December 30, 2014

The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap by Donna Kauffman, Kate Angell and Kimberly Kincaid

The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap by Donna Kauffman, Kate Angell, and Kimberly Kincaid
ISBN: 978161773202
Mass Market Paperback

Synopsis: Where There's Smoke by Donna Kauffman

When flames from a recipe gone disastrously wrong send hunky fire-fighter Will Mason to pretty Clara Parker's rescue, the sparks really begin to fly! And once Will gets a taste of Clara, he aches for more than just a little sugar from the famously single food columnist...

The Gingerbread Man by Kate Angell

Folks have always told fun-loving Abby Denton that her anatomically correct Gingerbread cookies are...impressive. But those erotic cookies have nothing on the sexy stranger Abby saves from a snowy country road. Could Lander Reynolds be the Christmas treat she's truly been longing for? 

Sugar And Spice by Kimberly Kincaid

When caterer Lily Callahan goes up against hotshot pastry chef Pete Mancuso in the bake-off of the season, the stakes are high - and scandalously passionate. Will the gorgeous gourmand steal Lily's heart - and the top prize in the Christmas cookie competition?

My review: I loved this book. Around this time of year I like to read books that help to put you in the mood for the season and this was one of those books. It was nice that each of the three stories went along with each other, as well as the prologue and epilogue tied the stories together perfectly. I am trying to think of which story was my favorite and I am not sure I have one as they were all equally as good as the next. Each story was very touching and had me sad and happy during the same story. I recommend this book for a fun holiday read. 

December 23, 2014

Corporate Cowboy by Stuart Anderson - Review, Guest Post and Giveaway

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

Corporate Cowboy by Stuart Anderson
ISBN: 9780692200636

Synopsis: Restaurant Management: First Hand Lessons from the King of Steak Houses
Black Angus Beef Chain Founder shares business tips, food recipes and personal memoir

Stuart Anderson had led a fascinating life for the past 90 years. He built Black Angus, America's #1 restaurant chain of the 1980s, and ranched on a 26,000 acre spread where he raised cattle. His circle of friends has included Hollywood stars and corporate bigwigs. You'll discover his personal history is a lot like the man - larger than life!

Anyone seeking to go into the restaurant business or moving into a food industry management position will benefit from the lessons offered in this book as Stuart Anderson shares both his success and failures. Told with wit, simple cowboy logic and clever business savvy, there are numerous vignettes included in this memoir to include tales from World War II, Business Startups, Management Feuds, Love Affairs, Community Service and semi-Retirements.

Aside from the personal story and professional information, readers - especially those who ever ate at a Black Angus restaurant in the past - most notably in the 1980s - will enjoy such recipes like the BLACK ANGUS POTATOES AU GRATIN, ORIGINAL BLACK ANGUS RANCH BREAD, BREAKFAST STIR FRY and BAKED STEAK WITH MUSTARD SAUCE just to name a few.

Note: The author, diabetic himself, also offers menu ideas for "special" diet needs.

In addition, reader benefits:
  • Discover the ins and outs of profitable restaurant management as imparted by a master entrepreneur
From initial ideas, failed startups and a relentless pursue for success, Stuart Anderson outlines how he went raising and eating Black Angus beef to building one of the most famous and successful restaurant chains in America voted #1 by consumers numerous times during the 1980s. But not everything remained rosy once Stuart Anderson sold his empire. The author offers his opinion on how a corporate takeover changed his business and ultimately why he retired ... at least the first time.
  •  Delight in "bone head" mistakes Anderson made early in his career

Like the case of the "melted chocolate" or "bitter pills for bulls"

  • Get a backstage look at celebrity friendships and news-making events

John Wayne fans will enjoy some "cowboy" fun when the star of Western Movies stops in for a surprise visit.

My review: I enjoyed reading this book. The way it was written was as if I was sitting with a family member telling me their stories. It was nice to hear about all the good things that happened to make Stuart a success but to also hear his mistakes. I remember this restaurant as a kid in the Midwest so it was kind of neat to hear the story behind the place that was so famous. It was also neat to hear about his relationships with celebrities. As an added bonus you get some of his recipes to try out for yourself. A nice book to enjoy on a lazy afternoon. 

Be sure to check out all the stops on the tour.

Dec 15 - A Blue Million Books - author interview / giveaway
Dec 15 - One Frugal Girl - review / giveaway
Dec 15 - Lady in Re(a)d - review / giveaway
Dec 16 - Deal Sharing Aunt - review
Dec 16 - The Discerning Reader - review
Dec 17 - Heart of a Philanthropist - review / author interview
Dec 17 - 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! - review / giveaway
Dec 18 - Library of Clean Reads - review / giveaway
Dec 18 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review / author interview / giveaway
Dec 19 - Life With Katie - review / giveaway
Dec 19 - Bless Their Hearts Mom - book spotlight / giveaway
Dec 22 - Cassandra M's Place - book spotlight / giveaway
Dec 22 - Counter Culture Critic - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Dec 23 - Griperang's Bookmarks - review / author interview / giveaway
Dec 26 - Brooke Blogs - review / guest post / giveaway
Dec 26 - Man of la Book - book spotlight / giveaway

Author's Bio:
Stuart Anderson was the founder of the Number 1 full-service restaurant chain in the Nation. He grew his original concept of a one-price steak dinner from one restaurant to 122 before he retired in the 80's when these polls were taken that made them No. 1. The chain still exists primarily on the West Coast. He was also a rancher for over 30 years with a beautiful ranch in Central Washington State where he raised Black Angus cattle and Clydesdale horses. 

He spent most of his life in Washington until moving to the beautiful Desert in Southern California. He has two wonderful daughters, two grandsons and about to have his first great grandson. He and his wife traveled extensively over a good part of the world and around America in their motor home. They especially loved train travel and enjoying retirement. Stuart is currently 91 years young!

Connect with Stuart on Facebook

Where to buy the book:

Q&A with Stuart Anderson

1. How did you do research for your book? 

I did a lot of research on my first book, HERE’S THE BEEF! That was a book defending beef—ranchers were getting a bum steer. This book, being a memoir, primarily was remembering and reliving my life.

2. In your book you make a reference to how large this business is. 

This definitely influenced me to write the book because of the fascination people have with this industry.

3. What made you write a book about the restaurant business? 

It’s a huge market—13 million people. Also, the number one question I’m always asked is, How did you get started?”

4. There are many books out there about restaurants. What makes yours different? 

Mine is different because I started and grew the chain into the No. 1 dinner house chain in the Nation and that was by public poll.

5. What advice would you give budding writers? 

Read a lot, take classes, join writer’s guilds, etc. Marketing is the big challenge

6. In your book you talk about ranching. Why is that? 

There’s a close association between the two—from the ranch to the restaurant. I did try at first to furnish the beef for the ranch but as only 22% of the animal was usable, it was too difficult to get rid of the rest and we grew too fast to keep that up.

7. How long have you been writing? 

Since 1995.

​8. ​
Where do you write? 

I've had a stroke
 my right hand doesn't work
 so I dictate the book from my comfortable old club chair.

. What is the last great book you've read?

Killing Patton probably because I drove a tank in Patton’s Army.

​10. ​
What is your next project? 

To write my obituary

a Rafflecopter giveaway

December 21, 2014

The Reluctant Midwife by Patricia Harman

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

The Reluctant Midwife by Patricia Harman
A Hope River Novel
ISBN: 9780062358240
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: The USA Today bestselling author of The Midwife of Hope River returns with a heartfelt sequel, a novel teeming with life and full of humor and warmth, one that celebrates the human spirit.
The Great Depression has hit West Virginia hard. Men are out of work; women struggle to feed hungry children. Luckily, Nurse Becky Myers has returned to care for them. While she can handle most situations, Becky is still uneasy helping women deliver their babies. For these mothers-to-be, she relies on an experienced midwife, her dear friend Patience Murphy.
Though she is happy to be back in Hope River, time and experience have tempered Becky’s cheerfulness-as tragedy has destroyed the vibrant spirit of her former employer Dr Isaac Blum, who has accompanied her. Patience too has changed. Married and expecting a baby herself, she is relying on Becky to keep the mothers of Hope River safe.
But becoming a midwife and ushering precious new life into the world is not Becky’s only challenge. Her skills and courage will be tested when a calamitous forest fire blazes through a Civilian Conservation Corps camp. And she must find a way to bring Isaac back to life and rediscover the hope they both need to go on.
Full of humor and compassion, The Reluctant Midwife is a moving tribute to the power of optimism and love to overcome the most trying circumstances and times, and is sure to please fans of the poignant Call the Midwife series.

My review: This is the first book that I have read by this author and I have to say I enjoyed and will now be going back to get the first one. Patricia does a great job with her descriptions - for me this is a plus because it helps the imagination so you can "see" exactly what she is talking about. I felt sorry for Nurse Becky at times - trying to do her job and take case of the doctor who is not right since his wife died. The author did a great job with her research as well. This made the book very nice to read for me as I enjoyed the accuracy. I look forward to reading more books by this author. 

December 18, 2014

The Perfect Bride by Mary McHugh

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

The Perfect Bride by Mary McHugh
ISBN: 9781453853658

Synopsis: This is the story of a young, diverced mom's hilarious adventures as a magazine editor who finds herself torn between her exciting ex-husband and Mr. Nice Guy. 

Jennifer meets a really nice guy - a writer - but she's still in love with her ex-husband who has become a rich and successful TV producer after leaving her and their daughter. She struggles with ehr feelings which are intensified when her ex comes to New York and hires her to write a sitcom for him and then whisks her off to Paris to rekindle their first romance. She finally makes up her mind after adventures in New York and Paris and ends up with a fabulous New York wedding.  

My review; This was another fun book to read by this author. I have been lucky enough to receive some of her books to read and have not been disappointed. This book was short and I was able to read it in two days. Can you imagine having to choose between your rich ex-husband and Mr. Right, I must admit it seems that the choice would be Mr. Right but you will have to read the book to figure out who she chooses. Mary takes us on an exciting journey following Jennifer. I would like to read more adventures of Jennifer as she seems like a fun person to be around. 

Eat This! 365 Reasons to Stop Dieting by Mary McHugh

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

Eat This! 365 Reasons to Stop Dieting by Mary McHugh

Synopsis: Eat This! is the anti-diet guide, the perfect pick-me-up for anyone with the diet blues. It's packed with 365 humorous musings on why diets are no fun, don't work, and will never compare with the pleasures of a chocolate eclair. Author Mary McHugh brings a much-needed dose of common sense to the world of dieting, extolling both the pleasures of homemade macaroni and cheese, as well as the satisfaction of burning 353 calories learning to salsa dance. Eat This! celebrates the woman who's sassy, sexy, and who'd be a lot happier if she stopped worrying about her weight. Shaped like a miniature refrigerator, Eat This! is the perfect gift for a friend or sister who's fed up with diets.

My review: This is another tongue in cheek book by Mary that I could not put down. These are great little books for a quick read or to give as a gift. Let me share a few of Mary's reasons to stop dieting: dieting makes your breath stink, you need those marshmallows when you have PMS, and one of my favorites - your can't doesn't care if you are fat or thin.  I can't say enough good things about these little books by Mary because I love them and would recommend you read them for a good laugh. 

Clean This! 320 Reasons to Stop Cleaning by Mary McHugh

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

Clean This! by Mary McHugh
ISBN: 9780740757204

Synopsis: While surely most of us have survived some sort of cleaning in our lifetime, why take chances any longer? Pick up Clean This! 320 Reasons to Stop Cleaning by author Mary McHugh and revel in hundreds of tips on how to avoid cleaning. Things you could be doing instead of cleaning, and if you must clean, ways to get it down with the least amount of effort. 

So put down the broom and let the dust bunnies multiply. Remember, no one has ever changed the world by cleaning a bathroom!

My review: What a funny little book this was to read. I loved the tips on reasons not to clean. One of my favorites was Persuade some TV producer to do a reality show in your house. Then they'll have to clean it. Who is not looking for ways to get out of cleaning pick up this amusing book and Mary will give you 320 reasons why you should stop. Here are a few more reasons to wet your whistle - brooms are for witches and the only reason to clean is to put off doing something else. This is a fun little book you could read in one sitting. I can't wait to read all of Mary's books. 

A Soft Breath of Wind by Roseanna White

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

A Soft Breath of Wind by Roseanna White
Sequel to A Stray Drop of Blood
ISBN: 9781939023452
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: A gift that has branded her for life
Zipporah is thirteen when the Spirit descends upon her, opening her eyes to a world beyond the physical goings-on of the villa outside Rome she has always called home. Within hours, she learns what serving the Lord can cost. Forever scarred after a vicious attack, she knows her call is to use this discernment to protect the Way. She knows she must serve the rest of her life at Tutelos, where the growing Roman church has congregated. She knows her lot is set.
Yet is it so wrong to wish that her master, the kind and handsome young Benjamin Visibullis, will eventually see her as something more than a sister in Christ?
Samuel Asinius, adoptive son of a wealthy Roman, has always called Benjamin brother. When their travels take them to Jerusalem for Passover, the last thing he expects is to cross paths with the woman who sold him into slavery as a child the mother he long ago purged from his heart. His sister, Dara, quickly catches Benjamin s eye, but Samuel suspects there is something dark at work.
When Dara, a fortune-teller seeking the will of a shadowy master determined to undermine the Way, comes into the path of Zipporah, a whirlwind descends upon them all.
Only the soft wind of the Spirit can heal their scars...with a love neither divination nor discernment could foresee.

My review: What an awesome book this was to read. I fell in love with Zipporah from page one. To me she was a very strong woman, I don't know if I could have been that strong. Roseanna did a great job in the character development to make these characters very believable. She also did her research so you would feel as if you were right there in the story. The author wrote Biblical fiction without it being heavy or boring, instead she kept you wanting more. I did not read the book before this but I was able to follow along just fine but now I want to go back and read the first book. I look forward to even more books from Roseanna. 

A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jennings

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

A Most Inconvenient Marriage by Regina Jennings
ISBN: 9780764211409
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: Abigail Stuart Thought She was Jeremiah Calhoun's Widow.
But Jeremiah Calhoun Is Very Handsome, Very Alive, and Very Perplexed.
Most Inconvenient Indeed.

With few options of her own, nurse Abigail Stuart agrees to marry her patient, a gravely wounded soldier calling himself Jeremiah Calhoun. They arrange a quick ceremony before he dies, giving Abigail the rights to his Ozark farm and giving Jeremiah the peace of knowing someone will care for his ailing sister after he's gone--a practical solution for both of them.
After the war, Abigail fulfills her side of the bargain--until the real Jeremiah Calhoun shows up, injured but definitely alive, and wastes no time in challenging Abigail's story. Abigail is flummoxed. After months of claiming to be his widow, how can she explain that she's never seen this Jeremiah Calhoun before? How can she convince him that she isn't trying to steal his farm? And will she find a way to stay, even though this practical arrangement has turned into a most inconvenient marriage?

My review:  What a fun book this was to read. I loved the cover of this book it just looks like Abigail is out to have fun. I have to say this book read really fast for me and I was able to finish it in one weekend. I loved that it is set in Missouri which is my old stomping grounds so I look for books set there. I can't believe Abigail's family turned her out, I do not know what I would have done in her situation. Can you imagine you married someone thought he died but found out he was an imposter - you will have to read the book to find out what happens to Abigail in this situation. I look forward to more books by Regina. 

Agnes Cannon's War by Deborah Lincoln

02_Agnes Canon's War

Publication Date: October 1, 2014
Formats: eBook, Trade Paperback 
Pages: 300 
Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis: “I saw a woman hanged on my way to the Pittsburgh docks..” Agnes Canon is tired of being a spectator in life, an invisible daughter among seven sisters, meat for the marriage market. The rivers of her Pennsylvania countryside flow west, and she yearns to flow with them, explore new lands, know the independence that is the usual sphere of men. This is a story of a woman’s search for freedom, both social and intellectual, and her quest to understand what freedom means. She learns that freedom can be the scent and sound of unsettled prairies, the glimpse of a cougar, the call of a hawk. The struggle for freedom can test the chains of power, poverty, gender, or the legalized horror of slavery. And to her surprise, she discovers it can be found within a marriage, a relationship between a man and a woman who are equals in everything that matters. It’s also the story of Jabez Robinson, a man who has traveled across the continent and seen the beauty of the country and the ghastliness of war, as he watches his nation barrel toward disaster. Faced with deep-seated social institutions and hard-headed intransigence, he finds himself helpless to intervene. Jabez’s story is an indictment of war in any century or country, and an admission that common sense and reasoned negotiation continue to fail us. As Agnes and Jabez struggle to keep their community and their lives from crumbling about them, they must face the stark reality that whether it’s the freedom of an African from servitude, of the South from the North, or of a woman from the demands of social convention, the cost is measured in chaos and blood. This eloquent work of historical fiction chronicles the building of a marriage against the background of a civilization growing – and dying – in the prelude to civil war.

My review: I really enjoyed reading this book. I am a fan of historical books so this one grabbed my attention. One other thing that drew me to this book besides the Civil War aspect was that it was set in Missouri, which is my neck of the woods. The author did a great job of character development and set the scenes very well. She kept me engrossed from the very first page until the very last. Agnes was such a strong woman who knew what she wanted and how to get it. I look forward to reading more books by this author.

Praise for Agnes Canon's War

"Impressively researched, it captures the brutality of the war in the West and the complicated, divided loyalties of the people who are caught up in it. Agnes Canon’s War will have readers anticipating the romance and dreading the battles in equal amounts." -Steve Wiegenstein, author of Slant of Light and This Old World "The characters are likeable, intelligent, humorous, spunky and passionate people whose zest for adventure is met and then some! Superb historical fiction this reviewer highly recommends." - Historical Novel Society "Agnes Canon’s War is brilliantly researched and written. Deborah Lincoln has successfully described the occurrences of the Civil War era in the border state of Missouri and the resultant emotions upon the inhabitants of the area. Many neighbors were bitterly opposed to one another, and severe heartache touched everyone. Lincoln’s writing places the reader in the midst of that turmoil. Her research is accurate and lends to a skillfully-designed background for Agnes Canon’s story. An example is her reference to Westport Landing. It is a little-known fact (even to most Missourians) that this original port on the Missouri River, located in the vicinity of today’s Grand and Main Streets, resulted in present-day Kansas City. This heartfelt book will likely impress even the most seasoned historians." -William R. Reynolds, Jr. author of Andrew Pickens: South Carolina Patriot in the Revolutionary War and The Cherokee Struggle to Maintain Identity in the 17th and 18th Centuries "Years ago in fiction workshop, this manuscript leaped out at me with the most memorable opening line I’d seen in forever: “I saw a woman hanged on my way to the Pittsburgh docks.” On revisiting this story several years after my first beta-read of the whole novel, I was struck by how many details and scenes I remember. Historical fiction is not for the lazy writer. The tremendous amount of research that skilled writers weave into the narrative are simply amazing. I’m afraid I’ll be guilty of plot spoilers if I mention some of my favorite scenes or the tragic events that really happened. I will say Jabez has a first wife, and Agnes befriends her to her dying day. That first wife has a fascination for what today would sound like New Age mysticism. Any reader who hates reading about war should keep going, because all sorts of intriguing historical issues and beliefs come to light in Agnes Canon’s world. The prose is polished, the story spellbinding, the authenticity both inspiring and heartbreaking. Five stars!" -Carol Kean Blog, Book Reviews, Cosmic Rants

Buy the Book

Amazon Barnes & Noble Powell's

About the Author03_Deborah Lincoln Author

Deborah Lincoln grew up in the small town of Celina, among the cornfields of western Ohio. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Michigan. She and her husband have three grown sons and live on the Oregon coast. Of her passion for historical fiction, she says: “I’m fascinated by the way events—wars and cataclysms and upheavals, of course, but the everyday changes that wash over everyday lives—bring a poignancy to a person’s efforts to survive and prosper. I hate the idea that brave and intelligent people have been forgotten, that the hardships they underwent have dropped below the surface like a stone in a lake, with not a ripple left behind to mark the spot.” Agnes Canon’s War is the story of her great great-grandparents, two remarkable people whose lives illustrate the joys and trials that marked America’s tumultuous nineteenth century. For more information on Deborah Lincoln please visit her website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Agnes Canon's War Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 8
Review at Forever Ashley
Review at Back Porchervations

Tuesday, December 9
Interview at Caroline Wilson Writes

Wednesday, December 10
Review at Too Fond

Friday, December 12
Review at Just One More Chapter
Guest Post at Mina's Bookshelf

Monday, December 15
Review at Luxury Reading

Wednesday, December 17
Review at Book Babe
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, December 18
Review at Griperang's Bookmarks

 Friday, December 19
Review at Boom Baby Reviews
Interview at Layered Pages

 photo 22ffdf59-5d94-46d0-9ac1-a7c7aee60a49.png

December 11, 2014

Whither Thou Goes by Anna Belfrage


Publication Date: November 1, 2014
SilverWood Books
Formats: eBook, Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction/Time-Slip
Series: The Graham Saga

Add to GR Button

Whither Thou Goest is the seventh book in Anna Belfrage’s series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.

In their rural home in the Colony of Maryland, Matthew and Alex Graham are still recovering from the awful events of the previous years when Luke Graham, Matthew’s estranged brother, asks them for a favour.

Alex has no problems whatsoever ignoring Luke’s sad plea for help. In her opinion Matthew’s brother is an evil excuse of a man who deserves whatever nasty stuff fate throws at him. Except, as Matthew points out, Luke is begging them to save his son – his misled Charlie, one of the Monmouth rebels – and can Charlie Graham be held responsible for his father’s ill deeds?

So off they go on yet another adventure, this time to the West Indies to find a young man neither of them knows but who faces imminent death on a sugar plantation, condemned to slavery for treason. The journey is hazardous and along the way Alex comes face to face with a most disturbing ghost from her previous life, a man she would much have preferred never to have met.

Time is running out for Charlie Graham, Matthew is haunted by reawakened memories of his days as an indentured servant, and then there’s the eerie Mr Brown, Charlie’s new owner, who will do anything to keep his secrets safe, anything at all.

Will Matthew deliver his nephew from imminent death? And will they ever make it back home?

My review: I enjoy this series of books. Each one you read takes you on a new adventure. Anna does such a great job in her character development. They are all very strong and you feel as if you know them after reading the books. Another thing I enjoyed was the native American part of this story. That is one of my favorite things to read about. The twists and turns kept me turning the pages as fast as I could so I could see what was going to happen next. Reading about Alex and Matthew grown up is like listening to stories of your family. You can read this book as a stand alone but I know you will want to go back to read the rest of the stories. I look forward to the next book in this series.

Graham Saga Titles

Book One: A Rip in the Veil
Book Two: Like Chaff in the Wind
Book Three: The Prodigal Son
Book Four: A Newfound Land
Book Five: Serpents in the Garden
Book Six: Revenge & Retribution
Book Seven: Whither Thou Goest
Book Eight: To Catch a Falling Star (March 2015)

About the AuthorAnna Belfrage

I was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result I’m multilingual and most of my reading is historical – both non-fiction and fiction.

I was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Instead I ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for my most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career I raised my four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive … Nowadays I spend most of my spare time at my writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and I slip away into my imaginary world, with my imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in my life pops his head in to ensure I’m still there. I like that – just as I like how he makes me laugh so often I’ll probably live to well over a hundred.

I was always going to be a writer. Now I am – I have achieved my dream.

For more information, please visit Anna Belfrage’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Whither Thou Goest Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, December 2
Review at Broken Teepee
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Wednesday, December 3
Review at Just One More Chapter

Thursday, December 4
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Friday, December 5
Guest Post at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Monday, December 8
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Guest Post at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, December 9
Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, December 10
Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, December 11
Review at Griperang's Bookmarks
Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews

Friday, December 12
Review at Dianne Ascroft's Blog

Monday, December 15
Review at Kincavel Korner
Review at Beth's Book Nook Blog

Tuesday, December 16
Review at Layered Pages
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, December 17
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Thursday, December 18
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

 photo 24dbcfa2-85d6-45ac-9dd3-7bed4c302212.jpg

December 10, 2014

Die I Will Not by S. K. Rizzolo

Die I Will Not Publication Date: November 4, 2014
Poisoned Pen Press
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback

Series: John Chase Mystery Series
Genre: Historical Mystery/Regency

Add to GR Button

Unhappy wife and young mother Penelope Wolfe fears scandal for her family and worse. A Tory newspaper editor has been stabbed while writing a reply to the latest round of letters penned by a firebrand calling himself Collatinus. Twenty years before, her father, the radical Eustace Sandford, wrote as Collatinus before he fled London just ahead of accusations of treason and murder. A mysterious beauty closely connected to Sandford and known only as N.D. had been brutally slain, her killer never punished. The seditious new Collatinus letters that attack the Prince Regent in the press also seek to avenge N.D.’s death and unmask her murderer. What did the journalist know that provoked his death?

Her artist husband Jeremy is no reliable ally, so Penelope turns anew to lawyer Edward Buckler and Bow Street Runner John Chase. As she battles public notoriety, Buckler and Chase put their careers at risk to stand behind her while pursuing various lines of inquiry aimed at N.D.’s murderer, a missing memoir, Royal scandal, and the dead editor’s missing wife. As they navigate the dark underbelly of Regency London among a cast driven by dirty politics and dark passions, as well as by decency and a desire for justice, past secrets and present criminals are exposed, upending Penelope’s life and the lives of others.

John Chase Mystery Series

Book One: The Rose in the Wheel
Book Two: Blood for Blood
Book Three: Die I Will Not

My review: Even though this is the first book in this series I have read I still enjoyed it. In fact now I want to go back and get the first two. This can be read as a stand alone book. I really enjoyed the historical aspect of this book. The whole mystery was intriguing and kept me wondering what was going to happen next. Since this is not a cozy mystery this will take a little more thinking on your part to try and solve the mystery. At the end of the book the author gives us a little tidbit and tells us that this book is based on a real story which made the story that much more exciting. I think the author did a very good job with the character development and the descriptions. So much so that you felt as if you were a part of the story. I recommend this book to someone looking for a good mystery. 

Buy the Book

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

About the AuthorSK Rizzolo

S.K. Rizzolo is a longtime Anglophile and history enthusiast. Set in Regency England, The Rose in the Wheel and Blood for Blood are the first two novels in her series about a Bow Street Runner, an unconventional lady, and a melancholic barrister. An English teacher, Rizzolo has earned an M.A. in literature and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.

For more information please visit S.K. Rizzolo's website. You can also find her on Facebook and Goodreads.

Die I Will Not Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 17
Review at Back Porchervations

Tuesday, November 18
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, November 19
Interview at Back Porchervations
Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary

Thursday, November 20
Interview with Curling Up With a Good Book

Friday, November 21
Review at Book Nerd

Monday, November 24
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Tuesday, November 25
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Wednesday, November 26
Review at Buried Under Books
Review at Book Babe (The Rose in the Wheel)
Spotlight at Layered Pages

Friday, November 28
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Monday, December 1
Review at WTF Are You Reading?

Tuesday, December 2
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection

Wednesday, December 3
Interview at Caroline Wilson Writes

Thursday, December 4
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Friday, December 5
Review at The True Book Addict

Monday, December 8
Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Tuesday, December 9
Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews
Spotlight at Book Babe

Wednesday, December 10
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at Griperang's Bookmarks

Thursday, December 11
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, December 12
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

 photo 1fbdbcae-2bb8-4cb0-8101-74c97bb565dd.png

December 8, 2014

Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton & Cindy Loven

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

Swept Away by Laura V. Hilton & Cindy Loven
Quilts of Love Series
ISBN: 9781426773624
Trade Paperback

Synopsis: Sara doesn’t think she wants love. But her grandmother has other plans.
Sara Jane Morgan is trying to balance teaching with caring for her ailing, stubborn grandmother. When school lets out for the summer, the plans are for Grandma to teach Sara Jane to quilt as they finish up the Appalachian Ballad quilt Grandma started as a teenager. But things don’t always go as planned.
Andrew Stevenson is hiding from his past—and his future. He works as a handyman to pay the bills, but his heart is as an artisan, designing homemade brooms. When Sara Jane’s grandmother hires him to renovate her home, sparks fly between Drew and his new employer’s granddaughter.
Still, it doesn’t take Sara Jane long to see Drew isn’t what he seems. Questions arise, and she starts researching him online. What she discovers could change her life—and her heart—forever.
My Review: I enjoyed this book just as much as I have all the books in this series. This book takes you through all the emotions from crying to laughing. It is one of those books that you don't want to put down, you just want to keep reading long into the night. The characters in this book we each different and likable in their own way. I like the setting of this book as well and felt as if the authors took us there in their descriptions. A couple of other things that I liked about this book is that the romance was one that was believable and could really happen as well the characters could be anyone you know. A great read for anyone. 

Learn more about this book and the series at the Quilts of Love website.

About the Authors: 

Laura V. Hilton is an award-winning author and a professional book reviewer. A stay-at-home mom and home school teacher, Laura lives with her family in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas. Cindy Loven is active in the church and writes from her home in Conway, Arkansas, where she lives with her husband and their son.

December 6, 2014

We'll Always Have Paris by Jennifer Coburn - Review - Guest Post and Giveaway

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

We'll Always Have Paris by Jennifer Coburn
ISBN: 9781402288630
Trade paperback

Synopsis: How her daughter and her passport taught Jennifer to live like there’s no tomorrow.
Jennifer Coburn has always been terrified of dying young. So she decides to save up and drop everything to travel with her daughter, Katie, on a whirlwind European adventure before it’s too late. Even though her husband can’t join them, even though she’s nervous about the journey, and even though she’s perfectly healthy, Jennifer is determined to jam her daughter’s mental photo album with memories—just in case.
From the cafés of Paris to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Jennifer and Katie take on Europe one city at a time, united by their desire to see the world and spend precious time together. In this heartwarming generational love story, Jennifer reveals how their adventures helped vanquish her fear of dying…for the sake of living.  [provided by the author]

Review: I loved this book. My daughter has talked about wanting to go on a trip to Paris just her and I and now after reading this book it makes me want to go even more. The stories that Jennifer tells throughout this book make you laugh out loud and keep you turning the pages. There was also some very touching moments in the this memoir. I am glad that I picked this book up as it was very enjoyable. The perfect book to read on a snowy cold night. 



 Jennifer Coburn is a USA Today best selling author of six novels
and contributor to four literary anthologies.
Over the past two decades,
Coburn has received numerous awards from the Press Club
and Society for Professional Journalists for articles that appeared in Mothering,
Big Apple Baby, The Miami Herald, The San Diego Union-Tribune
and dozens of national and regional publications.
She has also written for, Creators News Syndicate and The Huffington Post.
Coburn lives in San Diego with her husband, William, and their daughter, Katie.
We’ll Always Have Paris is her first memoir.
Visit her website.
Follow Jennifer Coburn on Twitter  | Facebook
Buy the book | on Amazon | on Barnes & Noble

Guest Post: Travel: The Best Education … For Moms

I thought I would take my daughter Katie overseas and teach her about the world. Instead, over the course of a decade, visiting 12 European cities, she taught me about life.

On our second day in Paris, then-eight-year-old Katie and I went to a café near the Eiffel Tower where babies were not welcome, but dogs were fine. A waiter brought Katie a hamburger that was like nothing she’d ever seen at In ‘N Out. On top of the meat patty was a sunny-side-up egg. I was a bit nervous because absolutely everything she had experienced in the last two days was different. Now, even the familiar hamburger was weird in France. But Katie looked at the burger, shrugged and said “I guess you get breakfast with your lunch in Paris.”

Later during that trip, Katie and I had the unique … um, opportunity to sleep at the Shakespeare and Company bookstore on the Left Bank. The bookstore graciously opens its doors to “Tumbleweeds,” broke young travelers, who can sleep on cots in the store in exchange for a few hours of work during the day.

At Katie’s request (begging), the store let is sleep in its Writer’s Studio, where it is said Henry James once stayed.  When we saw the room, it was pretty clear that the sheets hadn’t been changed since. We turned on the faucet, and out flew a tornado of gnats. In the corner was a box of Ritz crackers with a picture of a very young Andy Griffith. (Think Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry.) Katie’s makeshift bed was a door resting on two uneven file cabinets. Cushioning the door was a yoga mat.

It was broiling hot so I opened the window as far as it would go, four inches. Then Katie and I simultaneously shared our thoughts. Hers: “Look at our view of Notre Dame!” Mine: “Yuck, I smell hot garbage from the dumpster below.”

Lesson #1 – Hold your nose and look for the beauty in the world.

Three years later, Katie was 11 years old and we were traveling through Italy. As we were on our way to see Michelangelo’s David in Florence, we heard magnificent music coming from a building. We walked over to check it out and, just as we reached the entrance, an Italian man with black curly hair and red pants opened the enormous carved wooden door.

I asked what loosely translated to “what is music” and he explained that the building was a music school and the opera students were taking their final exams. He asked, “You have a come to watch?”

While I was busy wringing my hands, worrying about whether he meant did we want to watch, or were we expected guests, Katie just chirped, “Si grazie” and walked through the door.

We spent the most wonderful, unscheduled two hours watching twentysomethings in Motley Crue t-shirts and eyebrow piercings singing Puccini.

Lesson # 2 – When life presents an opportunity, don’t over-think it; just walk thru the door.

On the same trip to Italy, Katie taught me what was possibly the most important lesson of my life. 

Katie had been looking forward to visiting the Ruins of Pompeii for more than a year. In fact, it was what she had looked forward to most in Italy. But our day in Pompeii did not go as planned. Our train broke down. We had to roll our suitcases about a mile over cobblestone streets in hellish heat. And we wound up giving our bags to gypsies instead of the government approved luggage check.

Instead of spending the day in Pompeii, we took a 45-minute jog through and saw very little. We had to rush to catch another train, which was of course, an hour late. I felt awful that I’d disappointed Katie and got a little weepy. She turned to me and said, “A trip doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.” And then for good measure she added, “People have had worse days in Pompeii, y’know?”

Lesson #3 – Let go of the quest for perfection and get a little perspective.

Our children teach us about life every day. It is often in the most mundane situations that kids offer is beautiful insights, but travel offers us a unique opportunity to see each other in a different way because we face new challenges and situations. When Katie and I share that we have traveled to 12 European cities together, people always turn to her and ask her if she knows how lucky she is. She definitely understands that travel is a privilege and she is grateful. But really, it’s me who has learned the most from these trips.


Jennifer Coburn is the author of We’ll Always Have Paris: A Mother Daughter Memoir.


We'll always have Paris banner*

You can enter the giveaway here or on the book blogs participating in this tour. Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter, they are listed in the entry form below.


Visit each blogger on the tour: tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time! [just follow the directions on the entry-form]
5 copies: print for US residents only.