Posted in 4 paws, mystery on December 8, 2013

Small Town Trouble

 

Synopsis

In Small Town Trouble, the first in my mystery series, you get acquainted with Kim Claypoole’s irreverent ways of dealing with the peculiar characters and events that seem to follow her around. Claypoole’s misadventures begin as she leaves her home in the Smoky Mountains to help save her kooky mother Evelyn’s from financial disaster. Setting off to assist Evelyn, AKA “The Other Scarlett O’Hara,” with her newest personal crisis, Claypoole leaves her Gatlinburg doublewide and the Little Pigeon, the restaurant that she owns with her partner and sometimes best friend Mad Ted Weber as well as a steamy love affair with TV diva Nancy Merit.

Claypoole’s savior complex leads to more trouble when she bumps into an old flame in her hometown who asks for help clearing her hapless brother of a recent murder charge. In true Claypoole fashion, she gets more than she bargained for when she gets dragged into a complicated quest to find the true killer that involves topless dancers, small-town cops, a stream of backwater character and even a meeting with the Grim Reaper. We’re never sure if Claypoole can muddle her way through the murky depths of this bizarre murder mystery before it’s too late. With biting humor and wit, Small Town Trouble will leave you guessing what’s around the next corner in the quirky world of Kim Claypoole and looking forward to her next adventure.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

amazon buybn buy

 

Review

This isn’t quite a cozy but sort of borders on one. Interesting characters, strong female lead with a very quirky family. Fun read, some laugh out loud parts and reads pretty quickly. I enjoyed trying to figure out what was going on and would never have guessed who was behind all the murders and other happenings!

We give this 4 paws!

pawprintpawprintpawprintpawprint

About Jean Erhardt

I was raised in the small rural town of Amelia, Ohio, about twenty five miles out of Cincinnati.

I wrote my first mystery story when I was in fourth grade. It was about a kid a lot like me who heard strange noises coming from the attic and became convinced that the attic was haunted. Eventually, the mystery was solved when she investigated and found a squirrel eating nuts in a dark corner. It wasn’t a terribly exciting conclusion, but my teacher gave me an A anyway.

As a teenager I worked at a lot of different jobs. I worked at a gift shop in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which is a frequent locale in my books. I was a swimming instructor and a lifeguard where my primary goal was to never get wet. I did a stint in a stuffed animal gift shop at the Kings Island amusement park where I actually sort of met the Partridge Family when they shot an episode there. After graduating from high school, I went on to attend Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee, a stone’s throw from the Great Smoky Mountains.

In high school and college I played basketball and I graduated from Maryville College with a degree in Phys Ed. I went on to teach at Amelia Junior High, the same junior high that I had attended. There was something a little weird about passing by my old school locker every day when I walked down the hall as a teacher. Plus, some of the teachers I’d had back when I was in junior high were still working when I started to teach. Some of them had been none too fond of me as a student and I don’t think they were much fonder of me as a teacher! I coached the girls’ basketball and volleyball teams which was the best part of my job.

In my late 20’s I moved to the West Coast to get a broader perspective on life or something like that. I ended up working in retail security, or loss prevention, as it is now known, at an upscale Northwest retailer. I kept getting promoted and with each promotion, the job became less and less fun. It was a lot more fun catching shoplifters than sitting in endless meetings and crunching budgets. After ten years of that, I quit to try my hand at some serious writing. I wrote two books of fiction (not mysteries), Benny’s World and Kippo’s World, as well as a book of not-especially-reverent poetry called A Girl’s Guide to God and numerous short stories, articles and poems which have appeared in The Sonora Review, The Quarterly, Word of Mouth, Blue Stocking and 8-Track Mind.

After that, it was time to go back to work. I got my private investigator’s license and hung out my shingle. At first, I took a lot of the cheaters cases. It seemed to me that if a guy thought his woman was cheating, he was usually wrong. On the other hand, if a woman thought her guy was cheating, she was almost always right. Eventually, I moved on to take mostly criminal defense investigation work which often involved trying to figure out what the client did and didn’t do and then minimize the damage of what they usually did do. There were so many crazy ways that people could get themselves in trouble. In one case, the attorney I was working for represented a wife who had gotten so enraged about all of the time and affection her husband lavished on his pet iguana that she shot the poor iguana and killed it. The husband was furious and wanted the district attorney to press charges. The wife was eventually charged with reckless endangerment and took a pretty sweet deal because even the DA felt sorry for the fact that she was married to such a schmuck.

It was an interesting ten years. Somewhere in this time period I began to write the Kim Claypoole Mystery Series, which was a great distraction and a lot of fun. I liked the idea of having many of the same characters appear in each book. So here I am now, working on the fifth book in the series. I hope you’ll come along for the adventures of Kim Claypoole.

Website * Author Facebook Page * Book Facebook page

 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

 | 
Comments Off on Review: Small Town Trouble by Jean Erhardt @jeanderhardt
Posted in 4 paws, Review, romance on November 29, 2013

Cover_Letters From Home - Bethanne Strasser(1)

Letter From Home

by: Bethanne Strasser

Synopsis

An Army doctor, Lena Rodriguez has always been too busy with school or the Army for romance. But the letters she received during deployment have captured her heart. Back home for the holidays, she awaits Christmas morning to meet the man who has turned her life upside down.

When Zack Benson watched his best friend’s sister Lena leave for Afghanistan, he knew he had to tell her he loved her. So he sent her anonymous love letters. Now that she’s home, he realizes he’s made a tactical error. Lena has fallen for the man in those letters but still thinks of him as a brother. He has to convince her otherwise because if he succeeds, he’ll get the best Christmas present ever. But if he fails, he could lose her for good.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

amazon buybn buy

 

Review

Zack has loved Lena for a long time but was never willing to admit it. Lena has been receiving letters over the past year from a mysterious hometown fella that has declared his love. Will Zack let slip he was the letter writer this past year or will Lena figure it out?

This was a very enjoyable novella.  The characters were very real and included real feelings and situations tied to life in the military.  I liked how Lena has a large family and how her older brothers still treat her like the kid sister that needs protection.  I can’t blame Zack for not letting on sooner that he had feelings for her, who would want to deal with the older brothers who were also his best friend(s)?

A fun read and we give it 4 paws up.

pawprintpawprintpawprintpawprint

Author Information

You can find Bethanne Strasser at one of these sites!

Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads

 | 
Comments Off on Review: Letters from Home @Bethanne_writes
Posted in 4 paws, Review, romance on November 29, 2013

Cover_White Lie Christmas - Christine Bell & Riley Murphy(1)

Synopsis

The holidays are here, and Leah Latrelle has made a mess of them. When her out-of-town parents’ concern over her non-existent love life threatens to interfere with her father’s health, she invents a boyfriend who quickly turns into a fiancé. Her family is thrilled, and they change their Christmas plans last minute to meet their future son-in-law. Now Leah has no choice but to come up with the goods. She needs a man, fast. When her friend and business partner, Mick, offers himself up as a sacrifice, she’s all over it. He’s handsome, dependable and available for the job. What could go wrong?

Tis the season, and Mick Kilpatrick can’t say no to a damsel in distress. Especially when that damsel is his luscious business partner who has been the object of his reluctant desire for the past year. He hasn’t pursued anything because being a dad is still priority number one. A sexy woman like Leah will only distract him from what’s really important and he can’t have that. He’ll pretend to be her fiancé, but when it’s over, everything will go back to normal. Sure, he’s fantasized about her once or…a million times but that doesn’t mean he’s in love with her. Does it?

goodreads-badge-add-plus

amazon buybn buy

Review

What could possibly go wrong when you have your business partner impersonate your fiance?!  Apparently everything but perhaps love can be found amidst the craziness!

I found this to be a fun and well written story.  Leah just wants her parents to move on with their life and not worry about her being single and away from them.  Mick is her hot to trot partner that has always had a thing for Leah and is willing to subject himself to the parents to keep Leah from going crazy.  What ensues can be likened to a comedy of errors but perhaps true love can be found in the end.  Mick does go a little overboard but I think it was to try and get Leah to see how much they belonged together.

We really enjoyed this book and give it 4 paws.

pawprintpawprintpawprintpawprint

Author Information

Christine Bell – Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads

Riley Murphy – Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads

 

 

 | 
Comments Off on Review: White Lie Christmas @_ChristineBell @Riley__Murphy
Posted in 4 paws, Blog tour, Review, romance on November 19, 2013
Buy Links
 
 
Blurb
 
After eighteen years of marriage, Amy has finally found a man to talk to, and it’s not her husband. She’s tried everything she can think of to put the umph back into her marriage, but when she meets Cool_Hand_Luke in a movie chat room, he validates her thoughts and opinions in ways her husband seems incapable of. With the holidays fast approaching, Amy tries to hold herself together for her family, while simultaneously exploring her new online relationship. Will she meet him in real life? Or will she figure out how to save her own marriage? Find out in this Holiday novella from Serendipity, Texas.
Review
This is a cute story and a quick read.  I have to admit that I pretty much knew who Cool_Hand_Luke was and it was interesting to see how it all played out.  One party knows who the other is but nothing seems to change with the online chats.  Despite knowing how it would play out the story was well written and had some interesting twists.  We give this 4 paws and if you are looking for a quick read, check this one out.  Just a forewarning there is some graphic language and sex so is intended for mature readers.
pawprintpawprintpawprintpawprint
 
 
 
 
Author Links
 
Bio
 
I raise goats. I raise children. I write. I don’t do any of it well, but I try to have fun with all of it. And I read. I’m not too terribly technologically savvy, but I’m working on that. My life is a continual work in progress. And when it gets to be 
too much for me (quite frequently, I’m a little embarrassed to say) I read some more.
 
 
 
 | 
Comments Off on Review: Falling for Him by Anne Conley @AnneConley10
Posted in 4 paws, Blog tour, contest, cooking, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery on November 14, 2013

banner large freezer ill shoot

 

Freezer I’ll Shoot (A Vintage Kitchen Mystery)
A Vintage Kitchen Mystery (Book 3)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley (November 5, 2013)
ISBN-10: 042525237X
ISBN-13: 978-0425252376

Synopsis

Trying to escape her overbearing mother, vintage kitchenware enthusiast and soon-to-be columnist Jaymie Leighton retreats to her family’s cottage on Heartbreak Island. While there she hopes to write an article about the Ice House restaurant, owned by good friends and neighbors, siblings Ruby and Garnet Redmond. Once an actual icehouse, the restaurant is charmingly decorated with antique tools of the trade, including a collection of ice picks.

One night, while working on her article, Jaymie overhears an argument and, ever the sleuth, sets out to explore. But when she stumbles upon a dead body her blood runs cold. It’s Urban Dobrinskie, whose feud with the Redmonds is no secret, and he’s got an ice pick through his heart. Now Jaymie’s got to sharpen her sleuthing skills to chip away at the mystery and prove her neighbors’ innocence—before someone else gets picked off…

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Review

This is another great installment in this series!  Jaymie is thrown into the middle of another murder when the body is found in her backyard.  The murder weapon throws the light onto some characters but I will say that I never suspected the killer to be this person!  There are quite a few motives by various individuals and any one of them could have done it and one of them did!  Add to the top of this, friction between her mom and her boyfriend’s mother…who is a bit overprotective.  Hello, he is a grown man not a teenager!  Anyway, a lot happens in this book and Victoria leads you around some corners while laying out the clues for you to figure out who-done-it.

We enjoyed this book and can’t wait for the next one and give this book 4 paws.

pawprintpawprintpawprintpawprint

About The Author

VictoriaHamilton-WebVictoria Hamilton, nationally bestselling author of the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series, is the pseudonym of Donna Lea Simpson, bestselling author of romance and historical mystery novels.

Victoria starting reading mystery novels at the age of 12 and devoured Agatha Christie mysteries, as well as those of Dorothy L. Sayers and Ngaio Marsh. She still adores mysteries, especially the cozy mysteries of Janet Bolin, Krista Davis, and others.

She loves to cook, and collects teapots and teacups, as well as vintage kitchen utensils and bowls. She also enjoys crafts, especially cross-stitching and crocheting, and spends summer days in the garden, drinking tea or wine. Besides the Vintage Kitchen Mystery series Victoria also writes the Merry Muffin Mystery series (Bran New Death – September 3rd) and the Teapot Collector Mystery series which debuts with Tempest in a Teapot, out June 3rd, 2014.

Website * Blog * Facebook (author) * Facebook (series) * Twitter * Amazon * Goodreads

 

Buy the Book

Amazon        Book World         B&N         Book Depository

Giveaway

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Tour Participants

November 2 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review, Interview, Giveaway

November 3 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review, Interview, Giveaway

November 4 – My Recent Favorite Books – Review, Giveaway

November 5 – According to Squenn – Interview

November 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review

November 7 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – Review, Interview, Giveaway

November 8 – Queen of All She Reads – Review, Giveaway

November 9 – A Chick Who Reads – Review, Interview

November 10 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner – Review, Giveaway

November 11 – A Date with a Book – Review, Giveaway

November 12 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – Review, Giveaway

November 13 – Community Bookstop – Review, Giveaway

November 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review, Giveaway

November 15 – Mochas, Mysteries and More – Review, Giveaway

great escape button160

 

I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

 

Posted in 4 paws, mystery, Review, suspense on November 9, 2013

reckless engineer

Synopsis

Love is a battlefield.  

The aftershocks of an affair reverberate out to those in the lives of the lovers, who will NOT take it lying down.

Jack Connor’s lives an idyllic life by the Portsmouth seaside married to Caitlin McAllen, a stunning billionaire heiress, and working at his two jobs as the Head of Radar Engineering of Marine Electronics and as the Director of Engineering of McAllen BlackGold, his powerful father-in-law Douglas McAllen’s extreme engineering company in Oil & Gas.  He loves his two sons from his first marriage and is amicably divorced from his beautiful first wife Marianne Connor.  Their delicately balanced lives are shattered when sexy Michelle Williams, with whom Jack is having a secret affair and who is pregnant with his child, is found dead and Jack is arrested on suspicion for the murder.

Jeremy Stone brings London’s top defense attorney, Harry Stavers, to handle his best friend’s defense.

Who is the bald man with the tattoo of a skull seen entering the victim’s house?  Who is “KC” who Caitlin makes secret calls to from a untraceable mobile?  Has powerful Douglas McAllen already killed his daughter’s first partner and is he capable of killing again?  Is Caitlin’s brother Ronnie McAllen’s power struggle with Jack for the control of McAllen Industries so intense that he is prepared to kill and frame his brother-in-law?  Is the divorce from Jack’s first wife as amicable on her part as they believe it to be?  Are his sons prepared to kill for their vast inheritance?  Who are the ghosts from Caitlin’s past in Aberdeen, Scotland haunting the marriage?  What is the involvement of Jack’s manager at Marine Electronics?

The cast of characters is made even more colorful by the supporting entourage: the big Scott and his gang, Hosé and Heineken, who carry out Douglas McAllen’s “troubleshooting;” McAllens’ bumbling solicitors McKinley and Magnus Laird; Caitlin McAllen’s handymen, Cossack and Levent; and Jeremy’s sidekick, the gay black actor working in the London West End.

While Jack is charged and his murder trial proceeds in the Crown Court under barrister Harry Stavers’ expert care, Jeremy runs a race against time to find the real killer and save his friend’s life, if he is in fact innocent, in a tense saga of love, desire, power, and ambition.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

amazon buy

Review

The first chapter started off well, the 2nd chapter I had a hard time with and keeping people straight, and then it flowed well again after that. I will say I was NOT expecting the ending! I kept thought about who could have killed Michelle, but the answer wasn’t one I expected.  I will say I missed some of the clues or didn’t think twice about them.  I should pay closer attention!  Oh and for my fellow US residents, it is set in the UK so I had to get used to some different words/spellings, but nothing that took away from the reading, just different that our every day life.

We give this 4 paws and suggest it next time you are looking for a mystery to read….see if you can figure out who did it before the last chapter!

pawprintpawprintpawprintpawprint

About the Author

Jac Wright is a poet published in literary magazines, a published author, and an electronics engineer educated at Stanford, University College London, and Cambridge who lives and works in England.  Jac studied English literature from the early age of three, developing an intense love for poetry, drama, and writing in Trinity College Speech & Drama classes taken every Saturday for fourteen years, and in subsequent creative writing classes taken during the university years.  A published poet, Jac’s first passion was for literary fiction and poetry writing as well as for the dramatic arts.  You will find these influences in the poetic imagery and prose, the dramatic scene setting, and the deep character creation.

These passions – for poetry, drama, literary fiction, and electronic engineering – have all been lovingly combined to create the first book in the literary suspense series, The Reckless Engineer.  There are millions of professionals in high tech corporate environments who work in thousands of cities in the US, the UK, and the world such as engineers, technicians, technical managers, investment bankers, and corporate lawyers.  High drama, power struggles, and human interest stories play out in the arena every day.  Yet there are hardly any books that tell their stories; there are not many books that they can identify with.  Jac feels compelled to tell their stories in The Reckless Engineer series.

Jac also writes the literary short fiction series, Summerset Tales, in which he explores characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances in the semi-fictional region of contemporary England called Summerset, partly the region that Thomas Hardy called Wessex.  Some of the tales have an added element of suspense similar to Roald Dahl’s Tales of the Unexpected.  The collection is published as individual tales in the tradition of Charles Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers and Thomas Hardy’s Wessex Tales.  The first tale, The Closet, accompanies the author’s first full-length literary suspense title, The Reckless Engineer.

 Amazon Author Page * Website * Facebook * Blog * Twitter

 

I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

 

 | 
Comments Off on Review: The Reckless Engineer by Jac Wright @JacWrightBooks
Posted in 4 paws, Blog tour, mystery, Review, suspense on November 8, 2013

banner large seduction of miriam

Synopsis

A sordid sex tape.

A venture capital firm.

A secret society of women.

A Catholic nun.

Can Delilah figure out who killed Miriam Cross . . . . before she becomes the killer’s next target?

Miriam Cross, author, feminist and philanthropist, disappears from her Philadelphia home.  A year later, a lonely recluse named Emily Cray is brutally murdered in her bed in a small Pennsylvania town.  Miriam and Emily are one and the same.

As Delilah and her staff of female detectives – a militant homemaker, an ex-headmistress and a former stripper – delve into Miriam’s life, they become submerged in an underworld of unfathomable cruelty and greed with implications that go far beyond the gruesome death of one woman or the boundaries of one country.  Eventually Miriam’s fight for justice becomes Delilah’s own …. and Delilah’s obsession with finding the truth may prove just as deadly.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Buy the Book

Amazon (Kindle format) * Amazon (Print) * Kobo

Review

WOW!  This book really surprised me with its twists and turns.  Part of me figured out what Miriam was involved with pretty quickly, but not the whole story.  I also couldn’t figure out how everyone fit in, the author did a good job of hiding the motives of the characters until just the right time.   I thought the characters were pretty well developed for a first book and imagine there are more back stories that could be revealed in future books and perhaps there might even be a love story?  Only time will tell.

We give this book 4 paws and next time you are looking for a good mystery, check this one out!

pawprintpawprintpawprintpawprint

Henery Two - WATysonAbout The Author

W. A. Tyson’s background in law and psychology has provided inspiration for her mysteries and thrillers.  The Seduction of Miriam Cross, to be published by E-Lit Books in November 2013, is the first in the Delilah Percy Powers mystery series.  She has also authored Killer Image (Henery Press, October 2013), the first novel in the Allison Campbell mystery series.

 Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

 

great escape button160

Tour Participants

November 1 – rantin’ ravin’ and reading – Review, Interview

November 2 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Guest Post

November 4 – A Blue Million Books – Interview

November 5 – THE SELF-TAUGHT COOK – Review

November 6 – readalot – Review

November 7 – Dru’s Book Musings – Guest Post

November 8 – Omnimystery – Interview

November 9 – Musings and Ramblings – Interview

November 10 – Brooke Blogs – Interview

November 11 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review

November 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review

 

I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

 | 
Comments Off on Blog Tour & Review: The Seduction of Miriam Cross by W.A. Tyson @Wendy Tyson
Posted in 4 paws, fiction, Review on November 3, 2013

a medical affair

Synopsis

Nobody talks about it, but it happens all the time. Twelve percent of medical doctors admit to having had at least one affair with a patient.

Until the night of her first asthma attack, Heather Morrison is a successful New York City executive in the process of adopting a daughter from China. On the first night in her newly-purchased condo on the Upper West Side, she awakens in a panic, fighting for breath.

Moments later, her panic-stricken eyes meet those of Dr. Jeffrey Davis, a pulmonary specialist. Jeff gets Heather’s breathing under control, but their mutual attraction is undeniable. Despite the fact that he is married, Jeff Davis soon steps beyond the bounds of ethically correct behavior to pursue Heather, resulting in a late-night tryst in his office that escalates quickly into a passionate but dangerous affair.

Despite her increasing discomfort with the situation, Heather rationalizes her relationship with Jeff, hoping for a happy ending she knows deep down won’t occur. Six months into it, Jeff’s wife discovers his involvement with Heather, driving him to abruptly break off the affair, but not before Heather begins, with the help of friends, to understand the ethical and legal impropriety and seriousness of what has transpired. Emotionally overwrought and fragile after the breakup, Heather also struggles with an addiction to several medications Jeff prescribed while she was under his care.

With initial misgivings, she begins the process of bringing Jeff to justice, discovering to her horror after initiating legal action that by doing so, she has jeopardized her chances of adopting the daughter she has dreamed of adopting for so long. Heather’s life comes crashing down around her as she sinks into the depths of humiliation and despair, only to find the strength within her, through the help of friends and compassionate professionals, to fight her way back into life, and to bring the doctor to justice.

A MEDICAL AFFAIR is a story that must be told.

Excerpt

After Melissa left, Heather stayed behind in the restaurant. She went through the motions of taking care of the bill. Smile. Pay. Tip. She lifted the two crisp tens Melissa had left on the tray. Adding two of her own, she returned them to the gold-trimmed jade tray that held the bill. Her legs were weak and shaking, her knees grazing the bottom of the table.

She stood and left the restaurant. Instead of heading for the subway, she walked a few blocks until she saw a Rite Aid drugstore. She went inside and bought two gigantic bags of M&M’s—one plain, one peanut.

“Sweet tooth got ya, sister?” the checkout clerk asked.

“I just need chocolate,” Heather said.

“Got to be a man, then,” the clerk said, two gold front teeth centering a friendly smile.

Heather felt a bond with the woman, a bond with every woman who had ever been wronged by a man. “Isn’t it always?” she asked, not needing a reply.

One block turned into another. Barely noticing how different this part of the city was from her own, Heather trudged forward, shoveling the candy into her mouth. Shoveling, chewing, and swallowing. She felt like she was walking beside herself, an unsettling feeling at best, calmed only slightly by the chocolate.

Melissa had said her affair with Jeff had lasted over six months; Suzanne’s had lasted only three. Heather counted back the months since July. Clearly I’ve met my expiration date, too.

Surrounded by the brilliant sights and sounds of Harlem, she saw nothing and heard less. It was just her and her two gigantic bags of M&M’s shoved inside a plastic Rite Aid shopping bag. Red, yellow, green, and blue. When had they started adding blue to the mix?

She walked as if on auto- pilot, navigating the streets and sidewalks, robotically obeying the Walk and Don’t Walk signs, crossing the streets with the crowds. Along the way, she stuffed one candy after another between her lips, filling the cavernous emptiness inside her with anything that tasted remotely like love.

Review

My first thought when I read the synopsis is, wow, does this really happen?  And then I think about society and the people in it and then I realize, of course it does and it probably happens often.  There are some doctors that have a “god” complex and think they can do no wrong.  That would be the main character Dr. Jeffrey (Jeff) Davis.  He is tending to Heather when she is brought into the ER for a severe asthma attack.  He notes that she is rather attractive and his type, but he tries not to act on anything.  That changes when Heather makes a follow up appointment for his office.  I’m sure he thought, why not?  Now don’t think that Heather is totally innocent in this whole matter, most normal people would realize that you don’t meet your doctor for coffee or lunch and you don’t let your doctor try and treat you for things that are not within their specialty!

I had mixed feelings about the characters while I was reading the novel.  I wasn’t wild about Jeff because he is a typical philanderer and I don’t like people that can’t be faithful to their spouse.  Heather was caught up in a moment, but then couldn’t figure out how to get out of the situation and I’m not sure she wanted out until it was a bit too late.  I felt pity for her but then at times I just wanted to throttle her and ask her what she was thinking!  I think her friends wanted to do the same thing!

This type of story can never end well.  There are winners and losers and those that win also lose something and this is no different.  A gripping read and we gave it 4 paws.

 

pawprintpawprintpawprintpawprint

About the Author

anne straussAnne McCarthy Strauss is a versatile writer, researcher and public relations professional.  She is also an avid supporter of victims’ rights.  She has spent the last decade educating women and men on the seldom revealed but all too frequent occurrence of affairs between doctors and their patients.  Her novel, A Medical Affair, is the story of a doctor who violates a sacred trust by having an affair with one of his patients.

The veteran of dozens of MediaBistro courses and Maui Writers Retreats, she is a staunch advocate of lifelong learning.  She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), and holds a B.A. in Journalism from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Anne’s byline has appeared in Old House Journal, Waterfront Home & Design, Design Trade Magazine, Design New England, Distinction, Log Home Design Ideas and Florida Design Review.  She has been a regular contributor to Martha’s Vineyard Magazine and Vineyard Style.

A lifelong New Yorker, Anne lives on Long Island with her husband and their two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Website * Twitter

 

 

Posted in 4 paws, contest, Giveaway, New Adult on October 27, 2013

undeclared

 

Synopsis

For four years, Grace Sullivan wrote to a Marine she never met, and fell in love. But when his deployment ended, so did the letters. Ever since that day, Grace has been coasting, academically and emotionally. The one thing she’s decided? No way is Noah Jackson — or any man — ever going to break her heart again.

Noah has always known exactly what he wants out of life. Success. Stability. Control. That’s why he joined the Marines and that’s why he’s fighting his way — literally — through college. Now that he’s got the rest of his life on track, he has one last conquest: Grace Sullivan. But since he  was the one who stopped writing, he knows that winning her back will be his biggest battle yet.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

bn buyamazon buy

Excerpt

Noah

Bo was lounging against the truck when I returned from Grace’s apartment. He was chatting up some blonde chick who looked like all the other blonde chicks he’d ever been with. They were interchangeable to me, and likely to Bo, too, since he called them all “Babe.”

I figured I would know if he ever fell for a girl when he called her by her first name instead of some random endearment.

“That was a clusterf*, eh?” He asked as I approached.

“Yup.” I climbed into my truck and threw my books into the back. I revved the engine a couple of times to signal that I wanted Bo to get in the damn truck. He could pick up chicks another time.

“At the risk of sounding like a girl, do you want to talk about it?” Bo asked when he finally got into the passenger seat. I threw the truck in reverse and peeled out of campus parking.

“No, Bo Peep, I don’t,” I bit out.

So much for being good at doing.

“What were you thinking?”

“What part of ‘I don’t want to talk about it’ did you not understand.”

“Are you giving up?”

“What?” I swung my head toward him. Bo threw up his hands. “No way.” I looked back at the road.

“Then let’s strategize.”

“I’ve already made every strategic mistake possible. I left too late last night to catch her. I surprised and maybe embarrassed her after class. If I catch her at a party and spill beer all over her, my trifecta of stupidity can be complete.”

“So now what?”

“Now, it’s time to regroup.”

“You want to fight or drink tonight?”

“Both.”

Review

I’m never sure how much I will like a book from the New Adult genre.  Many times the book is littered with F bombs or lots of sex and little story line.  I was very surprised while reading this book to find that this had neither of those!  Don’t get me wrong, there was a handful of F bombs, but not every other sentence.  And yes there are two fairly graphic sex scenes, but minor compared to other books.  The actual story between Noah and Grace was intricate and very well written.  There is a history of them writing back and forth for 4 years while he was stationed in Afghanistan.  In fact, at the beginning of each chapter there is a short letter that Noah wrote to Grace which gives you a little of their history.  Each chapter also flips back and forth between Noah and Grace and the author lets you know when the point of view changes from character to character.

Since Grace was young when she started writing to Noah, I think she might have built him up in her mind of who he was versus what was reality.  Grace was also very insecure with who she was and what she wanted from life and from Noah.  True Noah wrote her a “Dear Jane” letter and disappeared for two years, but she was never far from his mind and he had to come to terms with who he was as a man and what he could give Grace in life.

There was some humor in here too and Noah’s best friend Bo is a hoot!  I was going to tell Jen she needed to write a story about Bo but she has already beat me to that punch.  The second book is called Unspoken and is Bo’s story.  Not sure who his love interest will be but can’t wait to find out!

Author Links

Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Website

Giveaway

Jen is graciously giving away a copy of her book and Bo’s dog tags.  Just enter below to win!  Open to US Residents only
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

 | 
Comments Off on Review & #Giveaway: Undeclared by Jen Frederick @JenSFred
Posted in 4 paws, Autism, Blog tour, nonfiction on October 24, 2013

coming through the fog

 

Based on her own experience with Heather, her daughter, labeled with Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder, and her extensive research into effective treatment regimens, Tami Goldstein’s compassionate tale of Heather’s progress to functioning recovery and independent living offers hope and practical advice to other parents of children similarly labeled.

From her daughter Heather’s original diagnosis to a veritable smorgasbord of difficulties, Tami did her own research into Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism and sought out a therapeutic approach that actually worked.  After comprehensive research, Tami found and accessed successful protocols for Heather which can be used by other parents of children with High-Functioning Autism.

Tami shows exactly how a sensory lifestyle was developed to provide and maintain Functioning Recovery and she provides examples of projective trials that show benefits pertaining to sensory support.  CranioSacral Therapy and Bio-Medical supports are explained as well as their value in recovery is documented as Tami illustrates how a sensory lifestyle gives crucial support for school, employment and independent living.

Tami also explores the controversy between the educational and the medical aspects of Autism and questions the legality of educational discrimination in these cases.  She reports in detail the opinion of one attorney who charged her $17,000 to form a legal judgment on the matter.

A portion of the profits of Coming Through the Fog will be donated to the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation, which expands the knowledge, fosters the awareness and promotes the recognition of Sensory Processing Disorders.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

amazon buybn buy

Review

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book, but I wanted to read it because my stepson has Asperger’s and while he is very high functioning, there are still things that we are learning about him since his diagnosis was so late in life.

This book is one mother’s journey in finding help for her daughter so that she could lead as normal of a life as possible.  I was appalled at the school districts and the actions of staff and administration.  I realize that Heather was in school in the early 90’s to late 90’s when Autism was really becoming more and more prevalent in society and many people didn’t understand or know what Autism or Asperger’s was, much less how to deal with a child with the disorder.  However, to blatantly lie?  WOW!  But kudos to all of the teachers that did help Heather and helped make at least part of her education a less stressful event in her life.

The book has a lot of great tips and they are compiled at the end of the book so you don’t need to try and remember what they were or write them down anywhere.  There are also a lot of resources that I wish we had access to many years ago. I was surprised that one huge resource was omitted, that of Autism Speaks.  Perhaps because the organization wasn’t founded until 2005 and wasn’t utilized by Tami?

I wasn’t sure about part of the title where she speaks of Recovery because to me that means cured.  Tami does a good job of explaining that it means being able to function as normally as possible given all of Heather’s issues.

Overall, I thought this was a good book explaining one family’s journey and we give it 4 paws.

pawprintpawprintpawprintpawprint

About Tami

tami goldsteinWhen her youngest child was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, High Functioning Autism, Tami spent the next few years in a tailspin trying to find ways to help her daughter. She watched in amazement as a more holistic, all natural approach did what no western medicine techniques could accomplish. Some of those approaches included various techniques to stimulate the sense of touch.

Tami started by studying Reiki Therapy. Reiki a Japanese word meaning universal life energy. The first part Rei, refers to our spiritual dimension or soul. The second part Ki, means vital life or energy. This ancient natural method of healing touches the body without physically touching the body. (How else do you connect with a child who feels pain when you touch them?)

The benefits this approach provided opened Tami’s eyes to try other techniques. While she worked toward a Master/Teacher level in Reiki, she also sampled Yoga, learned Feng Sui, and began receiving regular massages & CranioSacral treatments, Chiropractic adjustments and Acupuncture.

Tami became so fascinated with the benefits provided by Massage Therapy and CranioSacral Therapy she decided to become certified and is currently State and Nationally certified in Therapeutic Massage, Bodywork and in CranioSacral Therapy. Her daughter’s Functioing Recovery is maintained by a Sensory Lifestyle and CranioSacral Therapy.

Since 2005, Tami has been State and National Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and she continued her training in Cranio-Sacral Therapy with the Upledger Institute in Florida. Tami became certified in CranioSacral Therapy in January of 2013. Trained in Massage Therapy, CranioSacral Therapy (CST) I and II, Somatic Emotional Release (SER) I and II,CST Pediatrics, and The Kolden Technique & Body Therapy, Reiki Master/Teacher. She is also a Certified Infant Massage Instructor.

Website

 | 
Comments Off on Blog Tour & Review: Coming Through the Fog by Tami Goldstein @TAGCTTF