Posted in 4 paws, Cozy, Monday, mystery on June 5, 2017

Synopsis

Fashionista Cassie Hall’s skills as a concierge (and amateur detective) at the upscale Parkstone Manor in Bethesda, Maryland, are being sorely tested. After discovering the dead body of professional golfer and resident millionaire, Kip Ace, in the Parkstone’s courtyard, Cassie is soon overwhelmed with residents’ worries about the crime. When the detective in charge (and Cassie’s long-term boyfriend) slams a 24-hour lockdown on the ritzy residence, Cassie must maintain calm among the residents as she sorts through their possible motives for murdering the golf pro––which have piled up quicker than rent checks on the 1st of the month. Mysterious power outages, a missing lease, and a wine cellar fiasco are just par for the course. Can Cassie find the holes in the residents’ alibis and catch the killer before it’s too late?

Review

This is the first book in a new series about a concierge who solves crimes.

Cassie moved to Maryland to be with her boyfriend of 15 years (who has yet to pop the question) and for now is working as a concierge for an upscale apartment building. Apparently she has a talent with fashion because throughout the book she mentions having picked out something for a resident or offering fashion advice.

The victim is a resident of the building (of course) and a famous golfer that Cassie sort of has a crush on, or so it seems. The building is on lock down for 24 hours per the building’s rules and that makes for an interesting situation because the killer is among them but who could it be?

This may be the first in the series but it seemed like there was information that would have been disclosed in a previous book. I got the impression that Cassie was a pro at solving mysteries based on some of her comments, but it didn’t seem that way from her actions. Plus it seemed like she was in a competition with her boyfriend (who is a police detective) to see who could solve the crime first. And of course like with all cozies, she rushes into situations not thinking about her safety but trying to be the winner in solving the crime. When will these characters ever learn?! LOL

I thought the mystery portion was very well written because I was totally surprised at the ending and the murderer reveal. There were clues that would have pointed you in this character’s direction but I didn’t put them together until they were revealed.

The residents of Parkstone Manor are very intriguing. Each one added a little something to the story to round it out.

The story has some funny bits too and I actually thought it was humorous that Eric and Cassie tried to keep their relationship a secret. They were found out fairly quickly.

We give it 4 paws up!

About the Author

Sherry Lodge has been writing for more than a decade for both print and online. She’s written for local newspapers in both Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., where she currently writes and edits web material for a major non-profit organization.
In addition to writing, Sherry loves to watch golf, which inspired Kip Ace as one of the main characters in her debut novel, Courtyard Corpse. Sherry has a master’s degree in journalism from Boston University.

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Posted in Children, Family, Giveaway, Spotlight on June 4, 2017

#BABYLOVE:

MY TODDLER LIFE

by

CORINE DEHGHANPISHEH

  Genre: Children’s Picture Book / Technology / Family

Publisher: My Art to Inspire

Date of Publication: September 20, 2016

Number of Pages: 40

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A curious toddler loves to play…especially with his mommy’s smartphone!

When Mommy finds him using her phone without permission, it’s the perfect teaching moment.  Mommy reminds her little one that what matters most in life is time together filled with love and attention.

Her simple reminder: Put down our phones.

Praise for #BabyLove: My Toddler Life

“This poignant and entertaining tale about a playful toddler aimed at young lap readers works on a much deeper level for parents.” – Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

“This light-hearted reflection on social media habits is a great tool for starting discussions with young children.” — Forward Clarion Reviews (5 Stars)

“Dehghanpisheh’s illustrations and text are simple, colorful and charming, and many families will relate to the question of how, and how much, to integrate technology into their child’s day.  #BabyLove: My Toddler Life is a fun and timely picture book for 21st century preschoolers. — BlueInk Review

“I can’t wait to read this to my 2 year old grandson.  This book is his life curious, sweet and funny.  His mommy has a collection of his photography on her phone.  Priceless. — Kindle Verified Purchase

 

Corine Dehghanpisheh is an award-winning author, whose own family life serves as inspiration for her fun and engaging children’s books.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Creative Arts Therapy & Creativity Development from Pratt Institute in New York City.

Ms. Dehghanpisheh currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her family.  There she continues to write the #BabyLove series, focused on the blending of modern technologies with classically familiar child raising situations.

The 2nd book in the series, #BabyLove: My Toddler Life is now available along with #BabyLove: My Social Life, which is a Next Generation Indie Book Awards winner.

Her debut children’s book Can We Play Again? is a Mom’s Choice Awards® Silver Recipient and a Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist. Corine’s inspiration for this book came from her work as a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist in NYC.

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  May 29-June 7, 2017

Grand Prize: Signed Copies of #BabyLove 1 & 2 + $20 Amazon Gift Card

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Next Two Winners: Signed Copy of #BabyLove: My Toddler Life + $5 Amazon Gift Card

 

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5/29 Promo Hall Ways Blog
5/30 Review Missus Gonzo
5/31 Sneak Peek Excerpt 1 Forgotten Winds
6/1 Character Interview Books and Broomsticks
6/2 Review The Page Unbound
6/3 Sneak Peek Excerpt 2 Reading By Moonlight
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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, nonfiction, True Story on June 2, 2017


After the Miracle: The Cody Parmer Story

In the summer of 1999, doctors raced against the clock to save Cody Parmer’s life after a terrible car accident on a rural Idaho road. His parents, Brenda and Kreg Parmer, prayed that God would save him, and received their miracle. Months after his recovery a mysterious new discovery threatened to take Cody’s life once more, but this time the doctors couldn’t fix it. As Cody fought for his life, his mother searched for answers. Why would God let this happen? Would God save her son, just to let him die a short time later? Even if Cody lived, could the family handle his injuries and limitations? Even after receiving a miracle, the strength to accept God’s will would be the greatest blessing they could ever ask for.

Praise for the Book

“Such an amazing story! I read this book cover to cover all in one day. I could not put it down! It is very well-written, and you feel as if you are right there with the family experiencing every part of their incredible journey first hand. I cried through a lot of it but found parts that made me laugh too. When a book can make you do both of those things, you know you’ve found a good one.” Shannon Dooley, Amazon Review

“This is a book about amazing resiliency in the face of the kind of trauma every parent dreads. It’s told with incredible honesty and transparency. But, it’s also a story about struggling faith that grows into a deep belief in the goodness of God even in the face of adversity…” MarSue, Amazon Review

“This book was an inspiring read. Very well written, and a page turner. Cody’s family made it through some impossible odds. You really feel the struggles that they go through as they try everything to get the best results for their son.” Nora, Goodreads Review

 

 

Excerpt

I turned to Cody and he truly looked lost. The charts didn’t lie, Dr. Pike had done the tests again and again. It was done. Finished. Cody was gone and he wasn’t coming back. No amount of wishing or hoping or praying was going to fix it. And instead of him just dying naturally, we had to be the ones to flip the switch and cut off his air, his food, his medication. It was cruel. It was torture. It was too much.

Kreg was trying to be strong for me but I knew he felt it too. I could see it in his eyes. The pain, the struggle of the impossible choice, the burden of our whole family’s emotions on his back. It was too much for him to bear as well, though he had to maintain some sense of composure for all our sakes.

I gave up trying to make decisions and buried my head in my hands. Then, in the middle of our solemn and painful silence, came a knock on the door.

 

 

About the Authors

Brenda and Kreg Parmer met in high school in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and fell in love on the night of graduation. Brenda graduated from cosmetology school and Kreg went to work for a farm equipment company, and soon married. They had one son, Cody, and three beautiful daughters. Since the accident in 1999, a major part of Brenda and Kreg’s lives have been devoted to caring for Cody, who still suffers from major limitations. They love being with family, enjoying the beautiful Idaho scenery, and visiting their grandchildren. Along with their family, their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the most important thing in their lives.

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Ends 6/25/17

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

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, Romantic Suspense on June 2, 2017

 

 

Synopsis

He lost his mentor.

He lost his K9 partner.

He almost lost his will to live.

But when a ruthless killer targets a woman on the run, Theo and his new K9 companion will do whatever it takes to survive—and save the woman neither can live without.

Grieving the death of his partner, Theo Bosco has no room in his life for distractions. Though his instincts scream that he should avoid Juliet ‘Jules’ Jackson, he can’t seem to stay away. It doesn’t help that Theo’s new K9 companion has fallen head over paws with Jules’s rambunctious family.

Or that when he’s with her, Theo finally knows peace.

When Jules rescued her siblings, whisking them away to the safety of the beautifully rugged Colorado Rockies, she never expected to catch the eye—or the heart—of a cop. Yet as Jules struggles to fight her growing attraction to the brooding K9 officer, another threat lurks much closer to home…

And this time, there’s no escape.

“Vivid and charming.” —CHARLAINE HARRIS, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series

 

AmazonB&NiBooks * Indiebound

Rocky Mountain K-9 Unit Series

Run to Ground (Book 1)

On the Chase (Book 2)

Survive the Night (Book 3)

Excerpt

Her shoulders lifting and dropping again in a sigh, Jules stiffened her spine. She just needed to be confident. She also needed to not let the cop’s air of authority—as well as his muscled forearms and pretty dark-brown eyes—reduce her to the babbling idiot she’d become the last time he’d been at the diner. For goodness’ sake, she’d messed up her name. Her name. If she wanted to survive in her new life, she needed to step up her game. Firming her jaw, she picked up a coffeepot and headed to Theo’s table.

He watched her, his frown deepening with each step, and she fought the urge to slow or, better yet, turn tail and run.

“Morning.” She turned the mug in front of him right side up with shaky fingers. His wary eyes—almost black and alarmingly perceptive—took in everything, including, she was sure, her obvious unease. “Did you need a menu?”

Jules caught herself before he could respond.

“Sorry.” Her flush prickled her chest and moved up to her face to warm her cheeks. “Of course you don’t need a menu. You probably know everything on there by now. Well, I’m guessing you do. I’ve only seen you here once, but Megan mentioned you’re a regular.”

Abruptly, Jules stopped talking. More of the nervous babble pressed on her lungs, wanting out. Afraid to open her mouth again in case she started talking and wasn’t able to stop until she told this man—this police officer!—everything he shouldn’t know, she forced a smile and stayed quiet. She was turning out to be a terrible felon.

“Number three,” he said after another pause just long enough to make her uncomfortable. “Scrambled.”

“Got it.” Jules scribbled down the order, relieved to have something to focus on other than his too-intense gaze. He looked at her like he could see everything about her, and there were so many things she wanted to keep hidden. When she glanced up, she kept her eyes away from his, focusing on his left earlobe instead. “That’ll be right out.”

After picking up the coffeepot again, she began to turn around, relieved. A sound behind her, something halfway between a masculine grunt and a throat clearing, made her stop reluctantly. Jules focused on his other earlobe this time, trying not to show her renewed panic. “Was there something else you needed?”

“Where are you staying?” He bit off each word, making him sound like he was angry he had to speak to her.

The mild, unfocused fear blossomed into terror. Why was he asking? Was he investigating her? His frown deepened when she took a beat too long to answer, and she rushed out her response. “Um…in Monroe.”

“Where?”

Her paranoia was feeding her panic, and she gave a vague wave toward the north. “On the edge of town.”

If he narrowed his eyes any more, he’d be squinting. “The blue house off of Orchard Street?”

“No.” Her feet moved of their own volition, and she took a step toward the door. This job was too important for her to run out on her second day, but the cop’s questioning was pushing her to the point where she just wanted to escape, paycheck or no paycheck.

“The old Garmitt place, then.” It was a statement instead of a question, and the accuracy of the guess made her eyes widen despite herself. Jules knew fear and guilt must be plastered all over her face. “Heard someone had moved in there.”

“Uh…” Her mind raced as she scrambled to think of the best way to respond, to save this conversation from the quickly approaching crash and burn heading her way. “I’m not sure.” She barely caught herself before closing her eyes in exasperation. That was her clever save?

“Your address is Thirty-Two Blank Hill Lane.” Again, he said what should’ve been a question with such certainty that it came out as a statement of fact. “Did you buy it?”

“No.” Running was beginning to sound better and better. Jules was willing to do pretty much anything to get away from this man, this cop, who knew too much already.

“You rent then?” At her nod, he studied her. She stared back, determined not to say more. Every line in his body was held tightly, from the hard line of his mouth to his forearms to his erect spine. “What brings you to town?” he finally asked.

Her mouth opened, but nothing emerged as her thoughts bounced against each other in a chaotic mess. “This job?” Her voice was pitched too high, and the end of her sentence rose, turning it into a question. Jules resisted the urge to smack herself. Between her twitchy behavior and asinine answers, she knew that, even if he hadn’t been suspicious before, he would know for sure now that something wasn’t right. Her shoulders curled in as she wished for the power of invisibility. Either that or better acting skills—or any acting skills.

“What the hell, Theo?” Megan appeared out of nowhere, grasping Jules’s elbow and tugging. Although she jumped initially, Jules relaxed and allowed herself to be pulled a few steps away from the extremely awkward conversation—or interrogation? “I finally find an employee who can do basic math and doesn’t spit on people’s eggs, and she’s the one you inflict yourself on? Drink your coffee and be all broody, like you normally are. Quietly broody.”

The tiny muscle in Theo’s jaw pulsed with tension. Jules didn’t breathe as she waited for him to react. There was strained silence for several seconds before Theo spoke.

“Which one spits?”

“You missed my point.” Whatever else Megan was going to say was interrupted by the thump of the front entrance as it closed behind some new customers. “Be right with you!” Her gaze never left Theo’s face. In turn, he never looked away or flinched. The non-panicked corner of Jules’s brain was impressed with both of them.

“What’s up?” Another cop came to a stop next to the booth, reaching to gently bump Theo’s shoulder with his fist. Although the newcomer was wearing a congenial smile, there was a coiled tension to him. The way he placed his body almost, but not quite, between them and Theo said a lot. It was protective in a got-your-back kind of way, but it also showed that Theo had the lead, that the new guy wasn’t taking over the situation.

“Theo’s scaring my new waitress.” Megan’s glare shot toward the new arrival. “The one who can do math.”

“And doesn’t spit.” Theo’s deadpan delivery made Jules start, and an unbidden smile curled her mouth. Their gazes met, and the cop’s eyes seemed to soften for the shortest of moments. Even before Jules was certain she saw it, it was gone.

“Are those your only hiring qualifications? Adding, subtracting, and saliva control? T, maybe we need to look for a new place for our breakfast meetings.” There was humor in the cop’s voice, although his gaze was ready and watchful, moving from Theo to Megan to Jules.

Turning toward the kitchen while keeping a firm grip on Jules’s arm, Megan said over her shoulder, “Your food is safe, Hugh.”

After the End

For fans of sexy, brooding ice divers

Motorcycle Club bad boys turned firefighters

Tall, dark, and silent wilderness guides

And cops with hearts of gold…

The end is just the beginning.

What happens after happily ever after? Now that the murderer has been caught and the arsonist is behind bars, the town of Simpson, Colorado has returned to its sleepy, picturesque former glory. Yet for the heroes of Search & Rescue, work is never done…

…especially not if the extraordinary women if their lives have anything to say about it.

Told in alternating chapters focusing on four unforgettable romances, this slice-of-life novella catches up with fan favorites from Katie Ruggle’s Search & Rescue series—proving once and for all that the end is just the beginning.

After the End is the fun and heart-warming epilogue novella to the exciting Search & Rescue series by Katie Ruggle.

Free on the following sites

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About the Author

katie ruggleWhen she’s not writing, KATIE RUGGLE rides horses, shoots guns, and travels to warm places where she can SCUBA dive. Graduating from the Police Academy, Katie received her ice-rescue certification and can attest that the reservoirs in the Colorado Mountains really are that cold. While she still misses her off-the-grid, solar- and wind-powered house in the Rocky Mountains, she now lives in Rochester, Minnesota near her family.

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Giveaways


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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, romance, Spotlight on June 1, 2017

Synopsis

The stars are about to align in the newest Shaughnessy brothers romance!

WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE

Brilliant astrophysicist Dr. Owen Shaughnessy feels more connected to the cosmos than to people. He’s great with calculations, but when he leads a team of scientists to study a famous meteor shower, he doesn’t factor in his free-spirited artist assistant Brooke Matthews.

LOVE CAN DAZZLE YOU

Polar opposites in personality, the friction between them threatens to derail the project. But the beauty and mystery of the night sky draw Owen and Brooke together—and she’s going to surprise him in ways the stars never could.

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Excerpt

“That was…interesting.”

“I never thought I’d see those two mediums used together.”

“I may have to stab my own eyes out to make sure I never see it again,” Brooke said and then shuddered. They had just left the art gallery, and she waited until they were at the corner before looking at Owen. “I am so sorry.”

He looked taken aback by her apology. “Why?”

“That was horrible! Everything in there was offensive and tasteless and just…wrong! I can’t believe an art professor would recommend that to anyone!”

“Maybe he didn’t know exactly what kind of art was being displayed.”

Brooke shook her head. “He had to know. He raved about the whole thing—like he was familiar with the kind of work this guy did!”

“Maybe he’s into that kind of thing. There were a lot of people there who were praising pretty much everything they saw.”

Even though she knew Owen was right, she was still horrified. All of the pictures featured nudes in cages—and then there was wire caging coming out of the picture to give it a 3-D effect. Splashes of color looked as if they were just thrown onto the canvas, and all in all the exhibit had been fairly horrific to her. Brooke didn’t consider herself a prude, but these images were definitely not something she would have chosen to see.

Ever.

And now she was mortified because she had invited Owen along. To his credit, he didn’t seem the least bit fazed by the whole thing. It was possible he was trying to be polite and didn’t want to offend her in case she found the work interesting. But after the first five minutes of being there, Brooke had wanted to escape. Somehow, however, Owen had drawn her into conversation as they walked around the gallery and made several observations that had her wondering if he really didn’t see what was so…bizarre about the entire thing.

And that had been eye-opening for her. They stayed much longer than she’d imagined they would—especially after seeing the art—but they had talked the entire time, and after a while, she didn’t even notice their surroundings. She simply enjoyed the conversation, which turned to the architecture of the building rather than the show.

“So that was an art showing,” Owen said conversationally.

She nodded. “I really wish it had been a better experience.”

“Is this the sort of thing you want to do? Have your paintings displayed in one particular gallery?”

“I think so. That was one of the reasons I went to talk to Dr. Kennedy. I really wanted his input on ways to get my name out there to some of the local galleries. I was hoping he’d give me some insight into how to get started.”

Without commenting, Owen simply nodded.

“I don’t know about you,” she began, “but the thought of walking back to the pier is just a little exhausting. Would you mind if we grabbed a cab?”

“Not at all.” Walking to the curb, he quickly hailed one, and once they were inside, he instructed the driver where to take them.

“Thank you,” Brooke said, resting her head back on the seat. “I know I could have made the walk, but I’m just worn out.”

“It was a lot of walking,” he agreed. “I’ll have the driver drop you at your car and take me back to my hotel.”

“Oh.”

Turning his head toward her, he looked at her until she met his gaze. “What’s wrong?”

She shrugged. It was silly to be disappointed. Looking at the clock on the dashboard, she knew it was late—almost midnight—but she wasn’t ready for the night to end.

“I just thought I’d drive you back there, and maybe we could have a drink or something before we called it a night.”

He studied her for a moment, and she was afraid she had been too forward and he was going to turn her down.

“I’d like that,” he said, surprising her yet again.

“Good,” she said, smiling.

The ride to her car took only a few minutes, and Owen paid the driver and thanked him as they climbed out. Silently they walked to her car, and for the first time that night, she truly felt nervous. There wasn’t anything she could put her finger on, but for some reason Brooke knew it was a big deal that they were out together tonight and they were both unwilling to let the night come to an end.

Or perhaps she was seeing only what she wanted to see.

They stopped next to her car, and she turned to him. “I don’t think I know what hotel you’re staying at.”

“It would probably be easier for me to drive. That is…if you don’t mind.”

Brooke willingly handed him the keys, and they were on the move minutes later. Traffic was a little bit lighter than it had been earlier in the evening but still heavier than she would have expected for this time of night. Everything was lit up, and the sidewalks were still crowded, and she loved the energy of it all. They turned off the main road, and Owen pulled into an underground garage and parked.

“I was so busy people-watching I didn’t even notice where we are.” There was a possibility that was the wrong thing to admit to, but…

“That’s okay,” he said, taking the keys out and handing them to her. Neither made a move to get out of the car though.

She watched him for a moment—noticed how he was staring at the steering wheel and how he seemed to be thinking about something but she had no idea what. Turning in her seat, she faced him. “Owen—”

“I’d like to kiss you,” he blurted out.

Her eyes went wide, and her heart beat madly in her chest. “You…you would?”

Owen looked at her, his dark eyes so full of emotion. He shook his head. “I’m sure there was a more eloquent way to say that, but…I’m not very eloquent,” he added quietly.

Reaching out, Brooke took one of his hands in hers—relishing the warmth she found there—and marveled at how large it was. And there was strength there. He didn’t have the hands of a man who sat behind a desk pushing papers around, and the skin-on-skin contact was far more arousing than she thought possible. “You’re more eloquent than you think you are,” she said softly.

The look he gave her said he didn’t quite believe her. “I had a wonderful time with you tonight, Brooke, and I know we’re going to go inside and have a drink, and we’ll talk some more and…well…the longer we talk and the later it gets, it’s going to make me want to kiss you even more. It’s wrong for me to want to, but—”

“Why is it wrong?” she interrupted.

And there were those eyes that had her more than ready to crawl across the seat and into his lap. There was a vulnerability in his eyes that was almost her undoing.

“I hurt you. I know you didn’t say anything about it, but I know Howard probably talked to you and told you about Red Rock.” He looked away and shook his head. “It was wrong of me to do it like that. I should have talked to you myself. I’m sorry.”

“Owen, I’m not going to lie to you. I was hurt, and yes, I was pretty angry with you earlier. I know we haven’t known each other very long, but I thought we were at least becoming friends. I hated hearing about your decision from my uncle, but…I kind of understand why you did it that way. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision for you to make.”

“None of this is easy,” he murmured and then looked up at her again. “I’m not good at this sort of thing—playing it cool and pretending I’m not interested in you when in fact I am. So…I’d completely understand if you didn’t want to stay and have that drink or talk like we’d planned. You’re probably sitting there trying to figure out a nice way to tell me to get out of the car.”

Brooke was about to correct him, but Owen kept talking.

“I thought about hiring you, but I couldn’t. Not because I don’t want you on the trip, but because I knew I couldn’t handle working with you every day and having you close by while I’m attracted to you. And knowing you were only there because you wanted to paint and that you weren’t interested in me.”

Now she had to speak. Before he could get another word out, she squeezed his hand and got his attention. “But you’re wrong.”

He didn’t seem to understand what she was talking about.

“I do want to go on this trip to paint—I’m not going to deny that—but…Owen, I’m attracted to you too. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you, and the more time we spend together, the more I want to spend with you. I was afraid maybe you didn’t want me on the trip because I wasn’t smart enough or—”

She never got to finish.

Owen closed the distance between them and cupped her face in his hands as his lips claimed hers.

About the Author

Samantha Chase, a creative writing teacher, released her debut novel, Jordan’s Return, in November 2011. Since then, she has published seventeen more titles and has become a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. She lives with her husband of twenty-four years and their two sons in North Carolina.

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Posted in 5 paws, cooking, Giveaway, Review, Texas on May 31, 2017

BREAKFAST IN TEXAS

by

Terry Thompson-Anderson

  Genre: Cookbook / Southwest Cuisine

Publisher: The University of Texas Press

Date of Publication: April 18, 2017

Number of Pages: 312

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Texans love the morning meal, whether it’s bacon and eggs (often eaten in a breakfast taco) or something as distinctively nontraditional as saag paneer omelets, pon haus, or goat curry. A Lone Star breakfast can be a time for eating healthy, or for indulging in decadent food and drink. And with Texas’s rich regional and cultural diversity, an amazing variety of dishes graces the state’s breakfast and brunch tables. The first Texas cookbook dedicated exclusively to the morning meal, Breakfast in Texas gathers nearly one hundred recipes that range from perfectly prepared classics to the breakfast foods of our regional cuisines (Southern, Mexican, German, Czech, Indian, and Asian among them) to stand-out dishes from the state’s established and rising chefs and restaurants.

Terry Thompson-Anderson organizes the book into sections that cover breakfast and brunch libations (with and without alcohol); simple, classic, and fancy egg presentations; pancakes, French toast, and waffles; meat lover’s dishes; seafood and shellfish; vegan dishes and sides; and pastries. The recipes reference locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, and Thompson-Anderson provides enjoyable notes about the chefs who created them or the cultural history they represent. She also offers an expert primer on cooking eggs, featuring an encounter with Julia Child, as well as a selection of theme brunches (the boozy brunch, the make-ahead brunch, New Year’s Day brunch, Mother’s Day brunch with seasonal ingredients, teenage daughter’s post-slumber party breakfast, and more). Sandy Wilson’s color photographs of many of the dishes and the chefs and restaurants who serve them provide a lovely visual counterpoint to the appetizing text.

Purchase the book here from UT Press

Praise

**A James Beard Cookbook Award Finalist**

“Bring a Texas-sized appetite to the table for Breakfast in Texas! A combination of home-style cooking and favorite dishes from restaurants across the great state, Breakfast in Texas is packed with recipes for simple to spectacular egg dishes, creative cocktails, meat lovers’ feasts, and pancakes and pastries, as well as vegan breakfast and brunch ideas. Beautiful photographs, mouth-watering recipes, and great menu and party ideas make this a must-have for your cookbook shelf.” – Virginia Willis, chef and James Beard Award–winning cookbook author

“I thoroughly enjoyed Terry Thompson-Anderson’s latest cookbook, Breakfast in Texas. I’m sure many of these recipes are going to become signature dishes for my family, as well as my loyal restaurant customers. Relish every story; enjoy every bite. This cookbook is Texas at the breakfast table.” -Monica Pope, chef and author of Eat Where Your Food Lives

“Terry Thompson-Anderson’s epic breakfast book spans the cultures of Texas, as well as its regions. With recipes that run from simple to more elaborate, and range from libations to pastries, there’s something for everyone. Plus, Breakfast in Texas is a good read, with all sorts of fascinating information about Texas and its rich and colorful history.” -Paula Lambert, owner of the Mozzarella Company and author of The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook and Guide

 

Is it possible to gain 10 lbs just reading a cookbook?

I do love a good cookbook and this one just tipped the scales for me! Not only is it breakfast/brunch recipes – they are from restaurants in Texas. How much better can it get?!

I enjoyed reading about all of the different chefs, restaurants, and recipes that are throughout the book. The photos (and recipes) had me drooling and wanting to pull up a chair and have a delicious meal or two (or three or four).  I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet, but have earmarked a few to try very soon.

But this book contains more than food recipes, it also includes beverages to imbibe while enjoying the food and also the stories behind how many of the dishes came to be and more information about the creators (aka Chefs). There is even a section on how to prepare eggs – because that truly can be an art form even for the best cook out there.

Because this is Texas we can’t overlook the Mexican influence that spices up all of our dishes – from beverages to breakfast tacos. Or the Cajun influence that is reflected in Brennan’s dishes (Houston restaurant). So if these flavors call to you, then those are the recipes you’ll want to try first.

But before you think that everything is for the carnivores out there – there is actually a section on vegan/vegetarian options and a couple of restaurants were highlighted. (although they missed out on a good restaurant – The Spiral Diner in Fort Worth).

Overall an excellent cookbook that serves up history with the recipes – a great combination.  We give it 5 paws up.

Terry Thompson-Anderson is the author of nine previous cookbooks, including Texas on the Table: People, Places, and Recipes Celebrating the Flavors of the Lone Star State, which was a finalist for the 2015 James Beard Book Award for American Cooking.

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  May 30-June 13, 2017

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Check out the other great blogs on this tour

5/30 Promo Hall Ways Blog
5/31 Review StoreyBook Reviews
6/1 Sneak Peek Momma On The Rocks
6/2 Review Books in the Garden
6/3 Book Trailer My Book Fix Blog
6/4 Promo Syd Savvy
6/5 Review Bibliotica
6/6 Book Trailer Texas Book Lover
6/7 Review Chapter Break Book Blog
6/8 Sneak Peek Forgotten Winds
6/9 Excerpt Missus Gonzo
6/10 Review Books and Broomsticks
6/11 Promo The Page Unbound
6/12 Author Interview CGB Blog Tours
6/13 Review Reading By Moonlight

 

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Posted in Book Release, romance, Sale on May 31, 2017

Synopsis

“My dog didn’t like men. Actually that was a lie – she didn’t like the men I chose. The only ones who rocked her world had been my father (who was no longer with us), Ross (who was gay), and the butcher on the high street (for obvious reasons).”

When Jenni Meadows has the opportunity to expand her dog-grooming business she takes it, and when a nice man appears on her horizon but fails to make any sparks fly, she decides she has enough on her plate with her business without adding a boyfriend into the mix.

Besides, Millie doesn’t like him and when her dog doesn’t like a man, Jenni knows all about it. So why does Millie take a very strange liking to the new vet, especially since he has a taciturn expression, wears a wedding ring, and wields a needle?

Under the Cherry Tree is a tale of love and hope, waggy tails, and cold noses.

Amazon * B&N * Kobo * iTunes

**Looks like the book is $0.99 on

About the Author

Lilac spends all her time writing, or reading, or thinking about writing or reading, often to the detriment of her day job, her family, and the housework. She apologises to her employer and her loved ones, but the house will simply have to deal with it!

She calls Worcester home, though she would prefer to call somewhere hot and sunny home, somewhere with a beach and cocktails and endless opportunities for snoozing in the sun…

When she isn’t hunched over a computer or dreaming about foreign shores, she enjoys creating strange, inedible dishes in the kitchen, accusing her daughter of stealing  borrowing her clothes, and fighting with her husband over whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher.

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Posted in Fantasy, Sale, Young Adult on May 30, 2017

Hamelin Stoop: The Lost Princess and the Jewel of Periluna

Synopsis

Hamelin finally makes it across the footbridge only to learn that his quest to find his parents and learn his true identity will not be quickly done or easy to fulfill. The Great Eagle leads him through the dangerous Waters of Death and Life and into the Land of Gloaming, where Hamelin is thrown into the midst of a war already being waged between the evil Chimera and the mysterious Ancient One. He must help two new friends find a kidnapped princess and recover a stolen jewel, tasks for which they have special gifts that must not be misused: a scarf of sight, shoes of speed, and a sword of death. But these quests are only part of the larger story, a story including Chimera’s plan to use Hamelin—a child of two realms—to seize the kingdoms on both sides of the Atrium of the Worlds.

**This book is just $0.99 May 30th and 31st (today and tomorrow) so don’t wait on picking up your copy!  And don’t forget to get book 1 in the series, it was free yesterday and might still be today**

About the Author

Robert B. Sloan is known for his leadership in higher education, public speaking and non-fiction writings. He has been a professor, minister, Little League coach, small business owner, school board trustee and chairman, chairman of the board of an NYSE company, and a university president for over 20 years.

Robert is a native Texan, but has enjoyed living in New Jersey, England, and Germany while finishing his doctorate in Switzerland. He is married to his college sweetheart, Sue, and they have seven married children and 20 grandchildren, nine and under. They enjoy large family gatherings, which include good food and lively conversation, games, and storytelling.

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Posted in 3 1/2 paws, Review, Short Story on May 30, 2017

Synopsis

This collection is comprised of three short stories.

The Move : Guillaume, who gives up everything to protect his child
The Listener : Mathew, who risks his life to save his home
The Sacrifice : François, who makes the biggest donation to rescue his grandson

Review

This was an interesting set of short stories.  I’m going to give a mini review of each story.  Each story is set in France and I enjoyed the descriptions of the towns that each story takes place.  The three stories touch on life, death, conservation, and other topics that make you think.

The Move showed me a father’s devotion but the story is also a little dark.  Guillaume has a dairy farm (or what we might consider a dairy farm) and sells his milk to a co-op.  Well things aren’t going well and this leads to the downfall of his farm.  Guillaume’s son is his world and he is trying to provide him with a good life, but things spin out of his control.  There is a part near the end that involves their dog and I think it is the silver lining in this whole story.  This was probably my least favorite of the three.

The Listener is a story about one boy’s quest to save a tree he considers to be his in the forest.  It gives him shelter and calms him down when things aren’t going well.  However, the entity that manages the forest is losing money and is cutting down trees to sell the wood for furniture etc.  The Director that runs this entity is a real jerk but he gets what is coming to him in the end.  I think it is a good story that shows we need to watch out for nature and not cut down every tree or get rid of nature because it really does give back to us in the form of oxygen.  An interesting part of the story is a place called the Children’s Center where apparently parents can leave children while they go on vacation.  I don’t know if it is like an extended day care or what, but thought it was interesting.

The Sacrifice is the story of what a grandfather will do for his grandson despite all odds.  Both Francois and Arthur bring out the best in each other and are probably each other’s biggest cheerleaders.  Both had had some challenges in life regarding Arthur’s mother/Francois’ daughter and her mental health issues.  This was probably my favorite story because it seemed more real to me or maybe I could just relate better to the characters.

Enjoyable and a little bit of a lesson in each story that makes you think and how you would handle things if you were in their situation.  My only negative is that the writing seemed choppy in the first two stories.  I don’t know if the book was translated from one language to another and that is the reason for the stilted writing/flow of the stories.

Overall we give it 3 1/2 paws up.

About the Author

Indrajit Garai, an American citizen now, was born in India in 1965. After his Bachelors degree from Indian Institute of Technology and Masters from Harvard, he worked as a Corporate Strategy Consultant and as an Investment Banker in America, Spain, and England, while studying parallelly Ayurveda (ancient medicine of India) and clinical yoga, for stress management. In 2001, after the birth of his daughter, he moved to Paris and opened his private practice of stress management.

Currently, he has taken sabbatical from his practice of stress management, as a full-time writer, to work on his fiction and nonfiction.

Website

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Posted in Giveaway, Romantic Suspense, suspense on May 29, 2017

Book Details:

Book Title: Deceiving Bella: Book #11 In The Bodyguards of L.A. County Series
Author: Cate Beauman
Category: Adult Fiction, 588 pages
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Createspace
Release date: October 13, 2016
Tour dates: May 22 to June 16, 2017
Content Rating: R (Sex scenes, language, some intense moments)

Book Description:

Isabella Colby has always yearned for normalcy. Now that she’s settled in LA, she finally has it. Good friends, a pretty home, and her thriving career as the Palisades’ top skincare specialist are a dream come true. Bella is content until she meets her hunky new neighbor, but her attraction to the blue-eyed cutie is the least of her worries when contacting her long-lost father threatens to destroy her happy life.

Reed McKinley is more than ready to forget the past. His seven-year stint as an NYPD detective nearly got him killed. His wounds have healed and he’s starting over as Ethan Cooke Security’s latest recruit. With sixty-hour workweeks and little time to himself, the last thing on his mind is a relationship. Then he bumps into the gorgeous woman next door.

Reed and Bella become fast friends. Before long, Reed discovers that Bella is keeping dangerous secrets. Bella may have the answers to decades-old questions he’s been searching for. Reed will risk it all to uncover the truth, but he soon realizes that the deeper he digs, the direr the consequences.

“This book captured my attention from the very beginning. The author did an excellent job of developing the characters and helping the reader feel like he was along for the story. I have enjoyed all of the books in this series, but I must say Deceiving Bella is one of my favorites!” Amazon Customer

 

 

Deceiving Bella is the eleventh book is the Bodyguards of L.A. County Series. Check out the first ten books here!
 
 

Book One

 

Morgan’s Hunter, the story of Morgan and Hunter. (4.2 Stars!)

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Morgan Taylor, D.C. socialite and wildlife biologist, leads a charmed life until everything changes with a phone call. Her research team has been found dead—slaughtered—in backcountry Montana.

As the case grows cold, Morgan is determined to unravel the mystery behind her friends’ gruesome deaths. Despite the dangers of a murderer still free, nothing will stand in her way, not even the bodyguard her father hires, L.A.’s top close protection agent, Hunter Phillips.

Sparks fly from the start when no-nonsense Hunter clashes with Morgan’s strong-willed independence. Their endless search for answers proves hopeless—until Hunter discovers the truth.

On the run and at the mercy of a madman, Morgan and Hunter must outsmart a killer to save their own lives.

One thing I noticed right away was Hunter is smoking hot. This author captured his attractiveness well. Many romance authors have said their main character was good looking, but this was one of the very few times where I thought, “Wow. He’s hot!” And let me tell you blonde-haired blue eyed guys are not my type. The author deserves some serious props here.”  – Raven Reviewer

Book Two

Falling For Sarah, the story of Sarah and Ethan. (4.5 Stars / Award Winner!)

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Widow Sarah Johnson struggled to pick up the pieces after her life was ripped apart. After two years of grieving, she’s found contentment in her thriving business as photographer to Hollywood’s A-list and in raising her angel-faced daughter, Kylee…until bodyguard and long-time friend Ethan Cooke changes everything with a searing moonlight kiss.

Sarah’s world turns upside down as she struggles with her unexpected attraction to Ethan and the guilt of betraying her husband’s memory. But when blue roses and disturbing notes start appearing on her doorstep, she has no choice but to lean on Ethan as he fights to save her from a stalker that won’t stop until he has what he prizes most.

This story, although starting sad with Jake’s death, goes zero to sixty from there. A creepy, insane , psycho thrown in with HOT manly men always make for an awesome ride.”
Inside BJ’s Head

 

Book Three

Hailey’s Truth, the story of Hailey and Austin. (4.4 Stars!)

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Hailey Roberts has never had it easy. Despite the scars of a tragic childhood, she’s made a life for herself. As a part-time student and loving nanny, she yearns for a family of her own and reluctant Austin Casey, Ethan Cooke Security’s best close protection agent.

Hailey’s past comes back to haunt her when her long lost brother tracks her down, bringing his dangerous secrets with him. At an emotional crossroads, Hailey accepts a humanitarian opportunity that throws her together with Austin, taking her hundreds of miles from her troubles, or so she thinks.

What starts out as a dream come true quickly becomes a nightmare as violence erupts on the island of Cozumel. Young women are disappearing, community members are dying—and the carnage links back to her brother.

As Austin struggles to keep Hailey’s past from destroying her future, he’s forced to make a decision that could turn her against him, or worse cost them both their lives.

“WOW. My head is in a whirl from this one. From the high intensity of Suspense, down to the oh-so yummy Romance, by far, Hailey and Austin have the hottest freaking scenes of the three books! ~ It’s so good… or I’m so bad because–I hate to admit it–I reread the hotter than Hades scenes! I could read the entire novel again, and that’s rare for me.”  Hammy

Book Four

Forever Alexa, the story of Alexa and Jackson. (4.4 Stars!)

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First grade teacher and single mother Alexa Harris is no stranger to struggle, but for once, things are looking up. The school year is over and the lazy days of summer are here. Mini-vacations and relaxing twilight barbeques are on the horizon until Alexa’s free-spirited younger sister vanishes.

Ransom calls and death threats force Alexa and her young daughter to flee their quiet home in Maryland. With nowhere else to turn, Alexa seeks the help of Jackson Matthews, Ethan Cooke Security’s Risk Assessment Specialist and the man who broke her heart.

With few leads to follow and Abby’s case going cold, Alexa must confess a shocking secret if she and Jackson have any hope of saving her sister from a hell neither could have imagined.

“FOREVER ALEXA is a book that is impossible to put down. I loved the first three books in this series, Morgan’s Hunter, Falling for Sarah and Hailey’s Truth, but FOREVER ALEXA is far and above my favorite in the series. That being said, I not only recommend but encourage readers of romantic suspense to give Ms. Beauman’s books a try…..you will not be disappointed!!!”  NicoleMD

 

Book Five

Waiting For Wren, the story of Wren and Tucker. (4.6 Stars!)

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Wren Cooke has everything she’s ever wanted—a thriving career as one of LA’s top interior designers and a home she loves. Business trips, mockups, and her demanding clientele keep her busy, almost too busy to notice Ethan Cooke Security’s gorgeous Close Protection Agent, Tucker Campbell.

Jaded by love and relationships in general, Wren wants nothing to do with the hazel-eyed stunner and his heart-stopping grins, but Tucker is always in her way. When Wren suddenly finds herself bombarded by a mysterious man’s unwanted affections, she’s forced to turn to Tucker for help.

As Wren’s case turns from disturbing to deadly, Tucker whisks her away to his mountain home in Utah. Haunted by memories and long-ago tragedies, Tucker soon realizes his past and Wren’s present are colliding. With a killer on the loose and time running out, Tucker must discover a madman’s motives before Wren becomes his next victim.

“I loved the book, the chemistry between all the players, always love it when a man knows what he wants and goes about getting it. Of course I did cry some tears and my spine tingled not just the suspense but the intimate times Tucker and Wren spent together and not just between the sheets.”  Seawitch Reviews

Book Six

Justice For Abby, the story of Abigail and Jerrod. (4.6 Stars / Award Winner!)

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Fashion designer Abigail Harris has been rescued, but her nightmare is far from over. Determined to put her harrowing ordeal behind her and move on, she struggles to pick up the pieces of her life while eluding the men who want her dead.

The Mid-Atlantic Sex Ring is in ruins after Abby’s interviews with the police. The organization is eager to exact their revenge before her testimony dismantles the multi-million dollar operation for good.

Abby’s safety rests in the hands of former US Marshal, Jerrod Quinn. Serious-minded and obsessed with protocol, Ethan Cooke Security’s newest agent finds himself dealing with more than he bargains for when he agrees to take on his beautiful, free-spirited client.

As the trial date nears, Abby’s case takes a dangerous turn. Abby and Jerrod soon discover themselves in a situation neither of them expect while Jerrod fights to stop the ring from silencing Abby once and for all.

“I really thought this would be a routine bodyguard/subject book, boy was I wrong. Cate Beauman’s characters popped! By the end of this book (which I read in one sitting) I was exhausted but replete… From paragraph to paragraph this story shifts and changes. The betrayals and surprises come at the reader at a furious pace. And while this story revolves around a very dark occurrence, there are enough moments that will make you smile, chuckle, snort and go “awwwww.”  
Sebella Blue

Book Seven

Saving Sophie, the story of Sophie and Stone. (4.7 Stars / Award Winner!)

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Jewelry designer Sophie Burke has fled Maine for the anonymity of the big city. She’s starting over with a job she tolerates and a grungy motel room she calls home on the wrong side of town, but anything is better than the nightmare she left behind.

Stone McCabe is Ethan Cooke Security’s brooding bad boy more interested in keeping to himself than anything else—until the gorgeous blond with haunted violet eyes catches his attention late one rainy night.

Stone reluctantly gives Sophie a hand only to quickly realize that the shy beauty with the soft voice and pretty smile has something to hide. Tangled up in her secrets, Stone offers Sophie a solution that has the potential to free her from her problems once and for all—or jeopardize both of their lives.

Saving Sophie is truly a beautiful story… Cate has woven a meaningful story about a courageous woman who overcomes domestic violence to build a life for herself…The author beautifully shows the readers the struggles and fears that Sophie goes through to break free. There is pain in sorrow and beauty in the tears. The heroine is broken and whole. She survives to show us that if you have the courage and the will you can overcome all odds… Saving Sophie is about abuse, courage, romance, honor and so much more.” Rebecca

 

Book Eight

 

Reagan’s Redemption, the story of Reagan and Shane. (4.5 Stars / Award Winner!)

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Doctor Reagan Rosner loves her fast-paced life of practicing medicine in New York City’s busiest trauma center. Kind and confident, she’s taking her profession by storm–until a young girl’s accidental death leaves her shaken to her core. With her life a mess and her future uncertain, Reagan accepts a position as Head Physician for The Appalachia Project, an outreach program working with some of America’s poorest citizens.

Shane Harper, Ethan Cooke Security’s newest team member, has been assigned a three-month stint deep in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, and he’s not too happy about it. Guarding a pill safe in the middle of nowhere is boring as hell, but when he gets a look at his new roommate, the gorgeous Doctor Rosner, things start looking up.

Shane and Reagan encounter more than a few mishaps as they struggle to gain the trust of a reluctant community. They’re just starting to make headway when a man’s routine checkup exposes troubling secrets the town will do anything to keep hidden–even if that means murder.

“Cate Beauman’s eagerly anticipated book Reagan’s Redemption the 8th book in her Bodyguards of La series did not disappoint! I have not found a book in a long time that I just could not put down. I literally stayed up until 2am reading. This book had it all, suspense, great hero, heroine, mystery, and romance. I believe Cate definitely knocked this one out of the part.” Jeannie K

Book Nine

Answers For Julie, the story of Julie and Chase. (4.6 Stars! / Award Winner)Buy Now!

Julie Keller relishes the simple things: hot chocolate on winter nights, good friends she calls her family, and her laid-back career as a massage therapist and yoga instructor. Julie is content with her life until Chase Rider returns to Bakersfield.

Bodyguard Chase Rider isn’t thrilled to be back in the town where he spent his childhood summers. His beloved grandmother passed away, leaving him a house in need of major repairs. With a three-week timetable and a lot to do, he doesn’t have time for distractions. Then he bumps into Julie, the one woman he hoped never to see again. Chase tries to pretend Julie doesn’t exist, but ten years hasn’t diminished his attraction to the hazel-eyed stunner.

When a stranger grabs Julie’s arm at the grocery store—a woman who insists Julie’s life isn’t what it seems, Chase can’t help but get involved. Julie and Chase dig into a twenty-five-year-old mystery, unearthing more questions than answers. But the past is closer than they realize, and the consequences of the truth have the potential to be deadly.

“This series just gets better and better! I loved Answers for Julie – as with the whole series, it’s a careful balance between suspense and romance, the characters are really well developed, and the plot moved at just the right pace with a fair number of surprises thrown in!” LCF

Book Ten

Finding Lyla, the story of Lyla and Collin. (4.7 Stars!)Buy Now!

Principal Dancer Lyla Markovik-Avery is always on the go. Grueling practices and endless performances rule her busy days–and things are about to get more hectic. Russia is rolling out the red carpet for their beloved star, despite the string of violent terrorist attacks that have rocked the nation.

Bodyguard Collin Michaels’ life is falling apart. His long-time relationship recently ended. He’s trying to start over, but that’s easier said than done. Luckily, Collin has a new assignment on the horizon: keeping a beautiful ballerina safe for the next three weeks.

Collin finds comfort in Lyla’s easy friendship, but that all changes after a night out on the town. Simple feelings become complicated–something Collin can’t afford, especially when tragedy strikes and Collin realizes Lyla’s caught in the middle of a dangerous plot for revenge.

Collin and Lyla are forced to flee. They need to reach the border before it’s too late, but the odds are stacked against them in a country that wants them dead. With time running out, Collin formulates a risky plan that might be their only chance of making it out alive.

“In reading the synopsis, I wasn’t sure how I would like this although I love all of Cate’s books. Boy, was this a surprise for me. This book is wonderfully written with so many twists and turns, it was hard to put down. Such a beautiful love story with action, suspense, drama, and a bit of sadness too. I loved Lyla and felt sad because of how she felt she had to live her life. I also loved Collin and how he recognized the journey that Lyla needed to take. Of course, being a man, he is on his own journey of self realization as well. Wonderful story that I KNOW I will be reading again.” Ree Ree

 

Meet the Author
International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015, JUSTICE FOR ABBY was selected as the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while SAVING SOPHIE took the Silver Medal. SAVING SOPHIE was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and FALLING FOR SARAH received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers’ Favorite Awards.Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. Currently Cate is working on her twelfth full length novel.


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