Posted in Giveaway, Historical, nonfiction, Spotlight on February 21, 2017

BULLETINS FROM DALLAS

Reporting the JFK Assassination

by

BILL SANDERSON

  Genre: Biography / Journalism

Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing

Date of Publication: November 1, 2016

Number of Pages: 280

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Thanks to one reporter’s skill, we can fix the exact moment on November 22, 1963 when the world stopped and held its breath: At 12:34 p.m. Central Time, UPI White House reporter Merriman Smith broke the news that shots had been fired at President Kennedy’s motorcade. Most people think Walter Cronkite was the first to tell America about the assassination. But when Cronkite broke the news on TV, he read from one of Smith’s dispatches. At Parkland Hospital, Smith saw President Kennedy’s blood-soaked body in the back of his limousine before the emergency room attendants arrived. Two hours later, he was one of three journalists to witness President Johnson’s swearing-in aboard Air Force One. Smith rightly won a Pulitzer Prize for the vivid story he wrote for the next day’s morning newspapers.

Smith’s scoop is journalism legend. But the full story of how he pulled off the most amazing reportorial coup has never been told. As the top White House reporter of his time, Smith was a bona fide celebrity and even a regular on late-night TV. But he has never been the subject of a biography.

With access to a trove of Smith’s personal letters and papers and through interviews with Smith’s family and colleagues, veteran news reporter Bill Sanderson will crack open the legend. Bulletins from Dallas tells for the first time how Smith beat his competition on the story, and shows how the biggest scoop of his career foreshadowed his personal downfall.

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Praise for BULLETINS FROM DALLAS

“So much of what we know about any story depends on how reporters do their work. Bill Sanderson takes us through every heartbreaking minute of one of the biggest stories of our lifetime, with sharp detail and powerful observations. As you read the book, you’ll feel all the pressure and adrenaline rush of a reporter on deadline.” —Neal Shapiro, former president of NBC News, current president of WNET

“The life and work of a noted White House reporter…. Focusing on [Merriman] Smith’s reporting of the Kennedy assassination, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize, Sanderson conveys the tension and confusion after the event, as Smith and other newsmen scrambled to ascertain facts.” —Kirkus Reviews

“To read Bulletins from Dallas is to touch the fabric of history, through Sanderson’s artful weave of many voices, from presidents across the decades to the last words uttered by J.F.K. Swept back through the corridors of time, we hear the urgent bells and clatter of the teletype machine: Merriman Smith’s first report to the world, ‘Three shots fired at President Kennedy’s motorcade today in Downtown Dallas.’ This compelling narrative takes us to that moment when our whole nation cried, and, even now, to tears of primal sympathy that never seem to end.” —Allen Childs, author of We Were There: Revelations from the Dallas Doctors Who Attended to JFK on November 22, 1963

 

photo by Annie Wermiel

Bill Sanderson spent almost two decades as a reporter and editor at the New York Post. His work has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Observer, and the Washington Post. Sanderson lives in New York City.

 

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2/21 Scrapbook Page StoreyBook Reviews
2/22 Review Hall Ways Blog
2/23 Author Interview Texas Book Lover
2/24 Book Trailer Forgotten Winds
2/25 Review Kara The Redhead
2/26 Video Interview The Page Unbound
2/27 Review Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books
2/28 Guest Post Byers Editing Reviews & Blog
3/1 Excerpt Books and Broomsticks
3/2 Review Reading By Moonlight

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Posted in Giveaway, Interview, Monday, mystery on February 20, 2017

Synopsis

After months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect … except in the middle of the night when, in darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.

When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family living near a winery owned by distant relatives she was visiting and suppressed the memory.

Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?

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Interview with Lauren

What’s your favorite thing about the writing process?

Oh, it’s the creative process—coming up with the plotline and figuring out how the murder is committed, who done it, how they are caught—all of that! For me, it is as close to being an amateur detective as you can get. They have the committed crime and work backwards toward the beginning. I am at the beginning and working forward, through the crime, and right up to where the culprit is caught.

How long have you been a writer?

Let’s just say my whole life. I believe writers are born. If you’re a writer, even if you aren’t writing books, you’re a writer. You’re thinking up storylines in the shower instead of singing. If you’re late for work, you can’t just say traffic was terrible, you have to tell a whole story about it being a dark and stormy morning …

I remember rewriting The Bobbsey Twins when I was in grade school to make it more suspenseful. That’s what writers do.

For what would you like to be remembered?

For making everyone around me smile.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Introvert. Most writers are introverts—that’s what makes personal appearances hard for many writers. That’s why I love virtual book tours. I can do the whole tour naked!

What is the most daring thing you’ve done?

Skydiving. I was nineteen years old and dating a great guy who had scheduled parachuting lessons for him and his buddy. Well, his friend backed out, so I asked to go. Thing is—I had never even been up in a plane before! When I told my mother, she said it was okay, but not to tell her what day I was doing it—instead, tell her that I was going on a picnic. So, a couple of days before the jump I asked her for eighty dollars for my picnic on Saturday.

On the day of the lessons, we have six hours of instruction before going up in the plane. Two hours was on how to jump and how to land. The next four hours was on what to do if something went wrong. One of the things they stressed was that when you hit the ground to stand up quickly so that they could see you were okay. If you don’t stand up, they’ll send out the ambulance.

So then, we went up in the plane for our jump. We were suited up with our parachutes and our reserve chutes and all of this equipment. Back then, I weighed about a hundred and ten pounds and I was wearing close to sixty pounds of chutes.

Then, we went up. Remember, I have never been in a plane before. I was more excited about that than the jump. Jon, my boyfriend, jumped out first. Then I jumped.

It was fabulous! I loved it. I could see Jon down on the ground waving and jumping up and down and I was waving back.

Then, I hit the ground beautifully and rolled just like they told us to do. And then … I couldn’t stand up because I was wearing sixty pounds of chutes and equipment. I remembered them saying that I needed to stand up. So, I’m rolling on the ground in the field like a giant turtle on her back trying to get to my feet. In the distance, I hear the ambulance racing across the field and Jon yelling.

By the time I stood up I saw about a dozen people and an ambulance racing across the field toward me.

Jon told me that the whole time he was running across the field he was trying to think of how to tell my mother that I did great … until I hit the ground.

It was five years later before I went up in a plane and actually landed in it.

What is the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?

Recently or over the course of my life? This morning I ate two bags of chocolate truffles while answering questions for interviews. Now I have a stomach ache.

What is your most embarrassing moment?

Telling my husband that I couldn’t meet him for lunch because I have a stomach ache from eating two bags of chocolate truffles.

What choices in life would you like to have a redo on?

Deciding between eating a nutritious breakfast and two bags of chocolate truffles.

What would your main characters say about you?

There are two main characters in A Fine Year for Murder, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton. An heiress, Jessica is Mac Faraday’s daughter. She would say that I was obsessive about my writing to the point of being a workaholic. The solution would be spend a weekend at a spa without any Internet or technology.

On the other hand, Murphy Thornton would say that I had a brilliant mind—after all, I am the creator of three mystery series. However, it would do me some good to work on becoming more disciplined—especially when it comes to health and fitness. Cut out the chocolate truffles and go to the gym more.

How long is your to-do list?

I don’t know. You need to ask my husband. He’s the one who makes it up and keeps track of it.

What are you working on now?

Twofer Murder will be a treat for mystery lovers because it will be two mysteries in one novel. This book will contain all of the characters from the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose mysteries. The guys go fishing and get embroiled in a murder mystery. Meanwhile, the ladies go off to a murder mystery writers conference and end up wrapped up in their own mystery when an up and coming mystery writer ends up dead! Can’t beat that! Two mysteries for the price of one!

As for Murphy and Jessica of the Thorny Rose, sorry, readers, but the next Thorny Rose Mystery is at least a year away. I’m now working on three series! The working title for the next Thorny Rose Mystery is From Rags to Riches to Dead. In this mystery, Jessica’s best friend Amy receives news that her leech of a husband was killed in a freak accident at an expensive resort, where he had spent the last several days living it up. Amy, and Jessica are still trying to sort out this news when Dean walks in—alive and well. Upon investigation, they discover that a killer has been stealing the identity of deadbeat husbands who have been living off their rich wives, and then luring them to expensive resorts to murder them.

Lightning round:

Cake or frosting? Frosting!

Laptop or desktop? Laptop because I’ll write anywhere. Desktops are just too awkward to carry in a case with a shoulder strap.

Chevy Chase or Bill Murray? Bill Murray. Ghostbusters is one of my favorite movies.

Emailing or texting? Emails. I tend to send long wordy messages (the writer in me) and the keys for texting are just too tiny.

Indoors or outdoors? Indoors with central air conditioning. I have seasonal allergies with every change of season.

Tea: sweet or unsweet? Sweet, of course!

Plane, train, or automobile? Automobile—with me driving. My husband and son claim I’m a backseat driver.

About the Author

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance on February 15, 2017

 

Title: Tangled in Texas

Series: Texas Rodeo, #2

Author: Kari Lynn Dell

Pub Date: February 7, 2017

ISBN: 9781492631972

Synopsis

It took 32 seconds to end his career.

But it only took 1 to change his life.

Thirty-two seconds. That’s how long it took for Delon Sanchez’s life to end. One minute he was the best bronc rider in the Panhandle and the next he was nothing. Knee shattered, future in question, all he can do is pull together the pieces…and wonder what cruel trick of fate has thrown him into the path of his ex, the oh-so-perfect Tori Patterson.

Tori’s come home after her husband’s death, intent on escaping the public eye. It’s just her luck that Delon limps into her physical therapy office, desperate for help. All hard-packed muscle and dark-eyed temptation, he’s never been anything but a bad idea. And yet, seeing him again, Tori can’t remember what made her choose foolish pride over love…or why, with this second, final chance to right old wrongs, the smartest choice would be to run from this gorgeous rodeo boy as fast as her boots can take her.

Amazon * Books-A-Million * Barnes & Noble * Chapters * iBooks * Indiebound

 

Sortin’ the Herd—How a Real Cowgirl Cuts Off the Strays

Nowadays pretty much anyone can pop online and order up a full set of cowboy duds to wear to their nearest rodeo. Which I think is awesome, by the way. The companies that sell those hats, boots and peart snap shirts are also the sponsors that keep my favorite sport in business. I’d be thrilled to pull into the next rodeo and see a Stetson or Resistol on every head, and Justin or Ariat boots on every pair of feet. But it also makes it harder for a girl to tell…which are the real cowboys, and which are just playing the part?

Luckily, it doesn’t take long to sort off the bleacher buckaroos. I’ve put together a few never-fail tips to help you identify the wanna-be’s, like this one:

While at the bar, you witness an obnoxious drunk being escorted out the door by the bouncers. You turn to your would-be suitor and drawl, “I hate rude behavior in a man. I won’t tolerate it.” All you get in return is a blank look. Anyone who doesn’t recognize one of the most famous lines from Lonesome Dove is certainly not going to be capable of a decent debate about how The Cowboys is the only movie where John Wayne dies before the end (Oops. Spoiler.). Or know that littlest of those cowboys went on to become a seven-time world champion roper. He probably doesn’t even own a Chris LeDoux CD. So honestly, what’s left to talk about?

Take note of the word in bold face above. When you’ve finished reading about Tangled in Texas and enjoying the excerpt below, come on over to my blog, Montana for Real, to find the rest of my helpful hints. Collect all the of key words and you’ll get a free download of the unofficial soundtrack to Tangled in Texas.

 

Excerpt

They sat in the dark, staring at the television and taking comfort from the presence of another human being. A fellow refugee from reality, if only for a few hours. Crazy, to get even this close when she seemed dead set on leaving again, but as long as he knew, as long he didn’t let himself dream, he was safe, wasn’t he?

He woke to someone jostling his pillow. He forced his eyes open and found Tori leaning over him, trying to tug her coat from the arm of the couch, under his head.

“What time is it?” he mumbled, twisting around to look out the window. Pitch dark.

“After midnight. We both slept a while.”

She gave the jacket another tug, but it was pinned under his shoulder. He was warm and relaxed, still half asleep. Before his mind could fully engage, he reached up and caught her wrist. She froze, her eyes wide and wary in the dim light.

“What if I said I don’t want to just be friends?” he asked, his voice raspy with sleep.

She stared down at him, emotions flickering across her face so fast he couldn’t identify any of them. “I would say that’s probably not the smartest thing we could do, given the situation.”

“And if I said I’m willing to take my chances?”

She took her sweet time thinking it over. “I need some time to…adjust my expectations.”

He stroked the tender underside of her wrist with his thumb, watching as her lips parted on a swift intake of air. He might not know her mind, but he knew her body, and he remembered exactly how she liked to be touched. “How long?”

“I don’t know. This thing with my parents…”

“Will you let me know when you’re ready?”

She shook her head and his heart sank, but then she blew out a reluctant sigh. “Check back with me in a couple of weeks.”

“The middle of February?” he asked, unable to leave it alone.

She gave a halfhearted shrug, her gaze tracking to the door, though she still didn’t pull away from his touch. “Sure. Why not?”

He could think of a dozen reasons—things he’d done, and she’d done, and all the ways they could hurt each other all over again—but he stroked her wrist one more time before sitting up to free her jacket. She pulled it on, tugged the zipper clear to her chin, and stuffed her hands in the pockets.

“You realize I’m a lousy emotional bet.”

“Unlike me.”

She gave a low, short laugh. “Think of the magic we could make together.”

He didn’t have to imagine. He had a perfectly good memory. As if reading his mind, she said, “I’m not that girl, Delon.”

“You’re a lot tougher.”

She smiled slightly at her own words. “I’m also a lot more…difficult.”

No kidding. But he needed to borrow some of that toughness, from someone who’d gone through the worst and was emerging from the other side, singed around the edges but not destroyed. Tori understood the snarl of anger and guilt in his gut because it wasn’t so different than what she felt about how Willy died.

“I’d like to get to know this you,” he said softly.

“I might not be ready to decide who I am yet.”

“Decide?” He laughed, incredulous. “You just get to make it up for yourself?”

“Why not? Didn’t you decide who you wanted to be?”

His fists clenched in the plush throw. “We don’t all have the luxury of reinventing our lives.”

She gave him a long, level stare. His eyes dropped first. Her voice was low and surprisingly gentle. “Try it, Delon. You might be less likely to feel like punching strangers in bars.”

She brushed a fingertip as light as a kiss across his cheek, and left him to sleep on it.

About the Author

Kari Lynn Dell is a ranch-raised Montana cowgirl who attended her first rodeo at two weeks old and has existed in a state of horse-induced poverty ever since. She lives on the Blackfeet Reservation in her parents’ bunkhouse along with her husband, her son, and Max the Cowdog, with a tipi on her lawn, Glacier National Park on her doorstep and Canada within spitting distance. Her debut novel, The Long Ride Home, was published in 2015. She also writes a ranch and rodeo humor column for several regional newspapers and a national agricultural publication.

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Young Adult on February 14, 2017

sketchy-TacosSketchy Tacos by Meg D. Gonzalez

Teenage artist Mila Gulick travels to Mexico to get away from warring influences and find herself. But life in the land of tacos is a far cry from her sheltered life back home. Mila must find the courage to step out from behind her sketchbook and get to know the people and culture around her. While her host family and the two boys vying for her interest are nothing but smiles, all may not be as it seems.

Soon Mila is questioning her choices and the beliefs she’s held dear. Her heart, her art, and even her safety are at risk as she struggles to find a balance between cultural differences, old assumptions, and strange romance. Will her trip end in disaster or will she find the strength for which she’s been searching?

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Praise for the Book

“This modern coming-of-age story has it all – humor, heart, genuine characters, and spiritual depth. I highly recommend it to teen readers.” – Krista McGee, Inspy Award winning author of First Date and Starring Me

“Meg D. Gonzalez gives us a vivid look at life for an American teenager in Mexico and an even clearer picture of what happens when you decide to embrace who God made you to be. No matter what. Great first novel. Great read.” – Nancy Rue, Christy Award winning author of the Real Life series

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Excerpt

The scent of sizzling quesadillas, bubbling soups, and slow-roasting meat made my mouth water. They dripped with flavor. I couldn’t wait to taste every single one. On the cordoned-off street, strings of flags crisscrossed the blue sky. Children laughed and kicked a soccer ball through winding legs. Everywhere the colors were so vivid they almost hurt. And the music… Ecstasy filled the notes. It’s no wonder I stopped and stared.

“A group of Folkorico, filled the main stage. Women wore dresses with huge skirts, each a different color. When the dance began, they lifted their skirts high and swished until the stage blurred with scarlet, saffron, tangerine, and amethyst. Their ribbons flew and shimmered in the sun. The raw beauty froze me to the spot.” I wished to pull out my sketchbook, but I knew the skills to capture the fluid movement eluded me.

“Julia stopped with me, but she was impatient. She couldn’t see what I saw. The rest of the class went ahead. When Mrs. Danphe found us, she didn’t scold us. Instead, she watched with me.”

She whispered, “It’s magical, isn’t it?”

 

MegAbout the Author

Meg D. Gonzalez is a tea-sipping, adventure-seeking, pug-loving kind of girl. She’s crazy for God and wants to share His love with awesome young women around the globe.

She started her first novel at the age of fourteen (it will never see the light of day and that’s best for everyone), but her writing really came alive two years ago after she moved to Mexico. The crazy, wonderful people and culture she encountered inspired the story of Sketchy Tacos.

When she’s not writing, she’s learning to play video games with her husband (she’s horrible), taking hikes in beautiful parks with her pug Pascal, crocheting, and watching way too much TV.

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Ends 3/5/17

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on February 6, 2017

Death in Advertising (A Tobi Tobias Mystery)
1st in Series
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Lyrical Underground (February 7, 2017)
Approximately 300 PAGES
ASIN: B01FBZXSFW

Synopsis

When Tobi Tobias decided to open her own ad agency, having to moonlight in a pet shop wasn’t part of her vision . . . of course, neither was murder.

Sometimes when opportunity knocks, the door you open leads to a closet. That’s certainly the case for Tobi, whose weekends spent cleaning cages in her best friend’s pet shop may soon be over. She’s just landed her first big break—Zander Closet Company needs a catchy campaign slogan ASAP, and Tobi thinks she’s got the right hook to knock ’em dead: “When we’re done, even your skeletons will have a place.”

But when a real dead body topples out of a showcase closet, she’s about to discover there is such a thing as bad publicity. To save her fledgling business and not get killed by the competition, Tobi takes on a new pet project: solving the murder. But with a stressed-out parrot as the only witness to the crime, Tobi will really have to wing it to put the cagey killer behind bars.

Review

A fun start to a new cozy series! It combines mystery, a variety of character personalities and even a budding romance.

For me this book was a fast read, it hooked it and kept me wondering how the story was going to end and would I figure out who the killer was before he/she was revealed? The answer to that last question is no BUT I think there was a clue that I read and didn’t tie to the murder. I will say it was quite the shocker but not too surprising considering how everything unfolded. I did figure out part of the story line and how Tobi was going to figure it out.

I liked that Tobi didn’t put herself in harms way getting the killer to reveal themselves (or being in the wrong place at the wrong time). Sometimes I wonder about cozy protagonists and why they put themselves in harms way!

I like the budding romance of Tobi and Andy. He seems like a really down to earth guy and just what Tobi needs right now.

Grandpa Stu is a hoot, hope to see him often in future books!

We give this 5 paws up.

About the Author

While spending a rainy afternoon at a friend’s house more than thirty years ago, Laura Bradford (a.k.a. Elizabeth Lynn Casey) fell in love with writing over a stack of blank paper, a box of crayons, and a freshly sharpened number two pencil. From that moment forward, she never wanted to do anything else.

Today, Laura is the national bestselling author of the Amish Mysteries, the Jenkins & Burns Mysteries, and the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries (written as Elizabeth Lynn Casey). A new cozy mystery series will be added to the mix in 2016 with the release of The Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries. Laura is a former Agatha nominee and the recipient of an RT Reviewer’s Choice Award in romance. In her free time, Laura enjoys making memories with her family, traveling, baking, and visiting the sea lions at the Central Park Zoo.

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February 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

February 6 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

February 7 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

February 7 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

February 8 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

February 8 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

February 9 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

February 9 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

February 10 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

February 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW

February 11 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

February 12 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

February 12 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

February 13 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

February 13 – Carstairs Considers – REVIEW

February 14 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

February 14 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

February 15 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW, GUEST POST

February 15 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

February 16 – Varietats – REVIEW

February 16 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – SPOTLIGHT

February 17 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

February 17 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW

February 17 – deal sharing aunt – REVIEW

February 18 – Book Babble – REVIEW

February 18 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

February 19 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 19 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on February 5, 2017

A Palette for Murder (An Aurora Anderson Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Henery Press (January 31, 2017)
Paperback: 268 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1635111415
E-Book ASIN: B01M74ZIL3

Synopsis

A killer heat wave settles over Seagull Lane…

Summer’s sizzling in Vista Beach, the home of computer programmer and tole-painting enthusiast Aurora (Rory) Anderson. The abnormally high temperatures are hard on everyone in the quiet Los Angeles county beach community, especially the city’s homeless population. Residents are doing everything they can to stay cool, including leaving windows open to catch the faintest breeze. Not the best idea when a string of burglaries is plaguing nearby towns.

Still, Rory doesn’t expect to find her neighbor’s body just a few doors down. When suspicion falls on a friend and fellow painter, Rory must discover the truth before the police paint the wrong picture and send her friend away permanently.

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About The Author

Sybil JohnsonSybil Johnson’s love affair with reading began in kindergarten with “The Three Little Pigs.” Visits to the library introduced her to Encyclopedia Brown, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and a host of other characters. Fast forward to college where she continued reading while studying Computer Science. After a rewarding career in the computer industry, Sybil decided to try her hand at writing mysteries. Her short fiction has appeared in Mysterical-E and Spinetingler Magazine, among others. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Southern California where she enjoys tole painting, studying ancient languages and spending time with friends and family.

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January 30 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

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February 2 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

February 2 – Bibliophile Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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February 4 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

February 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

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February 7 – Varietats – REVIEW

February 7 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

February 8 – Girl with Book Lungs – SPOTLIGHT

February 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Historical, romance on February 3, 2017

Title: Highland Vixen

Series: Highland Weddings, #2

Author: Mary Wine

Pub Date: February 7, 2017

ISBN: 9781492602590

Synopsis

Fierce Highland war chief seeks comely lass for fun, frolic, and marriage

Marcus MacPherson is every inch the fearsome Highlander. He’s used to men averting their eyes and women cowering before him. He thinks he’ll eventually settle down with a nice, obedient bride. Instead, he gets Helen Grant… Stubborn as the day is long, fearless and dedicated to raising as much hell as possible, Helen is definitely going to challenge Marcus. And challenge him some more. And then some.

It’s anyone’s guess who’ll win this battle of the heart…

Amazon * Books-A-Million * Barnes & Noble * Chapters * Indiebound

An Intro from the Author

Hummm….the truth is, I am nerd enough to think history is fun. All the little facts and laws from centuries ago have always fascinated me. My parents were always listening to me expound on some little bit of wonderment…aka…historical fact.

Working these little facts into my work is something I try to do because I believe it’s important to write a book, set in the time it is dated. It was a different time and I think that adds spice to the unfolding romance. Life wasn’t fair then and it isn’t now. There is nothing I love more than to set out to see a couple overcome the odds and live happily ever after.

At least I love it when it’s finished! When I’m in that bottom of the ninth inner point, it’s hair pulling time as I try and work things out. Yes, I know I’m the author and should know these things but honestly, these characters have minds of their own!

I hope you all enjoy Highland Vixen. 2017 hold three titles from my Highland Brides and yes, I make you wait for that moment when it all comes together but they are all brides after all.

Cheers!

Mary Wine

Excerpt

MacPherson Castle was huge. It needed to be, because there were over three hundred retainers alone. When supper was laid out on the tables, their conversation echoed through the stone corridors. But that didn’t stop a woman’s scream from penetrating the chatter. Men came off their benches, their kilts flipping aside as they started toward the back stairwell where the sound had come from.

What stopped them was their War Chief, Marcus MacPherson, coming through the wide arched passageway. He had a woman with him who wasn’t pleased to be his captive.

“What are ye doing?” Shamus MacPherson demanded from his seat at the high table.

“Uncovering a deception,” Marcus replied to his father and laird. He set the woman in front of the MacPherson laird. “Helen and Brenda are no longer in this keep. Ailis has kept to her chamber to deceive us all into thinking Helen and Brenda were there with her. While this one”—he pointed at the girl—“has made sure no one saw her face to notice the game.”

Shamus dropped his knife and looked at the girl. Her eyes widened. “I did as I was told by me mistress.” She lowered herself awkwardly.

He snorted at her in reprimand. “Allowing her to act foolishly and leave the protection of this stronghold is no’ to be commended, girl. Ye lack the sense to be a personal servant to me daughter-by-marriage.”

The girl paled, shaking like a dried-out leaf in a wind storm.

Shamus grunted and waved her away before turning to his other son. “Best ye go discover what yer wife has been about this last week.”

Bhaic MacPherson was already pushing his chair back. There was a grim set to his jaw as he moved behind the other chairs and down the steps to where his half brother was glowering at him.

“With child or no, that wife of yers needs a reckoning,” Marcus growled.

Bhaic stopped in the passageway, just out of sight of the rest of the clan. “She is with child, so ye’ll manage yer temper or no’ be seeing her.”

Marcus crossed his arms over his chest and grinned at his brother. Bhaic grunted, recognizing the promise in the expression. No one liked a fight better than Marcus, except perhaps Bhaic.

“I mean to have words with her, Brother,” Marcus warned Bhaic. “And they will nae be kind.”

“If ye truly want to frighten Ailis, speak nicely to her.”

Marcus grunted and took to the stairs. Bhaic reached up and pulled him back by the shoulder.

“Helen may well be in the hands of the Gordons, thanks to this deception. Ye killed Lye Rob, and they would take great delight in paying us back in blood.” Marcus shot back at his brother. “Brenda and Helen could no’ have more than half a dozen men with them.”

Bhaic’s face tightened. “I know ye’re right to be angry, Brother.” He passed Marcus and took to the stairs. He offered his wife a single rap on the door of their chamber before he pushed it in and Marcus followed him.

Ailis Robertson was waiting for them. She stood in the center of the receiving room, ready to face them. Damn, but Marcus loved her spirit, even when it was at odds with what he thought she should be doing with all that strength of character.

“Ailis…” Bhaic began.

“I’ve deceived ye,” she stated. “I’ve been pretending to be more ill than I am, so the women could stay with me and no’ be seen.”

“Ye know very well how the Gordons treat their captives.” Marcus pointed at her. “Did ye no’ think of what might happen to Helen and Brenda if they tried to ride across the Highlands with naught but a handful of men?”

She paled. Bhaic reached forward and gripped her forearm, but she sucked in a breath and steadied herself.

Marcus snorted at her. “How long have they been gone?”

“Four days.”

Marcus was gripping his sleeves so tightly his knuckles popped. “Where did they go?”

“To court, to seek shelter from Brenda’s kin.”

“Court.” Marcus spat the word out like a curse. “Right into the hands of the Earl of Morton. Ye might recall how that man treats women he thinks can be of use.”

Ailis stiffened. “I do.”

Marcus grunted at her before he purposefully turned on his heel and left the chamber, the longer pleats of his kilt flaring out behind him.

About the Author

Acclaimed author Mary Wine has written over 30 works of Scottish Highland romance, romantic suspense and erotic romance. An avid history-buff and historical costumer, she and her family enjoy participating in historical reenactments. Mary lives in Yorba Linda, California with her husband and two sons.

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

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

Synopsis

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

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

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

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

Review

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

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

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

We give this 3 paws up.

About the author

june shaw

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

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

 

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Giveaway

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check out the other blogs on this tour

January 23 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

January 24 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT

January 25 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW

January 26 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

January 27 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

January 28 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST

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

January 30 – Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

January 30 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

January 31 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

February 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

February 2 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

February 2 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – SPOTLIGHT

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

February 4 – Book Babble – REVIEW

February 5 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

Posted in Giveaway, romance, Spotlight on January 31, 2017

Synopsis

Depression is just a word. It means less to me than it does to you and I’m the one who’s living it.
I live. I love. I laugh.
And you’ll believe all my lies.
Because she does too.

The world is a stranger.
But everyone thinks they know me.
My body has all the answers.
But my mind can’t understand them.
I’m drowning everyday.
But I never go near water.
The air in my lungs is toxic.
But I’m breathing all the time.

You’ll think you understand.
But how can you?
Even with her, I’m alone.

About the Author

D Breeze is a British contemporary romance author who lives for the angst and lives of her characters. A filthy-minded dreamer. A fantasist, with a penchant for writing stories to push your boundaries.  She loves losing herself in books, reveling in sarcasm, and making people blush.

If she’s not at the bar, handing out shots to unsuspecting victims, you can usually find D hunched over her laptop at four in the morning, still trying to piece together the lines of fantasy vs reality.

Failing that, she’ll be curled up in a corner, rocking back and forth and cursing over the characters arguing in her mind!

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Giveaway

Head on over to D’s facebook page  to be in with a chance of winning a $10 Amazon Gift Card and an ebook of Just Listen.  All you have to do is like her page and comment on the pinned post.  Good luck!

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Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, Monday, mystery, Review on January 30, 2017

Scheduled to Death (A Maggie McDonald Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Lyrical Underground (January 17, 2017)
Paperback: 236 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1601836663
Digital Ebook – ASIN: B01EQ2N1QM

Synopsis

Professional organizer Maggie McDonald has a knack for cleaning up other people’s messes. So when the fiancée of her latest client turns up dead, it’s up to her to sort through the untidy list of suspects and identify the real killer.

Maggie McDonald is hoping to raise the profile of her new Orchard View organizing business via her first high-profile client. Professor Lincoln Sinclair may be up for a Nobel Prize, but he’s hopeless when it comes to organizing anything other than his thoughts. For an academic, he’s also amassed more than his share of enemies. When Sinclair’s fiancée is found dead on the floor of his home laboratory—electrocuted in a puddle of water—Maggie takes on the added task of finding the woman’s murderer. To do so, she’ll have to outmaneuver the suspicious, obnoxious police investigator she’s nicknamed “Detective Awful” before a shadowy figure can check off the first item on their personal to-do list—Kill Maggie McDonald.

Review

This is the second in a series about a home organizer, Maggie, in a small town in CA. She manages to stumble across murders and gets caught up in solving the crime.

I love all the tips at the beginning of each chapter on organization, some are very useful and I need to put a few of them into practice.

I love the cast of characters and they all play a significant role in progressing the story line. There is a new character in this book (pretty sure this book only), a incompetent police detective named George Apsel. They have given him a most appropriate nickname of detective awful because he is truly awful and does not care about solving the crime. Heck, he can’t even get Maggie’s name right. He is filling in for Jason (another police detective) that broke his leg and is laid up…but we still get to see him some in this book.

The mystery itself was not easy to figure out…I think I suspected the killer just because he seemed suspicious but there was not anything I could put my finger on. The reason for the killings was a bit surprising to me, but it made some sense if you understand where the killer was coming from (not that it is justifiable!).

Outside of the main story line there was a minor line about a couple of homeless young women. I liked how Maggie and a few others gained their trust and helped them out. There were some surprises regarding these two women that just made it more intriguing and interesting.

I really enjoy this series and can’t wait to read more.  We give it 5 paws up.

 

About the Author

Mary FelizMary Feliz has lived in five states and two countries but calls Silicon Valley home. Traveling to other areas of the United States, she’s frequently reminded that what seems normal in the high-tech heartland can seem decidedly odd to the rest of the country. A big fan of irony, serendipity, diversity, and quirky intelligence tempered with gentle humor, Mary strives to bring these elements into her writing, although her characters tend to take these elements to a whole new level. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and National Association of Professional Organizers. Mary is a Smith College graduate with a degree in Sociology. She lives in Northern California with her husband, near the homes of their two adult offspring.

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Giveaway

On February 10, the author will be giving away five ebook editions of both books to randomly selected names on her newsletter list. Sign up here to win!

 

check out the other blogs on the tour

January 17 – Book Babble – REVIEW

January 18 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

January 19 – Sleuth Cafe – REVIEW, EXCERPT

January 19 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

January 20 – Classy Cheapskate – REVIEW

January 21 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

January 22 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

January 23 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW

January 24 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

January 25 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

January 25 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

January 25 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

January 26 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

January 27 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

January 28 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

January 29 – Lori’s Reading Corner – SPOTLIGHT

January 30 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

January 30 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

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