Posted in Giveaway, Spotlight, suspense, Thriller on September 15, 2017

Lies She Told
Crooked Lane Books (September 12, 2017)
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683312956
ASIN: B06XW3MGZB

Synopsis

Sometimes the truth is darker than fiction.

Liza Cole has thirty days to write the thriller that could put her back on the bestseller list. In the meantime, she’s struggling to start a family with her husband, who is distracted by the disappearance of his best friend, Nick. With stresses weighing her down in both her professional and her personal lives, Liza escapes into writing her latest heroine, Beth.

Beth is a new mother who suspects her husband is cheating on her while she’s home alone caring for their newborn. Angry and betrayed, she sets out to catch him in the act and make him pay for shattering the illusion of their perfect life. But before she realizes it, she’s tossing the body of her husband’s mistress into the East River.

Then the lines between fiction and reality begin to blur. Nick’s body is dragged from the same river and Liza’s husband is arrested for his murder. Before her deadline is up, Liza will have to face up to the truths about the people around her, including herself. If she doesn’t, the end of her heroine’s story could be the end of her own.

About the Author

Cate Holahan, author of the acclaimed psychological suspense novel The Widower’s Wife, is an award-winning journalist and a former television producer. She currently lives in New Jersey with her husband and two children.

 

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check out the other blogs on this tour

September 5 – Laura’s Interests – SPOTLIGHT

September 5 – Readsalot – GUEST POST

September 6 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

September 7 – Girl with Book Lungs – INTERVIEW

September 8 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW

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

September 10 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW

September 11 – Must Read Faster – REVIEW

September 12 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 13 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 14 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

September 14 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 15 – Storeybook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 

September 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

September 16 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

September 16 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 17 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

September 18 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 18 – Books Direct – REVIEW

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Posted in excerpt, Giveaway, paranormal, romance on September 15, 2017

Title: Her Dark Half

Author: Paige Tyler

Series: X-Ops, #7

Pub Date: September 5, 2017

Synopsis

Trevor Maxwell

  • Coyote shifter with an attitude
  • Covert operator
  • Trusts no one, especially his devastatingly beautiful new partner

Alina Bosch

  • Former CIA, newest operative on the covert team
  • Hired to spy on her partner
  • Motto: “Never be deceived again.”

Coyote shifter Trevor Maxwell is teamed up with CIA agent Alina Bosch to catch a killer. But when the mission becomes much more dangerous than they expected, they’re going to have to ignore the attraction between them and learn how to trust one another to come out on the other side…

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Excerpt

“What’s the plan here?” she asked Trevor quietly as the restaurant’s patrons eyed them curiously. “Because I don’t see anyone warming up to us enough to invite us into the back room.”

“We’re Trevor and Alina Hoffman, a filthy rich, newly married couple from Silicon Valley,” Trevor said, glancing around as if taking in the ambience. “We’ve been on an extended honeymoon for the past few months and are currently heading for a trans-Atlantic cruise out of New York City. We decided to do some gambling and got tired of dealing with all the crap at the local casino.”

“You think they’ll buy that?” she asked as he led her across the room toward the door with the guards.

“You sell the fact that we’re a newly married couple, and I’ll make them believe I’m a rich guy with a gambling addiction.”

She could do that. Then she realized one big flaw in their cover story. “If we’re a newly married couple, shouldn’t I be wearing a ring?”

Trevor gave her a sidelong glance. “What makes you think you aren’t?”

She looked down at her hand in confusion and almost fell off her stacked heels as she saw the monstrously large diamond he’d somehow slipped onto her ring finger when she wasn’t looking. Oh crud, it was huge! And as beautiful as any she’d ever seen.

“When did you put this on? More importantly, is this thing real?” she whispered.

Thank goodness she had his arm to keep her steady. She was feeling faint at the idea of wearing a diamond that was probably worth more than her entire apartment.

“I put it on you when we were married on the first of June in Monaco,” he whispered back. “And of course it’s real. I would never put something fake on the love of my life.”

“Trevor, I’m serious,” she said.

He made a face. “Okay. I slipped it on your finger when I was helping you out of the SUV. And yes, it’s real, so don’t lose it. I had to sign my life away to get it out of the DCO safes.”

She gulped. “How much is it worth?”

“Nothing compared to you, sweetheart,” he said in a romantic tone as they stopped in front of the two guards.

The bouncers working this door were a little bit more professional than the ones outside.

“Can I help you?” one of the men asked in a deep, rough voice that made Alina wonder if he chewed gravel for fun.

“Someone told me a man might be able to find a friendly game of poker somewhere near here,” Trevor said casually. “I don’t suppose you two might be able to point my wife and me in the right direction for a game like that?”

The two men regarded him suspiciously.

“I think you’re talking about the Horseshoe Casino,” Gravel said. “It’s nearby, very clean and friendly.” Trevor chuckled. “The Horseshoe is very friendly. But the place doesn’t have the quite the atmosphere we’re looking for. It’s a little too…what’s the word?… sanitized for our liking.”

Gravel studied Trevor for a moment, then glanced at the bar, giving someone there a nod. Ten seconds later, a slim man in an expensive suit appeared at their side.

“My name is Teddy,” he said in a cautious yet friendly tone. “What can I do for you?”

“I’m Trevor Hoffman. This is my wife, Alina. We’re getting ready to head out on a cruise in a few days and decided to do some gambling while we’re in town. Someone told us this place runs a clean game, so I thought I’d spend some money here.”

Teddy surveyed them with a practiced eye, taking in the cut of Trevor’s suit and her expensive gown, not to mention the big honking ring she wore. He must have liked what he saw, because he nodded.

“If I could get some identification and a credit card from you, Mr. Hoffman, I can quickly check your credentials and set you up with a line of credit.”

Alina tensed as Trevor handed over the requested ID and credit card. They could be in trouble. The fake ID and credit card by themselves would have taken quite a bit of time and money to pull off. Coming up with an Internet background to support that would take even longer.

“What are they going to find when they run your name and that credit card number?” she whispered as he slipped his arm around her and casually urged her away from the two men guarding the door.

“Relax.” He flashed her a grin. “They’ll find us with all the relevant financial and societal tidbits one would expect to see when looking at the rich and bored.”

She glanced at Teddy. He typed something into a computer just out of sight behind the bar. A moment later, he lifted his head and frowned in their direction.

“Something’s wrong,” she whispered.

Even the two guards were eyeing them funny now. She was starting to wish she had a weapon. If things went bad, they were in trouble.

“Alina,” Trevor said softly as he tightened his arm around her waist and tugged her closer. “Now’s the time for you to sell the newlywed thing.”

She opened her mouth to ask him exactly how he suggested she do that when he pulled her even closer.

She wished she could have said it was years of CIA training that took over and made her kiss him. But that wouldn’t have been true. Instead, it was a totally different kind of instinct. The kind that made a woman want to kiss a hot guy.

About the Author

Paige Tyler is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sexy, romantic fiction. Paige writes books about hunky alpha males and the kick-butt heroines they fall in love with. She lives with her very own military hero (a.k.a. her husband) and their adorable dog on the beautiful Florida coast.

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Posted in Giveaway on September 14, 2017

Banned Books Week, the annual celebration of the freedom to read, will be held the week of September 24th in 2017. For this year’s celebration, the coalition of organizations that sponsors Banned Books Week will emphasize the importance of the First Amendment, which guarantees our inherent right to read.

Censorship is happening and it is infringing on the right of readers.

According to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) – which tracks reports of book challenges and bans and compiles an annual Top Ten Challenged Books List – there was an alarming 17% increase in book censorship complaints in 2016. Since most challenges are not reported, the actual number is probably much higher. Even more disturbing, while only 10% of the titles reported to OIF are normally removed from the institutions receiving the challenges, half of the most frequently challenged books were actually banned last year.

If you are interested in finding out what books have been challenged/banned over the years you can visit this site and it is broken down by year.

In support of the Freedom to Read any book we want, I will be giving away these 2 books to 2 lucky winners!

 

   
Synopsis:

Winner of the 1921 Pulitzer Prize, The Age of Innocence is Edith Wharton’s masterful portrait of desire and betrayal during the sumptuous Golden Age of Old New York, a time when society people “dreaded scandal more than disease.”

This is Newland Archer’s world as he prepares to marry the beautiful but conventional May Welland. But when the mysterious Countess Ellen Olenska returns to New York after a disastrous marriage, Archer falls deeply in love with her. Torn between duty and passion, Archer struggles to make a decision that will either courageously define his life—or mercilessly destroy it.

Synopsis:

When a young English widow takes off on the grand tour and along the way marries a penniless Italian, her in-laws are not amused. That the marriage should fail and poor Lilia die tragically are only to be expected. But that Lilia should have had a baby — and that the baby should be raised as an Italian! — are matters requiring immediate correction by Philip Herriton, his dour sister Harriet, and their well-meaning friend Miss Abbott.

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Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery on September 14, 2017

Passport to Murder (Professor Prather Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Camel Press (September 15, 2017)
Paperback: 272 pages

Synopsis

Start with an unlucky number. Throw in a romantic location. Include a dashing Frenchman and an uncompromising professor. And you have all the ingredients for a passport to murder.

This semester, it seems that Professor Prather’s dreams are about to come true. Ever since she was a young girl, she’s imagined going to France, and her French colleague, André Duman, has finally made that trip possible. Over spring break, she and André are to lead a group of students and faculty to Paris to explore the City of Light. But before she can utter her first bonjour, a professor dies, and they are stuck in Minneapolis. She returns to Copper Bluff with an unstamped passport and a mystery to solve.

When André becomes the prime suspect, Emmeline puts her research skills to good use, determined to find out who really killed the professor and spoiled their spring break plans. With thirteen travelers assembled, the possibilities are varied and villainous. Luckily, her dear friend and sidekick, Lenny Jenkins, is close by. Together, they will sort through the conflicting clues even if it costs them time, trouble, or tenure.

Guest Post

A few thoughts (and a recipe!) from Mrs. Gunderson

As Emmeline’s neighbor and a general authority on Copper Bluff, South Dakota, I’m happy to introduce myself. My name is Mrs. Gunderson, and I’m a stalwart of the community. Four generations of my family once farmed near Copper Bluff. However, I’m content living next to Emmeline. Her cat, Dickinson, makes it extremely difficult at times, and my dear dog, Darling, hardly knows what to do when it hisses at him. But he is such a servile animal. He endures, and so do I, despite the particular comings and goings next door. On more than one occasion Emmeline’s had the police visit, and last year, she even had a break in! Can you imagine? On our street? Such things never happened before she came, not that I’m the type of person to make assumptions. But it’s coincidental to be certain.

There are good things about living next to Emmeline, too. She’s very quiet. She doesn’t blare rap music like the young people down the street, who live closer to the college campus. I’ve seen her spend an entire day on the porch, quietly reading a book. Of course she says it’s for class, but I don’t believe all those books could be read in sixteen weeks. Sometimes it’s best to let her believe certain things, though, especially when it comes to her books. When it comes to her cooking, however, I feel brutal honesty is the best policy.

Emmeline doesn’t cook very well. I’m not being cruel; she’ll admit as much herself. I’m fairly certain they banned her meatballs from the faculty potluck. Well, they “encouraged” her to bring a dessert this year. I’ll let you decide for yourself what that means. So I’m sharing an easy recipe to one of her fall favorites: pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting.

Emmeline has a terrible sweet tooth. Candies, cookies, cakes. Did you know she visits St. Agnes just for the sweets? She says the Catholic Daughters bake the best seven-layer bars, though I was told by a reliable source that the Lutherans made more money on theirs at the bake sale. I said, “There’s nothing hard about baking, Emmeline! All you have to do is follow the recipe.” But I fear, like her love life, she neglects the rules. Of course, there’s that Lenny fellow, who seems patient enough, and I do hold out hope for him.

Truth be known, I’ve grown fond of Emmeline, despite her eccentricities. She’s always happy to help me, though I rarely require assistance, and I do love baking for her. She thinks everything with frosting is delicious! So I leave on lots of lights for her at night because I know she can’t sleep. I think she’s frightened in that house all alone. If she just had a dog, I know she’d feel more secure. But lights are the very best next thing, lights and the company of a nice neighbor, like me.

Mrs. Gunderson’s Pumpkin Bars

Beat together:

4 eggs

1 c. oil

1 2/3 c. sugar

1 16 oz. can of pumpkin

Add:

2 c. flour

1 tsp. of baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. of salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

Pour into an ungreased 13×9 cake pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

To make frosting, beat 3 oz. of cream cheese, ½ c. of butter (softened), 1 tsp. of vanilla, and 2 c. of powdered sugar. Spread over cooled cake.

 

About the Author

Like her protagonist in the Professor Prather mystery series, Mary Angela lives on the Great Plains and teaches college writing and literature. When she’s not grading papers (when is she not grading papers?), she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She and her husband have two amazing daughters, one adorable dog, and a cat who would rather not be limited by an adjective.

 

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September 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST

September 15 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

September 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

September 17 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

September 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

September 19 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW *

September 20 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW  *

September 20 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT

September 21 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

September 22 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

September 23 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW *

September 24 – Varietats2010 – REVIEW

September 24 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

September 25 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW *

September 26 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW

Posted in Giveaway, Guest Post, mystery, suspense on September 12, 2017

Highland Peril (A Malice Novel)
Mystery/Suspense
2nd in Series
Lyrical Underground (September 5, 2017)
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516100187
E-Book ASIN: B01N9GF9WF

Synopsis

Trading the urban pace of Edinburgh for a tiny village overlooking a breathtaking blue loch was a great move for budding photographer Sylvie Carmichael and her artist husband, Seamus—until a dangerous crime obscures the view . . .

Sylvie’s bucolic life along the heather-covered moors of the Highlands is a world away from the hectic energy of the city. But then a London buyer is killed after purchasing a long-lost Scottish masterpiece from Seamus’s gallery—and the painting vanishes. As suspicion clouds their new life, and their relationship, Sylvie’s search for answers plunges her into an unsolved mystery dating back to Cromwellian Scotland through World War I and beyond. And as she moves closer to the truth, Sylvie is targeted by a murderer who’s after a treasure within a treasure that could rewrite history . . . and her own future.

Guest Post

Bringing Scotland Home

I’ve been blessed to visit Scotland twice in the past several years, and both times I used part of my trip to conduct research for my newest release, Highland Peril (Book Two in the Malice series) and for Book One in the Malice series, The House on Candlewick Lane.

Scotland has become one of my favorite places in the world to visit, and each time I’m there I find about a zillion things I want to bring home to remind me of my time there. But alas, I don’t have the space or (more importantly) the money to buy all the souvenirs I would love to have, so I got thinking about the things I already have around my home that remind me of the country I love so much.

Do you love Scotland? You don’t need to visit to know you love it…you can love the landscape (through photos), the food, the literature, the history, the drink, the symbols, everything. I know I do.

So this is a bit of a photographic journey around my house, showing you the Scottish things I’ve curated without even realizing it. And I’m leaving out the clutter so you don’t have to be subjected to that. You’re welcome.

Tartans: these are photos of my favorite throw and my change purse. Do I know the names of the tartans? No. But I can love them just the same.

 

Décor: the sheep watches over my kitchen from above the cupboards and the vase of sea glass is on the mantel in the den. The sheep is a reminder of the Scottish highlands and countryside and the sea glass reminds me of the sea glass beaches in Scotland.

 

Food and libations: here we have my favorite shortbread recipe because it’s got just the right sweetness to it (and it’s foolproof) and one of my favorite ways to pretend I’m in Scotland—with a wee nip of whisky.

Is there a place you’d love to visit but haven’t gotten to yet? How about a place you love and you have visited? Placing things around your home that remind you of that special place is a wonderful way to keep hopeful dreams and fond memories alive. Find prints or photos of the places you’d love to visit and frame them. Put them on your desk or hang them on the refrigerator as a sort of visual bucket list. Is there something that symbolizes a place where you’ve been or where you’d like to go? An example would be Moroccan tiles or African masks. Buy (or even create) one that speaks to you and hang it in a place of honor.

My house would be completely without decoration if we didn’t pepper our walls and empty spaces with things that represent happy thoughts for us, whether they be dreams or memories. I encourage you to do the same. And share your photos! I’d love to see them.

I’d like to thank StoreyBook Reviews for having me here today to talk about all things Scottish. I am honored to be a guest!

And we were honored to have you here today Amy!

About the Author

Amy M. Reade grew up in northern New York. After graduating from college and law school, she practiced law in New York City before moving to southern New Jersey, where she lives now with her husband, three children, dog, two cats, and a fish. She writes full time and is the author of Secrets of Hallstead House, a novel of romantic suspense set in the Thousand Islands region of New York, and The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, a novel in the same genre set outside Charleston, South Carolina. Her third novel, House of Hanging Jade, is set in Hawaii and will be released in April, 2016. She is currently working on the first book of a series set in the United Kingdom (expected release date in early 2017). She loves cooking, reading, and traveling.

Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Pinterest * Goodreads

 

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September 4 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

September 5 – Nadaness In Motion – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

September 6 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

September 7 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT – evacuated for hurricane

September 8 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

September 8 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

September 9 – The Editing Pen – INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY

September 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

September 10 – The Power of Words – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

September 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy– INTERVIEW

September 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

September 13 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

September 14 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

Posted in Cozy, Giveaway, Monday, mystery, Spotlight on September 11, 2017

Death Distilled: A Whisky Business Mystery 
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Alibi (September 5, 2017)
Print Length 300 pages

Synopsis

Photojournalist by trade, distillery owner by blood, and amateur sleuth by necessity, Abigail Logan learns that murder can’t stay bottled up forever in this charming Whisky Business Mystery.

It’s been three months since Abi Logan last checked in on Abbey Glen, the celebrated whisky distillery she inherited. With her oversize wheaten terrier, Liam, by her side, Abi returns to the quaint Scottish village of Balfour. But her relaxing Highland homecoming takes a stressful turn when she unearths an unseemly bit of village history, welcomes a group of Japanese whisky enthusiasts, and becomes shepherdess to an unexpected flock of sheep—all within the first twenty-four hours. Still, nothing’s more stressful than murder. . . .

Local celebrity Rory Hendricks is the hotheaded, hard-rocking former frontman of the Rebels—and Abi’s girlhood crush. After meeting him in person, Abi can’t say no to anything he asks, like photographing his upcoming show . . . or figuring out who’s trying to kill him. Turns out someone’s been bumping off his old bandmates, with the drummer dead under mysterious circumstances and the keyboardist in a coma following a hit-and-run. Now a series of threatening messages leads Rory to think he’s next on the chopping block. And the band has a devil’s share of broken hearts and bitter disputes in their past, leaving Abi a huge batch of suspects to sift through—all before the killer takes another shot.

Melinda Mullet’s delightful Whisky Business mysteries can be read together or separately. Enjoy responsibly:
SINGLE MALT MURDER | DEATH DISTILLED

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About the Author

Melinda Mullet was born in Dallas and attended school in Texas, Washington D.C., England, and Austria. She spent many years as a practicing attorney before pursuing a career as a writer. Author of the Whisky Business Mystery series, Mullet is a passionate supporter of childhood literacy. She works with numerous domestic and international charities striving to promote functional literacy for all children. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her family.

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September 4 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

September 5 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

September 5 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

September 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

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

September 7 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

September 7 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

September 8 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

September 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

September 9 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 10 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

September 10 – Bookworm Mom – REVIEW

September 11 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

September 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 12 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST

September 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 14 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

September 15 – Mystery Playground

September 15 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – GUEST POST

September 16 – The Editing Pen – REVIEW

September 17 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW

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Posted in 5 paws, Review, women on September 10, 2017

Synopsis

Ellie Pringle has spent endless hours and countless dollars working with a therapist to remember the lost years of her childhood. She’s baffled and more than a little intrigued when the grandmother she hasn’t seen in thirty-four years dies and leaves her a fortune. The time has come to face her past in person. Still reeling from a recent breakup of a long-term relationship, and with nothing to keep her in San Francisco, Ellie packs her meager belongings and boards a plane for the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Standing in the entryway of her grandmother’s antebellum home on South Battery Street in Charleston, Ellie faces the first of many ghosts who will soon haunt her. On her first night in the creepy, creaking mansion, as she’s perusing the titles in a dusty bookcase, she comes across her deceased mother’s leather-bound journal. Her mother’s words create more unanswered questions and send her on a quest to find more journals. As Hurricane Irma bears down on the South Carolina coast, Ellie encounters Julian Hagood, a handsome architect who has the talent to restore her dilapidated mansion and the charm to mend her broken heart. But as Ellie reads her mother’s diaries, they dislodge a stone in the wall that safeguards her memories, causing her world to come crumbling down. Revelations about her childhood lead Ellie on a harrowing journey of discovery that will hold readers spellbound until the dramatic conclusion.

Review

I love love love Ashley’s books and this one is no exception. I think I heard this will be a series (or at least a 2nd book) which I am glad of because there is so much more to the story that hasn’t been told yet.

This book is about learning about the past and coming to terms with it, finding love and strengthening family. There is even a little bit of action and mystery – a very well rounded book.

This book also reminded me of Flowers in the Attic with the strict grandmother and her actions and comments to her daughter and granddaughter.

Ellie has inherited the estate from the crazy grandmother. She has mixed feelings, as anyone would, about the house and everything else. But it is also cathartic because she knows she is repressing something but isn’t sure what. You do find out but not giving it away, you’ll have to read the book to find out.

The book does leave you hanging a little bit because Ellie’s story is not complete and there are some other things that are revealed that need to be addressed more fully. Yes I know it is vague but has to be to not spoil part of the story.

We give it 5 paws up.

About the Author

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

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

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

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Posted in 5 paws, Christian, Giveaway, Historical, Review, romance on September 10, 2017

THESE HEALING HILLS

by

ANN GABHART

  Genre: Historical Romance / Christian

Publisher: Revell

Date of Publication: September 5, 2017

Number of Pages: 368

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Bestselling Author Transports Readers to the Appalachian Mountains for Adventure and Healing

Packed with history, These Healing Hills by bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart introduces readers to the fascinating and difficult life of frontier nursing.

When the soldier Francine Howard planned to marry after WWII writes to tell her he is in love with a woman in England, Francine is devastated and in need of a change. She seeks a fresh start in the Appalachian Mountains, training to be a nurse midwife for the Frontier Nursing Services.

It is in these mountains that Francine crosses paths with Ben Locke, a soldier still very much suffering from the horrors of war. With his future shrouded in as much mist as his beloved mountains, he’s at a loss when it comes to envisioning what’s next for his life.

While Francine and Ben find they are from completely different worlds and possess very different values, they both learn that things don’t always go the way we plan. Ann H. Gabhart invites readers to witness the healing power of love and step forward to tantalizing new possibilities.

Praise for These Healing Hills

“Reading These Healing Hills is like wrapping up in a beloved quilt and stepping back in time. Ann H. Gabhart captures a fascinating slice of Appalachian history in this tale of a mountain midwife and a soldier, bringing it to life as only a native Kentuckian can. Poignant and romantic, witty and wise, with enduring spiritual truths, this is my favorite novel of hers to date.” —Laura Frantz, author of A Moonbow Night

“What a wonderful story! Filled with true-to-life characters (including some four-footed ones) and fascinating historical details, These Healing Hills is a beautifully written, heartwarming story of life in the Appalachian Mountains at the end of the Second World War. Ann Gabhart combines vivid descriptions, meticulous research, and a deep understanding of the human heart to create a story that will linger in readers’ memories long after the last page is turned. This is a book to savor, not just once, but over and over. A true keeper.” —Amanda Cabot, bestselling author of A Stolen Heart

“Ann H. Gabhart delivers a rich tale set in Kentucky’s Appalachian Mountains at the close of World War II. Francine buries the painful loss of the man she loves beneath the difficult work of a frontier nurse-midwife. The mountain people touch a place deep in her heart, and she gladly sacrifices the life she always wanted in order to serve them. But can she ever be truly happy among the hills and hollows where modern medicine often gives way to ancient folk cures? These Healing Hills is a fascinating and beautifully crafted story that I highly recommend.” —Virginia Smith, bestselling author of The Amish Widower

“You are sure to enjoy this endearing story of love lost and found in the enchanting hills of Kentucky.” —Jan Watson, author of the Troublesome Creek series

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What a lovely story!  It is “Call the Midwife” but in the Appalachian mountains.

I learned so much from this book about the culture of the people that lived in the mountains in the mid 40’s, what the nurses went through to learn and be certified as a midwife and of course was swept away in the love story between Francine (Fran) and Ben.  Since the author is from this general area I’m sure it was easy for her to research details.  I was able to picture the mountains, the homes, the people and what life was like during that time frame – when people did not have a lot but were happy.  Goes to show that money does not make you happy.  I also learned a lot of new words like baby catching, sass patch (garden) and killed – but not as in dead, just wounded.  As I was reading the author’s notes at the end, I discovered that the Frontier Nurses and the Frontier Nursing University are indeed real and was started by Mary Breckenridge in 1925 as a way to help those get nursing care that might not otherwise receive the services.

There is a little tension between Fran and her first boyfriend, Seth.  It takes a certain type of person to do what Fran is doing and Seth is definitely not that kind of person…as they might have said back then, he is “city folk”.  Plus Fran is becoming accustomed to living in the mountains and has grown attached to many of the residents, especially Ben.  She is learning quite a bit from her patients – to have patience, to not dismiss herbal remedies and to take joy in life.

There is some joyful moments throughout the book and I think Woody, Ben’s younger brother, steals the show at various times.  He is quite the talker and happy all the time that it is hard to not like him or root for him in various situations.  There are also some dogs featured in the book.  I loved the descriptions of the dogs and their antics.

This was a very enjoyable story and I did not want it to end.  I want to know more about what happens to many of the characters like Woody, Jeralene and Becca & Carl.  Perhaps the author will grace us with a follow up book.

We give it 5 paws up and suggest you pick this up soon (or enter to win a copy below).

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several Shaker novels—The OutsiderThe BelieverThe SeekerThe Blessed, and The Gifted—as well as Angel SisterSmall Town GirlLove Comes HomeWords Spoken True, and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky.

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Copy of These Healing Hills + The Kentucky Snack Basket (11 items including a Derby Pie Tart, Bourbon Pecan Brittle, Bourbon Chocolates, Spiced Pretzels, Modjeskas, Coffee, Snack Mix, Candy Bar, Caramel Corn, and a Horseshoe from Churchill Downs!)

First Runner-Up:

Copy of These Healing Hills + $25 Barnes & Noble Gift Card

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Copy of These Healing Hills + $10 Starbucks Gift Card

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Check out the other great blogs on this tour

5-Sep Playlist Texan Girl Reads
6-Sep Review Syd Savvy
7-Sep Character Interview Books and Broomsticks
8-Sep Review The Page Unbound
9-Sep Guest Post Forgotten Winds
10-Sep Review StoreyBook Reviews
11-Sep Scrapbook Page Books in the Garden
12-Sep Excerpt Reading by Moonlight
13-Sep Review Missus Gonzo
14-Sep Author Interview The Librarian Talks

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Posted in 3 paws, excerpt, New Adult, Review on September 9, 2017

Synopsis

THEY SAID SHE WAS GOING TO BE MY RUIN…

THEN LET HER RUIN ME.

He had everything—wealth, adoration, a brilliant future. Until one chance encounter changed everything.

The moment Caleb Lockhart spotted the mysterious woman in her siren red dress, he couldn’t tear his eyes away.

For the first time in his life, he wanted something. Something he knew he could never have.

The unforgettable stranger he dubs RED.

Chasing Red Duology:

Chasing Red (Book 1)

Always Red (Book 2)

Millions of Wattpad readers love Caleb and Red’s epic story

“I love this book to the core.”

“I was so addicted… So in love that I couldn’t stop reading.”

“The characters are just so real and possess such pure, raw emotions and passion.”

“This book took me through an emotional roller coaster! I love everything about it!”

Buy the Book

Excerpt

I stopped when I reached the kitchen. It had the same modern industrial feel as the rest of the place. There was a bar on the left side of the room with barstools tucked underneath. Crisp, white cupboards, granite countertops, glass pendant lights hanging from the vaulted ceiling, stainless-steel appliances—the whole works. My breath caught as I set eyes on someone standing in the corner. He was tall, his shirtless back showing he had tan skin, and I could see his muscles were rippling when he moved his arm.

I stood there, nervous and scared. As if he sensed my presence, he turned around. His eyes widened and his jaw fell open as he took in my appearance.

I knew that face.

Caleb. Caleb Lockhart!

Oh no, not him! This was not happening. I’d woken up in the lair of the campus man whore.

A piece of bread fell out of his mouth as he continued to gape at me. His wavy brown hair was mussed and sticking up everywhere, as if he too had just woken up. His chest and stomach were well defined. The long counter in front of him ended just below his waist so I couldn’t see if he was—

Please, God, I hope he’s wearing something down there.

And then he grinned. As if he had all the time in the world, his gaze leisurely traveled from the top of my head to my toes, then back up to my face. I felt my toes tingle.

“Hey, baby, you look like you’ve had a busy night,” he drawled.

Oh God.

“Did we… Did you…?” I stuttered, crossing my arms to hide my chest from his lascivious gaze.

One dark brow lifted as he waited for me to finish my question. My mouth felt dry, and my head was starting to throb. I looked down at my naked feet and wondered where I’d put my shoes. Silly, silly girl.

“Just tell me,” I said finally.

“Tell you what exactly?” His eyes were laughing at me, and I could see his dimples. He knew exactly what I was talking about, but he seemed to find joy in torturing innocent people. Jerk.

When he stepped around the counter, I moved a step back and yelled, “Stay away from me!” At least he was wearing sweatpants.

He frowned, holding his hands up. “What the hell is wrong with you?”

My eyes frantically searched for a weapon nearby, in case he decided to attack me. I could grab one of the pans on the hanging pot rack if needed.

“Why am I here?”

“You don’t remember?”

I had a sudden urge to pull my hair. “Remember what?”

His face darkened. “Some pervert nearly attacked you last night. I saved you.” He shook his head. “He could have raped you.”

My head started to throb. Memories from last night were starting to come back.

“And you threw up all over my car.” He paused. “Twice.”

“R-raped me?” I vaguely remembered resisting a guy’s advances. What if it was him?

Caleb nodded, staring at me intently. The way his green eyes bored into me triggered a memory. A low, masculine voice murmuring, I’ve been looking for you my whole life…

I shook my head to clear it and glared at him. “How do I know you’re not that guy?”

“Oh please,” he scoffed, rolling his eyes. “I don’t have to force a girl to sleep with me.”

He stepped back, leaned against a butcher block behind him, and crossed his arms against his impressive chest, studying me with his head tilted to the side. The muscles in his arms flexed.

“Thank you,” I said quietly, but I was still suspicious. Growing up in a rough area meant suspicion came naturally to me. “I don’t remember much from last night.”

“You were drunk,” he stated.

“I think I remember that part.”

“And you’re not hungover?”

I shook my head.

“Amazing,” he said, sounding impressed.

“Look, if you don’t mind giving my shoes back, I can get out of your way.” I assumed he knew where they were. I didn’t find them in the bedroom.

“Not so fast.”

“What?” My eyes shot to an espresso machine sitting on the counter five feet away. I could use that in case he decided to grab me. Could I lift it?

“You threw up all over my car, and I just got it a few weeks ago.”

Oh. I bit my lip. “Isn’t your dad rich?” I gestured uselessly at the luxury surrounding us. “Can’t you just have somebody clean it for you?”

His eyebrows shot up. “So you’re going to have someone else clean up your mess?”

I clenched my teeth. “What do you want from me?”

Leaning back, he pulled himself up to sit on the butcher block, his glorious body on uninterrupted display. I gulped.

“Do you have anywhere to go when you leave?” There was a basket filled with apples beside him. He reached for one. How fortunate he was to reach for food whenever he wanted. He didn’t have to fear being hungry…or homeless.

“What kind of question is that? I’m going home.” I had no clue where home was, but he didn’t know that.

Without removing his gaze from mine, he tossed the apple in the air, caught it, tossed it again. “And where is that?”

My stomach quietly growled. “It’s none of your business.”

“Well, I quite possibly saved your life. I believe in conserving energy, so I want to make sure you don’t waste mine. I asked you last night where you live, and you told me you’re homeless. Frankly, right now, you look like someone just stole your last dollar.”

My mouth opened in shock.

He placed the apple back in the basket and crossed his arms again. Was he flexing in front of me?

“Why do you care?” I demanded.

It was a moment before he answered. “Do you really have somewhere to go?”

The mild, sympathetic tone did it. I felt my throat close and my eyes tear up. I could tell he was uncomfortable with my sudden display.

He jumped off the butcher block and went to open the fridge.

“Here,” he said quietly, handing me a bottled water.

I tried to say thank you, but my throat was too tight. When I looked up, he was backing away from me.

“You know you stink, right?”

I laughed. I laughed so hard that I was almost hyperventilating. Then I started crying. I couldn’t stop if I wanted to.

To keep myself from falling on my face, I squatted where I was and sat on the floor. My crying turned to ugly hiccup-sobbing. He must have thought I was insane.

“Why don’t you stay here for a bit until you find an apartment?”

Shocked, I could only stare up at him.

He shrugged. “I know when someone is at the end of their rope,” he added.

At the end of their rope? I glared at him, quickly wiping at my tears. I hated looking up at someone when I talked to them so I got back on my feet, struggling to pull my dress down. He was still taller, which made me angrier.

“Listen, pal, I may be homeless, but I am not accepting your charity.”

We both fell silent.

The sound of the water bottle crinkling in my hand was followed by that of a steady stream of water spilling onto the floor.

Embarrassed, I closed my eyes. When I heard him clear his throat, I tried to calm my breathing by counting to ten before opening my eyes.

His eyebrows were raised as if he was waiting for me to say something. When I didn’t, he continued.

“Where else will you go? A homeless shelter? Listen.” He raised his index finger. “One, I live by myself, so you’ll only have the pleasure of my company. Two”—he raised a second finger—“you’re certainly safer here than at a shelter. And three”—he raised a third finger—“ding, ding, ding! You can stay here for free.”

I narrowed my eyes. It all sounded too good to be true. “Why are you helping me?” Life had beaten me enough that I knew nothing came free.

He opened his mouth, but nothing came out. Then he shook his head. “I don’t know.”

Live with Caleb Lockhart. In this huge place. For free. My only other options were the shelter or live on the streets. “I’m not going to be your prostitute.”

He looked insulted. “Do you really think I need one? Woman, have you seen this body? Besides,” he added, grinning, “when you decide to sleep with me, you’ll be the one paying me.”

Wow. The size of his ego must constantly give him a headache. I gave him a disgusted look and pretended to yawn. “Everything that’s coming out of your mouth sounds interesting. I don’t know why I keep yawning.”

Those green eyes widened and homed in on my face. I thought I’d pissed him off this time, but the most unexpected thing happened. He started laughing. “I like you,” he said, chuckling. “I mean you’re a knockout, but I didn’t think it went beyond that.”

Did he just insult me?

“I’m offering you a way out of your misery. Why don’t you take it?” He pinched his nose with his fingers. “And could you please take a shower? You might be gorgeous, but I ain’t spending time with a girl who smells like the sewer.”

I huffed. He was right though—I smelled really, really bad. But… “Then what do you want in exchange?”

“Not everyone wants something from you,” he replied grimly.

“Oh, is that what you think?” I laughed bitterly. “Everyone wants something one way or another. Haven’t you learned that yet?”

He tilted his head to the side and studied my face again. I wondered what he saw when he looked at me. My looks and the shape of my body usually made people think I was always looking for fun. Fun was the last thing on my mind. I was too busy staying alive, too busy working for my next meal to think about anything else. Last night had been an anomaly.

I had no other good options—just shelter or street—and he was offering me a way out. He at least looked sincere. It was about choosing the lesser of two evils. I took a deep breath.

“I could clean,” I said quietly.

Was I really doing this? Why not? The world hadn’t given me a free ticket in so long. I was overdue for one.

“Sorry?” He blinked at me, and I wasn’t sure if he was teasing or serious. “I didn’t hear what you said.”

I took another deep breath, and this time my voice was stronger. “I could clean your place in exchange for my stay.”

“I already have someone come in three times a week for that,” he answered.

“I can cook.”

He frowned. “Don’t string me along like that. That’s not very nice.”

I rolled my eyes.

“Can you really cook?” His face lit up. He looked like a little boy who had found the last cookie at the bottom of the jar.

“Yes,” I answered, ignoring the crazy effect his smile had on me.

“Deal!”

This was too easy. “You said you live by yourself, but how can you afford this place?”

His expression shuttered. I hoped he didn’t think I was trying to find out how much money he had. That I was a gold digger. But why wouldn’t he think that? He didn’t know me from Eve.

I might have been poor, but I wasn’t a freeloader. My hands proved how hard I worked, and I was proud of that. One more year and I would get that diploma. I’d work my ass off to have a good life. I didn’t need much—a steady job, a simple house, and a serviceable car would be more than enough to make me happy. And I would never go hungry again. I’d get there without help from anyone.

“Look,” I hissed angrily. “I was only curious. If you think I’m some gold digger—”

He held a hand up. “Will you stop putting words in my mouth? Do you really think I want this life? This…this.” He gestured to the whole room. “You think this makes me happy?” His jaw was set, his hands fisted.

“Yes!” I answered. I fell silent, incredulous. He had no concept of what it meant to go hungry, to not know where he was going to sleep next, to live in fear. We were worlds apart.

This was never going to work.

We both stood there awkwardly, but after a few seconds, he opened his mouth again, waggling his eyebrows as if nothing had happened. “Know what? You do my homework while you’re cooking my dinner tonight.”

So much for that moment. I opened my mouth, but nothing came out.

“Hold on,” he said. “I didn’t even get your name.”

“Veronica Strafford.”

“I’m Caleb Lockhart.”

 

Review

I thought this book was ok but it was hard for me to finish. I think I got tired of the drama all the time. Veronica doesn’t trust anyone. Sure she has her reasons but give someone a chance before going off the deep end and assuming the worst. Caleb is a playboy that wants to be reformed by Veronica aka Red. Yes he has a playboy past and Veronica should be aware of that since she knows him from college.

The book does have some heartwarming portions – the fact that Caleb is willing to wait for Veronica to be ready before they have sex is a positive one. Plus Veronica is wanting to improve her life situation and she can go nowhere but up. Then there is Kara – who I actually think makes the book and might even be somewhat of a scene stealer. Sure Kara has issues, but she is witty and wacky.

I think there is more to Veronica’s past and we only got a glimpse through a nightmare. It made me wonder what else she hadn’t said yet.

I was surprised to see that the school had lockers. I’m not saying that colleges don’t have them, but I have never heard of them in a college before. It reminded me of high school. Also, I thought I had read that Veronica was in college studying culinary arts but there is never really any mention of what sort of classes she is taking. That might have been an interesting twist since they mentioned classes and exams in general but nothing specific.

We give it 3 paws up.

 

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Comments Off on Review & Excerpt – Chasing Red by Isabelle Ronin @IsabelleRonin #NewAdult @SourcebooksCasa
Posted in 5 paws, excerpt, Giveaway, Review, Young Adult on September 8, 2017


Perfectly You by Robin Daniels

Ivy Nixon is the student body Vice President at Franklin High School. Each year, the school holds a date auction to raise funds for the senior class graduation party, and this year, Ivy’s in charge. Planning the event is a huge task and Ivy is determined to prove she can get the job done right. Unfortunately, she’s still one participant short and her deadline is looming.

Andy Walker, her cute but socially reclusive art class table mate, is her last resort. He may not be popular, but he’s funny, talented, and full of surprises. With a makeover and some major social marketing, Ivy is sure he could fetch a decent price at the auction.

Andy reluctantly agrees to help, but the more time Ivy spends with him, the more her feelings shift from professional to romantic in nature. To top it off, she’s done her marketing so well, that other girls are starting to notice Andy too. Come auction time, will Ivy be able to let him go to the highest bidder? Or will she find a way to keep him for herself…

Content Description: This is a stand-alone YA contemporary romance with companion novels set at the same high school. It contains minor language, innuendo, and crude humor, some steamy kissing, a party scene where underage drinking is taking place, and a brief but tasteful conversation about sex. The author has attempted to write characters who make good choices in questionable situations, in effort to keep the content appropriate for teens. This book contains no sex, written or implied, and no explicit language. Recommended for ages 14 and up.


Excerpt

“Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you.” I lunged forward in an exaggerated show of gratitude and threw my arms around his waist, embracing him tightly. He flinched and tensed up for a moment. I’d caught him off guard. Eventually he relaxed and put one arm around me, awkwardly patting my back in some semblance of a hug.

For a moment, I forgot what I was doing and leaned into him. Wow, he smelled unbelievably good. Like soap and dryer sheets and something a little sharper that I couldn’t identify. I needed to ask him what cologne he wore, because it was incredible. I could smell him all day. Not to mention that his chest was a lot firmer than one would guess, since he hides it under baggy button-down shirts all the time.

Andy cleared his throat and I pulled away. He looked embarrassed again. He really needed to get over that, and I was going to help him, starting right now. “Sorry.” I grinned. “You smell amazing. Your cologne is yummy enough to eat. I could sit here and sniff you for the rest of the class.”

He choked on his spit and quickly put his fist over his mouth to stifle his laughter. “Please don’t.” He was trying to sound horrified, but his face gave him away. He appreciated the compliment.

“Ok.” I threw my hands up in surrender. “But fair warning…if I’m having a bad day, I may lean over and smell your neck to induce a calming effect. When that happens, don’t punch me.”

Andy shook his head, bewildered by the turn our conversation had taken. “I’ll try not to punch you, if you decide to randomly press your face against my neck.”

“When you say it like that, I sound like a psycho stalker.”

“Psycho and stalker are your words, not mine. But, if the shoe fits…” He trailed off, and I smacked him on the arm.

“Ouch!” Andy rubbed the place I’d just hit. “I’m only kidding. I don’t think you’re a psycho stalker. I’ve never seen any indication that you’re a stalker. You’re more likely a plain old psycho.” He was grinning nice and big now, and I couldn’t help but grin back.

Review

I picked this book up today and could not put it down! Yes it is a YA book since the characters are seniors in high school, but they have the same sort of problems that everyone has in life. In this case it was Ivy discovering that her friend Andy might be more than what she expected. For Andy it might be that his crush on Ivy could come to fruition. There is also the typical drama you expect among teenagers…hey we were all one at one time or another!

I though Lilly was a hoot. She isn’t your typical kid and marches to her own drummer. She is not afraid to be the wacky one with how she dresses. Many could take lessons from her. It isn’t as if she doesn’t care…but she maybe cares a little less and is comfortable in her own skin.

Definitely worth a read!


About the Author

Robin Daniels is a wife, mother of five and avid consumer of books. She loves reading SO much that she was actually grounded from it as a twelve year old. No Joking! Her mom caught her reading when she was supposed to be cleaning, which was a common occurrence. At that point mom took the books and instructed her to go watch TV or play outside like a normal kid.

Robin is a sucker for home design shows and magazines, watches way too much Netflix and has a very codependent relationship with with a certain diet soda who’s brand shall not be named. (Though anyone with a similar problem could probably guess which one.)

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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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