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 

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. 


July 8 – The Power of Words – REVIEW 
July 8 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
July 8 – Books Direct – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT 
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.

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.

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.