Posted in 3 paws, excerpt, New Adult, Review on September 9, 2017

Synopsis

THEY SAID SHE WAS GOING TO BE MY RUIN…

THEN LET HER RUIN ME.

He had everything—wealth, adoration, a brilliant future. Until one chance encounter changed everything.

The moment Caleb Lockhart spotted the mysterious woman in her siren red dress, he couldn’t tear his eyes away.

For the first time in his life, he wanted something. Something he knew he could never have.

The unforgettable stranger he dubs RED.

Chasing Red Duology:

Chasing Red (Book 1)

Always Red (Book 2)

Millions of Wattpad readers love Caleb and Red’s epic story

“I love this book to the core.”

“I was so addicted… So in love that I couldn’t stop reading.”

“The characters are just so real and possess such pure, raw emotions and passion.”

“This book took me through an emotional roller coaster! I love everything about it!”

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Excerpt

I stopped when I reached the kitchen. It had the same modern industrial feel as the rest of the place. There was a bar on the left side of the room with barstools tucked underneath. Crisp, white cupboards, granite countertops, glass pendant lights hanging from the vaulted ceiling, stainless-steel appliances—the whole works. My breath caught as I set eyes on someone standing in the corner. He was tall, his shirtless back showing he had tan skin, and I could see his muscles were rippling when he moved his arm.

I stood there, nervous and scared. As if he sensed my presence, he turned around. His eyes widened and his jaw fell open as he took in my appearance.

I knew that face.

Caleb. Caleb Lockhart!

Oh no, not him! This was not happening. I’d woken up in the lair of the campus man whore.

A piece of bread fell out of his mouth as he continued to gape at me. His wavy brown hair was mussed and sticking up everywhere, as if he too had just woken up. His chest and stomach were well defined. The long counter in front of him ended just below his waist so I couldn’t see if he was—

Please, God, I hope he’s wearing something down there.

And then he grinned. As if he had all the time in the world, his gaze leisurely traveled from the top of my head to my toes, then back up to my face. I felt my toes tingle.

“Hey, baby, you look like you’ve had a busy night,” he drawled.

Oh God.

“Did we… Did you…?” I stuttered, crossing my arms to hide my chest from his lascivious gaze.

One dark brow lifted as he waited for me to finish my question. My mouth felt dry, and my head was starting to throb. I looked down at my naked feet and wondered where I’d put my shoes. Silly, silly girl.

“Just tell me,” I said finally.

“Tell you what exactly?” His eyes were laughing at me, and I could see his dimples. He knew exactly what I was talking about, but he seemed to find joy in torturing innocent people. Jerk.

When he stepped around the counter, I moved a step back and yelled, “Stay away from me!” At least he was wearing sweatpants.

He frowned, holding his hands up. “What the hell is wrong with you?”

My eyes frantically searched for a weapon nearby, in case he decided to attack me. I could grab one of the pans on the hanging pot rack if needed.

“Why am I here?”

“You don’t remember?”

I had a sudden urge to pull my hair. “Remember what?”

His face darkened. “Some pervert nearly attacked you last night. I saved you.” He shook his head. “He could have raped you.”

My head started to throb. Memories from last night were starting to come back.

“And you threw up all over my car.” He paused. “Twice.”

“R-raped me?” I vaguely remembered resisting a guy’s advances. What if it was him?

Caleb nodded, staring at me intently. The way his green eyes bored into me triggered a memory. A low, masculine voice murmuring, I’ve been looking for you my whole life…

I shook my head to clear it and glared at him. “How do I know you’re not that guy?”

“Oh please,” he scoffed, rolling his eyes. “I don’t have to force a girl to sleep with me.”

He stepped back, leaned against a butcher block behind him, and crossed his arms against his impressive chest, studying me with his head tilted to the side. The muscles in his arms flexed.

“Thank you,” I said quietly, but I was still suspicious. Growing up in a rough area meant suspicion came naturally to me. “I don’t remember much from last night.”

“You were drunk,” he stated.

“I think I remember that part.”

“And you’re not hungover?”

I shook my head.

“Amazing,” he said, sounding impressed.

“Look, if you don’t mind giving my shoes back, I can get out of your way.” I assumed he knew where they were. I didn’t find them in the bedroom.

“Not so fast.”

“What?” My eyes shot to an espresso machine sitting on the counter five feet away. I could use that in case he decided to grab me. Could I lift it?

“You threw up all over my car, and I just got it a few weeks ago.”

Oh. I bit my lip. “Isn’t your dad rich?” I gestured uselessly at the luxury surrounding us. “Can’t you just have somebody clean it for you?”

His eyebrows shot up. “So you’re going to have someone else clean up your mess?”

I clenched my teeth. “What do you want from me?”

Leaning back, he pulled himself up to sit on the butcher block, his glorious body on uninterrupted display. I gulped.

“Do you have anywhere to go when you leave?” There was a basket filled with apples beside him. He reached for one. How fortunate he was to reach for food whenever he wanted. He didn’t have to fear being hungry…or homeless.

“What kind of question is that? I’m going home.” I had no clue where home was, but he didn’t know that.

Without removing his gaze from mine, he tossed the apple in the air, caught it, tossed it again. “And where is that?”

My stomach quietly growled. “It’s none of your business.”

“Well, I quite possibly saved your life. I believe in conserving energy, so I want to make sure you don’t waste mine. I asked you last night where you live, and you told me you’re homeless. Frankly, right now, you look like someone just stole your last dollar.”

My mouth opened in shock.

He placed the apple back in the basket and crossed his arms again. Was he flexing in front of me?

“Why do you care?” I demanded.

It was a moment before he answered. “Do you really have somewhere to go?”

The mild, sympathetic tone did it. I felt my throat close and my eyes tear up. I could tell he was uncomfortable with my sudden display.

He jumped off the butcher block and went to open the fridge.

“Here,” he said quietly, handing me a bottled water.

I tried to say thank you, but my throat was too tight. When I looked up, he was backing away from me.

“You know you stink, right?”

I laughed. I laughed so hard that I was almost hyperventilating. Then I started crying. I couldn’t stop if I wanted to.

To keep myself from falling on my face, I squatted where I was and sat on the floor. My crying turned to ugly hiccup-sobbing. He must have thought I was insane.

“Why don’t you stay here for a bit until you find an apartment?”

Shocked, I could only stare up at him.

He shrugged. “I know when someone is at the end of their rope,” he added.

At the end of their rope? I glared at him, quickly wiping at my tears. I hated looking up at someone when I talked to them so I got back on my feet, struggling to pull my dress down. He was still taller, which made me angrier.

“Listen, pal, I may be homeless, but I am not accepting your charity.”

We both fell silent.

The sound of the water bottle crinkling in my hand was followed by that of a steady stream of water spilling onto the floor.

Embarrassed, I closed my eyes. When I heard him clear his throat, I tried to calm my breathing by counting to ten before opening my eyes.

His eyebrows were raised as if he was waiting for me to say something. When I didn’t, he continued.

“Where else will you go? A homeless shelter? Listen.” He raised his index finger. “One, I live by myself, so you’ll only have the pleasure of my company. Two”—he raised a second finger—“you’re certainly safer here than at a shelter. And three”—he raised a third finger—“ding, ding, ding! You can stay here for free.”

I narrowed my eyes. It all sounded too good to be true. “Why are you helping me?” Life had beaten me enough that I knew nothing came free.

He opened his mouth, but nothing came out. Then he shook his head. “I don’t know.”

Live with Caleb Lockhart. In this huge place. For free. My only other options were the shelter or live on the streets. “I’m not going to be your prostitute.”

He looked insulted. “Do you really think I need one? Woman, have you seen this body? Besides,” he added, grinning, “when you decide to sleep with me, you’ll be the one paying me.”

Wow. The size of his ego must constantly give him a headache. I gave him a disgusted look and pretended to yawn. “Everything that’s coming out of your mouth sounds interesting. I don’t know why I keep yawning.”

Those green eyes widened and homed in on my face. I thought I’d pissed him off this time, but the most unexpected thing happened. He started laughing. “I like you,” he said, chuckling. “I mean you’re a knockout, but I didn’t think it went beyond that.”

Did he just insult me?

“I’m offering you a way out of your misery. Why don’t you take it?” He pinched his nose with his fingers. “And could you please take a shower? You might be gorgeous, but I ain’t spending time with a girl who smells like the sewer.”

I huffed. He was right though—I smelled really, really bad. But… “Then what do you want in exchange?”

“Not everyone wants something from you,” he replied grimly.

“Oh, is that what you think?” I laughed bitterly. “Everyone wants something one way or another. Haven’t you learned that yet?”

He tilted his head to the side and studied my face again. I wondered what he saw when he looked at me. My looks and the shape of my body usually made people think I was always looking for fun. Fun was the last thing on my mind. I was too busy staying alive, too busy working for my next meal to think about anything else. Last night had been an anomaly.

I had no other good options—just shelter or street—and he was offering me a way out. He at least looked sincere. It was about choosing the lesser of two evils. I took a deep breath.

“I could clean,” I said quietly.

Was I really doing this? Why not? The world hadn’t given me a free ticket in so long. I was overdue for one.

“Sorry?” He blinked at me, and I wasn’t sure if he was teasing or serious. “I didn’t hear what you said.”

I took another deep breath, and this time my voice was stronger. “I could clean your place in exchange for my stay.”

“I already have someone come in three times a week for that,” he answered.

“I can cook.”

He frowned. “Don’t string me along like that. That’s not very nice.”

I rolled my eyes.

“Can you really cook?” His face lit up. He looked like a little boy who had found the last cookie at the bottom of the jar.

“Yes,” I answered, ignoring the crazy effect his smile had on me.

“Deal!”

This was too easy. “You said you live by yourself, but how can you afford this place?”

His expression shuttered. I hoped he didn’t think I was trying to find out how much money he had. That I was a gold digger. But why wouldn’t he think that? He didn’t know me from Eve.

I might have been poor, but I wasn’t a freeloader. My hands proved how hard I worked, and I was proud of that. One more year and I would get that diploma. I’d work my ass off to have a good life. I didn’t need much—a steady job, a simple house, and a serviceable car would be more than enough to make me happy. And I would never go hungry again. I’d get there without help from anyone.

“Look,” I hissed angrily. “I was only curious. If you think I’m some gold digger—”

He held a hand up. “Will you stop putting words in my mouth? Do you really think I want this life? This…this.” He gestured to the whole room. “You think this makes me happy?” His jaw was set, his hands fisted.

“Yes!” I answered. I fell silent, incredulous. He had no concept of what it meant to go hungry, to not know where he was going to sleep next, to live in fear. We were worlds apart.

This was never going to work.

We both stood there awkwardly, but after a few seconds, he opened his mouth again, waggling his eyebrows as if nothing had happened. “Know what? You do my homework while you’re cooking my dinner tonight.”

So much for that moment. I opened my mouth, but nothing came out.

“Hold on,” he said. “I didn’t even get your name.”

“Veronica Strafford.”

“I’m Caleb Lockhart.”

 

Review

I thought this book was ok but it was hard for me to finish. I think I got tired of the drama all the time. Veronica doesn’t trust anyone. Sure she has her reasons but give someone a chance before going off the deep end and assuming the worst. Caleb is a playboy that wants to be reformed by Veronica aka Red. Yes he has a playboy past and Veronica should be aware of that since she knows him from college.

The book does have some heartwarming portions – the fact that Caleb is willing to wait for Veronica to be ready before they have sex is a positive one. Plus Veronica is wanting to improve her life situation and she can go nowhere but up. Then there is Kara – who I actually think makes the book and might even be somewhat of a scene stealer. Sure Kara has issues, but she is witty and wacky.

I think there is more to Veronica’s past and we only got a glimpse through a nightmare. It made me wonder what else she hadn’t said yet.

I was surprised to see that the school had lockers. I’m not saying that colleges don’t have them, but I have never heard of them in a college before. It reminded me of high school. Also, I thought I had read that Veronica was in college studying culinary arts but there is never really any mention of what sort of classes she is taking. That might have been an interesting twist since they mentioned classes and exams in general but nothing specific.

We give it 3 paws up.

 

Posted in 3 paws, excerpt, Review, romance on August 24, 2017

Title: HELLO, MY LOVE
Author: Evy Journey
Publisher: Sojourner Books
Pages: 317
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Synopsis

In this modern-day tale inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, bright, beautiful law student Elise Halverson looks forward to a promising career. Falling in love is low in her priorities.

Well-known playboy Greg Thorpe is engaged to be married when he meets Elise. He finds her so unlike the women he used to date and he’s deeply intrigued. Distrusting the image she has of him, Elise avoids him.

But Elise’s parents invite Greg to their frequent dinner parties. There, Greg and Elise butt heads. She’s surprised to find that, behind his rich playboy persona, he’s intelligent and engaging.

The night before his wedding, they give in to their mutual attraction. Although Elise expects nothing more from that night, Greg is in for trouble. His jilted fiancée strikes back, intent on revenge.

Two years later Greg and Elise get a second chance but they find that the way to their happy-ever-after is not so easy.

At the core of this women’s fiction is a literary and realistic romance spiced with a twist of mystery. Hello My Love is Book 1 in the series Between Two Worlds, a family saga about three strong women.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Excerpt

“Going to your parents’ dinner tonight?” Elise could not help smiling at the text message.

She texted back: “Yes. See you.”

Greg had been sending her text messages for some time. Often, they were greetings, in the morning, at night, on school holidays; or good luck wishes on exams, debates, and mock trials. Sometimes, he asked her opinion or a question about a legal matter or some fact of interest to either of them. She answered most of those messages although he told her she did not need to, if they were the usual greetings.

Before they met, Elise had known Greg—from numerous news reports—as the young, progressive owner of a growing internet-based business, and one of the country’s twenty-five most eligible bachelors. The consensus in the media, especially among women reporters: tall, dark, and handsome. But Greg also had a reputation as a playboy, whose many romances were fodder for gossip columns. While Elise hesitated judging looks and personality, sight unseen, she was certain of one thing. She distrusted the likes of men such as Greg.

But that was a year ago.

Since he began consulting with her father, Dr. Halverson, an economics professor, Greg had been to many dinners at her parents’ home. There, Elise got to know him better.

Now, when curious acquaintances learned she knew Greg, they invariably asked, and Elise hardly ever varied her answer: “Yes, to news reports. Greg Thorpe is tall—taller than my father who’s more than six feet. Dark—tanned from jogging, bushy hair the color of French Roast woven with golden strands. And beautiful—clean-cut, cleft chin, smiling greyish blue eyes, and, yeah, lean. But, I think, muscular. I’m not sure. I haven’t seen him without his clothes on.”

It always amused her that her incantation never failed to elicit sighs from young women.

Elise was about to slip her iPhone into her shirt pocket when it rang. Greg—she expected that. He often answered her text messages within minutes of her sending them, usually by texting. Once in a while, he called instead.

“Hello, Elise. How’s the light of my life this afternoon?” Greg said, in his teasing voice.

“Greg, hi. That’s quick. Aren’t you busy?”

“Not for you. And I’m glad you picked up. I was afraid you’d turn off your phone again.”

“I can’t turn it on in class, when I’m studying, or when I’m at work, and that’s almost my whole day.”

“Are you staying over at your parents after dinner?”

“I don’t plan such things. Depends. How late it is when dinner ends, whether I have some easy way to get back to my apartment, how guilty I feel about not having seen my parents for a while, etc., etc.”

“I see. It’s Friday so I thought you‘re staying the night with them. Can I give you a ride home?”

Elise protested. “But I live across the bay. That’s sixty more miles of driving for you, both ways.”

“Less than an hour in my fast powerful car.”

She smiled. Only when she opened up to him a few months after they first met did she realize that Greg had a wry, often self-mocking, sense of humor.

She teased him back. “But don’t you need your beauty sleep? Aren’t you getting married in two days? I’m surprised you’re even coming to my parents’ dinner party. I always thought weddings were exhausting. Don’t you need to rest up for yours?”

“Think of this as my last fling.”

“Isn’t that when your buddies get you all soused and cavorting with some pretty young things? You definitely need stamina for that.”

He groaned. “I’m afraid you have this unflattering image of me. But, believe it or not, that prospect doesn’t excite me. I feel too old for all that.”

“Thirty-two’s not old. To me, old is decrepit. You’re not quite there yet.”

“I’m glad you think so. Twenty-year olds think thirty is old”

“I turned twenty-three a few weeks ago,” she said, her smile replaced with pursed lips.

“That still makes you a young thing in my book. What if I cavort with you?”

Elise scowled. She couldn’t think of a quick retort, which she knew Greg had come to expect from her. It was not that what he said irritated her. And she didn’t actually dislike it. But she felt a vague sense of unease in her chest.

“I’m kidding. I know you’re not the cavorting type. But we’re buddies, right? Well, more like sparring partners, maybe. Don’t buddies kid around?”

That’s it, Elise thought. I’m not the pretty, young cavorting type. At least, I didn’t think he thought so. It didn’t annoy her, but it did bother her in some way. She did not answer.

He added in a softer voice, “Am I wrong?”

She picked up an edge to his voice and she hesitated through the ensuing silence; for her, an uneasy silence relieved only by his audible breathing. He was going to wait until she said something.

“I guess we are…friends, or whatever you wanna call it. That makes everything all right, then; kidding included. So, yes, you can take me home tonight. What’s sixty miles between buddies? No guilt, on my part, that you’re going out of your way. I gotta run.” She hung up and did not wait for his reply.

Review

This book is a romance that takes place over several years and shows how relationships can have their ups and downs no matter the circumstances.

Elise and Greg are multifaceted characters. Elise is a law student but is well educated/smart and cares about what happens to people. Greg has a playboy reputation but is intrigued by Elise and connects with her on a level that he has never connected with his fiancee. I think this is because their relationship was built on conversations and really getting to know one another, where Greg proposed because his mother said it was time to get married.

The story flowed fairly well, at least until we got to Elise’s pregnancy and then it would jump several months. Then when it was about time for her to have her baby it jumps forward a year but you have no idea because there is no indication that it is a year later. In fact, you have no clue what happened when she had the baby or if it was a boy or a girl. There is a little bit of a mystery near the end and it takes some time for the police to figure it out. But it did make it intriguing while wondering who was involved.

Overall a good story and we give it 3 paws up.

About the Author

Evy Journey, 2015 SPR (Self Publishing Review) Independent Woman Author awardee, is a writer, a wannabe artist (since she was nine years old), and a flâneuse (feminine form of flâneur). Her pretensions to being a flâneuse means she wishes she lives in Paris where people have perfected the art of aimless roaming. She’s visited Paris, even lived there a few times as a transient; that is, she stayed from two to six months.

She’s a writer because beautiful prose seduces her and existential angst continues to plague her even though such preoccupations have gone out of fashion. She takes occasional refuge by invoking the spirit of Jane Austen and spinning tales of love, loss, and finding one’s way—stories into which she weaves mystery or intrigue and sets in various locales.

In a previous life, armed with a Ph.D. and fascinated by the psyche, she researched and shepherded  the development of mental health programs. And wrote like an academic. Not a good thing if you want to sound like a normal person. So, she began to write fiction (mostly happy fiction) as an antidote.

Evy’s latest book is the contemporary women’s fiction, Hello, My Love.

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Posted in 3 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on February 2, 2017

A Fatal Romance (A Twin Sisters Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Publisher: Lyrical Underground
Publication Date: January 24, 2017
Paperback – ISBN13: 9781516100958
E-Book ASIN: B01F0YVQEE

Synopsis

Fixing up homes can be tricky.
Finding true love can be even trickier.
But finding a killer can be plain old deadly . . .

Twin sister divorcees Sunny Taylor and Eve Vaughn have had their fill of both heartaches and headaches. So when they settle down in the small Louisiana town of Sugar Ledge and open a remodeling and repair company, they think they’ve finally found some peace—even though Eve is still open for romance while Sunny considers her own heart out-of-business.

Then their newest customer ends up face-down in a pond, and his widow is found dead soon after. Unfortunately, Sunny was witnessed having an unpleasant moment with the distraught woman, and suspicion falls on the twins. And when an attempt is made on Eve’s life, they find themselves pulled into a murder mystery neither knows how to navigate.

With a town of prying eyes on them, and an unknown culprit out to stop them, Sunny and Eve will have to depend on each other like never before if they’re going to clip a killer in the bud.

Review

I was intrigued by the concept of this book because I don’t recall there ever being twins in a cozy series. There may be, but I’ve not read one!

The characters were quirky and annoying and the twin sisters were very different (as most twins usually are). Sunny has some issues and I felt like she was all over the place with her peculiarities. At first it was amusing that she sang Christmas carols when nervous (and we find out why about halfway through the book) but then it became a little annoying. Sunny is also overprotective of her twin, Eve, so much that at times I think she alienates her sister. Eve seems to be a bit self absorbed but a bit more normal and down to earth.

There isn’t a huge pool of suspects but i didn’t figure it out until the story line lead you down that path. Looking back, there were not a lot of clues to really point you in any one direction. The story moved slowly along but did pick up near the end.

We give this 3 paws up.

About the author

june shaw

June Shaw serves her third term as Louisiana’s representative on the board of Mystery Writers of America’s Southwest Chapter. For Romance Writers of America’s South Louisiana Chapter, she is the Published Author Liaison.

She’s written for numerous periodicals and created highly-praised novels, including this first in her cozy mystery series, which Deadly Ink nominated for Best Mystery of the Year.

 

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check out the other blogs on this tour

January 23 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

January 24 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT

January 25 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW

January 26 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

January 27 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

January 28 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

January 29 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

January 30 – Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

January 30 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

January 31 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

February 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 2 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

February 2 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT

February 3 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

February 4 – Book Babble – REVIEW

February 5 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

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

Synopsis

From the Power of the Matchmaker series:

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

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

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

Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Posted in 3 paws, coming of age, fiction, Giveaway, Review on December 12, 2016

THE WEST TEXAS PILGRIMAGE

by M.M. Wolthoff

  Genre: Contemporary / Coming of Age

Publisher: River Grove Books

Date of Publication: February 29, 2015

Number of Pages: 220

 Scroll down for Giveaway!

synopsis

west-tx-pilgrimageHunter’s friend Ty survived war in the Middle East only to succumb to cancer at home. On a quest with his college buddies and Ty’s father, Hunter journeys from South Texas into the mountains and desert of West Texas to bury his close friend. During this trek, they’ll drink, hunt, party, and encounter unexpected people and enthralling landscapes as Hunter deals with his grief, compounded by his struggle with depression and obsessive–compulsive disorder. 

The West Texas Pilgrimage is a love letter to West Texas and the wild culture that defines it. Author M. M. Wolthoff vividly depicts the regional landscape, exploring intriguing stops along the way and the authentic context of music, food, and language integral to this generation of Texans, while frankly and thoughtfully addressing relationships, mourning, and mental illness, with characters as unforgettable as the region itself.

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***

PRAISE FOR THE WEST TEXAS PILGRIMAGE

I laughed. I cried. This is a book that is real, honest and reminds all of us that life is filled with ups and downs. The only way to keep moving forward is to get real with ourselves about whom we are and accept our beauty and our pain. This young author has amazing wisdom that is so articulately shared with readers of all ages.  — 5 Stars, Amazon Verified Purchase

The West Texas Pilgrimage was insightful into the mind of a privileged, pre-adult male who tries to self-medicate his OCD condition with alcohol. While reading, I felt the main character’s vulnerabilities as he struggled with his feelings regarding his career choice, the loss of a good friend to cancer, and the complications of his search for the right female life mate. The book was a quick read…only because I could not put it down! There were several “ah-ha” moments when I thought: oh my, that’s really how a pre-adult male thinks??!? I never knew!! — 5 Stars Donna J Millon

I read the first half of the book in one night; it draws you in with believable characters and real challenges they face. Could have been written about people you know or have met. It covers some tough topics but is an enjoyable read. — 5 Stars Peter Day

Really nice read. Very detailed description of so many things made me feel like I was right there with them. 2 nights to read for a non reader like me makes for a really easy and entertaining time. Thumbs up.  — 5 Stars Nunya

The book brought me right back to the border towns of my youth. Step outside any bar and be hit with the smell of fajita and sewer. Glorious!  — 5 Stars Amazon Verified Purchase

Review

I have mixed feelings on this book. If you can get past the amount of alcohol that the characters are drinking and that they are driving while drinking, the underlying story is actually a good one.

The story centers around 4 friends getting together to put a 5th friend, Ty, to rest that lost a battle to cancer. Most of them knew each other growing up, but a few were added during college. So after Ty was cremated, his father gathers the friends and they make a journey to West Texas and Big Bend National Park to say their final farewells to Ty and remember the man he was to each of them.

But in getting to that part of the story (which is about 75% of the way into the book), there is a personal journey for Hunter. He is dealing with depression, and like most people, feels like he cannot discuss it with any of his friends and walks a fine line between drinking a lot or taking a pill to help him sleep. He is hiding a pain that goes deep for him, and perhaps he felt some shame in his diagnosis. He finally talks to his buddy Cinco, but not until Cinco practically drags it out of him near the end of the book. Until that point he just drinks a lot to keep his buzz going.  I think many people could relate to Hunter and what he was going through in his life.

I thought the author did a good job describing West Texas and the small towns and what you might expect to see if you visit those areas. It is a part of Texas my husband and I want to visit, so I liked getting a view into what I could expect to find when we visit that part of the state.

Overall the book is somewhat depressing and I was surprised no one else died behind the wheel or from the excessive drinking. It could easily have happened considering how much each person drank in the few days this story spans. The only sane person was the father, Dr Sanderson, but I chalk that up to age. But at the same time, the reason for the gathering was touching and my favorite part of the book is when they were on a summit at San Isabel Peak saying goodbye to Ty and they each brought a memento that reminded them of their time with him or what represented his life. I actually had tears in my eyes reading song lyrics one friend wrote. The words were very touching and I could see it being made into a song.

We give it 3 paws up and worth reading!

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about the author

author-pic-wolthoffMatthew Martin Wolthoff lives in McAllen, Texas, with his wife, Lucy Ann, and three children, Hunter Ann, McCoy Martin, and Kerr Dunkin. He grew up in a military family, living all over the world until finding home in South Texas, where he went to high school in San Antonio. He is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy and has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio. His parents instilled a passion for reading and writing in him early in life that grows stronger every day. An avid outdoorsman, he finds his inspiration—and peace of mind—in the shallow waters of the Lower Laguna Madre and the wilderness of the South Texas brush country. His first West Texas pilgrimage was in 2010. It was a life-changing event.

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12/9 Review Forgotten Winds
12/10 Guest Post Byers Editing Reviews & Blog
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12/12 Review StoreyBook Reviews
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Posted in 3 paws, excerpt, Review, Romantic Suspense on November 21, 2016

pistol-fanny

Synopsis

Never fall in love with a bank robber.

Especially if she’s the one who robbed your bank, took you hostage, and dumped you unconscious at the local convenience store. And definitely not if you are the assistant district attorney of Tupelo, Mississippi.

This is the advice Hank Huckleberry Rivers would have given himself, back when he was a man who vowed to always walk on the right side of the law. The same law that had seemed sacrosanct ever since the day he and his friends watched as two men were murdered right below their tree house.

Falling in love with a dangerous criminal can have life-altering consequences, though. And when the past and the present meet head-on, Hank finds himself in more trouble than he ever bargained for. He must run to save his life, daring to find answers to the questions threatening his safety and his heart, as the killer below the tree house comes after Hank—and his pistol-wielding bank robber.

It’s a simple case of love in the first degree.

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Artist: Jaime Buckley

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Excerpt

Even so, these mystical women in heels who were robbing and donating continued to make headlines, and banks across the states had never been busier. Men were lining up, never taking such an interest in where their money was stashed, all in hopes of catching a glimpse of them.

Posters were made, memes popped up like mushrooms in a wet field online, and a comic strip was dedicated to these women.  Pistollette was bigger than life, her legs spread apart, a pistol in each hand, looking down on the world. That exaggerated smile on her face, those brown blinking eyes.

Her sisters were right beside her, blowing things up, winking and playing the boom box, tap dancing by a door, flipping on counters. Close to their hairlines, a zipper, and a clear thin line that separated their two sides. The good and the bad. The zipper was the key to their true identity. And below them all were men, amplified cartoon hearts floating from their chests, stars in their eyes, and lust in their smiles.

The slogan for these women—not only do they steal your money, they collect interest on your heart.

The entire world knew who they were. Headlines read: Maybe coming to a bank near you.

Propaganda hung in alleys, on fences, above urinals, and below in underground train stations. They were up in pool halls, in dive bars, and on the walls of the swankiest clubs in New York. They had become art. Modern day sophisticate meets old lawless ruggedness. A huge billboard hung in Hollywood, showing the girls appearing out of smoke: Stealing the hearts of the rich guys, giving to the poor ones. Pistollette and her Sirens will take you by storm! They were for the good guys of the world who cared enough to figure it out.

They were elusive and mysterious, and there was a reward for any man who would dare remove any of their masks. The world was sure underneath the masquerades were the most beautiful faces any man had ever seen. No one ever tried. They were too stupefied in their presence. They were truck drivers’ and bikers’ dreams, doctors’ and lawyers’ fantasies.

The hoopla went on and on.

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Review

This book took a long time for me to read and I’m a fast reader. It started off great with what the boys see when they are young, but then it took quite some time for that to come back and fit back into the story.

I thought the book was slow in many parts and sometimes I felt like some scenes were drawn out way too long. There were also times when I had no clue what was going on and who characters were and if they were people we already knew or not.

The story does explain everything and tie it all together.

I’d give this about 3 paws.

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About the Author

Born and raised in New Orleans, Annie has a habit of shortening her words and telling long stories. She speaks with a southern flair and cooks with it too. At the tender age of twenty- one, she hitched up her wagons (took her first plane ride) and moved out west to the big shake (California).

Her writing career began one sleepless night when she imagined a gorgeous woman and a man with maniacal hair floating above her like lightening bugs falling from the sky. Curious about them, their story, and why they were floating around in her head, she sat down and penned (typed) her first novel, Marigny Street. A dream come true for her, she hasn’t stopped writing since. She loves a damn good love story, always has, no matter what the genre. She is particularly moved by imperfect love that in its own unique way is perfect, the notion of love at first sight, soul mates, and things that are generally out of the norm.

When she’s not writing she enjoys dabbling in photography and finding new, inspirational music to add to her collection. Deciding on a whim to hitch up those same wagons, Annie currently resides in Texas (where everything is bigger) with her husband, daughter, and their two peculiar dogs, Boudreaux and Tabasco (who, call her crazy, bark with an accent).

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Posted in 3 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on November 12, 2016

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deadly-dog-days

Deadly Dog Days (A Dog Days Mystery)
by Jamie M. Blair
Series: A Dog Days Mystery (Book 1)
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Midnight Ink (November 8, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0738750187
E-Book ASIN: B01APSYPTS

Synopsis

New to the historic town of Metamora, Indiana, Cameron Cripps-Hayman is looking to make friends with her neighbors. What she isn’t looking for is one of their bodies floating in the canal.

When she and her estranged husband, the town sheriff, are both named suspects for the murder, Cameron takes solving the crime into her own hands, teaming up with her eccentric co-workers who dub themselves The Metamora Action Agency.

As if hunting for a murderer with two high school geniuses, the town drunk, and an elderly kleptomaniac isn’t hard enough, Cameron adopts the five mangy guard dogs of her deceased neighbor. But maybe a stint at playing gatekeeper is just what she needs to come face-to-face with the killer and save another neighbor from being the next victim.

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Review

This was a good start to a new series set in a dying tourist town in Indiana. and of course the title mentions dogs, so I was naturally intrigued as I am a dog lover.

The pace started off slow to me but did pick up about halfway through. There are a myriad of characters, all have their issues, but for the most part are good characters.

Cameron is a bit of a wild child – not much in the house other than cookies. oh and it is a house given to her and her husband by his mother….who is VERY controlling and is taking bits and pieces of the house to sell. Irene (the MIL) is not a very likable character. I think she is used to getting what she wants and no one stands up to her. She doesn’t like Cameron much, but I lay that blame at her husband Ben’s feet. Ben needs to stand up for Cameron with his mother. Sure they may be estranged right now, but they still talk and are trying to work out their relationship.

The mystery wasn’t anything I might have solved because the killer wasn’t anyone anywhere close to my radar. I think I’m still a bit unsure why this person was the killer.

The story was enjoyable and I am curious as to how future books will play out for Cameron, Ben and Mia (Ben’s daughter).

We give it 3 paws up.

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jamie-blairAbout the Author

Jamie Blair (Ohio) is the award-winning author of young adult and romance books, including Leap of Faith (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and Lost to Me.

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November 8 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

November 8 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

November 9 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

November 9 – The Girl with Book Lungs – SPOTLIGHT

November 10 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

November 10 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – REVIEW

November 11 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

November 11 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

November 11 – The Broke Book Bank – REVIEW

November 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

November 13 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

November 14 – A Date with a Book – REVIEW

November 14 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

November 15 – Book Babble – REVIEW

November 16 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

November 16 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

November 17 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT

November 18 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 19 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 20 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

November 20 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

Posted in 3 paws, mystery, Review on October 22, 2016

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a-killer-closet

 

A Killer Closet: A Mystery

Genre – Mystery

Publisher: Alibi (October 11, 2016)

ASIN: B01AQO16S4

 

Synopsis

In a fashionably short mystery novel, Paula Paul introduces a tenacious heroine who leaves big-city life behind and returns to picturesque Santa Fe, New Mexico—where murder lands on her doorstep.

Irene Seligman loves the warmth and beauty of her Southwest hometown, but only one thing could make her quit her prestigious job as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan to return there: the guilt applied by her demanding mother, Adelle. After Adelle’s most recent husband dies, leaving her with nothing, Irene decides to take a break from prosecuting criminals to move back to Santa Fe and open an upscale consignment store. With Irene’s determination and her mother’s eye for haute couture, they’re sure to make a killing.

But on the day of the grand opening, Irene discovers the body of one of Adelle’s friends in her storeroom. And although the intrigue causes business to boom, when someone else from Adelle’s social circle is murdered, Irene begins to suspect her mother might be in danger too. Ever the protective daughter, Irene investigates her mother’s friends, suspicious that they’re hiding more than designer clothes in their closets. But as she gets closer to uncovering some real skeletons, Irene might not live to regret coming home again.

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Review

I thought this was supposed to be a cozy but it isn’t in my opinion…just FYI for anyone that thinks it should be. There are some elements of a cozy but the f* bombs and cursing make it just a mystery in my book.

Ok, that aside, the book was interesting. There are the “little old ladies” that have no concept of danger especially when they put themselves in the middle of it, multiple murders in the newest consignment shop in town and a former NY DA that has found herself back in NM because her mother needs her (and is one of these “little old ladies” I mentioned).

There are some interesting twists and turns regarding the murders and the crime that is stumbled upon . I was surprised at who some of the “bad guys” actually were. I think the characters need more development, but for a first book it isn’t bad (and I’m assuming there will be more as there is potential for future books).

We give this 3 paws up.

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About the Author

paula-paulAward-winning novelist Paula Paul was born on her grandparents’ cotton farm near Shallowater, Texas, and graduated from a country high school near Maple, Texas. She earned a BA in journalism and has worked as a reporter for newspapers in both Texas and New Mexico. She’s been the recipient of state and national awards for her work as a journalist as well as a novelist. She’s the author of many mysteries, including the Alexandra Gladstone series and the Mystery by Design series, which she wrote as Paula Carter. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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Check out the other great blogs on this tour

October 11 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT

October 12 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW

October 12 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

October 13 – Island Confidential – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

October 14 – Shelley’s Book Case – SPOTLIGHT

October 15 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy ! – SPOTLIGHT

October 16 – The Girl with Book Lungs – SPOTLIGHT

October 17 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

October 18 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

October 18 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

October 19 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

October 20 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

October 21- Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

October 22 – Varietats – REVIEW

October 22 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

October 23 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

October 23 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

October 24 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

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Posted in 3 paws, excerpt, Giveaway, Review, Romantic Comedy on October 19, 2016

My Grandfather's Pants by Tegon Maus

My Grandfathers Pants by Tegon Maus My Grandfather’s Pants by Tegon Maus

Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing (Jan  21, 2014)
Category: Contemporary Romance, Humor, Romantic Comedy, Suspense
Tour Dates: Oct/Nov, 2016
ASIN:  B00HZH5A7O
Available in: ebook,  164 Pages

Synopsis

Jack Laskin is an ordinary man. More than ordinary according to some. Running the family hardware store and a life that would bore a snail, nothing exciting ever seems to happen to him.

Then, at his mother’s urging, he tries on a pair of his late grandfather’s old pants and everything changes — most importantly his emerging love life. It’s not long before his mother and her meddling friends get involved.

When an old friend of his grandfather’s tells Jack he has something she wants, his new-found life takes another turn. Having no idea what he is supposed to have, Jack looks to his girlfriend, Connie, and her brother, Robert, for help.

In the end, the answers will all be found in his Grandfather’s Pants.

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Praise for My Grandfather’s Pants by Tegon Maus

“This story is fantastic! It is totally different to anything I have read before. As the storyline unfolds, it is sexy, humorous and very entertaining – absolutely brilliant!”- Susan Keefe, Book Reviews By Susan Keefe, Author

“I was definitely not expecting to laugh as often as I did while reading My Grandfather’s Pants. Mr. Maus has a fantastic sense of humour that translates extremely well to the written word. He is adept at teasing out the funny side of even the most serious or mundane parts of daily life. It was especially entertaining to see how he plays around with a wide range of assumptions most of us make about certain groups of people in order to keep his readers on their toes.
My Grandfather’s Pants is a great choice for anyone in the mood for something quirky and original. This is the kind of book that begs to be read more than once. I, for one, will be revisiting it quite soon!”- LAS Reviewer, Long and Short Reviews

“My Grandfather’s Pants is a funny and surprising novel. An enjoyable combination of fantasy and suspense with a touch of romance. The protagonist, Jack is a likeable old soul thrown into a bizarre situation, and the way he handles the bizarre challenges he faces will keep you guessing . . . and laughing. Pick up this book if you want to take a ride on a saucy, madcap rollercoaster. You won’t be disappointed!”- Joseph N. Sidari, Amazon Reviewer

Excerpt

Excerpt 2 – My Grandfather’s Pants

 

I was embarrassed and shocked beyond words.

“Ah hell, he ain’t got it,” Harriet sputtered, covering up again.

“Mom, I don’t need any help, really.” I struggled to form the words.

“Oh, no, dear, not you. We’re here to help Connie. She’ll be the one who will need the help if your dad passed on his gift.”

“Gift? What gift?” I asked, concerned what the answer might be.

“Last night…you get any? Did you give it to her good?” Harriet asked, thrusting her hips toward me, puffing to the end of her cigarette.

“No,” I protested, backing away.

“He ain’t got it, Moraine,” Harriet hissed, waving a dismissive hand in my direction, stepping away and buttoning up at last.

“Got what? What are we talking about here?” I pressed.

No one spoke, all three of them just stood there.

“Go on tell him. If he’s a late bloomer he’ll know eventually,” Stella crossed her arms and nodded.

“Jack, your father had an appetite unlike any…” she began.

“The man was a machine,” Harriet injected, lighting another cigarette.

The tone of her voice made my heart pound with panic and the gleam in her eye struck fear in my heart.

“Insatiable really,” Stella offered, flipping her hand back and forth.

“Mom…I…You can’t possibly…” I was lost for words, confused.

“You don’t understand. Your dad…he was relentless. There was no end. Two and three, sometimes four times a day. Outside, in the kitchen, in the garage, in the car, in…”

“In the trunk.” Stella pointed at herself.

“You know he asked, but I could never bring myself to do it,” Mom said, turning to Stella.

“It wasn’t so bad. I kind of got to like it,” Stella confessed.

“Are you telling me Dad cheated on you?” I asked in shock.

“Oh, no, dear. He would never cheat on us, never,” she soothed, patting me.

“Never,” Stella and Harriet said in unison, both with the same tone of affirmation.

“Dad was sleeping with…?” I had to sit down.

The pictures that suddenly filled my head took the very breath out of me, making me gasp like a fish out of water.

“It wasn’t like that. I didn’t believe it in the beginning either. When your father and I were dating, his mother came to me with the same story.

At first, I thought she was simply trying to get rid of me, like I wasn’t good enough for your father. Then as time went by I began to see the truth of what she said. Little things at first…soon they grew more and more urgent, more demanding. I watched as your grandfather fell apart a little more each day. He refused the gift, refused to bend to the need that roiled inside him. It devoured him.

As time went by he became bitter, angry, less of the man he had been and more of a miserable wretch.

Your grandmother did everything a woman could do but as hard as she tried there was no convincing him that things would be alright. Henry was a stubborn man.

I promised myself I would never allow that fate to befall your father or you,” she said placing a hand on my shoulder.

“So because Grandpa was cranky you what?” I asked, now bewildered.

“I had to do something for sanity’s sake if nothing else. I saw the same madness begin to show itself in your father and it began to overshadow our relationship. I promised myself then and there I would never allow it to come between us. Harriet’s husband died in a car crash and she was devastated. She cried almost every day for two years afterward. She was lonely and your father was amorous and insatiable and I was tired. You have no idea how exhausting it was.  Every time you turned around. It was a natural fit. Harriet had needs that hadn’t been filled since her husband’s death and your father didn’t seem to mind. Harriet felt better, your dad felt better and I was so relieved to have a break it was like Christmas in July. It was a win-win. Everyone was happy,” she said with a smile.

“Dad and Harriet?” I gasped, pointing at the wrinkled, old, mean spirited, chain-smoking gnome standing in front of me.

Harriet blew a smoke ring, put on a smug smile, bouncing her eyebrows in acknowledgment.

“Well…” she hesitated. “Even Harriet had her limits and after a few years, it only seemed natural to include Stella.”

“Stella?”

“Yes. We switched off so everyone had at least a day to recoup. I had Thursdays and Saturdays. Stella took Wednesdays and Fridays, while Harriet took Mondays and Tuesdays and the odd day we weren’t available. She has always been the trooper,” Mom said proudly.

I bent forward, leaning over my knees, trying to catch my breath.

“How could you…how…?” I couldn’t form a thought with the pictures that pushed themselves into my head.

“We had needs, each of us. Your father had a family trait handed down for generations, ardent cravings that I…let me correct that. Cravings that no one woman could fulfill. He was a good man. He didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, never missed a day of work, never lied, never cheated…he had this one little quirk. He was a…”

“A sexual dynamo,” Harriet interrupted.

“Oh yes,” Stella agreed, rolling her eyes back in her head, fanning herself with the magazine she held.

“And you all shared him?” I choked.

Review

This was a very bizarre story. I bounced from being kinda weirded out at the actions/comments of Jack’s mother and her friends to being intrigued at the mystery portion of the story.

I think this goes into the fantasy category because i wasn’t quite sure how the pants his grandfather wore fit into the story. Do these pants make the men more insatiable when it comes to their physical needs? Why are the women ok with there being a “harem”? Why do the older ladies call Jack by his grandfather’s name of Henry? Lots of unanswered questions.

The story is different, was a pretty fast read and was a little humorous in places.  We give it 3 paws up.

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About Tegon MausMy Grandfathers Pants by Tegon Maus

Tegon Maus was raised pretty much the same as everyone else… devoted mother, strict father and all the imaginary friends he could conjure. Not that he wasn’t friendly, he just wasn’t “people orientated”. Maybe he lived in his head way more than he should have, maybe not. He liked machines more than people, at least he did until I met his wife.

The first thing he can remember writing was for her. For the life of him he can’t remember what it was about… something about dust bunnies under the bed and monsters in my closet. It must have been pretty good because she married him shortly after that. He spent a good number  of years chasing other dreams before he got back to writing.

It wasn’t a deliberate conscious thought, it was more of a stepping stone. His wife and himself had joined a dream interpret group and we were encouraged to write down our dreams as they occurred. “Be as detailed as you can,” we were told.

He was thrilled. If there is one thing he enjoys it’s making people believe him and he likes to exaggerate. Not a big exaggeration or an outright lie mind you, just a little step out of sync, just enough so you couldn’t be sure if it were true or not.  When he writes, he always write with the effort of “it could happen” very much in mind and nothing, he guarantees you, nothing, makes him happier.

He has consistently placed in the top 3 in 189 writing contest in a variety of genres and has been featured in magazines a couple of times to raise money for Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

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Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers Nov 2 Review

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Posted in 3 paws, mystery, Review on October 9, 2016

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book-club-murders

The Book Club Murders: The Oakwood Mystery Series
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Publisher: Alibi (September 27, 2016)
224 Pages
E-Book ASIN: B01A4ATX9E

Synopsis

In a charming cozy mystery series debut, Leslie Nagel’s irrepressible small-town heroine finds that her fellow mystery book club members may be taking their Agatha Christie a bit too literally—and murder a bit too lightly.

Charley Carpenter has poured heart and soul into her clothing store, Old Hat Vintage Fashions. She’ll do anything to make it a success—even join the stuffy Agathas Book Club in order to cultivate customers among the wealthy elite of Oakwood, Ohio.

Although mixing with the most influential women in town has its advantages, Charley finds the endless gossip a high price to pay. But after two women with close ties to the Agathas are brutally murdered, everyone falls under threat—and suspicion. When key evidence indicates that both murders are the work of the same hand, Charley realizes that the killer has arranged each corpse in perfect imitation of crime scenes from the Club’s murder mystery reading list. She uses her membership in the Club to convince Detective Marcus Trenault to use her as an inside informant. Not that he could stop her anyway.

Intelligent, fearless, and every bit as stubborn as Marc is, Charley soon learns the Agathas aren’t the only ones with secrets to protect. Passions explode as she and Marc must race against time to prevent another murder. And if Charley’s not careful, she may find herself becoming the killer’s next plot twist.

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Review

Before i get into my review, I am going to state I do not think this is a cozy. It is on the fringes, but had a few F* bombs, there was sex that was sort of behind closed doors (perhaps a smidge more explicit than you would normally find) and just didn’t read like one to me.

Despite that, the book is good and I did not suspect the right person as the killer. We are led down some paths that don’t lead to the killer (but the author does a great job of letting you think that person might be the one!) . I liked the premise of the book club trying to solve the murder, or at least a few of them. Of course i liked that the book club read only mysteries in tribute to Agatha Christie since that is my favorite genre.

There is a budding romance between Marc and Charley (Charlotte), but they have their moments showing their true selves to each other. Marc is jealous of the relationship between his mom & Charley and Charley’s dad before her passing. Charley has her own issues too.

Overall a good book and worth reading.  We give it 3 paws up.

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About the Author

leslie-nagelLeslie Nagel is a writer and teacher of writing at a local community college. Her debut novel, “The Book Club Murders”, is the first in the Oakwood Mystery Series. Leslie lives in the all too real city of Oakwood, Ohio, where murders are rare but great stories lie thick on the ground. After the written word, her passions include her husband, her son and daughter, hiking, tennis and strong black coffee, not necessarily in that order.

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September 26 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST

September 26 – The Cozy Mystery Journal – REVIEW

September 27 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW

September 27 – My Funny View of Life – REVIEW

September 28 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 28 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

September 29 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

September 29 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

September 30 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

September 30 – Teresa Trent Author Site – REVIEW

October 1 –  Sleuth Cafe – REVIEW

October 1 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

October 2 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

October 2 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

October 3 – Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

October 3 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

October 4 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – REVIEW

October 4 – Ashleyz Wonderland – REVIEW

October 5 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

October 5 – Book Babble – REVIEW – unable to post due to injury.

October 6 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW

October 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

October 7 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 7 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

October 8 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 8 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GUEST POST

October 9 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

October 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW