Posted in 5 paws, Giveaway, Photography, Review, Trailer on March 16, 2017

Synopsis

I have always been fascinated by the sheer beauty and diversity in Indian culture. “Sensory overload in a glance” is an apt description of a country that is always in movement. To be able to stand still in the middle of all that movement allows me to really “see” her people and absorb the flow of life from birth to death.

From learning how to make yellow ink from cow urine to watching funeral pyres burn in Varanasi, I realized that I would have to spend a lifetime here to grasp the immense value of her art, stunning architecture, fascinating food and love of all that is beautiful.

Amazon * Blurb * iTunes * Website

Trailer

Review

I have never been to India, but the author does a beautiful job of bringing India to me.  The colors, the hopes of the people, the way they live their lives, all of these gave me a deeper understanding of the country and its beauty.  There is even one picture that made me chuckle, it is a store with a lot of false teeth/dentures for sale.  I really love all the bright colors the women wear: to me it brings job to potentially a bleak situation.  I enjoy seeing the pictures of dogs (and other animals) and how the dogs don’t seem to have a care in the world and are sleeping right on the street with people passing them by.

The book is diverse in the images – from nature, to the majestic buildings, the poverty in places, and the people.  I think that it is very down to earth and a realistic portrayal of India and various castes.

We give this book 5 paws up and you need to pick up a copy and view the images she shares with us.

About the Author

Debra Schoenberger aka #girlwithcamera

“My dad always carried a camera under the seat of his car and was constantly taking pictures. I think that his example, together with pouring over National Geographic magazines as a child fuelled my curiosity for the world around me.

I am a documentary photographer and street photography is my passion. Some of my images have been chosen by National Geographic as editor’s favourites and are on display in the National Geographic museum in Washington, DC.  I also have an off-kilter sense of humour so I’m always looking for the unusual.

​ Website ~  Facebook ​~ Instagram ~  Pinterest

Giveaway

Win one $25 Amazon gift card (international) – 5 other winners will receive one copy of INDIA (choice ePUB or PDF) (ends April 1, 2017)

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

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

Synopsis

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

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

Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author

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

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check out the other blogs on this tour

March 1 – T’s Stuff – INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

March 1 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

March 2 – Queen of All She Reads – SPOTLIGHT

March 2 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT

March 3 – Books Direct – INTERVIEW

March 3 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

March 4 – Mystery Playground – INTERVIEW

March 5 – The Editing Pen – INTERVIEW

March 6 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW

March 6 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

March 7 – My Journey Back – REVIEW, INTERVIEWAdding interview

March 7 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

March 8 – Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

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

March 9 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

March 10 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

March 11 – Connie’s History Classroom – REVIEW

March 11 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

March 12 – Varietats – REVIEW

March 12 – Babs Book Bistro – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

March 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

March 14 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, Monday, mystery, Review on March 13, 2017


Fatality by Firelight (A Cat Latimer Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Kensington (February 28, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496704375
E-Book ASIN: B01GBAG6VO

Synopsis

Cat Latimer’s Colorado bed-and-breakfast plays host to writers from all over. But murder is distinctly unwelcome . . .

To kick off a winter writing retreat, Cat and her handyman boyfriend, Seth, escort the aspiring authors to a nearby ski resort, hoping some fresh cold air will wake up their creative muses. But instead of hitting the slopes, they hit the bar—and before long, a tipsy romance novelist named Christina is keeping herself warm with a local ski bum who might have neglected to tell her about his upcoming wedding.

Next thing Cat knows, her uncle, the town sheriff, informs her that the young man’s been found dead in a hot tub—and Christina shows up crying and covered in blood. Now, between a murder mystery, the theft of a rare Hemingway edition, and the arrival of a black-clad stranger in snowy Aspen Hills, Cat’s afraid everything’s going downhill . .

Amazon * Nook * Kobo  * iBooks

Review

I have really enjoyed this spinoff of the author’s Tourist Trap series. This is the second book n the series and I want to visit this town in Colorado and stay at this retreat even though I am not a writer.

There are several mysteries happening in this series. The first is one that will be seen in probably all of the books until solved, what happened to Cat’s ex-husband Michael. We gain a little more insight in this book as to what he might have been involved in or with whom.

The main mystery is the death of a local Lothario (or so he thinks) and of course one of the retreat visitors, Christina, was considered as the killer. She had some other issues back home and that seemed to add to the issue. It wasn’t a huge surprise who the killer was because this character was a bit odd/suspicious to me. I also did figure out another aspect having to do with Christina’s issues back home.

I like seeing Cat and Seth’s relationship continue. However, there is the introduction of Dante, that while it isn’t likely to become a love triangle, he does seem to be actively pursuing Cat. And how exactly does Dante fit into the story about her ex-husband? Only future books will tell us I think!

Overall great book and can’t wait to read more.  We give it 5 paws up

About the Author

USA Today and New York Times, best-selling author, Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho native. If you’d visit the town where she grew up, you’d understand why her mysteries and romance novels focus around the depth and experience of small town life. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and four fur babies.

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February 28 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

February 28 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

March 1 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

March 1 – I Wish I Lived in a Library – REVIEW

March 2 – Classy Cheapskate – REVIEW

March 2 – Author Annette Drake’s Blog – INTERVIEW

March 3 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

March 4 – Book Babble – REVIEW

March 4 – Mystery Playground – GUEST POST

March 5 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

March 6 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

March 7 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, GUEST POST

March 8 – Books, Dreams, Life – SPOTLIGHT

March 8 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

March 9 – Bea’s Book Nook – REVIEW

March 10 – A Holland Reader – SPOTLIGHT

March 10 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

March 11 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 12 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW

March 12 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

March 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Pets, Review on March 11, 2017

Death by Chocolate Lab (Lucky Paws Petsitting Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Kensington (February 28, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496707383
E-Book ASIN: B01GBAG2T0

Synopsis

Pet sitter Daphne Templeton has a soft spot for every stray and misfit who wanders into the quaint, lakeside village of Sylvan Creek. But even Daphne doesn’t like arrogant, womanizing Steve Beamus, the controversial owner of Blue Ribbon K-9 Academy. When Steve turns up dead during a dog agility trial, Daphne can think of a long list of people with motives for homicide, and so can the police. Unfortunately, at the top of the list is Daphne’s sister, Piper—Steve’s latest wronged girlfriend.

Certain that Piper is innocent, in spite of mounting evidence to the contrary, Daphne sets out to clear her sister’s name—and find Axis, Steve’s prize-winning chocolate Labrador, who went missing the night of Steve’s death. Aided by Socrates, her taciturn basset hound, and a hyperactive one-eared Chihuahua named Artie, Daphne quickly runs afoul of Detective Jonathan Black, a handsome and enigmatic newcomer to town, who has no appreciation for Daphne’s unorthodox sleuthing.

Can a free-spirited pet sitter, armed only with a Ph.D. in Philosophy and her two incompatible dogs, find the real killer before she becomes the next victim?

Includes recipes for homemade dog treats!

Review

I thought this was a great start to a new series…it contained one of my favorite things, dogs! There is a basset hound named Socrates and a chihuahua named Artie that is so ugly he is cute. There are a few other dogs including 3 rottweilers named after Shakespearean characters and a retriever named Axis.

The murder doesn’t happen right off the bat, but I will say I guessed who was killed before it was revealed. Now I’m sure you are thinking – but the synopsis says who was killed. Ok this is true, but I didn’t read that before I started reading this book. So I still give myself lots of credit for guessing that part!

Daphne is a free spirit. I love that she drives an old VW bus – perfect for hauling dogs around, as long as she remembers to fill up the gas tank. It was a shock to realize she had a PhD (in Philosophy) so she had to have had some sort of drive to accomplish that degree; however, her actions lead you to think otherwise. I think she is still lost in what she wants to do with her life. Her sister, Piper, is the opposite. Piper is very down to earth and organized, probably why she makes a great vet.

The mystery of who killed Steve was well written and I suspected a few other people but was totally shocked when the killer was revealed. Looking back there might have been one or two subtle clues but otherwise I really had no idea.

Of course you can’t have a mystery without a little potential romance. Detective Jon Black keep showing up trying to help solve the crime. I think he fancies Daphne and she might like him a little too despite dating Dylan, another free spirit. Although I don’t think she likes him quite that way.

We give this book 5 paws up.

About the Author

Bethany Blake lives in a small, quaint town in Pennsylvania with her husband and three daughters. When she’s not writing or riding horses, she’s wrangling a menagerie of furry family members that includes a nervous pit bull, a fearsome feline, a blind goldfish, and an attack cardinal named Robert. Like Daphne Templeton, the heroine of her Lucky Paws Mysteries, Bethany holds a Ph.D. and operates a pet sitting business called Barkley’s Premium Pet Care.

Webpage * BookBub * Twitter  * Facebook

 

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check out the other blogs on this tour

March 6 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

March 6 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

March 7 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW

March 7 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

March 7 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

March 8 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

March 8 – Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting – REVIEW

March 9 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

March 9 – Texas Book-aholic – SPOTLIGHT

March 9 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

March 10 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

March 10 – The Book’s the Thing – SPOTLIGHT

March 10 – Bookworm Mom – REVIEW

March 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

March 11 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

March 11 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT

March 12 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

March 12 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 13 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

March 13 – Cozy Up WIth Kathy – INTERVIEW

March 14 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

March 14 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

March 15 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

March 15 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

March 16 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW

March 16 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

March 17 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

March 17 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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

Synopsis

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review

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

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

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

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

We give it 4 paws up!

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

About the Author

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

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

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

Synopsis

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

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

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

Review

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

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

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

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

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

We give this book 4 paws up.

About the Author

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

Winnie Archer Website

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

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February 27 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

February 27 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW

February 28 – Sleuth Cafe – REVIEW

February 28 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

March 1 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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

March 1 – Bookworm Mom – REVIEW

March 2 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

March 2 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – INTERVIEW

March 3 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

March 3 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW

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

March 4 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

March 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

March 5 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

March 6 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

March 6 – Book Babble – REVIEW

March 7 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

March 8 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GUEST POST

March 8 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

March 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

March 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

March 10 – Becky’s Bookcase – REVIEW

March 10 – Readeropolis – REVIEW

March 11 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

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

March 12 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

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

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

Synopsis

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

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

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

Review

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author

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

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

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

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March 6 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

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

March 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

March 7 – T’s Stuff – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

March 8 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 9 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

March 10 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

March 11 – Curling up by the Fire – REVIEW

March 12 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

March 13 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

March 14 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW

March 15 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

March 16 – Bea’s Book Nook – REVIEW

March 16 – Bookworm Mom – REVIEW

March 17 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

March 18 – Mystery Playground – GUEST POST

March 19 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

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

FOY: ON THE ROAD TO LOST

by

GORDON ATKINSON

  Genre: Literary Fiction

Publisher: Material Media LLC

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Date of Publication: March 1, 2017

Number of Pages: 194

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

* Amazon * Material Media *

PRAISE FOR FOY: ON THE ROAD TO LOST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Check out the other great blogs on the tour

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

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

Synopsis

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

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

Review

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

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

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

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

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

 

About the Author

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Posted in 4 paws, Review, romance, women on February 28, 2017

Synopsis

Linnie Wayfair knows just how many people are counting on her. But knowing doesn’t make doing any easier.

Everyone in Sweet Lake, Ohio, wants her to muster all her business sense and return the Wayfair Inn to its former glory. Her parents hope she’ll forgive her scoundrel of a brother and reconcile the family. The eccentric Sweet Lake Sirens want her to open the inn—and her heart—to new possibilities. And her hilarious lifelong friends Jada and Cat are dropping none-too-subtle hints for her to ignite a romance with Daniel Kettering, the sexy attorney who’s been pining for her for years…

Now a shocking turn of events will open old wounds and upend the world Linnie has carefully built. She has to make changes quickly—and the results, though not entirely what she expected, might be what she’s been yearning for all along.

Review

If you want to read about trying family dynamics, this is the book for you. The Wayfair’s own a inn in a small OH town and it has been in their family for many generations and always run by a male. However, after the proprietor has a stroke he retires and leaves his daughter, Linnie, to run the inn. What we don’t realize is that Linnie’s brother has a stake in the inn. Freddie also caused a lot of turmoil 7 years previously that has set up some hard feelings on Linnie’s part. So a lot of this book centers around her actions and reactions to his behavior all those years ago.

But this book is not without romance. Daniel and Linnie grew up together and I think they both secretly liked each other but never did anything about it….until now.

I found the story intriguing with the variety of characters including the Sirens (matriarchs of the town that had their own group) and Linnie’s best friends Cat and Jada. Freddie is deplorable, but we see a hint of goodness in him and perhaps he is despicable because he thinks that is what is expected.

Linnie has a lot of growing up to do in this book when it comes to her family. She has always been the dutiful daughter and that is not always a good thing because she never puts herself first.

The only negative I have about this book is that when there was a change in time/scene there wasn’t a break in the text. Sometimes there was and sometimes there wasn’t and at times I’d be reading along and it would jump to another time/location without any warning. This didn’t happen often and didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book, after all I read it in a day!

We give this 4 paws up.

About the Author

Some writers are gifted with an unusual life and I’m certainly one of those. I’ve lived in Ohio, Virginia, California, Utah and now South Carolina. In college I was featured on the front page of the Houston Post for a lark that erased all my debt. I met my four adopted children for the first time in the sweltering heat of the tropics. I helped build several companies and was lucky enough to earn a living doing what I love best–writing–in a PR firm I owned.

In 2004 I made the wisest and most irrational decision of my life–I began writing fiction full-time. All those years of hard work pay off daily in sweet notes and comments by readers. Please continue the mail, tweets and comments on FaceBook, GoodReads and other sites. I cherish your support and love chatting with readers.

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