon * B&N * iBooks * Kobo * Books A Million

Excerpt

So maybe that was the wrong thing to think about.

She steered the car through the familiar bends of the road from Salt Devil to Danny’s place, not needing to really pay much attention to what she was doing. She could make the drive with a bag over her head. Could probably drive all around Lansing that way and never miss a beat.

Unlike her heart, which was bumping just that little bit too quickly to let her fool herself into thinking she didn’t have a rapidly developing case of, to quote Ivy, “flaming panties,” when it came to Caleb White.

Well, her panties were just going to have to cool it a little longer.

She let her left hand drift out the open window, fingers spread to catch the night air rushing against her skin so one part of her body had a chance to feel cool. “My mom would tell you that’s a terrible habit,” Caleb said. His voice sounded lower in the darkness.

Rumblier.

Sexier.

Engine vibrations. That was it. Blame it on the roar of whatever supercharged monster engine Will had put into the Mustang. That was what was making his voice sound so good.

Note to self: Drive the Prius if you ever have to share a car with this man again.

“I know this road. There’s nothing I could possibly catch my hand on.” She turned her head slightly to look at him for a second. He’d lowered his window too, his elbow resting on the window frame, his fingers gripped around the top. “And hello, pot, kettle, black. You do not have all limbs inside the vehicle, Mr. White.”

“My hand isn’t sticking out,” he said.

“And what would your mom say about that response?” “She’d tell me not to be a smart-ass.”

“I think I like your mom. What does she do?” “She’s a doctor. I think she’d like you too.”

Faith shook her head. Nope to him getting any kind of wrong idea. “I’m not really the kind of girl mothers approve of.”

“Why not?”

“Rock star dad. Tattoos. Not interested in settling down.”

“You have tattoos?” he said, sounding intrigued. “I hadn’t noticed.”

“That’s because so far you haven’t seen any parts of me where they’re noticeable.”

“I see.” He sounded even more intrigued. “But they’re somewhere a mom might see them?”

“I think it’s more the alcoholic-rock-star–womanizing- dad thing than the tattoos. My family’s reputation precedes me. They think I’m going to have my wicked way with their precious boys and break their hearts.”

“Are you meeting these moms via time travel? That all sounds very nineteen fifties to me,” he said. “And just so you know, I am on board with wicked ways.”

She laughed at that. “In my experience, most men are.” “Maybe the men you meet are smarter than their moms.”

“Oh no.” She pulled her hand back in the window as the approached the turn-off to Danny’s drive. “The moms have my number. I’m not the marrying kind, as they used to say.”

“Really?” He sounded skeptical. “Trust me.”

“I take it this is you telling me that if I ever get to sample your wicked ways, I should beware?”

She tried to ignore the way the rumble underscoring “wicked ways” made her want to invent some very wicked ways on the spot. Dammit. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.” She pulled into the drive, rolled the car to a stop outside the gate. “And, not to change the subject or anything, but we’re here.”

Caleb blinked. “So I see. Any point in me asking you in for a nightcap?”

As much as part of her wanted to say “hell yes,” she shook her head. “Not tonight.”

“Rain check on that too?” “We’ll see.”

Review

I have to say I liked Faith and Caleb. Both strong characters but with their own sets of baggage and insecurities. Faith doesn’t seem to trust many men (possible some bad relationships have tainted her) and Caleb was a workaholic while on the tennis circuit – which is to be expected since you can’t be out partying all the time and expect to play your best.

I liked how Faith ran Cloudfest – a music festival on their island off of California. It sounds like a lot of fun and considering her father was a famous musician, it isn’t too surprising. It does take quite some time to figure out why Faith isn’t a musician because it seems like she has the talent. Maybe she doesn’t want the spotlight as much as her brother seems to crave it.

Overall a fun read. I give this 3 1/2 stars. Enjoyable romance with a somewhat higher heat level than I was expecting (not that it is bad, just wasn’t expecting so much descriptive sex scenes).

About the Author

Emma Douglas would love to live in a world where professional napping was a thing. But until then, she thinks writing books is a pretty awesome alternative. When not writing about imaginary people, she can be found reading, doing something crafty, binge-watching TV, playing her latest song crush on repeat, or singing badly in her car. She lives in Melbourne, Australia in a tiny house stuffed full of books, too many craft supplies and two cats who take up more space than you would expect. Find out more about Emma at www.emmadouglasbooks.com.

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Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Cozy, mystery, Review on August 2, 2017

Synopsis

Gertrude has been called a lot of things: a hoarder, an odd duck, and a crazy cat lady—but she’s never been called a gumshoe. Until now. When her neighbor goes missing, she can’t help but get involved, no matter how many people ask her not to.

Review

A shorter book but quite a quirky main character. Gertrude doesn’t seem to be the brightest bulb but manages to solve who murdered her neighbor…but not without putting herself in danger!

I like that Gertrude, while I don’t think she is a senior citizen, is older and uses a walker. This does make it little harder for her to get around. At one point she decides to climb a lattice trellis. I really don’t know what was going through her brain that she could do that if she has issues walking without a walker! But it just adds to the humor of the book.

This will be a funny cozy series for sure.  We give it 3 1/2 paws

About the Author

Robin Merrill is an award-winning writer and performance poet from rural central Maine where she lives with her husband, their two children, and several furry friends. She is the author of several books, and her individual poems, essays, and short stories have appeared in hundreds of publications.

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Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Book Release, Review, suspense on July 26, 2017

Synopsis

The text message is just three words: I need you.

Isa drops everything, takes her baby daughter and heads straight to Salten. She spent the most significant days of her life at boarding school on the marshes there, days which still cast their shadow over her now.

Something terrible has been found on the beach. Something which will force Isa to confront her past, together with the three best friends she hasn’t seen for years, but has never forgotten. Theirs is no cosy reunion: Salten isn’t a safe place for them, after what they did.

At school the girls used to play the Lying Game. They competed to convince people of the most outrageous stories. But for some, did the boundary between fact and fantasy become too blurred?

And how much can you really trust your friends?

Review

Friendships formed out of necessity is what these four women have together. Kate, Thea, Fatima and Isa met in boarding school and something clicked for them. Perhaps because they were all a bit wild and also have home lives that were not quite traditional. They were a force to be reckoned with on campus only because of their game – The Lying Game. It was more of a challenge to see who could embellish a story the most and get away with it. Little did they know that 15+ years later it might come back to haunt them.

This book is engaging and had me wondering what secret the women were hiding. The first half of the book leads up to what the 4 women did during their time at boarding school that caused them to scatter across the country. Then the last half shares how they plan to handle the revelation and the impact it will have on their lives. But in the revelation more details are learned and perhaps it wasn’t quite what they thought when they were 15. There is a bit of a mystery as to who was involved in this situation and when all is explained, how it impacted their lives going forward.

The copy of the book I had (from Netgalley) didn’t have any formal chapters. There were 4 sections. Thankfully there were larger gaps where I could stop. I guess those were supposed to be chapters but without making them a chapter. The story fluctuates between the past and the present and I felt like the author did a good job with the story flow.

The book is set in England and the differences in the English language always make me chuckle…only because some words are used in different contexts than what I am used to hearing.

There are quite a few f* bombs and I do wish authors would learn some new words to express frustration or whatever emotion they are trying to express and stop using the same word over and over again. Not sure when we became such a crude world.

We give it 3 1/2 paws

About the Author

Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer. She is married with two small children, and In a Dark, Dark Wood is her début thriller.

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Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Giveaway, Review, suspense on June 11, 2017

No Turning Back: A Novel
Women Sleuths/Suspense Thriller
Crooked Lane Books (June 13, 2017)
Hardcover: 352 pages

Synopsis

You’d kill to protect your child – wouldn’t you?

Anna Graves’s whole life has recently been turned upside down. A new mother, she’s just gone back to her job as a radio presenter and is busy navigating a new schedule of late night feeding and early morning wake ups while also dealing with her newly separated husband. Then the worst happens. While Anna is walking on the beach with her daughter, she’s attacked by a crazed teenager. Terrified, Anna reacts instinctively to protect her baby.

But her life falls apart when the schoolboy dies from his injuries. The police believe Anna’s story, until the autopsy results reveal something more sinister. A frenzied media attack sends Anna into a spiral of self-doubt. Her precarious mental state is further threatened when she receives a chilling message from someone claiming to be the “Ophelia Killer,” a serial killer who preyed on the town twenty years ago—and who abruptly stopped when Anna’s father committed suicide.

Is Anna as innocent as she claims? And is murder forgivable, if committed to save your child’s life?

Internationally bestselling author Tracy Buchanan takes readers on an emotional roller coaster ride filled with heart-stopping secrets and hairpin turns in No Turning Back, her US debut.

Amazon B&N * IndieBound

Review

The first line of the synopsis really sets the reader up for this book – “You’d kill to protect your child – wouldn’t you?”. I think most people would said that yes they would to protect a child, spouse, etc if the situation warranted that drastic of an action. But how would you feel and act and react in the months following? Probably a lot like our main character Anna. She feels guilty about the situation and honestly didn’t mean to kill the teen that appeared to be attacking them and acting crazy. How was she to know that there was more to the situation than meets the eye?

What follows in the rest of the book is Anna dealing with her guilt, trying to figure out why the teen was crazy, trying to protect her child, and investigating these deaths and are were the deaths perpetrated by The Ophelia Killer (TOK) from 20 years ago that her father was investigating for an article?

The first 2/3 of the book fill in a lot of details and history is explained somewhat of the TOK but to me were a bit slow. Plus most of the chapters were really really long (personal preference is to stop at a chapter and was sometimes hard in this book). I also didn’t understand how a comb could kill a person even if they fell on it because that would have to be a lot of force for a comb to penetrate the skin (assuming plastic comb vs metal).

There are many characters to not like and a few red herrings mixed in to get you thinking that someone was behind all this that wasn’t really. I felt for Anna because of all the negative press she was receiving and how everyone painted her in a bad light and made assumptions that just weren’t true. Most of that was tied to the media and the stories they reported. Not too surprising considering what we see in the media today.

I’d probably give this 3 1/2 stars. I was originally give it 3 stars but it really picked up near the end and was not expecting the twist at the end!

About the Author

Tracy Buchanan lives in the UK with her husband, their little girl and their one-eyed Jack Russell. Buchanan traveled extensively while working as a travel magazine editor and has always been drawn to the sea after spending her childhood holidays on the coast visiting family–a fascination that inspires her writing. She now dedicates her time to writing and procrastinating on Twitter.

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Giveaway

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

June 5 – Books Direct  – INTERVIEW

June 5 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 6 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

June 6 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT

June 7 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW

June 7 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

June 8 – Bookworm Cafe – SPOTLIGHT

June 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

June 9 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW

June 9 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

June 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

June 10 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

June 10 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

June 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

June 11 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT

June 12 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

June 12 – Varietats – REVIEW

June 12 – My Journey Back – REVIEW

June 13 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

June 14 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GUEST POST

June 14 – The Editing Pen – INTERVIEW

Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Review, Short Story on May 30, 2017

Synopsis

This collection is comprised of three short stories.

The Move : Guillaume, who gives up everything to protect his child
The Listener : Mathew, who risks his life to save his home
The Sacrifice : François, who makes the biggest donation to rescue his grandson

Review

This was an interesting set of short stories.  I’m going to give a mini review of each story.  Each story is set in France and I enjoyed the descriptions of the towns that each story takes place.  The three stories touch on life, death, conservation, and other topics that make you think.

The Move showed me a father’s devotion but the story is also a little dark.  Guillaume has a dairy farm (or what we might consider a dairy farm) and sells his milk to a co-op.  Well things aren’t going well and this leads to the downfall of his farm.  Guillaume’s son is his world and he is trying to provide him with a good life, but things spin out of his control.  There is a part near the end that involves their dog and I think it is the silver lining in this whole story.  This was probably my least favorite of the three.

The Listener is a story about one boy’s quest to save a tree he considers to be his in the forest.  It gives him shelter and calms him down when things aren’t going well.  However, the entity that manages the forest is losing money and is cutting down trees to sell the wood for furniture etc.  The Director that runs this entity is a real jerk but he gets what is coming to him in the end.  I think it is a good story that shows we need to watch out for nature and not cut down every tree or get rid of nature because it really does give back to us in the form of oxygen.  An interesting part of the story is a place called the Children’s Center where apparently parents can leave children while they go on vacation.  I don’t know if it is like an extended day care or what, but thought it was interesting.

The Sacrifice is the story of what a grandfather will do for his grandson despite all odds.  Both Francois and Arthur bring out the best in each other and are probably each other’s biggest cheerleaders.  Both had had some challenges in life regarding Arthur’s mother/Francois’ daughter and her mental health issues.  This was probably my favorite story because it seemed more real to me or maybe I could just relate better to the characters.

Enjoyable and a little bit of a lesson in each story that makes you think and how you would handle things if you were in their situation.  My only negative is that the writing seemed choppy in the first two stories.  I don’t know if the book was translated from one language to another and that is the reason for the stilted writing/flow of the stories.

Overall we give it 3 1/2 paws up.

About the Author

Indrajit Garai, an American citizen now, was born in India in 1965. After his Bachelors degree from Indian Institute of Technology and Masters from Harvard, he worked as a Corporate Strategy Consultant and as an Investment Banker in America, Spain, and England, while studying parallelly Ayurveda (ancient medicine of India) and clinical yoga, for stress management. In 2001, after the birth of his daughter, he moved to Paris and opened his private practice of stress management.

Currently, he has taken sabbatical from his practice of stress management, as a full-time writer, to work on his fiction and nonfiction.

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Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Giveaway, Review, romance on May 21, 2017

Synopsis

From author Sarah Hegger comes an exciting new series set in small-town Utah, where secrets don’t keep for long—and love turns up in the most unexpected places.

For Pippa Turner there’s only one place to go when her life self-destructs on national TV—home to Ghost Falls, and her heavily perfumed, overly dramatic, but supremely loving grandmother, Philomene. If anyone will understand how Pippa’s hit makeover show was sabotaged by her vengeful ex, it’s Phi. But she’s not the only one who’s happy to see her—and Pippa can’t help but wonder if Matt Evans, her gorgeous high-school crush turned Phi’s contractor, is game for a steamy close-up…

Matt owes his whole career to Phi and her constant demands to embellish the gothically ridiculous house he built for her. Getting to see red-headed, red-hot Pippa is a bonus, especially now that she’s no longer the troublesome teenager he remembers. He’s willing to stay behind the scenes while she gives her own life a much-needed makeover, but not forever. As far as he’s concerned, their connection is too electric to ignore. And the chance to build something lasting between them—before she can high-tail it back to Hollywood—is going to the top of his to-do list.

Amazon * B&N * Kobo * iBooks

Excerpt

“Aren’t you—?”

“No.” Not anymore she wasn’t. Pippa snatched her boarding pass from the check-in attendant and tugged her baseball cap lower over her eyes. Couldn’t Kim Kardashian help a girl out and release another sex tape or something? Anything to get Pippa away from the social media lynch mob. She kept her head down until she found her gate, and chose the seat farthest away from the other passengers waiting to board the flight to Salt Lake City. Latest copy of Vogue blocking her face, she flipped through the glossy pages.

Peeping over the top of her magazine she slammed straight into the narrowed gaze of a woman three rows over. Shit! Pippa dropped the woman’s gaze and went back to Vivienne Westwood bucking the trend.

Across the airport lounge the woman’s glare beamed into the top of her head like those laser tracking things you saw in spy movies. Pippa buckled under the burn and slouched lower into her seat.

Look at that, Fendi was doing fabulous separates this season. And really, Ralph Lauren, that’s your idea of a plus-size model? Stuff like this made her job so much harder.

Her former job.

Losing her show still clawed at her. Losing? Like she’d left the damn thing at Starbucks as she picked up her morning latte. More like her jackass ex with zero conscience had knocked it out of her hand. Framed, stitched up, wrongfully accused—judged, found guilty, and sentenced to a plethora of public loathing wiping out all the years spent building her career. Burning sense of injustice aside, she was stuck in this thing until it went away.

Angry Woman lurked in her peripheral vision. As sweat slid down her sides, Pippa tucked her elbows in tight and risked another glance.

Under an iron-gray row of rigidly permed bangs, the woman’s mouth puckered up.

Back to Vogue. The knot in her stomach twisted tighter, and she checked her cap. What the hell? A baseball cap and shades always worked for other celebrities. Why not her?

Angry Woman squared her shoulders and huffed.

This could go one of two ways. Either Angry Woman would come over and give her a piece of her mind on behalf of women everywhere, or she’d confine her anger to vicious staring and muttering. Maybe some head shaking. Please don’t let her be a crusader for women. Please, please, please. After two weeks of glares, stares and condemnation, Pippa had gotten the message:

Pippa St. Amor, the woman America loves to hate.

Review

What happens when a fallen TV star is kicked off her own show? She slinks back home to a small town where most everyone knows everyone especially her Diva Grandmother.

Pippa has a lot to deal with after she is unjustly kicked off her TV show and despite being wronged by her ex, she can’t get anyone to help back her that she isn’t the witch that was portrayed on television. So she goes back to lick her wounds and of course stays with her Diva grandmother since they are two peas in a pod. There is the run in with Matt, the man of her dreams back in high school…and let’s say they make up for lost time pretty quickly.

This story is more than meets the eye. Pippa has to dig deep to figure out what is important to her…is it her career or will the family she left 17 years ago entice her to stay and reconnect with them. Or what about Matt? He obviously fulfills her sexual needs, but can he fill the rest of her wants and desires in a man? There is a little bit of a mystery when Phi (the Diva grandmother) finds several of her treasures missing. These items are very dear to her as they hold some strong memories. What happened to them might just surprise you….and you won’t find out until near the end of the book.

Overall the story was really enjoyable and well written. My biggest complaint – wayyyyy too many f* bombs in this book. At least half (or more) of them really were not needed and they did not add anything to the story. So if you do not like to read that word, don’t pick up this book. If you can overlook them or don’t mind them, then you will enjoy this book.

We give this 3 1/2 paws

About the Author

Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A hot Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble.

Mimicking her globe trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother.

She currently lives in Colorado with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.

Sarah is the recipient of the 2015 EPIC Award for Historical Romance.

She is represented my Nalini Akolekar of Spencerhill Associates.

 

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Giveaway

One Grand Prize Winner will receive a $150 Gift Card to Ulta + the Pippa’s Favorites Bundle (Planner, Pen and Pouch) and a book, two more winners will receive a $100 and $50 Ulta Beauty Gift Card as well as a book each and 5 winners will get a copy of Positively Pippa!

Gift cards and Bundle are only open to US Residents only, international entrants are eligible to win a Positively Pippa e-book. 


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Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Review, suspense, Thriller on March 26, 2017

Synopsis

When you’ve lost it all, how far would you go to get it back?

Bennett Covington has a good life. The support of a loving, growing family. A satisfying job. A roof over his head. Not perfect, but close enough.

Nothing lasts forever, of course. After stumbling into the middle of a back-alley murder, Bennett becomes entangled in a web of violence set in motion by members of a shadowy criminal organization.

Subjected to psychological torment, Bennett struggles to understand the depth of their evil intentions – intentions that threaten to take much more than just his life.

Through it all, one question endures: why have they taken such a keen interest in him? When he runs, they catch him. When he hides, they find him.

The only way out is to fight back.

Review

I thought this was a mystery but it is more suspense with a sci-fi twist. There are many things that are not really explained at the end – like Poe, what exactly is he but he isn’t human!

The book did keep moving on at a pretty quick pace and kept me interested in what would happen next. Would Bennett get out of the situation he was in? Would his family be ok? Why did they keep calling him Yannick?

There were many times at the beginning when Bennett first got involved with these characters by accident and why he kept going back – was it curiosity or was it more?

There was a twist at the end that leaves the book open for a sequel or just leave you wondering what could possibly happen next.

We give this 3 1/2 paws

About the Author

Chip Scarinzi is an award-winning communications executive and the author of two books. His first book, Diehards, is a work of non-fiction about sports fandom. Ghosts is his first novel. Scarinzi lives in the San Francisco Bay Area island community of Alameda with his wife and two young daughters.

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Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Book Release, Cozy, mystery, Review on October 18, 2016

deadly-bubbles

Synopsis

After Simone Ryan is stood up at the altar by her fiancé, Elliott, she decides to enjoy her would-be honeymoon in paradise alone. She checks into the Aloha Lagoon Resort’s bridal suite and promptly begins to drown her sorrows in champagne. But when Simone steps out onto the balcony to take in the glorious Hawaiian scenery, she gets an even better view. Hot local baker, Liam Bentley, is out for a stroll on the beach. Maybe being single isn’t so bad after all.

But when Elliott makes a surprise appearance at the resort—with a younger woman in tow—things turn deadly, and suddenly Simone finds herself not in the role of newlywed but prime murder suspect! Fighting for her life—not to mention her dignity—Simone must uncover secrets from her ex-fiancé’s past which may just have killer consequences for her own future. With the help of the ever-so-tempting Liam, his feisty grandmother, and the quirky Aloha Lagoon staff, Simone finds herself tracking down a murderer who may just be closer to home than she thinks…

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The Aloha Lagoon Mysteries

Ukulele Murder (book #1)
Murder on the Aloha Express (book #2) coming in Aug!
Deadly Wipeout (book #3) coming in Sept!
Deadly Bubbles in the Wine (book #4) coming in Oct!
Mele Kalikimaka Murder (book #5) coming in Nov!
Death of the Big Kahuna (book #6) coming in Jan 2017!
Photo Finished (book #7) coming soon!

About Aloha Lagoon

There’s trouble in paradise…

Welcome to Aloha Lagoon, one of Hawaii’s hidden treasures. A little bit of tropical paradise nestled along the coast of Kauai, this resort town boasts luxurious accommodation, friendly island atmosphere…and only a slightly higher than normal murder rate. While mysterious circumstances may be the norm on our corner of the island, we’re certain that our staff and Lagoon natives will make your stay in Aloha Lagoon one you will never forget! visit us at alohalagoonmysteries.com

Review

I’m not sure where the title came from because there isn’t really any wine in the story….but that aside, the story was engaging and enjoyable. Simone is the jilted bride that takes her honeymoon anyway (nothing wrong with that in my book!) and who shows up, but the groom…who ends up dead and of course Simone is a suspect.

There are many interesting characters and the killer was a huge surprise! I never suspected this person and the story that unfolded never would have crossed my mind!

I don’t know if Simone & Liam will be back in future stories, but there could be more to that budding relationship.

We give it 3 1/2 paws.

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Posted in 3 1/2 paws, nonfiction, Review on June 29, 2016

Splash-of-Kindness

Synopsis

The ripple effect is all around us. We’ve all benefited from the committed teacher, the loving parent, the caring coach, the helpful stranger…

This book celebrates the positive results of acts of kindness. You’ll read about

–the teacher who inspired a young doctor to question the status quo, and thereby save the lives of thousands of women

–the coach who motivated a young athlete to achieve victory over self, and thereby earn an enduring place in history

–the father who cared enough about his young son to take him on an unscheduled flight

and more…

A Splash of Kindness is a book for anyone who is looking for inspirational stories.

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Review

Overall the message of this book is GREAT! That you get more done with acts of kindness and that it can have a lasting impact on those that receive those acts of kindness. Encourage ideas, acts of charity or just a smile can change someone’s day and their mindset.

The only thing I didn’t like was that some of these stories were very long. And while some of the detail is needed, it is like there were 3 or 4 stories within the main story and honestly, they didn’t add that much to the original story. Sometimes if felt like a story was wandering around without a point in mind. This was not all of the examples, but a few.

We give this 3 1/2 paws.

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About the Author

John-Starley-AllenWhen John Starley Allen was in second grade he began writing stories. His mother called them “The Road Stories,” because each one invariably began with “I was walking down a road…” followed by an encounter with a friend, animal, insect, mini natural disaster, etc., etc.

Allen is the author of the holiday novel Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices and most recently has written a collection of true stories called A Splash of Kindness: The Ripple Effect of compassion, Courage & Character. Allen says he hopes his latest book will “empower people with the knowledge that they can make a positive difference in the world.”

Allen is also a songwriter who has received a gold record for a song he co-wrote with Motown’s Smokey Robinson. He has performed his music at Nashville’s iconic Bluebird Café.

He lives in Holladay, Utah. He and his wife JoAnn are the parents of four daughters.

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Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on May 15, 2016

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to catch a treat

To Catch a Treat (A Barkery & Biscuits Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Midnight Ink (May 8, 2016)
Paperback: 312 pages
E-Book ASIN: B01A5OGVOE

Synopsis

Carrie Kennersly, veterinary technician and owner of the Barkery and Biscuits bake shop, agrees to a day of hiking with her brother Neal mostly because she wants to meet—and critique—his latest romantic interest, Janelle Blaystone. But instead of judgment, Carrie has only sympathy for Janelle, whose beloved black Labrador, Go, was recently dognapped along with many other purebred pets.

Janelle thinks the culprit is Ada Arnist, a wealthy homeowner spotted at the dog parks where Go and the others were stolen. Soon after Janelle confronts her, though, Ada is found dead. With Janelle and Neal on the suspect list, Carrie must solve the mystery before the police bark up the wrong tree.

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Review

Carrie is back in this second installment in the Barkery & Biscuits series.

I have enjoyed all of Linda’s books so far and this one was no exception.  The mystery wasn’t as quite in the forefront as other books but there were some twists that I was not expecting at the end.  Of course, Carrie puts herself in harms way (as most protagonists seem to do in cozies!) but at least she called for help.

The story was enjoyable but it seemed like something was missing…maybe it was just too “calm” and while I love my dogs as much as the next person, it seemed like Carrie’s love for her dog was over the top.  Maybe it really isn’t, but that is how it came across to me.  While there was some action, it didn’t seem like much.

As I mentioned before there are some twists at the end when the killer was revealed, I definitely did not see that one coming at all!

We give this 3 1/2 paws up.

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About the Author

LOJPublicityPhotoLinda O. Johnston’s first published fiction appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for Best First Mystery Short Story of the year.   Since then, Linda, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, has published more short stories, novellas, and 38 romance and mystery novels, including the Pet Rescue Mystery Series, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, and Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne.  She additionally writes the Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink.  Her latest cozy mystery series, the Barkery and Biscuits Mysteries are also from Midnight Ink.

 

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