Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on November 29, 2016

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Cat Got Your Diamonds: A Kitty Couture Mystery
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (November 15, 2016)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1629538426
E-Book ASIN: B01H082DOU

Synopsis

Grandeur and opulence are everything in the famed New Orleans Garden District where pets are family and no bling is too big. Opening Furry Godmother, pet boutique and organic treat bakery, is Lacy Marie Crocker’s dream come true–until the glitter gun used to make her Shih Tzu tutus becomes a murder weapon. And Lacy becomes public enemy #1.

Now Detective Jack Oliver is hounding Lacy, and her Furry Godmother investor wants out before his name is tarnished by association. To make matters worse, a string of jewel heists with suspicious ties to the murder case has New Orleans residents on edge. To save her dream, Lacy must take a stand, put her keen eyes to work, and unravel what really happened at her shop that night. But can Lacy sniff out the killer cat burglar in time to get her tail-raising designs on the catwalk?

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Review

A great start to a new mystery series!

I’ve read several of this author’s books and truly enjoyed them so wanted to see how this new series would compare. Very enjoyable! Lacy is a strong woman back home in New Orleans and running a couture and bakery for pets called Furry Godmother (love the name!). This is a big business so she should do well. And of course outfitting Llamas, cats, dogs, and other animals just adds to the quirkiness of the characters. I could just imagine some of these animals in the costumes she designed for them. She may come from a wealthier family but wants to do this on her own and is lucky to get the assistance of a local businessman, Mr. Tater (really I swear that is his name!), who pays her rent for a share of the profits.

So what would be any mystery without a murder? And since it happens in Lacy’s shop and she is suspected of being the killer, of course she has to get involved. There are some interesting twists I didn’t suspect and I thought I knew where the stolen jewelry would be and I was so wrong. Shame too because that would have been a good hiding space. I’m not going to tell you what in case you think along the same lines…you need to be surprised too. Anyway, the murderer is quite the surprise, but there is another surprise twist which shocked me because it wasn’t even something I considered.

And of course there has to be a love interest….or two. The studly Detective Jack Oliver and pro-volleyball player, Chase (brother of her best friend’s husband). Both have their pros and cons and we will have to wait and see who might be her love interest in future books.

We give this 4 paws up.

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About the Author

julie-chaseJulie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency. Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey.

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check out the other great blogs on this tour

November 15 – The Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

November 15 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW

November 15 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

November 16 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 16 – Kaisy Daisy’s Corner – REVIEW

November 16 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT

November 17 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

November 17 – Grace. Gratitude. Life. by Marie McNary – REVIEW

November 18 – Melina’s Book Blog –  REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 18 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

November 19 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

November 19 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too ! – SPOTLIGHT

November 19 – Island Confidential  – INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

November 20 – Michelle’s Romantic Tangle – GUEST POST

November 20 – Readeropolis –  SPOTLIGHT

November 21 – Bea’s Book Nook – REVIEW

November 21 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 21 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

November 22 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – REVIEW

November 22 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 22 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

November 23 – Book Babble – REVIEW

November 23 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

November 23 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

November 24 – THANKSGIVING

November 25 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

November 25 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 26 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

November 26 – Community Bookstop –  REVIEW

November 27 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 27 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

November 28 – Classy Cheapskate – REVIEW

November 28 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

November 28 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

November 29 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

November 29 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

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Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, mystery, Review on November 28, 2016

 

maggie-doves-detective-agency

2nd in Series
Alibi (November 8, 2016)
E-Book ASIN: B01AERZS0A
Approximately 225 pages

Synopsis

As Susan Breen’s compelling cozy mystery series continues, Maggie Dove’s budding detective agency has given her a new lease on life. Only one thing stands in the way of success: her clients—or lack of them.

After catching the killer who shook her small Hudson River town, former Sunday School teacher Maggie Dove stumbled onto an exciting new career and found a way to take her mind off her own tragic past. Now, despite her best efforts to promote the agency, Maggie can’t seem to land any new cases—until Racine Stern, one of the village’s wealthiest residents, offers her a thousand dollars to convince her “evil” sister, Domino, to stay out of town.

While Maggie’s business partner thinks she’s crazy for turning down a potential client, she doesn’t want her agency to get a reputation for accommodating bizarre requests. However, Maggie is soon caught up in the family drama anyway. Racine may fear for her life—and her inheritance—but it’s Domino who takes the fall when she plunges to her death from a tower at Stern Manor. Was it an accident or something more sinister? Maggie’s investigation will test her faith—and her ability to survive.

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Review

This is the second book in the series and I thought there was a great bit of improvement over the first book. The first book was good but seemed to drag on for me, but this book rolled right along and kept me interested in the story and trying to figure out was Domino murdered, did she commit suicide or was it an accident. While I wasn’t surprised at the ending, I did not expect the end result.

There are some interesting characters and I’m not sure about Agnes who is bankrolling the new detective agency. She is all over the board with her emotions and it can be very tiring at times. Hopefully she will settle down in future books.

I liked that we learned more about Helen’s past since Maggie just wants to help her where she can when it comes to Helen’s son, Edgar. He is 6 and a bit rambunctious and I’m surprised there hasn’t been any move to try and get him to be more calm or at least not head butt Maggie in the stomach. Maggie sure does put up with a lot from him but since she is alone, I imagine she loves being looked on as a grandmotherly type for Edgar.

Overall a good book and I’ll be interested to see how this detective agency continues in the future.  We give it 4 paws up

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About the Author

susan-breenSusan Breen is the author of The Fiction Classher debut novel that won the Washington Irving Book Award. Her stories and articles have appeared in many magazines, among them The Best American Nonrequired Reading, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, Compose, Writer’s Digest, and The Writer. She teaches at Gotham Writers in Manhattan; is on the faculty of the New York Pitch Conference, South Carolina Writers Workshop, and the Women’s National Book Association; and is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters-in-Crime. Breen lives in a small village on the Hudson River with her husband, two dogs, and one cat. Her three children are flourishing elsewhere.

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Posted in 4 paws, Dystopian, Giveaway, Review on November 27, 2016

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dominion-cover

Release Date: December 3rd 2016

Published by: The Writers Coffee Shop

Genre: Fiction, Dystopian

Synopsis

A generation has passed since the pandemic known only as the Infection ended the world as we know it. In a little town in the Appalachian Mountains, Taylor has known only a harsh and brutal struggle for survival in a land littered with the rusted-out remnants of a lost world. By day, she labors in a coal mine. In the evenings, she tends a secret collection of beehives, and uses the honey to pay for lessons in survival skills, such as hunting, fishing and collecting herbs. Her home is a single room in a crumbling old motel, and her only companion is a pet box tortoise named Go she’s had since she was a child.

When her town is destroyed by a vicious gang of raiders known as the Nine, Taylor escapes with Dylan, the son of the mayor. Their only plan is to head south and escape the Nine’s vast territory, avoiding areas contaminated by meltdowns and industrial pollution where mysterious illnesses plague the residents.

Dylan has never known hunger or hardship and struggles to learn survival skills. He’s never known a woman like Taylor either. He tries to pay her back by teaching her to read and telling her the stories passed down from the world of Before.

They certainly didn’t plan on falling in love. Taylor fights it every step of the way, because in her world, any emotional attachment is dangerous. She’s been taught since childhood that love slows you down, makes you weak. But the feelings growing between them cannot be denied.

Taylor finds herself slowly breaking every one of her hard-learned rules of survival. She discovers that perhaps some of those things she’s always fought to avoid are the very things that make life worth living.

. . . And death shall have no dominion . . .”

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Praise for The End of All Things Series

Hope, love, and the strength of the human spirit are the backbone of this surprisingly uplifting offering from Lissa Bryan. ~ CBL Book Reviews

The End of All Things is more about hope and second chances, and I very much enjoyed the tale …. highly recommended for all fans of apocalyptic fiction. It’s a well-written book with excellent pace, plot, and best, it has real soul. ~ Jade Kerrion, Goodreads

Review

While this book does not pick up right after the first three, it is a continuum of this series.

While I haven’t read a ton of dystopian books, this is one series that I have truly enjoyed. The books have kept me curious about a different world and even wondering how I would fair under these circumstances. Probably not too well at first but I feel like I could learn and adapt (at least I hope!)

Taylor is a tough, smart young lady (age isn’t really know, but would guess 20ish). Dylan is somewhat pampered since he was the son of the mayor (as pampered as you can be in a dystopian world). So it wouldn’t seem like this would be a likely pair to hook up, but they do out of necessity and it was probably the smartest thing either one of them does. Taylor has the skills to survive out in the wild and Dylan brings more cultured skills (like reading, understanding maps and dealing with people) and this makes the unlikely pair a good match. Along the way the friendship turns into more.

This book help me captive as Taylor and Dylan made their way out of the Appalachian mountains, away from the town they lived in and away from the group that was hunting Taylor for killing someone higher up in a terror group. Many times I wondered if she was going to be caught or how they were going to survive obstacles that presented themselves.

There is more that I liked but that would spoil things…needless to say there is something of a happy ending. But that is all I’m going to say!

We give it 4 paws up.

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About the Author

lbryanLissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete’s foot . . . though only in her head. Real life isn’t so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing.

She is the author of five other novels, Ghostwriter, The End of All Things, its sequels, The Land of the Shadows and Shadows Have Gone, and Under These Restless Skies.

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Posted in 4 paws, Christian, christmas, Giveaway, Review, romance on November 17, 2016

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SLEIGH BELLS RING 

Four Contemporary Romance Novellas

by

Sandra D. Bricker, Lynette Sowell,

Barbara J. Scott, & Lenora Worth

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Gilead Publishing

Date of Publication: October 14, 2016

Number of Pages: 320

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synopsis

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Santa Claus is coming to town, and so are the Tucker sisters.

Never mind a pony. The Tucker girls have inherited their father’s horse farm for Christmas. Make that . . . a run-down horse farm. It needs some serious TLC in order to make it sell-ready. Joanna knows that by recruiting her sisters and one handsome ranch hand they can fix up the place and even celebrate one last Christmas while they’re at it. However, to Isabella, returning to their home in Kentucky bluegrass country for Christmas seems like an impossible hurdle. Can her Chicago boyfriend make life merry and bright again?

One thing’s for sure—nothing is peace on earth for Sophia as a new beau brings up old wounds. And when the fate of the horse farm is put in jeopardy because Amy accidentally fraternizes with the enemy, tensions rise. But it’s not like the land developer stole Christmas . . . just her heart.

Can the Tucker sisters have themselves a merry little Christmas?

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Review
4 novellas about the Tucker sisters that come home to KY for Christmas after receiving letters from their father that passed away shortly before that. Each sister has their own issues with their father, but with faith and each other they are able to overcome and forgive him. And of course each sister finds love, so that doesn’t hurt either!

I don’t know if anyone stands out more than the other but I do like how the authors worked together so even though these are 4 stories they run together seamlessly. I wondered how that would work, if they all collaborated on the town and certain points or if one author set up the background and they all used it to create their stories.

When it comes to the romance side, two sisters reunite with past loves/crushes, one sister deepens her relationship with her boyfriend and the last sister finds love again after being widowed. I do think in Amy’s case (the widow) that the love happened awfully fast, but it is a novella and sometimes love does strike that quickly.

This book will lift your spirits and leave you with a good feeling.

We give it 4 paws up!

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AboutTheAuthors

Writing is usually a solitary act, but reader-favorite authors (and friends) Sandra D Bricker, Barbara J. Scott, Lynette Sowell, and Lenora Worth got a happy Christmas miracle when invited to work together on Sleigh Bells Ring.

Watch for Author Spotlights to learn more about each of the Sleigh Bells Rings authors!

Sandra Bricker * Lynette Sowell * Barbara Scott * Lenora Worth

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November 14 – November 23, 2016

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11/14 Review Chapter Break Book Blog
11/15 Author Spotlight Books and Broomsticks
11/16 Promo Reading By Moonlight
11/17 Review StoreyBook Reviews
11/18 Author Spotlight Margie’s Must Reads
11/19 Author Spotlight Country Girl Bookaholic
11/20 Review Momma On The Rocks
11/21 Promo Byers Editing Reviews & Blog
11/22 Author Spotlight The Page Unbound
11/23 Review Kara The Redhead

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Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, Review on November 14, 2016

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Death at First Sight (A Bay Island Psychic Mystery)
NEW SERIES
Berkley (November 1, 2016)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425282748
E-Book ASIN: B01BK0SQBS

Synopsis

FIRST IN A VISIONARY NEW MYSTERY SERIES.

It doesn’t take a crystal ball to see that something’s not right on Bay Island…

Since she left her psychiatric practice in New York City to open up a psychic shop in her hometown on Bay Island, Cass Donovan has given her fair share of readings to conflicted customers. But what she sees in Ellie Callahan’s future doesn’t bode well.

When Ellie’s mother, Marge, publicly confronts Cass about the reading, the embarrassment makes her want to curl up and die. And when she later stumbles across Marge’s body—and is a suspect in her murder—Cass is suddenly the star of Bay Island’s rumor mill.

Cass is determined to prove her innocence and save Ellie from meeting the fate in her unfortunate vision. But even with the help of her friends Bee and Stephanie, Cass will have to channel some serious sleuthing instincts to find the real killer…

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Review

A mystery that surprised the heck of me when the killer was revealed!

If you are familiar with mysteries at all there is some back and forth with clues that might implicate one character or another…in fact, I suspected a character that wasn’t even close to being the killer. The author did a great job of hiding this character’s guilt and I’m not sure there were even any hints. Let’s just call it a twist you don’t see coming.

Ok, now that I have that out of the way, the book was good and I was left wondering if Cass might be a little more intuitive than she thinks. Like most psychics, they do a lot of guess work just by how a person looks or is acting. However, there are times when Cass seems to see something a bit more. I hope that it is explored in future books.

There is even a hunky stranger, Luke, that leaves Cass all confused when in close proximity. Perhaps he could be a potential love interest? Or is he hiding something more? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

I like Cass’ friends Bee and Stephanie, they round out this trio of friends nicely and each has their own quirks that make the story fun.

Good first book for a new series.

We give this 4 paws up.

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Guest Post

Do You Believe in Ghosts?

By Lena Gregory

Whether or not ghosts exist is a big debate in my house. My daughter and I firmly believe in ghosts, while my husband and one of my sons do not. My youngest son, Logan, who is only five years old now, has no firm opinion yet, but he is part of the reason I believe so strongly. Of course, I had other…encounters before these, but that’s another story.

My younger brother, Chris, passed away when my son was only four months old. Chris and I shared a love of reading, especially mysteries, and I often feel his presence while I’m writing. Chris always had the best hair, thick, full, and loaded with natural highlights. And he always kept it long, at least past his shoulders, even after he became an air traffic controller.

Late one night—we don’t keep normal hours in my house—I was sitting on my bed writing.

My youngest, who was about two at the time, was lying across the bottom of the bed watching his iPad. He looked over, then past me, and frowned. “Who’s that?” he asked.

I turned around but didn’t see anything. “Who’s what?”

“That guy with the long hair?”

I jumped and spun toward the direction he indicated—because, you know, that freaked me out a little—but I still didn’t see anything.

He just shrugged and went back to watching his show as if nothing unusual had happened.

I continued writing, a little spooked but kind of comforted too. I’d always felt Chris’s presence, but Logan kind of confirmed it.

Four generations of my family lived in the same small town, and most of those who have passed on are buried in the local cemetery, so Logan and I often walk through the cemetery, and Logan collects rocks and sticks to leave on the headstones.

One day, while we were walking, he pointed toward a small, closed, locked storage shed in the middle of the cemetery, not far from my mother-in-law’s grave. “I want to go in there,” he said.

“In where?” I asked.

“In that house where the lady just went.”

I’m not gonna lie. We left, then. Quickly. Because believing in ghosts in an odd, detached sort of way is one thing, but I can assure you, having your two-year-old point out a woman entering a locked building in a completely deserted cemetery is something else entirely.

While writing Cass’s story, I tried to keep that debate in mind. Cass sort of believes in ghosts, but she doesn’t believe she actually talks to them. She thinks she uses years of psychiatric training and her uncanny ability to interpret people’s feelings to form a logical opinion and turn it into a “reading.” Of course, her customers think otherwise.

Her friend, Stephanie, believes completely.

Bee is another story. He swears he doesn’t believe in any of that mumbo-jumbo, but he really goes out of his way to avoid anything otherworldly. So, is he a true non-believer, or is he terrified ghosts might actually be real? I’ll leave it up to you to figure it out.

So, what do you think? Do you believe in ghosts? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think and if you’ve had any experiences that contributed to your opinion.

But I don’t think it’s that clear cut for everyone.

 

About the Author

lena-gregory-portraitLena lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children.

When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

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November 1 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 1 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

November 2 –  The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

November 2 –  The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 3 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 3 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW

November 4 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 4 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

November 5 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

November 5 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

November 6 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW

November 7 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

November 8 – The Mysterious Ink Spot – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 8 – Sleuth Cafe – CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 9 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

November 9 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 10 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

November 11 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

November 12 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

November 13 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – REVIEW

November 13 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

November 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

Posted in 4 paws, christmas, DVD, Giveaway, Review on November 5, 2016

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The Christmas Project (releasing November 3rd on DVD)
Staring: JACOB BUSTER (The Christmas Dragon, Storm Rider, Christmas for a Dollar)
Run Time: 1h 32m

Synopsis

Christmastime is full of traditions, especially in the Buckley family. With their home perfectly trimmed for the Christmas season it is now time to choose a family the four Buckley brothers along with mom and dad will secretly “Elve”. This year Mom has decided on the Hagbarts, and according to the Buckley boys they are the meanest bullies at their school. Eleven-year-old Matthew can hardly stand it. By day the Hagbarts torture the Buckley brothers into submission, and by night the Buckleys drop of thoughtful Christmas gifts and treats to their sworn enemies. What will happen when Matthew is faced with a choice of ultimate revenge or doing good to others? The Christmas Project is a heartwarming comedy the whole family will enjoy.

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Review

This movie has a message you would expect to hear in a Christmas movie – love and tolerance – told from the eyes of Matthew, a 6th grader in 1986.  You may or may not remember those days, but if you do you will appreciate the lack of cell phones, video games, computers and such.  In fact, the big excitement for the Buckley Brothers is waiting on the Christmas Catalog so they can decide what they want to put on their Christmas wish lists.

The movie was good – it made me laugh, cry a little and reminded me what Christmas really means.  I liked the Buckley family and how close they were with each other (and yes the brothers did fight some).  The  mom was a crack up because she was pregnant and desperately wants a little girl after having 4 boys first.  In fact, she wears all pink in hopes that would influence the gender of the baby.

But what would a movie be without a little conflict – in this case it is Finn, the school bully.  But even he isn’t all that he appears to be, perhaps there is just a scared kid putting on a front for everyone else around him?  And of course there is young love between Matthew and the new girl across the street.

The movie moves along at a steady pace, not too fast and not too slow and many great lessons are imparted by dad and even the school bus driver.  Definitely worth the watch and we give it 4 paws up.

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Posted in 4 paws, Christian, Giveaway, Review, romance on November 1, 2016

WHERE TWO HEARTS MEET

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND DREAMS SERIES, BOOK 2

by

Liz Johnson

 Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

Publisher: Revell

Date of Publication: October 18, 2016

Number of Pages: 384

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synopsis

In her kitchen at the Red Door Inn, executive chef Caden Holt is calm, collected, and competent. But when her boss asks her to show off their beautiful island to impress a visiting travel writer and save the inn, Caden is forced to face a world much bigger than her kitchen—and a man who makes her wish she was beautiful.

Journalist Adam Jacobs is on a forced sabbatical on Prince Edward Island. He’s also on assignment to uncover a story. Instead he’s falling in love with the island’s red shores and Caden’s sweets.

When Caden discovers Adam isn’t who she thought he was, she realizes that the article he’s writing could do more than ruin the inn’s chances for survival—it might also break her heart.

Readers will discover hope for the hurting, joy for the broken, and romance for the lonely at the enchanting Red Door Inn.

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Review

“Grace isn’t about being good enough or strong enough. It’s just about acknowledging your need for it and accepting it.”

This line in the book stood out to me because it is very true. Where Two Hearts Meet is a solid book that encompasses all facets of life – friendship, faith, love, deception, jealousy and desire.

Caden is something of an introvert which makes it harder for her to stand up for herself. Adam is a well traveled journalist that has a very heavy heart. Between the two, they learn a lot about themselves and how they can better themselves, all while finding love. The story is enjoyable and I found myself rooting for Caden and Adam hoping they wouldn’t miss out on a fresh chance on life. It wasn’t smooth sailing for them, but it gave them a chance to really get to know one another and each other’s faults.

This line gave me a chuckle and I liked the alliteration – “But he (Adam) hadn’t picked up the old vice. He’d picked up a new one. Coffee and cinnamon rolls. And Caden.”

I also liked the descriptions of Prince Edward Island. I have never been to the island but it sounds gorgeous and I think I need to plan a trip there in the near future.

We give this 4 paws up.

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about the author

liz-johnsonLiz Johnson fell in love with Prince Edward Island the first time she set foot on it. When she’s not plotting her next trip to the island, she works as a full-time marketing managerfor a Nashville-based publisher. She has been a freelance writer and editor for several publications, including CBA Retailers+Resources, Christian Fiction Online magazine, and Storytellers’ Journal. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she is the author of several books, including The Red Door Inn, a New York Times bestselling novella, The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn (an ACFW Carol Award finalist) and A Star in the Night, which was part of the New York Times and ECPA bestselling A Log Cabin Christmas Collection. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

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 Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, publishes books that help bring the Christian faith to everyday life. Whether through fiction, Christian living, self-help, marriage, family, or youth books, each Revell publication reflects relevance, integrity, and excellence.

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November 1 – November 10, 2016

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11/1 Review StoreyBook Reviews
11/2 Author Interview Hall Ways Blog
11/3 Excerpt Country Girl Bookaholic
11/4 Review Kara The Redhead
11/5 Promo Books and Broomsticks
11/6 Author Interview Reading By Moonlight
11/7 Review Byers Editing Reviews & Blog
11/8 Guest Post A Novel Reality
11/9 Author Interview Margie’s Must Reads
11/10 Review The Page Unbound

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Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Monday, mystery, Review on October 24, 2016

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Synopsis

Manhattan socialite Isabella “Izzy” Lewis is in desperate need of a fresh start. Ending up on the wrong side of a nasty divorce, jobless, and pretty much homeless, she’s hit rock bottom. So when the father she never knew asks her to visit him in Iowa, she figures she has nothing more to lose—until she arrives at his home and promptly stumbles (literally) over a dead body.

Now her missing father is murder suspect number one, and Izzy’s in the crosshairs of the local sheriff who’s convinced she’s somehow involved. After being reluctantly adopted by a local group of Jessica Fletcher wannabes, Izzy resolves to find her missing father and the killer. A job that proves harder than she thought as she juggles running down clues to the killer’s identity, her hot but suspicious new next door neighbor, keeping the sleuthing senior citizens out of trouble, and above all, going at least one day without being nearly dead in Iowa.

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Review

Iowa can be deadly! This is a good start to a new series about Isabella who heads to Iowa to meet a father she has never known, while escaping from a marriage that is ending. What she doesn’t expect to find is a dead body in her father’s home or that he is missing and presumed that he killed his best friend.

The mystery is finding out who killed Stan and Isabella jumps into that feet first because she wants to clear her father. She has a group of older ladies, called the Q’s, helping her out by snooping and asking questions wherever possible. Isabella (or Izzy as she is sometimes called) manages to put herself in some not so great situations – but it wouldn’t be a cozy if she didn’t.

I didn’t figure out who the murderer was, but the clues were there…I just went down the wrong path!

There are several intriguing twists that I won’t describe because it makes the story more rounded, but you might be able to figure out a few things as you read the book.

And of course there is a love interest with Gabe. He lives next door to her father and at first you think he doesn’t like Izzy, but we are proved wrong later in the book.

We give this 4 paws up

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About the Author

Wendy has a Masters in Social Work and worked in the child welfare field for twelve years before she decided to pursue her dream of writing.

Between teaching college classes, trying to get her morbidly obese cat to slim down, and tempering the will of her five-year-old granddaughter, who’s determined to become a witch when she turns six so she can fly on her broom to see the Eiffel Tower and put hexes on people—not necessarily in that order—somehow Wendy still manages to fit in writing. She spends the remainder of her days inflicting mayhem on her hero and heroine until they beg for mercy.

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Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on October 20, 2016

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Synopsis

A lost work of art linking India to the Italian Renaissance. A killer hiding behind a centuries-old ghost story. And a hidden treasure in Italy’s macabre sculpture garden known as the Park of Monsters… Can treasure-hunting historian Jaya Jones unmask a killer ghost?

Filled with the unexpected twists, vivid historical details, and cross-cultural connections Pandian is known for, Michelangelo’s Ghost is the most fast-paced and spellbinding Jaya Jones novel to date.

When Jaya’s old professor dies under eerie circumstances shortly after discovering manuscripts that point to a treasure in Italy’s Park of Monsters, Jaya and her brother pick up the trail. From San Francisco to the heart of Italy, Jaya is haunted by a ghost story inexorably linked to the masterpieces of a long-dead artist and the deeds of a modern-day murderer. Untrustworthy colleagues, disappearing boyfriends, and old enemies—who can Jaya trust when the ghost wails?

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Praise for Gigi Pandian’s Jaya Jones Mysteries

“Charming characters, a hint of romantic conflict, and just the right amount of danger will garner more fans for this cozy series.” – Publishers Weekly on Quicksand

“Pandian’s sprightly prose celebrates the pleasures of Italian painting, food, and landscape. The light touch, swift pace, and verve maintained throughout the novel disguise the deeper thought and scholarship underpinning the story, which like the stage props of a conjurer, make the magic happen.”– Linda Lappin, Author of Signatures in Stone: A Bomarzo Mystery

Review

In this series I have read the first book and this most recent release, but not read books 2 and 3. While they aren’t necessary to read this book, I do think that it would be helpful because of references to events in those books. There is enough to sort of fill in the holes, but not enough for my personal preference. But then I’m one that likes to read books in order. If there had been a bit more time, I would have read the other two books first.

Anyway, aside from my issues of reading books in order, this was a very good book! The amount of research that had to go into forming the story about this artist (that does exist according to the author’s notes) and then creating a story around it was genius. I know authors do it all the time, but to just imagine the time it takes is mind boggling. I won’t even get into the food descriptions, makes me want to visit Italy very soon.

Jaya and Lane are in a secret romance (and is she in love with her friend Sanjay too?) and even her brother has a new woman in his life. Now there are things I guessed about Ava (or halfway guessed, I was wrong on part of it) and I wonder if we will see more of her in future books. Time will tell. The mystery has several twists and turns and there is a moment at the end that I thought “oh no” but things will be turned around very soon. Academia is a tough business.

Enjoyable book, definitely check this series out.  We give it 4 paws up.

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About the Author

gigi-pandianUSA Today bestselling author Gigi Pandian is the child of cultural anthropologists from New Mexico and the southern tip of India. She spent her childhood being dragged around the world, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Gigi writes the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mysteries, the Accidental Alchemist mysteries, and locked-room mystery short stories. Gigi’s debut novel, Artifact, was awarded a Malice Domestic Grant and named a “Best of 2012” debut by Suspense Magazine. Her fiction has been awarded the Lefty Award and short-listed for Macavity and Agatha Awards.

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Giveaway

One grand prize winner will receive:

– Signed copies of the first 3 books in the series
– 6 book-themed recipe cards from the locations where each book is set (Italy, Scotland, India, France, and the US)
– $20 gift certificate to the winner’s favorite bookstore

Open to USA & Canada
Giveaway ends on Oct 29

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Posted in 4 paws, excerpt, Review, romance on October 3, 2016

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Title: FAIRLY SAFE
Author: Deborah Ann Davis
Publisher: D&D Universe
Pages: 356
Genre: New Adult

Synopsis

When Mistaken Identity collides with Secret Identity, who wins?

JACOB HAS COME A LONG WAY FOR AN ORPHANED FOSTER KID. He has a mentor, a great job, and has finally fallen in love. Granted, she mistook him for a stalker when they met, but every relationship has its little problems. Unfortunately, for the past few years, as the object of his affection pops in and out of his life, she has refused to share any personal info, like where she’s from, or her real name. Regardless, Jacob is ready to take their relationship to the next level. Now, if only he can locate her so he can tell her.

CASEY’S FAMILY IS IN THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM. Safety has to be their only priority. Their cover has been blown before, so Casey knows at any given time they could be forced to disappear again. Obviously, a shy young man with hopeful eyes cannot possibly be added to the mix. You cannot build a relationship like that. Now, if only she can stop thinking about him.

JACOB’S AND CASEY’S WORLDS UNEXPECTEDLY COLLIDE when Jacob inadvertently helps hide her family. Exposed to their 24-7 vigilance, Jacob realizes he must come up with a plan to keep them out of harm’s way, because this time if Casey disappears, she will be taking with her Jacob’s heart, and his hopes of finally having a family of his own.

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Excerpt

Wipeout!

Jacob Kent stepped out of his car as he scanned the fair on the other side of the parking lot, his heart pounding. As with many country fairs, the parking lot was no more than an abused pasture. This one was about the size of two football fields. Fair employees decked in bright yellow directed the early trickle of cars to their temporary berths. Jacob ignored them, choosing instead a parking spot near the exit. Anticipating the possible need for a quick getaway outweighed a pimply teen’s futile attempts to redirect him.

He regarded the rides twirling and spinning above and around the strolling families. Despite the morning sun, the lights flashed merrily, beckoning to all. At 11 a.m. it wasn’t crowded, but he knew that would soon change. Locking his car, he slowly picked his way through the beaten grass, combing all directions for a clue the girls were there. As the unmistakable sound of carnival music floated toward him on the warm summer breeze, he reviewed his plan.

First, he would walk through the fair to familiarize himself with the layout they had printed out. Then he would adjust their escape route to where he parked the car. After assessing the grounds, he would plant himself somewhere along the concourse, and watch the crowd. That’s how he had always found Casey in the past, and that’s how he was going to find her again.

A voice came over the loudspeaker, momentarily dimming the carnival noise. “Would the owner of a red ford truck, license plate AIP537, please return to your vehicle? Your lights are on.”

Jacob tensed. Was that some kind of clue? He looked over the parking lot. No, he could see the lights of the red truck from here. He smiled ruefully to himself.

Get a grip, Kent, he thought as he watched a portly balding man march exasperatedly toward the truck.

He sighed. Intellectually, he had to acknowledge they might have pieced together a bunch of randomly forgotten items into a fantastical story, but emotionally, he couldn’t help but believe the items served an ultimate purpose. If The Herd was here, he was going to find them. He also knew if he wasn’t careful, he could spend the entire day jumping at shadows and following dead ends.

Like that little commotion over by the edge of the fair. To his over-active imagination, that game of tag could look like a child trying to escape from the evil clutches of—

“HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, WIPEOUT!” sang out over the loudspeaker.

His head jerked up. As the pounding drums from the familiar song drowned out the carnival music, all doubt was erased. The loudspeaker was sending out a warning. His eyes darted back toward the commotion he had noticed. That was no game of tag. That was a child trying to escape a man in hot pursuit. Jacob couldn’t be positive at this distance, but it sure looked like Robin.

With his heart in his throat, he broke into a run, zigzagging between cars, trying to intercept the fleeing child as it headed toward the side of the parking lot. In this surreal moment, the same song they had used for obstacle course training was being piped out like background music to a scene in a movie. But this scene was real, where a real menace was gaining. Caught in his own nightmare, Jacob was watching Robin run for her life, and he was not close enough to help.

As the predator and prey crossed the area between the fair and the parking lot, the longer legs of the adult closed the gap between them, but once they reached the cars, the advantage became hers. Robin’s small size and training put some distance between them as she dodged around vehicles. However, her constant change of direction made it difficult for Jacob to maintain a course of interception.

Watching Robin’s progress, Jacob realized she was trying to head back toward the fair. Silently applauding Robin’s decision to get closer to other people who could help her, Jacob altered his course accordingly.

So did Robin’s pursuer.

Suddenly, her stalker eliminated the space between them by clambering up and over two pickup trucks, and landing an arm’s length away. Skidding, Robin veered around another vehicle with the man on her tail. As Jacob frantically tried to reach her, a brunette Sam suddenly popped out from behind a car and neatly took the man out with one magnificent sweep of a skateboard to the head.

Where did she come from? A stunned Jacob skidded to a stop, gasping for breath, his chest burning.

With a quick high-five, the sisters raced back to the fair. Jacob tried in vain to get their attention, but he hadn’t quite recovered enough breath to formulate sounds louder than gasps. He shook his head as he tried to calm the burning in his lungs. He was a wreck, but they were able to run off.

And I was going to save them? He weakly chuckled. What was I thinking?

Sobering, he trotted over to the man who was staggering to his feet. With rage marshalling all of his strength, Jacob drew back and smashed his fist into the man’s face. The unexpected pain in his fist was nothing compared to the satisfaction of watching Robin’s former threat drop like an anchor.

Shaking the pain out of his hand, Jacob aimed a vindictive kick at the ribs of his girls’ attacker. Any qualms he might ordinarily have about hitting a man when he’s down were nonexistent when it came to someone threatening his family.

Satisfied the man was no longer a danger, he took off in the direction he had seen his girls disappear, trying to calm the fear rising in his chest. He doubted this man had come alone. The girls probably knew that, too, and would be hiding. How was he going to find them before their pursuers did?

The light glinting off the speaker perched atop a telephone pole caught his eye. Jacob skidded to a stop and stared at it. Of course. When Robin had been trying to escape, that speaker had been blasting out WipeOut, but now he only heard carnival music. With a grin, Jacob decided it was time to stop believing in coincidences. Someone at the fair must be helping them. If he found that person, he’d be able to find the fugitives.

Review

I loved the premise of this book – that at a kissing booth, if you kiss on your birthday you will be married by Christmas. The characters were diverse and it added different twists to the story. There were bits of humor throughout, and a little bit of mystery/suspense at different times, but it didn’t stay a mystery for very long. Man of the characters are keeping secrets which causes a lot of confusion for many of the characters, but it is all resolved in the end. There are many sweet moments too.

This is the 2nd in a series, so I’m not 100% sure what was in the first book and how it ties to this one (if at all other than the kissing booth).

I did receive a copy of this book so these comments are based on what I received, and not sure if it is a final copy or not. There were a few times where I felt like the story was disjointed and I felt lost or that the story didn’t flow well in a few spots. I didn’t quite get William Hatch’s age/marriage/timeline. I know the prologue is about him, and then the next chapter starts and says 60 years later, but I thought while reading that William said he had 60 years with his wife. Considering they met at 6 and 11, not sure if that part is right…because then I started questioning his age too. There is a part where they switch from Cassie to Casey for the female lead, and while it makes sense a bit later on, it seemed like all of a sudden her name changed with no explanation. Now I might have missed it, but it seemed weird to me.

Overall I enjoyed the book and will have to check out the first one and the next one which we got a sneak peek at the end of the book.

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About the Author

deborah-ann-davisDEBORAH ANN DAVIS has been writing since she was assigned to keep a Journal in her 5th grade English class. She began to look around for writing inspiration. Lo and behold, she found her world was full of funny stories just waiting to be told. As she grew older, occasionally she could manipulate one into some school assignment, but it never occurred to her to pursue writing, not even when she discovered her flare for telling stories at college parties.

After a string of college majors, she realized she could have a captive audience EVERY DAY in the public school system. As it turns out, teenagers love to laugh, and what could be more entertaining than Biology, Earth Science, and Environmental Science? Then there’s the added bonus that once kids know you like to laugh, they want to make you laugh.

Go figure.

In addition to Writing, she is also an Educational Speaker and a Certified Personal Trainer. She taught for 25+ years, although somewhere in the middle of all that educating, she stepped out of teaching for 6 years to do the Mommy Thing, and run the office for their family construction company.

Even though they had followed separate paths, Deborah reunited with, and married her childhood sweetheart, twelve years after their first kiss.  Together they coached their daughter’s AAU Basketball Team, which swept States two years in a row. (Yay!) Then, for several years their daughter and their money went to college.

They currently reside on a lovely lake in Connecticut. She enjoys dabbling with living a sustainable life, writing novels for her Love of Fairs series, dancing, playing outside, and laughing really hard every day. She promotes increasing the amount of movement throughout your day via Wiggle Writer posts on Merry Meddling.

Remember, you can do anything if you set your mind to it— including becoming an author at any age— but it’s way more fun if you are grinning back when the Universe smiles down on you.

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