July 21, 2018

Tail of the Dragon by Connie di Marco - Review and Giveaway

I received this book free from the publisher. All opinions are my own

Book details
Genre: Mystery
Published by: Midnight Ink
Publication Date: August 8th 2018
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN: 0738751065 (ISBN13: 9780738751061)
Series: Zodiac Mystery #3
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Goodreads

Book description
San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti never thought murder would be part of her practice, but now, Julia’s former boss and current client has asked for help. He has serious problems at his law firm. Two attorneys and a paralegal have received death threats and the only common denominator between all three is a case long settled — the highly publicized Bank of San Francisco fire. Julia’s convinced a woman is behind the threats, perhaps even the widow of the man who died in that same fire, but no one wants to listen — they can’t believe astrology could provide a clue. Before Julia can help her client, two lawyers are dead and her own life is threatened. Can she unmask the killer before he (or she) takes another life?

Meet the author - Connie di Marco
Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries from Midnight Ink featuring San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti. Tail of the Dragon, third in the series, will be released on August 8, 2018.

Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the author of the national bestselling Soup Lover’s Mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime. You can find her excerpts and recipes in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. Connie is a member of MWA, Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers.

Catch Up With Connie On: Website, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!

My thoughts
I had fun going back to this series to see what Julia was up to. It was nice of Julia to help out her former employer. But as they say no good deed goes unpunished - proof she found a dead body. This was a fast but fun book to read. The author did a good job of keeping you guessing right up until the end. I also liked how the characters seem to bounce off of each other and therefore make a great cast. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

Giveaway:
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Connie di Marco. There will be 1 winner of 1 Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on July 16, 2018 and runs through September 1, 2018. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.


Tour participants


July 20, 2018

The Art of Southern Charm by Patricia Altschul - Review


Book details
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Diversion Books (April 18, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-1682308356

Book description
Fan-favorite Bravolebrity Patricia Altschul from the primetime show, Southern Charm, finally brings fans of the show her opus on etiquette and living a glamorous champagne Southern lifestyle (on a beer budget). From how to throw the best party, to how to dress for an event, to how to handle a drunken bore at the dinner table, to how to deliver the perfectly-phrased insult (like her now iconic "shameless strumpet"), THE ART OF SOUTHERN CHARM will delight fashionistas and millennials alike as Patricia--and Michael the Butler--offer advice and tips on emulating the grand dame of Charleston

Meet the author - Patricia Altschul
Patricia Altschul has been featured in publications including Vogue, Town & Country, Architectural Digest, People; and she is the surprise break-out star of the Bravo hit reality series, Southern Charm. Wise, cultivated, elegant, and funny, Patricia is a consummate hostess and a lifestyle icon whose unique combination of class and sass has endeared her to fans of all ages.

Patricia has earned her status as a preeminent tastemaker. She received her Master’s Degree from George Washington University, where she lectured on Art History. She was a highly-successful art advisor who also amassed her own art collection and has served on the board of the New York Historical Society and other institutions. In addition to being an academic and a philanthropist, she has done a life-long tour-of-duty at the top of the social ladder in Washington, D.C., Oyster Bay, and on Manhattan’s storied Fifth Avenue, where she observed--and ultimately dictated--the modern-day rules of civility. Patricia, who really puts the “social” in social networking, has a glorious brain, the best legs, a killer sense of humor, and expertly curates every aspect of her life.

My thoughts
If you are a fan of Southern Charm and Patricia then you will love this book. As I was reading this book I could hear Patricia talking to me through the book just like she would be talking to Shep, Thomas or Kathryn. This was a very quick read for me as I just could not put it down. Patricia gives you some good tips on how to have your own Southern Charm and she even shares with you some of her favorite recipes. Glad I picked this book up. 

The Complete Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem - Review


Book details
Age Range: 5 - 7 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten - 2
Series: Brambly Hedge
Hardcover: 248 pages
Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks; 1st Edition edition (October 27, 2011)
ISBN-13: 978-0007450169

Book description
The mice of Brambly Hedge have been delighting adults and children alike for more than thirty years. All eight of the classic picture books are brought together in this exquisite volume.

The mice of Brambly Hedge made their first appearance in 1980 when the four seasonal stories were published. Ever since, readers have loved exploring the miniature world of the hedgerow and meeting the families that live there.

In this collection the mice have many adventures, but they always have time for fun and relaxation too. Whatever the season, and whether they are by the sea, in the High Hills, or simply at home by the fire, there is always someone ready to lend a helping hand.

Contains: Spring Story, Summer Story, Autumn Story, Winter Story, Poppy’s Babies, Sea Story, The High Hills, The Secret

Meet the author - Jill Barklem
Jill Barklem was drawn to the natural world ever since childhood. While training as an illustrator at St Martin’s School of Art, her long journeys to college gave her time to escape into the imaginary world of a colony of mice, later to be developed as the enchanting miniature world of Brambly Hedge.

My thoughts
I loved this book. I picked this book up because of the drawings I have seen online. The stories were adorable and I loved how the first ones were broken into seasons. It was fun to read about the lives of the little mice. I could sit and looks at the illustrations in this book all day. I think this is a must have in your children's collection. 

July 18, 2018

Airships, Crypts & Chocolate Chips by Erin Johnson - Spotlight and Giveaway

Book details
Cozy Mystery 6th in Series 
Self Published 
Publication Date: June 23, 2018 
ASIN: B07DMBNCM2
 

Book description
A bewitched prison. A brother with a deadly request. Can a magical baker launch a jailbreak and still keep her prince in the process?

Imogen’s magical bakery is thriving and she loves the company of the Water Kingdom’s dashing prince. But she’s not so enamored with the time she’s forced to spend with his awful Royal Family. She also can't help but worry that the increased media scrutiny could reveal her secret contact with the Royal Family’s sworn enemy: her own brother.

When her sibling shows up and demands Imogen spring his cronies out of jail, she flat out refuses. But when he threatens to hurt the ones she loves the most, she balances her allegiance to the prince with her plan for a covert prison break. Can Imogen keep up family appearances and avoid betraying the kingdom or will her pie-in-the-sky scheme become a recipe for disaster?

Airships, Crypts & Chocolate Chips is the sixth standalone book in a clever paranormal cozy mystery series. If you like crafty witches, charming romances, and fabulous French settings, then you'll love Erin Johnson’s enchanting adventure.

Meet the author - Erin Johnson
Erin Johnson is a native of Tempe, Arizona, Erin spends her time crafting mysterious, magical, romance-filled stories that’ll hopefully make you laugh. In between, she’s traveling, napping with her dogs, eating with her friends and family, and teaching Pilates (to allow her to eat more). Website: www.erinjohnsonwrites.com. Facebook: www.facebook.com/EJohnsonWrites. Twitter: @EJohnsonWrites Purchase Link - Amazon 

Giveaway


TOUR PARTICIPANTS 
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July 17 – Mallory Heart's Cozies - REVIEW 
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July 22 – Celticlady's Reviews - SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY 
July 22 – Brooke Blogs - SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY 
July 22 – The Montana Bookaholic - REVIEW


A Souffle of Suspicion by Daryl Wood Gerber - Review and Giveaway

 

Book details
Cozy Mystery 2nd in Series 
Crooked Lane Books (July 10, 2018) 
Hardcover 296 Pages 
ISBN-13: 978-1683315865 
Digital ASIN: B075QMR44B
  

Book description
The buoyant mood at Bistro Rousseau deflates when Chef Camille’s sister, Renee, turns up dead in the chef’s kitchen, and Mimi Rousseau must tease the real killer out of a mélange of menacing characters.

Crush Week in Nouvelle Vie is a madhouse—in a good way. Tourists pour into town for the pressing of the Napa Valley’s world-renowned grapes and all the town’s businesses get a nice lift, including Bistro and Maison Rousseau. Mimi is raising the ante this year with a Sweet Treats Festival, a wonderland of croissants, cakes, tarts, and soufflés crafted with expert care by the area’s top talents.

Chef Camille’s sister Renee is managing the festival with a cast-iron fist, upsetting everyone, including her sister. Which is bad for Camille when Renee turns up dead in the chef’s kitchen. Mimi is still building her business, so her first course of action is to whip up answers and catch the unsavory perpetrator before Camille takes a dusting and gets burned.

Meet the author - Daryl Wood Gerber
Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber is best known for her nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries and CHEESE SHOP MYSTERIES, which she pens as Avery Aames. She will soon debut the new French Bistro Mysteries. Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense: DAYS OF SECRETS and GIRL ON THE RUN. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!

Author Links Visit Daryl or Avery at www.darylwoodgerber.com. Daryl’s BlogAvery’s BlogMystery Lover’s KitchenKiller Characters – Facebook: Daryl Avery Twitter: @AveryAames @DarylWoodGerber Goodreads: Daryl Wood Gerber Avery Aames Purchase Links Amazon B&N BookBub Kobo 

My thoughts
I always look forward to when I get a chance to read a new book by this author. The French bistro theme is enjoyable to me. I think it would be a nice place to have a bite to eat. Then in this installment you add in the Sweet Treats Festival, who would not want to go to that for a day out. I like how the author writes so that the story is fast paced. She likes to keep you guessing right up until the end on who killed Renee - Chef Camille's sister. You may be a little hungry while reading this book with all the great foods that Mimi talks about. I am looking forward to going along with Mimi in the next book in this series and see what she is up to next. 

Giveaway


TOUR PARTICIPANTS 
July 6 – The Book Diva's Reads - SPOTLIGHT 
July 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW 
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July 7 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW 
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July 8 – The Power of Words – REVIEW 
July 8 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST 
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July 10 – My Reading Journeys - REVIEW 
July 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW 
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July 12 – The Book's the Thing – REVIEW, GUEST POST 
July 12 – Mysteries with Character – GUEST POST 
July 13 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW 
July 13 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST 
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July 14 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT 
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July 15 – Lisa Ks Book Review - REVIEW, GUEST POST 
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July 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW 
July 18 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW* 
July 19 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW 
July 19 – Valerie's Musings – REVIEW, GUEST POST

July 17, 2018

17 Cents and a Dream by Daniel Milstein - Review


Book details
Paperback: 198 pages
Publisher: Gold Star Publishing (March 25, 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-0983552741

Book description
Through pure determination, fortitude and attitude, Daniel pulled out of impossibly difficult situations. His story is true, his story is a personal inspiration to me and I hope it will inspire you too to maximize your potential and go for the greatest of dreams.” - Mark Victor Hansen, Bestselling Author, Chicken Soup for the Soul.

On a cold December night in 1991, a young boy with seventeen cents in his pocket first set foot in the United States. Twenty years later that young man found himself the founder and CEO of a Multi-Million dollar corporation. Daniel Milstein’s harrowing story about how his mother, father and brother escaped the oppressive government of the U.S.S.R and immigrated to the United States and carved out a life for themselves has been described as the quintessential immigrant story of the era

Meet the author - Daniel Milstein
DANIEL MILSTEIN is founder, president and CEO of Gold Star Mortgage Financial Group. He has been recognized as the #1 loan officer in the United States; has achieved more than $3 billion in personal mortgage originations; and is one of the top 40 finance professionals in the nation, ranked by National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Milstein led the company to the Inc 500 list and one of the fastest growing companies in the United States. Gold Star has over 500 employees in 43 offices across the U.S. and has been named a Top Workplace in Michigan for three years by the Detroit Free Press. Milstein holds an honorary doctorate and BBA in business management from Cleary University, Ann Arbor, from which he graduated with honors. He is the author of The ABC of Sales: Lessons from a Superstar, which in March 2012 sold 10,000 copies and became the #1 sales book on Amazon.com and the thirty-first top seller of all ebook sales. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

My thoughts
I thought this was a very good an interesting book. I really have a hard time describing how I feel about it but in a good way. When you are growing up and you hear about a disaster in another country you don't really know how it affects people. After reading Daniel's story of going through Chernobyl - I just can't imagine. Then after reading what his life was like and the things he had endured really makes you thankful for what you do have and have had in your life. We take a lot for granted in our country. Reading this book also proves that if you really want something and you work hard enough you can achieve it. 

Caramel Crush by Jenn McKinlay - Review


Book details
Series: Cupcake Bakery Mystery (Book 9)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley (April 4, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-0399583810

Book description
When a breakup via cupcake threatens to crumble their friend’s life for good, Mel and Angie race to solve the murder as this New York Times bestselling series continues…

Love is in the air at Fairy Tale Cupcakes as Angie prepares for her wedding, but co-owner, Mel, is preparing for a breakup. Her old friend, Diane Earnest, is dumping her fiancé after discovering he’s only marrying her for her money. She wants Mel to personally deliver a batch of caramel breakup cupcakes to the louse and give her a play-by-play of his reaction.

When Mel finally tracks the man down, the look on his face isn’t the reaction she was expecting: he’s dead. After the police arrive and see the incriminating cupcakes, Diane becomes their prime suspect. If she hopes to taste freedom again, Mel and Angie must make sure the real killer gets their just desserts…

Meet the author - Jenn McKinlay
Jenn McKinlay, the New York Times bestselling author of the Cupcake Bakery Mysteries (including Vanilla Beaned, Dark Chocolate Demise, and Sugar and Iced), has baked and frosted cupcakes into the shapes of cats, mice, and outer-space aliens, to name just a few. Writing a mystery series based on one of her favorite food groups (dessert) is as enjoyable as licking the beaters, and she can’t wait to whip up the next one. She is also the author of the Hat Shop Mysteries (Assault and Beret, Copy Cap Murder) and the Library Lover’s Mysteries (Better Late than Never, A Likely Story).

My thoughts
I love when I get to visit Mel, Angie and the gang at Fairy Tale Cupcakes. I have to agree with the gang as Angie was becoming quite the bridezilla at time as she is planning her wedding to Tate. After Mel feels she has to repay Diane an old debt she finds a dead body in the most unusual place. I really did not care for Diane and was angry when I found out the real story behind the debt Mel thought she owed. There was two people that I had in mind for the suspect but boy was I wrong. The author leaves a cliff hanger at the end of this book regarding Marty and now I can't wait to get to the next book.