August 19, 2017

McKinley Mysteries - Spotlight and Giveaway

Series Information Romance. Humor. Murder. 

Are you looking for a murder mystery without all the graphic violence and foul language? Something that you can enjoy in an afternoon and walk away feeling good about afterward? How about a dash of humor and romance? If so, meet former detectives Sean and Sara McKinley. When a billionaire leaves them all his money, they no longer have to work, but they find themselves sticking to what they’re good at—solving murders. Undercover, off the books, and around the world, they’ll get to the bottom of things…and romance it up along the way. This is the perfect book series for fans of Hart to Hart, Castle, Colombo, Monk, Rockford Files, Psych, and Magnum PI. Book Overview (in published order) 

The Day Job is Murder (2014) 
Vacation is Murder (2014) 
Money is Murder (2014) 
Politics is Murder (2014) 
Family is Murder (2014) 
Shopping is Murder (2014) 
Christmas is Murder (2014) 
Valentine’s Day is Murder (2015) 
Coffee is Murder (2015) 
Skiing is Murder (2016) 
Halloween is Murder (2017) 

The Day Job is Murder 

The bad guys aren’t the only ones on his radar…

For Albany PD homicide detective Sean McKinley, catching killers is the easy part of his job. Working next to his beautiful partner, Sara Cain, is what’s difficult. It might have something to do with the fact that he’s fallen in love with her, though. Fortunately, she feels the same way about him. But she’s convinced they should just be friends.

If only there was some way to change her mind…

Major Retailer Links for this book: Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo Apple Google Play

Vacation is Murder 

This wasn’t in the travel brochure…

There’s only so much relaxation two former detectives can handle—even if they’re on their honeymoon. With their recent fall into money, Sean and Sara McKinley should be living it up, enjoying the sun and beaches of Cancun. But heading into their third week they’ve had just about enough lying around.

When the husband of a couple they’ve befriended is kidnapped and held for ransom, it has the McKinleys putting their experience to use. As they set out in the unfamiliar landscape of paradise, the investigation will have them risking their lives to stop a killer.

Major Retailer Links for this book: Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo Apple Google Play

Money is Murder 

It’s in the fine print…

Old Man Quinn left Sean more than his billions–he left him a murder to solve.

Inside the chest given to him from the executor of Quinn’s Will, Sean finds a key and implicit instruction that the contents are for his eyes only. After Sean discovers where the key fits, he finds another letter–Quinn wants a closed case reopened, and Sean is shocked to learn who the victim was.

As Sean and his wife, Sara, uncover clues, it leads them from the back rooms of Quinn’s corporation to the streets of New York City, but they will stop at nothing to get to the truth.

Major Retailer Links for this book: Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo Apple Google Play

Politics is Murder 

There’s no time for a debate…

Sean and Sara’s popularity as a murder-solving duo has gained momentum. But it’s not until it comes time for a local television interview that they meet Reanne Mable and end up finding themselves involved with a high-profile investigation.

Reanne is the sister-in-law of Albany’s Mayor Davenport and his daughter, Halie, has gone missing from her university campus. With a desire to keep the matter out of the media spotlight, Davenport turns to Sean and Sara to find her. But with the police already investigating the matter, taking this case would pit them against their friends from the police department, including their former sergeant Jimmy Voigt.

As time moves on, though, the fate of the girl is not up for a vote, and the McKinleys set out to find out what really happened. With the mayor taking the heat for a recently passed zoning bylaw, is an enraged small business owner behind Halie’s disappearance? Or did she simply grow tired of living in her father’s limelight and run away?

To get the answers, Sean and Sara will need to use all the resources at their disposal and may have to call upon their good friend Jimmy for help, after all.

Major Retailer Links for this book: Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo Apple Google Play

Family is Murder 

If only there were someone to clean up this mess…

Sean and Sara McKinley put out an ad for a maid, but they never expected Sara’s birth mother to apply—or at least that’s who the woman is claiming she is. While Sean is suspicious of her true identity and motive, Sara opens her heart to the woman. But when a dead body turns up soon after Sara’s supposed mother takes off without so much as a good-bye, they both start to question the truth.

Could they have welcomed a killer into their home and not even known it?

Major Retailer Links for this book: Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo Apple Google Play

Shopping is Murder 

They find more than a bargain…

Black Friday should be all about shopping and discounts, but when Sean and Sara only have a few more items left to buy, screams fill the mall—and for good reason. A man has fallen to his death from the second level.

But what exactly happened isn’t that straightforward, and normally, Sean and Sara would leave this matter to the police, but the widow was a childhood friend of Sara’s. While the police are leaning toward the belief the man intentionally took the leap, the widow is adamant her husband would never jump and asks Sara for her help.

Despite the fact there is an unresolved past between the friends—in which Sara feels she let her down—Sara can’t turn her back on her now. Fueled by guilt and the need to find answers, Sara convinces Sean they should look into the man’s death.

But the answers aren’t all coming quickly. Mall security has dropped the ball and there’s no seeming motive for murder. To find out the truth will take unconventional means, a little undercover work, and the help of their friend Jimmy. And if it all comes together, they just might have this case wrapped up in time for the holidays. Maybe even with a pretty little bow.

Major Retailer Links for this book: Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo Apple Google Play

Christmas is Murder 

Mistletoe and mischief…

Albany’s the perfect image of a winter wonderland, and Sean and Sara’s friend Jimmy is going to be Santa Claus for the upcoming Christmas parade. The trees and decorations have been selected and the gifts have been purchased. The season has truly cast its magical spell–until Sean and Sara’s neighbors die in a horrible house fire.

While the fire department ruled holiday-related hazards as the cause, Sara suspects there’s more to it. Her determination to find the truth has her and Sean toeing the line between what’s legal and what’s not.

As they sort out fact from fiction, the McKinleys make the final decision about whether or not they should open a private investigation firm.

Major Retailer Links for this book: Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo Apple Google Play

Valentine’s Day is Murder 

Cupid’s arrow may have missed its mark…

Jimmy finally takes a vacation–and a chance on love–only to be abducted. His female companion originally thinks he had cold feet about their relationship, but Sean and Sara know there’s more to it. Jimmy isn’t the type to just up and disappear, let alone leave a lady stranded.

Setting out on their private jet, Sean and Sara reach the tropical paradise of Ocho Rios, Jamaica with sightseeing as the last thing on their minds.

With a gold coin being their initial tie to Jimmy’s kidnapper, Sean and Sara even speculate about the involvement of pirates. Yet as the hours pass, and there’s no word from Jimmy’s captors, Sean and Sara will need to figure out the real motive before it’s too late.

With help from their friend, Adam, back in Albany, the pieces come together and not a moment too soon.

Major Retailer Links for this book: Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo Apple Google Play

Coffee is Murder 

A cup a day won’t kill you, but a few might.

Their first case as private investigators have Sean, Sara, and Jimmy neck-deep in coffee beans trying to find a killer. With their client certain that her mother was poisoned through her coffee of the month club, it has them setting out to Williamsburg, Virginia. But instead of approaching matters from the traditional standpoint, Sean and Sara brew a robust plot and stir Jimmy into the blend, all to get close to their top suspect and grind out the truth.

Going undercover at Tasty Beans, the coffee company, the three of them work to expose the culprit before anyone else dies.

Major Retailer Links for this book: Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo Apple Google Play

Skiing is Murder 

They’re ready to hit the slopes when things go downhill…

Sean and Sara are supposed to have a relaxing vacation in Vail, but it all goes up in a puff of powder when there’s a suspicious death on the mountain. And the deceased is not just anyone; it’s Adrian Blackwell, a two-time Olympic skiing gold medalist.

Rumor has it Adrian died in a skiing accident, but he was too skilled for Sara to accept that as fact. But she doesn’t want to disappoint Sean by ruining his ski trip, even though she’s convinced Adrian was murdered and she’s itching to find the killer.

Sean has never been able to say no to Sara, but this time he plans to. However, all it takes is a call from their PI firm back in Albany to change his mind. A job’s come in to investigate Adrian’s death, and his agent is the one footing the bill, leaving Sean with more questions than answers.

Yet one major problem remains: their New York State PI licenses hold no legal authority in Colorado. They still can’t help but look into Adrian’s death on the sly, though. This case will definitely involve some underhanded tactics, all while trying to dodge the local police over the course of the investigation.

Major Retailer Links for this book: Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo Apple Google Play 

 Author Bio 
CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures. Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™. 

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower. She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada. 

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD 

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at


Tour Participants 
August 14 – T's Stuff – INTERVIEW, REVIEW – The Day Job Is Murder 
August 14 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT – The Day Job Is Murder 
August 14 – The Layaway Dragon – REVIEW – The Day Job Is Murder 
August 15 – Must Read Faster – GUEST POST - Book 1 – The Day Job Is Murder 
August 15 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT – Vacation Is Murder 
August 15 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST – Book 2 – Vacation Is Murder 
August 15 – Books, Dreams, Life – REVIEW – The Day Job Is Murder 
August 16 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT – Money Is Murder 
August 16 - Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT – Valentine’s Day Is Murder 
August 16 – Sapphyria's Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT – Series, GUEST POST – Book 3 – Money Is Murder 
August 16 –Books, Dreams, Life – REVIEW – Vacation Is Murder 
August 17 – Socrates' Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT - Skiing Is Murder 
August 17 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT – Politics Is Murder 
August 17 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW – The Day Job Is Murder 
August 17 –Books, Dreams, Life – REVIEW – Money Is Murder 
August 18 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT – Family Is Murder 
August 18 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW – Shopping Is Murder 
August 18 –Books, Dreams, Life – REVIEW – Politics Is Murder 
August 19 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST – Book 4 – Politics Is Murder 
August 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT – Books 1-5 
August 19 - Community Bookstop – REVIEW – The Day Job Is Murder 
August 19 - Books, Dreams, Life – REVIEW – Family Is Murder 
August 20 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW – Christmas Is Murder 
August 20 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT -Blogger’s Choice 
August 20 –Community Bookstop – REVIEW – Vacation Is Murder 
August 20 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW – Family Is Murder – GUEST POST – Book 5 – Family Is Murder 
August 20 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT 
August 20 –Books, Dreams, Life – REVIEW – Shopping Is Murder 
August 21 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW – The Day Job Is Murder 
August 21 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT – Shopping Is Murder 
August 21 –Community Bookstop – REVIEW – Money Is Murder 
August 21 –Books, Dreams, Life – REVIEW – Christmas Is Murder 
August 22 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT – Christmas Is Murder 
August 22 – Cassidy's Bookshelves – REVIEW – The Day Job Is Murder 
August 22- Community Bookstop – REVIEW – Politics Is Murder 
August 22- StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST – Book 6 – Shopping Is Murder 
August 22 - Books, Dreams, Life – REVIEW – Valentine’s Day Is Murder 
August 23 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT – Valentine’s Day Is Murder 
August 23 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW – Money Is Murder 
August 23 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW – Family Is Murder 
August 23 – Valerie's Musings – GUEST POST – Book 7 – Christmas Is Murder 
August 23 –Books, Dreams, Life – REVIEW – Coffee Is Murder 
August 24 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT – Coffee Is Murder 
August 24 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW – Shopping Is Murder 
August 24 –Community Bookstop – REVIEW – Shopping Is Murder 
August 24 – Books, Dreams, Life – REVIEW – Skiing Is Murder 
August 25 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT – Skiing Is Murder 
August 25 – Bea's Book Nook – REVIEW – The Day Job Is Murder 
August 25 –Community Bookstop – REVIEW – Valentine’s Day Is Murder 
August 26 – Sleuth Cafe – GUEST POST – Book 8 – Valentine’s Day Is Murder 
August 26 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT – Books 1-3 
August 26 - Community Bookstop – REVIEW – Coffee Is Murder 
August 26 –Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT – Books 5 - 11 
August 27 – Brooke Blogs- REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT – Book 4 – 5 
August 27 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW – Skiing Is Murder 
August 28 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT – Books 6-7 - GUEST POST – Book 9 – Coffee Is Murder 
August 28 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT – Blogger’s Choice 
August 28 – Laura's Interests – GUEST POST – Book 10 – Skiing Is Murder

August 18, 2017

Book Barn Mysteries by Kym Roberts - Spotlight

A Reference to Murder
A Book Barn Mystery #2
by Kym Roberts
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Charli Rae Warren is back home in Hazel Rock, Texas, spending her time reading, collecting, and selling books—at least, the ones that don’t get eaten first by her father’s pet armadillo. Running the family bookstore is a demanding job, but solving murders on the side can be flat out dangerous…
The Book Barn is more than just a shop, it’s a part of the community—and Charli is keeping busy with a fundraising auction and the big rodeo event that’s come to town. That includes dealing with the Texas-sized egos of some celebrity cowboys, including Dalton Hibbs, a blond, blue-eyed bull rider who gets overly rowdy one night with the local hairdresser . . . and soon afterward, disappears into thin air.
Dalton’s brother also vanished seven years ago—and Charli is thrown about whether Dalton is a villain or a victim. After a close call with an assailant wielding a branding iron (that plays havoc with her hair), and some strange vandalism on her property, she’s going to have to team up with the sheriff to untangle this mystery, before she gets gored . . .

Fatal Fiction
A Book Barn Mystery #1

When kindergarten teacher Charli Rae Warren hightailed it out of Hazel Rock, Texas, as a teen, she vowed to leave her hometown in the dust. A decade later, she's braving the frontier of big hair and bigger gossip once again . . . but this time, she's saddled with murder!
Charli agrees to sell off the family bookstore, housed in a barn, and settle her estranged dad's debt--if only so she can ride into the sunset and cut ties with Hazel Rock forever. But the trip is extended when Charli finds her realtor dead in the store, strangled by a bedazzled belt. And with daddy suspiciously MIA, father and daughter are topping the most wanted list . . .
Forging an unlikely alliance with the town beauty queen, the old beau who tore her family apart, and one ugly armadillo, Charli's intent on protecting what's left of her past . . . and wrangling the lone killer who's fixin' to destroy her future . . .

Perilous Poetry
A Book Barn Mystery #3
Releasing October 10th!!

Charli Rae Warren doesn’t plan on striking it rich as the owner of an independent bookstore in Hazel Rock, Texas—especially one with a pink armadillo as its mascot. But when an ingenious advertising campaign puts her business on the map, it ropes in some deadly publicity . . .
Charli can’t believe writer Lucy Barton has agreed to promote her latest Midnight Poet Society novel at The Book Barn Princess—or that there’s only a week-and-a-half to prepare for the signing. It’s all because of The Book Seekers, a smartphone app created by her cousin Jamal exclusively for Charli’s bookstore, which sends fans on a virtual scavenger hunt around town for a chance to meet the bestselling author. But as soon as it goes live, people turn up dead . . .
Someone’s using The Book Seekers to track victims and copycat the fictional Midnight Poet Society homicides, and horrified locals suspect Jamal could be the mastermind behind the crimes. While Charli readies the Barn for a stampede of new customers, it’ll take true grit to shelve the culprit before her brainy cousin gets locked behind bars, Ms. Barton backs out of the visit, and she finds herself up a creek—with a serial killer holding the paddle!

Three career paths resonated for Kym during her early childhood: a detective, an investigative reporter, and...a nun. Being a nun, however, dropped by the wayside when she became aware of boys--they were the spice of life she couldn't deny. 

In high school her path was forged when she took her first job at a dry cleaners and met every cop in town, especially the lone female police officer in patrol. From that point on there was no stopping Kym's pursuit of a career in law enforcement--even if she had to duct tape rolls of coins to her waist to meet the weight requirements to be hired. 

Kym followed her dream and became a detective that fulfilled her desire to be an investigative reporter, with one extra perk--a badge. Promoted to sergeant Kym spent the majority of her career in SVU. She retired from the job reluctantly when her husband drug her kicking and screaming to another state, but writing continued to call her name.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!

August 17, 2017

A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang - Review

I received this book free from the publisher

Book details:
Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (August 1, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1477848878
ISBN-13: 978-1477848876

About this book:
Just beyond the Gilded Age, in the mist-covered streets of New York, the deadly Spanish influenza ripples through the city. But with so many victims in her close circle, young socialite Allene questions if the flu is really to blame. All appear to have been poisoned—and every death was accompanied by a mysterious note.

Desperate for answers and dreading her own engagement to a wealthy gentleman, Allene returns to her passion for scientific discovery and recruits her long-lost friends, Jasper and Birdie, for help. The investigation brings her closer to Jasper, an apprentice medical examiner at Bellevue Hospital who still holds her heart, and offers the delicate Birdie a last-ditch chance to find a safe haven before her fragile health fails.

As more of their friends and family die, alliances shift, lives become entangled, and the three begin to suspect everyone—even each other. As they race to find the culprit, Allene, Birdie, and Jasper must once again trust each other, before one of them becomes the next victim.

Purchase Links
Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Meet the author - Lydia Kang
Lydia Kang is a physician and author of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. She was born in Baltimore, Maryland and graduated from Columbia University and New York University School of Medicine. She completed her residency and chief residency at Bellevue Hospital in New York City and currently lives in the midwest, where she continues to practice internal medicine.

Connect with Lydia
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

What did I think about this book:
I enjoyed reading this book which also happens to be the first book I have read by her. Her attention to detail came out in her writing style and her historical tidbits that came out. I liked the mystery as well as the historical part of this book. Allene really got into trying to decided if the deaths were all related to the flu or something else. I enjoyed following along with her as she tried to figure things out. Of course the character was smarter than me as I did not figure things out as well as she did. I thought all the characters were well developed, the scenes well described and the writing style flowing. All the makings of a good book. I will be watching for more books by Lydia and hope this book will be the start of a series. 

Lydia Kang’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Tuesday, August 1st: Reading Reality
Tuesday, August 1st: Reviews from the Heart
Wednesday, August 2nd: 5 Minutes for Books
Thursday, August 3rd: The Maiden’s Court
Friday, August 4th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Monday, August 7th: Write Read Life
Tuesday, August 8th: Kahakai Kitchen
Tuesday, August 8th: A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, August 9th: Readaholic Zone
Friday, August 11th: I Brought a Book
Monday, August 14th: Broken Teepee
Tuesday, August 15th: Books a la Mode
Tuesday, August 15th: Books ‘n Tea
Thursday, August 17th: A. Holland Reads
Friday, August 18th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, August 21st: Just Commonly
Tuesday, August 22nd: A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, August 23rd: Mama Vicky Says
Thursday, August 24th: Just One More Chapter
Friday, August 25th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Tuesday, August 29th: From the TBR Pile
Friday, September 22nd: Writer Unboxed – author guest post

August 14, 2017

Knot What You Think by Mary Marks - Guest Post and Giveaway

Book details:
5th in Series
Kensington (July 25, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496701824
E-Book ASIN: B01M8OZL19

About this book:
The newest member of Martha’s close-knit quilting circle has an eye for couture. But when the designer’s fingerprints are found blanketing a crime scene, Martha must prove that he didn’t have a hand in homicide!

Martha Rose is alarmed by the discovery of Dolleen Doyle’s dead body, especially when evidence suggests a fellow quilter committed the crime. Set on clearing her pal, Martha searches for answers—but with ties to a convicted fraudster’s stolen millions and a secret office room, the victim’s past raises even more questions. As Martha inches towards the culprit, she learns that wrapping the case up—and living to baste another square—will be trickier than she ever imagined . . .

Meet the author - Mary Marks
Born and raised in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, Mary Marks earned a B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA and an M.A. in Public Administration from the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. In 2004 she enrolled in the UCLA Extension Writers Program. Her first novel, Forget Me Knot, was a finalist in a national writing competition in 2011. She is currently a reviewer of cozy mysteries for The New York Journal of Books at

Readers can visit her at and

Purchase Links

AmazonB&N Google Play kobo

Guest Post:
Mary Marks

My mother’s side of the family came to America before the Revolutionary War. What was it like for that Irish couple to step off the ship and plant their feet onto Colonial soil? How did they find their way to a room with a bed and a pillow where they could rest their heads on that very first night? At least they understood the language of their new country, and could make their needs known. That ancestor ended up fighting for independence in the army of General George Washington.

Less than a hundred years later, before the Civil War, my father’s side of the family immigrated to America from Eastern Europe. What was it like for that Jewish couple to navigate through the new world before they learned to speak the language? In the beginning, they must have relied heavily on their small community for guidance and comfort. They eventually opened a dry goods store in New York City which sold, among other things, hoops made of whale bone to wear under the wide skirts of fashionable Victorian ladies.

Since I’m many generations removed from their immigrant experience, I never thought about what a gamble it was to leave the place you knew and travel to a place you didn’t know, with no guarantee you’d find the better future you were hoping for. I took my “belonging” for granted.

Then something happened to change me. I became an immigrant for a year and got a glimpse of what it must’ve been like. From 1991 to 1992 I lived in Israel, a non-English speaking country with a non-English alphabet. And I didn’t know the language. I arrived at a time when Jewish refugees from the Soviet Union and Ethiopia were no longer being held hostage by those countries. They escaped to Israel, a country the size of Rhode Island, by the tens of thousands.

We studied together every day in overcrowded classrooms to learn a common language, Hebrew. I was fortunate to have a small but steady retirement income. But my classmates had been allowed to leave the USSR with only the clothes on their backs. They lived on meager stipends from the Israeli government. They took whatever jobs they could get: engineers became cable installers; a chess master swept the streets; a dietician cleaned houses; musicians gave free concerts.

But for the first time in their lives they breathed freedom; no longer reviled and persecuted for being Jewish. When they applied to leave the Soviet Union, they didn’t know what they would find in Israel. They only knew that whatever awaited them in the tiny country was far better than the conditions they were escaping. And they were willing to do everything necessary to belong.

My year in Israel, living as an immigrant, taught me valuable lessons about the human spirit and the universal desire to live in a free country and feel safe. I learned about courage, and how people are willing to risk everything and work hard for a chance at a better future.

There’s a passionate and partisan debate raging in our country right now over the issue of immigration. It saddens me to realize that those of us who “belong” are so far removed from the immigration experience of our ancestors, we’ve forgotten how brave they were. I wish we could put aside today’s fearful rhetoric when judging who is or is not worthy to breathe our free air. I wish we could remember that except for Native Americans, we all come from somewhere else.



August 1 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW
August 2 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, GUEST POST
August 2 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT
August 3 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
August 3 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 4 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
August 5 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
August 6 – Mystery Playground – INTERVIEW
August 7 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 8 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW
August 9 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
August 10 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
August 10 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
August 11 – My Funny View of Life – REVIEW
August 11 – Teresa Trent Author Site – SPOTLIGHT
August 12 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT
August 13 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
August 14 – Valerie’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
August 14 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST

August 13, 2017

The Quest for the Crown of Thorns by Cynthia Ripley Miller - Spotlight and Giveaway

Book details:
Publication Date: June 12, 2017
Knox Robinson Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 308 Pages

Series: The Long – Hair Saga, Book 2
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery

About this book:
AD 454. Three years after the Roman victory over Attila the Hun at Catalaunum, Arria Felix and Garic the Frank are married and enjoying life on Garic’s farm in northern Gaul (France). Their happy life is interrupted, when a cryptic message arrives from Rome, calling Arria home to her father, the esteemed Senator Felix. At Arria’s insistence, but against Garic’s better judgment, they leave at once.

Upon their arrival at Villa Solis, they are confronted with a brutal murder and the dangerous mission that awaits them. The fate of a profound and sacred object–Christ’s Crown of Thorns–rests in their hands. They must carry the holy relic to the safety of Constantinople, away from a corrupt emperor and old enemies determined to steal it for their own gain.

But an even greater force arises to derail their quest–a secret cult willing to commit any atrocity to capture the Crown of Thorns. And all the while, the gruesome murder and the conspiracy behind it haunt Arria’s thoughts.

Arria and Garic’s marital bonds are tested but forged as they partner together to fulfill one of history’s most challenging missions, The Quest for the Crown of Thorns.


“Ripley Miller astutely brings to life a Rome teetering precariously on the brink of collapse …the combination of political and romantic drama–spiritual as well–is rousing. The reader should be glad to have read this volume and eager for a third. Intelligent and artfully crafted historical fiction…” -Kirkus Reviews

“From cover to cover a gripping read – in all senses of the word! Grips your interest and imagination, your held breath and your pounding heart! A thumping good novel!” -Helen Hollick USA Today bestselling author of the Sea Witch Voyages

“Forbidden love, a turbulent time period, and world-changing events combine to produce a real page-turner.” -India Edghill, author of Queenmaker, Wisdom’s Daughter, and Delilah.

“A passionate and intriguing take on the often overlooked clash of three brutal and powerful empires: the Romans, Franks, and Huns. A Compelling read!” -Stephanie Thornton, author of The Secret History and The Tiger Queens

“Readers will be absorbed by a setting of barbarian Gaul and the constancy of Arria’s and Garic’s destined love amid the strife of a dying Roman Empire.” -Albert Noyer, author of The Getorius and Arcadia Mysteries

“The Quest for the Crown of Thorns, is an elegant masterpiece of historical fiction. This book totally ensnared me in its clasps, and it did not release me until I had read it all. The attention to detail was exquisite The characterisation was sublime, and the romance was breathtakingly beautiful. I adored the world that Miller has created, as well as the characters in it. This is a sit-down and finish book and is one I would Highly Recommend.” -Mary Anne Yarde author of the Du Lac Chronicles

Meet the author - Cynthia Ripley Miller:
Cynthia Ripley Miller is a first generation Italian-American writer with a love for history, languages and books. She has lived, worked, and travelled in Europe, Africa, North America and the Caribbean. As a girl, she often wondered what it would be like to journey through time (she still does), yet knew, it could only be through the imagination and words of writers and their stories. Today, she writes to bring the past to life.

She holds two degrees and has taught history and teaches English. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthology Summer Tapestry, at Orchard Press and The Scriptor. A Chanticleer International Chatelaine Award finalist for her novel, On the Edge of Sunrise, she has reviewed for UNRV Roman History, and blogs at Historical Happenings and Oddities: A Distant Focus

Cynthia has four children and lives with her husband, twin cats, Romulus and Remus, and Jessie, a German Shepherd, in a suburb of Chicago.

On the Edge of Sunrise is the first in the Long-Hair Saga; a series set in late ancient Rome and France and published by Knox Robinson Publishing. The second book in the series, The Quest for the Crown of Thorns, was released in June 2017.

For more information please visit Cynthia Ripley Miller’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
The Quest for the Crown of Thorns

Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, August 7

Tuesday, August 8
Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, August 9
Feature at Aurora B’s Book Blog

Thursday, August 10

Friday, August 11

Sunday, August 13
Feature at A Holland Reads

Monday, August 14
Interview at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, August 15
Review at Bookramblings
Feature at Impressions In Ink

August 11, 2017

Iced by Avery Daniels - Character Guest Post and Giveaway

Book details:
Blazing Sword Publishing Ltd. (May 24, 2017)
Paperback: 284 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0999031803

About this book:
Julienne has her ideal job as an event planner at a prestigious resort. During a luncheon event she coordinated, a renowned celebrity pastor is killed next to the buffet. All eyes turn to her as the suspect. If she wants to stay out of jail or even keep her job, Julienne needs all the help she can get to solve the crime.

She has her work cut out for her with a vengeful high school rival now reporter, the public demanding she be fired, plus family who knows what’s best for her, and a boyfriend who doesn’t understand her. She turns to friends and a new ally to uncover who wanted to put the pastor on ice.

Julienne goes undercover and investigates a local swingers group as she follows the trail of clues before they go cold. Can she gather enough suspects and motives to convince the police to widen their investigation? Can she do it before the killer sets his murderous sights on her? Will her personal life ever be as simple as unveiling a murderer?

Meet the author - Avery Daniels
Avery Daniels was born and raised in Colorado, graduated from college with a degree in business administration and has worked in fortune 500 companies and Department of Defense her entire life. Her most eventful job was apartment management for 352 units (plenty of fodder for stories there!). She still resides in Colorado with two brother black cats as her loving companions. She volunteers for a cat shelter, enjoys scrapbooking and card making, photography, and painting in watercolor and acrylic. She inherited a love for reading from her mother and grandmother and grew up talking about books and history at the dinner table. Her first try at writing a fully developed story was as a teen was a tale of a girl trying to nurse a fawn back to health and then release it into the wild again. She is plotting her next Resort to Murder novel and struggling over which Colorado resort should be her setting.

Author Links
Web –
Facebook –
GoodReads –;

Purchase Links

Guest post:
Hello, I'm Julienne. First I want to thank you for having me here today. You have a great blog.

I am the lead character in the new cozy book series, Resort to Murder, with the first novel – ICED. I'm your typical young professional trying to get my career moving. I'm in the on-the-job management training position for a luxury resort in Colorado Springs. I have always wanted to travel the world and I plan on managing resorts around the world - if everything goes to plan.

I’m not used to all of the attention, especially since Pastor Tom Drake was killed. He was shoved on the spear end of a swordfish ice sculpture within a few minutes of getting grabby and I kneed him…hard. Of course, that murder of Pastor Tom during a luncheon event I coordinated threw a gargantuan wrench in my plans. I became the prime suspect. I don't mean to over-share here, but suffice to say that my life changed significantly the day Pastor Tom was killed.

Even though it sounds like my life is pretty perfect…except for that whole Pastor Tom murder ordeal. But, don’t be fooled. I have plenty of issues going on in addition to being under suspicion of murder. My father has one plan for my future, then my boyfriend has his own ideas – problem is, they never consulted me. On top of my being a murder suspect, family expectations and pressure, my boyfriend springing his detailed plans on me, I have a new neighbor that my best friend refers to as tall, dark, and yummy who seems interested in me. Suddenly, my life is far too complicated.

I never thought of the (cough) deceased as a big deal since he started in his garage. Everyone in town knows him as just Pastor Tom. I know he grew his congregation over several years until it had a membership of over ten thousand. But, I never expected him to be drunk, let alone grab my…butt. Then, during my trying to clear my name I found out about his weakness for teen girls. Thanks to a neighbor I was tipped off about his swinger activities. That was a shock all right.

Well, I certainly got chatty. That’s not like me normally. But then nothing has been normal lately. If you would like to read about all the details, you can find the book at these links.

Well I’m done talking about myself. Since I work in luxury surroundings, maybe you can share your favorite luxury you like to indulge in. A deluxe spa treatment, favorite or special vacation spot, or maybe its satin sheets or pajamas? Come on…confess.


August 2 – Babs Book Bistro – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
August 3 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT
August 3 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
August 4 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
August 5 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
August 6 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
August 7 – Bea’s Book Nook – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
August 7 – Sleuth Cafe – GUEST POST
August 8 – Varietats – REVIEW
August 9 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
August 9 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
August 10 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW
August 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 11 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
August 12 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
August 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW
August 14 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
August 14 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW
August 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

August 9, 2017

The Innkeeper's Sister by Linda Goodnight - Review and Giveaway

I received this book free from the publisher

Book Details:
Series: A Honey Ridge Novel (Book 3)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (July 25, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0373799470
ISBN-13: 978-0373799473

About this book:
Welcome to Honey Ridge, Tennessee, where Southern hospitality and sweet peach tea beckon, and where long-buried secrets lead to some startling realizations…

Grayson Blake always has a purpose—and never a moment to lose. He’s come home to Honey Ridge to convert a historic gristmill into a restaurant, but his plans crumble like Tennessee clay when the excavation of a skeleton unearths a Civil War mystery…and leads him back to a beautiful and familiar stranger.

Once a ballet dancer, now co-owner of the Peach Orchard Inn, Valery Carter harbors pain as deep as the secrets buried beneath the mill. A bright facade can’t erase her regrets any more than a glass of bourbon can restore what she’s lost. But spending time with Grayson offers Valery a chance to let go of her past and imagine a happier future. And with the discovery of hidden messages in aged sheet music, both their hearts begin to open. Bound by attraction, and compelled to resolve an old crime that links the inn and the mill, Grayson and Valery encounter a song of hurt, truth…and hope.


Purchase Links

Meet the author - Linda Goodnight:
NY Times and USA Bestseller, Linda Goodnight writes novels to touch the heart as well as to entertain. Her emotional stories of hope have won the RITA, the Carol, the Reviewer’s Choice, and numerous other industry awards. A small town girl, Linda remains close to her roots, making her home in rural Oklahoma. She and husband have a blended family of eight, including two teenagers recently adopted from Ukraine. Many of her books are about family and children and rightly so, as she draws her deeply emotional stories from her surroundings, her great love of family, and from personal experiences as a nurse and teacher.

Connect with Linda

Website | Facebook | Twitter

What did I think of this book:
This sounded like a good book to me so I thought let's give this new to me author a chance. I did not realize that this was book three in a series until after I got it. No fault to anyone but myself. With that being said you can read this book as a stand alone and not feel lost one bit. I enjoyed this book so much that I am going to be looking for the other two in the series. The author make the characters likable and well developed. I wanted Grayson to be be able to open his restaurant but the mystery behind the skeleton from the Civil War had me intrigued. Valery and Grayson made good friends and I enjoyed watching them as they became closer throughout the book. Another thing I liked is how the story line went back and forth between the time period so you got a little of both stories. The author's writing style made this book flow nicely and I enjoyed the historical tidbits she added. A good book for a rainy day. 


Tour stops:

Tuesday, July 11th: Mama Vicky Says – excerpt
Wednesday, July 12th: The Sassy Bookster – excerpt
Thursday, July 13th: Books a la Mode – excerpt
Friday, July 14th: Reading is My SuperPower – excerpt
Monday, July 17th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy – excerpt
Tuesday, July 18th: Black ‘n Gold Girls Book Spot – excerpt
Thursday, July 20th: Dwell in Possibility – excerpt
Monday, July 24th: Reading is My SuperPower
Tuesday, July 25th: Reading Reality
Wednesday, July 26th: Written Love Reviews
Friday, July 28th: Broken Teepee
Monday, July 31st: Rebel Mommy Book Blog
Tuesday, August 1st: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, August 1st: Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, August 2nd: Buried Under Books
Thursday, August 3rd: Just Commonly
Friday, August 4th: Books & Bindings
Monday, August 7th: The Romance Dish
Tuesday, August 8th: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
Wednesday, August 9th: A. Holland Reads
Friday, August 11th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, August 14th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Tuesday, August 15th: Becky on Books
Wednesday, August 16th: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, August 17th: Steph the Bookworm
TBD: Books and Spoons – excerpt
TBD: Book Mama Blog – excerpt
TBD: A Chick Who Reads – excerpt