March 31, 2016

The Imposter by Suzanne Woods Fisher - Review

I received this book from Celebration Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review

Published: October 6, 2015
Number of pages: 320
Genre: Amish
Series: The Bishop's Family #1

A heart once deceived should not be easily fooled again . . .

Katrina Stoltzfus thought she had life and love all figured out: she was going to marry John and live happily ever after. But as her plans crumble before her eyes, she struggles to face an uncertain future. When a widow asks for help starting a new business, Katrina quickly agrees. She needs time to heal her broken heart, to untangle her messy life, to find a purpose.

What she doesn’t need is attention from Andy Miller, a farmhand who arrives at the widow’s farm just when help is most needed–and who always seems to say the right thing and be in the right place, at the right time. Is Andy for real or too good to be true? She’s been deceived once before, and she isn’t planning on experiencing it again.

What did I think of this book:
Suzanne Woods Fisher is off to another good start with this new series. She has a way of making the stories come alive before your eyes. This story deals with some modern issues that you do not always see in Amish books but I thought it fit well and was handled in a good manner. It helped to make the story seem even more real. I really liked Katrina in this story and thought she was a very strong person even with all she was going through. I felt bad for her at times and wished I could help out. There are even a few surprises in this book that you will not be expecting. I am looking forward to reading more in this new series and to meet more people from Stoney Ridge. 

About the author:
Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author whose most recent novels include Anna’s Crossing and The Inn at Eagle Hill series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. She lives in California. Learn more at and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

Suzanne is graciously giving away a Kindle Fire 7! Click below to enter!

Tour Participants;
March 22: Quiet Quilter
March 23: Heidi Reads…
March 24: Splashes of Joy
March 24: Mary Hake
March 25: cherylbbookblog
March 26: Just Commonly
March 27: Giveaway Lady
March 28: Lane Hill House
March 28: Marilyn Ridgeway
March 30: A Greater Yes
March 31: A Holland Reads
April 1: Bukwurmzzz

March 30, 2016

Death of an Alchemist by Mary Lawrence - Review and Giveaway

I received this book from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Published: January 26, 2016
Number of pages: 304
Genre: Historical, Mystery
Series; Bianca Goddard #2

In the mid sixteenth century, Henry VIII sits on the throne, and Bianca Goddard tends to the sick and suffering in London’s slums, where disease can take a life as quickly as murder…

For years, alchemist Ferris Stannum has devoted himself to developing the Elixir of Life, the reputed serum of immortality. Having tested his remedy successfully on an animal, Stannum intends to send his alchemy journal to a colleague in Cairo for confirmation. But the next day his body is found and the journal is gone.

Bianca, the daughter of an alchemist, is well acquainted with the mystical healing arts. When her husband John falls ill with the sweating sickness, she dares to hope Stannum’s journal could contain the secret to his recovery. But first she must solve the alchemist’s murder. As she ventures into a world of treachery and deceit, Stannum’s death is only the first in a series of murders—and Bianca’s quest becomes a matter of life and death, not only for her husband, but for herself…

What did I think of this book:
I enjoyed this second installment in this series. I like how the author includes so much history in her stories as well as the mystery which keeps you guessing. It was nice to read more about Bianca and see what she is up to now. In this book Bianca's husband John is very ill and she is trying to find a way to make him better while at the same time trying to solve the murder of another alchemist. While trying to find out who the murderer is Bianca finds herself at risk of being harmed. I thought the author did a good job of describing scenes and the background. She has a way with words that makes you feel as if you are a part of the story. You can tell the author did her research as she is spot on with the Tudor theme of the book. This is the second book in the series but it can be read as a stand alone. I myself am looking forward to the next book in the series to see what sort of trouble Bianca finds next. 

Praise for The Alchemist’s Daughter (Bianca Goddard Mysteries, Book 1)
“A realistic evocation of 16th century London’s underside. The various strands of the plot are so skillfully plaited together.” —Fiona Buckley

“Mystery and Tudor fans alike will raise a glass to this new series.” —Karen Harper

About the Author
Mary Lawrence studied biology and chemistry, graduating from Indiana University with a degree in Cytotechnology. Along with writing and farming, Lawrence works as a cytologist near Boston. She lives in Maine. The Alchemist’s Daughter is the first book in the Bianca Goddard Mystery series.

For more information please visit Mary’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

To enter the Death of an Alchemist giveaway, please use the GLEAM form below. Four winners will receive a signed copy and the Grand Prize Winner will receive a signed copy plus a $15 Amazon Gift Card! Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on April 1st. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to US addresses 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.

Tour Schedule:
Monday, March 21
Review at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, March 22
Review at With Her Nose Stuck In A Book
Guest Post at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More

Wednesday, March 23
Review at A Book Geek

Thursday, March 24
Interview at Books and Benches

Friday, March 25
Review at Book Nerd
Interview at The Book Connection

Monday, March 28
Review at Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne

Tuesday, March 29
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Wednesday, March 30
Review at A Holland Reads

Thursday, March 31
Interview at Author Dianne Ascroft’s Blog

Friday, April 1
Guest Post at Passages to the Past

March 29, 2016

A Clue in the Stew by Connie Archer - Spotlight

Published: April 5, 2016
Number of pages: 320
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Soup Lover's Mystery #5

Soup shop owner Lucky Jamieson stirs up more trouble in the latest mystery from the national bestselling author of Ladle to the Grave…

When Lucky Jamieson opens up By the Spoonful to host an event with a famous author, she’s not expecting a bunch of nuts to descend on her small-town soup shop. But the author’s exasperating entourage—from a prickly publicist to a snippy son and his tipsy wife—give fresh meaning to the phrase, too many cooks spoil the broth.

The evening is more than spoiled, however, when it ends with a homicide. When the manner of the murder—as well as another recent unsolved crime—echoes the author’s fiction, Police Chief Nate Edgerton realizes he has a copycat killer on his hands. And Lucky hopes that one of her regular customers who has mysteriously gone missing isn’t involved. Once again, the soup shop owner will need to stir up some clues to find her friend and catch a cunning killer—before things really take a tureen for the worse…

About the Author:
Connie Archer is the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series from Penguin Random House (Berkley Prime Crime). A Spoonful of Murder, A Broth of Betrayal,A Roux of Revenge, Ladle to the Grave and A Clue in the Stew are all set in the imaginary village of Snowflake, Vermont. Connie was born and raised in New England and now lives on the other coast. You can visit her at

Author Links
Twitter: @SnowflakeVT

Purchase Links
Barnes & Noble:


Tour Participants
March 21 – I Wish I Lived in a Library – Review
March 22 – View from the Birdhouse – Interview
March 23 – Babs Book Bistro – Review, Guest Post
March 24 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review
March 25 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – Review, Guest Post
March 26 – Melina’s Book Blog – Review
March 27 – A Blue Million Books – Interview
March 28 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – Review
March 29 – A. Holland Reads– Review
March 30 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – Review
March 31 – The Book’s The Thing – Review
April 1 – Back Porchervations – Review
April 2 – Cinnamon, Sugar and a Little Bit of Murder – Review
April 3 – Brooke Blogs – Review, Guest Post
April 4 – Mystery Playground – Interview

The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White - Giveaway

Published: April 5, 2016
Number of pages: 384
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: Ladies of the Manor #2

Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she has never felt good enough—not for her father, not for the man she thought she’d marry, not for God. But after a shocking attack, she’s willing to be forever an outcast if it means escaping Loch Morar and the men who have jeopardized her life.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has suddenly found himself in possession of a rare treasure his enemies are prepared to kill for. While Brice has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, the last thing he needs is the distraction of his neighbor, Lady Rowena, who finds herself in a desperate situation. But when the moody Earl of Lochabar tries to trap Brice into marrying Rowena, Brice finds he’s not as opposed to the idea as he expected to be.

Rowena wanted to escape the Highlands, but she’s reluctant to resort to marrying a notorious flirt just to gain his English home. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in some kind of questionable business with a stolen treasure, she ’fears she’s about to end up directly in the path of everything she was trying to avoid.

About the author:
Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she's homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna has a slew of historical novels available, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. She lives with her family in West Virginia. Learn more at

I was lucky enough to receive two copies of this great book and wanted to share it with my followers. I am giving away one paperback copy of the book. This giveaway is for the US only. You must leave a comment in order to be entered. Once the contest is over a winner will be drawn randomly using rafflecopter. You will then have 24 hours to respond or another winer will be chosen. Please enter via the rafflecopter link. Thank you and good luck. 

March 28, 2016

Never Trust a Skinny Cupcake Baker by D.E. Haggerty - Spotlight and Giveaway

Published: April 11, 2016
Genre: Cozy Mystery

A cozy mystery with a heap of laughs, a generous portion of romance, and just a smidgeon of suspense.

Callie’s life is rather awesome. She owns a successful bakery and teaches German literature at the local university. There’s just one tiny problem. She has no self-confidence when it comes to her body. And then there’s the little matter of her being accused of murdering her pole dancing instructor. There’s no way Callie’s going to risk losing her teaching position and thus she embarks, with her best baker bud Anna, on a journey to discover the real killer. Between stripper auditions and a detective who insists Callie is the woman of his dreams, it’s a roller coast adventure. Cupcakes not included.

I take a deep breath and walk into the club. It’s dark and smoky. No surprise there. The floors are covered in shag carpeting, the walls are painted a red so deep it looks black, and the chairs are red velour. Is strip club a euphemism for whore house? To the right is a shiny, black bar. Straight ahead is a stage in an M-shape with three stripper poles. Of course there are stripper poles. Dolly worked here after all.

“You next?” A man shouts, and I nearly jump out of my shoes. I look to my left to see two men in shiny suits sitting at a table in the middle of the room. “Come on, doll, are you the next dancer?”


The man rolls his eyes and talks to the man next to him. “Not the brightest one of the bunch is she?” He turns back to me. “Come on, sweetheart.” He looks me up and down, and I feel the sudden need to shower with bleach. “You’ve got the body for it. Show us what you can do.”

I’ve got the body for it? Have we landed on planet opposite? I’m still trying to figure out how to respond when Anna grabs my hand. “Where are the dressing rooms? She needs to change.”

The man points to a door on the right side of the stage behind the bar. “Hurry up. We ain’t got all day!”

Anna pulls me to the door. I stumble behind her unsure if I should follow her or get the heck out of Dodge. She pushes through the door and looks around before spotting a room filled with racks of clothing. She lets my hand go and starts pawing through the outfits.

“Anna, stop!” I say when my brain finally catches up. “I can’t go up there and dance. Let’s just get out of here and come back another time.”

I don’t even get a chance to stand up from the chair before Anna’s on me. Her tiny body boxes me in the chair. “I don’t want to hear it! You heard the man. You’ve got the perfect body for this because you’re… let’s say it together… sexy!” She turns back to the rack of clothes. “Besides, while you’re up there doing your thing, I can snoop around.” She pulls out an outfit and hands it to me.

I don’t have a choice but to take the hanger as she shoves it in my hand. There’s not enough fabric here. She’s got to be kidding me. “I can’t wear this,” I protest.

Anna’s having none of it. “You will wear it, and you will go up on that stage and totally rock! In the meantime, I’ll be doing some investigating so we can save your job. You know the one that you spent the last 10 years studying and preparing for?”

I want to scream and shout and fight her, but I don’t really see what other option we have. I suppose we can sneak out the back door, but then we’d have to come back at some point as this is our only lead. Mr. Creepy #1 and Mr. Creepy #2 might not recognize me – a chubby girl with boring brown hair. But a tiny pixie with bright pink hair? I shake my head and put on the darn outfit.

About the Author:
I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage every once in a while to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. Another job change, this time from lawyer to B&B owner and I was again fed up and ready to scream I quit, which is incredibly difficult when you own the business. Thus, I shut the B&B during the week and in the off-season and started writing. Several books later I find myself in Istanbul writing full-time.

Contact Links

Purchase Links

$15 Amazon gift card

March 27, 2016

Outrageous by Neal Katz - review


I recieved this book from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review

Publication Date: October 1, 2015, Top Reads Publishing 
Hardcover, Paperback, Ebook; 344 Pages 
Series: The Victoria Woodhull Saga (Vol I) 
Genre: Historical Fiction
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Historical fictionalized account of Victoria Woodhull's rise to presidential candidate and wealth, coming from poverty and abuse. What compels a woman and her youngest sister to overcome abject poverty and violent abuse to grow up to defy convention and obliterate every barrier to become the first women to own and operate a Wall Street brokerage firm and publish their own newspaper? How did Victoria Claflin Woodhull (1838 - 1927) become the first woman invited to speak to the United State Congress, and then the first female to run for president. What made Tennessee Celeste Claflin (1845 - 1923) so beguiling that the richest man in America, Cornelius Vanderbilt, fell completely in love with her? What caused the sisters to live out their long lives as royalty and peerage in Europe. Victoria living as landed gentry outside of London, and Tennessee in a huge castle like a queen? Why aren't these empowered and independent women iconic in our culture? Volume One of The Victoria Woodhull Saga tells the poignant, lascivious, and compelling inside story of how the sisters worked closely with Cornelius Vanderbilt, who at age 74 fell in love with the beguiling 24-year old Tennessee. Victoria provided the titan of industry "Inside Her Information" gathered through the soiled sisterhood, the ladies of the evening working at the top seven brothels servicing the rich and famous of New York City. This relationship resulted in the great lion of industry having his last public roar as together they manipulated the financial markets and created the impending collapse of the U.S. economy in the gold scandal of 1869. To avert the crash, President Ulysses S. Grant provides the richest man in America insider information on the gold market and telegrams Vanderbilt that his railroad company is "Too Big To Fail!" Vanderbilt was proclaimed "The Savior of the American Economy" for intervening in a crisis he helped create. View Victorian America through the eyes and thoughts of one of its leading heroines., Victoria Woodhull. Watch as the infighting and elitism of the earliest suffrage women denigrating, castigating, and denouncing other passionate suffrage rights women delayed woman suffrage and equal legal standing for five decades. Learn wonderful anecdotes of the origins of products and phrases used today. Learn the story of Reverend Henry Ward Beecher, the most popular man in America, who transformed Christianity from his father's "fire and brimstone" theology to one of a compassionate and loving Jesus, who will redeem all who turn to salvation with complete confession of their sins. The reverend's personal life did not imitate his lofty and popular theology of his weekly sermons at Plymouth Church. He was a notorious womanizer, often bedding, and sometimes impregnating the wives, sisters, and daughters of his most ardent trackers and deacons of the church. Written in the first person from Victoria's viewpoint, Neal Katz weaves a compelling page-turning story that cleverly unfolds history while providing a wonderfully entertaining ride. Katz has pledged one half of book sale proceeds to charities dedicating to the empowerment and sustainable economic improvement of women, especially single mothers.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

What did I think of this book:
This was a very interesting book. I enjoyed getting to know about Victoria and all that she did to pave the way for future women. She was a very story opinionated woman who knew what she wanted and did not shy away from going after it. I thought the author did a great job in capturing the era and all that was going on. You could really understand what he was trying to show us. Before reading this book I did not know anything about Victoria and now I hope to learn even more. She was a fascinating woman for her time. The author really made her come alive. It is nice to read a story about a woman who starts with nothing and ends up on top all by doing the work herself. It proves it can be done and is an inspiration to women now that if you work hard and stand for what you believe in it can be done. You can tell the author did his research when writing this book, it shows through. I will be watching for more books by him. 

About the Author
Neal Katz is a semi-retired, serial entrepreneur, CEO with a passion for women rights. He lives a life based on self-awareness and Love. He practices Yoga, meditates daily, has taught A Course in Miracles, produced Oregon wines, enjoys being a gourmet chef, recites Vedic sutras, and writes his own inspirational poetry. The saga of Victoria Woodhull appeales to Neal, as it serves three purposes. First, the story provokes public awareness of the historical and continuing denigration and subjugation of gender prejudice. Second, the tale exposes the historical basis for the manipulation of the free markets of stocks, bonds and commodities. Third, the story shows how existing financial and political power structures used prison and seizure of assets to prevent innovation and social change. Victoria Woodhull overcame all these obstacles in a remarkable life. Neal chose to write in first person using Victoria s words, thoughts, and point of view to tell the tale, inviting the reader to see through her eyes. The style is magic realism along the lines of Allende, Marquez, and Kathleen McGowan (The Magdalene Trilogy). This is an expression of the HeForShe solidarity movement for gender equality championed by Emma Watson, and Neal proudly proclaims himself a male feminist! Neal has pledged fifty percent (50%) of his author's royalties from book sales and all ancillary revenues, including foreign print distribution and Hollywood rights to a foundation formed in tribute to Victoria Woodhull and her passion for woman rights. The foundation will promote and prove programs for the empowerment and sustainable economic improvement of women, especially single mothers. For more information visit You can also follow the author on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

March 26, 2016

The Tapestry by Nancy Bilyeau - Book Blast

Published: March 22, 2016
Number of pages: 416
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: Joanna Stafford #3


 "Fans of the Tudor era, you're in for a treat" --InStyle magazine Henry VIII's Palace of Whitehall is the last place on earth Joanna Stafford wants to be. But a summons from the king cannot be refused. After her priory was destroyed, Joanna, a young Dominican novice, vowed to live a quiet life, weaving tapestries and shunning dangerous conspiracies. That all changes when the king takes an interest in her tapestry talent. With a ruthless monarch tiring of his fourth wife and amoral noblemen driven by hidden agendas, Joanna becomes entangled in court politics. Her close friend, Catherine Howard, is rumored to be the king's mistress, and Joanna is determined to protect her from becoming the king's next wife--and victim. All the while, Joanna tries to understand her feelings for the two men in her life: the constable who tried to save her and the friar she can't forget. Ina world of royal banquets, jousts, sea voyages and Tower Hill executions, Joanna must finally choose her future: nun or wife, spy or subject, rebel or courtier. The Tapestry is the final book in a trilogy that began in 2012 with The Crown, an Oprah magazine pick. Don't miss the adventures of one of the most unforgettable heroines in historical fiction. 

“In Joanna Stafford, Bilyeau has given us a memorable character who is prepared to risk her life to save what she most values.” (Deborah Harkness) “Nancy Bilyeau's passion for history infuses her books and transports us back to the dangerous world of Tudor England. Vivid characters and gripping plots are at the heart of this wonderful trilogy, and this third book will not fail to thrill readers. Warmly recommended!” (Alison Weir, author of The Marriage Game: A Novel of Queen Elizabeth I) "A rip-roaring Tudor adventure from Nancy Bilyeau! Novice nun turned tapestry weaver Joanna Stafford returns to the court of Henry VIII. She's that great rarity of historical fiction: a fiercely independent woman who is still firmly of her time. A mystery as richly woven as any of Joanna's tapestries." (Kate Quinn, author of Lady of the Eternal City) "The Tapestry takes its history seriously, but that doesn't stop it from being a supremely deft, clever and pacy entertainment. This is Nancy Bilyeau's most thrilling - and enlightening - novel in the Joanna Stafford series yet." (Andrew Pyper, International Thriller Writers Award winner of The Demonologist and The Damned) "A master of atmosphere, Nancy Bilyeau imbues her novel with the sense of dread and oppression lurking behind the royal glamour; in her descriptions and characterizations . . . Bilyeau breathes life into history." (Laura Andersen, author of The Boleyn King) "In The Tapestry, Nancy Bilyeau brilliantly captures both the white-hot religious passions and the brutal politics of Tudor England. It is a rare book that does both so well." (Sam Thomas, author of The Midwife’s Tale) “In spite of murderous plots, volatile kings, and a divided heart, Joanna Stafford manages to stay true to her noble character. Fans of Ken Follett will devour Nancy Bilyeau’s novel of political treachery and courageous love, set amid the endlessly fascinating Tudor landscape.” (Erika Robuck, author of Hemingway’s Girl) “These aren't your mother's nuns! Nancy Bilyeau has done it again, giving us a compelling and wonderfully realized portrait of Tudor life in all its complexity and wonder. A nun, a tapestry, a page-turning tale of suspense: this is historical mystery at its finest.” (Bruce Holsinger, author of A Burnable Book and The Invention of Fire) 

About the Author
Nancy Bilyeau has worked on the staffs of InStyle, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Ladies Home Journal. She is currently the executive editor of DuJour magazine. Her screenplays have placed in several prominent industry competitions. Two scripts reached the semi-finalist round of the Nicholl Fellowships of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Her screenplay “Zenobia” placed with the American Zoetrope competition, and “Loving Marys” reached the finalist stage of Scriptapalooza. A native of the Midwest, she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. THE CROWN, her first novel, was published in 2012; the sequel, THE CHALICE, followed in 2013, and THE TAPESTRY in 2015. Nancy lives in New York City with her husband and two children. Stay in touch with her on Twitter at @tudorscribe. For more information or to sign up for Nancy’s Newsletter please visit her official website

Two paperbacks of The Tapestry by Nancy Bilyeau are up for grabs! To enter, please use the GLEAM form below. Rules – Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on April 6th. You must be 18 or older to enter. – Giveaway is open to US addresses 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 Tapestry Book Blast

03_The Tapestry_Book Blast Banner_FINAL

Book Blast Schedule
Tuesday, March 22 Just One More Chapter Historical Fiction Addicts Svetlana's Reads and Views 

Wednesday, March 23 Passages to the Past With Her Nose Stuck In A Book 

Thursday, March 24 Impressions In Ink The Life & Times of a Book Addict 

Friday, March 25 The Reading Queen Queen of All She Reads 

Saturday, March 26 A Holland Reads 

Sunday, March 27 Layered Pages 

Monday, March 28 A Book Drunkard Historical Readings & Reviews 

Tuesday, March 29 Book Nerd Carpe Librum 

Wednesday, March 30 The Lit Bitch Eclectic Ramblings of Author Heather Osborne 

Thursday, March 31 A Book Geek What Is That Book About 

Friday, April 1 CelticLady's Reviews A Dream within a Dream 

Saturday, April 2 So Many Books, So Little Time 

Sunday, April 3 Susan Heim on Writing 

Monday, April 4 100 Pages a Day A Literary Vacation 

Tuesday, April 5 The Tudor Enthusiast Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

March 25, 2016

Moonlight Over Paris by Jennifer Robson - Review

Published: January 19, 2016
Number of pages: 352
Genre: Historical Fiction

An aristocratic young woman leaves the sheltered world of London to find adventure, passion, and independence in 1920s Paris in this mesmerizing story from the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of Somewhere in France and After the War is Over.

Spring, 1924

Recovering from a broken wartime engagement and a serious illness that left her near death, Lady Helena Montagu-Douglas-Parr vows that for once she will live life on her own terms. Breaking free from the stifling social constraints of the aristocratic society in which she was raised, she travels to France to stay with her free spirited aunt. For one year, she will simply be Miss Parr. She will explore the picturesque streets of Paris, meet people who know nothing of her past—and pursue her dream of becoming an artist.

A few years after the Great War’s end, the City of Light is a bohemian paradise teeming with actors, painters, writers, and a lively coterie of American expatriates who welcome Helena into their romantic and exciting circle. Among them is Sam Howard, an irascible and infuriatingly honest correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. Dangerously attractive and deeply scarred by the horror and carnage of the war, Sam is unlike any man she has ever encountered. He calls her Ellie, sees her as no one has before, and offers her a glimpse of a future that is both irresistible and impossible.

As Paris rises phoenix-like from the ashes of the Great War, so too does Helena. Though she’s shed her old self, she’s still uncertain of what she will become and where she belongs. But is she strong enough to completely let go of the past and follow her heart, no matter where it leads her?

Artfully capturing the Lost Generation and their enchanting city, Moonlight Over Paris is the spellbinding story of one young woman’s journey to find herself, and claim the life—and love—she truly wants.

What did I think of this book:
Lately I am in love with all things Paris so I jumped at the chance to read this book. What I did not know if that there are two books that come before this book but I was able to read it as a stand alone and did not feel a bit lost. I enjoyed reading about Sam and Helena's relationship and how it grew throughout the book. The author did a great job describing Paris after the war and all that was going on. I felt as if I was a part of the story. I also thought the cast of characters were personable and would have loved to meet them. It was nice that the author included key historical figures from the art world in the story as well. It kind of made the story feel a little more real. I will now have to go looking for the first two books and do some catching up. They are: Somewhere in Paris and After the War is Over. 

“Returns with mastery once more to the World War I era…. This is a moving and memorable book.” — Pam Jenoff, bestselling author of The Winter Guest

“Meticulously researched and richly detailed, Moonlight Over Paris paints an enchanting picture… The elegance of Robson’s prose flows through every page, sweeping the reader from London’s aristocracy to the Parisian art scene and beyond… a heartwarming love story that left me aching for a journey back in time.” — Kristina McMorris, New York Times bestselling author of The Edge of Lost

“The vibrant whirl of the Paris art community is the ideal setting for this novel of healing and growth. Robson’s lovely prose allows the reader to savor the atmosphere of the Lost Generation, as well as the personal struggles of her characters.” — RT Book Reviews

“Robson is a master of evoking atmospheric detail that transports readers back in time and place. I loved every page!” — Renee Rosen, author of White Collar Girl

“Robson gives the concept of self-discovery amid the enchanting streets of Paris a fresh spin in Moonlight Over Paris. Delightful and romantic, readers will devour Robson’s latest work.” — Heather Webb, author of Rodin’s Lover

About the Author
Jennifer Robson first learned about the Great War from her father, acclaimed historian Stuart Robson, and later served as an official guide at the Canadian National War Memorial at Vimy Ridge, France. A former copy editor, she holds a doctorate in British economic and social history from the University of Oxford. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and young children.

For more information visit Jennifer Robson’s website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, February 29
Review at With Her Nose Stuck In A Book

Tuesday, March 1
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Thursday, March 3
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Monday, March 7
Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, March 9
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Friday, March 11
Review at Bookish

Monday, March 14
Review at Jorie Loves a Story

Wednesday, March 16
Review at Reading Is My SuperPower

Friday, March 18
Review at She is Too Fond of Books
Review at Worth Getting in Bed For

Monday, March 21
Review at I’m Shelf-ish

Wednesday, March 23
Review at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, March 24
Review at Creating Herstory

Friday, March 25
Review at A Holland Reads
Review at New Horizon Reviews

March 24, 2016

Author Patricia Fry - Guest Post and Spotlight

I would like to welcome Patricia Fry to my blog today. She has a cozy mystery series called the Klepto Cat Mystery Series. 

Guest Post:
I’ve been writing for publication as a career for over forty years, having hundreds of articles and more than fifty books to my credit. Many of my books are designed to help other authors publish and promote their own books. I adore the process of writing. I tell people I can’t not write. And it’s true. But I’ve never had as much fun pursuing this profession as when I started writing fiction.

It was June of 2012 and I wanted to give myself a special birthday gift. Most of my same-age friends were retired by then. And I wondered, how do you retire from something you love? I decided, you don’t. You just change it up to add new dimensions of joy.

You see, I’d always been a give-me-the-facts-ma’am kind of writer. I earned my living through informational, how-to, profile pieces, and other types of nonfiction articles. I wasn’t particularly interested in fiction until clients started bringing me their fiction to edit. That’s when I realized I had a knack for helping them improve their stories and I began dreaming of someday trying my hand at writing fiction. So why not now—as a birthday gift to myself?

It didn’t take me long to decide I’d write a cozy mystery with cats. I love that sort of light reading. And I adore cats. After much thought and a few false starts, Catnapped, the first Klepto Cat Mystery was created.

Recently, I was interviewed by a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reporter for a story on talking versus silent cats in fiction. I’ll bet you didn’t know there was such a controversy or even enough of an interest in cat fiction to create a discussion like this. Well there is. And this story landed on the front page of the WSJ.

To be clear, the cats in my books do not talk. They’re ordinary cats—some of them with rather extraordinary habits. Ragsdale (a.k.a Rags), the starring cat character in the Klepto Cat Mystery series, was patterned after my mother’s large, grey-and-white cat, Smokey. I chose him because he’s curious, funny, confident, clever, and rather creative. He’s determined to have his way, whether it’s to go outside, dump his basket of toys over for the umpteenth time, or catch a lizard. He isn’t a kleptomaniac, however and he doesn’t carry things around in his mouth like my cat character, Rags. But our kitty, Lily, does. So I’ve combined her habit of stealing things with Smokey’s personality, demeanor, and looks; and further developed Rags.

Now, while Rags has a variety of feline, canine, and equine friends, it’s the human characters that drive these Klepto Cat Mysteries. Readers seem to like Savannah, her veterinarian husband Michael, her crusty aunt Margaret, her flashy friend Iris, the sometimes cranky Detective Sledge, and the other characters who flow in and out of the various stories. But they especially enjoy the cat antics, following the mystery in each story, and experiencing the suspense. I often hear, “I sat down to read a few pages and couldn’t put the book down.”

We recently produced book number sixteen in the series, Cabin FURvor where Rags jumps out of a boat onto the back of a dead body floating in the lake one dark and scary night in the mountains. In A Picture-Purrfect Christmas, he rides a horse—with assistance, of course. While this wasn’t his idea, he goes along with the program.

How many books will I write in this series? As many as I can imagine. And then, I may consider developing a new series. For the fans who are devouring these books, I can’t see to the end of the series. So watch for a new story every three months or so.

See all of the Klepto Cat Books here: or at the Amazon page here:

A cozy mystery featuring a kleptomaniac cat. Beloved neighborhood cats are missing—the community can only guess at their fate—and Aunt Margaret’s life is being threatened. Is it because she has a clue to the missing cats or is it something more sinister? Of course, as in all of the Klepto Cat Mysteries, Rags, an ordinary cat with a most unusual habit, has a paw in saving the day. Beloved neighborhood cats are missing—the community can only guess at their fate—and Aunt Margaret’s life is being threatened. Is it because she has a clue to the missing cats or is it something more sinister? Of course, as in all of the Klepto Cat Mysteries, Rags, an ordinary cat with a most unusual habit, has a paw in saving the day.

Savannah and Aunt Margaret open the old Forster home to the Hammond Cat Alliance for a fundraiser to help rehabilitate the abused horses rescued months earlier from the catnappers. Before the afternoon is over, the funds collected go missing and someone is murdered in an upstairs bedroom. Suspicion surrounds Iris, a local waitress and Savannah’s new best friend. The only witness to the murder is Rags, Savannah’s cat. With the assistance of a cat psychic and Rags’s good friend, Charlotte (the young girl with Downs), the cat helps to “paw” the killer…but not before an attempt is made on Rags’s life. The case is solved only after Rags comes face-to-face with the killer for the second time under most unusual circumstances

Michael Ivey, the local veterinarian (Savannah’s new husband) is attacked by an enraged client and then later accused of this man’s murder. The evidence quickly stacks up against Michael, until Rags, Savannah’s kleptomaniac cat, starts digging up clues implicating the unlikely suspect. Coinciding with the details of this challenge is the discovery that the old house, which the couple purchased from Savannah’s aunt, is cursed. Is this why the couple has not been blessed with a child? Savannah’s sister Brianna comes for a visit. She teams up with the Iveys’ vet tech, Bud, to discover how to break the gypsy spell and they fall hard for each other. Will their courtship be strengthened or weakened by a frightening carjacking incident?

Rags, the klepto cat, risks his life in this action-packed story. Colbi Stanton, a popular journalist, goes missing just before turning in her story exposing unscrupulous cat hoarders. Damon (freshly out of prison and employed by the local newspaper) has a strong personal interest in her and he breaks some rules and some trusts in his search for Colbi. Is this a love connection? It’s doubtful because Colbi is a strong advocate for the feral cat population and Damon hates cats—or so he believes. Colbi’s rescue is almost too late. She needs time to heal, and her friends, Savannah and Michael Ivey invite her to recuperate in their home. Just when Colbi begins to feel safe, a body is discovered in the Iveys’ orchard and Rags (their kleptomaniac cat) goes missing. Someone in a nearby homeless camp sheds light on the mystery and Rags shares a secret of his own.

Savannah Ivey, a veterinarian out on maternity leave; her aunt Margaret, the founder of the Hammond Cat Alliance; and Colbi Stanton, a reporter for the local newspaper take on a cat colony at an old, abandoned building. Odd activity around the place makes them wonder if it actually is vacant; some believe it’s occupied by something other-worldly. When a stranger comes to town and suggests the Alliance open the old building to a fund-raiser, everyone gets involved, including Rags, Savannah’s kleptomaniac cat. He finds something that day that stirs a lot of people—both law-abiding and crooks—into action. Are the feral cats and their caretakers in serious danger? What (or who) lurks inside the old building? What secrets does it hide? And who has the key that unlocks the mystery?

The klepto cat opens a new bag of tricks in this fast-paced story. Rags, the kleptomaniac cat, becomes a therapy cat in a children’s reading program. A documentary film crew arrives to capture the cat in action. Savannah and Michael Ivey invite strangers into their home during a torrential rainstorm and learn that one of them has a sinister past. Someone is murdered, Savannah is stalked, Michael’s life is threatened, and Rags helps to solve an old mystery that’s had local authorities baffled for years. A fast-paced story with many twists and turns.

Rags goes on high alert and high adventure to help nab a horse-napper. Savannah’s horse goes missing and Rags, the klepto cat, goes into mourning. Savannah and her friends spend days on horseback searching for Peaches over miles of dense wilderness. Along with a few dead-end clues, they stumble upon Elsie, a most unusual elderly woman living under dangerously primitive conditions. Elsie harbors secrets—some of which may lead to the recovery of Savannah’s horse, but only after Rags puts his claws into the matter and Detective Craig Sledge gets involved. This story is full of sweet and evil surprises, unexpected twists and turns, and plenty of action and adventure.

Rags digs deep into his bag of tricks to bring you a suspenseful and hilarious tale. An old friend of Michael’s, whose become a successful artist, invites the entire Ivey family to his beach house. But their vacation is not all fun-and-games. It appears that someone is out to get the artist and the Iveys and their friends keep stumbling upon clues to the tangled mystery. Rags is up to his old klepto tricks, and it’s a good thing because, not only do his uncat-like antics prove to be amusing, he manages to save two lives. Enjoy some of your favorite human and animal characters as well as a few new ones, all of them giving this story a light and rich quality.

Rags, the klepto cat, shakes things up when he exposes an unlikely skeleton in the closet. The documentary featuring Rags, the cat who helps the local sheriff’s department solve tough crimes, premiers in San Francisco. Savannah, Michael and friends expect to enjoy a luxury weekend at a mansion there, but Rags has other plans. He goes exploring and goes missing. Savannah and Aunt Margaret find themselves knee deep in danger when they launch out to find him and he discovers something that shocks the community. What ghastly secret does the mansion hold?

March 22, 2016

The Princess Twins and the Tea Party by Mona Hodgson - Review

I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for a fair and honest review

Published: March 1, 2016
Number of pages: 32
Genre: Childrens

A lesson in humility. Princess Emma wants everything to be perfect for her tea party, but only God is perfect. Just when her guests arrive, everything seems to go wrong. How will Emma fix it? This level-one story teaches girls what it means to be a princess for the true King.

What did I think of this book:
This is another cute book about the princess twins. This time they sit down party, which Emma wants to be perfect. After all she is a princess. Then everything goes wrong and she has to try and fix it. Along the way she learns a new lesson, this time it is in humility. These are cute little books that you can use to help your young daughter learn to read while enjoying a good story. I also love the illustrations as they are very bright and draw your attention to the page. 

About the author:
Author. Speaker. Grace Dweller. Mona Hodgson is the author of nearly 40 books, historical novels for adults and children's books, including her popular Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek Series, The Quilted Heart omnibus, and Prairie Song. Novellas in The Heirloom Brides Collection and The Convenient Brides Collection. Mona's children's books include bestseller, Bedtime in the Southwest, six desert and princess Zonderkidz I Can Read books, Real Girls of the Bible: A 31-Day Devotional, and her six I Wonder books. Mona is available to speak to or Skype with Book Clubs. Learn more at

North of Here by Laurel Saville - Review and Giveaway

I received this book from TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review

Published: March 1, 2016
Number of pages: 257
Genre: Fiction, Mystery

Many may dream of a simpler life in the north woods, far away from the complications of the modern world. But in her absorbing and uncompromising second novel, North of Here (Lake Union; March 1, 2016), Laurel Saville reveals the dark side of such a life for four young people living in the Adirondack Mountains. This story of misguided decisions, a dangerous back-to-nature cult, and the universal search for meaning and love intertwines these troubled lives into a riveting blend of penetrating love story and persuasive page-turner. Saville, author of the #1 Kindle bestseller Henry and Rachel, once again taps her astute narrative powers in a tale of tragedy, survival, and love.

At the heart of the drama are four unforgettable, strikingly-drawn characters:
Miranda: A young “heiress” who discovers that the mountain property she has inherited is encumbered by her father’s debts and misdealing.
Dix: A self-assured “mountain man” who is really an educated, financially secure son of two accomplished professionals.
Darius: A preppy trust fund refugee who turns his own quest for meaning into a dangerous back-to-nature cult bent on healing lost souls
Sally: A brassy, street-smart social worker who, despite being perpetually unlucky in love, ultimately has the foresight to see the perils of loving Darius.

As this masterful novel unfolds, these four will become inextricably entwined in troubles that far exceed simple crimes of the heart.


Purchase Links:

What did I think of this book:
This is the first book I have read by this author and I found it quite enjoyable. I liked that we have both a little romance and mystery all mixed into one story. The story starts a little slow but stick with it as it gets real interesting real quick, and you will be happy you stuck with it. I thought the author did a good job by giving you a twist in the story that you would never expect. That to me makes a good mystery story. This is such a deep book that sometimes you have to take a moment while reading it. The characters were so real and their emotions really came through in this author's writing style. All in all a good book. 

About the author:
Laurel Saville is the award-winning author of the memoir Unraveling Anne, the novel Henry and Rachel, and the four-part short story “How Much Living Can You Buy,” as well as numerous essays, short stories, and articles. She has an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature from the Writing Seminars at Bennington College.

Once again, Laurel Saville applies her “poetic, lyrical voice” (Booklist) to a story that captures the complications of the lives we live—or wish to live.

Connect with Laurel
Website | Facebook | Twitter


Tour Participants:
Tuesday, March 1st: Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Wednesday, March 2nd: Bibliotica
Thursday, March 3rd: Just Commonly
Monday, March 7th: Reading is My Superpower
Tuesday, March 8th: Thoughts on This �n That
Wednesday, March 9th: It�s a Mad Mad World
Thursday, March 10th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, March 14th: Kahakai Kitchen
Tuesday, March 15th: Book Dilettante
Wednesday, March 16th: Kritter�s Ramblings
Thursday, March 17th: FictionZeal
Friday, March 18th: My Book Retreat
Monday, March 21st: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
Tuesday, March 22nd: Puddletown Reviews
Tuesday, March 22nd: A Holland Reads
Wednesday, March 23rd: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, March 24th: Why Girls Are Weird
Friday, March 25th: Walking with Nora
Monday, March 28th: Life is Story
Tuesday, March 29th: Mom in Love with Fiction
Wednesday, March 30th: A Bookish Affair