April 25, 2017

The Chameleon by Michele Hauf - Cover Reveal

by Michele Hauf
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Pub Date: 12/12/2017

The Elite Crimes Unit is a covert team within Interpol that specializes in taking down the world’s top criminals—and then offering them a deal. Because sometimes a history of bad behavior can be a very good thing . . .

Jack Angelo is clearly off his game. First his wallet gets lifted—by a pregnant woman, no less—on the ferry to Finland. At his hotel, he’s seduced by a sexy redhead who takes him for a ride, too. And when he finally starts casing the bank he’s supposed to rob, yet another female fouls things up. All he wants is to complete this assignment for the ECU to save himself and his family. Little does he know that the women who keep interfering are actually one woman—who’s about to show him just how outmatched he really is . . .

Known as “The Chameleon” Saskia Petrovik is a mistress of disguise tasked with watching the new recruit as he meets up with his high-level crew of thieves. She has no problem getting under the covers to pull off an undercover job—especially with the man known as Gentleman Jack. But multiple identities can cause multiple problems, and in these dangerous circles, the temptation to show her true self could change a deceptive affair into a deadly one . . .

Michele Hauf has been writing romance, action-adventure and fantasy stories for over twenty years. Her first published novel was Dark Rapture (Zebra). France, musketeers, vampires and faeries populate her stories. And if she followed the adage “write what you know,” all her stories would have snow in them. Fortunately, she steps beyond her comfort zone and writes about countries she has never visited and of creatures she has never seen.

April 24, 2017

And Death Goes To ... by Laura Bradford - Cover Reveal

by Laura Bradford
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Pub Date: 12/5/2017

The Tobias Ad Agency is in the running for the coveted Golden Storyboard, and Tobi couldn't be more thrilled—until she discovers it's literally an award to die for.

It’s an honor just to be nominated. But, let's get real, Tobi wants to win. The St. Louis Advertising Awards are like the Oscars for her field, and Tobi' is up for its most prestigious prize, Best Overall Ad Campaign. The competition is always fierce, but this year it’s killer . . .

Despite her high hopes, Tobi isn't exactly shocked when she doesn’t win. But she is shocked when the winner, Deidre Ryan, takes the stage only to plummet to her death as a platform suddenly gives way. After the police discover foul play, Tobi's Grandpa Stu wastes no time in nominating suspects. But was Deidre the intended victim—or was someone else meant to take the fatal fall? Now it’s a race to catch a killer in the spotlight, before another nominee gets the booby prize and Tobi gets trapped in a no-win situation.

Laura Bradford is also the author of the Emergency Dessert Squad Mysteries, including Silence of the Flans and Éclair and Present Danger, and the national bestselling Amish Mysteries, including A Churn for the Worse and Suspendered Sentence. Under the pen name, Elizabeth Lynn Casey, she writes the Southern Sewing Circle Mysteries, including Wedding Duress and Taken In. She lives in Yorktown Heights, New York, with her husband and their blended brood. Visit her website at laurabradford.com.

April 23, 2017

The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton - Review

I received this book free from the publisher:

Book details:
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (April 11, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-0718084226

About this book:
When her grandmother’s will wrenches Sara back home from New Orleans, she learns more about Margaret Van Buren in the wake of her death than she ever did in life.

After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags's ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay, Alabama. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed her The Hideaway and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering Mags’s best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there.

Rather than hurrying back to New Orleans, Sara stays in Sweet Bay and begins the biggest house-rehabbing project of her career. Amid Sheetrock dust, old memories, and a charming contractor, she discovers that slipping back into life at The Hideaway is easier than she expected.

Then she discovers a box Mags left in the attic with clues to a life Sara never imagined for her grandmother. With help from Mags’s friends, Sara begins to piece together the mysterious life of bravery, passion, and choices that changed Mags’s destiny in both marvelous and devastating ways.

When an opportunistic land developer threatens to seize The Hideaway, Sara is forced to make a choice—stay in Sweet Bay and fight for the house and the people she’s grown to love or leave again and return to her successful but solitary life in New Orleans.

Meet the author:
Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Lauren K. Denton now lives with her husband and two daughters in Homewood, just outside Birmingham. In addition to her fiction, she writes a monthly newspaper column about life, faith, and how funny (and hard) it is to be a parent. On any given day, she’d rather be at the beach with her family and a stack of books. The Hideaway is her first novel. Website: laurenkdenton.com Twitter: @LaurenKDenton

My thoughts:
When I read what this book was going to be about it drew me in. I thought it sounded like an interesting book that was going to have a twist or two in the story. Needless to say I was not disappointed. The author did a good job of describing the settings. I can see myself at the bed and breakfast with this nice cast of characters enjoying a good meal and company. I also like how the author went back and forth between Sara's story and her grandmother Mag's story. This was a touching book but at the same time it had a light-hearted feel to it. There was also a touch of romance in it but not over powering. A great book to take to the beach with you or sit under the shade tree. I am glad I gave this new to me author a try and look forward to more books by her. 

The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt by Darrin Lunde - Review

I received this book free from the publisher

Book Details:
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (April 11, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-0307464316

About the book:
The surprising story of intrepid naturalist Theodore Roosevelt and how his lifelong passion for the natural world set the stage for America's wildlife conservation movement.

Perhaps no American president is more associated with nature and wildlife than Theodore Roosevelt, a prodigious hunter and adventurer and an ardent conservationist. We think of Roosevelt as an original, yet in The Naturalist, Darrin Lunde shows how from his earliest days Roosevelt actively modeled himself in the proud tradition of museum naturalists—the men who pioneered a key branch of American biology through their desire to collect animal specimens and develop a taxonomy of the natural world. The influence these men would have on Roosevelt would shape not just his personality but his career, informing his work as a politician and statesman and ultimately affecting generations of Americans' relationship to this country's wilderness. Pulling from Roosevelt's diaries and expedition journals, Lunde constructs a brilliantly researched, singularly insightful history that reveals the roots of Roosevelt’s enduring naturalist legacy through the group little-known men whose work and lives defined his own.

About the author:
DARRIN LUNDE is a Supervisory Museum Specialist in the Division of Mammals at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. Previously, he worked at the American Museum of Natural History, where he led field expeditions throughout the world. Lunde has named more than a dozen new species of mammals and provided valuable scientific insights on hundreds of others. He lives in Maryland.
My thoughts:
I have never read anything about Theodore Roosevelt and do not know much about him other than he loved to hunt and helped established the national park system. So when I saw this book I thought it would be a good addition to my library and a good way to learn more about him. One of my favorite quotes from the book by him is: "The country is the place for children, and if not the country, a city small enough so that one can get out into the country." One thing I found interesting is that his wife Kermit went on many hunts with him and helped to contribute to the exhibits in the museum. This book does not focus on his time as a president although it is mentioned. This book focuses on the rest of his live and his love of nature. It was kind of funny how he in a lived a contradictory life. While he wanted to protect nature he as the same time was an avid hunter and collect animals so we would know more about them. I thought the book very interesting and was happy to learn about one side of this great man. 

April 21, 2017

Hard-Hearted Highlander by Julia London - Review and Giveaway

I received this book free from the publisher

Book Details:
Series: The Highland Grooms (Book 3)
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (April 25, 2017)

An indomitable governess…a brooding Highlander…a forbidden affair…

An ill-fated elopement cost English-born governess Bernadette Holly her reputation, her unsuitable lover and any chance of a future match. She has nothing left to fear—not even the bitter, dangerously handsome Scot due to marry her young charge. Naive wallflower Avaline is terrified to wed Rabbie Mackenzie, but if he sends her home, she will be ruined. Bernadette’s solution: convince Rabbie to get Avaline to cry off…while ignoring her own traitorous attraction to him.

A forced engagement to an Englishwoman is a hard pill for any Scot to swallow. It’s even worse when the fiancée in question is a delicate, foolish young miss—unlike her spirited, quick-witted governess. Sparring with Bernadette brings passion and light back to Rabbie’s life after the failed Jacobite uprising. His clan’s future depends upon his match to another, but how can any Highlander forsake a love that stirs his heart and soul?

About the author:
Julia London is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including the popular Secrets of Hadley Green historical romance series, the Cabot Sisters historical romance series, and the Homecoming Ranch contemporary romance series. She is a six time finalist for the presitigous RITA Award for excellence in romantic fiction, and RT Bookclub award recipient for Best Historical Romance for Dangerous Gentleman. She lives in Austin, Texas.
Connect with Julia
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

My thoughts:
I enjoyed this addition to a fun series. I felt so bad for Rabbie for losing so much and then he gets tied to an English woman. From reading other books I know how hard it is for Scots to be tied with English people during that time. But underneath his tough exterior there is a soft and gentle side that I liked to see. One of the things I really enjoyed was all the bantering back and forth between the characters. It added another dimension to the story for me. Another character I felt bad for was Bernadette. What her dad did to her was just not right. Sometimes you wonder why people do what they do. I enjoyed going alone with Avaline on her life's journey. I have enjoyed this whole series and will continue to read books by Julia.


Julia London’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, April 17th: Luxury Reading
Tuesday, April 18th: A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, April 19th: A Night’s Dream of Books
Thursday, April 20th: Booked on a Feeling
Friday, April 21st: A Holland Reads
Monday, April 24th: The Romance Dish
Tuesday, April 25th: BookNAround
Friday, April 28th: The Maiden’s Court
Monday, May 1st: Books that Hook
Wednesday, May 3rd: From the TBR Pile
Friday, May 5th: Back Porchervations
Monday, May 8th: Stranded in Chaos
Wednesday, May 10th: Buried Under Romance – review & excerpt
Monday, May 15th: Becca the Bibliophile – excerpt
Wednesday, May 17th: The Sassy Bookster – excerpt
Friday, May 19th: The Reading Wench

April 20, 2017

Merrily In Love by Melissa West - Spotlight

by Melissa West
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Pub Date: 11/7/2017

The Littleton brothers are as much a part of Crestler’s Key as the sun and surf, living the single life without a care. But love has a way of changing even the most determined bachelor’s mind.

Brady Littleton has left his reckless youth behind to become a man his brothers can count on. When the family dive shop needs to expand, he’s got the answer: buy the Christmas shop next door. Except the retiring owner’s goddaughter, Kylie Waters, has come back to town. She was Brady’s first kiss—his first everything—and she doesn’t want to sell. He’s got a solution to that too. Whoever makes the most sales by Christmas Day can take over the shop, fair and square.

Kylie resolved to put the youngest, wildest Littleton brother out of her head when he abruptly ended their relationship years ago. But the steady, gorgeous man he’s become is impossible to ignore. Especially once reminiscing leads to a kiss as hot and heady as mulled wine. Their deal means that one of them is going to lose out on a dream…unless Christmas Day brings the gift of a sweet, surprising second chance.

Melissa West writes heartfelt Southern romance and teen sci-fi romance, all with lots of kissing. Because who doesn't like kissing? She lives outside of Atlanta, GA, with her husband and two daughters and spends most of her time writing, reading, or fueling her coffee addiction.

April 19, 2017

The Illusionist's Apprentice by Kristy Cambron - Spotlight and Interview

Book Details:
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 7, 2017)

About  the book:
Prepare to be amazed by THE ILLUSIONIST’S APPRENTICE. Wren Lockhart, the talented magician at the heart of Kristy Cambron’s spellbinding tale of Jazz Age Boston, is the fierce, brilliant, guarded headliner you’ve been waiting for. This novel will have your pulse pounding and your mind racing to keep up with reversals, betrayals and surprises from the first page to the last. Like her characters, Cambron works magic so compelling and persuasive, she deserves a standing ovation. –Greer Macallister, bestselling author of THE MAGICIAN’S LIE and GIRL IN DISGUISE.

Harry Houdini’s one-time apprentice holds fantastic secrets about the greatest illusionist in the world. But someone wants to claim them . . . or silence her before she can reveal them on her own.

Boston, 1926. Jenny “Wren” Lockhart is a bold eccentric—even for a female vaudevillian. As notorious for her inherited wealth and gentleman’s dress as she is for her unsavory upbringing in the back halls of a vaudeville theater, Wren lives in a world that challenges all manner of conventions.

In the months following Houdini’s death, Wren is drawn into a web of mystery surrounding a spiritualist by the name of Horace Stapleton, a man defamed by Houdini’s ardent debunking of fraudulent mystics in the years leading up to his death. But in a public illusion that goes terribly wrong, one man is dead and another stands charged with his murder. Though he’s known as one of her teacher’s greatest critics, Wren must decide to become the one thing she never wanted to be: Stapleton’s defender.

Forced to team up with the newly formed FBI, Wren races against time and an unknown enemy, all to prove the innocence of a hated man. In a world of illusion, of the vaudeville halls that showcase the flamboyant and the strange, Wren’s carefully constructed world threatens to collapse around her. Layered with mystery, illusion, and the artistry of the Jazz Age’s bygone vaudeville era, The Illusionist’s Apprentice is a journey through love and loss and the underpinnings of faith on each life’s stage.

‘Cambron takes readers on an amazing journey into the world of vaudeville illusionists during the Roaring Twenties. This novel includes an intriguing mystery that adds adventure and suspense to the intricately detailed historical drama . . . The romance is wonderfully portrayed as well, rounding out the story with tenderness.’ (RT Book Reviews – 4 1/2 stars TOP PICK)

“Cambron’s lithe prose pulls together past and present and her attention to historical detail grounds the narrative to the last breathtaking moments.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

Purchase Links
Amazon | Apple/iBooks |
Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

About the author:
Kristy Cambron fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. Her debut novel, The Butterfly and the Violin, was named to Library Journal’s Best Books of 2014 and nominated for RT Book Reviews’ Choice Awards Best Inspirational Novel of 2014 and for the 2015 INSPY Awards for Best Debut Novel. Her second novel, A Sparrow in Terezin, was named Library Journal’s Pick of the Month (Christian Fiction) for February 2015 and a Top Pick for RT Book Reviews. Kristy holds a degree in Art History from Indiana University. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three young sons.

You can connect with Kristy at: KristyCambron.com
Facebook: Kristy Cambron | Twitter: @KCambronAuthor | Instagram: kristycambron
Pinterest: KCambronAuthor 

Author Interview:
How did you pick this subject to write about?
I love this question so much, because I get to tell the story about how my publishing family brought the idea of a Jazz Age series to my attention… but this had already been on my heart, and the books just met it in the middle of it.

Thanks to my Mom’s influence, I’ve had a love for classic films since early childhood. One of our favorites to watch together was the 1952 classic, THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH – a behind-the-scenes extravaganza of Hollywood stars, drama, and dazzling performances in the Ringling Bros.’ Big Top world. I’d always wanted to pen stories set in the nostalgia of the Roaring ‘20s, and the idea of a Jazz Age Entertainers series came out of it. What better inspiration is there than the worlds of vintage circus and the vaudeville stage entertainers – such a Harry Houdini – in a visually stunning Jazz Age world? The Ringmaster’s Wife (2016) and The Illusionist’s Apprentice (2017) became the stories-of-my-heart from that era.

The Illusionist’s Apprentice was also my first opportunity to try a flavor of mystery/suspense writing combined in the vintage-inspired historical fiction space I love so much. Combining historical fact in the lives and STORIES of the generations that have come before continually inspire me, and drive the questions about faith and redemption that I try to tackle in each book.

Who or what is your biggest influence in writing?
The transformative power of grace, and the redemptive message of Jesus Christ is the heartbeat of everything I write. Whether the books include a bold faith thread (such as in the Hidden Masterpiece series, on the art of the Holocaust), Bible studies (coming 2018) or an undercurrent of faith , such as in this book, THE ILLUSIONIST’S APPRENTICE, He is present in every story.

If you could meet any author dead or alive who would it be and why?
The answer to this question changes with what I happen to pull inspiration from at the time. I’ve had the honor to meet (and even sign books with!) the fiction author who most inspired me in the start of my career– Francine Rivers. She’s as warm and kind in person as you’d expect from reading the exquisite books she writes.

I also find that the depth of research required to write about historical characters really makes you want to meet them. With Harry Houdini’s incredible life and work–he was an author too–the research for this vaudeville story makes me wish I could tag along on one of his incredible adventures on the stage. Writing about him was close to it, but it would have been fascinating to sit down and ask him every question we’d like answers to.

Kristy Cambron’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Friday, February 24th: BookBub Blog – New Historical Books for Book Clubs
Monday, April 3rd: Unabridged Chick
Wednesday, April 5th: Black ‘n Gold Girl’s Book Spot
Monday, April 10th: Books ‘n Tea
Wednesday, April 12th: Books a la Mode – guest post
Monday, April 17th: Suzy Approved
Wednesday, April 19th: A. Holland Reads – spotlight
Friday, April 21st: Just Commonly
Monday, April 24th: I Brought a Book
Wednesday, April 26th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, May 1st: Reading Reality
Wednesday, May 3rd: Just One More Chapter
Friday, May 5th: Books Without Any Pictures
Monday, May 8th: Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, May 10th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, May 15th: Broken Teepee
Wednesday, May 17th: Kritter’s Ramblings

April 18, 2017

Any Day Now by Robyn Carr - Review

I received this book free from the publisher

Book Details:
Series: Sullivan's Crossing (Book 2)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: MIRA (April 18, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-0778319917

About the book:
The highly anticipated sequel to #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr's What We Find transports readers back to Sullivan's Crossing. The rustic campground at the crossroads of the Colorado and Continental Divide trails welcomes everyone—whether you're looking for a relaxing weekend getaway or a whole new lease on life. It's a wonderful place where good people face their challenges with humor, strength and love.

For Sierra Jones, Sullivan's Crossing is meant to be a brief stopover. She's put her troubled past behind her but the path forward isn't yet clear. A visit with her big brother Cal and his new bride, Maggie, seems to be the best option to help her get back on her feet.

Not wanting to burden or depend on anyone, Sierra is surprised to find the Crossing offers so much more than a place to rest her head. Cal and Maggie welcome her into their busy lives and she quickly finds herself bonding with Sully, the quirky campground owner who is the father figure she's always wanted. But when her past catches up with her, it's a special man and an adorable puppy who give her the strength to face the truth and fight for a brighter future. In Sullivan's Crossing Sierra learns to cherish the family you are given and the family you choose.

About the author:
Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of almost fifty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series. Her highly anticipated new series, Thunder Point, will be released March 2013. Robyn and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit Robyn Carr's website at www.RobynCarr.com.

My thoughts on the book:
I enjoyed this book and this series is growing on me. Of course for me nothing will ever compare to Virgin River but this is a close second. This installment in this series has a few more emotions than the first one. It deals with issues of abuse and date rape. I am still not sure if I like Sierra or now. She is not a bad person but there is something about her that I just do not care for. Although I still love Maggie. I also liked to get to know Connie better and yes I do like him. One thing I did like about Sierra is that she was quick to protect Molly (a dog) - for me that means a lot. You do have to feel bad for Sierra and I found myself wanting the best for her and for good things to happen for her. The ending of this book was really good. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. 

April 17, 2017

The Memory of You by Catherine West - Review

I received this book free from the publisher:

Book Details:
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (March 28, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-0718078768

Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?

When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.

And Natalie never says no to her father.

Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.

But finding freedom from the past means facing it.

About the author:
Catherine West is an award-winning author writing stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. Educated in Bermuda, England and Canada, Catherine holds a degree in English from the University of Toronto. When she's not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children. Catherine is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America, and is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Management.
Having previously published three popular romance and women's fiction titles, Catherine will publish her first novel through Harper Collins Christian Publishing this summer. The Things We Knew, a family drama set on Nantucket, released July 12th, 2016.
Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at Catherine@catherinejwest.com

My thoughts:
This is the first book I have read by this author and her writing impressed me. I loved the setting of this book. Also I really enjoyed this author's writing style. She has a way of making you feel as if you are really a part of this story. For example she goes through the whole wine making process which I thought was very interesting. I felt so bad for Natalie. She has to go back home to a place she has been dreading since her sister passed. I can only imagine all of the emotions that were going through her head. Her grandfather was not doing well and she was very close to him. I enjoyed the bit of romance in this story as well. As Tanner learns more about Natalie the more he likes her. I will be looking forward to more books by this author. 

Grandpa Hugs by Laura Neutzling

I received this book free from the publisher

Book Details:
Board book: 20 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Boardbook edition (March 28, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-0718089405

Grandmas are for kisses, and grandpas are for great big hugs! Grandpas are fun! They go on adventures, tell silly jokes, say funny things, and love to eat treats. This adorable board book celebrates how wonderful spending time with Grandpa can be!

Little ones and grandpas alike will love Grandpa Hugs, the charming, rhyming storybook about how special a grandpa can be to a child. This companion to the acclaimed Grandma Kisses celebrates grandfathers and all the love and fun they bring to the special grandkids in their lives.

Whether it is a gift from a grandfather to his grandchild, a grandchild to her grandpa, or as a sweet, creative birth announcement for a first-time grandpa, Grandpa Hugs is bound to warm the hearts of everyone who reads it.
About the author:
Laura Neutzling has spent most of her career in entertainment, leading marketing and branding efforts of Warner Brothers Music and DreamWorks Animation. She has created marketing copy, taglines, presentations, and award-winning live events all the way from concept to production. As her marketing career transitioned to animated children’s productions, she moved into writing scripts, discussion guides, and books. Laura originally hails from San Antonio, Texas, but called Nashville, Tennessee, home for nearly twenty years. A devoted aunt to five nephews and a niece, she currently resides with her husband in Sarasota, Florida, where she runs a marketing consulting business and works on her various writing projects.

My thoughts:
This was such a cute little book for your favorite little one. The illustrations are so cute, I loved all the little bunnies. Their stories with all the fun things they do with their grandpa was pleasant to read. This is a great book for a grandpa to sit down and read to all of his little grandkids. I am looking forward to getting the grandma one as well for my little niece. 

Cat Got Your Cash by Julie Chase - Review

I received this book free from the publisher

Book Details:
Series: A Kitty Couture Mystery (Book 2)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (April 11, 2017)
ISBN-13: 978-1683311089

Lacy Marie Crocker’s whimsical pet couture has gained a following in New Orleans’s cozy Garden District, and word of mouth has traveled all the way to her favorite fashion designer, Annie Lane. Lacy’s thrilled when Annie schedules a private session at her home to discuss a companion line for her evening wear, but when Lacy arrives for the appointment, she enters the kitchen to two mewling Siamese cats--and one very dead Annie.

Lacy takes the kittens home to care for them until they can be properly claimed by Annie's family or friends, but after a busy day of work, she returns home to find them missing. And when Lacy learns the cats are set to inherit Annie's fortune, she begins to wonder if the killer was after the kittens all along. Now Lacy will stop at nothing to save the Siamese and find justice for Annie--if the killer doesn’t sink his claws into her first.

Luckily, Lacy has the help of handsome NOLA PD homicide detective Jack Oliver to help her catch the cat-napper before its too late in Cat Got Your Cash, the endearing second Kitty Couture mystery from Julie Chase.

About the author:
Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency.

Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey.

My thoughts:
This was a fun addition to one of my new favorite series. I love the whole kitty couture thing going on in this book. Who would not love to have a job designing clothes for pets. Leaving her money to her cats is something that I have heard of people that have done this. You have to really love your animal to do this. I felt so bad for Cotton and Cashmere, first they lost their human to murder then they get stolen from Lacy who is trying to help them. I love that all the characters in this book are cat lovers. There is even a little romance thrown in with this mystery. This author has a way of writing that makes the book a quick and fun read. I loved the setting of this book as well. As I was reading this book I thought I had it figured out but I had to really follow the clues closely. It took me until the end to figure it all out. I am looking forward to the next book in this fun series. 

April 16, 2017

Called to Justice by Edith Maxwell - Spotlight and Giveaway

Book Details:
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Midnight Ink (April 8, 2017)
Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738750323

Quaker midwife Rose Carroll is enjoying the 1888 Independence Day evening fireworks with her beau when a teenaged Quaker mill girl is found shot dead. After a former slave and fellow Quaker is accused of the murder, Rose delves into the crime, convinced of the man’s innocence. An ill-mannered mill manager, an Irish immigrant, and the victim’s young boyfriend come under suspicion even as Rose’s future with her handsome doctor suitor becomes unsure. Rose continues to deliver babies and listen to secrets, finally figuring out one criminal – only to be threatened by the murderer, with three lives at stake. Can she rescue herself, a baby, and her elderly midwifery teacher in time?

About The Author:
Agatha-nominated and Amazon best-selling author Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries and the Local Foods Mysteries, the Country Store Mysteries (as Maddie Day), and the Lauren Rousseau Mysteries (as Tace Baker), as well as award-winning short crime fiction. Maxwell lives north of Boston with her beau and three cats, and blogs with the other Wicked Cozy Authors. You can find her on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, and at www.edithmaxwell.com.


Purchase Links:
Amazon B&N

Tour Participants

April 5 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW 
April 5 – My Journey Back – REVIEW
April 6 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
April 6 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, GUEST POST
April 7 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW
April 7 – Books,Dreams,Life – INTERVIEW
April 8 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
April 8 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
April 9 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
April 9 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, GUEST POST
April 10 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
April 10 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
April 11 – Rainy Day Reviews – REVIEW
April 11 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST
April 12 – Book Babble – REVIEW
April 12 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW 
April 13 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
April 14 – Leigh Anderson Romance – REVIEW
April 14 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – SPOTLIGHT
April 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
April 15 – deal sharing aunt – INTERVIEW
April 16 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GUEST POST
April 16 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT

April 14, 2017

Silence of the Jams by Gayle Leeson - Review and Giveaway

I received this book from the publisher for free

Book Details:
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Berkley (April 4, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1101990803

In the latest Southern cozy from the author of The Calamity Café, small-town chef Amy Flowers can’t take her freedom for granted when she’s served up as a murder suspect…

It’s Independence Day in Winter Garden, Virginia, and the residents are gearing up for their annual celebration. The Down South Café is open and flourishing, and Amy Flowers is busy making pies and cakes for the holiday. The only thorn in her side is Chamber of Commerce director George Lincoln, who is trying to buy the café so he can tear it down and build a B&B on the site.

When George collapses while eating at the Down South, everybody assumes it’s a heart attack—until the autopsy declares it to be poisoning. Now, it’s up to Amy to prove her innocence before her liberty is lost.

Includes delicious Southern recipes!
About The Author 
Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series. I live in Virginia with my family, which includes her own “Angus” who is not an Irish wolfhound but a Great Pyrenees who provides plenty of inspiration for the character of Mr. O’Ruff. I’m having a blast writing this new series!

Authors Links:
Webpage – http://www.gayleleeson.com
Gayle Trent Webpage – http://www.gayletrent.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GayleTrentandAmandaLee/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/GayleTrent
GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/426208.Gayle_Trent

Purchase Links
Amazon Barnes & Noble Books-A-Million Indiebound Kobo

My thoughts:
This is a good addition to a fun series. The cafe is a place that I would enjoy hanging out at and eating some good southern food. I was glad that Amy stood her ground about selling her cafe. It is upsetting when one person tries to buy out a well know "homey" type of place. Although it was not good that George ended up dead. I like that there is family and friends are heavily involved in this story as well as the touch of romance. I always have fun trying to figure out who committed the crime. Sometimes I am right and sometimes the author throws me a curve ball. I enjoy this authors writing style as it moves along quickly to me. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. 


Tour Participants

April 3 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
April 3 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
April 4 – Book Babble – REVIEW
April 4 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 5 – Bookworm Mom – REVIEW 
April 6 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
April 6 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW *
April 6 – Shelley’s Book Case – REVIEW
April 7 – A Blue Million Books – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 7 – Books,Dreams,Life – INTERVIEW
April 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
April 8 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW
April 9 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 10 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW 
April 11 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
April 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW *
April 12 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
April 12 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW
April 12 – Maureen’s Musings – REVIEW
April 13 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – REVIEW
April 13 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
April 14 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW 
April 14 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW *
April 15 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW
April 15 – deal sharing aunt – REVIEW, INTERVIEW*
April 16 – Varietats – REVIEW
April 16 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW *

April 13, 2017

Success with Stress by Jae Ellard - Review, Guest Post and Giveaway

I received this book free from the publisher

Book Details:
Book Title: Success With Stress by Jae Ellard
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 102 pages
Genre: Self-help
Publisher: Simple Intentions
Release date: March 31, 2011
Format available for review: Print
Will send print books: Internationally
Tour dates: April 10 to May 5, 2017
Content Rating: G (This is an all ages book designed to create awareness and manage stress)

Book Description:
Believe it or not, stress isn't all bad; in fact, it's an important part of the natural world. Stress helps us survive as a species - because of that we want the ability to be stressed. That said, being able to manage stress with greater success is the difference between surviving and THRIVING. Success with Stress explores five simple ideas to spark your personal power to change the level, duration, and frequency of the stress in your life. With workplace stress being linked to quality of life, health, and workplace morale, this is a must-read for any team looking to improve morale and individuals looking to improve their quality of life.

Buy the Book: Amazon
Add to Goodreads

About the Author:
​Jae Ellard is an author, speaker, and expert on developing the skill of awareness in the workplace. After years in senior communication roles crafting content for executives, Jae collapsed from stress-related adrenal fatigue. This life-altering experience propelled her to research human behavior, neuroscience, mindfulness, and organizational relationship systems. In 2008, Jae founded Simple Intentions and developed the Mindful Life™ Program to generate intentional conversations to disrupt patterns and create awareness, accountability and action at team and individual levels. Jae has taught the skill of awareness in more than 50 countries to thousands of employees at multinational corporations such as Microsoft, Amazon and Expedia.

Jae is a columnist on workplace awareness for Mindful Magazine, as well as the author of 7 books on the topic. She contributes to the Healthy Living section on Huffington Post as well as the Simple Intentions blog. In 2013, she founded Seattle Wisdom, a community organization working to create and support conscious conversations in professional spaces in the Pacific Northwest. Jae has a master’s degree in Communication Management from Colorado State University and a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Communication from Metropolitan State College of Denver. She holds certificates in co-active coaching and organizational relationship systems coaching.

Connect with Jae: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ LinkedIn

My thoughts:
When I first saw this book I jumped right on the list to read and review it. Who does not want to learn how to have success with stress right? This was a very quick book to read. In fact I read it in less than two hours. I think I will let what I read sink in a little and probably read it again a second time in a few days. For me it started out a little slow as I was not sure I was going to like it as it had some definitions of stress and what I would call sciency things. But I kept reading and I ended up linking it and it gave me some food for thought. To start with it talked about some symptoms of chronic stress - a few of which I do have and I know for a fact at least one if not more are caused by my stress - like my acid reflux. I know this because stress makes my flare up even more. Then the author goes into had to have success with your stress and dealing with it. In going through each of these strategies the author gives you two questions to answer at the end of each chapter. The five strategies are 1. get clear, 2. give up control 3. say what you mean, 4. honor yourself and others and 5. be in the moment. I also learned from reading this book that I tend to hedge which means I do no say what I mean instead I tend to say I don't know, maybe or we'll see when people ask me questions or ask me to do things. This is something I will have to work on. Like I said I want to read this again only take a little more time to think about the questions that the author asks. I am glad I gave this book a chance.

Guest Post:
4 Ways to Mindfully Prevent Office Burnout
By Jae Ellard, Author of Success with Stress and Founder of Simple Intentions

In 2007 I collapsed from exhaustion at an event that I was producing. It was the culmination of far too many hours working, the lifestyle choices I was making (and not making), and the always-present stress of trying to be “perfect” at my job.

My doctor said my body was in adrenal fatigue and that my career was killing me. His advice? Get a new job. I knew that wasn’t the “right” conversation—yet I didn’t know what was. I chose to stay on, but went deeper into my own mindfulness practice to try to understand what had happened.

Over the next year, I discovered that the right conversation sits in the knowledge there is a choice regarding the type of relationship you want to create with your work.

For those of you flirting with burnout, you are not alone. According to the American Institute of Stress, 80% of people feel stress at work. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 75% of all doctors’ visits are stress-related.

There is hope, however. And it comes down to being present to what’s happening in your life, and acting with mindful intention to make some changes.

Burnout is not so much about the specifics of your job. It’s mostly about the choices you make (and don’t make) about how you want to live. Being aware of these choices, and approaching the inherent stressors in any job with mindfulness and clear purpose can transform our relationship with stress—and put work in its place. To start, here are some actions you can take in this moment to start to redefine your relationship with work.

1) Define the core issues
Can you pinpoint what causes the overwhelm? Is it a capacity issue? Do you have more work than hours to complete? Is it a skill issue? Is there a gap in the skills you have versus what is required? Is it a communication issue? Are you able to share what’s causing stress? This is your first step: Collect all the relevant data so you know where to focus solutions.

2) One step at a time
You didn’t arrive at burnout overnight, and the process to undo some of the habits you created will take time. Pick one behavior right now that you can consciously begin to shift. For example, create clear start and end times for work each day. The flexibility that technology and remote working offer can be overwhelming and contribute to burnout if boundaries between work and non-work time are not well-established.

3) Befriend your body
How do you hold stress? Maybe you grind your teeth at night, experience a knot of tension in your neck, or have trouble staying asleep. Now think about what helps you to unwind. Taking a lunchtime walk outside, going for a post-work run, or getting a weekly massage, as examples. Regularly tune into your body so that you can recognize the earliest signs that stress is present, and take the preventive actions you’ve identified to work through it before it overwhelms.

4) Share what you need
Professional stress can be extremely isolating; we often withdraw in order to “deal with” work issues on our own. But letting the people in your life know what you need to feel supported is essential for putting things in perspective and managing stress. None of us can do it all alone. Your colleagues and loved ones won’t know how to help if you don’t tell them.

[This article originally appeared in Mindful Magazine]

Prizes: ​ Win a print copy of Success With Stress with a companion notebook (open to USA & Canada - 10 winners total)
Ends May 12


April 10 - Bound 4 Escape - review / giveaway
April 11 - #redhead.with.book - review / giveaway
April 11 - Travelling Through Words - book spotlight / guest post
April 12 - Books, Dreams, Life - book spotlight / author interview
April 13 - A Holland Reads - review / guest post / giveaway
April 14 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review / giveaway
April 17 - Divas With A Purpose - review / author interview
April 18 - Writers and Authors - book spotlight / author interview
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April 21 - Reviews by Room With Books - review / guest post / giveaway
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April 25 - Books for Books - review
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April 27 - Laura's Interests - review / guest post / giveaway
April 28 - Fur Everywhere - review / giveaway
April 28 - Genuine Jenn - review
May 1 - Deal Sharing Aunt - review / giveaway
May 2 - Library of Clean Reads - review / giveaway
May 4 - Outset - review / author interview
May 4 - Sahar's Blog - review / giveaway
May 5 - Jessica Cassidy - review / author interview / giveaway
May 5 - Create With Joy - review