July 12, 2019

Murder's No Votive Confidence by Christin Brecher - Review and Giveaway

 

Book details
Murder's No Votive Confidence (Nantucket Candle Maker Mystery) 
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series 
Kensington (June 25, 2019) 
ISBN-10: 149672139X 
ISBN-13: 978-1496721396 
Digital ASIN: B07HVYJNRD
 

Book description
Nantucket candle store owner Stella Wright specializes in creating unique candles for every occasion. But someone sets the stage for murder when a Memorial Day celebration becomes a wedding to die for . . .

Jessica Sterling’s candlelight-themed nuptials promises to be the perfect kick-off to the summer’s first official holiday weekend. Stella’s thrilled to have been chosen to provide the decorative centerpiece for the wedding ceremony: a two-foot-tall scented unity candle—a symbol of the happy couple’s love. But it looks like the bride-to-be’s uncle won’t be walking his niece down the aisle after he’s found dead. The murder weapon is Stella’s seemingly indestructible candle, now split in two.

When a beloved local bartender is arrested, Stella’s sure a visiting police captain running the case made a rush to justice. With superstitious brides-to-be canceling orders and sales waxing and waning at her store, the Wick & Flame owner decides to do some sleuthing of her own. Abetted by a charming reporter and challenged by the town’s sexiest cop, Stella’s determined to shine a light on the truth and uncover a killer who’s snuffing out her own flame.
Meet the Author - Christin Brecher
Christin Brecher was born and raised in NYC, where her family and many childhood friends still reside. As such, she feels she is as much of a small-town girl as any. The idea to write the Nantucket Candle Maker series sprang from her life-long connection to the small island off the coast of Massachusetts. Spending summers there as a child, Christin read from her family’s library of mystery novels, after which she began to imagine stories inspired by the island’s whaling heyday, its notoriously foggy nights, and during long bike rides to the beach. After many years in marketing for the publishing industry, followed by years raising her children, Murder’s No Votive Confidence is Christin’s debut novel. Visit her at www.christinbrecher.com.

Author Links

Website - http://christinbrecher.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/christinbrecherbooks/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/christinbrecherbooks/
GoodReads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18483379.Christin_Brecher
BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/profile/christin-brecher

Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo - BAM -
IndieBound - Hudson Booksellers - Google Play 

My thoughts
I really liked this first book in this new series. It has the makings of a series that will be around for awhile. The setting of a candle makes is a win for me as that is something that interests me. Also that the first story is set around a wedding is neat as my daughter just got married a few days ago. I enjoyed getting to know Stella in this first book and hope as the series goes along we will know more about some of the other characters. I thought the book moved along at at good pace and the author did a good job of giving you just enough hints that you thought you might have it figured out then she put a little twist in there. A good start to a new series. 

Giveaway

TOUR PARTICIPANTS 
July 8 – The Power of Words – REVIEW 
July 8 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
July 8 – Books Direct – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT 
July 8 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT
July 9 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW 
July 9 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT 
July 9 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST 
July 9 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW 
July 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW 
July 10 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
July 10 – The Avid Reader REVIEW 
July 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
July 11 – Author Teresa Watson – CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
July 11 – Babs Book Bistro - Candle Making 101 Notes Post 
July 12 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW 
July 12 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW 
July 12 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT 
July 13 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT 
July 13 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
July 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW 
July 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
July 15 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW 
July 15 – The Book Diva's Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
July 15 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT 
July 16 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
July 16 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT 
July 16 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 17 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW 
July 17 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW, GUEST POST

 

July 3, 2019

The Portrait by Cassandra Austen - Spotlight and Giveaway

Book details
The Portrait by Cassandra Austen
Publication Date: December 31, 2018 
Apollo Grannus Books 
eBook & Paperback; 340 Pages 
Genre: Historical/Romance/Suspense
 

Book description
Lady Catherine, banished to the countryside as a useless girl with a lame leg, got her revenge by playing a dangerous game. And now it will ruin her. When the old earl dies, his only child feels no sorrow. The earldom will now revert to the crown and Lady Catherine will continue to live life exactly as she pleases. But when she learns that she is the heir to a secret family title, everything changes. Marriage had once seemed unnecessary and out of the question; now it is the only thing she wants. The two men in her life both need her influence and wealth. Whom shall she choose? The kind but secretive Captain Avebury? Or the notorious Sir Lyle, the handsome smuggler? Both men deal very differently with honor. And when Catherine's secret self-destructs, which man can be trusted to save her? The Portrait is about a strong woman, foolish decisions, trust, and the definition of honor. Fans of Jane Austen's independent women will recognize in Catherine a voice which will not be silenced. 

Meet the Author - Cassandra Austen
Cassandra Austen writes historical and contemporary fiction set in both old and New England. She is the author of The Portrait, a historical romance that takes place during the Regency period in England, and Coming Home to Greenleigh, a contemporary New England romance. She lives and works in her 1700s farmhouse in northern New England, but you are welcome to visit her at her virtual home: cassandraausten.com. You can also find Cassandra on Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Giveaway
During the Blog Tour, we are giving away two copies of The Portrait! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on July 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open internationally. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen. The Portrait



Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, July 1 Feature at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots 
Tuesday, July 2 Feature at A Holland Reads 
Wednesday, July 3 Review & Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads 
Thursday, July 4 Interview at Passages to the Past 
Friday, July 5 Review at A Chick Who Reads Excerpt at Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen Monday, July 8 Interview at Let Them Read Books 
Tuesday, July 9 Feature at CelticLady's Reviews 
Wednesday, July 10 Review at McCombs on Main 
Thursday, July 11 Feature at What Is That Book About Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit Friday, July 12 Review at Coffee and Ink Review at Book Reviews from Canada 
Monday, July 15 Review at My Vices and Weaknesses

June 26, 2019

Abe & Ann by Gary Moore - Review


Book details
Publication Date: May 15, 2019
Komatik Press
eBook & Paperback; 220 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction


Book description
ABE & ANN brings to life the little-known story of Abraham Lincoln’s passionate romance with Ann Rutledge when he was young and timid and hopelessly in love. Years later he would be enthroned in Washington after saving democracy, his wisdom and greatness legendary. Was it all because of a woman?

Auburn-haired Ann Rutledge, feisty and fed-up with propriety, is frontier royalty, the 18-year-old daughter of the founder of the village where the 22-year-old Lincoln comes looking for work. She is lively and literate and funny, and Abe is homely and poor, but full of high ambition. Lincoln courts the dazzling red-haired woman who comes into his life like a revelation. In the spell of their feelings, the lovers question the limits in their lives and boldly dream of a better future. But she is engaged to another man.

Readers who enjoyed Doris Kearns Goodwin’s bestselling Lincoln book Team of Rivals, Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster film Lincoln, and George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo will marvel again at this very different and compelling tale of Lincoln as a young man.

Not a grand historical treatment but a lyrical telling of a deeply personal tale, ABE & ANN dares to give readers an earnest but untutored Lincoln whose humanity every reader can share, who was weak before he was strong, frightened before he was bold, and deeply in love with a woman whose admiration confirmed the greatness growing within him.

Meet the author - Gary Moore
Author Gary Moore is a playwright and poet who has been making creative use of Abraham Lincoln in drama, poetry, and performance art for more than thirty years. Gary’s bilingual musical in Shanghai, The Great Emancipator Meets The Monkey King, introduced rap-music to the People’s Republic of China six months before Tiananmen. His play based on that experience, Burning in China, sold out at the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival after being featured in the New York Times and recommended by the New Yorker. ABE & ANN, to be published by Komatik Press in May, 2019, is his first novel.

My thoughts
I thought this was an interesting book and it gave a different view of Lincoln than what most people are used to seeing. For me it gave a little bit of a more personal side to him. You got to see him as a young man and how he felt about Ann.  The writing was done well and I thought the author did a good job with his research and getting the details of the time period correct. 

June 25, 2019

False Step by Victoria Helen Stone - Spotlight


Book details
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (July 1, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1542041287
ISBN-13: 978-1542041287

Book description
In FALSE STEP (Lake Union; on-sale July 1st, 2019), the latest novel from bestselling author Victoria Helen Stone, Veronica Bradley has the perfect life: a good job as an occupational therapist; a gorgeous and doting personal-trainer husband, Johnny; and a bubbly 10-year old daughter, Sydney. Together with their dog, Old Man, the family enjoys hikes in the nearby mountains outside Denver. Sure, there are strains in their domestic life—they don’t always have a lot of money, and Veronica worries that Johnny may have a wandering eye. Still, by all appearances, they are a happy and thriving family.

But the tensions simmering under the surface of Veronica’s marriage become harder to contain when Johnny becomes a local hero overnight. Hiking Flat Rock Trail with Old Man one day, he finds a young boy, scared and alone but miraculously unharmed. It turns out to be Tanner Holcomb, the missing three-year-old who, four days earlier, wandered off his prominent and well-to-do family’s massive compound, putting all of Denver on high alert. Now, all is well: Tanner can go home, and Johnny is immediately praised as a hero—which won’t hurt prospects for his struggling personal-training business, either.

Johnny, always eager for attention, seems entirely comfortable in the spotlight. But as news cameras camp out on the Bradleys’ lawn and Johnny’s rowdy friends celebrate his heroic act, Veronica can’t shake the feeling that her husband’s notoriety might do the family more harm than good. For starters, the fame might well be going to Johnny’s head—since the rescue, he’s been spending more time with friends like the no-good Trey Swallow, and whispering about risky plans with Neesa Martin, his beautiful, toned business partner. And Veronica, meanwhile, has secrets of her own. Will the stress of all the scrutiny drive Veronica and Johnny apart, or force them to confront their mutual deceptions once and for all? As Johnny becomes more and more distant, Veronica imagines the worst, and their already faltering marriage begins to show signs of irreversible damage.

When the shocking news breaks that Tanner did not wander off, but was in fact kidnapped for ransom, Veronica panics. Johnny couldn’t have been involved—or could he? When the police show up at her door, it’s clear that Veronica’s perfect life is about to unravel. What is Johnny hiding, and might it implicate her? Does it involve Trey? Or Neesa? And what would it take for Veronica to admit defeat and leave behind the trappings of her storybook marriage once and for all?

In FALSE STEP, Victoria Helen Stone once again crafts a compelling, suspenseful tale full of unexpected twists. Even as Veronica’s secrets threaten to consume her, other dangers emerge from places she never would have imagined. An empowering story of a woman’s grit under extraordinary circumstances, this riveting novel will make readers question their assumptions from start to finish.

Meet the author - Victoria Helen Stone
Victoria Helen Stone, formerly writing as USA Today bestselling novelist Victoria Dahl, was born and raised in the flattest parts of the Midwest. Now that she’s escaped the plains of her youth, she writes dark suspense from an upstairs office high in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. She enjoys summer trail hikes with her family almost as much as she enjoys staying inside during the winter. Since leaving the lighter side of fiction, she has written the critically acclaimed, bestselling novels Evelyn, After; Half Past; and Jane Doe. For more on the author and her work, visit www.VictoriaHelenStone.com and www.VictoriaDahl.com.


June 20, 2019

Gold Digger by Rebecca Rosenberg - Review and Giveaway

 


Book details
Gold Digger by Rebecca Rosenberg
Publication Date: May 28, 2019 

Lion Heart Publishing 
eBook & Paperback; 312 Pages 
Genre: Fiction/Romance/Historical/American
   

Book description
 One look at Baby Doe and you know she was meant to be a legend! She was just twenty years old when she came to Colorado to work a gold mine with her new husband. Little did she expect that she'd be abandoned and pregnant and left to manage the gold mine alone. But that didn't stop her! She moved to Leadville and fell in love with a married prospector, twice her age. Horace Tabor struck the biggest silver vein in history, divorced his wife and married Baby Doe. Though his new wife was known for her beauty, her fashion, and even her philanthropy, she was never welcomed in polite society. Discover how the Tabors navigated the worlds of wealth, power, politics, and scandal in the wild days of western mining.
Amazon | Barnes and Noble


Praise for Gold Digger
“Rosenberg’s rollicking Western adventure strikes gold with a gutsy, good-hearted spitfire of a heroine and action aplenty.” —THELMA ADAMS, bestselling author of Bittersweet Brooklyn and The Last Woman Standing "Gold Digger tells the true story of Lizzie 'Baby Doe' Tabor, a beautiful young woman who in 1878 marries the son of a wealthy miner in order to save her family from penury. Shrewd and stubborn, Lizzie fights back-biting Victorian society, wins and loses vast fortunes, and bests conniving politicians in her larger-than-life story. A twisting tale worthy of Mark Twain, with a big-hearted heroine at the center." —MARTHA CONWAY, author of The Underground River


Meet the Author - Rebecca Rosenberg
A California native, Rebecca Rosenberg lives on a lavender farm with her family in Sonoma, the Valley of the Moon, where Jack London wrote from his Beauty Ranch. Rebecca is a long-time student of Jack London’s works and an avid fan of his daring wife, Charmian London. The Secret Life of Mrs. London is her debut novel. Rebecca and her husband, Gary, own the largest lavender product company in America, selling to 4000 resorts, spas and gift stores. The Rosenbergs believe in giving back to the Sonoma Community, supporting many causes through financial donations and board positions, including Worth Our Weight, an educational culinary program for at-risk children, YWCA shelter for abused women, Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center to provide performances for children, Sonoma Food Bank, Sonoma Boys and Girls Club, and the Valley of the Moon Children’s Home. For more information, please visit Rebecca’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook and Goodreads. Visit the Facebook page for The Secret Life of Mrs. London.


My thoughts
I thought this was an interesting book about someone in history that I knew nothing about.  Baby Doe had to endure a lot on her own.  I am not sure I could have survived on my own in that time like she did. But I liked how she kind of rebelled against what people thought women should do in that time and did what she had to do the way she wanted to do it to survive. The author did a good job with her research. I liked how she packed a lot of information into this book without making it feel heavy.


Giveaway
During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away a copy of Gold Digger, a gold facial mask & soap set, and recipe brochure to five winners. Three winners will receive an ebook of Gold Digger. To enter, please use the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on June 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY. – Only one entry per household. – All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. – The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen. Gold Digger


Blog Tour Schedule
Wednesday, May 15 Review at Pursuing Stacie 
Thursday, May 16 Review at Passages to the Past 
Friday, May 17 Review at View from the Birdhouse 
Monday, May 20 Interview at Passages to the Past 
Tuesday, May 21 Excerpt at Donna's Book Blog 
Friday, May 24 Feature at Just One More Chapter 
Monday, May 27 Review at Orange County Readers 
Tuesday, May 28 Excerpt at Kimber Li Review at Diana_bibliophile 
Wednesday, May 29 Review at 100 Pages a Day Review at Oh, the Books She Will Read 
Thursday, May 30 Review at A Bookish Affair Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads 
Friday, May 31 Interview at Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots 
Monday, June 3 Review at A Chick Who Reads 
Tuesday, June 4 Excerpt at Maiden of the Pages 
Wednesday, June 5 Review at A Book Geek 
Thursday, June 6 Review at Comet Readings 
Friday, June 7 Review at History From a Woman's Perspective 
Saturday, June 8 Interview at Comet Readings 
Monday, June 10 Review & Guest Post at Clarissa Reads it All 
Tuesday, June 11 Excerpt at Old Timey Books 
Wednesday, June 12 Interview at T's Stuff Review at Proverbial Reads 
Thursday, June 13 Review at Cheryl's Book Nook 
Saturday, June 15 Review at Suzy Approved Book Reviews 
Monday, June 17 Author Spotlight at RW Bookclub 
Tuesday, June 18 Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat 
Thursday, June 20 Review at A Holland Reads 
Monday, June 24 Review at RW Bookclub 
Review at CelticLady's Reviews 
Thursday, June 27 Review at Mama's Reading Corner 
Friday, June 28 Review at Coffee and Ink Review at Cover To Cover Cafe 

June 16, 2019

Summer on Mirror Lake by JoAnn Ross - Review

I received this book free from the publisher. All opinions are my own

Book details
Series: Honeymoon Harbor #3
Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: HQN; Original edition (June 11, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1335014136
ISBN-13: 978-1335014139

Book description
Summertime is the best time to lose yourself in the romance of Honeymoon Harbor…

When he lands in the emergency room after collapsing at the funeral of a colleague and friend, Wall Street hotshot Gabriel Mannion initially rejects the diagnosis of an anxiety attack. But when warned that if he doesn’t change his adrenaline-fueled, workaholic lifestyle he could end up like his friend, Gabe reluctantly returns to his hometown of Honeymoon Harbor to regroup.

As he adjusts to the sight of mountains instead of skyscrapers, Gabe discovers advantages to this small Pacific Northwest town he once couldn’t wait to escape. But it’s irresistible librarian Chelsea Prescott who, along with the two foster children she’s taken under her wing, makes slowing down seem like the best prescription ever.

Over the course of their summer romance, Gabe gets a taste of the life he might have had if he’d taken a different path. But with his return to New York City looming on the horizon, he’ll have to choose between the success he’s worked tirelessly for and a ready-made family who offers a very different, richly rewarding future…if he’ll only take the risk.

Meet the author - JoAnn Ross
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author JoAnn Ross has been published in twenty-seven countries. A member of Romance Writers of America's Honor Roll of bestselling authors, JoAnn lives with her husband and three rescued dogs — who pretty much rule the house — in the Pacific Northwest. Visit her on the web at www.joannross.com.

My thoughts
I was happy to get to return to Honeymoon Harbor to see all of my friends again. This time we got to learn more about Gabe and watch him find happiness. I enjoy this author's writing style as she has a way of making you feel as if you are a part of the story. Her words just flow off the pages. Once you start reading you are unable to stop, at least that is how I feel. I think she does a good job of developing the characters and you can't help but fall in love with them. I am looking forward to more books in this series. 

June 14, 2019

The Romanov Sister by Helen Rappaport - Review

The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra

Book details
Hardcover: 512 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First edition (June 3, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781250020208
ISBN-13: 978-1250020208

Book description
They were the Princess Dianas of their day—perhaps the most photographed and talked about young royals of the early twentieth century. The four captivating Russian Grand Duchesses—Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia Romanov—were much admired for their happy dispositions, their looks, the clothes they wore and their privileged lifestyle.

Over the years, the story of the four Romanov sisters and their tragic end in a basement at Ekaterinburg in 1918 has clouded our view of them, leading to a mass of sentimental and idealized hagiography. With this treasure trove of diaries and letters from the grand duchesses to their friends and family, we learn that they were intelligent, sensitive and perceptive witnesses to the dark turmoil within their immediate family and the ominous approach of the Russian Revolution, the nightmare that would sweep their world away, and them along with it.

The Romanov Sisters sets out to capture the joy as well as the insecurities and poignancy of those young lives against the backdrop of the dying days of late Imperial Russia, World War I and the Russian Revolution. Rappaort aims to present a new and challenging take on the story, drawing extensively on previously unseen or unpublished letters, diaries and archival sources, as well as private collections. It is a book that will surprise people, even aficionados.

Meet the author - Helen Rappaport
Helen F. Rappaport (née Ware; born 1947), is a British historian, author, and former actress. As a historian, she specialises in the Victorian era and revolutionary Russia.
Bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

My thoughts
I loved this book. I actually listened to the audio version and am so happy I did as I am not sure I could have pronounced the names in this book. I had not read anything about this family nor did I really know anything about them. They talked a lot about hemophilia which is of particular interest to me as my nephew has this horrible disease.  It was interesting to hear about their lives and how the girls helped with the War and enjoyed being able to help.  Their mother had a lot of health issues which kept her from being able to do as much as she wanted with the children but did not hinder their love for each other.  I also liked how it show how much their father loved them even though they were not boys.  He did not care that when the were born he did not have a male heir to the throne, he was just happy to have a healthy child. The closeness that this family shared is not something you always see in Royal families so that was refreshing to see. I highly recommend this book. 

Decision at Fletcher's Mill by David Caringer - Review


Book details
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Elm Hill (March 12, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 159555789X
ISBN-13: 978-1595557896

Book description
The American revolution has no end in sight. Slavery has plagued the southern colonies as long as anyone can remember. The British have opened a second front in the south. Southern society is fragmented as rebels strive to throw off British tyranny, while loyalists fight to remain under English rule. Neighbor turns against neighbor. Families are torn apart.

Young Billy Morgan enters this chaotic world as a militiaman during the decisive battle of Cowpens. He becomes the butt of many jokes before the battle by trying to gain acceptance from his comrades through a foolish boastful lie. At Cowpens, the other men learn that there is much more to Billy Morgan than any of them thought possible when he leads them into the fiercest part of the fight. He is rewarded with a promotion and given a task that is much larger than his limited experience and apparently questionable character would seem to support.

Ira Fletcher is one of the richest men in South Carolina. He has powerful political connections. Fletcher is a complex man with a fiery past, and a passion for the Gospel. He owns Fletcher’s Mill and almost everything around it for miles. Rumors abound regarding vast treasure hidden in or under the mill. Ira abhors slavery. He elevates former slave, Ezekiel, to a position of authority at the mill. Elizabeth, Ira’s orphaned granddaughter, is raised by the widowed Ira, Ezekiel, and family friend Mona Partridge. The jealousy of His planter neighbors explodes into cruel violence that threatens everything Ira holds dear. He is forced to choose what is truly valuable.

Love and loyalty, greed and violence, courage and grace all abound as these people and many others are drawn together. Choices must be made. Change is coming. It is a time of weighty decision at Fletcher’s Mill.

Meet the author - David Caringer
David Caringer was born in Chicago in 1957. He grew up with two older brothers and a younger sister. Their father was a Nazarene minister and their mother was a sweet and saintly lady of the church. The family moved from Illinois to southern California and then to Missouri where he finished High School and joined the US Army to become an infantry paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. Far from home and family, Caringer turned quickly away from his strong moral upbringing and became involved in the hedonistic lifestyle of sex drugs and rock & roll that was so prevalent in the post Vietnam army of the 1970's. His life became a dark and dank search for love joy and peace through people, events, and places that were incapable of providing or even comprehending the true meaning of those virtues. This time was punctuated with many moments of true humor and stark terror.

Living a desperate double life, Caringer was involved in many grand adventures and senseless tragedies over a period of nearly thirty years. He was educated in college, in numerous military and civilian training schools, and on the street. His professional resume includes occupations like paratrooper, police officer, army officer, private investigator, and many others. His tragic lifestyle of rebellion against all that he had been taught as a child provides a dark description of a man full of rage, loneliness, passion, and stubborn selfish pride.

Thankfully, his story doesn't end there. In January of 2003, during a time of desperate trouble, Caringer finally came to the end of himself and found redemption in and through Jesus Christ. The explosion of change in him since this event has been so profound that he is now hardly recognizable as the same person. He has lived this new life now for over twelve years, having found the true source of love, joy, and peace. He now works in the low voltage security industry. He is also a volunteer chaplain and an ordained non-denominational minister of the Gospel. He and his wife Patti live in southwest Missouri where they are heavily involved in the discipleship and Life Group (house church) ministries of James River Church.

You can purchase the book at Amazon: Decision at Fletcher's Mill

My thoughts
I enjoyed reading this book. The writing was nice and easy to read. It was like the story flowed off the pages. I liked the subject and time frame.  The characters were well developed.  In fact the more I read about Ira the more I loved him.  I would like to know more about Ezekiel. He seemed liked he would be an interesting person.  I also had a soft spot for Billy.  Now I can't say the same for Crispin or Throckmorton.  They were the characters you love to hate. I am looking forward to the next book and hope to hear more about Billy and Elizabeth's story and what lies in their future. 

June 13, 2019

Sconed to Death by Lynn Cahoon - Spotlight and Giveaway


Book details
Cozy Mystery 5th in Series 
Kensington (May 28, 2019) 
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages 
ISBN-10: 1496716833 
ISBN-13: 978-1496716835 
Kindle ASIN: B07H1ZCS2Z
  

Book details
Cat Latimer pursues a scone-cold killer who iced a top chef in a local bakery . . .

Cat has a full plate at her Aspen Hills Warm Springs Resort, as a group of aspiring cozy mystery authors arrives for a writers retreat. So when baker Dee Dee Meyer stirs up trouble by filing a false complaint with the health inspector against the B&B—all because she insists Cat's best friend Shauna stole her recipes—Cat marches into the shop to confront her.

But Dee Dee's about to have her own batch of trouble. Greyson Finn—a celebrity chef and, until today, one of Denver's most eligible bachelors—has been found dead in her bakery. Cat's uncle Pete, who happens to be the chief of police, warns her not to engage in any half-baked sleuthing. But as her curiosity rises, Cat's determined to discover who served the chef his just desserts—before the killer takes a powder . . .
Meet the Author - Lynn Cahoon
Lynn Cahoon is the award-winning author of several New York Times and USA Today bestselling cozy mystery series. The Tourist Trap series is set in central coastal California with six holiday novellas releasing in 2018–2019. She also pens the Cat Latimer series available in mass market paperback. Her newest series, the Farm to Fork mystery series, debuted in 2018. She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies.
Website – http://lynncahoon.com/

Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo - Google Play 

Giveaway


TOUR PARTICIPANTS 
June 6 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW 
June 6 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
June 6 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT 
June 7 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE 
June 7 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT 
June 8 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW, EXCERPT 
June 8 – fundinmental – SPOTLIGHT 
June 8 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
June 9 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW 
June 9 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW 
June 9 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
June 10 – Literary Gold – REVIEW 
June 10 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – SPOTLIGHT 
June 10 – My Reading Journeys - REVIEW 
June 11 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW 
June 11 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
June 11 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST 
June 12 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW 
June 12 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
June 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
June 13 – I'm All About Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
June 13 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
June 13 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT 
June 14 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW 
June 14 – Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT
June 14 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

June 9, 2019

Murder at Royale Court by G.P. Gardner - Spotlight


Book details
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Lyrical Underground (June 4, 2019)
Paperback: 228 pages
ISBN-10: 1516109023
ISBN-13: 978-1516109029
Digital ASIN: B07H72BF6W

Book description
Harbor Village is a vivacious retirement paradise known for its beachy locale and active senior scene. But ever since murder moved in, the idyllic coastal community is becoming a little less lively . . .

With the first annual antique car show cruising into the tranquil bayside oasis of Fairhope, Alabama, there are bumpy roads ahead for Harbor Village director Cleo Mack. As an automobile-themed lecture series gets off to a rough start, she finds herself balancing one too many responsibilities—and dodging advances from a shady event sponsor. It’s enough to make Cleo feel twice her age. But the festivities reach a real dead end when she discovers a body at the Royale Court shopping center . . .

When an innocent man lands in the hot seat for murder, Harbor Village residents look to Cleo to crack the case. Aided by an eclectic group of energetic seniors, Cleo races to identify the true culprit from a growing list of harmless Sunday drivers—before a killer revs up for another hit and run!

This ebook includes an exclusive knitting pattern!

Meet the Author
Born and raised in Alabama, G. P. Gardner earned BS and MA degrees in Psychology from the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL) and an MBA from Jacksonville State University (Jacksonville, AL). She also attended the University of Georgia (Athens, GA), where she studied biopsychology and primatology. But her heart belongs to Talladega College—an HBCU and the first educational institution in Alabama to admit students without regard to race—where she taught business. Her writing life began with short stories, some of which were published in regional literary journals and some of which won prizes. She enjoys the classic mystery writers as well as contemporary whodunits but reads widely. She is a knitter and once owned a knit shop in Fairhope, AL. She studied mystery writing with Terry Cline, another Fairhope resident. Murder in Harbor Village is the first in her series about social worker Cleo Mack. You can visit her at gpgardner.com.

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle Play

TOUR PARTICIPANTS
June 4 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 4 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
June 5 – I’m All About Books – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 5 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
June 5 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
June 6 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 6 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
June 7 – Baroness’ Book Trove – REVIEW
June 7 – That’s What She’s Reading – CHARACTER GUEST POST
June 7 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
June 8 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
June 8 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
June 9 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, EXCERPT
June 9 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
June 10 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW, GUEST POST
June 10 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
June 11 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST

June 4, 2019

Decision at Fletcher's Mill by David Caringer - Spotlight and Interview


Book details
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Elm Hill (March 12, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 159555789X
ISBN-13: 978-1595557896

Book description
The American revolution has no end in sight. Slavery has plagued the southern colonies as long as anyone can remember. The British have opened a second front in the south. Southern society is fragmented as rebels strive to throw off British tyranny, while loyalists fight to remain under English rule. Neighbor turns against neighbor. Families are torn apart.

Young Billy Morgan enters this chaotic world as a militiaman during the decisive battle of Cowpens. He becomes the butt of many jokes before the battle by trying to gain acceptance from his comrades through a foolish boastful lie. At Cowpens, the other men learn that there is much more to Billy Morgan than any of them thought possible when he leads them into the fiercest part of the fight. He is rewarded with a promotion and given a task that is much larger than his limited experience and apparently questionable character would seem to support.

Ira Fletcher is one of the richest men in South Carolina. He has powerful political connections. Fletcher is a complex man with a fiery past, and a passion for the Gospel. He owns Fletcher’s Mill and almost everything around it for miles. Rumors abound regarding vast treasure hidden in or under the mill. Ira abhors slavery. He elevates former slave, Ezekiel, to a position of authority at the mill. Elizabeth, Ira’s orphaned granddaughter, is raised by the widowed Ira, Ezekiel, and family friend Mona Partridge. The jealousy of His planter neighbors explodes into cruel violence that threatens everything Ira holds dear. He is forced to choose what is truly valuable.

Love and loyalty, greed and violence, courage and grace all abound as these people and many others are drawn together. Choices must be made. Change is coming. It is a time of weighty decision at Fletcher’s Mill.

Meet the author - David Caringer
David Caringer was born in Chicago in 1957. He grew up with two older brothers and a younger sister. Their father was a Nazarene minister and their mother was a sweet and saintly lady of the church. The family moved from Illinois to southern California and then to Missouri where he finished High School and joined the US Army to become an infantry paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division. Far from home and family, Caringer turned quickly away from his strong moral upbringing and became involved in the hedonistic lifestyle of sex drugs and rock & roll that was so prevalent in the post Vietnam army of the 1970's. His life became a dark and dank search for love joy and peace through people, events, and places that were incapable of providing or even comprehending the true meaning of those virtues. This time was punctuated with many moments of true humor and stark terror.

Living a desperate double life, Caringer was involved in many grand adventures and senseless tragedies over a period of nearly thirty years. He was educated in college, in numerous military and civilian training schools, and on the street. His professional resume includes occupations like paratrooper, police officer, army officer, private investigator, and many others. His tragic lifestyle of rebellion against all that he had been taught as a child provides a dark description of a man full of rage, loneliness, passion, and stubborn selfish pride.

Thankfully, his story doesn't end there. In January of 2003, during a time of desperate trouble, Caringer finally came to the end of himself and found redemption in and through Jesus Christ. The explosion of change in him since this event has been so profound that he is now hardly recognizable as the same person. He has lived this new life now for over twelve years, having found the true source of love, joy, and peace. He now works in the low voltage security industry. He is also a volunteer chaplain and an ordained non-denominational minister of the Gospel. He and his wife Patti live in southwest Missouri where they are heavily involved in the discipleship and Life Group (house church) ministries of James River Church.

You can purchase the book at Amazon: Decision at Fletcher's Mill

Interview
What made you decide to want to write a historical fiction book?
I've had a passion for history since childhood, and I love to tell stories.

Where did you come up with the characters?
During long walks with my wife on late afternoons in our neighborhood.

Who is your favorite author or your favorite book?
My favorite book is the Bible. My favorite fiction author is CS Forester, and my favorite non-fiction author is David McCullough.

Do you have any rituals or things that you do to prepare you before you start to write?
I don't have any rituals that I do before I write. However, I do often pray and ask God to help me know what to say.

Who inspires you to write or who is your biggest supporter?
My wife, Patti, is my best friend (next to Jesus). She inspires and encourages me throughout each project and in every part of my life.

What is one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring author?
Research carefully, and just start writing. You can fix the problems with a manuscript after you get it on paper.

What are your future book plans?
I have two sequels planned for my new novel, Decision At Fletcher's Mill. Many of the characters from this book will travel through all three as the romances develop and the adventure intensifies.

What are five random things about you?
Five random things about myself... That's a tough one, but here goes: (1) I've lived in ten different states, and worked in professions ranging from paratrooper, to policeman, private investigator, surveillance system technician, and several others. (2) I enjoy reading, jigsaw puzzles, and watching old black and white movies. (3) My father was a Minister of the Gospel, and I'm a Corporate Chaplain. (4) My mother has an identical twin. (5) I've been totally sold out to Jesus Christ for the past sixteen years after spending the previous several decades in a dark and desperate search for life and meaning.

Is there anything else you would like to say to your readers?
I hope you will enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoy writing them.

Be sure to watch for my review of this book. I had the pleasure of hearing David speak at a local library and it made me want to read the book even more. I started the book last night and I have to say that I am already hooked. 

The Secret Token by Andrew Lawler - Review


Book details
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Doubleday; 1st Edition edition (June 5, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385542011
ISBN-13: 978-0385542012

Book description
A sweeping account of America's oldest unsolved mystery, the people racing to unearth its answer, and the sobering truths--about race, gender, and immigration--exposed by the Lost Colony of Roanoke

In 1587, 115 men, women, and children arrived at Roanoke Island on the coast of North Carolina. Chartered by Queen Elizabeth I, their colony was to establish England's first foothold in the New World. But when the colony's leader, John White, returned to Roanoke from a resupply mission, his settlers were nowhere to be found. They left behind only a single clue--a "secret token" carved into a tree. Neither White nor any other European laid eyes on the colonists again.

What happened to the Lost Colony of Roanoke? For four hundred years, that question has consumed historians and amateur sleuths, leading only to dead ends and hoaxes. But after a chance encounter with a British archaeologist, journalist Andrew Lawler discovered that solid answers to the mystery were within reach. He set out to unravel the enigma of the lost settlers, accompanying competing researchers, each hoping to be the first to solve its riddle. In the course of his journey, Lawler encounters a host of characters obsessed with the colonists and their fate, and he determines why the Lost Colony continues to haunt our national consciousness.

Thrilling and absorbing, The Secret Token offers a new understanding not just of the first English settlement in the New World but of how its disappearance continues to define--and divide--America.

Meet the author - Andrew Lawler
Andrew Lawler is author of two books, The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke, a national bestseller, and the widely acclaimed Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?: The Epic Saga of the Bird that Powers Civilization. As a long-time journalist, he has written more than a thousand newspaper and magazine articles, and his byline has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and many others. He is a contributing writer for Science and a contributing editor for Archaeology. Andrew’s work has appeared several times in The Best of Science and Nature Writing. For more, see www.andrewlawler.com

My thoughts
I thought this book was interesting and I learned a few things reading it. Like the author mentions when you start thinking about the mystery behind Roanoke Island it just sucks you in and does not let you go. I have watched many shows on this and keep hoping that by some miracle we will find out what happened to this lost colonists.  I like how the author explored all the options and did his research in trying to find the truth. I am not sure we will ever find out what happened but it is nice to think we have.  I was also shocked about how some groups use Virginia Dare as a model for their own agenda. I don't want to say what I mean by this as I want you to read the book for your own thoughts. For me I hope that the Native Americans did take them in and they became a part of their family rather that to think they all just perished. A very informative book. 

May 16, 2019

For a Good Paws by Linda O. Johnston - Spotlight and Giveaway

 

  Book details

Cozy Mystery 5th in Series 

Midnight Ink (May 8, 2019) 

Paperback: 288 pages 

ISBN-10: 0738752444 

ISBN-13: 978-0738752440 

Digital ASIN: B07HL4XNKD


Book description
Barkery owner Carrie Kennersly follows the scent of murder to find the true culprit . . .

When Carrie Kennersley, owner of a two-part bakery that serves tasty treats to both dogs and humans, learns that a local killer is being paroled, she worries that danger will come barking at her door.

Ten years ago, Mike Holpurn was convicted of murdering the first female mayor of Knobcone Heights. Now, shortly after his release, Holpurn puts the whole town on edge by yelling at the former mayor's husband, Henry Schulzer. After Schulzer is found dead, everyone assumes Holpurn is the culprit. But Carrie thinks there's more to the story, especially since Holpurn claims Schulzer was the one who really killed the mayor. Carrie is determined to uncover the truth, even if it means things will get ruff.

Includes recipes!

Meet the Author - Linda O. Johnston
Linda O. Johnston, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, writes the Barkery & Biscuits Mystery Series for Midnight Ink. Her fifth and final book in the series, For a Good Paws, is a May 2019 release. She has also written Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink, and the Pet Rescue Mystery Series and Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. Linda also writes for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and nearly all her current stories involve dogs.

Author Links Website - www.LindaOJohnston.com 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/LindaOJohnston 

Purchase Links Amazon - B&N - BooksAMillion - IndieBound

Giveaway


TOUR PARTICIPANTS 
May 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW 
May 8 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT 
May 9 – Books Direct – SPOTLIGHT 
May 9 – The Book's the Thing – GUEST POST 
May 10 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT 
May 10 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
May 11 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT 
May 11 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT 
May 12 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
May 13 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW May 13 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT 
May 14 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW 
May 15 – Here's How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT 
May 15 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
May 16 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT 
May 16 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
May 17 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST 
May 17 – Ascroft, eh? – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

May 4, 2019

Still Me by Jojo Moyes - Review


Book details
Series: Me Before You Trilogy (Book 3)
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books; First Edition edition (January 30, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0399562451
ISBN-13: 978-0399562457

Book description
Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She steps into the world of the superrich, working for Leonard Gopnik and his much younger second wife, Agnes. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her new job and New York life.

As she begins to mix in New York high society, Lou meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. Before long, Lou finds herself torn between Fifth Avenue where she works and the treasure-filled vintage clothing store where she actually feels at home. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself: Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you find the courage to follow your heart—wherever that may lead?

Funny, romantic, and poignant, Still Me follows Lou as she discovers who she is and who she was always meant to be—and learns to live boldly in her brave new world.

Meet the author - JoJo Moyes
Jojo Moyes is a British novelist.

Moyes studied at Royal Holloway, University of London. She won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper to study journalism at City University and subsequently worked for The Independent for 10 years. In 2001 she became a full time novelist.

Moyes' novel Foreign Fruit won the Romantic Novelists' Association (RNA) Romantic Novel of the Year in 2004.

She is married to journalist Charles Arthur and has three children.

My thoughts
This book was every bit as good as the other two in the series. I actually listened to the audio version of this and I had to bring it in to work because I could not wait to hear what happened next. I loved how Louisa took a chance and found herself. The cast of characters in this book were great, from the grumpy old neighbor, to the rich Agnes, to her boyfriend Sam. I loved everything about this book.

A Witch to Remember by Heather Blake - Review


Book details
Series: Wishcraft Mystery #9
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books (April 9, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1683319788
ISBN-13: 978-1683319788

Book description
Not even a witch can keep her secrets safe in the sizzling ninth installment of national bestselling author Heather Blake’s Wishcraft series.

Wishcrafter Darcy Merriweather’s enchanted wedding plans are put to the test when murder invites itself to her bridal luncheon…

The Enchanted Village always has a touch of magic about it, but the buzz of excitement over the wedding between wish-granting witch Darcy and Police Chief Nick Sawyer is positively electric. With every spellbinding detail planned to perfection all that’s left is to sit back and let wishes come true. But Darcy’s dream wedding is threatened when the Divinitea Cottage, the tea room hosting her bridal luncheon, goes up in flames, revealing the strangled body of the owner, Leyna Noble.

Making vows to solve the crime without delaying the nuptials, Darcy focuses on her prime suspect, and number one nemesis, wicked witch Dorothy Hansel Dewitt, a notorious firebug. But when a psychic vanishes without a trace, Darcy’s investigation shifts to Leyna’s mysteriously bewitching past. Darcy must sort through mystical claims and old, vengeful grudges to find a killer before she is forced to forever hold her peace.

Meet the author - Heather Blake
Heather Blake (aka Heather Webber) is the author of more than twenty mystery novels and has been twice nominated for an Agatha Award. She's a total homebody who loves to be close to her family, read, watch reality cooking competition shows, drink too much coffee, crochet, and bake cookies. Heather grew up in a suburb of Boston, but currently she lives in the Cincinnati area with her family.

My thoughts
I am so sad to see this series end. I will say that the author did a great job of tying everything up. I even found myself getting choked up on a few spots. This is the first time that I have actually did a good job of actually suspecting the right person of course it was one of three that I thought it might be. All of my favorite characters including Pepe and Mrs. P were present and a few I do not care for, but were necessary for the story. This series has been a source of enjoyment.

The Refuge by Ann H. Gabhart - Revuew

I received this book free from the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

Book details
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Revell (April 30, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0800729277
ISBN-13: 978-0800729271

Book description
When Darcie and Walter Goodwin hear of a new cholera epidemic sweeping the area, they join the Shakers whose villages seem immune to the disease. It's meant to be a temporary stay, but Walter is killed in a riverboat accident. With no family and no money, Darcie has little choice but to stay with the Shakers. To complicate matters, she is expecting a baby conceived before she and her husband came to the Shaker village. Marital relationships are considered sinful in this celibate community, putting Darcie in a unique--and lonely--position. Can the arrival of widower Flynn Keller and his headstrong daughter offer Darcie the hope of happiness . . . and family?

Ann H. Gabhart returns to the enigmatic world of the Shakers in this emotional exploration of the power of love and the bond of family.

Meet the author - Ann H. Gabhart
Ann H. Gabhart grew up on a farm in Kentucky. By the time she was ten she knew she wanted to be a writer. She's published over twenty novels. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren. She still lives on a farm not far from where she grew up. She loves playing with her grandkids, walking with her dog, reading and, of course, writing. Her Shaker books, set in her fictional Shaker village of Harmony Hill in the 1800's, are popular with readers. The Outsider was a Christian Fiction Book Award Finalist in 2009. Her Heart of Hollyhill books are Small Town, America books set in the 1960's. Angel Sister, a Rosey Corner book set during the Great Depression, will be followed by Small Town Girl. 

Visit Ann's website http://annhgabhart.com or her two blogs, 
One Writer's Journal, www.annhgabhart.blogspot.com, and
Hollyhill Book of the Strange, www.hollyhillbookofthestrange.blogspo...
Giveaways several times a year.

My thoughts
I liked how the author showed all the emotions of trying to fit in somewhere that is not necessarily your normal place. That can be hard to do. It also makes the characters more real to see them go through everyday situations even if it is set in a different time. I did not realize in some Shaker communities the children are kept separate from the parents. I don't know that I could do that, although if that is all you know I am sure it may be easier. While reading this I not only got to know the characters I learned a little more about the Shaker community and their ways. Not my ways but that is their choice to live that way and to each his own. This was a very enjoyable book that I did not want to put down. The author has a nice way of writing so the story flows off the pages and her descriptions of places and people make you feel a part of the story. 

May 1, 2019

The Austen Playbook by Lucy Parker - Spotlight


Book details
Series: London Celebrities (Book 4)
Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Carina Press; Original edition (April 30, 2019)

Book description
In which experienced West End actress Freddy Carlton takes on an Austen-inspired play, a scandal at a country estate, an enthusiastic search for a passion outside of acting…and the (some people might say icy*) heart of London’s most feared theater critic.

*if those people were being nice

Freddy Carlton knows she should be focusing on her lines for The Austen Playbook, a live-action TV event where viewers choose the outcome of each scene, but her concentration’s been blown. The palatial estate housing the endeavor is now run by the rude (brilliant) critic who’s consistently slammed her performances of late. James “Griff” Ford-Griffin has a penchant for sarcasm, a majestic nose and all the sensitivity of a sledgehammer.

She can’t take her eyes off him.

Griff can hardly focus with a contagious joy fairy flitting about near him, especially when Freddy looks at him like that. His only concern right now should be on shutting down his younger brother’s well-intentioned (disastrous) schemes—or at the very least on the production (not this one) that might save his family home from the banks.

Instead all he can think of is soft skin and vibrant curls.

As he’s reluctantly dragged into her quest to rediscover her passion for the stage and Freddy is drawn into his research on a legendary theater star, the adage about appearances being deceiving proves abundantly true. It’s the unlikely start of something enormous…but a single revelation about the past could derail it all.

“There’s more drama offstage than on, the writing is outstanding, and the bit of mystery blends well into the romance. Theater fans will devour this lovely contemporary romance.”-Publisher’s Weekly, starred review, on The Austen Playbook

“The London Celebrities series-some of the wittiest, smartest dialogue to come down the romance pike in years.”-Kirkus ReviewS of London Celebrities series

Purchase Links
Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Meet the author - Lucy Parker
Lucy Parker lives in the gorgeous Central Otago region of New Zealand, where she feels lucky every day to look out at mountains, lakes and vineyards. She has a degree in Art History, loves museums and galleries, and doodles unrecognisable flowers when she has writer’s block.

Her interest in romantic fiction began with a pre-teen viewing of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Firth-style), which prompted her to read the book as well, and the rest was history.

Connect with Lucy
Website | Twitter | Instagram

Interview
1. THE AUSTEN PLAYBOOK is book #4 in the London Celebrities series. Did writing any secondary characters inspire you to give them a standalone romance?
Yes! I don’t usually go into a new book with the intention of making a secondary character a future main character, but very shortly into the process of writing THE AUSTEN PLAYBOOK, I realised that Freddy’s TV presenter older sister, Sabrina, was going to become the next heroine. And I’m very fond of Griff’s polar-opposite, charming, happy-go-lucky younger brother, Charlie, so I have an idea in mind for him as well.

2. If you could be cast in ‘The Austen Playbook’ live-action TV event, which Jane Austen character would you want to play?
I might have to go with Anne Elliot, just to be the recipient of Captain Wentworth’s infamous letter!

3. You’ve been teasing London Celebrities book #5 online, can you tell us anything about the next book?
The fifth London Celebrities book, HEADLINERS, is the story of Freddy’s sister, Sabrina, a fiery, sophisticated London TV host. Sabrina experiences some significant ups and downs in THE AUSTEN PLAYBOOK, and it’s going to be a bumpy ride to her happy ending in HEADLINERS, as she’s forced to form an alliance with her main professional rival and work towards a common goal. Neither trusts the other an inch, they’re used to trading barbs on air, and they’re increasingly frustrated as the public insist on believing that romance — and not mutual antipathy — is sparking.

4. How much of yourself is reflected in your books/characters?
People who’ve known me for a long time read the books and tell me they can strongly hear my voice in the narrative, so apparently the books reflect me quite a lot! Certainly, I think my sense of humour is threaded throughout the stories, and different sides of my own personality come out in various characters — including the grumpy ones! The character who I personally identify with most is Sophy, the heroine of ARTISTIC LICENSE, my first book, that I wrote under the penname Elle Pierson. She’s a shy introvert, and her inner struggles, the way in which she navigates her space…there’s a lot of me in Sophy.

5. What advice would you give to any aspiring romance writers out there?

Read. Read a lot. Work out what tropes and plot points you enjoy; and it’s a cliché, but do write the book you would want to read. The story you’ve been wanting and can’t find. Nobody is going to read your book more times than you’ll have to throughout the writing process, nobody is going to spend more time in that world than you will, so make it a place you want to be. Make it a treat to return to it, a refuge from all the stressful things happening in your life outside of your book. Don’t think too much about possible rejections and bad reviews and all the rest of it until you’ve finished the book. One step at a time.

And if you can, find some writer friends online, because having that support community is invaluable.

6. Would you like to share a favorite moment from your writing career?
One favourite moment was discovering that somebody wrote a fanfic based on one of my books. I’ve been part of the fanfiction world for a long time; I honestly think it shaped me as both a person and a writer in my teens and early twenties, and it was a surreal moment for me to see that somebody cared enough about that book to invest their time and effort into revisiting the characters in a fic.

And having somebody with chronic illness tell me that my books are comfort reads for them. That’s a really big deal for me, and one of the best things I could hear, because as someone who also relies heavily on my comfort books as part of chronic illness management, I know how important it is to have that.

7. What is your favorite movie or TV show?
My favourite movie (or mini-series, technically) probably remains the 1995 Pride and Prejudice, with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. A close runner-up is The Mummy with Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. My favourite TV shows are primarily British comedies like The Vicar of Dibley and Jeeves and Wooster, but I also love Gilmore Girls.

8. What would be your dream vacation?
Probably a couple of weeks during the summer in Oxford and Edinburgh. Although — those old classic mysteries where people went on tours around country estates and ate lots of scones and jam. Er, yeah, I would actually love that. Preferably minus the inevitable dead bodies that crop up in those books.

9. If you could host a dinner party with three fictional characters, who would you invite?
Dominique Richard from Laura Florand’s The Chocolate Touch, but only if he’s bringing a large selection of his chocolates for dessert. I’d better invite his heroine Jaime as well, because I don’t think he’d come otherwise. And Lucy Eyelesbarrow from Agatha Christie’s 4:50 From Paddington, because I want to know who she ended up marrying.

Lucy Parker’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Sunday, April 21st: @tlcbooktours – giveaway
Monday, April 22nd: From the TBR Pile
Monday, April 22nd: @_ebl_inc_
Monday, April 22nd: Book Reviews and More by Kathy – spotlight
Tuesday, April 23rd: Read Love Blog – spotlight
Wednesday, April 24th: What is That Book About – spotlight
Thursday, April 25th: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, April 25th: Seaside Book Nook
Friday, April 26th: @book_hangover88
Monday, April 29th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Monday, April 29th: Becky on Books
Tuesday, April 30th: @girlandherbooks
Tuesday, April 30th: Rad Babes Read
Wednesday, May 1st: Into the Hall of Books
Wednesday, May 1st: A Holland Reads – spotlight
Thursday, May 2nd: The Lit Bitch
Thursday, May 2nd: Amy’s Book-et List
Thursday, May 2nd: Fuelled by Fiction
Friday, May 3rd: View from the Birdhouse
Friday, May 3rd: Books & Bindings