June 30, 2017

The Babe Ruth Deception by David O. Stewart - Spotlight and Giveaway

Book details:
The Babe Ruth Deception by David O. Stewart
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Kensington Books
Hardcover & eBook; 304 Pages
Series: A Fraser and Cook Mystery (Book 3)
Genre: Fiction/Historical/Mysteries/Baseball

About the book:
As the Roaring Twenties get under way, corruption seems everywhere–from the bootleggers flouting Prohibition to the cherished heroes of the American Pastime now tarnished by scandal. Swept up in the maelstrom are Dr. Jamie Fraser and Speed Cook…

Babe Ruth, the Sultan of Swat, is having a record-breaking season in his first year as a New York Yankee. In 1920, he will hit more home runs than any other team in the American League. Larger than life on the ball field and off, Ruth is about to discover what the Chicago White Sox players accused of throwing the 1919 World Series are learning–baseball heroes are not invulnerable to scandal. With suspicion in the air, Ruth’s 1918 World Series win for the Boston Red Sox is now being questioned. Under scrutiny by the new baseball commissioner and enmeshed with gambling kingpin Arnold Rothstein, Ruth turns for help to Speed Cook–a former professional ballplayer himself before the game was segregated and now a promoter of Negro baseball–who’s familiar with the dirty underside of the sport.

Cook in turn enlists the help of Dr. Jamie Fraser, whose wife Eliza is coproducing a silent film starring the Yankee outfielder. Restraint does not come easily to the reckless Ruth, but the Frasers try to keep him in line while Cook digs around.

As all this plays out, Cook’s son Joshua and Fraser’s daughter Violet are brought together by a shocking tragedy. But an interracial relationship in 1920 feels as dangerous as a public scandal–even more so because Joshua is heavily involved in bootlegging. Trying to protect Ruth and their own children, Fraser and Cook find themselves playing a dangerous game.

Once again masterfully blending fact and fiction, David O. Stewart delivers a nail-biting historical mystery that captures an era unlike any America has seen before or since in all its moral complexity and dizzying excitement.
Praise for The Babe Ruth Deception

“Having mastered the craft of writing novels that feature Abraham Lincoln and Woodrow Wilson, David O. Stewart has now chosen someone who is perfect for the genre. Babe Ruth was as mythic as a person gets, and the author has surrounded The Babe with a Prohibition cast of bootleggers, gangsters and thugs, giving us a fine yarn that mixes and matches the grand glories of The National Pastime with the nefarious foibles of human nature.” –Frank Deford, Sportswriter and Bestselling Novelist

“This is so much more than a baseball book. There’s a lot of the Babe, but it’s a history book, a mystery book, a complex book that beautifully details an era in America. I loved it!” –Tim Kurkjian, ESPN Baseball Contributor and Author

“[The Babe Ruth Deception] cleverly mixes real-life people and historical events. The problems of the unlikely sleuths will particularly appeal to baseball fans.” –Kirkus Reviews

“A rollicking real-life figure leads to a rollicking fictional romp. The allure of the Babe may bring you into this book; David O. Stewart’s lively tale will keep you there.” –Kostya Kennedy

“Well-written novels that blend fact and fiction always get my attention, and if it’s Babe Ruth and characters from his era, I’m in. David O. Stewart reminds us of why the ‘20s roared, and how much fun the Babe was. A delight!” –Marty Appel, author of Pinstripe Empire

“David O. Stewart, the master of fictional historic deceptions, has hit one out of the park with The Babe Ruth Deception. Not only is it most cleverly plotted but gives us a feel for the corrupt and colorful Era of Prohibition when Babe Ruth was at his most beloved despite – or because of – his off-the-field flaws and excesses.” –Paul Dickson author of Leo Durocher – Baseball’s Prodigal Son

Meet this author - David O. Stewart:
David O. Stewart, formerly a lawyer, writes fiction and history. His first historical work told the story of the writing of the Constitution (“The Summer of 1787”). It was a Washington Post Bestseller and won the Washington Writing Prize for Best Book of 2007. His second book (“Impeached”), grew from a judicial impeachment trial he defended before the United States Senate in 1989. “American Emperor: Aaron Burr’s Challenge to Jefferson’s America” explored Burr’s astounding Western expedition of 1805-07 and his treason trial before Chief Justice John Marshall. “Madison’s Gift: Five Partnerships That Built America” debuted in February 2015. He has received the 2013 History Award of the Society of the Cincinnati and the 2016 William Prescott Award for History Writing from the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America.

Stewart’s fiction career began with the release of “The Lincoln Deception,” an historical novel exploring the John Wilkes Booth conspiracy. “The Wilson Deception,” the sequel, is set at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. “The Babe Ruth Deception” occurs during the Babe’s first two years with the Yankees while he remade baseball and America began the modern era with Prohibition, bootlegging, and terrrorism.

Stewart lives with his wife in Maryland. Visit his website at www.davidostewart.com.

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away two paperback copies of The Babe Ruth Deception! To enter, please see the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 27th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US & Canada only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, June 27

Wednesday, June 28

Thursday, June 29
Interview at I Heart Reading

Friday, June 30
Spotlight at A Holland Reads

Sunday, July 2

Monday, July 3
Review at A Bookish Affair

Tuesday, July 4
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair

Thursday, July 6
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Friday, July 7

Monday, July 10

Tuesday, July 11

Wednesday, July 12
Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Wednesday, July 19
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Friday, July 21

Wednesday, July 26

Thursday, July 27

All Signs Point to Murder by Connie di Marco - Guest Post and Giveaway

Book details:
Cozy Mystery
2nd in the Series
Midnight Ink (August 8, 2017)
Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738751078
E-Book ASIN: B01M14L2YK

About the book:
The stars predict a wedding-day disaster, but San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti never expected murder

Julia Bonatti is alarmed by the astrological signs looming over Geneva Leary’s wedding day, but nobody asked Julia’s opinion and being a bridesmaid means supporting the bride no matter what. Even with the foreboding Moon-Mars-Pluto lineup in the heavens, no one’s prepared for the catastrophes that strike: a no-show sister, a passed-out wedding planner, and a lethal shooting in the dead of night.

With anger and grief threatening to tear the Leary family part, Julia is determined to understand how such a terrible tragedy could occur. As she digs deeper into the family’s secrets, her astrological insights will lead her to the truth about a criminal enterprise that stretches far beyond the California coast.

Meet the author - Connie di Marco
Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries from Midnight Ink, featuring San Francisco astrologer, Julia Bonatti. The first in the series, The Madness of Mercury, was released in June 2016 and the second, All Signs Point to Murder, available for pre-order now, will be released on August 8, 2017.

Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. Some of her favorite recipes can be found in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. Connie is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Author Links
Website: http://www.conniedimarco.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zodiacmysteries/
Twitter: @askzodia
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14751339.Connie_Di_Marco
Author Central: amazon.com/author/conniedimarco

Purchase Links:
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2pD81gk
B&N: http://bit.ly/2ogjVuG
IndieBound: http://bit.ly/2pkMqch

Guest Post:
All Signs Point to Murder 
by Connie di Marco

When I first thought of writing the Zodiac Mysteries, featuring San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti, I knew that the city itself, its history, its atmosphere, its constantly changing faces should play a big part in Julia’s world. And one of the most important features of San Francisco is its fog, especially where Julia lives on the outer avenues close to Land’s End and the Pacific.

Julia doesn’t mind the billows of fog that arrive almost every day around three o’clock in the afternoon. She loves the way it carries the smells of the sea and the silence it creates. She adores the mist on her face and the way it softens the hard contours of buildings. And she particularly loves the deep voices of the foghorns as they lull her to sleep at night.

What causes all that fog? Well, California’s very hot in the summer months, while San Francisco is perched on a peninsula at the edge of the continent surrounded by water, water that brings freezing cold Alaskan currents. When the cold air of the ocean meets the rising inland heat, fog is formed and it occurs most heavily in the months from July through October.

For many years, the compressed air horns under the Golden Gate Bridge sounded with deep two-tone baritone voices. There were two fog horns on the south tower of the Golden Gate Bridge that made a single blast every twenty seconds, while a mid-channel foghorn sounded two blasts every forty seconds. During the foggy season, July through October, they sound more than five hours a day.

Inbound ships heading east into the Bay would steer left of the foghorns on the south tower and right of the mid-channel horn. Outbound ships would stay to the right of the mid-channel foghorn. Their voices guided hundreds of thousands of vessels safely through the Gate and forewarned San Franciscans when fog was about to envelope their city.

But nothing lasts forever and in the mid 1970’s the two-tone horn at mid span stopped working. Replacement parts were impossible to find. So for the next ten years, only a one-tone horn continued to sound. Eventually that horn too began to show signs of wear and tear and had to be replaced. The replacement horns are one-tone horns that differ in frequency but operate with compressed air, like the originals. Each horn has a different pitch and marine navigational charts give the frequency or signature of each.

Then, in 1992, the Coast Guard decided to stop operating the fog horns and replaced them with electronic signals! Romantics of the city arose and protested loudly until the horns were finally reinstituted. You can listen to them here: http://www.postcard.org/foghorn.htm. They don’t quite sound the same as the originals but they still lull Julia to sleep at night and their voices can be heard in the city once again.


Tour Participants

June 24 – Community Bookstop – INTERVIEW 
June 24 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
June 25 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
June 25 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
June 26 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW
June 26 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – INTERVIEW
June 27 – Sleuth Cafe – REVIEW
June 28 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
June 29 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 30 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
July 1 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 1 – Blogger Nicole Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
July 2 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
July 3 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – GUEST POST
July 4 – OFF
July 5 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
July 5 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – REVIEW, GUEST POST
July 7 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT
July 8 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
July 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

June 29, 2017

The Competition by Donna Russo Morin - Spotlight and Giveaway

The Competition by Donna Russo Morin

Publication Date: April 25, 2017
Diversion Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 268 Pages
Series: Da Vinci's Disciples, Book Two
Genre: Historical/Mystery

About the book:
Donna Russo Morin returns with a follow-up to Portrait of a Conspiracy, called “a page-turner unlike any historical novel, weaving passion, adventure, artistic rebirth, and consequences of ambition,” by C.W. Gortner. In a studiolo behind a church, six women gather to perform an act that is, at once, restorative, powerful, and illegal. They paint. Under the tutelage of Leonardo da Vinci, these six show talent and drive equal to that of any man, but in Renaissance Florence they must hide their skills, or risk the scorn of the city. A commission to paint a fresco in Santo Spirito is announced and Florence’s countless artists each seek the fame and glory this lucrative job will provide. Viviana, a noblewoman freed from a terrible marriage and now free to pursue her artistic passions in secret, sees a potential life-altering opportunity for herself and her fellow female artists. The women first speak to Lorenzo de’ Medici himself, and finally, they submit a bid for the right to paint it. And they win. But the church will not stand for women painting, especially not in a house of worship. The city is not ready to consider women in positions of power, and in Florence, artists wield tremendous power. Even the women themselves are hesitant; the attention they will bring upon themselves will disrupt their families, and could put them in physical danger. All the while, Viviana grows closer to Sansone, her soldier lover, who is bringing her joy that she never knew with her deceased husband. And fellow-artist Isabetta has her own romantic life to distract her, sparked by Lorenzo himself. Power and passion collide in this sumptuous historical novel of shattering limitations, one brushstroke at a time.

Praise for The Competition

"THE COMPETITION is a page-turning, provocative romp through a fascinating time and place―15th-century Florence. Donna Russo Morin has given us a novel for our time, a book featuring strong female characters fighting the odds to break the “glass ceiling,” and reminding us that this battle is not new: women have been waging it for centuries. ―Sherry Jones, author of The Sharp Hook of Love: A Novel of Heloise and Abelard “...a page-turner unlike any historical novel, weaving passion, adventure, artistic rebirth, and consequences of ambition...a masterful writer at the peak of her craft.”―C. W. Gortner, author of The Confessions of Catherine de'Medici “A 15th-century Florence of exquisite art, sensual passion and sudden, remorseless violence comes vividly to life in Donna Russo Morin's new novel.”―Nancy Bilyeau, author of The Crown “In Portrait of a Conspiracy, Russo Morin's rich detailing transports the reader to the heart of Renaissance Italy from the first page.”―Heather Webb, author of Becoming Josephine “Illicit plots, mysterious paintings, and a young Leonardo da Vinci all have their part to play in this delicious, heart-pounding tale.”―Kate Quinn, author of The Empress of Rome Saga "In elegant prose, Morin paints a captivating tale of courageous women painters who battle against prejudices in Renaissance Florence. Featuring strong women characters, each with distinctive personalities, this is exactly the type of historical novel I enjoy. Exhilarating and compassionate, The Competition sings a beautiful tribute of women's talents and underscores Morin's masterful storytelling. Delightful!"―Weina Dai Randel, author of The Moon in the Palace and The Empress of Bright Moon “An inspiring tale of determined women, empowered by undeniable talent, in the male-dominated art world of Renaissance Florence. In The Competition, Ms. Morin delivers a captivating story rich with historical detail and beautifully woven through with atmosphere.”―Diane Haeger, author of Courtesan 
Meet this author - Donna Russo Marin
Donna earned two degrees from the University of Rhode Island. In addition to writing, teaching writing, and reviewing for literary journals, Donna works as a model and actor; highlights of her work include two seasons on Showtime’s Brotherhood and an appearance in Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. Donna is the proud mother of two sons, one a future opera singer, the other a future chef. Donna's titles include The Courtier's Secret, The Secret of the Glass, To Serve a King, The King's Agent, Portrait of a Conspiracy, and The Competition. Donna enjoys meeting with book groups in person and via Skype chat. Visit her website at www.donnarussomorin.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of The Competition & a Key Pendant necklace! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to residents in the US only. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. The Competition

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 26 Interview at The Book Junkie Reads 
Tuesday, June 27 Review at A Bookaholic Swede 
Wednesday, June 28 Spotlight at Passages to the Past 
Thursday, June 29 Spotlight at The Lit Bitch 
Spotlight at A Holland Reads 
Friday, June 30 Review at The True Book Addict 
Monday, July 3 Review at Pursuing Stacie 
Wednesday, July 5 Guest Post at Books of All Kinds 
Thursday, July 6 Spotlight at The Writing Desk 
Saturday, July 8 Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views
Monday, July 10 Review at History From a Woman's Perspective 
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book 
Tuesday, July 11 Spotlight at A Literary Vacation 
Friday, July 14 Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog 
Monday, July 17 Review at Let Them Read Books 
Tuesday, July 18 Guest Post at Bookfever 
Thursday, July 20 Spotlight at What Is That Book About 
Monday, July 24 Review at Ageless Pages Reviews 
Wednesday, July 26 Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews 
Thursday, July 27 Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book! 
Friday, July 28 Review at Just One More Chapter

June 27, 2017

Marion Hatley by Beth Castrodale - Spotlight and Giveaway

Book details:
Publication Date: April 20, 2017
Garland Press
eBook & Paperback; 277 Pages
Genre: Fiction/Historical

About this book:
To escape a big-city scandal, a Depression-era lingerie seamstress flees to the countryside, where she hopes to live and work in peace. Instead, she finds herself unraveling uncomfortable secrets about herself and those closest to her.

In February of 1931, Marion Hatley steps off a train and into the small town of Cooper’s Ford, hoping she’s left her big-city problems behind. She plans to trade the bustling hubbub of a Pittsburgh lingerie shop for the orderly life of a village schoolteacher. More significantly, she believes she’ll be trading her reputation-tainting affair with a married man for the dutiful quiet of tending to her sick aunt. Underpinning her hopes for Cooper’s Ford is Marion’s dream of bringing the daily, private trials of all corset-wearing women—especially working women—to an end, and a beautiful one at that.

Instead, she confronts new challenges: a mysteriously troubled student; frustrations in attempts to create a truly comfortable corset; and, most daunting, her ailing aunt. Once a virtual stranger to Marion, her aunt holds the key to old secrets whose revelation could change the way Marion sees her family and herself.

As her problems from Pittsburgh threaten to resurface in Cooper’s Ford, Marion finds herself racing against time to learn the truth behind these secrets and to get to the bottom of her student’s troubles. Meanwhile, Marion forms a bond with a local war veteran. But her past, and his, may be too much to sustain a second chance at happiness.

“Like Marion Hatley’s own creations, Beth Castrodale’s début novel is sewn, sentence by elegant sentence, with exquisite care and beauty.” — David Rowell, author of The Train of Small Mercies

“A reflective, compassionate, and gracefully written tale.” – Kirkus

“A beautiful story, beautifully told.” – Lee Jacobus, author of Hawaiian Tales, Crown Island, and The Romantic Soul of Emma Now

Meet the author - Beth Castrodale
Beth Castrodale started out as a newspaper reporter and editor, then transitioned to book publishing, serving for many years as an editor for an academic press. She has completed three novels: Marion Hatley, a finalist for a 2014 Nilsen Prize for a First Novel from Southeast Missouri State University Press (to be published in April 2017 by Garland Press); Gold River; and In This Ground, an excerpt of which was a shortlist finalist for a 2014 William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Award. Beth recommends literary fiction on her website SmallPressPicks.com, and she has published stories in Printer’s Devil Review, The Writing Disorder, Marathon Literary Review, and Mulberry Fork Review. She lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.

For more information please visit Beth Castrodale’s website. You can also connect with Beth on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

During the Blog Tour we will be giving away TWO $25 Barnes and Noble Gift Card! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Blog Tour Schedule

Thursday, June 22
Spotlight at The Book Junkie Reads

Sunday, June 25

Tuesday, June 27
Spotlight at A Holland Reads

Thursday, June 29

Friday, June 30
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Monday, July 3

Wednesday, July 5
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Friday, July 7
Guest Post at Susan Heim on Writing

Wednesday, July 12

Friday, July 14
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book

Wednesday, July 19
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

June 25, 2017

Death on West End Road by Carrie Doyle - Character Guest Post and Giveaway

Book Details:
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Dunemere Books (June 20, 2017)
Paperback 268 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-0997270181

About this book:

Like a basket of warm cinnamon buns, an unsolved crime is something that Hamptons innkeeper and sleuth Antonia Bingham just can’t resist. Despite a busy high-season schedule and an inn booked to capacity, Antonia has agreed to investigate a cold case in her beloved adopted hometown, East Hampton, NY: the killing of Susie Whitaker, whose brutal 1990 slaying on a tennis court in the poshest part of town was never solved. And the person who has hired Antonia? Prime suspect Pauline Framingham, a manipulative pharmaceutical heiress from a powerful family. The crime scene is compromised, the circumstances are complicated, and former witnesses are cagey, haunted and very reluctant to revisit what happened on that sun-splashed afternoon decades earlier. As Antonia attempts to unravel the mysteries of the past she unearths even darker secrets and ultimately wonders if it would have been best to let sleeping dogs lie. To make matters worse, past acquaintances and love interests reappear in the Hamptons, disrupting Antonia’s world and causing her to scurry to the fridge for comfort.

Death on West End Road is the third book in the Hamptons Murder Mystery Series. Along with a colorful cast of supporting characters, the beating heart of the book is Antonia Bingham, restaurateur, gourmand, and nosy carb-lover.

Meet the author - Carrie Doyle

Carrie Doyle was the founding Editor-in- Chief of the Russian edition of Marie Claire Magazine. She is currently a Contributing Editor of Hamptons Magazine and has written extensively for Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country and has also written for Women’s Health and Avenue on the Beach. With Jill Kargman, Carrie co-wrote the film Intern (which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1999), as well as several screenplays sold to Showtime, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon Films and the Oxygen Network. Carrie and Jill co-wrote five books together, including three teen books for HarperCollins and two bestselling women’s fiction books, The Right Address and Wolves in Chic Clothing (Broadway Books). Carrie also penned the popular novel The Infidelity Pact (Broadway Books). Carrie lives in New York City with her husband and two children and is currently at work on an animated series for broadcast as well as her new series, the Hamptons Murder Mysteries.

Social Media Links:
Webpage – https://carriekarasyov.com
GoodReads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/51439.Carrie_Karasyov_Carrie_Doyle
Amazon- amazon.com/author/carriedoyle
Publisher Page – http://dunemerebooks.com/book-author/carrie-doyle/

Purchase Links:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Death-West-Hamptons-Murder-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B06XKLVMZC

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/death-on-west-end-road-carrie-doyle/1125956843?ean=9780997270181

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/death-on-west-end-road

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780997270181

Guest Post:
By Carrie Doyle

The street I chose as the scene of the crime in my new novel DEATH ON WEST END ROAD, is actually quite notorious. It’s where Grey Gardens is located, the first house on the left, caddy corner to Steven Spielberg’s compound. In 1975 two brothers, Albert and David Maysles, released their documentary about the residents of this house at the Cannes Film Festival, and shocked the world.

Grey Gardens belonged to a mother and daughter, both named Edith Beale, who were referred to as “Big Edie” and “Little Edie.” Although highly educated at top schools, and one time very wealthy, they lived in absolute squalor in a derelict mansion, filled with raccoons and cats, in the center of one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the United States. In addition, “Big Edie” was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ first cousin, and there was outrage that Jackie had allowed her kin to live in such harrowing circumstances.

Both Edies were colorful characters—flirtatious, vain and delusional. They dressed dramatically with silk headscarves and spoke with a flair. After the film was released, Jackie O made a visit to their house to try and assist them. But little could be done, as they were opinionated, and quite happy living in their own world. Needless to say the documentary became a cult classic. In 2009, Grey Gardens became a movie with Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange. There were photo shoots in the top fashion magazines emulating the Beales and their fashion.

I remember Grey Gardens when I was little. It was like a haunted house, forbidding, run down and scary. Little Edie had a crush on my father and used to call him all the time to ask him to do favors for her around the house. My father was in the auction business so he was used to visiting old houses to look at their furniture but this was the only house where he walked out of and threw up on the front lawn. The smell really got to him.

Years later legendary newspaper editor Ben Bradlee and his wife Sally Quinn bought Grey Gardens and restored it. It recently came back on the market. It will be interesting to see who is the next owner of this storied property. Perhaps there will be more drama.


June 19 – My Journey Back – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
June 19 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 20 – deal sharing aunt – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
June 20 – Dee-Scoveries – SPOTLIGHT
June 21 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW 
June 21 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – GUEST POST
June 22 – Books Direct – GUEST POST
June 22 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
June 23 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
June 24 – Valerie’s Musings – INTERVIEW
June 24 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 25 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 26 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
June 26 – StoreyBook Reviews – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 27 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
June 28 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
June 28 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
June 29 – Socrates’ Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 29 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 30 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST

June 22, 2017

A Crime of Passion Fruit by Ellie Alexander - Book Blast

Book Details:
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (June 27, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1250088079

About the book:
Torte―everybody’s favorite small-town family bakeshop―is headed for the high seas, where murder is about to make a splash. . .

Jules Capshaw is trying to keep her cool as Torte gets set to make its transformation from quaint, local confectionary café to royal pastry palace. Meanwhile, Jules’s estranged husband Carlos is making a desperate plea for her to come aboard his cruise ship and dazzle everyone with her signature sweets. She may be skeptical about returning to her former nautical life with Carlos but Jules can’t resist an all-expense-paid trip, either. If only she knew that a dead body would find its way onto the itinerary . .
“A warm and inviting atmosphere, friendly and likable main characters, and a nasty murder mystery to solve!” ―Fresh Fiction

Now, instead of enjoying tropical drinks on deck between whipping up batches of sea-salted chocolates and flambéing fresh pineapple slices in the kitchen, Jules is plunged into dangerous waters. Her investigation leaves her with more questions than answers: Why can’t anyone on board identify the young woman? And how can she help Carlos keep passengers at ease with a killer in their midst? Jules feels like she’s ready to jump ship. Can she solve this case without getting in too deep?

“A perfect mix for fans of Jenn McKinlay, Leslie Budewitz, or Jessica Beck.”
―Library Journal

Meet the author - Ellie Alexander:
Ellie Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research.

Author Links
Web: http://www.elliealexander.co/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elliealexanderauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/bakeshopmystery
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ellie_alexander/

Purchase Links
Amazon B&N IndieBound

Book Blast Participants

June 22

June 23

June 20, 2017

Dead on Ice by Lauren Carr - Review, Guest Post and Giveaway

I received this book free from the publisher

Book details:
Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 6 hours and 9 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Audible.com Release Date: November 23, 2016
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Language: English
ASIN: B01N782VZ0
Series: Lovers in Crime #1
ISBN-13: 978-0985726737

About this book:
Dead on Ice is the first installment of Lauren Carr’s new series (Lovers in Crime) featuring Hancock County Prosecuting Attorney Joshua Thornton and Pennsylvania State Police homicide detective Cameron Gates. Spunky Cameron Gates is tasked with solving the murder of Cherry Pickens, a legendary star of pornographic films, whose body turns up in an abandoned freezer. The case has a personal connection to her lover, Joshua Thornton, because the freezer was located in his cousin’s basement. It doesn’t take long for their investigation to reveal that the risqué star’s roots were buried in their rural Ohio Valley community, something that Cherry had kept off her show business bio. She should have kept her hometown off her road map, too—because when this starlet came running home from the mob, it proved to be a fatal homecoming.

Meet the author - Lauren Carr
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband and three dogs (including the real Gnarly’s klutzy nephew Sterling) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with Lauren: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

My thoughts:
I thought this was an interesting book to listen to. The mystery part had me trying to guess what would happen next. In fact there were multiple murders that you had to try and piece together as the story went along. I really enjoyed Irving and his interactions with the characters. It is kind of funny that he is Cameron's ride along. There were just enough twists to keep me guessing. A good start to a new to me series.

Guest Post:
Ten Tips for New Writers
By Lauren Carr

So you want to be a writer?

Maybe you have “write a book” on your bucket list. Or maybe you’ve had a story idea floating around in your head. Or maybe, just maybe, you have a personal story that you just need to tell the world about.

Whatever the case, you want to give this writing thing a crack, but other than sitting down at a laptop or keyboard and typing out words to form sentences, you aren’t quite sure what to do to complete not just a book, but a book that someone will want to read from beginning to “the end.”

Okay, here’s ten tips to get you started. Granted, these tips aren’t all you need to know. So don’t just read these and think that’s it. There’s still more that you need to learn in order to become a professional writer. But, these tips are enough to get you started and hopefully help you to finish your book.

1) Become a Reader. Some writers, especially those who don’t have much time, can easily slip into the routine of writing, but not reading other writers’ works. This is a mistake. Just like how athletes watch others to study routines and techniques, you can learn from reading other writers’ books—even bad ones.

I had a friend who had an issue with how she handled backstory. I had explained the issue to her more than once, but she didn’t get it until she read a book by a writer who had the exact same issue. As soon as she saw another writer do it, she realized exactly what I had been telling her. That fixed it.

2) Commit Yourself. No, I don’t mean check yourself into a mental hospital because you’re crazy for even thinking of being a writer (though I do have some relatives who might disagree with me on that). I mean, commit yourself to not just starting to write a book, but finishing it.

I’m telling you right up front that if you want to write a book, there is going to be a point (usually around page 40) where it’s not going to be fun anymore. If you are serious, then you need to make a commitment of working on it even when it is not fun anymore.

3) Make Time for Writing. If your lifestyle is like most of ours, you have a busy life with a real job, family and friends. Part of making a commitment to being a writer is making time to actually write. You are not going to be able to write a whole book by typing out a sentence here and there during commercials while watching television. You need to carve out at least a couple of hours of time to devote to it. There are a ton of articles on the Internet about how to make time for writing. Check them out.

4) Write Every Day. Even when the words aren’t coming easily. You’ll be surprised how much good stuff you will end up keeping, even though they did not seem that great when you composed them. Writing is a skill. As with any skill, it improves with practice.

5) Set Deadlines. I find that I write more and better when I have a deadline. But make your deadline realistic. Unrealistic deadlines (like to write your whole book during your one week vacation) will only frustrate you. A good deadline is 500 words a day. There are many writer websites and communities where you can join other writers to hold each other accountable to write every day.

6) Make Your Readers Care About Your Characters. Have you ever read a book and gotten up to page twenty or so and thought, “I don’t care what happens to any of these characters?” At which point, you stop reading. You need to make your readers care about what happens to your characters from the very beginning. You do that by giving them some redeeming qualities.

I once edited a book which opened with the protagonist raping a woman. The story was about the transformation of this character from a despicable evil man into a born-again Christian. Unfortunately, the main character had no redeeming qualities until that transformation more than halfway through the book. Therefore, the reader wasn’t going to care enough about him to read beyond the opening chapter.

On my suggestion, the writer inserted a prologue of his protagonist on his deathbed, giving the reader a view of him after his transformation, making him more sympathetic to the reader. Then, the rest of the book became a reflection of his life.

7) Do Your Research. I once read a murder mystery, set in present day, in which the detective arrives at a murder scene, takes a deep drag on his cigarette, and then tosses it down next to the dead body. It wasn’t just as mystery writer that I screamed, “No!” Any fourth grader knows nowadays that the detective had contaminated the murder scene.

Failure to do proper research can make writers lose credibility with their readers. Many new writers refrain from research because they fear that it will squelch their imagination. On the contrary, research can open other doors for possibilities that you may never have imagined. For example, in my Thorny Rose Mysteries, I have a “character” named Nigel, the smart house computer who provides security and other services for Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton. Every technical service that Nigel performs in the Thorny Rose mysteries is available with today’s technology. My inspiration for Nigel came while researching smart houses and home security for the rich to include in the Faraday-Thornton home. As I learned more, a few simple computerized devices grew into a whole intriguing character who has become a fan favorite.

8) Use Adjectives And Adverbs Sparingly. Writing legend Elmore Leonard said in his Ten Tips for Writing to not use -ly words at all. While I don’t refuse to use them at all, I try to keep away from them. YMost of these descriptive words are cliché and can make your writing seem amateurish. Not only that, but if you think about the passage where you are sticking that word, you will find that the context itself will describe the scene, making the word unnecessary. For example, if your scene is a couple fighting after the wife has discovered that her husband is cheating on her, then you don’t need to tag their statements with the word “angrily.” The reader is going to know that the wife is angry.

9) Kill Your Darlings. The point to this tip is to make sure every section and chapter moves your reader toward the conclusion. Portions of books that fail to do this are called “darlings” because brilliantly written passages are like children to most writers. They become your darlings and unfortunately every good writer has to kill a few to save the whole book. As you become more accomplished at writing, you will come to recognize darlings before you take the time to create them.

The beauty of the digital age is that you can save your darlings and put them in a “cut scenes” file to use in a future project. A large portion of my third Mac Faraday mystery, Shades of Murder, is made up of a subplot that I had cut from an earlier book.

10) Get Out of the House. Now that I have told you to commit to your book and to write every day, I’m telling you to get out into the world and meet people. Writing can become a solitary exercise and it is very easy to get sucked into your literary world to the point that you don’t get out to experience life. I have that problem myself. Sometimes, my husband has to drag me away from the laptop, leave my characters in the middle of a gun fight, and go to lunch.

Walking away from your laptop does make you a better writer. It is a big world out there filled with interesting characters and a planet filled with inspiration. Even if you already have your plotline written in your head, who knows, you may see an intriguing character sitting across from you at the diner who will be the perfect red herring in your plot twist.

So there’s ten writing tips to get you started on that book. The only question now is “What are you waiting for?”

Start writing!



May 8 - Library of Clean Reads - tour spotlight / interview with C.J. McAllister
May 8 - Corinne Rodrigues - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 8 - Working Mommy Journal - review of Old Loves Die Hard
May 9 - T's Stuff - review of Old Loves Die Hard / author interview / giveaway
May 9 - Amie's Book Reviews - review of Old Loves Die Hard
May 10 - Elizabeth McKenna Romance Author - book spotlight / giveaway
May 10 - TDC Book Reviews - review of Shades of Murder / author interview
May 10 - TDC Book Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway
May 11 - Amie's Book Reviews - review of The Murders at Astaire Castle / interview with Dan Lawson
May 11 - Blätterflüstern - review of Old Loves Die Hard / interview with James Lewis
May 12 - Book Crazy Scrapbook Mama - book spotlight / interview with CJ McAllister / giveaway
May 12 - Books, Dreams, Life - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 12 - The Cubicle Escapee - review of The Murders at Astaire Castle
May 15 - Dab of Darkness Book Reviews - review of Old Loves Die Hard
May 15 - Books for Books - review of Blast from the Past
May 16 - Books for Books - review of The Lady Who Cried Murder
May 16 - And the Buck Starts Here - review of Old Loves Die Hard / author interview
May 17 - Books for Books - review of The Murders at Astaire Castle
May 17 - Lovely Loveday - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 17 - The Cubicle Escapee - review of The Lady Who Cried Murder
May 18 - Blätterflüstern - review of The Murders at Astaire Castle
May 18 - Writers and Authors - guest post / giveaway
May 18 - The Cubicle Escapee - review of Twelve to Murder
May 19 - T's Stuff - review of Shades of Murder / interview with Mike Alger / giveaway
May 19 - Stylish Brunette - book spotlight / giveaway
May 22 - Mystery Suspense Reviews - review of Old Loves Die Hard
May 23 - And the Buck Starts Here - review of The Murders at Astaire Castle / interview with Dan Lawson
May 23 - Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf - review of Old Loves Die Hard / guest post by James Lewis
May 24 - Nighttime Reading Center - review of Old Loves Die Hard 
May 24 - Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf - review of Dead on Ice
May 25 - Mystery Suspense Reviews - interview with James Lewis / giveaway
May 26 - Bound 4 Escape - review of Old Loves Die Hard / giveaway
May 26 - T's Stuff - review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
May 26 - Book Lover Promo - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 29 - Blooming with Books - review of Cancelled Vows / guest post / giveaway
May 30 - Literary Flits - review of Old Loves Die Hard / giveaway
May 30 - Blooming with Books - review of Twelve to Murder / giveaway
May 31 - TDC Book Reviews - review of Blast From the Past / interview with Dan Lawson
June 1 - Working Mommy Journal - review of The Lady Who Cried Murder
June 2 - Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine - review of Real Murder
June 5 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review of Old Loves Die Hard / guest post
June 6 - Dab of Darkness Book Reviews - review of Dead on Ice
June 7 - Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine - guest post by Mike Alger
June 8 - #redhead.with.book - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
June 9 - Nighttime Reading Center - review of Twelve to Murder
June 9 - Bound 4 Escape - review of Shades of Murder / giveaway
June 9 - Travelling Through Words - book spotlight / interview with C.J. McAllister / giveaway
June 12 - Literary Flits - review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
June 13 - Books for Books - review of Three Days to Forever
June 14 - Laura's Interests - review of Cancelled Vows / interview with James Lewis / giveaway
June 15 - My Reading Journeys - review of Shades of Murder / author interview / giveaway
June 15 - Dab of Darkness Book Reviews - review of Shades of Murder
June 16 - Library of Clean Reads - review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
June 19 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review of The Lady Who Cried Murder
June 19 - By The Book - review of Kill and Run
June 20 - A Holland Reads - review of Dead on Ice / guest post / giveaway
June 21 - Laura's Interests - review of Killer in the Band / guest post by Mike Alger / giveaway
June 22 - Melina's Book Blog - review of The Lady Who Cried Murder
June 23 - Melina's Book Blog - review of Open Season for Murder
June 27 - Library of Clean Reads - review of Real Murder / giveaway
June 28 - Working Mommy Journal - review of Dead on Ice
June 29 - Kristin's Novel Cafe - review of Kill and Run / giveaway
June 29 - Dab of Darkness Book Reviews - review of Blast from the Past
June 30 - Kristin's Novel Cafe - review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
June 30 - Outset - review of A Fine Year for Murder
July 1 - Writers and Authors - review of Dead on Ice
July 3 - A Holland Reads - review of Real Murder / giveaway
July 3 - Cheryl's Book Nook - review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
July 4 - Outset - review of Twelve to Murder 
July 5 - The Journey Back - review of Dead on Ice / interview with Mike Alger / giveaway
July 6 - Jessica Cassidy - review of Old Loves Die Hard / guest post / giveaway
July 7 - JBronder Book Reviews - review of Shades of Murder / guest post
July 7 - Nighttime Reading Center - review of Open Season for Murder
July 10 - Working Mommy Journal - review of Three Days to Forever
July 11 - Rainy Days Reviews - review of Dead on Ice / giveaway
July 11 - Cheryl's Book Nook - review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
July 12 - JBronder Book Reviews - review of Blast from the Past
July 12 - Celticlady's Reviews - book spotlight
July 13 - Rainy Days Reviews - review of Real Murder / giveaway
July 13 - Elsie's Audiobook Digest - review of Old Loves Dies Hard
July 13 - Nighttime Reading Center - review of Dead on Ice
July 14 - Jessica Cassidy - review of Shades of Murder