September 22, 2017

If There's No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout - Review

I received this book free from the publisher

Book details
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen (September 5, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0373212224
ISBN-13: 978-0373212224

About the book
Lena Wise is always looking forward to tomorrow, especially at the start of her senior year. She’s ready to pack in as much friend time as possible, to finish college applications, and to maybe let her childhood best friend Sebastian know how she really feels about him. For Lena, the upcoming year is going to be epic—one of opportunities and chances.

Until one choice, one moment, destroys everything.

Now Lena isn’t looking forward to tomorrow. Not when friend time may never be the same. Not when college applications feel all but impossible. Not when Sebastian might never forgive her for what happened.

For what she let happen.

With the guilt growing each day, Lena knows that her only hope is to move on. But how can she move on when she and her friends’ entire existences have been redefined? How can she move on when tomorrow isn’t even guaranteed?


Meet the author - Jennifer L. Armentrout
# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in West Virginia.

When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write. She shares her home with her husband, his K-9 partner named Diesel and her hyper Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent her time writing short stories, therefore explaining her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes Young Adult Contemporary, Urban Fantasy/Paranormal and Romance. She writes New Adult and Adult romance under the pen name J.Lynn.

She is the author of the Covenant Series (Spencer Hill Press) the Lux Series (Entangled Teen) and the upcoming YA Don’t Look Back (2014) and untitled YA (Fall 2014) from Disney/Hyperion. She is also published with Harlequin Teen and HarperCollins.
Connect with Jennifer
Website | Facebook | Twitter

My thoughts
Lately I have found myself enjoying more and more young adult books. This was no exception. The author puts you through a range of emotions reading this book - sadness, laughter, thought provoking - all things that made a book a good one. I was reminded why I am glad I am not a teenager anymore and have to go through some of the things that these kids today do. Jennifer did a good job of developing these characters and making them feel like someone you already know. The whole story pulls you in right from the start and will keep you reading long into the night. I plan on passing my book along to a few young adults I know as I think they will enjoy it as much as I did. 

Blog Tour Stops
Sunday, August 27th: The Literary Llama on Instagram
Tuesday, September 5th: Bookworm Everlasting on Instagram
Tuesday, September 5th: A Thousand Books to Read
Wednesday, September 6th: She’s All Booked
Thursday, September 7th: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
Monday, September 11th: Katy’s Library and Katy’s Library on Instagram
Tuesday, September 12th: Snowdrop Dreams
Wednesday, September 13th: Reading is My SuperPower
Sunday, September 17th: Bookworm Everlasting
Monday, September 18th: Girl Who Reads
Tuesday, September 19th: Jenn’s Bookshelves
Wednesday, September 20th: Just Commonly
Thursday, September 21st: From the TBR Pile
Friday, September 22nd: A Holland Reads
Monday, September 25th: Books and Bindings
Wednesday, September 27th: Mama Reads
Thursday, September 28th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Thursday, September 28th: Biblio Junkies
Monday, October 2nd: Novel Gossip
Tuesday, October 3rd: Why Girls Are Weird
Thursday, October 4th: Suzy Approved

September 21, 2017

Twilight Empress by Faith L. Justice - Spotlight


Book details
Twilight Empress: A Novel of Imperial Rome
by Faith L. Justice

Publication Date: May 12, 2017
Raggedy Moon Books
eBook & Print; 392 Pages

Series: The Theodosian Women, Book 1
Genre: Fiction/Historical/Action & Adventure


About the book
Twilight Empress tells the little-known story of a remarkable woman—Galla Placidia, sister to one of the last Roman Emperors. Roman princess, Gothic captive and queen—Placidia does the unthinkable—she rules the failing Western Roman Empire—a life of ambition, power and intrigue she doesn’t seek, but can’t refuse. Her actions shape the face of Western Europe for centuries.

A woman as well as an Empress, Placidia suffers love, loss, and betrayal. Can her strength, tenacity and ambition help her survive and triumph over scheming generals, rebellious children, and Attila the Hun? Or will the Dark Ages creep closer and bring down the Empire?
Amazon US | Amazon CAN | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | IndieBound | Kobo

Meet the author - Faith L Justice
Faith L. Justice is a science geek and history junkie, which is reflected in her writing. Her short stories and poems have appeared in such publications as “The Copperfield Review”, “Beyond Science Fiction and Fantasy”, and the “Circles in the Hair” anthology. Faith has published in such venues as “Salon.com”, “Writer’s Digest”, “The Writer”, and “Bygone Days”. She’s an Associate Editor for “Space & Time Magazine”, a frequent contributor to “Strange Horizons”, and co-founded a writer’s workshop more years ago than she cares to admit.

To contact Faith, read her essays and interviews, or get a sneak preview of her historical novels, visit her website atwww.faithljustice.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 11
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, September 12

Wednesday, September 13
Review at Book Drunkard

Thursday, September 14
Feature at The Reading Queen

Friday, September 15
Review & Excerpt at Clarissa Reads it All

Monday, September 18

Tuesday, September 19

Wednesday, September 20
Guest Post & Giveaway at The Muse in the Fog Reviews

Thursday, September 21
Feature at A Holland Reads

Friday, September 22
Review at Book Nerd

Monday, September 25
Review & Excerpt at Locks, Hooks and Books

Tuesday, September 26

Wednesday, September 27
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Review & Giveaway at What Cathy Read Next

Friday, September 29
Review at Bookramblings

Monday, October 2

Tuesday, October 3

Wednesday, October 4
Interview & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Thursday, October 5
Review at A Bookish Affair

September 20, 2017

A Shape on the Air by Julie Ibboson - Excerpt and Giveaway



Book details
Title: A SHAPE ON THE AIR 
Author: Julia H. Ibbotson 
Publisher: Endeavour Press 
Pages: 267 
Genre: Medieval Timeslip Romance

BOOK BLURB:
Unlocking a love that lasts for lifetimes … and beyond …

Dr Viv Dulac, a lecturer in medieval studies, is devastated when her partner walks out (and with her best friend too) and it seems that she is about to lose everything. Drunk and desperate, her world quite literally turns upside down when she finds herself in the body of the fifth century Lady Vivianne. Lady V has her own traumas; she is struggling with the shifting values of the Dark Ages and her forced betrothal to the brutish Sir Pelleas, who is implicated in the death of her parents. Haunted by both Lady Vivianne and by Viv's own parents' death and legacy, can Viv unlock the mystery that surrounds and connects their two lives, 1500 years apart, and bring peace to them both? Can the strange key she finds hold the truth? A haunting story of lives intertwining across the ages, of the triumph of the human spirit and of dreams lost and found.

ORDER YOUR COPY: Amazon
Meet the Author - Julia Ibbotson
Award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is obsessed with the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana) specialising in medieval studies, and has a PhD in linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a teacher, lecturer and researcher, and a single mum. Julia has published four books, including a children’s book S.C.A.R.S (a fantasy medieval time slip), a memoir, and the first two novels of her Drumbeats trilogy (which begins in Ghana). Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga, and walking in the English countryside.

Her recent release is A Shape on the Air

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS: WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Book Excerpt:
Prologue

1500 years before

Lady Nymue, her mother, is rising from the mere like a spirit: tall, slow like a dream, over-gown falling in slim folds from her waist. Vivianne sees her in a haze of mist, like magic, an illusion. She feels it, that enchantment, and it is enfolding her, but making her shiver, too. Her life-giver, robes dry despite the water, is coming towards her as she stands anxiously on the bank, waiting impatiently, calling out urgently, hopping from one foot to the other, tangling her feet in her earth-sweeping kirtle, longing to rejoin her playmates who are chasing around the village pretending to be Roman soldiers. Her mother, reaching out a hand to her, is shaking her head, but laughing. Be more patient, my little Lady Vivianne, she says, I have not completed my rituals, but let me wrap you in my cloak, for I must return to the mere. But she is only a little girl and something is making her feel cold, frightened. No, she calls, sticking out her lower lip, I want to play! I want to be Honorius this time! They promised! Eleanor will play my wife - or maybe my lady servant.

Her mother is ruffling her soft curls. Well, then, she smiles, I will return later to finish. She is lifted onto her mother’s horse, in front, held close. Dry, warm, comforting. Riding

back to the village. Her care-giver is taking her back to play with her friends again. Her mother turns to the special hall which her father, Sir Tristram, called “sacred” and where she is only allowed to go sometimes.

And then, fire, flames, the acrid smell of smoke. Looking across to the great hall, terror strangling her heart, stealing her breath. Running towards the wooden building, through the ash and cinders and the roaring, screaming now, choking. Someone holding her back, pulling her.

Darkness.

Waking up in her little bed. A big red-faced man in the shadows, haloed with a fair unruly beard and thick wild hair, telling her that her parents were dead, burned in the fire. Her mother and her father, both of them. An accident with tallows. She knows those tallows; they are always on the altar in the sacred hall. They are only spoken of in whispers. But this man is speaking in a strange way, loud, too loud, and it seems to her, sneering, as she peers at him through the darkness.

Giveaway
Julia Ibbotson is giving away a PDF copy of ‘Drumbeats’! Terms & Conditions: • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old. • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter • This giveaway ends midnight September 29. • Winner will be contacted via email on September 30. • Winner has 48 hours to reply. Good luck everyone! ENTER TO WIN!

Cat Got Your Secrets by Julie Chase - Spotlight and Giveaway


Book details
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (September 12, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683312833
E-Book ASIN: B06XVWR8Q9

About the book
Lacy Marie Crocker has settled into a comfortable groove back home in New Orleans, and with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, she’s busier than ever running a thriving pet boutique, helping her mother organize the upcoming National Pet Pageant, and untangling her complicated love life. But when delivering a king-sized order of dreidel-shaped doggy biscuits for a Saint Berdoodle’s bark-mitzvah, Lacy stumbles into yet another murder scene—and the last person to see the victim alive was her own father.

It’s up to Lacy to clear her dad’s name from the suspect list before Detective Jack Oliver has to cage him for good. But just when she starts pawing at the truth, she receives a threatening letter from a mysterious blackmailer bent on silencing her with her own secrets. And Lacy’s not the only one with bones in her closet.

Meet the author - Julie Chase
Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three spunky children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime. She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey. Learn more about Julie Anne Lindsey here.

Webpage: http://juliechasebooks.com/

Giveaway


TOUR PARTICIPANTS

September 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 12 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW
September 12 – Community Bookstop – INTERVIEW
September 13 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
September 13 – Books Direct – GUEST POST
September 14 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW
September 14 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
September 15 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 15 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, GUEST POST
September 16 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
September 16 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
September 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
September 18 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
September 18 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
September 19 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
September 19 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
September 19 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
September 20 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
September 20 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
September 20 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – COZY WEDNESDAY
September 21 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
September 21 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – INTERVIEW
September 22 – Jane Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST
September 22 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 23 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 23 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
September 24 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
September 24 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
September 25 – Sapphyria’s Books – REVIEW
September 25 – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – SPOTLIGHT

September 19, 2017

A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron - Guest post and giveaway


Book details
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Crooked Lane Books (October 10, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1683313052
E-Book ASIN: B06XW23LPG

About the book
Maggie Crozat is back home in bayou country during the most magical time of the year. In Pelican, Louisiana, Christmastime is a season of giant bonfires on the levee, zydeco carols, and pots of gumbo. Except, this year, the Grinch has come to stay at the family-run Crozat Plantation B&B. When he floods travel websites with vicious reviews, Maggie thinks she’s identified him as rival businessman Donald Baxter. That is, until he’s found stabbed to death at Maggie’s workplace. And Maggie and her loved ones become top suspects.

The Crozats quickly establish alibis, but Maggie’s boyfriend, Detective Bo Durand, remains under suspicion. With Bo sidelined during the investigation, Maggie finds herself forced to work with an unlikely ally: longtime family enemy Rufus Durand. Her sleuthing uncovers more suspects than drummers drumming, and lands her in the crosshairs of the murderer.

The sleigh bells are jingling, and the clock is ticking for Maggie and Rufus, who must catch the killer or it will be the opposite of a Joyeux Noël in A Cajun Christmas Killing, the recipe-stuffed third installment of USA Today bestselling author Ellen Byron’s Cajun Country mysteries.

Meet the author - Ellen Byron
Body on the Bayou, the second in Ellen’s Cajun Country Mystery series, won the Left Coast Crime Lefty Award for Best Humorous Mystery, and was nominated for a Best Contemporary Novel Agatha Award. Her debut book in the series, Plantation Shudders, made the USA Today Bestsellers list, and was nominated for Agatha, Lefty, and Daphne awards. Ellen is also a recipient of a William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grant from the Malice Domestic Convention. Her TV credits include Wings, Still Standing, and Just Shoot Me, as well as network and cable pilots. As a journalist, she’s written over 200 magazine articles for national publications. Her plays, published by Dramatists Play Service, include the popular Graceland and Asleep on the Wind. A native New Yorker and graduate of Tulane University, Ellen lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, daughter, and the family’s spoiled rescue dogs.

Author Links
http://www.ellenbyron.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ellenbyronauthor/
https://twitter.com/ellenbyronla
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/23234.Ellen_Byron

Purchase Links
Amazon B&N

Guest post
WRITING FOR TELEVISION VERSUS WRITING MYSTERIES

I’ve been a television writer for (puts hand over mouth to hid how long) years. Mostly I’ve written for sitcoms like WINGS and JUST SHOOT ME. I recently finished a lengthy gig writing the animated Nickelodeon series, FAIRLY ODD PARENTS and BUNSEN IS A BEAST. I’ve written pilots for all the major networks and some cable ones as well. People often ask me what the difference is between writing for television and writing mysteries The answer? Everything.

First of all, I have a partner for writing television – we’re a female writer/producer team and that’s how we’re marketed by our reps. My CAJUN COUNTRY MYSTERY series is totally my own thing. But if I sold it to a network or studio, my writing partner and I would pen the script adaption of it together.

Writing for television is a social occupation. Writing novels is solitary. Although I’ve done dramas, my career has mainly been in comedy, so I’ll focus on that. As a sitcom writer-producer, I’m part of a staff that can be anywhere from a half dozen to a dozen or more writers offering various levels experience. I’ve worked on staffs that have fifteen writers. We work as a room to break stories. With most shows, once a story is broken, it’s assigned to someone on staff who goes off and writes a first draft. If there’s time in the production schedule, the writer will get notes and do a second draft. The entire staff then punches up the script, adding jokes, fixing story problems, etc.

When you’re in production, you’ll have three trains running – a story train, a production train, and a rewrite train. Multi-camera shows like BIG BANG THEORY are almost like plays. You go to run-throughs, and then come back to the writers room to rewrite based on what worked and what didn’t. There’s a studio run-through and a network run-through, and you have to address the notes given by the various executives. Then you shoot the show before a live audience. Sidebar: (BIG BANG THEORY follows a model where scripts are group-written in the room by the staff.)

My mysteries are totally my babies until they go to the publisher. It’s just my computer and me until I have a draft I want to share with beta reader friends. Once that’s polished, I send it to the publisher, who responds with developmental and copy edit notes. I get to revise and polish up until the book goes to print – and now with e-books, I’ve even made changes a year after publication!

I love having the combination of both writing experiences in my life. It provides a wonderful balance, and exercises different parts of my brain. Have I mentioned I also write plays and am a freelance journalist? But we’ll save that for another post…

Giveaway


TOUR PARTICIPANTS

September 17 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 18 – Valerie’s Musings – GUEST POST
September 18 – Bibliophile Reviews – INTERVIEW 
September 19 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
September 20 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 20 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW
September 21 – My Journey Back – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
September 22 – Readeropolis – INTERVIEW
September 23 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
September 24 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 25 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 25 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 25 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
September 26 – The Mysterious Ink Spot – REVIEW
September 26 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
September 27 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
September 27 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 28 – I Wish I Lived in a Library – REVIEW
September 28 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
September 29 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 29 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – REVIEW
September 30 – Varietats – REVIEW
October 1 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
October 1 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW, GUEST POST

Passport to Murder by Mary Angela - Review and Giveaway

I received this book free from the publisher

Book details
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Camel Press (September 15, 2017)
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603816533

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

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

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

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

Author Links
Webpage Blog GoodReads Facebook Twitter

Purchase Links
Amazon B&N

My thoughts
I have not read the first book in this series but I was not in the least bit lost. This is a fun new series to me. I felt bad for Emmeline when her trip to Paris got cancelled as that is a dream of mine to go there. Then to have Andre become a suspect that had to be the icing on the cake so to speak. I liked how the author developed the characters and how they all play off of each other. Her descriptions of places were very detailed and you can feel a part of the story. I had a hard time figuring out who "did" it due to the number of suspects but that is part of what made this book fun for me. I will be reading more books by this author. 

Giveaway


TOUR PARTICIPANTS

September 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
September 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
September 15 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
September 16 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
September 17 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
September 18 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
September 19 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW 
September 20 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW 
September 20 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
September 21 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
September 22 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 23 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW 
September 24 – Varietats2010 – REVIEW
September 24 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
September 25 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW 
September 26 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW
September 26 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW

September 18, 2017

The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living by Amit Sood, M.D., M.Sc.


Book details
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books; 1 edition (December 24, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0738217123
ISBN-13: 978-0738217123

About the book
Have you ever driven several miles without noticing anything on the road, or read a page in a book without registering any of it? Do the day's worries and disappointments crowd your mind as you're trying to fall asleep at night? Do you feel stressed much of the time and aren't sure how to find peace? In this book, Amit Sood, M.D., M.Sc., a Mayo Clinic specialist in stress and resiliency, reveals how the mind's instinctive restlessness and shortsightedness generate stress and anxiety and presents strategies for living a more peaceful life. The book is based on the highly popular stress management program offered at Mayo Clinic that Dr. Sood developed after two decades of work with tens of thousands of people.

Drawing on groundbreaking brain research, Dr. Sood helps you understand the brain's two modes and how an imbalance between them produces unwanted stress. From this basis, you learn skills that will help you:

Develop deep and sustained attention
Practice gratitude, compassion and acceptance
Live a meaningful life
Cultivate nurturing relationships
Achieve your highest potential

All of these concepts are weaved into a practical and fun journey that has been tested in numerous scientific studies, with consistently positive results. Take the first step to discover greater peace and joy for you and your loved ones.

My thoughts:
I thought this was a good book. It gave me some good tips on how to deal with certain things in my life. The plan is to use these tips in my daily life.  One of the things I liked about this book was how the author got his points across by including stories of real people who have the same problems you do. He even shares things he deals with in his own life. I suggest keeping this book on hand in case you need to go back for some reminders. Myself, I plan on reading this book a second time. I wish I lived closer to the Mayo clinic as I think his workshop would be beneficial. I look forward to reading the Mayo's guide to happiness as well. 

September 17, 2017

Hair Brained by Nancy J. Cohen - Guest Post and Giveaway


Book details:
Cozy Mystery
14th in Series
Orange Grove Press (September 12, 2017)
Print Length: 342 pages
E-Book ASIN: B072XVHPPH

About this book:
Was the car crash an accident or a deliberate attempt to run Marla’s friends off the road?

When hairstylist Marla Vail’s best friend is hurt in a suspicious car accident, Marla assumes guardianship of her infant son. No sooner does Marla say, “Baby want a bottle?” than she’s embroiled in another murder investigation. Her husband, Detective Dalton Vail, determines the crash may not have been an accident after all. But then, who would want Tally–or Ken in the car with her–out of the way? As Marla digs deeper into her friends’ lives, she realizes she didn’t know them as well as she’d thought. Nonetheless, it’s her duty as their son’s guardian to ensure his safety, even if it means putting her own life at risk. Can she protect the baby and find the culprit before someone else ends up as roadkill?

Meet the author - Nancy J. Cohen
Nancy J. Cohen writes the Bad Hair Day Mysteries featuring South Florida hairstylist Marla Vail. Titles in this series have made the IMBA bestseller list and been selected by Suspense Magazineas best cozy mystery. Nancy has also written the instructional guide, Writing the Cozy Mystery. Her imaginative romances, including the Drift Lords series, have proven popular with fans as well. A featured speaker at libraries, conferences, and community events, Nancy is listed in Contemporary Authors, Poets & Writers, and Who’s Who in U.S. Writers, Editors, & Poets. When not busy writing, she enjoys fine dining, cruising, visiting Disney World, and shopping.

Author Links:
Website: http://nancyjcohen.com
Blog: http://nancyjcohen.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NancyJCohenAuthor
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/nancyjcohen
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/91508.Nancy_J_Cohen
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/njcohen/
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nancyjcohen
Booklover’s Bench: http://bookloversbench.com
Newsletter Sign-Up: http://nancyjcohen.com/newsletter/

Purchase Links:
Amazon B&N kobo iBook Google Play

Guest post:

What’s in a Name? by Nancy J. Cohen

It’s important for fiction writers to choose character names that don’t sound alike. This is one of the hardest things for me to do. Some writers keep spreadsheets of the main characters and the secondary cast that shows up in different series volumes. I’ve tried this technique but it gets too complicated for me. So I keep my own Continuing Cast for the recurrent characters, and my list of suspects for each individual novel.

No matter how hard I try, I still end up with names like these in Hair Brained, #14 in the Bad Hair Day Mysteries:

Teri…Tally
Shannon…Shawna
Deanne…Dalton…Darryl
Liam…Louise…Luke…Lilly
Rissa…Ronnie…Ryan

Is it worth the effort to change a name when you notice this indiscretion down the line? Sometimes it isn’t possible because you’ve introduced a person in a previous book. You can’t do anything about that one. You can only alter the names assigned to a newer story.

For example, in Trimmed to Death, my current work-in-progress, I started out with a food critic named Alton Paige. Then I noticed characters named Alyce and Arnie in the story. Whoops. I changed the food critic’s first name to Carlton. These slip-ups happen to me all the time as witnessed in Hair Brained. Here’s an interchange between Darryl and Dalton. Since these two people aren’t together too often in the story, I decided to leave it as is. Hopefully the suspense will keep readers turning pages rather than noticing the name similarities. Darryl is a suspect, while Dalton is a homicide detective. He’s also the husband of hairstylist and sleuth Marla Vail.

“Hey, guys, what are you doing here?” Darryl gazed at them in surprise. He’d forsworn his business attire for a sport shirt and shorts with boating shoes. He wore a baseball cap on his gray hair.

Dalton regarded the blonde in a bikini on the account executive’s arm. “We were hoping to speak to you in private.”

“Is that so? I’ll do the paperwork for my rental, and then you can have a few. Babe, why don’t you wait on that bench over there? I won’t be long.”

“We were wondering what you can tell us about Ryan,” Dalton began, when the three of them stood under the shade of a coconut palm on a grassy swale.

Not far away stood the familiar Bahia Mar resort, its white structure an icon in the area and the mecca for the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. Valet parking at that stellar event cost sixty dollars per day. Was this the crowd Darryl emulated to join?

Darryl kicked at a pebble on the ground. “Ryan is a good kid. He’s personable with our clients, returns phone calls promptly, and gets the job done. I don’t see him staying in that position for any length of time.”

“What’s the alternative?” Dalton asked.

“He’ll jump ship as soon as a better offer comes along.”

“You don’t think he covets your role or Shawna’s?”

“We’re not going anywhere, so he’d have to seek a promotion at another place. His position is better suited to someone like Jeri, who’s content to get a salary with benefits and do the job. Ryan is on a career track. He makes no secret about it.”

“I understand his mother has Alzheimer’s disease. How can he afford to take care of her and own an expensive car?” Marla inquired. “I notice he has the latest tech gadgets, too.”

“Maybe his old lady has savings? I’ve never asked. As for the car, how do you know he owns it? He could have a lease.”

“That’s true.” She gave Dalton a thoughtful glance. “We were wondering if Ken found any irregularities among those two. You know, Jeri has an ill daughter. They both have the duty of caring for a loved one.”

Darryl glowered at her. “Ken wouldn’t tolerate any discrepancies in the books, if that’s what you mean.”

I find it infinitely more confusing when a writer gives a character an opposite gender name like Sam for a woman. Then I am constantly pondering the sex of this person until I get to know them better. A unisex name can be just as confusing. Is Chris a man or a woman? How about Alex? It helps to have some other way to identify this person.

Does it bother you when too many character names sound alike or don’t you notice?

Giveaway:


TOUR PARTICIPANTS

September 12 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 12 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
September 13 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
September 13 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
September 14 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 14 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 15 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 15 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
September 16 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
September 17 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
September 18 – Deal Sharing Aunt – INTERVIEW
September 18 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
September 19 – Cozy Up With Kathy – GUEST POST
September 19 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
September 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
September 20 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

September 16, 2017

The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin - Review

I received this book free from the publisher

Book details
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Harmony (September 12, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1524760919
ISBN-13: 978-1524760915

About this book
In this groundbreaking analysis of personality type, bestselling author of Better Than Before and The Happiness Project Gretchen Rubin reveals the one simple question that will transform what you do at home, at work, and in life.

During her multibook investigation into understanding human nature, Gretchen Rubin realized that by asking the seemingly dry question "How do I respond to expectations?" we gain explosive self-knowledge. She discovered that based on their answer, people fit into Four Tendencies: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels. Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so using this framework allows us to make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress, and engage more effectively. 

More than 600,000 people have taken her online quiz, and managers, doctors, teachers, spouses, and parents already use the framework to help people make significant, lasting change.
The Four Tendencies hold practical answers if you've ever thought...

· People can rely on me, but I can't rely on myself.
· How can I help someone to follow good advice?
· People say I ask too many questions.
· How do I work with someone who refuses to do what I ask—or who keeps telling me what to do?

With sharp insight, compelling research, and hilarious examples, The Four Tendencies will help you get happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. It's far easier to succeed when you know what works for you.

Meet the author - Gretchen Rubin
Gretchen Rubin is one of the most thought-provoking and influential writers on the linked subjects of habits, happiness, and human nature. She's the author of many books, including the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers, Better Than Before and The Happiness Project. A member of Oprah's SuperSoul 100, Rubin has an enormous following, in print and online; her books have sold more than two million copies worldwide, in more than thirty-five languages, and on her popular daily blog, gretchenrubin.com, she reports on her adventures in pursuit of habits and happiness. She also has a highly ranked, award-winning podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin. Rubin started her career in law, and was clerking for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor when she realized she wanted to be a writer. She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters.

My thoughts
Gretchen Rubin has a way of helping you figure out who you are and how to make changes in your life to better yourself. This book goes into specific details for each of the personality types she has talked about in her other books and podcast. You can take the test at the beginning of the book or on her website to find out what type of personality you have then come back to the book to learn what this means in your life. I like her writing style and how she makes things easy to understand. I also like that this book goes into detail for each tendencies and gives you a little more insight that her other books have on this issue. As with her other books I have read I felt better for having read them and will use the tips in my life. I think it could be read multiple times as you could come away with more with each reading. 

September 14, 2017

The Summer That Made Us by Robyn Carr - Review

I received this book free from the publisher

Book details
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: MIRA (September 5, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0778330869
ISBN-13: 978-0778330868

About this book
The brand-new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr that Kirkus calls "a blissful beach read." The Summer That Made Us is an unforgettable story about a family learning to accept the past, to forgive and to love each other again.

That was then…

For the Hempsteads, summers were idyllic. The lake was a magical place, a haven where they were happy and carefree. All of their problems drifted away as the days passed in sun-dappled contentment. Until the summer that changed everything.

This is now…

After an accident turned the lake house into a site of tragedy and grief, it was closed up. None of the Hempstead women speak of what happened, and relationships between them are uneasy at best to hurtful at worst. But in the face of new challenges, one woman is determined to draw her family together again, and the only way that can happen is to return to the lake and face the truth.

Robyn Carr has crafted another beautifully woven story about the complexities of family dynamics and the value of strong female relationships.

Meet the author - Robyn Carr
Robyn is the author of more than 50 novels, including 11 #1 New York Times bestsellers, as well as the beloved Virgin River and Thunder Point series. In 2016, she was awarded the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award from Romance Writers of America. Robyn and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit Robyn Carr’s website at www.RobynCarr.com.

My thoughts
I don't think I have read a Robyn Carr book that I have not loved. She has a way of making you feel as if you are at home in the pages of her books. The author makes the character feel so real. This story could be your own family. She takes real life situations and makes them end in a happy way. I liked how this story pulled at your heartstrings while reading it. It takes you on a emotional roller coaster as you read it. It took Meg getting sick to bring a family back together that was torn apart by a tragedy. Each of the ladies in this story have their own issues in their lives and going back to the lake can be a way to make things better. The way this book was written you felt as if you were along on the journey with the girls. As I always I highly recommend Robyn Carr's books to my book friends. 

The Soldier's Return by Laura Libricz - Spotlight


Book details
Publication Date: September 15, 2017
eBook & Paperback
Series: Heaven’s Pond Trilogy, Book Two
Genre: Historical Fiction


About the book
The year is 1626. A senseless war rips through parts of Germany. Ongoing animosity between the Catholics and the Protestants has turned into an excuse to destroy much of the landscape situated between France, Italy and Denmark. But religion only plays a minor role in this lucrative business of war.

The young dutchman, Pieter van Diemen, returns to Amsterdam in chains after a period of imprisonment in the Spice Islands. He manages to escape but must leave Amsterdam in a hurry. Soldiers are in demand in Germany and he decides to travel with a regiment until he can desert. His hope of survival is to reach Sichardtshof, the farm in Franconia, Germany; the farm he left ten years ago. His desire to seek refuge with them lies in his fond memories of the maid Katarina and her master, the humanist patrician Herr Tucher. But ten years is a long time and the farm has changed. Franconia is not only torn by war but falling victim to a church-driven witch hunt. The Jesuit priest, Ralf, has his sights set on Sichardtshof as well. Ralf believes that ridding the area of evil will be his saving grace. Can Pieter, Katarina and Herr Tucher unite to fight against a senseless war out of control?

The Soldier’s Return is the second book in the Heaven’s Pond Trilogy and will be released on 
September 15, 2017.

Available on Amazon

Meet the Author - Laura Libricz
Laura Libricz was born and raised in Bethlehem PA and moved to Upstate New York when she was 22. After working a few years building Steinberger guitars, she received a scholarship to go to college. She tried to ‘do the right thing’ and study something useful, but spent all her time reading German literature.

She earned a BA in German at The College of New Paltz, NY in 1991 and moved to Germany, where she resides today. When she isn’t writing she can be found sifting through city archives, picking through castle ruins or aiding the steady flood of musical instruments into the world market.

Her first novel, The Master and the Maid, is the first book of the Heaven’s Pond Trilogy. The Soldier’s Return and Ash and Rubble are the second and third books in the series.

For more information, please visit Laura Libricz’s website and blog. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

September 13, 2017

Highland Peril by Amy M. Reade - Guest Post and Giveaway


Book details
Mystery
2nd in Series
Lyrical Underground (September 5, 2017)
Paperback: 218 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1516100187
E-Book ASIN: B01N9GF9WF

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

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

Meet the author - Amy M. Reade
Amy M. Reade is a cook, chauffeur, household CEO, doctor, laundress, maid, psychiatrist, warden, seer, teacher, and pet whisperer. In other words, a wife, mother, and recovering attorney. But she also writes (how could she not write with that last name?) and is the author of The Malice Series (The House on Candlewick Lane, Highland Peril, and Murder in Thistlecross) and three standalone books, Secrets of Hallstead House, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, and House of the Hanging Jade. She lives in southern New Jersey, but loves to travel. Her favorite places to visit are Scotland and Hawaii and when she can’t travel she loves to read books set in far-flung locations.

Author Links

Website: www.amymreade.com
Blog: www.amreade.wordpress.com
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/8189243.Amy_M_Reade
Amazon: www.amazon.com/Amy-M.-Reade/e/B00LX6ASF2/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/AmyMReadesGothicFictionFans/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/readeandwrite
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/amreade
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/amymreade

Purchase Links
Amazon B&N

Guest Post
What Got Left Out of Highland Peril 

I’ve been very lucky to have visited Scotland twice in the past several years; both visits were partially for research on the first two books in my Malice series—The House on Candlewick Lane and Highland Peril.

Except for the first scene of the book, The House on Candlewick Lane is set in the Lothians, a rural area outside Edinburgh, and in Edinburgh itself. I was awed by the city when I first visited, and I worked hard to bring the sights and rich history of the ancient burg to my book.

But as much as I enjoyed Edinburgh, the place I long to return to is the Scottish Highlands, where the rugged landscape, the deep, cold lochs, and the heathery moors captured my heart like few places have ever done.

This is the place where much of Highland Peril is set. Oh, sure, I had to send the main characters to Edinburgh and London for short stints, but they love the Highlands as much as I do and they were always ready to head back home.

Today I want to share with you some of my photos of the Highlands and other parts of Scotland—places that didn’t make it into the book. I hope you enjoy the virtual tour!






From top to bottom, these are the village of Fortrose, in Rosemarkie, Fairy Glen, a place of almost mythical beauty not far from town, and the Dragon Teeth on Rosemarkie Beach. The “teeth” are only visible at low tide.  

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway


TOUR PARTICIPANTS
September 4 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
September 5 – Nadaness In Motion – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
September 6 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
September 7 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT – evacuated for hurricane
September 8 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 8 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
September 9 – The Editing Pen – INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 9 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
September 10 – The Power of Words – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY
September 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy– INTERVIEW
September 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
September 13 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY
September 14 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW