December 31, 2016

Christmas Jars Reunion by Jason F. Wright - Review

Published: October 11, 2011
Number of pages: 197
Genre: Fiction

The New York Times bestseller Christmas Jars has sold nearly 500,000 copies. Thousands of people across the country have emailed the author at about how the Christmas Jars tradition has touched their lives either by receiving a jar or by giving one. 

Hope Jensen's story continues in Christmas Jars Reunion. It s been two years since Hope was reunited with her biological mother on Christmas Eve at Chuck's Chicken n Biscuits. Hope has never felt more complete. She s writing full time for a family magazine and, with the help of her mother, Marianne, leading the Christmas Jars Ministry out of Chuck s quirky restaurant. To top it off, she's dating a marketing executive in a comfortable long distance relationship. Her life is right where she wants it to be a state of organized chaos as another Christmas rolls around. Then her world changes forever over Thanksgiving weekend. The Maxwells hire a nephew to take over the family furniture restoration business. Someone that Hope can't stop thinking about. Then an out of town stranger shows up at the diner asking to help in the ministry, a stranger whose motives are yet unclear. Before the sun sets on Christmas Day, two men will try to change Hope's life forever. In the process, Hope will be reminded of the immense power of a single jar, and the healing that sometimes comes only with forgiveness.

My thoughts:
I read the first book Christmas Jars and loved it so much that I had to read the reunion one. In this book we go back to Chuck's Chicken n Biscuits with Hope and her goal of giving away 1001 Christmas Jars. I enjoyed reading more about Hope and her life's journey. In this book we also get to meet some new people. Queen who is the best little girl and she will pull at your heart strings. Al who is does not know it but his life will be changing soon. And Clark who is a good guy who does not know where he fits in. Not only is this book about Hope's daunting task of giving away so many jars but about how people's lives are changed. It was every bit as touching as the first book. Very enjoyable and quick to read. 

About the author:
Jason Wright is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author.

Jason is a columnist for Fox News, TheBlaze, Deseret News and the Northern Virginia Daily. Articles by Jason have appeared in over other 50 newspapers and magazines across the United States including The Washington Times, The Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. He is the author of The James Miracle (2004); Christmas Jars (2005); The Wednesday Letters (2007); Recovering Charles (2008), Christmas Jars Reunion (2009); Penny's Christmas Jar Miracle (2009); The Cross Gardener (2010); The Seventeen Second Miracle (2010); The Wedding Letters (2011); The 13th Day of Christmas (2012); The James Miracle: 10th Anniversary Edition (2014); and, Christmas Jars Journey (2015).

Jason is also a popular speaker who speaks on faith, the Christmas Jars movement, the Joy of Service, the lost art of letter writing and many other topics. He has been seen on CNN, FoxNews, C-SPAN, and on local television affiliates around the country.

Jason is originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, but has also lived in Germany, Illinois, Brazil, Oregon and Utah. In 2007, while researching Virginia's Shenandoah Valley for his novel The Wednesday Letters, Jason fell so in love with the area that he moved his family westward from northern Virginia to Woodstock. They've lived in the Valley ever since.

Jason is married to Kodi Erekson Wright. They have two girls and two boys.

December 29, 2016

The Trouble With Scotland by Patience Griffin - Review

Published: April 5, 2016
Number of pages: 384
Genre: Romance
Series: Kilts and Quilts #5

Return to the Scottish Highlands in the latest Kilts and Quilts novel from the author of The Accidental Scot—

The quilting ladies of the Scottish village of Gandiegow are known to piece together more than just fabric . . .

Life isn’t going as planned and Sadie Middleton is rethinking her whole future. Thankfully one thing is staying the same: she’s able to share her love of quilting with her grandmother Gigi. The two of them enter a contest and win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Kilts and Quilts retreat in the Scottish Highlands. But their victory turns hollow when Gigi passes away before they can go. Sadie is grief-stricken, but her brother convinces her to take the trip to Gandiegow anyway.

There she meets a charming circle of quilters who remind her of her grandmother—and Ross Armstrong, a handsome fisherman who brings a smile to her face. Newly single, Ross intends to enjoy his freedom. That plan goes awry as he comes to know Sadie—and a surprising spark is lit. Too bad some well-meaning folks want to protect Ross from getting hurt again and are determined to keep him and the American lass apart. . . .

My thoughts:
I know I say this each time I finish one of the books in this series but I liked this one even more than the last one.  With each book you get closer to the all the residents of Gandiegow and welcome the new ones. From the first page, well actually from the last book I have loved Ross. He is such a kind person and I wanted him to be happy. Sadie was such a sad person that all you wanted for her was to also find happiness. It was nice how her and Ross became instant friends. If only they could see they were so right for each other. Now I know Deydie is a rough woman but this time she upset me with some of the things she said and did but she would not be herself without this happening. I loved how the author described a traditional Scottish wedding when Moira and Andrew finally tied the knot. I will be starting the newest book in this series this week and I can't wait to see what is in store for us next. 

About the author:
Patience Griffin is the author of the Kilts and Quilts novels, including The Accidental Scot, Some Like It Scottish, and Meet Me in Scotland. She grew up in a small town along the Mississippi River. She has a master’s degree in nuclear engineering but spends her days writing stories about hearth and home and dreaming about the fictional small town of Gandiegow, Scotland.

December 20, 2016

Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop

I am happy to be a part of the Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop host by Mary at Bookhounds. For my stop I am giving away a copy of Jason F. Wright's Christmas Jars and Christmas Jars Reunion

This giveaway is for the US only. The winner will be drawn randomly via rafflecopter. Once the winner has been drawn they will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond. If you do not respond a new winner will be chosen. It is mandatory that you leave a comment on this post. This will be verified and if you do not leave a comment then your entry will be thrown out. Thank you and good luck.

Be sure to stop by all the blogs featured in this blog hop and enter the fun giveaways.

December 18, 2016

Big Bucket List Book by Gin Sander - Review

Published: January 1, 2016
Number of pages: 302
Genre: Non-Fiction

Everyone has an extensive, daunting bucket list of things to complete “before you die.” But it’s time to stop listing and start living. The Big Bucket List Book will change the way you look at the world and empower you to reach for all of the big and little things you want to achieve. Gin Sander offers 133 fresh ideas for infusing your life with a bit of glamour, adventure and style—whatever your budget. Learn to make your next chapter the most enriching and personally fulfilling of them all...and maybe change the world while you’re at it! 

My thoughts:
This was an interesting book to read. I liked how it gave you many different ideas of things to add to your bucket list. It not only gives you ideas but it tells you how to go about doing them. There are many websites to explore. The author also gives you a few personal stories of her as well as people she knows who have done some the ideas listed. A book that you will look through more than one time. 

About the author:
Jennifer "Gin" Sander is the New York Times bestselling author of many popular lifestyle books. A former senior editor and chief book developer for Prima Publishing, her work has been featured in Cosmopolitan, People, the Boston Globe and USA Today, and she has appeared on Fox & Friends, C-Span's Book TV, NBC and more. She lives near Sacramento, California.

Offed Stage Left by Joanne Sydney Lessner - Spotlight, Guest Post and Giveaway

Published: October 27, 2016
Number of pages: 260
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Isobel Spice Novel #4

There’s one role you don’t want a callback for: Prime Suspect. Aspiring actress Isobel Spice lands her first regional theater job, playing a supporting role and understudying the lead in Sousacal: The Life and Times of John Philip Sousa. A series of minor backstage accidents culminates in the suspicious death of the leading lady on opening night. When Isobel takes over the role, her mastery of the material makes her more suspect than savior, and she realizes the only way to clear her name is to discover the identity of the murderer—before he or she strikes again.

About The Author
Writer, singer, and actor Joanne Sydney Lessner draws on her own experiences pursuing a performing career in New York City for her acclaimed Isobel Spice Mysteries: THE TEMPORARY DETECTIVE, BAD PUBLICITY, AND JUSTICE FOR SOME, and OFFED STAGE LEFT. With humor and a bit of romance, Isobel juggles auditions and temp jobs, solving murders along the way, while Joanne’s inside knowledge provides a window into the realities of breaking into show business (as well as a forum to share every humiliating audition experience she and her friends ever had.) Joanne’s debut novel, PANDORA’S BOTTLE, was inspired by the true story of the world’s most expensive bottle of wine and was named one of the top five books of 2010 by Paperback Dolls. With her husband, composer/conductor Joshua Rosenblum, she has co-authored several musicals, including the cult hit FERMAT’S LAST TANGO and EINSTEIN’S DREAMS, based on the celebrated novel by Alan Lightman. Her play, CRITICAL MASS, received its Off Broadway premiere in October 2010. Joanne is also a regular contributor to OPERA NEWS and a graduate of Yale University.

Author Links

Purchase Links

Guest Post:
It’s a Living
By Isobel Spice
via Joanne Sydney Lessner

Last year, I moved to New York ready to claw my way into auditions, but I never expected having to fight to get a temp job. I mean that’s what every actor does when they move to New York, right? That or wait tables (and, oh boy, you do not want me doing that—I once dropped five boiled lobsters on a nun.) But how come everyone else seems to just waltz out of college right into a temp job? If James Cooke at Temp Zone hadn’t taken a chance on me, I don’t know what I’d have done. Then again, before lunch on the first day of my first job, I found a dead secretary in the bathroom. I hate when that happens. But it wound up being pretty exciting, especially when I unmasked the murderer before the police could figure it out. Given how condescending they were, I rather enjoyed that. After that, I temped at a PR firm, and it was all going swimmingly until a client dropped dead over a cup of coffee I had just served him. (Yeah, hate when that happens!) Figured that one out, too, though. Then my friend Delphi and I got hired to do interactive murder mystery dinner theater, and someone picked off guest of honor right before dessert. Everyone thought Delphi did it, since she was left holding the not-very-smoking prop gun, but fortunately, I was working for a lawyer, and not only were we able to prove Delphi didn’t do it, I managed yet again to figure out who did.

So now I’m taking a break! I finally got my first regional theater job doing a show in Albany. Okay, I’ll be honest, the show kind of sucks. It’s called Sousacal: The Life and Times of John Philip Sousa (not to be confused with Seussical, which is based on the work of Dr. Seuss and so much better). All the songs in Sousacal are…wait for it…Sousa marches with words. And yes, it’s as terrible as you’re imagining. Worse, I think. Wanna hear my favorite one? Okay, sing along now, to the tune of “The Stars and Stripes Forever” (better know as “Be kind to your web-footed friends,” which, by the way, is an infinitely superior lyric, as you will see):

We loved you, but now you are gone.
How we’ll miss you, dear John Philip Sousa!
In your marches your legend lives on,
That conclusion is now foregone.

You may think that this is the end,
Of this red, white, and blue lollapalooza.
To this country, you’ve been a great friend—
Raise a baton and carry on for JP Sousa!

What did I tell you? Although I’m mildly impressed that the lyricist rhymed “Sousa” with “lollapalooza.” But that’s the extent of it. Thank God I don’t have a very big part, so my personal embarrassment quotient will be low. I’m understudying the leading lady, though, and let me tell you, it wouldn’t surprise me if someone offed her before opening night. She is a piece of work! She thinks I’m trying to get rid of her so I can play her part, when all I’m doing is the job I was hired for! I’m learning her role, which means I have to watch her very closely during rehearsals. Some people are so paranoid. And while it would be fun to be the star for a night or two, it would mean singing more of those awful lyrics. Still, in a three-week run, anything could happen. And knowing the kinds of situations I usually find myself in, something probably will.


A Royal Christmas by Rachel Hauck - Review and Giveaway

I voluntarily reviewed this book

Published: October 18, 2016
Number of pages: 240
Genre: Romance
Series: Royal Wedding #4

Avery Truitt aches for true love—the kind she once shared with Prince Colin. Can she dare to hope for happily ever after, or is a fairy-tale ending beyond reach?

College volleyball star Avery Truitt has not seen her former flame, Prince Colin of Brighton Kingdom, since he suddenly pushed her away five years ago. But now, the sadness of losing her father and the joy of her sister Susanna’s pregnancy have brought Avery back to Brighton just in time for Cathedral City’s enchanting Christmas season.

Avery knows she can’t avoid seeing Colin—now the Kingdom’s most eligible bachelor—whether or not her heart is ready to relive the pain. But seeing him again might bring her the closure she needs after all this time.

When Colin finds himself at the center of a centuries-old Brighton tradition, he must decide whether to follow the path laid out before him or follow his heart to the only woman for whom he would ring the Pembroke Chapel Bell.

Can Colin convince Avery to meet him at the chapel on Christmas morning—as tradition dictates—or will Avery run back to her St. Simons home and pursue a coaching career as planned?

In the fourth installment of the Royal Wedding Series, New York Times bestselling novelist, Rachel Hauck, weaves a charming story of holiday romance as two broken hearts seek the love they once knew.

My thoughts:
This is the final book is a touching series. We have watched Avery grow up between our eyes and now she gets to try and find her chance at happiness. This book will grab you on the first page and not let go until the very end. I also like the fairy tale theme to this book as what does every girl want but their own fairy tale and this one has a Christmas twist to it so that was an added bonus. Brighton sounds like such a special place and I enjoyed the bell ringing tradition. Rachel's writing style makes this book very easy to read as the words just flow off the pages. I thought she did a good job in wrapping up this series. Although I will be sad to see it go. This book can also be read as a stand alone book. 

About the author:
Rachel Hauck is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestselling, and award-winning author.

A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Rachel worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in an uncomfortable chair to write full-time in 2004.

She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, and conference speaker.

Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pets, and writes from her two-story tower in an exceedingly more comfy chair. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan.


To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card plus a copy of A Royal Christmas Wedding and a copy of The Wedding Shop. Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post to earn 9 extra entries in the giveaway!

Blog Stops

December 8: New Horizon Reviews
December 9: Book by Book
December 10: Pause for Tales
December 11: Quiet Quilter
December 11: Ashley’s Bookshelf
December 12: Bibliophile Reviews
December 12: Splashes of Joy
December 13: Moments Dipped in Ink
December 13: Neverending Stories
December 14: The Power of Words
December 14: Counting Pinecones
December 14: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
December 15: Genesis 5020
December 15: CTF Devourer
December 16: Lighthouse Academy
December 16: Christian Bookaholic
December 17: Smiling Book Reviews
December 17: God is Love
December 17: A Simple Life, really?!
December 18: A Holland Reads
December 18: The Scribbler
December 18: Faith * Love * Books
December 19: By The Book
December 19: Karen Sue Hadley
December 19: Southern Chelle
December 20: Faithfully Bookish
December 21: ASC Book Reviews

December 16, 2016

Egg Drop Dead by Laura Childs - Review and Giveaway

I voluntarily reviewed this book

Published: December 6, 2016
Number of pages: 288
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Cackleberry Club Mystery #7

In Laura Childs’s New York Times bestselling mystery series, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni—co-owners of the Cackleberry Club café—are back to track down another bad egg…

Maintaining good personal relationships with their suppliers is one of the secrets of the Cackleberry Club café’s success, so Suzanne doesn’t mind going out to Mike Mullen’s dairy farm to pick up some wheels of cheese. She’s looking forward to a nice visit with the mild-mannered farmer before heading back to their hectic kitchen.

But when she arrives, Mike’s nowhere to be found. The moaning of his cows leads her to look in the barn, where she discovers a bloodcurdling sight—the farmer’s dead body. Apparently not everyone was as fond of Mike Mullen as the Cackleberry Club.

Churning with grief and outrage, Suzanne, Petra, and Toni vow to find the farmer’s murderer—but as they get closer to the truth, the desperate killer gets whipped into a frenzy and plans to put the squeeze on them…


My thoughts:
In my opinion I do not think that Laura Childs can right a bad book. Every series that she writes I enjoy and this latest edition is no exception. I love visiting the Cackleberry Club cafe and the owners. It is like going back to your favorite hang out. I can't imagine finding one of your "friends"/business associates dead. You know the gang was dealing with a lot of grief and that makes them want to find the killer even more. I like how in each of the authors series she has a group of friends that we get to know and love. The author is good at giving us clues to the crime but just when I think I have it figured out she throws me a curve. You must also try the recipes in the back of the book as they are good. I am looking forward to the next book and if you have not tried any of Laura's book I ask you to give them a try. She is who got me hooked on cozy mysteries so long ago. 

About the author:
Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fund raising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.

Laura’s Links:
Webpage –
Facebook –



December 4 – Varietats – Review
December 6 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
December 6 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW *
December 7 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW
December 7 – Readeropolis – REVIEW *
December 8 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – Queen of All She Reads – GUEST POST
December 9 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW
December 9 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW 
December 10 – The Editing Pen – REVIEW*
December 11 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW *, INTERVIEW 
December 11 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW *
December 12 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
December 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
December 13 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW 
December 14 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
December 14 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
December 15 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW *
December 16 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW *
December 18 – Booklady’s Booknotes – REVIEW

December 15, 2016

Better Off Thread by Amanda Lee - Review and Guest Post

I voluntarily reviewed this book

Published: December 6, 2016
Number of pages: 304
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Embroidery Mystery #10

Santa finds himself in a stitch of trouble in the tenth in the series from the national bestselling author of The Stitching Hour…

Marcy is busy helping her customers make hand-crafted ornaments at her embroidery shop, the Seven-Year Stitch. But despite the yuletide bustle, when her friend Captain Moe asks for her help, she can’t refuse—especially when the favor is to play the elf to his Santa for sick children at a local hospital. Despite the ridiculous outfit, Marcy finds herself enjoying spreading cheer—until the hospital’s administrator is found murdered.

Although the deceased had plenty of people willing to fill her stocking with coal, evidence pins the crime on Moe. Now it’s up to Marcy, with the help of her police officer boyfriend Ted and her Irish Wolfhound Angus, to stitch together the clues to clear Moe’s name—before someone else winds up crossed off Santa’s list for good…

My thoughts:
Another great addition to this fun series. I have enjoyed my journey with Marcy from the beginning and it just keeps getting better. It was fun that this one was holiday themed, well except for the murder. I love the sound of the ornaments that Marcy was making, wouldn't it be nice to have one for your own tree. The author always does such a good job describing what Marcy is working on. Of course I always like that Angus is included again, it is nice to have a favorite pet be a help. Each character in this book plays an important part to the story including the new ones - it helps keep the story going when we meet new people. I enjoyed how the author would give us just a few clues to keep me guessing. The ending was very good and I would not/did not figure it out until it was all spelled out for me. For me I think this was one of the best installments in this series. 

About This Author
Gayle Trent (and pseudonym Amanda Lee) writes the Daphne Martin Cake Decorating series and the Embroidery Mystery series. The cake decorating series features a heroine who is starting her life over in Southwest Virginia after a nasty divorce. The Embroidery Mystery series features a heroine who recently moved to the Oregon coast to open an embroidery specialty shop. She also writes the Down South Café Mysteries as Gayle Leeson.

Author Links

Purchase Links:
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Guest Post:

*Sigh* I just can't do it. I can't in good conscience run around with reindeer antlers on my head. I realize Marcy is wearing an elf costume, but this is different.

You see, Marcy is doing a favor for Captain Moe. I like Captain Moe. I like him very much. For one thing, he gives me cheeseburgers--no veggies, just meat, cheese, and bun, just the way I like them. But I was a little put out about how this Angus-as-a-reindeer thing came to be.

Captain Moe comes over to the house and asks Marcy to be an elf. And then somebody--I don't know who because I was outside securing the perimeter at the time--suggested that I act as Santa's reindeer. I'll be delighted to act as Santa's dog, but I will not be a reindeer.

I'm from a proud family and a proud breed. Sure, I had a tough childhood--wound up in a puppy mill and then was rescued by Marcy--but my mom taught me about my heritage...about what it means to be an Irish wolfhound.

Our ancestors were war dogs. We dragged soldiers off horses and out of chariots. We helped our people survive by hunting large game. Marcy, my human mom, once read to me an article about seven Irish wolfhounds that were given to the Roman consul Aurelius. Aurelius said that all Rome viewed the dogs with wonder.

And now I'm expected to hold my head high and stroll into some fake North Pole as a reindeer? It's degrading, that's what it is.

Captain Moe just put these antlers on my head. Brown felt antlers. I look ridiculous.

*shake* *shake* *shake*

Off they go! Yes!

Marcy tries this time. She does a better job. I have to use my paw to get them off this time.

"Well, young man, I suppose you'll be Santa's dog instead of his reindeer," says Captain Moe. "Is that all right?"

I offer my paw for a handshake.

Captain Moe laughs and then finishes up with a Ho, Ho, Ho!

I hear giggles. Little people giggles. My tail starts wagging as I turn to look. And there they are! Little people! And they're gasping and calling to me. "Puppy!" "Doggie!" They're even more excited to see me than they are to see Captain Moe and Marcy. But don't tell them that. I wouldn't hurt their feelings for anything in the world.

Whoever said doing a favor for a friend was a drag? This is going to be great!

Tour Participants

December 1 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
December 1 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
December 2 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
December 3 – Grace. Gratitude. Life. by Marie McNary – REVIEW
December 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 4 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
December 4 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – SPOTLIGHT
December 5 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW
December 5 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT
December 6 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
December 6 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – GUEST POST
December 7 – fuonlyknew – REVIEW
December 7 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 8 – deal sharing aunt – REVIEW
December 9 – MysteriesEtc – REVIEW
December 10 – LibriAmoriMiei – REVIEW
December 10 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
December 12 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
December 13 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
December 14 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW, GUEST POST
December 14 – Carole’s Book Corner – SPOTLIGHT
December 15 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW, GUEST POST
December 15 – Varietats – REVIEW

December 12, 2016

Death on Lily Pond Lane by Carrie Doyle - Review and Giveaway

I voluntarily reviewed this book

Published: September 19, 2016
Number of pages: 404
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Hampton's Murder Mystery #2

Springtime in the Hamptons comes late, but it’s worth it! Brisk walks on the bright chilly beach, cinnamon buns at tea time, blooming forsythia and….murder?

Innkeeper Antonia Bingham has hit her stride as the proprietor of East Hampton’s Windmill Inn. After solving a series of murders, Antonia has taken on more work as an estate manager, giving her entree into some of the area’s most glamorous homes. Once inside, Antonia checks the heat, looks for leaks or damage, and finds the occasional dead body. As the police can’t be trusted, it’s up to Antonia—a modern day Miss Marple, with an overly enthusiastic adoration of carbs and a kamikaze love-life—to put her skills of deduction to use. Nestle in with a steaming mug of your favorite tea and get ready to peek behind the gates of the mansions of the Hamptons, as Antonia Bingham solves another shocking and devastating murder.

My thoughts:
I have been enjoying this series. Even though it is a mystery series it has a sort light and airy feeling about it. It was nice to go back and visit Antonia and the Inn again even if a murder was involved. I think it would be fun to go into the old homes as she does but again I would not want to find a dead body.  She does seem to get herself into little binds which is all part of the fun of the book. Another thing I liked about this story was we got to see Antonia and Joseph's relationship go a little further. I liked Joseph helped Antonia by doing research for her. The author kept me guessing until the very end which is something I think makes a good mystery. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. 

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

Social Media Links:
Webpage –
GoodReads –
Publisher Page –

Purchase Links:

This giveaway is for the US only. The winner will be drawn randomly via rafflecopter. Once the winner has been drawn they will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond. If you do not respond a new winner will be chosen. It is mandatory that you leave a comment on this post. This will be verfied and if you do not leave a comment then your entry will be thrown out. Thank you and good luck.

The author has agreed to giveaway a copy of both books one (Death on Windmill Way) and two (Death on Lily Pond Lane) in this series to one luck winner. Good Luck!

Tour Participants

December 12 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW
December 12 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
December 13 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW 
December 14 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
December 14 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 15 – The Power of Words – REVIEW
December 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
December 16 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW
December 16 – Deal Sharing Aunt – REVIEW
December 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – GUEST POST 

Seldom Traveled by Tempe Crabtree - Spotlight

Published: August 12, 2016
Number of pages: 190
Genre: Mystery
Series: Tempe Crabtree #15

The tranquility of the mountain community of Bear Creek is disrupted by a runaway fugitive, a vicious murderer, and a raging forest fire. Deputy Tempe Crabtree is threatened by all three.

About the author:
Marilyn has had so many books published, she’s lost track of the count, but it’s getting near 40. She lives in a community similar to the fictional mountain town of Bear Creek, the big difference being that Bear Creek is a thousand feet higher in the mountains.

She is a member of Mystery Writers of American, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, and is a board member of Public Safety Writers of America.

Fans have had the following to say about the series:
“The series combines family life, spirituality, Native American issues and California beauty.”
“Multicultural settings and alternate beliefs are dealt with dignity and respect, but not sentimentality.”
“I love it when Tempe’s Native American spirituality helps her solve mysteries.”

Other books by Marilyn Meredith:

Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series by Marilyn Meredith:
(latest to first.)
Seldom Traveled
Not as it Seems
River Spirits
Raging Water
Bears With Us
Invisible Path
Dispel the Mist
Kindred Spirits
Judgment Fire
Calling the Dead
Wing Beat
Unequally Yoked
Deadly Omen
Deadly Trail

Rocky Bluff P.D. series, as written by F. M. Meredith
(latest to first)
A Crushing Death
Violent Departures
Murder in the Worst Degree
Dangerous Impulses
Angel Lost
No Bells
An Axe to Grind
No Sanctuary
Smell of Death
Fringe Benefits
Bad Tidings
Final Respects

December 10, 2016

Literally Dead by Lois Winston - Spotlight, Character Guest Post and Giveaway

Published: September 30, 2016
Number of pages: 218
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Empty Nest Mystery #2

After her last disastrous episode as an amateur sleuth, Gracie Elliott is back. The budding romance writer has spent the past year crafting her first novel. Her hard work and determination pay off when her manuscript wins the Cream of the Crop award, a contest for unpublished writers, sponsored by the Society of American Romance Authors. First place entitles her to attend the organization’s annual conference, normally open only to published authors.

With husband Blake in tow, a starry-eyed Gracie experiences the ultimate fan-girl moment upon entering the hotel. Her favorite authors are everywhere. However, within minutes she learns Lovinia Darling, the Queen of Romance, is hardly the embodiment of the sweet heroines she creates. Gracie realizes she’s stepped into a romance vipers’ den of backstabbing, deceit, and plagiarism, but she finds a friend and mentor in bestselling author Paisley Prentiss.

Hours later, when Gracie discovers Lovinia’s body in the hotel stairwell, a victim of an apparent fall, Gracie is not convinced her death was an accident. Too many other authors had reason to want Lovinia dead. Ignoring Blake’s advice to “let the police handle it,” Gracie, aided by Paisley, begins her own investigation into the death. Romance has never been so deadly.

About The Author
USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Lois Winston writes mystery, romance, romantic suspense, chick lit, women’s fiction, children’s chapter books, and nonfiction under her own name and her Emma Carlyle pen name. Kirkus Reviews dubbed her critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, “North Jersey’s more mature answer to Stephanie Plum.” In addition, Lois is an award-winning craft and needlework designer who often draws much of her source material for both her characters and plots from her experiences in the crafts industry.

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My Midlife Crisis 
By Gracie Elliott 

Have you ever lost a job? I suppose most people have at one time or another, but for me it was a new—and totally shocking—experience. I had worked for the same company my entire adult life until the morning I arrived at the office to find my career had been outsourced to a Third World nation.

I don’t work in customer service, billing, or tech support. I’m a textile designer. How could this happen? Who ever heard of outsourcing creativity? Did the Pope outsource The Sistine Chapel to a call center in India, handing them a paint-by-numbers cheat sheet from which to work? No, he hired one of Italy’s premier artists to create one of the world’s great masterpieces.

Then, as if losing my job weren’t enough, to add insult to injury, I learned I was also losing my pension, thanks to some underhanded financial skullduggery. Talk about a double-whammy!

What do you do when you’re middle-aged, out of work, and have two kids in college? After going through the five stages of grief—and also wondering why I had to fall in love with a college professor instead of a trust fund baby—I pulled up my big girl pants and set out to look for another job, only to learn no one was interested in hiring a forty-something fabric designer.

The only solution was to turn entrepreneurial and create a new career for myself. My first foray (documented in Definitely Dead by Lois Winston), was Relatively Speaking, a matchmaking service for senior citizens. What I really wanted to do was write romance novels. Relatively Speaking afforded me plenty of time to pen my future bestsellers because my clients needed several hours each morning to find their teeth, lube their creaky joints, and deal with GI necessities. They also always turned in shortly after the early bird specials each evening. What I didn’t anticipate was someone murdering Client Number Thirteen—and almost murdering me. So much for my fledgling business!

However, during the short time that Relatively Speaking existed, I was able to work on my novel and eventually finished it. I entered a writing competition and took first place, winning the prestigious Cream of the Crop Award. Maybe I didn’t need to find another business venture after all. My dream of becoming a bestselling romance author was about to come true. So I set off for the Society of American Romance Writers’ annual conference, fully expecting a bevy of editors to vie for my book. I had visions of them lining up to toss offers at my feet.

Unfortunately, something other than book contracts landed at my feet—literally. Another dead body. And not just any dead body but the body of Lovinia Darling, the Queen of Romance. Find out how I deal with this new crisis in my life in Literally Dead, the second book in the Empty Nest Mystery series

Tour Participants

December 1 – A Date with a Book – REVIEW
December 2 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – INTERVIEW
December 3 – Brooke Blogs – CHARACTER GUEST POST
December 4 – Community Bookstop – INTERVIEW 
December 5 – Queen of All She Reads – SPOTLIGHT
December 5 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW
December 6 – Cozy Up With Kathy – INTERVIEW
December 7 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW
December 8 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
December 9 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
December 10 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT
December 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT