Posted in Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, Spotlight on December 17, 2016

what-fresh-smell-large-banner640

What Fresh Smell (Marissa Scott Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Self-Published (August 9, 2016)
Paperback: 164 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1535456913
E-Book ASIN: B01IYX5V3A

Synopsis

There’s Murder in River City – Daycare that is.

When Marissa learns that a teacher at the daycare center has been murdered, she comes to the realization that she really didn’t know much about the people who worked there, especially the murdered woman. She’ll now have to manage her son, her mother, her mother’s Scottish terrier, and an ex-boyfriend as she tries to hunt down the people behind a robbery ring and the person who killed a daycare teacher. If she’s not careful, she might meet the same fate.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

amazon buy

Guest Post

Hello, you’ve been reading my adventures for a while now, but I’ve never had the occasion to address my fans directly. I’m thrilled for the chance to do so.

I’m Marissa Scott, the sleuth in a series of mysteries set around the place I work, Kantor’s Department Store. I’ve gotten into a bit of trouble at the store a few times. My mouth tends to run away with me – which doesn’t make me a favorite of my management. Even so, I do have a number of friends at the store, including my best friends, Ellen, the head of store security, and Anne, another working mother.

The author would always have you believe that he’s in charge, but I’ve definitely put my imprint on this series. For starters, I started out a little prickly. I’ve mellowed over time, which might be one reason why the series has taken such a long time to pick up speed. Time heals all wounds, or so they say. I’ve hopefully matured over time, and I’ve finally come to peace with the fact that my ex- will be in my life until our son is 18 – or longer. A few fans have mentioned that I seem more relaxed than I had been in earlier books.

Also, I’ve had my say on what happens in the series. For example, the author had the nerve to try to bump off one of my friends in an earlier book. I put my foot down and said that I would be far too busy grieving to finish the book and solve the crime. He finally listened; he can be as stubborn as I am at times, but I won that battle. With that argument, I was able to save my friend and have a few more adventures with her, which is always fun. I’ve had to put him straight on a few other things as well, but I don’t want to spoil the series by saying too much.

He’d also planned to make this a trilogy, like his historical mystery series. However, a fortunate short story request from Happy Homicides gave me the chance to prove I was good for a number of new stories as well. As a result, you’re going to see a few more short stories and a new novel in the not-too-distant future. I’m happy to be back for a new novel and more opportunities to solve the crimes of Cincinnati. I did point out that these books can be written far faster than the historicals. First drafts of my adventures only take a matter of weeks to complete; the historicals are measured in months if not years.

While authors will proudly tell you that they’re in charge, don’t believe it for a minute. We all know who runs the show here, and it’s not him. I hope you take some time to find my books and read one. I think you’ll enjoy it, if I do say so myself.

– Marissa Scott

About the Author

jeff_marksJeffrey Marks is a long-time mystery fan and freelancer.  After numerous mystery author profiles, he chose to chronicle the short but full life of mystery writer Craig Rice.

That biography (Who Was That Lady?) encouraged him to write mystery fiction. His works include Atomic Renaissance: Women Mystery Writers of the 1940s/1950s, and a biography of mystery author and critic Anthony Boucher entitled Anthony Boucher. It was nominated for an Agatha and fittingly, won an Anthony. He won a Malice Domestic Grant for The Scent of Murder, which has spurred the Marissa Scott series. What Fresh Smell is the third novel in the series.

His work has won a number of awards including the Barnes and Noble Prize and he was nominated for a Maxwell award (DWAA), an Edgar (MWA), three Agathas (Malice Domestic), two Macavity awards, and three Anthony awards (Bouchercon). Today, he writes from his home in Cincinnati, which he shares with his spouse and three dogs.

WebsiteFacebookTwitterGoodReads

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

great escape button160

check out the other great blogs on this tour

December 7 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

December 7 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

December 8 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

December 8 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT

December 9 – T’s Stuff – GUEST POST

December 9 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

December 10 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

December 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

December 12 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf -INTERVIEW

December 12 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – SPOTLIGHT

December 13 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

December 13 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST

December 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 15 – Cassidy Salem Reads & Writes – GUEST POST

December 16 – The Power of Words – SPOTLIGHT

December 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

December 18 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

 

 

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, mystery, Spotlight on December 16, 2016

get-me-to-the-church-on-time-large-banner640

get-me-to-the-grave-cover

Get Me To The Grave On Time
(The Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins Mysteries)
Publisher: Grainger Press (November 15, 2016)
Print Length: 274 pages
ASIN: B01MDQEG27

Synopsis

Although Eliza still refuses to marry Freddy Eynsford Hill, everyone around her seems headed for the altar. Not only is her cousin Inspector Jack Shaw about to wed his sweetheart, but Freddy’s younger sister Clara is engaged, along with the niece of Henry Higgins. Another blushing bride is the sixty-year-old Duchess of Carbrey, who plans to marry a handsome fellow half her age. But when the groom is found dead, a jealous mistress is blamed for the murder. However, the death may also be connected to the stolen treasure of an Indian temple.

Disaster strikes next at Jack and Sybil’s wedding. Soon after, the wedding reception of Higgins’s niece takes a lethal turn. Someone is targeting bridegrooms, and the wedding of Freddy’s sister is next. Before another bridal bouquet is tossed, Higgins and Eliza must track down the killer. Otherwise, Clara’s bridegroom – and perhaps the bride herself – may be murdered before they can get to the church on time.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

amazon buy

About the Author

d-e-irelandD.E. Ireland is a team of award-winning authors, Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta. Long time friends, they decided to collaborate on this unique series based on George Bernard Shaw’s wonderfully witty play, Pygmalion. While they admit the lovely film My Fair Lady and its soundtrack proved to be inspiring, they are careful to stick to Shaw’s vision of the beloved characters from Eliza to Higgins to Pickering and Freddy Eynsford Hill. They’ve also added a cast of new characters to flesh out their own version of events post-Pygmalion. They both have patient husbands, brilliant daughters, and share a love of good books, tea and history.

WebsiteFacebook TwitterPinterest

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

great escape button160

check out the other great blogs on this tour

December 2 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT

December 3 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

December 4 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

December 5 – Community Bookstop – SPOTLIGHT

December 6 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

December 7 – Books, Dreams, Life – SPOTLIGHT

December 8 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

December 9 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

December 10 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

December 11 – Varietats – REVIEW

December 12 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

December 13 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

December 14 – Girl with Book Lungs – SPOTLIGHT

December 15 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

December 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 17 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW

December 18 – Bab’s Book Bistro – REVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, Spotlight on December 15, 2016

dead-on-lily-pond-lane-large-banner640

death-on-the-lily-pond

Death on Lily Pond Lane (Hamptons Murder Mysteries)
Publisher: Dunemere Books (September 19, 2016)
Paperback: 404 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997270150
E-Book ASIN: B01J28570I

Synopsis

Springtime in the Hamptons comes late, but it’s worth it! Brisk walks on the bright chilly beach, cinnamon buns at tea time, blooming forsythia and….murder?

Innkeeper Antonia Bingham has hit her stride as the proprietor of East Hampton’s Windmill Inn. After solving a series of murders, Antonia has taken on more work as an estate manager, giving her entree her into some of the area’s most glamorous homes. Once inside, Antonia checks the heat, looks for leaks or damage, and finds the occasional dead body. As the police can’t be trusted, it’s up to Antonia—a modern day Miss Marple, with an overly enthusiastic adoration of carbs and a kamikaze love-life—to put her skills of deduction to use. Nestle in with a steaming mug of your favorite tea and get ready to peek behind the gates of the mansions of the Hamptons, as Antonia Bingham solves another shocking and devastating murder.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

kobo smallbn buyamazon buy

Guest Post

Today’s guest post is by Carrie Doyle, author of Death on Windmill Way and Death on Lily Pond Lane, welcome Carrie!

When you read my books in the Hamptons Murder Mysteries series, you can tell immediately that I love food! I love cooking, and I am a huge fan of “Top Chef.” I love to read about food too, and I look forward to “Food and Wine” and “Bon Appetit” magazines every month. I think we’ve turned into a foodie nation and people enjoy reading about dishes and recipes. I also think that the whole concept of feeding people and baking conjures up happy and yummy thoughts, and it was important to me that Antonia Bingham, the main character (a chef, innkeeper, and amateur sleuth), bring that out in readers.

The books are set in East Hampton, NY where I have spent summers for all of my life, and the setting flavors all the books and even shaped Antonia. In college I worked for Ina Garten at the Barefoot Contessa, which was a legendary gourmet food store in East Hampton and spawned a hugely successful brand of cookbooks, TV shows, and even packaged foods at one point. I worked in the bakery section and had a chance to sample all of Ina’s amazing sweets. It was impossible not to! (Although I did learn a trick: if I didn’t eat anything within the first hour of work I would not be tempted all day. It was as if inhaling the fumes was enough to sate me. But if I sampled something within the first hour I was a goner—snacking all day long.) Ina Garten was an incredible boss—warm, generous, a real champion for her staff. I think some of Antonia is inspired by her.

I’m sharing one of my favorite holiday recipes today. Antonia will be making it in my holiday-themed Hamptons Murder Mystery, due out fall 2017. This sauce can be made ahead, and stored in a jar for a month. In a pretty mason jar with a ribbon, it makes a great gift.

Antonia Bingham’s Aunt Pat’s Hot Fudge Sauce

Ingredients

2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate

2 tbs. salted butter

¾ cup of granulated sugar

1 cup of heavy cream

2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions

  1. Melt butter and chocolate over low heat in a heavy bottomed pan and stir until smoothly combined.
  2. Add sugar and stir well.
  3. Add heavy cream and mix (it will look like hot chocolate).
  4. Allow the mixture to come to a boil and then turn the heat down to keep the mixture at a low simmer until it thickens (approximately half an hour).
  5. Turn off heat, add vanilla and stir well. Allow to cool somewhat before serving or it will melt the ice cream.

Serve over ice cream or, even better, over warm glazed donuts with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the middle.

About the Author

carrie-doyleCarrie Doyle was the founding Editor-in- Chief of the Russian edition of Marie Claire Magazine. She is currently a Contributing Editor of Hamptons Magazine and has written extensively for Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country and has also written for Women’s Health and Avenue on the Beach. With Jill Kargman, Carrie co-wrote the film Intern (which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1999), as well as several screenplays sold to Showtime, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Films and the Oxygen Network. Carrie and Jill co-wrote five books together, including three teen books for HarperCollins and two bestselling women’s fiction books, The Right Address and Wolves in Chic Clothing (Broadway Books). Carrie also penned the popular novel The Infidelity Pact (Broadway Books). Carrie lives in New York City with her husband and two children and is currently at work on an animated series for broadcast as well as her new series, the Hamptons Murder Mysteries.

Webpage * GoodReadsAmazonPublisher Page * Twitter

 

Giveaway

Enter to win print copies of Death on Windmill Way (Book 1) and Death on Lily Pond Lane (Book 2).

Open to US residents only please.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

great escape button160

check out the other great blogs on this tour

December 12 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW

December 12 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

December 13 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

December 14 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

December 14 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

December 15 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

December 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

December 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

December 16 – Deal Sharing Aunt – REVIEW

December 17 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW

December 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST

December 18 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – REVIEW

Posted in excerpt, fiction, Giveaway, Historical, Spotlight on December 15, 2016

LOVE GIVE US ONE DEATH

  Bonnie and Clyde in the Last Days

by

Jeff P. Jones

**WINNER: 2016 Idaho Author Award**

**WINNER: 2015 George Garrett Fiction Prize**

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Texas Review Press

Date of Publication: October 25, 2016

Number of Pages: 232

Scroll down for Giveaway!

Bonnie and Clyde are the most famous outlaw pair in American history. Frank Hamer, the legendary Texas Ranger, was hired to stop them. Part prose, part verse, with historical artifacts interwoven, the well-researched novel tells the story of their deaths on a lonely Louisiana back road, as well as their bloody and short lives together. Its many voices invite the reader to become a ghost rider along with Bonnie and Clyde, while it also exposes the forces of injustice and greed that created them.

 PRAISE FOR LOVE GIVE US ONE DEATH

“If you are a fan of historical fiction, you must secure a copy of his debut novel in which Jones ‘added, subtracted and distorted facts’ adroitly and creatively in his re-telling of Bonnie and Clyde’s last days. There are very few writers who can write like Jones — in many voices and in various forms — but he choreographs his work like an award-winning producer, designating him as unique as the members of the Clyde Barrow Gang.” -Idaho Statesman

“Love Give Us One Death delivers not only a knock-out story of brutal adventure, and love, across the heartland of the Great Depression, but a story about the very character of the republic itself.” -Robert Wrigley, Poet

“This is the history of love and destruction you didn’t know you needed. In a time of Public Enemies, we see the last legs of a journey between the violent and manic Romeo and Juliet-like pair. The last public outlaws are riding away into their last sunrise, and this book serves as its journal.” -Atticus Books

“The language is absolutely stunning. Characterization, historical setting, ambience are all accurate and depicted with great clarity. A terrific achievement.” -Mary Clearman Blew, Author of All But the Waltz

“This is historical fiction raised boldly to the level of myth.” -Tracy Daugherty, Author of The Last Love Song

Love Give Us One Death: Bonnie and Clyde in the Last Days

Excerpt from Chapter 1, “Love’s Kingdom”

By Jeff P. Jones

The two teenagers were together in the tiny kitchen, Clyde at a spindly table, Bonnie orbiting around the stove. In the corner stood a battered wooden icebox. From the other side of the swinging door erupted voices and laughter.

Clyde was puzzling over the mystery before him. Her face was lovely, but he couldn’t luxuriate in its full light. He hadn’t gotten past her hands, which seemed to contain all of her, and which held the paradox of Bonnie Parker in all her petite ruggedness. They were tiny, the fingers as slim as pencils and the skin oiled and smooth, yet when she picked up the kettle or closed them around a cup, green veins piped around the bones and tendons sprang to the surface.

Then there was the ring she wore.

“Be careful, it’s hot,” she said and held out a steaming mug.

He wrapped both hands around the cup. Inhaled the steam threads. Then, he couldn’t help himself, he reached out and caressed her hand, and the stiffness in his fingers registered the warm liveliness of hers, and something else. She acknowledged the breach with a smile and withdrew her hand. There was delicacy wed to strength in her face. Lively mouth. Aquiline nose. Warm but fleeting eyes that said she was keeping something back.

“My, your fingers are cold,” she said.

He took a sip, felt the warmth flow through his icy shell.

“Sweet enough?”
“Never tasted better.”

Click here to read the full first chapter!

JEFF P. JONES’s ancestors were sharecroppers in east Texas. He was born in Denver, and was educated at the University of Colorado at Denver, the University of Washington, and the University of Idaho. He’s a MacDowell Fellow, and his writing has won a Pushcart Prize, as well as the Hackney, Meridian Editors’, A. David Schwartz, Wabash, and Lamar York prizes. He lives on the Palouse in northern Idaho. This is his first book.

 

Author Website * Amazon Author Page

Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

————————————–

GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

5 Winners! One winner  wins poster & signed copy; Four winners win signed copies!

(US ONLY)

December 13 – December 22, 2016

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the other great blogs on this tour

12/13 Guest Post Country Girl Bookaholic
12/14 Review The Page Unbound
12/15 Excerpt StoreyBook Reviews
12/16 Author Interview It’s a Jenn World
12/17 Review Missus Gonzo
12/18 Excerpt Kara The Redhead
12/19 Illustration Forgotten Winds
12/20 Review Book Chase
12/21 Author Interview Syd Savvy
12/22 Review Reading By Moonlight

blog tour services provided by

 | 
Comments Off on Excerpt & #Giveaway – Give Us One Death by Jeff P. Jones @jeff_p_jones #LoneStarLit #BonnieandClyde #historicalfiction @KristineTHall
Posted in excerpt, fiction, humor, Spotlight on December 14, 2016

on-top-of-the-world-banner

on-top-of-the-world-cover

Title: ON TOP OF THE WORLD (UNTIL THE BELL CHIMES)
Author: David Lamb
Publisher: Woolly Mammoth Books
Pages: 240
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Contemporary Romance/Multicultural/Humor/Satire

Synopsis

2016 BEST FICTION-Pacific Book Awards. FROM THE FUNNY AND NATURALLY BRILLIANT DAVID LAMB, award-winning playwright of the New York Times celebrated play, Platanos Y Collard Greens, comes a modern spin on Dickens’ classic tale that perfectly combines humor and romance in a story re-imagined for our digital, consumerist age.

This version of Scrooge and Belle is familiar, yet unlike any you’ve come across before. Scrooge, or rather Scrooje, is music’s biggest superstar, with one hundred million albums sold, fifteen million devoted YouTube subscribers, two and a half million Facebook likes, and twenty-five million fanatical Twitter followers known as Scroojites.

Belle, is a legal shark who gulps down her opposition voraciously and whose beauty and stunning figure causes traffic accidents as she zips through the sidewalks of Manhattan stylishly adorned and taking no prisoners.

They never imagined being music’s most powerful couple, but that’s exactly what happened when Belle fell head over heels and gave the Coke-bottle glasses wearing, plaid and stripe attired, scrawny, biggest nerd on her college campus the ultimate makeover, turning him into a fashion impresario whose style sets trends from Milan to NY Fashion Week and who can be seen courtside at the NBA Finals sporting a perfectly-fitted cashmere suit.   Then it happens. Belle realizes too late that she’s created a chart-topping monster as Scrooje’s ego explodes and he starts acting a fool.

Now, it’s been three years since they ve spoken. But tonight at Hollywood s biggest red carpet event, with the whole world watching, they’ll be given a second chance.   Will Scrooje listen to the ghostly-advice of Marley, his best friend since the fourth grade, who at the time of his untimely drowning at his Brazilian poolside birthday bash was as big a star as Scrooje? Will Scrooje finally do right by his number one artist, Cratchit, a genius comedian, who Scrooje invariably rip offs every chance he gets?   And with twenty-five million viewers tuned in will Scrooje finally shed his ego, jeopardize his image and declare his love for Belle, the one he betrayed and let slip away?   Second chances don’t often come around. Will Belle even give him a chance?

Mixing heart, soul, bling and romance in a fresh, original satire about race, class and celebrity worship Lamb establishes himself as one of the most talented and amazing writers today. And leaves no doubt that the Pacific Book Awards chose wisely when they selected On Top Of The World as the year’s Best Fiction.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Amazon | iTunes | B&N

Excerpt

The devil doesn’t wear Prada, he wears Sean John and I was the idiot who taught him how to shop.

That was what I got for reading Frankenstein in college. I’d been turned into a mad scientist without even realizing it. Just my luck, I was a math major and the one literature course I took had tricked me into creating a monster.

When I first met Scrooʝe, he—like most humans with XY chromosomes—was a fashion emergency. Awkwardly walking around campus—lost, desperately in need of a haircut, and for some strange reason wearing glasses so big he looked like an owl hunting for prey. He was just plain pitiful.

But I have to confess, from the moment I saw him my heart sang a happy song and I couldn’t look away. Something between us was magnetic.

Hey, what can I say, I was always the kind of girl who liked rescue projects. When I was eight years old, I turned my family’s garage into a makeshift animal shelter, and damn near gave my father a heart attack when a hungry pack of strays rushed at him as he pulled into the driveway.

So naturally, one look into Scrooʝe’s sad puppy dog eyes and I felt right away—he was the one.

Before I knew it, we were college sweethearts and best friends. Of course, I had to clean him up, but after a few months under my tutelage everyone noticed his transformation. They saw that with his gorgeous toffee skin, deliciously full lips and sexy broad shoulders he was the cutest boy on campus.  Pretty soon I had girls telling me I needed to start a makeover service.

That was how it all started. Who could have known that a simple makeover would unleash the devilish genius of the sweetest, shyest, most socially awkward boy I’d ever met, and transform him into music’s biggest superstar with an ego the size of Texas yet more fragile than an egg yolk? And a whole lot messier! Not me.

Without a doubt we’ve traveled a long crazy road together. Scrooʝe was the first boy I gave my heart to. Our relationship went from me rescuing him in college, to him rescuing me in law school, to our emergence as music’s power couple. He was the artist/entrepreneur, and I was the best lawyer love could buy.

And now, we’re strangers.

It’s been three years since we’ve seen or spoken to each other, and sometimes, against my better judgment, I find myself thinking about him and feel a smile creep across my face.

This morning was one of those times when my thoughts turned to Scrooʝe. Normally I’d tell myself off for not letting go, but today I gave myself a break. After all, it isn’t every day that you might not just run into your ex, but do it live on television at Hollywood’s biggest event.

“Everything’s gonna be fine, girl,” I told myself as I contemplated everything that could go wrong if we ran into each other at The Awards. I was especially dreading an untimely re-emergence of my long-standing “klutz curse”.

My whole life, I’d been jinxed with “inopportune clumsiness”. As the ring girl at my parents’ vow renewal, I stumbled, fell in the grass, and lost the rings. As a tiny ballerina, I was the best in my class, until the day of the recital when I went tumbling down like Humpty Dumpty.

Now with the whole world watching, I simply could not afford such an embarrassing spill.

As I sat in the back of a sleek limousine on my way to the ceremony, gazing up at the L.A. skyline, nervously checking my hair in the mirror for the dozenth time in half a dozen minutes, I tried to push down the queasiness threatening to erupt from the pit of my stomach. The last thing I needed was to step onto the red carpet covered in this afternoon’s lunch. The paparazzi would surely have a field day with that one.

Well, like I said it was exactly three years to the day that I stomped out of Scrooʝe’s life, but tonight we were both nominated for Awards. I knew God worked in mysterious ways, but now I was convinced she also had a sense of humor.

I never thought I’d be nominated for anything, but life had other plans. After we broke up, I quickly discovered that the best cure for PTRS—post-traumatic-relationship-stress—was writing. By the time I finished hammering those computer keys, I was author of an award-winning, best-selling, drama-filled, tragically comic novel that Hollywood just had to have. Now here I was nominated for an Award as one of the producers of the year’s biggest movie.

Once word got out that I was nominated, I was immediately blessed (or cursed depending on your view) with a merry-go-round of opinions. From my hair to my makeup to my shoes to my dress, from my eyebrows to my voice, to making sure I didn’t have ashy knees—everyone had an opinion. Normally I was unflappable, but with so many people giving so many conflicting opinions I was suddenly a nervous wreck. Finally, I stopped answering the phone because I couldn’t take any more unsolicited advice. If someone did manage to reach me on the phone, before they could even say a word I’d say, “No, I don’t know what I’m going to wear, and no, I don’t know how I’m doing my hair,” before abruptly clicking off. Unbelievable, Russell Simmons can show up without a tie and wearing sneakers, yet still be a style icon. But let a woman have one eyelash out of place and it’ll be the lead on the evening news.

Two nights before The Awards, I tried to veg out with an episode of Soccer Moms From Hell. But before I could lose myself in the drama, my cell phone buzzed with a text. “Oh, come on!” I yelled, throwing my hands up unnecessarily dramatically. Then I looked at it. It was from my father. He wrote simply—Be you.

At least there was one man in the world I could still count on.

Two days later, on my way to The Awards I tried to wrap my head around the idea that I’d soon be standing on the stage with millions watching. This was not part of the plan. I was a behind-the-scenes kind of gal, not at all attracted to the limelight. So, as I pulled up to The Awards, my nerves fluttered in my stomach like butterflies. But despite my anxiety, when I last checked the mirror I didn’t look too shabby. Thank God, Michelle Obama isn’t the only one who looks perfect in a Carolina Herrera gown.

As I climbed out of the limo and walked the red carpet, waving at the crowd gathered to cheer on their favorite artists, I thought about everything that had led up to this moment and even though I was anxious on the inside, on the outside I smiled as if I weren’t the least bit concerned all while praying for two things—please, dont let me fall in front of all these people, and please, please, dont let me run into Scrooʝe.

About the Author

david-lambDavid Lamb is a native New Yorker, born and raised, bitten with the writing bug since he was in elementary school and had handwriting nobody could decipher. Like Charles Dickens, David grew up a poor boy in the big city who found that the pen really is mightier than the sword. In middle school Lamb’s hero was David Lampel whose velvet voice could be heard reporting the news over David’s grandmother’s radio. Whenever he heard him on the radio, David would substitute Lamb for Lampel and pretend he was delivering the news. Sure that he was destined to be a famous reporter David was happy to go to a high school with a journalism program. Like most kids, by the time he finished high school he had a whole new career in mind. After high school he went to Hunter College and majored in Economics because he wanted to be cool like that college kid who came to speak at his last year of high school. He was an Economics major, he was dressed sharp and above-all the girls thought he was the man! So like any unreasonable high school boy fueled by overactive hormones David figured if he majored in Economics they’d think he was cool. After finishing college David went on to law school at NYU, but all the time writing was still his heart. While working as a lawyer by day, at night he transformed into a writer and eventually wrote and produced the award-winning hit off-Broadway romantic comedy Platanos Y Collard Greens. Being a writer and having the chance make people laugh out loud while challenging them to think about the world around them, and inspire each of us to believe in the power of love and our own ability to overcome life’s challenges is a great gift that David truly enjoys and thanks you for allowing him to share with you in On Top Of The World (Until The Bell Chimes).

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS

PUYB logo

 | 
Comments Off on Excerpt – On Top of the World by David Lamb #PUYB @authordavidlamb #fiction #humor
Posted in Cozy, excerpt, mystery, Spotlight on December 13, 2016

book-blast-pink
self-serve-murder-book-blast-large-banner-640

self-serve-murder_cover

Book Series: Death by Cupcake, Book 3 

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Humor

Published: December, 2016

Synopsis

Kristie is kind with a capital K, so it’s quite the surprise when she wakes up next to a dead man with no recollection of the previous night. Even worse? She’s naked. Kristie may be a sweetheart out to save the world, but sticking her nose into an investigation of rapes across campus makes her the target of a murderer. Before she knows it, Callie is smack dab in the middle of a murder investigation with her colleagues Callie and Anna. If that’s not enough to drive a sane person up the wall, a friend has decided he’s going to keep her safe whether she wants him to or not. And, oh yeah, he’s her man and that’s that.

Come join us at Callie’s Cakes, where murder investigations are on the menu. You are most welcome, but you may need to serve yourself as our barista Kristie is busy trying to save the world.

Warning: Although there are plenty of moments that will make you shake your head and laugh at the antics of the ladies of Callie’s Cakes, the subject matter – rape on college campuses – is very real and somewhat darker than your usual cozy mystery.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Amazon * Smashwords * Barnes and Noble * Kobo

Excerpt

I assumed that, as soon as we got back to my apartment, everyone would take off, and I’d be left alone to contemplate what happened. Contemplate. I snort to myself. Freak out’s more like it. Unfortunately, when I open the door and turn around to thank everyone, the men push their way in and collapse on my sofa. My sofa, heck my apartment, was not made to house the two oversized detectives.

I don’t shut the door but stand at the entrance with my mouth opening and closing in my best imitation of a fish. Think, think, think. Oh yeah, I have the perfect excuse for keeping them out. “Should you be in here? Doesn’t CSI or whatever it’s called in real life need to do their thing? Find clues or fingerprints or something?” There! That sounded reasonable. Not at all like I’m trying to kick everyone out.

Logan snorts. “You watch too much TV.”

Luckily, Ben takes pity on me and explains. “They’ve already come and gone. And even if they hadn’t, it wouldn’t matter.” The confusion must show on my face. The big detective smiles. “We were all here this morning.” I nod my head in understanding but don’t move away from the door.

Anna sits on Logan’s lap and I cringe as my sofa creaks. “You might as well shut the door and come in here.” Oh great, the troublemaker is on the case. Looks like I don’t have a choice. I shut the door and walk the short distance to my living room. I collapse in the chair across from my friends and close my eyes. Let the questions begin.

“So why were you in that bar anyway? You don’t drink. Or at least the few times we’ve gone out, we nearly had to force-feed you beer.” Callie’s voice actually sounds hurt.

I shrug and try to evade giving away the real reason for my visit to the bar. “Am I not allowed to go to a bar on a Friday night?”

“That’s not what I meant and you know it,” Callie immediately snaps. Darn it! I suck at the secret spy mission stuff.

“Sorry, I’m not feeling well.” There, that’s not a lie.

“We just need you to answer a few questions and then we’ll leave you alone,” Ben insists in a gentle but firm voice. Obviously, I’m not getting out of answering some questions and considering I woke up naked next to a dead man, I should probably be grateful I’m getting grilled by my friends instead of cuddling up to some jailbird named Bertha.

About the Author

de haggertyI grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage every once in a while to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. Another job change, this time from lawyer to B&B owner and I was again fed up and ready to scream I quit, which is incredibly difficult when you own the business. Thus, I shut the B&B during the week and in the off-season and started writing. Several books later I find myself in Istanbul writing full-time.

 

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Google+ * Amazon author page * Pinterest

great escape button160

Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Historical, romance, Spotlight on December 13, 2016

last-chance-cowboysTitle: Last Chance Cowboys: The Lawman

Author: Anna Schmidt

Series: Where the Trail Ends, #2

ISBN: 9781492612995

Pubdate: December 6, 2016

Genre: Historical Western Romance

Synopsis 

From acclaimed author Anna Schmidt comes a sweeping historical Western romance about the unbreakable bonds of family, second chances, and a whole lot of heart in the Wild West.

“This is me, Addie,” Jess murmured. “You and me, the way we always were.”

But it wasn’t, no matter how much she wished it were true. They were different now. She would always love him…

But can she trust him not to break her heart?

Jess Porterfield fled to the big city after his father’s sudden death, leaving behind his family ranch-and his childhood sweetheart. Now Jess has returned as the local lawman, determined to prove his worth…and win back the one woman he could never live without.

Young frontier doctor Addie Wilcox was devastated when Jess left her behind. Now he’s back and it’s difficult to remember why she should keep her distance. But with the town’s richest man set to see her hang for a crime she didn’t commit, Addie must put her faith in the lawman who broke her heart-and trust that together they’ll find their second chance at love.

 goodreads-badge-add-plus

AmazonB&N * iBooks

Sometimes characters I think are minor speak up. (Sometimes they pretty much grab me by the shoulders and shout, “I want to tell my story!”) That was the case with Dr. Addie Wilcox. So when her childhood sweetheart and love-of-her-life Jess Porterfield returns at the end of The Drifter, I knew what the second book in the series would be. In The Lawman, Addie has to fight her lifelong attraction to Jess, determined that he won’t break her heart again. Trouble is, once he gets appointed to serve as the town marshal and is pretty much living down the street from Addie and her family, avoiding his good looks, charming smile and determination to win her heart becomes pretty much impossible.

The story of Addie and Jess is all about first love and second chances. Here’s an excerpt that I hope sends you running to the store or your computer to read more…

Excerpt

Addie could not for the life of her figure out why she continued to allow that man to get to her. Why couldn’t she be more like Jess’s younger sister and her good friend, Amanda—calm and sophisticated?  She searched the gathering for Amanda, but hesitated when she saw her friend surrounded by the usual trio of admirers.  Amanda had been planning this party for weeks now. She certainly deserved to enjoy herself and not have to sympathize with Addie. Besides, Jess was Amanda’s brother, newly returned to the fold from his travels following his father’s death—a death everyone now knew had not been the accident they’d first thought.

Addie stopped dead in her tracks. Her hand flew to her mouth. What was she thinking?

Poor Jess. Did he know? Had anyone told him? Of course not. Jess had a temper, and if he knew what everyone now knew—that his father’s death was not the accident they’d first thought–he’d likely be off trying to track down the killer.

Maybe Jess had overheard some of the talk. Maybe that was why he was talking about applying for the marshal’s position. After all, Jasper Tipton had built that big house in town to please his bride, Pearl, and his brother, Buck, lived there as well. While the local marshal had no jurisdiction outside the town limits, Jess might just think the fact the Tiptons resided in town opened the door for him to go after them. More than likely he would get himself killed in the bargain. Her head was spinning as she tried to think the issue through from every side.

“This is not one of your medical cases,” she muttered to herself. “This is Jess.” And when it came to figuring out what Jess Porterfield might be thinking, she fully appreciated that logic was not part of the process.  She was still mad at him for leaving all those months ago but that didn’t mean she didn’t care about him and, knowing his temper, he was bound to get into trouble.  With a sigh, she headed off to find her father. Maybe he could talk some sense into the man—the man she had fallen in love with, planned a future, with and then rejected.  But as she moved through the throng of party guests pausing now and then to exchange a greeting, it wasn’t her father she saw—it was Jess.

He wasn’t spoiling for a fight at all. No, he was laughing and flirting with Sybil Sinclair. Sybil with her blonde curls and her bright blue eyes and a cupid’s bow of a mouth that made her look like a porcelain doll. Sybil with her tiny waist and her flawless skin and giddy laugh that actually came out as Tee-hee-hee.

“My brother is trying to make you jealous,” Amanda murmured, coming to stand next to her. “Do not let him know that it’s working.”

“It’s not,” Addie insisted, pushing her glasses more firmly onto the bridge of her nose. She straightened to her full height, which was still a good three inches shorter than Sybil’s willowy five foot four.  She brushed back a lock of hair that had come loose from the practical bun she preferred and tried not to think about how her stick-straight locks would look worn down like Sybil’s long curls. “I really couldn’t care less if your brother wants to make an utter fool of himself with that…”

“Good to know you aren’t affected,” Amanda said wryly.

Thoughts from Anna

When authors aren’t hard at work crafting books readers can fall in love with, like readers, they enjoy unwinding with a good book, movie or television program. Maybe the writing is inspiring, or maybe it’s just nice to escape the real world for a little bit. I asked Anna about her favorite stories, ones from popular books, movies, and television shows that many of us probably know too. Read on to see what she had to say!

AS TIME GOES BY (vintage PBS Series that thankfully enjoys reruns!)

Anna: My late husband and I so loved this series, and frankly, I want to be Judi Dench in my next life!

Interestingly enough, Anna takes inspiration, not just from other books, but from film and television most of all. She says:

That’s the way I write. My characters are actors on a stage or in a movie, and they walk around doing whatever they please while I try to get it all down!

About the Author

Award-winning author Anna Schmidt delights in creating stories where her characters must wrestle with the challenges of their times. Critics have consistently praised Schmidt for her ability to seamlessly integrate actual events with her fictional characters to produce strong tales of hope and love in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. She resides in Wisconsin. 

Website * Twitter * Pinterest

Giveaway

Win one of five copies of Last Chance Cowboys: The Drifter, the first book in Anna Schmidt’s Where The Trail Ends series
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 | 
Comments Off on Excerpt & #Giveaway – The Lawman by Anna Schmidt @booksfilms @SourcebooksCasa #historicalromance
Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, Monday, mystery, Spotlight on December 12, 2016

egg-drop-dead-large-banner-new-640

egg-drop-dead

Egg Drop Dead (A Cackleberry Club Mystery)
Series: A Cackleberry Club Mystery (Book 7)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Berkley (December 6, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0425281703
E-Book ASIN: B01CZCW4MW

Synopsis

In Laura Childs’s New York Times bestselling mystery series, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni—co-owners of the Cackleberry Club café—are back to track down another bad egg…

Maintaining good personal relationships with their suppliers is one of the secrets of the Cackleberry Club café’s success, so Suzanne doesn’t mind going out to Mike Mullen’s dairy farm to pick up some wheels of cheese. She’s looking forward to a nice visit with the mild-mannered farmer before heading back to their hectic kitchen.

But when she arrives, Mike’s nowhere to be found. The moaning of his cows leads her to look in the barn, where she discovers a bloodcurdling sight—the farmer’s dead body. Apparently not everyone was as fond of Mike Mullen as the Cackleberry Club.

Churning with grief and outrage, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni vow to find the farmer’s murderer—but as they get closer to the truth, the desperate killer gets whipped into a frenzy and plans to put the squeeze on them…

RECIPES INCLUDED!

goodreads-badge-add-plus

amazon buy

Guest Post

It is my pleasure to welcome Laura Childs to StoreyBook Reviews today!  I’ve read many of her books bu twill admit I’m a bit behind in this series.  I need to catch up that is for sure!

Thanks so much for inviting me to visit StoryBook Reviews. I am very excited to tell you about Egg Drop Dead, the seventh book in my New York Times bestselling Cackleberry Club series.

Located in Kindred, a fictional mid-western town, the Cackleberry Club is a farm-to-table café operated by three close friends, each with a different skill set and very different personalities. Suzanne has a keen head for business and an insatiable curiosity about everything and everyone. She also converted a small room on one side of the café into a Book Nook filled with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves jam-packed with all types of books. To meet a browser’s needs, comfy chairs are set on a faded but still attractive Oriental rug. Petra is a whiz in the kitchen and also teaches a Hooked on Knitting class in the cozy Knitting Nest corner of the café. Sparkling with a jaunty personality and a “look at me” wardrobe, Toni is everyone’s favorite waitress.

With Halloween fast approaching, the ladies decide to throw a gala costume party, cramming the celebration into their already crowded schedule. Suzanne is glad to have a break from the hectic pace of the café and takes a leisurely drive to pick up some cheese wheels from her dairy supplier, Mick Mullen. Tragically, she finds Mike dead on the floor of the barn in the midst of a herd of cows complaining loudly that they are long overdue to be milked.

Devastated at finding Mike’s battered and bloody body, Suzanne’s curiosity pushes her to work to find his killer, much as Sheriff Doogie would rather she stay out of his investigation. Encouraged by Petra and Toni, who occasionally help in her snooping, Suzanne has lots of starts and stops in her search for the “why” and the “who” of Mike’s murder. Still she manages to follow clues while organizing elegant tea parties and keeping her romance with the handsome town doctor on track.

Come visit the ladies of the Cackleberry Club.  I know you will enjoy their company and there are plenty of delicious recipes that I’m sure you’ll want to try.

About the Author

laura-childsLaura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fund raising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

WebpageFacebook

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

great escape button160

check out the other blogs on this tour

December 4 – Varietats – Review

December 5 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW

December 5 – Varietats – REVIEW

December 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

December 6 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW *

December 7 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW

December 7 – Readeropolis – REVIEW *

December 8 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 8 – Queen of All She Reads – GUEST POST

December 9 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

December 9 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

December 10 – The Editing Pen – REVIEW*

December 11 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW *, INTERVIEW

December 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW *

December 12 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

December 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

December 13 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW

December 14 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

December 14 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

December 15 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW *

December 16 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW *

December 17 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – REVIEW *

December 18 – Booklady’s Booknotes – REVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, Spotlight on December 11, 2016

offed-stage-left-large-banner640

offed-cover

Offed Stage Left (Isobel Spice Mysteries)
(Volume 4)
Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: Dulcet Press (October 27, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0998133201
E-Book ASIN: B01M3R8OD6

Synopsis

There’s one role you don’t want a callback for: Prime Suspect. Aspiring actress Isobel Spice lands her first regional theater job, playing a supporting role and understudying the lead in Sousacal: The Life and Times of John Philip Sousa. A series of minor backstage accidents culminates in the suspicious death of the leading lady on opening night. When Isobel takes over the role, her mastery of the material makes her more suspect than savior, and she realizes the only way to clear her name is to discover the identity of the murderer—before he or she strikes again.

goodreads-badge-add-plus

amazon buybn buykobo smallsmashwords

Guest Post

I’ve Got a Little List

By Joanne Sydney Lessner

“As someday it may happen that a victim must be found, I’ve got a little list.”   –W.S. Gilbert

I’m planning to kill my neighbor.

Lest you fear that I’ve just made you an accessory before the fact, rest assured that no actual blood will be spilled, although I do have a particularly gory end in mind for this guy. He’s one of those of selfish, antagonistic neighbors who has no consideration for anyone else, yet complains constantly about the rest of us. And so, he must die. In my next book.

In the first installment of my Isobel Spice mystery series, The Temporary Detective, Isobel arrives in New York City eager to pursue her acting career. On the first day of her first temp job, she stumbles across an obnoxious, overbearing secretary dead in a bathroom stall, a pair of scissors buried in her ample bosom. So who was this secretary really? Why, the woman who got me fired from my first temp job, of course! She thought I spent too much time yakking on the phone to my friends, which, admittedly, I did. I had the idea for my series shortly after that, although I didn’t write the book for almost twenty years. I guess you could say I hold a grudge, because even after all that time, she was still my first victim. I put her on the page—and then I killed her. [Insert maniacal laugh.]

In the second Isobel Spice novel, Bad Publicity, Isobel temps in a public relations firm, where a troublesome consultant drinks poisoned coffee before a meeting. Wanna guess? That’s right: a demanding client who made my colleagues and me miserable, and then fired us. Off he goes into the great beyond, dispatched with a not-so-accidental drug overdose. Next up was someone I don’t know personally, but whose antics angered me so much, I felt the need to be judge, jury, and executioner. And so, in And Justice for Some, a judge with an interest in a private juvenile prison meets a very gory, very public end. I will confess that almost all the professional actors I’ve worked with have been lovely, generous people. But there are divas out there, so in my latest book, Offed Stage Left, the victim is a composite of people I’ve only heard about.

One of the great things about being a writer is having the power to create your own world and populate it with whomever you want. It’s a particular perk of the mystery novelist that you get to regularly de-populate it as well. From now on, every time I find myself trapped in the elevator with my neighbor, I can relish the secret knowledge that—at least on paper—he’s going to get what he deserves.

About the Author

joannelessnerWriter, singer, and actor Joanne Sydney Lessner draws on her own experiences pursuing a performing career in New York City for her acclaimed Isobel Spice Mysteries: THE TEMPORARY DETECTIVE, BAD PUBLICITY, AND JUSTICE FOR SOME, and OFFED STAGE LEFT. With humor and a bit of romance, Isobel juggles auditions and temp jobs, solving murders along the way, while Joanne’s inside knowledge provides a window into the realities of breaking into show business (as well as a forum to share every humiliating audition experience she and her friends ever had.) Joanne’s debut novel, PANDORA’S BOTTLE, was inspired by the true story of the world’s most expensive bottle of wine and was named one of the top five books of 2010 by Paperback Dolls. With her husband, composer/conductor Joshua Rosenblum, she has co-authored several musicals, including the cult hit FERMAT’S LAST TANGO and EINSTEIN’S DREAMS, based on the celebrated novel by Alan Lightman. Her play, CRITICAL MASS, received its Off Broadway premiere in October 2010. Joanne is also a regular contributor to OPERA NEWS and a graduate of Yale University.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Amazon

 

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

great escape button160

check out the other blogs on this tour

December 5 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

December 6 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT

December 7 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

December 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 9 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

December 10 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

December 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

December 12 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

December 13 – Lori’s Reading Corner – CHARACTER GUEST POST

December 14 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

December 15 – Omnimystery News – GUEST POST

December 16 – Readeropolis – REVIEW

December 16 – deal sharing aunt – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

December 17 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

December 18 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

December 18 – Dalene’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Historical, romance, Spotlight on December 11, 2016

highlander-cover

Title: How to Train Your Highlander

Series: Broadswords and Ballrooms, #3

Author: Christy English

Pub Date: December 6, 2016

ISBN: 9781492612933

Synopsis

She’s the Hellion of Hyde Park…

A foolproof plan to avoid marriage:

  1. Always carry at least three blades.
  2. Ride circles around any man.
  3. Never get caught in a handsome duke’s arms.

Wild Highlander Mary Elizabeth Waters is living on borrowed time. She’s managed to dodge the marriage banns up to now, but even Englishmen can only be put off for so long…and there’s one in particular who has her in his sights.

Harold Percy, Duke of Northumberland, is enchanted by the beautiful hellion who outrides every man on his estate and dances Scottish reels while the ton looks on in horror. The more he sees Mary, the more he knows he has to have her, tradition and good sense be damned. But what’s a powerful man to do when the Highland spitfire of his dreams has no desire to be tamed…

goodreads-badge-add-plus

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

Excerpt

In which Harry proposes for the first time, then kisses Mary Elizabeth on a roof after a tot of the whisky:

“Harry, what did you want to ask me?”

“I want you to marry me.”

Mary Elizabeth did not seem impressed with the moment, momentous as it was. She looked at him with a squint of suspicion, and then she said, “You’ve no head at all for whisky, do you?”

“I do not, but that does not signify. I asked you a question, and I would like an answer.”

“Harry, you asked a daft question, and I will not answer it. Only yesterday you told me in the picture gallery of this very hall that you could not marry me, nor even kiss me. And now you are on a roof, asking me to wed. Are you mad, then?”

“I am,” Harry said. “I am mad for you.” He knew he was making a botch of it, and he wondered if he should start over, begin again by telling her that he was the duke, lord of all he surveyed, a man who could keep her happy and warm and set up with fine whisky and sharp blades for the rest of her life.

“Harry, we had better go in. You’re not in a fit state of mind to be speaking with a lady.”

“I am in the best state of mind to be speaking to you. You’re the only lady I want to speak with. I love you. You are wonderful and funny and filled with life. Marry me, and make me the happiest man ever to walk these halls.”

Mary Elizabeth sighed and moved to the window. He caught her by the skirt to hold her with him and she glared at him over her shoulder. “Let go, Harry. You’re foxed from two tots, and I am going in.”

“No,” he said. “I’m not foxed. I swear.”

They both slipped a little then, down the slanting roof. Harry caught himself with his slippered foot against the gable rim, and caught her to him so that she would not slide any farther. The heat of his body seemed to speak better for him than his words did, for Mary Elizabeth raised her arms over his shoulders and clasped her hands behind the back of his neck, burying her fingers in his hair.

“You’re talking daft, and I won’t hold you to it come sunrise, if you won’t hold me to my promise until then either,” she said.

He was not sure what she meant until her lips were on his, her luscious breasts pressed against the front of his dress coat. He could feel the heat of her body through the layers of clothes that separated them and knew that if they had been in a bed, or even safe on a rug somewhere, he would have drawn her skirt up and taken her right there. As it was, his foot lost its purchase, and they slid a little farther down the roofline.

Harry would not have cared, but Mary Elizabeth was pulling away from him.

“Harry, you daft man. Let me go before we fall.”

He obeyed her at once, though his body was screaming to touch her again. Separated from her, he looked down and saw that, indeed, they were actually in peril. He turned his mind from his lust to try and figure a way to get them both safely off that roof without sliding down it any farther when he saw Mary draw out a knife from God alone knew where and slice off the gold sash that had displayed her breasts all evening.

It seemed there was a good deal more material than just the section that made her breasts stand out so beautifully. At least six feet of cloth of gold was in her hands, which she deftly secured to the roof with her dagger, placing the blade between two shingles and burying it deep in the wood beneath.

“This is what comes of canoodling on a roof,” she said almost to herself as she cut away the ribbons on her dancing slippers with a second blade and kicked them off, so that they went sliding down the roofline and into the garden below.

Harry expected her to cry a little at their loss, as any other woman might have done, or perhaps simply to cry from fright at the danger they were in, but Mary Elizabeth Waters did not cry. She shimmied carefully out of her stockings, letting both stockings and garters fall down the same path as her shoes.

“Is that a yes, then?” Harry asked.

“Shut your fool mouth, Harry, and let me work.”

She used her now-bare feet to gain purchase on the roof’s slippery surface. She took hold of the gold sash and yanked it hard twice, as if to test its strength.

She spoke to him then as to a simpleton, slowly and clearly. “Harry, I am going to climb back up to the window. I need you to stay here and not move. At all. Do you understand me?”

He found himself smiling back at her. “Yes, ma’am.” He snuck a hand toward her supple calf and ran his fingertips along it, almost meditatively, reveling in the softness of her skin.

“Harry, I swear, if we live to get off this roof and tell this tale, I may very well kill you.”

 

highlander-graphic

About the Author

 

Ever since Christy English picked up a fake sword in stage combat class at the age of fourteen, she has lived vicariously through the sword-wielding women of her imagination. A banker by day and a writer by night, she loves to eat chocolate, drink too many soft drinks, and walk the mountain trails of her home in North Carolina.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

 

 

 

Giveaway

Open to residents of US & Canada only
a Rafflecopter giveaway