January 19, 2017

Towhee Get Your Gun by J.R. Ripley - Spotlight and Giveaway


Published: January 3, 2017
Number of pages: 288
Genre: Cozy Mystery 
Series: Bird Lover's Mystery #2

Synopsis:
When Birds & Bees owner Amy Simms volunteers to act in a local production of Annie, Get Your Gun, she finds herself upstaged by a killer waiting in the wings . . .

Who’s got time for birdwatching? Amy has enough to do running her shop, fighting attempts by the town planning commission to demolish her old Victorian house, and rescuing an injured towhee. Yet somehow she allows herself to get roped into performing in the Ruby Lake, North Carolina, community theater’s new musical after some cast members get injured by mysterious mishaps. The production seems plagued by bad luck, but events turn tragic when a member of the company is found murdered in a locked dressing room.

Trading in her binoculars for a magnifying glass, Amy steps into the role of amateur sleuth and soon discovers the victim ruffled a lot of feathers. With a flock of suspects, Amy will need to beat the bushes before the cagey killer takes flight. After all, the show must go on . . .

About the author:
J.R. Ripley is the pen name of Glenn Meganck, the critically acclaimed author of the Tony Kozol mystery series. As a member of the Mystery Writers of America, he has chaired the Edgar committee for Best Original Paperback novel and served on the Best Short Story Committee. As a member of the International Association of Crime Writers, he has served on the Hammett Award committee for Best Novel. When not writing books, Glenn is writing songs, often singing them to the consternation of his audience and neighbors, or involved in one of his many passions, none of which have involved any of the dead bodies that seem to keep cropping up in his mysteries. For more information about him, visit glennmeganck.com.

Author Links
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Purchase Links:

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Giveaway:


TOUR PARTICIPANTS

January 9 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
January 10 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 12 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
January 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT
January 14 – Girl with Book Lungs – SPOTLIGHT
January 16 – A Date with a Book – REVIEW
January 17 – Turning the Pages – SPOTLIGHT
January 18 – Varietats – REVIEW
January 19 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
January 20 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 21 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW 
January 22 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

The Writer's Book Launch Guide by Keely Brooke Keith - Review and Guest Post

I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review

Published: September 28, 2016
Number of pages: 42
Genre: Non-Fiction, Writing

Synopsis:
Let The Writer’s Book Launch Guide lead you through the marketing and promotional tasks every author should do to ensure a successful book launch. Filled with explanations of essential tasks, an abundance of publicity suggestions, and ideas to personalize your promotions, The Writer’s Book Launch Guide will provide you with a step-by-step plan for a fun and fulfilling book launch.

Discover how and when to:
- Ready your author website
- Craft a compelling book description
- Rally your writing allies
- Recruit a launch team
- Build media connections
- Get book endorsements
- Create a media kit
- Find book reviewers
- Use social media
- Create promotional videos
- Run giveaways
- Contact book bloggers
- Let book websites spread the word for you
- Throw a book launch party
- Send email announcements
And much more!

My thoughts:
I thought this book was very helpful for someone that is ready to get their book out there for the public. One thing that I liked about it is that it is broken down into a specific time line in which to get things done. This was very easy to read and understand which is nice for a beginner in the book writing world like me. For me I will reference back to this book when I get to the point that I am ready to launch my first book. I thought it was informative and easy to read. My only complaint is I wish there was a little more information and it was just a little longer. But all in all I did find it a good book. 

About the author:
Keely Brooke Keith is the author of The Land Uncharted and Aboard Providence. Her novels are known for blending genres in unconventional ways. Keely also creates resources for writers, including The Writer’s Book Launch Guide and The Writer’s Purpose Journal. When she isn’t writing, Keely enjoys playing bass guitar, preparing homeschool lessons, and collecting antique textbooks. Keely resides with her husband and their daughter on a hilltop south of Nashville where she dreams up stories, hoping to encourage, comfort, and inspire readers. She is a member of ACFW


Guest Post:
After the years of writing several books and being immersed in publishing and book marketing, I live the struggles, joys, and confusion of being an author. Being both traditionally and independently published, I strive to see every issue from every angle. While there is plenty of writing advice available online, wading through myriad blogs for a relevant nugget of wisdom can feel as life sucking as the problems that drive me there.

Early on, with each writing, publishing, and marketing hurdle I encountered, I amassed lists and spreadsheets and dog-eared resources. After going through a season where I had to stop writing and just work it all out, I realized I needed to take what I’d experienced and create a series of guided journals for writers.

Book promotions can be intimidating for authors. Since the day I signed my first publishing contract, I’ve kept lists of book promoting ideas. With each book launch, I try the ideas and add to them for my next launch. I have both traditionally published friends and indie friends who’ve asked for my lists (and a couple of publishers too). So, I created The Writer’s Book Launch Journal and spread the to-do lists over 12-months to turn it into an easy to follow plan for any author. Many of my author friends love this journal, as even some big publishers rarely give a book’s publicity more than a couple hours of an intern’s time these days.

Whether you’re an indie author or signed to a publisher, let The Writer’s Book Launch Journal guide you through the marketing and promotional tasks every author should do to ensure a successful book launch. Filled with checklists of essential tasks, an abundance of publicity suggestions, and questions to personalize your promotions, The Writer’s Book Launch Journal will lead you on the journey to a fun and fulfilling book launch.

And since some authors want the information in The Writer’s Book Launch Journal but prefer to scroll through the checklists on their computer, I’ve also written the ebook The Writer’s Book Launch Guide: A Step-By-Step Plan to Give Your Book the Best Launch Possible.


January 18, 2017

Wake Up to the Joy of You by Agapi Stassinopoulos - Review

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and honest review

Published: December 27, 2016
Number of pages: 320
Genre: Self-help

Synopsis:
This is your year of self-discovery, a journey to create a life filled with grace, meaning, zest, peace, and joy. With warmth and wisdom from a lifetime of spiritual seeking, inspirational force Agapi Stassinopoulos guides you through fifty-two weeks of letting go of what doesn't work for you and finding what does. You ll cultivate the building blocks of self-care (meditation, health, making time for yourself) and confront the common roadblocks we all face, like pouring your energy into other people or living in denial. You ll explore your conflict areas, such as relationships, money, self-esteem, anxiety, and your childhood. And you ll learn to trust your creativity, keep your heart open, and connect to the bigger spirit that lives inside you.
Keep this book by your bedside. It is your loving companion. Be creative and have fun with it. Use it as a tool to unlock your goodness, and wake up to the joy of you!

My thoughts:
I have been enjoying this book. I have started with the first week and doing the activities as it states. It has really helped me with learning to take a moment and breathe as well as meditate. I do this every night before bed and am learning how to shut my mind off. I like how each week you are given a guided meditation to help you along.The author also gives you suggestions for the week to help you learn how to practice a calmer life. I think as the year goes on I will find that I enjoy it more and more. I find it very helpful for someone who wants to make some changes in their life. 

About the author:
AGAPI STASSINOPOULOS is a bestselling author and speaker who inspires audiences around the world. In her previous book, Unbinding the Heart: A Dose of Greek Wisdom, Generosity, and Unconditional Love, she shares wisdom from her life’s adventures and experiences. Agapi was trained in London at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and then moved on to receive her master’s degree in psychology from the University of Santa Monica. Her previous books on the Greek archetypes, Gods and God­desses in Love and Conversations with the Goddesses, were turned into PBS specials. She is currently conducting workshops for Thrive Global, a company founded by her sister, Arianna Huffington, to help change the way we work and live. She divides her time between New York and Los Angeles and was born and raised in Athens, Greece.

FIND HER online at www.WakeUptotheJoyofYou.com

River City Dead by Nancy G. West - Spotlight and Giveaway


Published: January 17, 2017
Number of pages: 224
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Aggie Mundeen Mystery #4

Synopsis:
Aggie Mundeen, who advises readers in her column, “Stay Young with Aggie,” is pushing forty and determined to postpone a precipitous descent into middle-age. She plans to rendezvous with SAPD Detective Sam Vanderhoven at a hotel on the San Antonio River Walk…a vacation from crime and reset for their tumultuous relationship. In the midst of River City during Fiesta Week, what could go wrong?

Aggie’s new friends, the Fabulous Femmes, are holding their convention at the hotel. When hotel guests are murdered, Aggie discovers her friends have disturbing backgrounds. Evil surfaces at Fiesta events, and Aggie’s dancing debut at a Fiesta performance at Arneson River Theater is fraught with danger. Even in idyllic River City, crime complicates relationships.

Books in the Aggie Mundeen Humorous Mystery Series:

FIT TO BE DEAD (#1)
DANG NEAR DEAD (#2)
SMART, BUT DEAD (#3)
RIVER CITY DEAD (#4)

About the author:
I’ve been writing since age seven: poems back and forth with my mom. I had a real poem published in the Library Journal, Pegasus, at age fifteen. At eighteen, I wanted to study journalism and English literature, but friends who chose that college route were making minimum wage or selling lingerie. Being practical, I earned a business degree. After marriage and two children, I decided I HAD to study literature and write. I wrote non-fiction articles, a biography, and a suspense novel in 2004. That’s when whimsical Aggie Mundeen cut through the suspense, popped into my head and demanded her own series. The Aggie Mundeen mystery capers were born. Aggie must have been right: FIT TO BE DEAD is a LEFTY FINALIST 2013 for best humorous mystery, nominated by Left Coast Crime.

Links:
Chat with Aggie and Nancy on their blog: www.stayyoungwithaggie.wordress.com
Author’s Webpage: http://www.nancygwest.com/
Author Page at Henery Press: http://henerypress.com/authors-humorous-mystery-series-authors/nancy-g-west/
GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6442929.Nancy_G_West

Purchase Links
Amazon B&N

Giveaway:


River City Dead Tour Participants

January 6 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 6 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 7 – Books, Dreams, Life – SPOTLIGHT
January 8 – Queen of All She Reads – SPOTLIGHT 
January 9 – The Girl with Book Lungs – SPOTLIGHT
January 9 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
January 10 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
January 11 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
January 12 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
January 13 – Varietats – REVIEW
January 13 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
January 14 – Sleuth Cafe – SPOTLIGHT
January 15 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
January 16 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
January 17 – Community Bookstop – SPOTLIGHT 
January 18 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
January 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

Law and Disorder by Heather Graham - Review

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review

Published: January 17, 2017
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Number of pages: 256
Genre: Mystery
Series: The Finnegan Connection #1

Synopsis:
Desperate to escape her kidnappers, Kody Cameron can turn to only one man… and he’s holding a gun. Outnumbered and trapped in the deadly Everglades, she has little recourse, but something in this captor’s eyes makes her believe she can trust him. Does she dare to take the risk?

Undercover agent Nick Connolly has met Kody before and knows she might very well blow his cover. Though determined to maintain his facade, he can’t let Kody die. He won’t. And his decision to change his own rules of law and order are about to make all hell break loose.


Purchase Links

My thoughts:
I have to start off saying I really enjoyed the setting of this book. Not only that it is set in the Everglades but Kody's family's historical home, not to mention the gang members are looking for a treasure. I thought the names they guys in the gang were a good tribute to old gangsters. Being a history buff like I am, I loved the historical information the author provided about the setting and it's connection with the mob. The author also threw in a little romance for us but it is overshadowed by the rest of the story. In conclusion this story was a quick but suspenseful book. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. 

About the author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham has written more than a hundred novels. She’s a winner of the RWA’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Thriller Writers’ Silver Bullet. She is an active member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America. For more information, check out her websites: TheOriginalHeatherGraham.com, eHeatherGraham.com, and HeatherGraham.tv. You can also find Heather on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.



Heather Graham’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Tuesday, January 17th: The Sassy Bookster – excerpt
Wednesday, January 18th: A Holland Reads
Thursday, January 19th: Bewitched Bookworms
Friday, January 20th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, January 23rd: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, January 24th: Mama Vicky Says
Wednesday, January 25th: Books a la Mode – excerpt
Friday, January 27th: Books and Spoons
Monday, January 30th: A Bookaholic Swede – excerpt
Tuesday, January 31st: Snowdrop Dreams of Books
Wednesday, February 1st: Stranded in Chaos
Friday, February 3rd: Staircase Wit
Monday, February 6th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy – excerpt
Monday, February 6th: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, February 8th: Dog Eared Daydreams
Friday, February 10th: Not in Jersey
Monday, February 13th: Becky on Books
Wednesday, February 15th: Reading Reality

January 17, 2017

Never Forget by Jody Hedlund - Review

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review

Published: January 1, 2017
Number of pages: 284
Genre: Christian, Historical Fiction
Series: Beacons of Hope #5

Synopsis:
Rose Island Lighthouse, Rhode Island June 1880 Will she betray his trust to stay on the island she loves? Abbie Watson is content to spend her days clamming, crabbing, and tending Rose Island Lighthouse. Her grandpa is the head light keeper, but his senility may lead to their eviction. Since leaving the island would kill her beloved Gramps, Abbie will do anything to keep him in the one place he knows and loves. Wealthy Nathaniel Winthrop III’s wild living has gained him a reputation as the ‘bad boy’ among the elite social circles of Newport. After a blow to the head in a yachting accident washes him up on Rose Island, Nathaniel has no memories of his past. Abbie tends the wounded stranger in her home only to realize he assumes they’re married. Although she knows she needs to correct Nathaniel’s mistake, his presence calms Gramps and provides a way to prevent eviction from the lighthouse. The longer the charade continues, the harder it gets for Abbie to tell Nathaniel the truth, more so as she begins to fall in love. Everyone she’s ever loved has abandoned her. Will Nathaniel leave her too, once he discovers he’s not really her husband? **NOTE: Never Forget is Book 5 in the Beacons of Hope series but can be read as a standalone novel.

My thoughts:
This has been one of my go to series. I love that they have all been set in a lighthouse and this book did not disappoint me. This is the last book in this series and I was sad to see it end. I will say you can read these as a stand alone but they are better if read in order. The author has a way of making you really feel the emotions of the characters and that you are a part of the book. She also does a good job in describing the setting of the story as well as the emotions of the characters. I think it was great that Abbie was trying to do what she could to help her grandpa out so he could stay where he is comfortable. Then you have Nathaniel who end up in a place he does not know where it is nor how he got there. But as things move along they both grow closer together. I thought this was a fitting end to this series. 

About the author:
Winner of 2016 Christian Book Award for fiction and Christy Award for historical romance, best-selling author Jody Hedlund writes inspirational historical romances for both youth and adults.

Jody lives in central Michigan with her husband, five busy children, and five spoiled cats. Although Jody prefers to experience daring and dangerous adventures through her characters rather than in real life, she’s learned that a calm existence is simply not meant to be (at least in this phase of her life!).

When she’s not penning another of her page-turning stories, she loves to spend her time reading, especially when it also involves consuming coffee and chocolate.

The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green - Review

I received this book in exchange for a fair and honest review

Published: January 3, 2017
Number of pages: 416
Genre: Christian, Historical Fiction

Synopsis:
Sweeping Historical Fiction Set at the Edge of the Continent

After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.

When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne's brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?

With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king's mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.

My thoughts:
What can I say about this book - it ranks at the top of the books I have read. I felt bad for Julianne from the start of this book. First she was accused of the death of a client, then forced to marry a convict and has to learn to make a life in a new country. The emotions and the things she went through were not for a week person. I enjoyed the setting of this story and the history behind the colony of Louisiana. The author took her time and did her research so you got all of the details. While reading this book your emotions will be put through the wringer. It is a book that once you start you will not be able to put down. Not only was it entertaining but educational as well. A must read. 

About the author:
Jocelyn Green is a former journalist who puts her investigative skills to work in writing both nonfiction and historical fiction to inspire faith and courage.

Her books have finaled in the Christy Awards and Inspirational Readers Choice Awards, and have won gold from the Military Writers Society of America and the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.

Complex and nuanced characters, rich historical detail and twisting plots make her novels immersive experiences. Her fiction has been praised by Historical Novel Society, Romantic Times, Library Journal, historians specializing in her novels’ time periods, as well as popular and acclaimed authors Laura Frantz, Lori Benton, Jody Hedlund, Sarah Sundin, Joanne Bischof, Julie Lessman, and more.

Jocelyn loves Broadway musicals, the color red, Toblerone chocolate bars, Mexican food, and well-done documentaries. She lives in Iowa with her husband, two children, and two cats she should have named Catticus Finch and Purrman Meowville.

Visit her at jocelyngreen.com, and receive a free gift when joining her e-newsletter mailing list at jocelyngreen.com/subscribe.