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

michelangelos-ghost

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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Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble

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.

Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook ~ Newsletter

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 Giveaway, Review, Short Story on October 19, 2016

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SHORT STORIES BY TEXAS AUTHORS,  Volume 2

Short Stories by Texas Authors, Volume 2 is comprised of winning stories

submitted in an annual contest to highlight Texas Authors

while raising money for literacy programs.

  

Genre: Short Stories

Publisher: Texas Authors, Inc.

Date of Publication: October 3, 2016

# of pages: 110

Scroll down for Giveaway!

synopsis

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Texas Authors have once again allowed their creative minds to open up and expand the Universe in which they live with short stories that captures one’s emotions through the everlasting aspect of storytelling.

In this, the second volume of award winning short stories, readers are taken on a personal ride of growth and understanding then through history both factual and fictional as they explore each side of two wars. Then fear grabs hold of readers and shakes them with terror before unleashing giggles and out-right laughs. These are just a few of the emotions readers will experience as they read these 17 short stories from all parts of Texas.

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Amazon * Texas Authors

Chosen as a Library Journal SELF-e publication
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$2.00 from the sale of every book goes to DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) Texas literacy program, which gets books into schools, libraries, and those in need.  Last year, we donated $5,000 worth of books by Texas Authors, Inc., and we are currently on track to donate $10,000 for 2016.

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$2.00 from every sale is donated to DEAR Texas literacy Programs

Review

I chose one of the short stories to read just to get a flair for what might be included in this book.  As they are all short stories I don’t think they will take long to read, in fact the story I chose, Homecoming Queen (YA) took maybe 5 minutes to read.  Great when you just need a little something and don’t have a lot of time.

Homecoming Queen is about a young woman, Pam, that loses her life in an auto accident and is learning how to cross others over when it is their time.  In this story, there are two older ladies in a hospital room and one is ready to go and the other is not…and of course it is the one that is not ready to go that is being called home.  As is with most people that are younger, they do not understand there is a method to all the madness and why one person is chosen over another.  While the story is short, it is also poignant and has a lesson for us.

I can’t wait to read the other stories!

AboutTheAuthors

Story Titles & Winners

click the authors’ names for their bios and books!

Non-Fiction/Inspirational

1st Place – The Bluest Eyes in Texas by ElizabethGarcia

2nd Place – Tough Love by Jackie Smith

Fiction/Horror

1st Place – John Sleeps by David Hughes

2nd Place – Cheeseburgers by Teresa Trent

Fiction/Humor

1st Place – Cactus Anne by Lorri Allen

2nd Place – Getting Even by Jackie Smith

Fiction/Biography

1st Place – Bluebonnets for Naomi by Teri Metcalf

Non-Fiction Biography

1st Place – A Diamond in the Rough by Roger SFriedman

2nd Place – Hodge Podge by Teri Metcalf

Fiction/Political

1st Place – Funny How Things Turn Out by Robert DeLuca

Fiction/YA

1st Place – Homecoming Queen by Elizabeth Garcia

Fiction/Suspense

1st Place – A Private War by Mary BryanStafford

Fiction/Science

1st Place – Todd by Fern Brady

Fiction/Historical

1st Place – Mountain Laurel by Jan Sikes

2nd Place Tie – Dawn of the Angry Guns by Pat Hadock

2nd Place Tie – Gone by Curt Locklear

Non-Fiction/Historical

1st Place – The Last Day by William Harper

Texas Authors Website * Texas Authors Facebook * Texas Authors Twitter * Dear Texas Twitter

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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY! 

1 GRAND PRIZE: $25 Gift Card to Texas Authors Book Store

5 RUNNERS-UP: Copies of Short Stories by Texas Authors!

US ADDRESSES ONLY

  October 10 – October 24, 2016

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

10/10 Hall Ways Blog
10/11 Syd Savvy
10/12 Chapter Break Book Blog
10/13 The Page Unbound
10/14 Country Girl Bookaholic
10/15 The Crazy Booksellers
10/16 Kara The Redhead
10/17 Reading By Moonlight
10/18 Texas Book Lover
10/19 StoreyBook Reviews
10/20 It’s a Jenn World
10/21 Forgotten Winds
10/22 Momma On The Rocks
10/23 Books and Broomsticks
10/24 A Novel Reality

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Posted in 3 paws, excerpt, Giveaway, Review, Romantic Comedy on October 19, 2016

My Grandfather's Pants by Tegon Maus

My Grandfathers Pants by Tegon Maus My Grandfather’s Pants by Tegon Maus

Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing (Jan  21, 2014)
Category: Contemporary Romance, Humor, Romantic Comedy, Suspense
Tour Dates: Oct/Nov, 2016
ASIN:  B00HZH5A7O
Available in: ebook,  164 Pages

Synopsis

Jack Laskin is an ordinary man. More than ordinary according to some. Running the family hardware store and a life that would bore a snail, nothing exciting ever seems to happen to him.

Then, at his mother’s urging, he tries on a pair of his late grandfather’s old pants and everything changes — most importantly his emerging love life. It’s not long before his mother and her meddling friends get involved.

When an old friend of his grandfather’s tells Jack he has something she wants, his new-found life takes another turn. Having no idea what he is supposed to have, Jack looks to his girlfriend, Connie, and her brother, Robert, for help.

In the end, the answers will all be found in his Grandfather’s Pants.

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Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo * Smashwords

Praise for My Grandfather’s Pants by Tegon Maus

“This story is fantastic! It is totally different to anything I have read before. As the storyline unfolds, it is sexy, humorous and very entertaining – absolutely brilliant!”- Susan Keefe, Book Reviews By Susan Keefe, Author

“I was definitely not expecting to laugh as often as I did while reading My Grandfather’s Pants. Mr. Maus has a fantastic sense of humour that translates extremely well to the written word. He is adept at teasing out the funny side of even the most serious or mundane parts of daily life. It was especially entertaining to see how he plays around with a wide range of assumptions most of us make about certain groups of people in order to keep his readers on their toes.
My Grandfather’s Pants is a great choice for anyone in the mood for something quirky and original. This is the kind of book that begs to be read more than once. I, for one, will be revisiting it quite soon!”- LAS Reviewer, Long and Short Reviews

“My Grandfather’s Pants is a funny and surprising novel. An enjoyable combination of fantasy and suspense with a touch of romance. The protagonist, Jack is a likeable old soul thrown into a bizarre situation, and the way he handles the bizarre challenges he faces will keep you guessing . . . and laughing. Pick up this book if you want to take a ride on a saucy, madcap rollercoaster. You won’t be disappointed!”- Joseph N. Sidari, Amazon Reviewer

Excerpt

Excerpt 2 – My Grandfather’s Pants

 

I was embarrassed and shocked beyond words.

“Ah hell, he ain’t got it,” Harriet sputtered, covering up again.

“Mom, I don’t need any help, really.” I struggled to form the words.

“Oh, no, dear, not you. We’re here to help Connie. She’ll be the one who will need the help if your dad passed on his gift.”

“Gift? What gift?” I asked, concerned what the answer might be.

“Last night…you get any? Did you give it to her good?” Harriet asked, thrusting her hips toward me, puffing to the end of her cigarette.

“No,” I protested, backing away.

“He ain’t got it, Moraine,” Harriet hissed, waving a dismissive hand in my direction, stepping away and buttoning up at last.

“Got what? What are we talking about here?” I pressed.

No one spoke, all three of them just stood there.

“Go on tell him. If he’s a late bloomer he’ll know eventually,” Stella crossed her arms and nodded.

“Jack, your father had an appetite unlike any…” she began.

“The man was a machine,” Harriet injected, lighting another cigarette.

The tone of her voice made my heart pound with panic and the gleam in her eye struck fear in my heart.

“Insatiable really,” Stella offered, flipping her hand back and forth.

“Mom…I…You can’t possibly…” I was lost for words, confused.

“You don’t understand. Your dad…he was relentless. There was no end. Two and three, sometimes four times a day. Outside, in the kitchen, in the garage, in the car, in…”

“In the trunk.” Stella pointed at herself.

“You know he asked, but I could never bring myself to do it,” Mom said, turning to Stella.

“It wasn’t so bad. I kind of got to like it,” Stella confessed.

“Are you telling me Dad cheated on you?” I asked in shock.

“Oh, no, dear. He would never cheat on us, never,” she soothed, patting me.

“Never,” Stella and Harriet said in unison, both with the same tone of affirmation.

“Dad was sleeping with…?” I had to sit down.

The pictures that suddenly filled my head took the very breath out of me, making me gasp like a fish out of water.

“It wasn’t like that. I didn’t believe it in the beginning either. When your father and I were dating, his mother came to me with the same story.

At first, I thought she was simply trying to get rid of me, like I wasn’t good enough for your father. Then as time went by I began to see the truth of what she said. Little things at first…soon they grew more and more urgent, more demanding. I watched as your grandfather fell apart a little more each day. He refused the gift, refused to bend to the need that roiled inside him. It devoured him.

As time went by he became bitter, angry, less of the man he had been and more of a miserable wretch.

Your grandmother did everything a woman could do but as hard as she tried there was no convincing him that things would be alright. Henry was a stubborn man.

I promised myself I would never allow that fate to befall your father or you,” she said placing a hand on my shoulder.

“So because Grandpa was cranky you what?” I asked, now bewildered.

“I had to do something for sanity’s sake if nothing else. I saw the same madness begin to show itself in your father and it began to overshadow our relationship. I promised myself then and there I would never allow it to come between us. Harriet’s husband died in a car crash and she was devastated. She cried almost every day for two years afterward. She was lonely and your father was amorous and insatiable and I was tired. You have no idea how exhausting it was.  Every time you turned around. It was a natural fit. Harriet had needs that hadn’t been filled since her husband’s death and your father didn’t seem to mind. Harriet felt better, your dad felt better and I was so relieved to have a break it was like Christmas in July. It was a win-win. Everyone was happy,” she said with a smile.

“Dad and Harriet?” I gasped, pointing at the wrinkled, old, mean spirited, chain-smoking gnome standing in front of me.

Harriet blew a smoke ring, put on a smug smile, bouncing her eyebrows in acknowledgment.

“Well…” she hesitated. “Even Harriet had her limits and after a few years, it only seemed natural to include Stella.”

“Stella?”

“Yes. We switched off so everyone had at least a day to recoup. I had Thursdays and Saturdays. Stella took Wednesdays and Fridays, while Harriet took Mondays and Tuesdays and the odd day we weren’t available. She has always been the trooper,” Mom said proudly.

I bent forward, leaning over my knees, trying to catch my breath.

“How could you…how…?” I couldn’t form a thought with the pictures that pushed themselves into my head.

“We had needs, each of us. Your father had a family trait handed down for generations, ardent cravings that I…let me correct that. Cravings that no one woman could fulfill. He was a good man. He didn’t drink, didn’t smoke, never missed a day of work, never lied, never cheated…he had this one little quirk. He was a…”

“A sexual dynamo,” Harriet interrupted.

“Oh yes,” Stella agreed, rolling her eyes back in her head, fanning herself with the magazine she held.

“And you all shared him?” I choked.

Review

This was a very bizarre story. I bounced from being kinda weirded out at the actions/comments of Jack’s mother and her friends to being intrigued at the mystery portion of the story.

I think this goes into the fantasy category because i wasn’t quite sure how the pants his grandfather wore fit into the story. Do these pants make the men more insatiable when it comes to their physical needs? Why are the women ok with there being a “harem”? Why do the older ladies call Jack by his grandfather’s name of Henry? Lots of unanswered questions.

The story is different, was a pretty fast read and was a little humorous in places.  We give it 3 paws up.

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About Tegon MausMy Grandfathers Pants by Tegon Maus

Tegon Maus was raised pretty much the same as everyone else… devoted mother, strict father and all the imaginary friends he could conjure. Not that he wasn’t friendly, he just wasn’t “people orientated”. Maybe he lived in his head way more than he should have, maybe not. He liked machines more than people, at least he did until I met his wife.

The first thing he can remember writing was for her. For the life of him he can’t remember what it was about… something about dust bunnies under the bed and monsters in my closet. It must have been pretty good because she married him shortly after that. He spent a good number  of years chasing other dreams before he got back to writing.

It wasn’t a deliberate conscious thought, it was more of a stepping stone. His wife and himself had joined a dream interpret group and we were encouraged to write down our dreams as they occurred. “Be as detailed as you can,” we were told.

He was thrilled. If there is one thing he enjoys it’s making people believe him and he likes to exaggerate. Not a big exaggeration or an outright lie mind you, just a little step out of sync, just enough so you couldn’t be sure if it were true or not.  When he writes, he always write with the effort of “it could happen” very much in mind and nothing, he guarantees you, nothing, makes him happier.

He has consistently placed in the top 3 in 189 writing contest in a variety of genres and has been featured in magazines a couple of times to raise money for Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Author on Tirgearr WebsiteTwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+

Giveaway

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Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Oct 3 Interview & Giveaway

Rainy Day Reviews Oct 4 Review & Excerpt

SolaFide Book Club Oct 5 Guest Post

Rockin’ Book Reviews Oct 6 Guest Post & Giveaway

Pomegranate Radio Oct 7 Review

Christy’s Cozy Corners Oct 10 Review & Giveaway

Cindy’s Notebook Oct 13 Review

Christa Reads and Writes Oct 18 Review & Giveaway

StoreyBook Reviews Oct 19 Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway

Lisa’s Writopia Oct 24 Review

Infinite House of Books Oct 25 Excerpt

fuonlyknew Oct 27 Review & Giveaway

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers Nov 2 Review

Carole Rae’s Random Ramblings Nov 4 Review

Books, books, and more books Nov 8 Review

JBronder Book Reviews Nov 16 Review & Guest Post

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Nov 22 Review

Bassgiraffe’s Thoughts Nov 30 Review

Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Book Release, Cozy, mystery, Review on October 18, 2016

deadly-bubbles

Synopsis

After Simone Ryan is stood up at the altar by her fiancé, Elliott, she decides to enjoy her would-be honeymoon in paradise alone. She checks into the Aloha Lagoon Resort’s bridal suite and promptly begins to drown her sorrows in champagne. But when Simone steps out onto the balcony to take in the glorious Hawaiian scenery, she gets an even better view. Hot local baker, Liam Bentley, is out for a stroll on the beach. Maybe being single isn’t so bad after all.

But when Elliott makes a surprise appearance at the resort—with a younger woman in tow—things turn deadly, and suddenly Simone finds herself not in the role of newlywed but prime murder suspect! Fighting for her life—not to mention her dignity—Simone must uncover secrets from her ex-fiancé’s past which may just have killer consequences for her own future. With the help of the ever-so-tempting Liam, his feisty grandmother, and the quirky Aloha Lagoon staff, Simone finds herself tracking down a murderer who may just be closer to home than she thinks…

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The Aloha Lagoon Mysteries

Ukulele Murder (book #1)
Murder on the Aloha Express (book #2) coming in Aug!
Deadly Wipeout (book #3) coming in Sept!
Deadly Bubbles in the Wine (book #4) coming in Oct!
Mele Kalikimaka Murder (book #5) coming in Nov!
Death of the Big Kahuna (book #6) coming in Jan 2017!
Photo Finished (book #7) coming soon!

About Aloha Lagoon

There’s trouble in paradise…

Welcome to Aloha Lagoon, one of Hawaii’s hidden treasures. A little bit of tropical paradise nestled along the coast of Kauai, this resort town boasts luxurious accommodation, friendly island atmosphere…and only a slightly higher than normal murder rate. While mysterious circumstances may be the norm on our corner of the island, we’re certain that our staff and Lagoon natives will make your stay in Aloha Lagoon one you will never forget! visit us at alohalagoonmysteries.com

Review

I’m not sure where the title came from because there isn’t really any wine in the story….but that aside, the story was engaging and enjoyable. Simone is the jilted bride that takes her honeymoon anyway (nothing wrong with that in my book!) and who shows up, but the groom…who ends up dead and of course Simone is a suspect.

There are many interesting characters and the killer was a huge surprise! I never suspected this person and the story that unfolded never would have crossed my mind!

I don’t know if Simone & Liam will be back in future stories, but there could be more to that budding relationship.

We give it 3 1/2 paws.

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Posted in 5 paws, Review, romance, women on October 16, 2016

boots-and-bedlam-cover

Synopsis

‘Tis the season for chaos.

Wedding bells will soon be ringing in the Lowcountry. All Sam Sweeney wants is to marry her man on Christmas Eve surrounded by family and friends. But emerging complications, some humorous and some not so humorous, threaten to converge and derail the best-laid plans during the busy stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Amidst the chaos—dealing with real estate, planning a wedding, running a seafood market, honoring traditions, and contending with teenagers—even the weather rears its head when the weatherman forecasts a white Christmas. Never has family support been more needed, but will it be enough to restore order and save the day?

Escape to the Lowcountry this Christmas where romance, intrigue, and holiday merrymaking await you.

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Review

When I first started reading this I didn’t realize it was a novella…and in a way was very sad that the story ended so soon! But it just left me wanting more and the final installment which will be coming up soon.

Sam has finally gotten over her fear of commitment and is ready to spend her life with Eli. I like how they are both recovering alcoholics and can help each other when temptation is too much. And there are times that it is very tempting.

Jamie brings home a friend for the holidays – a self absorbed girl that needs a HUGE wake up call, and I think she gets it but not the way she wants.

And I won’t tell you the twist at the end – which I did guess in the beginning, so this will make for some interesting reading in book 4 of this series.

You will probably want to read the first two books first since this continues the story of the sisters. You could read it as a stand alone, but then if you go back and read the others it might spoil some things.

We give this 5 paws up!

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About the Author

Ashley FarleyAshley Farley is a wife and mother of two college-aged children. She grew up in the salty marshes of South Carolina, but now lives in Richmond, Virginia, a city she loves for its history and traditions.

After her brother died in 1999 of an accidental overdose, she turned to writing as a way of releasing her pent-up emotions. She wrote SAVING BEN in honor of Neal, the boy she worshipped, the man she could not save. SAVING BEN is not a memoir, but a story about the special bond between siblings.

HER SISTER’S SHOES—June 2015—is a women’s novel that proves the healing power of family. Merry Mary—October 2015—a holiday novella, a young woman longing for a child stumbles upon a Christmas miracle. BREAKING THE STORY released on March 17, 2016. A romantic political suspense filled with passion, peril, and a scandal that will rock American politics.

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Posted in 5 paws, Giveaway, Review, Time Travel on October 14, 2016

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christmas-eve-letter

Time Travel Romance/Women’s Fiction
Date Published: September 15, 2016

Synopsis

30-year-old Eve Sharland is browsing a Pennsylvania antiques store when she discovers an old brass lantern tucked away on a shelf. It attracts her. She picks it up and sees something behind one of the sooty glass panes. She gently lifts it and, to her surprise, she finds an unopened letter stuck inside.

The letter is postmarked December 24, 1885, and it is addressed to Evelyn Sharland in New York City. Eve gasps and drops the letter. That’s her name! The letter is addressed to someone with the same name in 1885: Evelyn Sharland.

Eve promptly purchases the lantern and the letter, and returns to her New York City apartment. Later that evening, she carefully opens the letter and reads it, astounded by its contents. She stares at the lantern in wonder and alarm, deeply moved by the story of a tragic romance.

A few days later, following a request in the letter, Eve cautiously lights the lantern. To her utter shock, she finds herself in the past—in 1885 New York City. Eve is thrown into a life far beyond what she could have ever imagined, as she gets involved with one of the richest families in New York City, and meets the handsome Patrick Gantly. She must struggle to survive and return to her own time, even as her destiny is changed forever.

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Review

If you were tossed back in time to 1885, would you know how to dress, act or behave? I know I wouldn’t, but luckily for our heroine, Eve, she has a little idea of what to do but not much.

Eve finds a lamp with a letter inside and starts wondering about the mogul family – who they were and what happened to them especially since the letter had her name on it, but she knows it cannot be for her. This sets her on a quest to find out what she can through research. Some of it was good and some of it was bad.

This book was very enjoyable because I do like time travel stories – the possibilities and potential and having to figure out how to fit into the past (or the present depending on which way you are going!). Eve is a nurse which is to her benefit because she understands the methods of treatment that really were not good for a person. She is also smart and aware of her surroundings which is how she figures out that the dashing Patrick Gantry has been following her. It helps that he is a police detective. I like how he is intrigued by Eve and helps her even though it could mean his downfall, after all this is 1885.

I thought the author did a good job of recapturing that time period including that women really didn’t have any rights and were chattel. The men were egotistical which contributed to any downfall they experienced.

The ending has an interesting twist that changed how I saw a few characters in the book.

This is the first book by this author that I have read and I will be seeking out some of her other books.

We give this 5 paws up.

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About the Author

elyse-douglasElyse Douglas is the pen name for the husband and wife writing team of Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse’s mother was a painter and her father a textile consultant. Elyse began writing poems and short stories at an early age, and graduated with a degree in English Literature. Douglas grew up in a family of musicians, astrologers and avid readers. His great grandfather lived to be a 134 years old, and was the oldest man in the world when he died in 1922.

Some of Elyse Douglas’ novels include: “The Other Side of Summer,” “The Christmas Bridge,” “Wanting Rita,” “The Christmas Diary” and “The Summer Diary.” They live in New York City.

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Posted in 5 paws, Giveaway, Review, women on October 13, 2016

saving-jake-cover

Synopsis

There is always hope

After eight years in the Marines, Jacob Lorde returns to Blessings, Georgia, with no plans other than to hole up in his empty house and heal what’s left of his soul. But with a charming next door neighbor and a town full of friendly people, keeping to himself is easier said than done.

As long as you can come home

Laurel Payne understands far too well what Jake is going through, after witnessing her late husband experience similar problems. She’s in no hurry to jump into another relationship with a complicated guy, but their attraction is undeniable—and perhaps exactly what both of them need.

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Review

I’ve read several books in this series and have really come to love the little town of Blessings. The residents are mostly friendly (have to have some “bad” characters), go out of their way to help each other, and even fall in love with each other.

This book throws together Jake Lorde, former military suffering from PTSD, and Laurel Payne, widow & mother that has had a hard time herself the past few years. While they may not seem like a likely couple, there is something that attracts the other to them. And while their relationship seems to blossom overnight, it isn’t easy and they each had some things to overcome.

I liked Jake’s protective side because that really helps both of them out. And Laurel, while ostracized from her in-laws after his death, manages to overcome and survive without their support. I felt like all of the characters were down to earth and the book has some sad situations but a happy ending.

Can’t wait to see what is next for the town of Blessings. I have an idea, but we’ll see if that is the next story or a future one.

We give this 5 paws up.

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Excerpt

Dear Reader:

I welcome you to Blessings, Georgia, the best small town in the South.

No, there aren’t any secrets kept here, and yes, everybody knows your business, but when bad things happen, good people come to your rescue.

I grew up in a place like that—-a place everyone should live in at least once in their lives, but since that’s not possible, I’m offering the next best thing: stories about that way of life—-touching stories, funny stories, stories that will break your heart on one page and heal it on the next.

Count Your Blessings was the novella introducing my readers to the Georgia landscape.

You and Only You was the first full-length novel set in Blessings. It’s a story about the faithfulness of friends and family and what it means to be Southern to the core, as well as being a sweet love story to enjoy.

I’ll Stand By You was the second full-length novel. It’s a story about how people starting life off on the wrong foot can still find a way to live happy ever after.

Saving Jake is the next story, the one you’re holding in your hands. It’s a story that gets to the heart of what matters in life: redemption, forgiveness, and trust. It’s a story of the times, and yet timeless in its simplicity.

Pick up one of my stories and take a visit to Blessings with me.

You just might like it enough to stay.

See you between the pages,

Sharon Sala

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From Chapter One

Thomas Wolfe once wrote, “You can never go home again.” Jacob Lorde never took the word of a stranger. He was on the way home, marking the passing of every mile with a war-weary soul. He needed a place to heal and Blessings, Georgia, the place where he grew up, was calling him.

He’d come back briefly over a year ago to bury his father, and the calm and peace of the place had stayed with him long after he’d returned to his unit. Only a couple of months later, an IED on one patrol too many earned him a long stint in the hospital and brought his time with the army to an end.

Now he was coming home to try and bury the soldier he’d been.

He wanted to be done with war.

He needed peace.

He needed the emotional security that comes with knowing where he belonged.

He needed that like he needed air to breathe, so when the Greyhound bus in which he was riding came around the curve and he saw the city-limit sign of Blessings gleaming in the early morning sunlight, his eyes blurred with sudden tears. He took the sunglasses from the pocket of his uniform and slipped them on, then held his breath as the bus began to stop.

The brakes squeaked. They needed oil.

Jake stood slowly, easing the stiffness in a still-healing leg, walked down the aisle, and then out into a sweet Georgia morning. He took a deep breath, smelling pine trees on the mountains around him and the scent of smoke from someone’s fireplace.

He was home.

The driver pulled his duffel bag from the luggage rack beneath the bus, shook his hand, and got back on board. The rest of the trip home was on Jake.

About the Author

SHARON SALA has over ninety-five books in print and has published in five different genres. She is a seventime RITA finalist, four-time Career Achievement winner from RT Book Reviews, and five-time winner of the National Reader’s Choice Award. Writing changed her life, her world, and her fate. She lives in Norman, Oklahoma.

Website * Goodreads * Twitter * Facebook

 

Giveaway

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Posted in 3 paws, mystery, Review on October 9, 2016

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book-club-murders

The Book Club Murders: The Oakwood Mystery Series
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Publisher: Alibi (September 27, 2016)
224 Pages
E-Book ASIN: B01A4ATX9E

Synopsis

In a charming cozy mystery series debut, Leslie Nagel’s irrepressible small-town heroine finds that her fellow mystery book club members may be taking their Agatha Christie a bit too literally—and murder a bit too lightly.

Charley Carpenter has poured heart and soul into her clothing store, Old Hat Vintage Fashions. She’ll do anything to make it a success—even join the stuffy Agathas Book Club in order to cultivate customers among the wealthy elite of Oakwood, Ohio.

Although mixing with the most influential women in town has its advantages, Charley finds the endless gossip a high price to pay. But after two women with close ties to the Agathas are brutally murdered, everyone falls under threat—and suspicion. When key evidence indicates that both murders are the work of the same hand, Charley realizes that the killer has arranged each corpse in perfect imitation of crime scenes from the Club’s murder mystery reading list. She uses her membership in the Club to convince Detective Marcus Trenault to use her as an inside informant. Not that he could stop her anyway.

Intelligent, fearless, and every bit as stubborn as Marc is, Charley soon learns the Agathas aren’t the only ones with secrets to protect. Passions explode as she and Marc must race against time to prevent another murder. And if Charley’s not careful, she may find herself becoming the killer’s next plot twist.

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Review

Before i get into my review, I am going to state I do not think this is a cozy. It is on the fringes, but had a few F* bombs, there was sex that was sort of behind closed doors (perhaps a smidge more explicit than you would normally find) and just didn’t read like one to me.

Despite that, the book is good and I did not suspect the right person as the killer. We are led down some paths that don’t lead to the killer (but the author does a great job of letting you think that person might be the one!) . I liked the premise of the book club trying to solve the murder, or at least a few of them. Of course i liked that the book club read only mysteries in tribute to Agatha Christie since that is my favorite genre.

There is a budding romance between Marc and Charley (Charlotte), but they have their moments showing their true selves to each other. Marc is jealous of the relationship between his mom & Charley and Charley’s dad before her passing. Charley has her own issues too.

Overall a good book and worth reading.  We give it 3 paws up.

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About the Author

leslie-nagelLeslie Nagel is a writer and teacher of writing at a local community college. Her debut novel, “The Book Club Murders”, is the first in the Oakwood Mystery Series. Leslie lives in the all too real city of Oakwood, Ohio, where murders are rare but great stories lie thick on the ground. After the written word, her passions include her husband, her son and daughter, hiking, tennis and strong black coffee, not necessarily in that order.

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

September 26 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST

September 26 – The Cozy Mystery Journal – REVIEW

September 27 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW

September 27 – My Funny View of Life – REVIEW

September 28 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 28 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

September 29 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

September 29 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

September 30 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

September 30 – Teresa Trent Author Site – REVIEW

October 1 –  Sleuth Cafe – REVIEW

October 1 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

October 2 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW

October 2 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

October 3 – Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT

October 3 – Mallory Heart’s Cozies – REVIEW

October 4 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – REVIEW

October 4 – Ashleyz Wonderland – REVIEW

October 5 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT

October 5 – Book Babble – REVIEW – unable to post due to injury.

October 6 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW

October 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

October 7 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 7 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

October 8 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 8 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GUEST POST

October 9 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

October 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Review on October 7, 2016

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masking-for-trouble

Masking for Trouble (A Costume Shop Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Berkley (October 4, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0425278291
E-Book ASIN: B01AHKXIHY

Synopsis

Halloween brings more tricks than treats for costume shop owner Margo Tamblyn in the second in a new cozy series from the national bestselling author of the Material Witness Mysteries.

Halloween conjures up big business for Margo Tamblyn’s costume shop, Disguise DeLimit, but this year, the holiday comes knocking with serious trouble. Venture capitalist Paul Haverford plans to rezone historic downtown into a glitzy commercial area which would push out local business. Margo is set on saving her family’s store, especially after a nasty run-in with the chain-store tycoon, but after Haverford’s body is discovered during a spooky party at the derelict Alexandria Hotel, Margo finds herself dressed as the police’s prime suspect.

Anxious to clear her name, Margo begins hunting down anyone who might have wanted Haverford dead. Between all of his malicious maneuverings, the murdered mogul had buckets of people anxious to see him gone. Now, Margo will have to use every trick in the book to find a cloaked killer—before someone else winds up wearing a death shroud…

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Review

I am so loving this series! This is only the 2nd book but I hope there are many more to come. I love the costume shop and that Margo dresses in costumes every day. Just adds a quirky flair to the story line, but that is something the author is good at as I have seen this in her other books.

The mystery itself threw me for a loop and my jaw dropped when the killer was revealed. Totally did not see that one coming. I don’t even think I had a clue as to who to even suspect.

Margo has a secret romance going with Tak that she met in the first book. They are keeping the relationship on the down-lo, and this is not necessarily a good thing because it causes a lot of miscommunication between them. Hopefully they figure it out!

We give this 5 paws up!

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About the Author

DianeVallereI’m a former fashion buyer turned mystery writer, trading fashion accessories for accessories to murder. I was bit by the mystery bug as a kid reading Trixie Belden, Connie Blair, and The Three Investigators. Now I’m writing three series: the Style & Error Mysteries, the Mad for Mod Mysteries,  Material Witness Mysteries, and the new Costume Shop Cozy Mysteries!

The Material Witness mysteries feature Polyester Monroe, who inherits the fabric shop where she was born. Books include SUEDE TO REST  and CRUSHED VELVET . The third, SILK STALKINGS,  will be out in August 2016.

The Style & Error Series features former fashion buyer turned amateur sleuth Samantha Kidd. Books in that series include DESIGNER DIRTY LAUNDRY ; BUYER, BEWARE ; THE BRIM REAPER ; and SOME LIKE IT HAUTE . (A short story, “Just Kidding ,” tells the story of how Samantha first met shoe designer Nick Taylor). Book 5, GRAND THEFT RETRO, will be out in 2016.

The Madison Night Mysteries feature a modern day interior decorator who specializes in midcentury design (studying Doris Day movies to get the look right). Books are PILLOW STALK,THAT TOUCH OF INK , and WITH VICS YOU GET EGGROLL . A prequel novella, “Midnight Ice,” can be found in OTHER PEOPLE’S BAGGAGE .

The new Costume Shop Cozy Mysteries feature former magician’s assistant Margo Tamblyn who has come home to run her family’s costume chop. A Disguise to Die For was released February 2, 2016 and Masking for Trouble will be released October 4.

Website * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads

Giveaway

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

October 2:  MysteriesEtc  – REVIEW

October 2:  Community Bookstop – REVIEW*

October 3:  Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW*

October 3:  Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

October 4:  A Holland Reads – REVIEW*

October 4:  Fuonlyknew – SPOTLIGHT

October 5:  Brooke Blogs – REVIEW*

October 5:  I Wish I Lived in a Library – REVIEW

October 6:  3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – REVIEW*

October 6:  Jane Reads – REVIEW

October 7:  Back Porchervations – REVIEW*

October 7:  StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

October 8:  The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

October 8: The Broke Book Bank – REVIEW

October 9:  The Girl with Book Lungs – SPOTLIGHT

October 9:  Lisa Ks Book Reviews  – REVIEW

October 10:  Grace. Gratitude. Life. By Marie McNary – REVIEW*

October 10:  View From The Birdhouse – REVIEW*

October 11:  Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my!  – REVIEW

October 11:  Celticlady’s Reviews  – SPOTLIGHT

October 12:  Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

October 12:  Reading Authors – REVIEW*

October 13:  Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW*

October 13:  T’s Stuff – REVIEW

October 13:  LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW

October 14:  Laura’s interests – REVIEW

October 14:  Melina’s Book Blog –  REVIEW*

October 15:  Book Babble – REVIEW

October 15:  The Power of Words – REVIEW

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Posted in 3 paws, Fantasy, Historical, Review on October 4, 2016

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tut-reborn

 

Title: TUT REBORN
Author: Cyci Cade
Publisher: CC Books
Pages: 432
Genre: Fantasy

In 1323 BC, Egypt’s youngest King died at age 19 after 10 years on the throne. But, what if the story has not ended?

You know the story of Pharaoh Tutankhamun and ancient Egypt. Are you ready for a new fantastical twist?

When Akhenaton is killed, Tutankhamun becomes the new pharaoh. The boy king has to face many enemies and struggle to prove that he is capable of ruling Egypt. He fights uncountable enemies, but he can´t fight the one that is in his palace.

A woman seems to have the power to change his life; he is in love for the first time in his life. However, he has to decide if he´ll pick love over his duties as Pharaoh. Will he do that?

Tutankhamun has to make difficult decisions and sacrifice his happiness to protect Egypt. He realizes that love and power are incompatible things.

When Khufu, a cruel pharaoh and the embodiment of the god of chaos, is resurrected, he must fight fantastical deities against unimaginable odds. Facing defeat, Tut calls on the gods Horus, Thoth, Ra and Anhur to help him defeat Khufu to save Maya and the people of his kingdom.

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Excerpt

Thebes, 1325 B.C.

Still in movement, I wield my sword and jump off the chariot. I run toward the enemies; my soldiers follow me. The steel clanks when the blades touch, blocking the blows of the enemies and attacking them. My body moves fast or as fast as it´s able to due to its disabilities. I found a way to overcome my disabilities, and I became a good warrior. It took me years, but I´m here now. I´ve survived many battles.

It looks like a dance, if you know the right moment to move the arms, legs and body, you´ll be successful.

After killing a soldier, I run to the next one. Blood covers the exposed parts of my body, my blood and the enemies´ blood. Stepping forward I stab the stomach of my opponent. I move to the next one.

It´s too fast. It´s impossible to count how many men I´ve fought and killed. It´s just possible to say that the battle is far from the end. We have a good strategy. I´m a good warrior, but I´m much better strategist.

“Protect the flanks!” I yell when I notice that the enemies are regrouping and changing their strategy. “To the left!” I show the way with my sword and run again.

My plan is working. As I predicted, the enemies are retreating. We´ll corner them. I wield the sword. The sound of the battle grows louder; clanks, screams, shouts, horses…

A chariot passes next to me. I run and jump inside it. The chariot carries me to the other side of the battle, to the right flank where the fight is more intense.

“Follow me!” I shout another order. My throat burns. I´m thirsty, the dust of the desert makes my tongue glue on the roof of my mouth.

I jump off the chariot again. This time, I don´t move so fast. I´m tired; the sword is heavy as well the armor. My disabilities start to disturb me. My back hurts and my left foot doesn´t move properly. It´s time to finish this battle. It´s time to go home.

With fury, I lift the sword and attack the enemy; my blows don´t have the same impact, my arms don´t have the same strength. Many soldiers fall in a battle due to exhaustion. I defeat one, two, three, and many others still run toward me.

My sword falls on the ground, and I drop my gaze. My soldiers continue to fight while I remain in the same place keeping an eye on the sword and the other on the battle. Any soldier attacks me. The battle becomes distant.

Forgetting the battle for a moment, I turn to the side where a boat starts to gain form in front of my eyes. It´s gold, large, curved, with white sheets from a side to another, a mast in the center and ropes keep the sheets stretched. There are inscriptions carved on the lateral of the boat, hieroglyphs. There are no oars or crew, just a sailor at the stern, at the helm.

“Meseket,” I whisper.

I wonder what the boat of Aken is doing here. It´s obvious since this is a battle, many died and Meseket is supposed to carry the dead ones into the underworld.

The light coming from the boat hurt my eyes, and I have to protect them with my arm. The battle becomes more distant; more bodies cover the ground. I step aside looking to that scene as if I´m not part of it, examining it as an observer, waiting for the ones who will enter the boat and go to the underworld.

Nothing happens, nobody moves to the boat. I wonder why it´s too long. Silence envelopes me. The soldiers become more distant, and I can´t distinguish them anymore. I don´t know who are my soldiers, who are the enemies. The battlefield fades until it disappears completely. Torment possesses me.

“It´s time, Tutankhamun.” A soft voice like a breeze brings peace to my disturbed soul.

I look to the boat again. Mahaf, the ferryman, is waiting. This time, it´s shine doesn´t hurt my eyes. I can see the details, the hieroglyphs carved on its lateral: an eye-shaped figure with six parts that symbolizes the eye of Horus, a bird that symbolizes the gold falcon, a bearded man holding the flail and crook that symbolizes a pharaoh, waves that symbolize water, a circle with a line underneath that symbolizes eternity…

Turning to the sides, I don´t understand what´s happening; therefore, I ask, “Where are the others? Why am I here?”

“Aken has announced your arrival to Ra. You´re the Pharaoh; this boat is for you,” he says. “It´s time, Tutankhamun. You must get on immediately or you´ll be lost forever.”

I rush to the boat wondering how I´ll get on it since I don´t find any entrance to the boat. As I approach it, my body levitates and I float in the air as if powerful hands carry me inside the boat. Landing, I ask, “Am I dead?”

Mahaf opens his mouth, but I can´t hear him. He starts to fade in front of me; the boat and everything else, including me, start to disintegrate. I don´t feel anything. When I was fighting, I didn´t feel the pain of my wounds either. I open and close my eyes; I rub them trying to keep the image vivid in front of me.

“What will happen to me?” I scream, but there´s no sound.

I open, close, and open the eyes again; darkness involves me. This is it? This is the end? Little by little, the light of the flames reveals a piece of the place. Candles illuminate part of the chamber. My chamber.

Review

This book is a twist on the story of King Tut and what would happen if he came back to life, so definitely a fantasy!

This book has many interweaving stories from the Pharoh and his life from battles to reigning over Egypt to his wives and concubines. I don’t normally read books in this time period, but I always enjoy learning more about the time and how things differ than they do today (primarily due to advances in technology).

I felt like the story stayed true to actual events and the beliefs of that time – that the gods could bring a person back to life and would call upon the gods to give them strength or healing depending on the situation. The language seemed off from how we would speak today, but I felt that gave it a bit more credibility that this is how they would have spoken at that time.

Overall this was an enjoyable story and if you like this time period and fantasy, you will probably really enjoy the book.

We give it 3 paws up.

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About the Author

cyci-cadeCyci Cade is writer and blogger; she has a Marketing degree. She´s the author of Tut Reborn and short stories as Perhaps Love, Son of Egypt, and The boys and the Dragon.

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