Posted in 4 paws, Book Release, Review, romance on April 4, 2017

Synopsis

Veterinarian Rory Gallagher chose a different path from his brothers, both of whom became first responders in the lovely little town of Darling, Vermont. Rory’s always had an affinity for animals—and the ladies. Known for his impressive track record in breaking hearts, Rory never meant to hurt anyone; he’s just never been in a hurry to settle down. It’s not as if he needs to pay a visit to the town’s famed Kissing Bridge to magically find love. He’ll know The One when he sees her. . .right?

Oaklee Ferguson is the kid sister of Rory’s best friend—and, even now that she’s all grown up, remains immune to the pet-doctor’s charms. When she shows up at Rory’s clinic late one night—devastated after hitting a stray dog with her car—Rory’s so-called “bedroom eyes” are the last thing on her mind. Still, his care and kindness toward the dog, and his concern for her feelings, catches Oaklee by surprise. . .and soon the two (and rescued dog makes three!) begin to share a deep connection that neither could have ever imagined. Could it be that love has been waiting for them by the bridge all along?

Macmillan * Books-A-Million * Indie Bound * Powells

Review

I will pretty much read any book when there are dogs involved and it doesn’t hurt when there is a cute vet in the story too.

This is the 3rd in a series and I’ve haven’t read the first two and it isn’t necessary other than maybe to be clued in to the back story of Rory’s brothers and a few other characters.

Rory and Oaklee have some major baggage with past relationships and it does infringe upon their potential relationship with each other. I think most people can relate to bad relationships that leave them feeling vulnerable or skittish on getting involved with someone again. This is definitely where Rory and Oaklee are but they are wise enough to learn that perhaps being together is worth the risk. I think this makes them very relatable because who hasn’t had their heart broken making it hard for them to trust again?

The setting of the book really makes me want to move there. I love the ideas of small towns and a close knit community. Maybe not that everyone knows your business but knowing everyone and knowing who you can call for different things.

All in all a very enjoyable book and we give it 4 paws up.

About the Author

While bestselling author Donna Alward was busy studying Austen, Eliot and Shakespeare, she was also losing herself in the breathtaking stories created by romance novelists like LaVyrle Spencer, Judith McNaught, and Nora Roberts. Several years after completing her degree she decided to write a romance of her own and it was true love! Five years and ten manuscripts later she sold her first book and launched a new career. While her heartwarming stories of love, hope, and homecoming have been translated into several languages, hit bestseller lists and won awards, her very favorite thing is when she hears from happy readers!

Donna lives on Canada’s east coast with her family which includes a husband, a couple of kids, a senior dog and two crazy cats. When she’s not writing she enjoys reading (of course!), knitting, gardening, cooking…and is a Masterpiece Theater addict.

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Posted in 4 paws, Book Release, Children on April 1, 2017

Written by Holly L. Niner, Illustrated by Isabella Ongaro
April 2017, Hardcover, 32 color pages, ages 4–8, $17.95 US/CAN
ISBN 9781936261895
Published by Flashlight Press
Distributed by IPG

Synopsis

While Dad tucks her in, a little girl named Grace calmly recounts her day—which was anything but calm. She had a tantrum (because of some injustices involving a purple shirt and breakfast cereal) and was banished to her bedroom before deciding to run away. Understanding that kids have ups and downs, Grace’s mom wisely gave her daughter the space and time she needed to reach her own decision to return home—to open arms.

The Day I Ran Away amusingly captures Grace’s mutable moods and childlike logic, making her a character readers care about and can relate to. Warm, humorous digital paintings offer fun details to keep little listeners busy. Kids can compare the bedtime and daytime scenes and try to figure out how Grace got that purple paw-pint on her cheek—and when it got washed away. They can mimic Grace’s facial expressions or copy her poses for some soothing bedtime yoga. And of course, they can create a safe place to run away to when the injustices of Pre-K existence become too much to bear. A pop-up tent in the yard and the haven beneath the dining room table are excellent run-away destinations, as long as you come home for dinner.

Review

This is a cute story with a bit of a lesson for both children and parents. All children (actually people of all ages) will get upset at one time or another and this story shows that if you handle it properly and have taught your children well that it will all work out. I like how the mother handled the situation – giving her daughter some freedom and letting her think she was running away from home without actually leaving the yard. In a small way she turned it into an adventure and having taught her daughter some lessons earlier in her life about crossing the street, she was able to keep her close. It was really ingenious!  Hopefully though it doesn’t teach the little girl that she can throw a tantrum and get away with it.

The only thing that was wrong is that the story never says the little girls name in the text.  No where in the story does mom or dad call her by her name. (at least not in the ARC that I had been provided).  Her name does appear in an illustration, and while I did look at the illustrations (they depicted the words beautifully) I would not have expected to have to look there for her name.

We give it 4 paws up.

About the Author

Holly L. Niner grew up in Newburgh, NY, where on a bad day she would run away with a book to a swing under a willow tree. She is a speech therapist and the award-winning author of I Can’t Stop and Mr. Worry. Holly lives in Fort Wayne, IN, and this is her third picture book.

About the Illustrator

Isabella Ongaro grew up in Verona, Italy, where on a bad day she would run away to her garden shed to draw her cat in her notebook. She creates 2D animation, character designs for apps, and illustrations for the educational and fashion markets. Isabella lives in Paris, France, and this is her fourth picture book.

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Posted in 4 paws, Giveaway, Historical, WW II on March 20, 2017

THE BIG INCH

by

KIMBERLY FISH

  Genre: Historical Fiction, WWII

Date of Publication: January 19, 2017

Number of Pages: 344

Scroll down for Giveaway!

Kimberly Fish’s debut novel, The Big Inch, was released in February, 2017 and it reveals the lengths to which Texas oilmen, state, and federal governments would go to get Texas crude oil to the troops fighting their first mechanized war. With Nazi threats (and a steady stream of oil tankers sunk by German submarines) speed was necessary, as was OSS intelligence. The Office of Strategic Services was often staffed with female spies and Longview’s World War II efforts were critical for success.

Lane Mercer, sent to Longview, Texas in July 1942, is part of a select group of women working undercover for the fledgling federal agency, the Office of Strategic Services. Assigned to protect the man carrying out President Roosevelt’s initiative to build the nation’s first overland pipeline to hurry East Texas crude to the troops, she discovers there’s more to Longview than the dossiers implied. There’s intrigue, mayhem, and danger. Shamed from a botched OSS mission in France, Lane struggles to fulfill her mission and keep from drowning in guilt. Getting involved in local life is out of the question. Between family, do-gooders, and Nazi threats, she’s knitted into a series of events that unravel all of her carefully constructed, plans, realizing that sometimes the life one has to save, is one’s own.

 

PRAISE FOR THE BIG INCH

“With an eye for detail, Kimberly Fish weaves a compelling story of a war widow who finds herself in Longview, Texas in 1942. Reading Kimberly’s novel was a bit like going back to a cloak and dagger time, and I enjoyed the local references. Longview was an amazing place to be during WWII.”   — Van Craddock, Longview News Journal, Columnist

“Kimberly Fish’s unique writing style snatched me out of my easy chair and plunked me down into the middle of her character’s life where I was loathe to leave when my real life called me back. Her descriptive visual writing drew me in on the first page. Can’t wait to read more stories by Mrs. Fish.” — Vickie Phelps  Author of Moved, Left No Address

 

Once I read the description of where the book was set, I knew I had to read it! I lived in Longview for a few years growing up and still have family and friends in this town. Even though this book is historical and doesn’t represent what the town looks like now, I was curious as to how much would be accurate. To my surprise, it seems like quite a bit. I really enjoyed reading the book and reading the street names that I have traveled frequently like Fredonia and Methvin. It was like taking a trip down memory lane!

This was set during the oil boom of East Texas in the 1940’s. I had heard a lot about this when we moved to East Texas and there is even a museum in Kilgore dedicated to this era. While this is a fictional book, I feel like the author did a good job researching the area and what was going on during that time.

Lane is a strong woman and during the 40’s that just wasn’t a characteristic you saw portrayed from most women mostly because of domineering men. However, Lane managed to have a successful career as an undercover agent and was sent to Longview to make sure that a pipeline (called the Big Inch) wasn’t destroyed or sabotaged. Her keen sense of observation in several situations put her in the public eye as a heroine which definitely caused a conflict with trying to remain undercover and unknown. But more than what she was in Longview to do for the government, I think she was dealing with her own demons from what happened on her last assignment in Paris and also with her family. She had her own demons to battle and come to terms with the past. I enjoyed watching Lane blossom by the end of the book and become an even stronger woman to be reckoned with.

The book is not without a love interest and Zeke fills that role. It is hard to know what side he is on as it seems like he is playing both sides against each other. But one thing for sure is his interest in Lane and trying to convince her that he was good enough for her.

There are many other intriguing characters that lend interesting twists to the story. From the Judge, so Tesco and even Theo. There is quite a twist at the end that I did not expect and who was trying to create havoc for the pipeline. I don’t think I really knew that there was a mini mystery to be solved, and it was solved with even a bit of humor and ingenuity on Lane’s part.

Overall a very enjoyable book and since it looks like this might be a series I wonder if Lane will be in future books or if there will be a new place in history to explore.  We give this 4 paws up.

Kimberly Fish started writing professionally with the birth of her second child and the purchase of a home computer. Having found this dubious outlet, she then entered and won a Texas manuscript contest which fed her on-going fascination with story crafting. She has since published in magazines, newspapers, and online formats, She lives with her family in East Texas.

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March 8 – 22, 2017

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check out the other blogs on this tour

3/8 Review Hall Ways Blog
3/9 Author Interview Reading By Moonlight
3/10 Excerpt Books and Broomsticks
3/11 Review Kara The Redhead
3/12 Promo Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books
3/13 Character Interview CGB Blog Tours
3/14 Review Syd Savvy
3/15 Guest Post Chapter Break Book Blog
3/16 Author Interview Forgotten Winds
3/17 Review Books in the Garden
3/18 Playlist My Book Fix Blog
3/19 Promo Margie’s Must Reads
3/20 Review StoreyBook Reviews
3/21 Author Interview The Page Unbound
3/22 Review Missus Gonzo


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Posted in 4 paws, excerpt, Review, romance on March 17, 2017

Title: A Way Back into Love

Author: Veronica Thatcher

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Notion Press

Synopsis

Nothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes, uncertain. People, irrational. But love…well, that makes everything complicated. And when you are caught in a tangled web of secrets, lies, and complex affairs, someone is bound to get burned.

Emily Stevens is a spunky, spirited college girl whose life gets turned upside-down when she realizes she’s in love with her best friend of fifteen years, Derek Thorpe. As Emily prepares to confess her feelings to Derek, something happens one night which changes her life forever. Five years later, Emily finds herself in Boston, alone and heartbroken. Will she ever be able to forget the past? And what will she find when she returns home…to the man she left behind?

Excerpt

Emily stepped back from him and shook her head. “Oh, you know damn well what I mean. You know what, Derek? I’m done having this conversation with you. I’m so done with this conversation and I’m so done with you,” Emily spat out angrily before brushing past him.

“Emily, wait,” Derek said, catching her by her arm. “Where are you going?”

Emily spun around and gave him a bitter look before looking down at his hand gripping her arm. “Leave my arm,” she said in a low yet threatening voice, “And why do you care where I’m going? It’s none of your business.”

Derek didn’t leave her arm in spite of her warning and said, “Em, you’ve had too many drinks. You can’t drive in this condition. I’ll drop you home.”

Emily jerked her arm free from his grasp and replied in a bitter voice, “Thank you, but no. I’m perfectly capable of getting myself home on my own. I don’t need you to drop me home. Do you get it, Derek Thorpe? I DON’T NEED YOU!” Emily yelled the last words, causing a few people to look their way.

Review

Best friends that fall in love with each other – sounds like a winner of a story line to me. And for the most part this book was very enjoyable. Emily and Derek have their issues and misunderstandings, but they have been best friends since the age of 6. It is hard to let something totally go after all those years, even if they fall in love with each other but do not want to admit and then Emily runs away to finish college and med school before returning to Fresno. I enjoyed their interactions, even the ones where they were hard for the characters to address (feelings for each other, situations, etc).

Emily has a sister, Emma (and by the way, it was hard to keep them straight at first because the names were so similar starting with Em) who is quite the brat. To top it off, while Emily has run off to Boston to escape an incident with Derek, Emma has wormed her way into his life and they are now engaged. Talk about awkward! Especially since Emily and Derek manage to somewhat clear the air and return to being friends. He wants to spend most of his time with Emily (when not at work) and this rubs Emma the wrong way. I don’t blame her for being mad at him, if I was engaged to someone and he wanted to spend all his free time with another woman…well things would not be pretty!

And then there is Emily’s mother – she has her own issues we learn about near the end of the book but you wonder if she loves Emily or not.

I did have a few problems with some inconsistencies. I did read an ARC so I hope the issues are cleared up before the final book. I also wasn’t wild about the author putting “Flashback” and then “End Flashback” for most of those scenes (there were some that didn’t notate that but because the text was italicized you knew it was a flashback). If you italicize you don’t need to put those words. I never could figure out if Emily was renting an apartment or purchasing a condo. In the US, you don’t normally purchase an apartment, they are rented. But in that chapter it was hard to really know what was going on. Also, when Emily runs into Derek’s sister, Jenny, the word “met/meet” was used and they knew each other. There were probably some other little things, but as I read an ARC I am hoping it was all corrected before the final release.

Overall I did enjoy the plot of the book and the characters. I think their story was one that could have happened to anyone.  We give it 4 paws up

About the Author

Veronica Thatcher is an exciting new contemporary romance author. Ever since she was very young, she’s dreamed of becoming a doctor when she grew up. While still forging ahead with that, majoring in pre-med in college, she unwittingly stumbled upon a new dream—becoming a published author. Some may call her an introvert or a wallflower, but she has always found she could express herself better in written, rather than spoken, words. However, never in her wildest dreams had she envisioned she would pursue writing as a prospective career, not just a hobby. Her love for writing goes hand-in-hand with her love for a good romance novel—whether it be a feel-good, sweet romance or a dark, suspenseful one. When she’s not studying, reading, or writing, she is usually found blasting her favourite songs, sometimes singing and dancing along to them.  She dabbles in a number of activities, including painting, karate, singing and dancing. She is a huge chocoholic – probably the biggest – and she is an ice-cream junkie too. She considers herself technologically handicapped forever and has no shame in admitting that. She also deems chocolates her boyfriend, Patrick Dempsey the love of her life, and Friends her life!

Her first book, A Way Back Into Love, is slated for release in February 2017, and she hopes readers will enjoy it as much as she enjoyed writing it.

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Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on March 14, 2017

The Art of Vanishing (A Lila Maclean Academic Mystery)
Publisher: Henery Press (February 28, 2017)
Paperback: 262 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635111699
Kindle – ASIN: B01NBHR7Y6

Synopsis

When Professor Lila Maclean is sent to interview celebrated author and notorious cad Damon Von Tussel, he disappears before her very eyes. The English department is thrown into chaos by the news, as Damon is supposed to headline Stonedale University’s upcoming Arts Week.

The chancellor makes it clear that he expects Lila to locate the writer and set events back on track immediately. But someone appears to have a different plan: strange warnings are received, valuable items go missing, and a series of dangerous incidents threaten the lives of Stonedale’s guests. After her beloved mother, who happens to be Damon’s ex, rushes onto campus and into harm’s way, Lila has even more reason to bring the culprit to light before anything—or anyone—else vanishes.

Review

I think this is the first time in a long time that I have ready a mystery and no one has died! There is still a mystery to solve, but not why someone was killed. This time they are trying to figure out what the scoop is behind celebrated author Damon Von Tussel. Is he really just a recluse or is there more to his story?

Lila puts up with a lot where she works, mostly from the Chancellor, but also from a fellow professor, Simone, who has it out for her. I never knew the world of academia could be so competitive. The Chancellor is a bit of a jerk expecting Lila to do all these things with no care for her life or if she has a conflict and can’t jump and fill his demands. But at least she has her cousin, Calista, on her side.

The actual mystery was quite a shock when all was revealed. I never expected it to turn out the way it did and for some people to reveal their true intentions. There are a few clues to point you in the right direction, but not many.

There is also a potential love interest between Lila and Lex (the police detective). But there is also Nate, but even though Lila sees him as a friend, could he be interested in more?

I did find one inconsistency (and it may have been fixed by the final printing of the book, I had an ARC). At an event, Lex asks Lila if he can take her to dinner the next night. She said no because of an author reading that was happening. However, the following text seems to span a few days before the actual event. It is a minor thing that I noticed but it threw me off as I read that section.

I still enjoyed the book and am curious to see what the author has in store for the next installment.  We give it 4 paws up.

About the Author

cynthia kuhnCynthia Kuhn teaches and writes in Colorado. Her work has appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Literary Mama, Copper Nickel, Prick of the Spindle, Mama PhD and other publications. She is the current president of Sisters in Crime-Colorado and blogs with Mysteristas. Visit her at cynthiakuhn.net or @cynthiakuhn.

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check out the other blogs on this tour

March 1 – T’s Stuff – INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

March 1 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

March 2 – Queen of All She Reads – SPOTLIGHT

March 2 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT

March 3 – Books Direct – INTERVIEW

March 3 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

March 4 – Mystery Playground – INTERVIEW

March 5 – The Editing Pen – INTERVIEW

March 6 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW

March 6 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

March 7 – My Journey Back – REVIEW, INTERVIEWAdding interview

March 7 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

March 8 – Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

March 9 – Girl with Book Lungs – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

March 9 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

March 10 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

March 11 – Connie’s History Classroom – REVIEW

March 11 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

March 12 – Varietats – REVIEW

March 12 – Babs Book Bistro – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

March 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

March 14 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

Posted in 4 paws, Book Release, Review, romance on March 10, 2017

Synopsis

Would you abandon your present for a second chance at your past?

Cecelia Reynolds has spent most of her life trying to forget the commitment-phobic man who broke her heart. It wasn’t easy, but eventually she did it, or so she thought…

As Cecelia and her husband gather for a friend’s wedding, her perfect world is thrown into complete turmoil. Even though it’s been twenty years since she last laid eyes on Keith Emerson, all it takes is one glance for her to feel emotions she thought were long gone. When Keith ends up officiating the ceremony, she quickly realizes his message of love is directed at her, not the happy couple. But can she believe him?

We live our entire lives thinking we know ourselves. But do we ever really?

As secrets and lies cause Cecelia’s world to spin completely out of control, she is forced to seek advice from the most unlikely ally. In the process, she must confront the demons of her past and the events that shaped her into the woman she is now. Will she finally learn the real meaning of love, friendship, and family?

While this book is a sequel to Plan Bea, it also reads as a standalone.

Review

I have mixed feelings about this book. The main character, Cecilia, has her issues (as do most people) but when faced with the supposed love of her life, Keith, from 20 years ago, she throws everything she has now away (or so it seems). She is trying to figure out if she missed out on something or not. We have probably all been at that point in our lives but perhaps made different choices.

Keith is another matter, he seems to have regretted letting Cecilia walk away from him…but as the story continues, I wondered if he was really sad she left or if he just wanted a fling because she was married and he still wouldn’t have to commit.

I did like seeing characters from Plan Bea continue in this story, I liked picking right back up where that story left off. The dynamic of the friends and family is probably similar to one you have in your own life. There are ups and downs and the ties of friendship are truly tested in this book.

I have to say I wasn’t thrilled with Cecilia and her actions. She redeemed herself to me at the end and the story ended where we don’t really know what is going to happen to Cecilia and her husband, Bryce. Perhaps another book is in the works?

We give it 4 paws up!

Plan Bea is Free on Amazon  (as of 3/9/17)

About the Author

By day, Hilary Grossman works in the booze biz. By night she hangs out with her “characters.” She has an unhealthy addiction to denim and high heel shoes. She’s been known to walk into walls and fall up stairs. She only eats spicy foods and is obsessed with her cat, Lucy. She loves to find humor in everyday life. She likens life to a game of dodge ball – she tries to keep many balls in the air before they smack her in the face. She lives on Long Island.

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Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on March 9, 2017

Kneaded to Death (A Bread Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Kensington (February 28, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages

Synopsis

Everyone swears by Yeast of Eden, the Mexican bread shop in town. But tonight, the only thing on the menu is la muerte . . .

Struggling photographer Ivy Culpepper has lots of soul-searching to do since returning to seaside Santa Sofia, California. That is, until the thirty-six-year-old enters a bread making class at Yeast of Eden. Whether it’s the aroma of fresh conchas in the oven, or her instant connection with owner Olaya Solis, Ivy just knows the missing ingredients in her life are hidden among the secrets of Olaya’s bakery . . .

But Ivy’s spirits crumble when a missing classmate is suddenly discovered dead in her car. Even more devastating, the prime suspect is Olaya Solis herself. Doubting the woman could commit such a crime, Ivy embarks on a murder investigation of her own to prove her innocence and seize the real killer. As she follows a deadly trail of crumbs around town, Ivy must trust her gut like never before—or someone else could be toast!

Review

I always enjoy checking out a new cozy series, especially when there is food involved! This series revolves around a bakery called Yeast of Eden and the author does a great job of making my mouth water when she describes all the different breads. I especially enjoy the tips on baking bread because even though I don’t bake bread often, the tips are very handy to keep in the back of my mind.

There are several mysteries that need to be solved in this book. Of course there is the main murder of Jackie, a local cooking school owner. Why was she killed? The reason will surprise you because it sure did surprise me. The author takes you down another path and while there is some merit it isn’t all it seems to be. Then there is Ivy’s mother that was killed 6 months prior. All seems to reflect a hit and run, but Ivy just can’t accept that there isn’t more. Could it have been murder? And if so, are the deaths tied together?

When it came time to revealing the killer I was quite surprised because this person was not even on my radar. I don’t think there were any clues to tip us off that it was this character. In fact, I was starting to suspect one of the main characters (not going to tell you who, you’ll have to read the book because this character might become a suspect in your mind too!) but was very relieve it was not her.

This book also focuses on grief – from Ivy and her father over losing her mother, to Miguel’s loss of his father and even Jackie’s daughter. I hope that in future books knowing the truth about Ivy’s mother will help her family move on past the grief.

Lastly, there is a hint at a possible romance being rekindled between Ivy and Miguel. They dated in high school and then he left town. Ivy’s heart was broken but will she get past that hurt? I think probably so.

We give this book 4 paws up.

About the Author

The indefatigable Winnie Archer is a middle school teacher by day, and a writer by night. Born in a beach town in California, she now lives in an inspiring century old house in North Texas and loves being surrounded by real-life history. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with both yoga and chocolate, adores pumpkin spice lattes, is devoted to her five kids and husband, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.

Winnie Archer Website

Winnie Archer is the pseudonym for national bestselling author Melissa Bourbon.

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February 27 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

February 27 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW

February 28 – Sleuth Cafe – REVIEW

February 28 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

March 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 1 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW

March 1 – Bookworm Mom – REVIEW

March 2 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

March 2 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – INTERVIEW

March 3 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

March 3 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW

March 4 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW, GUEST POST

March 4 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

March 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

March 5 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

March 6 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

March 6 – Book Babble – REVIEW

March 7 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

March 8 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GUEST POST

March 8 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

March 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

March 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

March 10 – Becky’s Bookcase – REVIEW

March 10 – Readeropolis – REVIEW

March 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

March 11 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – GUEST POST

March 12 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on March 7, 2017

Pressed to Death (A Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum Mystery)
2nd in Series
Publisher: Midnight Ink (March 8, 2017)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738750316
Kindle ASIN: B01FOR0Z7G

Synopsis

Paranormal museum owner Maddie Kosloski thinks she has the perfect paranormal exhibit for the harvest festival—a haunted grape press. But when she’s accused of stealing the press, and her accuser is found murdered, all eyes turn to Maddie.

Maddie knows well the perils of amateur sleuthing and is reluctant to get involved. But her mother insists she investigate. Does her mom have a secret agenda? Or is she somehow connected to the murder?

Facing down danger and her own over-active imagination, Maddie must unearth the killer before she becomes the next ghost to haunt her museum.

Review

This series is a great combination of mystery and paranormal – the paranormal is very light as it is a paranormal museum and there is no telling if the items in the museum are actually haunted or not. Although the museum cat, GD, apparently can sense spirits.

The great thing about this series so far (as it is just the 2nd book) is that Maddie solves the crimes in the present and in the past. In both books there are unsolved crimes that are resolved as they seem to tie into main story line. This time it is a haunted wine press and Maddie purchases but the seller ends up dead after claiming it was stolen. Of course Maddie is a suspect and one of the police detectives, Laurel Hamilton, is definitely out to get Maddie. Laurel holds a grudge and does what she can to make Maddie’s life miserable. I’m actually surprised that she gets away with what she does, but it is a small town and sometimes those small towns have a different outlook.

The mystery itself was well written as I didn’t quite figure out who the killer was and the why was a surprise too. I do like that Maddie doesn’t try and confront the killer herself and brings in the police to apprehend the perpetrator.

Maddie does have a love interest, Mason, but some things come up with him and a person from his past and a situation that he has to deal with. While we don’t know what exactly the situation is until about 3/4 of the way through the book, I did figure out why this person was back in town. It does put a crimp in their relationship so we will have to see how it pans out in coming books.

Overall I enjoyed the book and can’t wait for the next book to come out.  We give it 4 paws up

About the Author

KIRSTEN WEISSKirsten Weiss grew up in San Mateo, California. After getting her MBA, she joined the Peace Corps, starting an international career that took her around the fringes of the defunct USSR and into the Afghan war zone. Her experiences abroad not only gave her glimpses into the darker side of human nature, but also sparked an interest in the effects of mysticism and mythology, and how both are woven into our daily lives.

She writes paranormal mystery and suspense, blending her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of magic and mayhem.

Kirsten has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking good wine.

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March 6 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

March 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST

March 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

March 7 – T’s Stuff – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

March 8 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 9 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

March 10 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

March 11 – Curling up by the Fire – REVIEW

March 12 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

March 13 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

March 14 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW

March 15 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

March 16 – Bea’s Book Nook – REVIEW

March 16 – Bookworm Mom – REVIEW

March 17 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

March 18 – Mystery Playground – GUEST POST

March 19 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

Posted in 4 paws, Giveaway, Literary, Review on March 5, 2017

FOY: ON THE ROAD TO LOST

by

GORDON ATKINSON

  Genre: Literary Fiction

Publisher: Material Media LLC

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Date of Publication: March 1, 2017

Number of Pages: 194

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Gordon Atkinson, of the popular blog RealLivePreacher, brings us Foy, a recently- divorced, recently-resigned pastor in the midst of redefining personal meaning. As Foy travels to New Orleans, hoping to find a new identity separate from the church, he keenly observes the everyday, rendering ordinary moments unexpectedly significant. Atkinson’s own background as a preacher and blogger inspires Foy’s confessional voice, the voice which characterizes this story about how our own experiences impact the universal search for meaning.

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PRAISE FOR FOY: ON THE ROAD TO LOST

“If the magnitude of difference between the stars and humankind is the purest of religions, reminding us of our insignificance (so thinks Foy), then that magnitude is collapsed in the hands of Atkinson, whose words elevate the most insignificant of objects, acts, and characters to startling heights. A key shifted on a desk, a communion cup offered to an old woman despite a philosophical mismatch, a baby’s bottle first ignored and then retrieved for a frazzled stranger on a bus. Each commands, each arrests, each persists. And we suddenly remember that what we create with mere words can be as lasting as the luminaries.”  — L.L. Barkat, author of Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing, twice named a best book of 2011

“Few writers can match Gordon Atkinson’s ability to tell stories about the sacred in our everyday lives. Foy is a work of power, beauty, and clarity–I saw myself and the world more clearly after reading it. I think you will too.”  — Greg Garrett, author of The Prodigal and Entertaining Judgment

“I really, really like Gordon Atkinson’s Foy. I like the character Foy himself. He’s Everyman and he’s me and he’s Gordon, all at the same time. Nice trick. I like Gordon’s writing — straightforward, but with a simple elegance. But what I really like is the no-holds-barred honesty. This feels real because it is real. Foy at his worst, Foy at his best, Foy at his most wonderful/awful. It’s an on-going series, just like life. I look forward to the next chapter.”  — Robert F. Darden, author of Nothing but Love in God’s Water, Volume II: Black Sacred Music from Sit-Ins to Resurrection City

New Novel by Gordon Atkinson Foy: On the Road to Lost, to be released March 1 from Material Media on Vimeo.

Books in the Literary Fiction genre seem to be hit and miss with me.  However, Foy surprised me and I found this introspective look back at his life very fascinating.  The book starts off and Foy is being let go from the church where he is a pastor.  I think it is something of a shock, and like most people that are let go, he seems to stumble around trying to figure out what he should be doing with his life.  The following chapters are a flashback of his life and how he got to this point.  I liked that each chapter was more of a snapshot of an influential time in his life, whether he knew it or not at the time.  It seems like he was meant to be a preacher from his early days, but was that because he was emulating his father?

This book also peeks inside Foy’s relationship with God and religion, and perhaps it causes the reader to also consider how they feel or what they believe when it comes to God and religion.  One paragraph (or close) made me think a little.  This is from the Bearing Witness chapter – “I think hell is a place where God is not.  And if people don’t want to be with God, then he honors that choice and they can be away from God for eternity.  If that’s what they choose, he’ll give it to them.  But I think hell must be a terrible place if God is absent from it.”  This gave me pause and actually changed my thinking on how to perceive hell (whether there is one or not is a whole other topic!)

Another paragraph that stood out to me is from The Sermon chapter.  “The thing about forgiveness is, we don’t even know what the hell it means.  People are always saying “Forgive me” or “I forgive you”, but we don’t define it.  That’s a problem.”  This is tied to a biblical verse that talks about forgiving someone not seven times, but seventy times seven.  If you think about it, that is a lot of forgiveness.  What could someone do 490 times (70 x 7) that you would forgive them every single time?  For most people it would never get that far before they had enough of the situation.

The only thing I don’t really like in this book is the use of the f* bomb.  Ironically there is a chapter titled F-Bomb and there is a bit of humor in that chapter tied to this word, but there were many other uses of the word in this book that weren’t really necessary.  Maybe I grew up in a sheltered household, but I don’t recall this word being used much in the 70’s and 80’s.  I could be wrong though.

The book doesn’t really end and in the notes from the author it seems that he is working on a Part II that will pick up where this book ends.

Overall I give it 4 paws and if you are looking for a book that will make you think, then check out this one.

Atkinson is the author of the books RealLivePreacher.com (Wm. B. Eerdmans), Turtles All the Way Down, and A Christmas Story You’ve Never Heard.  He was a contributor for the magazine Christian Century and founding editor for the High Calling website, which brought together hundreds of independent writers and featured their work.

His writing career started on Salon where he was among the most read bloggers on the site.  One of his essays was chosen to be included in The Best Christian Writing 2004 (Jossey-Bass) and his book RealLivePreacher.com won the Independent Publisher Book Award in the creative non-fiction category.

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Grand Prize: Signed Copies of Foy: On the Road to Lost, Turtles All the Way Down, and A Christmas Story You Never Heard

2nd Prize: Signed Copy of Foy: On the Road to Lost

3rd Prize: Signed Copy of RealLivePreacher.com
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March 1 – 15, 2017

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3/1 Video Guest Post Hall Ways Blog
3/2 Review Momma On The Rocks
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3/4 Video Guest Post Syd Savvy
3/5 Review StoreyBook Reviews
3/6 Author Interview Kara The Redhead
3/7 Review Forgotten Winds
3/8 Video Guest Post The Page Unbound
3/9 Excerpt My Book Fix Blog
3/10 Review Margie’s Must Reads
3/11 Video Guest Post Chapter Break Book Blog
3/12 Author Interview Missus Gonzo
3/13 Review Book Chase
3/14 Video Guest Post Texas Book Lover
3/15 Review Reading By Moonlight

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Posted in 4 paws, Review, Romantic Suspense on March 4, 2017

Synopsis

Forty-year-old, never been married stage and TV actress Kelly Lawson returns to her Texas home to choreograph and star in the Glenview Theatre summer season. Kelly’s mother has made a hobby of trailing out every new man in town for Kelly’s inspection, hoping she’ll fall in love and use Glenview as her home base, especially now that Kelly’s father has entered the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s . Two years ago, Kelly broke off an engagement shortly before she discovered her former fiancé dead, a gun in his hand and a hole in his head. Reason enough to guard her heart.

When Kelly accuses a Glenview police officer of harassing two of their gay actors, Police Chief Josh Kincaid, her mother’s candidate for this trip, becomes involved in the investigation. Incidents pile up, making it clear someone has it in, not only for the theatre, but for Kelly as well. Josh searches for clues to the person behind the attacks and the reason for them, all the while trying to ignore his developing feelings. How could he trust his heart to a New York actress?

Review

I really enjoyed this romantic suspense novel. It home on a few levels – set in Texas close to where I live and 2 of the men have Alzheimers (I have known many that had this including my own dad).

I like that while Kelly may be an actress and famous, she is very down to earth and has some of her own issues to deal with as well. Josh hasn’t had the easiest life either but he knows what he wants when he meets Kelly.

This is a suspense novel so there is only a slight bit of a mystery at the beginning about who is causing some problems. It is all revealed as to who the culprits are, but it still takes a while for them to be discovered and brought to justice. There are a few tense nail biting moments that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

There are some slightly graphic love scenes but much tamer than you find in other books. I tend to skim over those parts, but that is me.

All in all a good book and worth the read.  We give it 4 paws up.

 

About the Author

I’ve worn many hats during my life. I’d thought the writing hat was of recent vintage. Then going through some boxes, I stumbled over plays and short stories I wrote in 6th and 7th grades. The hat is older than I recalled.

For many years, I wore the hat of an activist PTA mom and volunteer. Then I added a campaign hat and served on the Fort Worth school board for eight years. A task I never could’ve undertaken without the full cooperation of my husband, an attorney . He’s supported me in everything I’ve wanted to do.

Then I went back to teaching high school theatre, a fun hat to wear. They paid me for doing something I loved. After that, I morphed into an elementary school administrator. Sometimes the hat fit well. At other times, it pinched. Joyous, but exhausting work. Ever since retiring, I’ve concentrated on my writing career. As I said, lots of hats.

Our grown children live near us and have given us the best of the best: grandchildren. I’ve turned into your stereotypical grandmother believing these little jewels are the most beautiful, handsome, and brilliant in the world!

My favorite season is fall, and I’m never happier than when we travel to New England. We’ve been fortunate to visit many beautiful parts of the country, some of which find their way into my books.

I’m working on book three of The Second Chances Series, ACT OF BETRAYAL..s series. Newest release is THE THEATRE October 31, 2016.

I’ve recently joined Sisterhood of Suspense, a blog made up of 16 authors all who write romantic suspense. Much fun.

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