February 28, 2017

Home to Paradise by Barbara Cameron - Review

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

Published: February 15, 2017
Number of pages: 320
Genre: Amish Fiction
Series: Coming Home #3
Rose Anna Zook has watched her two older sisters marry two Stoltzfus men and has always thought she and John, the third Stoltzfus brother, would marry, make a home together, and have children. But John has other ideas. He’s enjoying his Rumschpringe in the Englisch world a little too much and isn’t interested in returning to the Amish community—especially to marry.

Rose Anna is determined to bring her man back into the Amish fold. John is equally determined to live his life free and unencumbered. Who will win this battle of wills? Will love prevail?

My thoughts:
This is the first book in this series and I did good with reading it as a stand alone book. I thought the story was a nice story and liked getting to know Rose Anna and John and watching their relationship grow. They had a few things to overcome but that is what helped the story move along in my opinion. John had a few wild oats to sow before he could make his decision on what he wanted in life and I am sure for Rose Anna it was hard to wait on what he decided to do. I thought the characters were nicely developed and the story line was a good one to follow. 

About the author:
Barbara Cameron has a heart for writing about the spiritual values and simple joys of the Amish. She is the best-selling author of more than 40 fiction and nonfiction books, three nationally televised movies, and the winner of the first Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. Her books have been nominated for Carol Awards and the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award from RWA's Faith, Hope, and Love chapter. Barbara resides in Jacksonville, Florida.

Join Barbara on Thursday, March 9, for a live author chat party on her Facebook page with fun prizes to be won! Click the graphic below for more details and to RSVP. Hope to see you there-bring a friend or two who loves Amish fiction!

February 27, 2017

Sinful Scottish Laird by Julia London - Review

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

Published: February 28, 2017
Number of pages: 384
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Highland Grooms #2

A young widow puts her sexy suitors to the test in New York Times bestselling author Julia London’s scintillating return to the idyllic Scottish Highlands.

Widowed and forced to remarry in three years’ time or forfeit her son’s inheritance, Daisy Bristol, Lady Chatwick, has plenty of suitors vying for her hand…and her fortune. But a letter from a long-lost love sends Daisy and her young son to her Scottish Highland estate to buy time for his return. Along the way she encounters the powerful Cailean Mackenzie, laird of Arrandale and a notorious smuggler, and she is utterly—though unwillingly—bewitched.

Cailean has no use for any Sassenach in his glen. But Daisy’s brazen, flirtatious nature and alluring beauty intrigue him. When her first love appears unexpectedly at her estate, Cailean knows that a passionate woman like Daisy cannot marry this man. And to prevent the union, Cailean must put his own life at risk to win her heart.

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

My thoughts:
I enjoyed reading this book and how we got to see another member of the Mackenzie family and what he was up to. It was also nice to catch up a little with the characters from the first book. I thought it was nice the way Cailean took Ellis under his wing and started teaching him things. In my opinion this is what helped bring him and Daisy together. The author did a good job in her writing and getting you to feel for both the main characters. Great character development. I was pulling for the two of them through the whole book. The author also did a good job with the descriptions so you can really feel like you are in the countryside. I also liked the little added touches of humor here and there along with the romance. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. 

About the author:
Julia London is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including the popular Secrets of Hadley Green historical romance series, the Cabot Sisters historical romance series, and the Homecoming Ranch contemporary romance series. She is a six time finalist for the presitigous RITA Award for excellence in romantic fiction, and RT Bookclub award recipient for Best Historical Romance for Dangerous Gentleman. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Connect with Julia
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Tour stops:

Monday, February 20th: Booked on a Feeling
Tuesday, February 21st: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, February 22nd: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, February 23rd: Deborah Blanchard
Friday, February 24th: The Maiden’s Court
Monday, February 27th: A Holland Reads
Wednesday, March 1st: The Reading Wench
Wednesday, March 1st: The Sassy Bookster – feature/spotlight
Thursday, March 2nd: The Romance Dish
Friday, March 3rd: Buried Under Romance
Monday, March 6th: Lampshade Reader
Tuesday, March 7th: Laura’s Reviews
Wednesday, March 8th: Romantic Reads and Such – feature/spotlight
Thursday, March 9th: BookNAround
Monday, March 13th – Book Reviews and More by Kathy – feature/spotlight
Wednesday, March 15th: Becky on Books

February 25, 2017

Murder at Peacock Mansion by Judy Alter - Spotlight and Guest Post

Published: November 3, 2015
Number of pages: 258
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Blue Plate Cafe Mystery #3

Arson, a bad beating, and a recluse who claims someone is trying to kill her all collide in this third Blue Plate Café Mystery with Kate Chambers. Torn between trying to save David Clinkscales, her old boss and new lover, and curiosity about Edith Aldridge’s story of an attempt on her life, Kate has to remind herself she has a café to run. She nurses a morose David, whose spirit has been hurt as badly as his body, and tries to placate Mrs. Aldridge, who was once accused of murdering her husband but acquitted. One by one, Mrs. Aldridge’s stepchildren enter the picture. Is it coincidence that David is Edith Aldridge’s lawyer? Or that she seems to rely heavily on the private investigator David hires? First the peacocks die…and then the people. Everyone is in danger, and no one knows who to suspect.

About the author:
I'm really a mystery author! Hard for me to believe because it's always been my secret ambition to write mysteries. Six Kelly O'Connell Mysteries--Skeleton in a Dead Space, No Neighborhood for Old Women, Trouble in a Big Box, Danger Comes Home, Deception in Strange Places, and Desperate for Death--are now available in print and as e-books. And three Blue Plate Cafe Mysteries, Murder at the Blue Plate Café, Murder at the Tremont House, and Murder at Peacock Mansion, are also available. In that series, I move from an inner city urban neighborhood to a small town in East Texas.
New in October 2014: a self-published title, The Perfect Coed, which is a big leap for me in many ways, and I'm excited about it. It's set on a fictional college campus in Texas and features a prickly English professor who finds a coed's body in the trunk of her car. So far,it's gotten high praise. I'm the author of about eighty books for children and adults.My main interest for years was the experiences of women in the American West, and I've written six adult novels with that theme and seven young-adult novels. Three of the adult novels, now called Western Historical Romances--Libbie, Cherokee Rose, and Sundance, Butch and Me--are available on Kindle, as are Ballad for Sallie, a book about the late 19th-century street children in Fort Worth, Mattie, a novel about a pioneer woman physician on the Nebraska prairie, and Sue Ellen Learns to Dance, a collection of short stories about women in the Ameerican West. Also available are children's books on a variety of subjects and a memoir/cookbook (Cooking My Way Through Life with Kids and Books), ...and other works.
Another big switch in April 2016--back to historical with The Gilded Cage, set in Chicago as it grew from swampland to host of the 1893 World Columbian Exposition, following two leading historical figures: tycoon and hotelier Potter Palmer and his activist wife Bertha Honoré Palmer who fought for women’s rights and help for the poor. A story of love, major historical events, class warfare, intrigue, a forbidden love interest, and murder. Retirement is great, and I'm having fun writing. Please feel free to email me at j.alter@tcu.edu.

Guest Post:
High Tea 

In Murder at Peacock Mansion, the eccentric recluse who feels threatened, delights in serving afternoon tea. It turns out to be what American generally call “high tea,” and Kate looks forward to those cucumber and smoked salmon sandwiches, as well as the scones and tiny cakes. But at best, per the British who gave us the tradition, it’s not high tea—it’s either afternoon tea or low tea. 

Traditionally in 19th century Britain, high tea was served on a high table and was a substantial meal designed to feed the working class. It was heavy with meat and fish, crumpets, and potato and onion cakes, perhaps baked beans or a cheese casserole. 

Afternoon or low tea on the other hand didn’t come about much until the mid-1800s when kerosene lamps had made it easier for Brits to have their dinner as late as eight or nine. Supposedly, the Duchess of Bedford complained of feeling light-headed from hunger in the late afternoons. She requested small cakes and pastries be sent to her room. Then she began to share her afternoon repast with other high society friends, and the custom became fashionable. Eventually it spread beyond high society to other socio-economic populations. 

A typical afternoon tea features light foods, designed to appeal to ladies of leisure. There are often scones, sort of the quick-bread equivalent of American biscuits but made without yeast. They come plain or in a variety of flavors-cinnamon/raisin, cheddar/herb, gingerbread, and are often served with Devonshire or clotted cream—a thick cream made by heating whole cream cow’s milk and then letting the cream rise slowly to the top as the mixture cools. As it does so, clots or clumps form. In England it’s a great luxury, although you don’t hear much about it in the U.S. Scones however have become quite popular in this country. 

A second course would be finger sandwiches—small, crustless sandwiches made to be eaten in two or three bites. They may be cucumber sandwiches, smoked salmon (those two are Kate Chambers’ favorites in Murder at Peacock Mansion). Chicken, tuna, egg or shrimp salad may be used as sandwich fillings. So can pimiento cheese—let your imagination run wild. 

Some typical sandwich directions: 
Cucumber sandwiches – spread one slice white bread with butter, cream cheese or mayonnaise, and thinly sliced peeled cucumber. Top with second piece of bread. Cut off crusts, and slice diagonally twice to make four triangular sandwiches. Egg spread sandwiches – again, use white bread. Mix two finely chopped hard-boiled eggs with one Tbsp. mayo, one Tbsp. plain yogurt, one Tbsp. Dijon, one tsp. dried dill, one tsp. chopped parsley. Assemble sandwich as above for cucumber sandwiches. 

Curried chicken salad – Two cups finely shredded chicken, one half c. mayo, 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, thoroughly drained, one-fourth cup mango chutney, a tsp. or two of curry according to taste. Use wheat bread for this. Add the curry a bit at a time—it’s easy to get it too strong and overwhelm your guests taste buds. 

Smoked salmon – layer smoked salmon on one piece of pumpernickel bread and add a bit of horseradish and some dill; or add cream cheese. With the latter, try to also add thinly sliced cucumber. 

Radish and goat cheese – Thinly slice small bunch of radishes. Toss with a small amount of salt and let sit about ten minutes, then drain and rinse. Make sandwich as you would cucumber sandwich. For other uses, salting radishes softens their taste. 

And then top it off with sweet cakes and pastries—probably what we’d call petit fours. 

Of course you must serve hot tea, never iced (an American abomination)—usually at least one different variety with each course. There are 1500 types of tea in Britain, many imported from India and some from China. Most popular teas include Ceylon, Twining, Darjeeling, Taylors of Harrogate. Of course you must do as the Brits—brew loose leaf in a proper teapot and put milk, never cream, in your tea. 

This is not the food Kate serves in the café!

February 20, 2017

The Piper by Charles Todd - Spotlight

Published: January 10, 2017
Number of pages: 100
Genre: Mystery
Series:  Inspector Ian Rutledge #19.5

Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge returns shell shocked from the trenches of World War I, tormented by the spirit of Hamish MacLeod, the young soldier he executed on the battlefield. Now, Charles Todd features Hamish himself in this compelling, stand-alone short story.

Before the Great War, Hamish is farmer in the Scottish Highlands, living in a small house on the hillside and caring for a flock of sheep he inherited from his grandmother. When one spring evening he hears a faint cry ringing across the glen, Hamish sets out in the dark to find the source. Near the edge of the loch he spots a young boy laying wounded, a piper’s bag beside him. Hamish brings the piper to his home to stay the night and tends to his head wound, but by the time Hamish wakes the boy has fled. He tracks the footsteps in pursuit of the injured lad and finds him again collapsed in the grasses—now dead.

Who was the mysterious piper, and who was seeking his death? As Hamish scours the countryside for answers, he finds that few of his neighbors are as honest as he, and that until he uncovers a motive, everyone, including Hamish, is a suspect.

About the author:
Charles Todd is the New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother-and-son writing team, they live on the East Coast.

February 19, 2017

The Amish Wanderer by Laura V. Hilton - Review and Giveaway

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

Published: February 14, 2017
Number of pages: 240
Genre: Amish Fiction

Bethany Weiss is ready to leave town. Tongues haven’t stopped clacking in Jamesport, MO, since her daed, the bishop, was admitted to a mental hospital after hurting their small Amish community. But her sharpest wounds Bethany hides from prying eyes, quietly biding her time until she can take a chance at a new life—away from Jamesport and away from God.

Silas Beiler was kicked out of his own home. Dogged by a rough childhood and a family who blames him for each new disaster, he begins hitchhiking across the country, sleeping in barns where he can, working for food when possible—headed for Pennsylvania in the hope of some stability.

When Bethany spies a man asleep in the hayloft, she first fears the return of an unwelcome suitor. But when it is Silas who turns and speaks, the memories flood back: a happy summer six years ago full of lemonade, long walks, and budding courtship. Now, however, those months of bliss seem naïve and idyllic. Was their old love strong enough to overcome new pain? Or will hurt and rejection continue to haunt their path?

My thoughts:
I thought this was a good book. The author grabbed me on the first page and kept me going as I wanted to see what was going to happen next. It was interesting how the author took an common tragedy and wove it into her story to see how the Amish handle it. The characters were very well developed. There was a lot of things going on in this story which helped the book to move along nicely. I look forward to more books by this author. 

About the author:
Amish fiction lovers responded positively and immediately to Laura V. Hilton’s debut novel, Patchwork Dreams, when she burst on the scene in 2009 with her unique series, The Amish of Seymour, set in the tiny town of Seymour, in Webster County, Missouri. Fans of the genre immediately recognized Hilton’s insider knowledge, not only of the Webster County community, but Amish culture in general. Her natural speech and writing patterns, she says, are uniquely “Amish,” acquired from her Amish maternal grandparents. The Amish of Seymour, includes Patchwork Dreams, A Harvest of Hearts, and Promised to Another. Her second series, The Amish of Webster County, is comprised of Healing Love, Surrendered Love, and Awakened Love. A stand-alone title, A White Christmas in Webster County, was released in September 2014. The Amish of Jamesport includes The Snow Globe, The Postcard and The Birdhouse. In spring 2016 she released The Amish Firefighter with the setting in Jamesport, MO, the same as for The Amish Wanderer.

Laura is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a professional book reviewer. Laura and her husband, Steve, have five children, whom Laura homeschools. The family makes their home in Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas.

To celebrate her tour, Laura is giving away Amish Wanderer, Patchwork Dreams (Amish of Seymour #1), Snow Globe (Amish of Jamesport #1),
a 10 x 17” canvas banner: “Do justly, love mercy, walk humbly” (Micah 6:8), and
Abba Scripture Candle (3” natural, clean-burning wax, scented) – “With God All Things Are Possible”! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/b0d8

Blog Stops

February 14: inklings and notions
February 15: A Rup Life
February 15: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS
February 15: Lane Hill House
February 16: Daysong Reflections
February 16: Blogging With Carol
February 17: Bigreadersite
February 18: Rhonda’s Doings
February 18: Jeanette’s Thoughts
February 19: A Greater Yes
February 19: A Holland Reads
February 21: Mom Is Forever
February 22: Splashes of Joy
February 23: Moments Dipped in Ink
February 23: Carpe Diem
February 24: Pause for Tales
February 24: Quiet Quilter
February 25: For The Love of Books
February 25: Donna’s BookShelf
February 26: Christian Bookaholic
February 27: Giveaway Lady
February 27: Autism Mom

The Drawing Game by Deidre Verne - Guest Post and Giveaway

Published: December 25, 2016
Number of pages: 275
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Sketch in Crime Mystery #3

A lover of all things green, CeCe Prentice is not impressed when a fully-sustainable development, Green Acres, pops up next to her family’s homestead. It’s not so much the ridiculous price tag of the million dollar homes built entirely from re-usable materials and powered by the sun, but rather the new neighbors who think they can simply buy a green lifestyle.
To make matters worse, one homeowner turns out to be CeCe’s high school nemesis, Phoebe Purcell, a hair-tossing vamp who tried to break up CeCe and her long-time boyfriend, Charlie.

Already disillusioned by the so-called eco-friendly development, CeCe’s family home is threatened when a series of power-outages at Green Acres kicks off a rash of home invasions. When neighbors start showing up dead, the mood at Green Acres turns south. But when Charlie, CeCe’s on-again, off-again love interest is implicated in the murders, CeCe springs into action when she discovers the only clue – a portrait she painted years ago.

About the author:
Deirdre Verne is the author of Drawing Conclusions (2015), Drawing Blood (Feb 2016) and The Drawing Game (Dec 2017). Deirdre’s interest in green living inspired her to create an off-the-grid character, CeCe Prentice, who Dumpster dives her way through the Sketch in Crime mystery series. “Verne’s mystery is a winner…” Kirkus Reviews. A member of Sisters in Crime, Deirdre’s stories appear in all three NY chapter anthologies – Murder New York Style, Murder New York Style: Fresh Slices and Family Matters.

Author Links

Guest Post: 
Thanks for stopping by for a visit! I’m excited to tell you about the third book in The Sketch in Crime mystery series – The Drawing Game. If you haven’t had a chance to meet CeCe Prentice, then be prepared to leave your Sunday best at home. My main character is a Dumpster diver, a roll-up your sleeves kind of girl who doesn’t mind getting dirty, especially when it comes to solving a murder.

Why the Dumpster diving? CeCe is an artist and a true environmentalist. She believes she can get by on what others discard. It’s a weird way to live, but CeCe’s got a bunch of Dumpster diving pals and together, they’ve managed to cobble together a very nice life. It’s a perfect fit for CeCe and a low-cost way to live for an artist whose sole source of income amounts to a few annual commissions for her portrait art.

Sketching faces comes easily to CeCe as she has an almost annoying knack for never forgetting a face. She’s so good at it that the local police have hired her to sketch suspects. It doesn’t hurt that the town detective has a face CeCe thinks is pretty darn cute!

About those portraits. CeCe has been lucky enough to paint some of her town’s most famous residents. Unfortunately, when one of the town’s luminaries shows up dead, a portrait CeCe painted years earlier proves to be the only clue.

I invite you start at the beginning and follow CeCe and her Dumpster-diving pals through a series of rollicking fun.

Guest Post:

Tour Participants

February 8 – Michelle’s Romantic Tangle – REVIEW, GUEST POST
February 9 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
February 10 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW
February 11 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
February 12 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
February 13 – Mythical Books – GUEST POST
February 14 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 15 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
February 16 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
February 17 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW
February 18 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
February 19 – A Holland Reads – GUEST POST
February 20 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – SPOTLIGHT
February 21 – Island Confidential – INTERVIEW

February 17, 2017

The Newcomer by Suzanne Woods Fisher - Review and Giveaway

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

Published: January 31, 2017
Number of pages: 336
Genre: Amish Fiction
Series: Amish Beginnings #2

In 1737, Anna Konig and her fellow church members stagger off a small wooden ship after ten weeks at sea, eager to start a new life in the vibrant but raw Pennsylvania frontier. On the docks of Port Philadelphia waits bishop Jacob Bauer, founder of the settlement and father to ship carpenter Bairn. It’s a time of new beginnings for the reunited Bauer family, and for Anna and Bairn’s shipboard romance to blossom.

But this perfect moment cannot last. As Bairn grasps the reality of what it means to be Amish in the New World–isolated, rigid with expectations, under the thumb of his domineering father–his enthusiasm evaporates. When a sea captain offers the chance to cross the ocean one more time, Bairn grabs it. Just one more crossing, he promises Anna. But will she wait for him?

When Henrik Newman joins the church just as it makes its way to the frontier, Anna is torn. He seems to be everything Bairn is not–bold, devoted, and delighted to vie for her heart. And the most dramatic difference? He is here; Bairn is not.

Far from the frontier, an unexpected turn of events weaves together the lives of Bairn, Anna, and Henrik. When a secret is revealed, which true love will emerge?

My thoughts:
I enjoyed the setting and the time period of this book. I can not imagine what they were all going through coming to a new and foreign land. The author did a good job of helping us to understand what they were feeling. You can tell the author did her research as it shows in her writing. For me this did not seem like the typical Amish story as it included a little more of the historical and the starting of our country than I have read in Amish stories before. I thought this really made the book even better for me. I look forward to the next book in this series so I can see what is going to happen next. 

About the author:
Suzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than a dozen novels, including Anna’s Crossing, The Bishop’s Family series, 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 www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a Kindle! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!https://promosimple.com/ps/b0d1

Guest Post:
Pennsylvania of 1737, the setting for The Newcomer, is like a foreign country. Parts of it might seem familiar—the same hills and creeks and blue sky, but we’d hardly recognize the settlers. People like Anna, or Bairn, or the mysterious Newcomer. We wouldn’t be able to understand their language, their customs and traditions. Their world was that different from our modern one.

The first group of Amish immigrants (first written about in Anna’s Crossing and followed up in The Newcomer) settled northwest of Philadelphia, then a vast wilderness, and relied on each other for safety, security, building projects, and church. In nearby Germantown, settlers were tradesmen, so they clustered houses together in small knots. The Amish farmers took out land warrants for sizeable properties and lived considerable distances from each other.

In The Newcomer, Anna cooked food in a cauldron over a large hearth. One-pot meals can trace their beginnings to open-hearth cooking when ingredients for a meal went into a large kettle suspended over the fire. Traditional dishes—ham and beans, pork and sauerkraut—used sturdy, available, and simple ingredients that improved with long, slow cooking. The dishes could be easily expanded when the need arose to set a few more places at the table. And it did, often. Large families and unannounced company inspired Amish cooks to find ways to “stretch the stew.”

Noodles (including dumplings and rivvels) could be tossed into a simmering broth to make a meal stretch. Most farms had a flock of chickens, so eggs were easily at hand. Today, homemade noodles are still a favorite dish.

Another “stew stretcher” was cornmeal mush, originally eaten as a bread substitute. Early German settlers who made their home in eastern Pennsylvania roasted the yellow field corn in a bake oven before it was shelled and ground at the mill. The roasting process gave a nutty rich flavor to the cornmeal. Mush is still part of the diet the Old Order Amish—cooked and fried, baked, added into scrapple, smothered in ketchup. Dress it up and you’ve got polenta.

Now here’s one thing we do have in common with 1737 Pennsylvania immigrants…a love of good food and a shortage of time! Here’s one of my favorite one-pot recipes—probably not the kind of stew Anna might have made for ship carpenter Bairn or the mysterious Newcomer (ah, which man one stole her heart?)…but definitely delicious. Enjoy!

Lentil Chili

Here’s one of my favorite “stew stretchers.” You can expand it even more by serving over rice.

1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
10 c. water
1 lb. dry lentils
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt (season to your taste)
½ tsp. pepper
2 c. salsa (your favorite variety)
29 oz. canned tomatoes, crushed

Tour Stops:

February 7: cherylbbookblog
February 8: Just Commonly
February 9: A Reader’s Brain
February 9: Genesis 5020
February 10: Lane Hill House
February 10: Blogging With Carol
February 11: Quiet Quilter
February 11: Daysong Reflections
February 12: Christian Bookaholic
February 12: Jeanette’s Thoughts
February 13: Karen Sue Hadley
February 13: Just the Write Escape
February 14: Rhonda’s Doings
February 14: Bigreadersite
February 16: Bibliophile Reviews
February 16: Book by Book
February 17: Pause for Tales
February 17: A Holland Reads
February 18: A Greater Yes
February 18: The Power of Words
February 19: Lighthouse Academy
February 20: By The Book
February 20: Giveaway Lady

February 14, 2017

Two Suitors for Anna by Molly Jebber - Review and Giveaway

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

Published: January 31, 2017
Number of pages: 288
Genre: Amish Fiction
Series: Keepsake Pocket Quilt #3

In 1903 Ohio, a young Amish woman must choose between the life she has long planned for and a new, very different future…

Since Anna Plank moved to Berlin, Ohio, with her widowed mamm and two schweschders, she’s found a real sense of belonging. As soon as her beloved Noah Schwartz proposes, they’ll begin a new chapter here together. But Noah has a surprise for Anna: once they’re married, he wants them to travel and live in other communities. Anna, who loves her home and her job at the quilt shop, is distraught when he takes her hesitation as rejection—and leaves.

Daniel Bontrager’s arrival adds to Anna’s confusion. Since taking over his late brother’s farm, the handsome roofer has offered friendship and gentle attentions. Yet the pull of first love is strong and deep, especially when Noah returns. Through each revelation, Anna must search her faith for guidance, knowing she is choosing not just a husband, but a life to nurture and to share…

My thoughts:
I thought this was a nice book. The characters were very nice and I enjoyed reading about them. I felt like they were real people. The setting of the book was well described as well. I also liked the historical aspect of the book. The romance part of the book was good but not too overwhelming. You had to feel bad for Anna during the story as she had her heart set on marrying Noah but he wanted her to travel. Then she meets Daniel and that changes things. She felt like she was being pulled in two different directions. I enjoyed following her journey. I look forward to more books in this series. 

About the author:
Molly Jebber’s books have been featured in Publisher’s Weekly, USA Today’s HEA, and Romantic Times has given them a near excellent rating. She’s on RWA’s Honor Roll. She’s a speaker for Women’s Christian Connection, and she offers presentations on writing, publishing, Amish lifestyle and traditions. She has received widespread media coverage, including live interviews, across the United States for her books and speaking engagements.

She’s just signed a new contract for four more Amish books! She loves interacting with her readers. She loves God, her husband, family and friends. She has a hard time saying no to cupcakes, swimming, nine holes of golf, and walks on the beach. Coconut, oatmeal, and onions, on the other hand, are not hard to say no to!

To celebrate her tour, Molly is giving away a Kindle Fire HD. Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/af95

Tour stops:

January 31: cherylbbookblog
January 31: Giveaway Lady
January 31: Bibliophile Reviews
February 1: A Greater Yes
February 2: Lane Hill House
February 3: Just Commonly
February 4: Bigreadersite
February 5: Quiet Quilter
February 7: Pause for Tales
February 8: Splashes of Joy
February 10: inklings and notions
February 11: Carpe Diem
February 12: Donna’s BookShelf
February 13: autism mom
February 14: A Holland Reads

The Wages of Sin by Bo Brennan - Spotlight and Giveaway

Published: January 14, 2017
Number of pages: 422
Genre: Thriller
Series: A Detective India Kane & AJ Colt Crime Thriller
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

What’s done in the dark will be brought to the light.

For overworked firefighter Gray Davies, an emergency call-out to the scene of a horrific hit-and-run is all in a day’s work . . . until the terrified Asian victim disappears, leaving her blood on his hands and unanswered questions on his lips.

For his sister, Detective India Kane, it’s an added complication in a far more sinister crime – a series of brutal murders the missing hit-and-run victim could hold the key to solving. With a mutilated corpse on her patch, and the dead woman’s identity shrouded in secrecy, India’s set on a collision course with a deadly, unknown enemy.

Her lover, Detective Chief Inspector AJ Colt, is well acquainted with the enemy – courtesy of a divisive high-profile case, he’s currently public enemy #1. As cultures clash, simmering tensions explode, bringing terror and bloodshed to the streets, and placing Colt firmly in the sights of some of the country’s most dangerous and deranged individuals.

When one of them brings their work home, nothing will ever be the same again – for the wages of sin . . . is death.

About the author:
Bo Brennan is a ‘Crime Thriller’ writer who has lived and worked in various locations. None were exotic.

Bo’s favourite past times are reading, writing, and eating. Unfortunately, the three combined do nothing for the waistline so moving about occasionally is a must.

Bo’s debut novel, STEALING POWER, is the first in a series of chilling crime thrillers featuring British Detectives India Kane and AJ Colt.

BABY SNATCHERS is the second.

THE WAGES OF SIN is the third.

Bo’s books can be read in sequence or independently . . . but are probably best read with the lights on.

Catch Up With Bo on Goodreads, Twitter , & Facebook !

Monday, 5th March


Her vision blurred as her gloved hands fumbled with the combination lock securing her bike. She swiped at her eyes, kidding herself it was the brightness of the morning making them run.

It wasn’t, it was self-pity.

She didn’t want to go back there, not today. The constant drunken comings and goings were becoming increasingly unnerving as more workers arrived. Naz had sympathised, but she couldn’t help. Couldn’t make it better, easier, or safer. With property prices high and funds low, she knew she should be grateful for a job and a home, but today she was struggling. Today she wanted more.

She wanted a life.

She wasn’t sure she could stand this one. Her breath caught in her throat as the emptiness and isolation she faced overwhelmed her.

“The first one is the worst one,” Naz had said, hugging her as she tied the knitted scarf around her neck. “Be brave.”

She wanted to be brave, as brave as Naz, but she felt weak and lonely and lost. Discreetly dabbing her eyes with her new scarf, she took a furtive glance back at the building. Naz stood at the window, watching her. With a half-hearted smile, she dropped her backpack at her feet to fasten her bicycle helmet. Naz smiled back and pressed a hand to the glass. In the time it took to pick up her backpack and hook it over her shoulders, Naz had gone.

With a heavy, resigned sigh, she pushed her bike down the long shingle drive to the entrance gates. Once outside she propped the bike against the kerb and cautiously glanced up and down the quiet tree-lined avenue – almost jumped out of her skin when a car door slammed somewhere up ahead. Seeing a blue light poking up from the row of parked cars, she pressed herself into the shadow of a tall oak tree, heart stuttering in her chest.

Her eyes followed the police officer as he strolled across the road and let himself into a house.

he didn’t know a police officer lived there. She didn’t know she’d been holding her breath either, until it juddered from her body when the door shut behind him.

Hands trembling, she drew a deep, steadying breath, mounted her bike and set out for the short journey home.

Home. Memories stabbed at her heart and stung at her eyes.

She shook them away as she cycled onto the main road and into the safety of the crowded morning traffic, feeling her shoulders finally relax. Relaxation was dangerous. Naz said it would get her killed. The words echoed in her head, causing her body to tighten once more. Gritting her teeth, she pedalled harder. Kept her head down as she passed the last of the picturesque shop fronts adorned with nice things she’d never own, and concealing aisles she’d never browse. She hated this life. Wished so much that she could go back, back to before she knew. But now that she did know, back wasn’t an option. Her only option was forward. Her only option was to run.

At first, the angry chorus of blaring horns seemed normal background noise, the same as every Monday morning approaching the Winchester bottleneck. It was the sound of a high revving engine that had her glancing over her shoulder to glimpse a white van pushing aggressively through the traffic.
Her mouth went dry.

A white van. There were probably millions of them, billions even.

It was probably nothing, just the bog standard enemy of regular road users trying to get ahead, but she never knew when or where they would come for her. And she knew what they’d done. Knew what they were capable of.

As a precaution, she bumped her bike out of the bus lane and onto the pavement, meandering slowly and carefully, wary of the pedestrians heading her way. Behind her she heard the prolonged guttural torque of an engine racing at breaking point. A split second later, a single heartbeat, her world span upside down in a silent slow motion strobe of black and white as she rotated endlessly past trees filtering sunlight.

This is it, she thought, spinning through the air. This is The End.

It wasn’t how she’d imagined it to be. And she’d imagined it a million times. Thought it would be painful. They’d promised it would be painful. They’d given her every graphic gory detail of how her end would be.

But it was nothing like they’d promised.

A serene sense of calm engulfed her as she closed her eyes and accepted her fate, her everlasting freedom.

Excerpt from The Wages of Sin by Bo Brennan. Copyright © 2017 by Bo Brennan. Reproduced with permission from Bo Brennan. All rights reserved.

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Bo Brennan. There will be 5 winners of one (1) eBook copy of The Wages of Sin by Bo Brennan. The giveaway begins on February 12th and runs through February 22nd, 2017.

BLAST Participants:

February 11, 2017

A Ghostly Reunion by Tonya Kappes - Review and Giveaway

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

Published: December 27, 2106
Number of pages: 352
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: Ghostly Southern Mystery #5

Proprietor of the Eternal Slumber Funeral Home, Emma Lee can see, hear, and talk to ghosts of murdered folks. And when her high school nemesis is found dead, Jade Lee Peel is the same old mean girl—trying to come between Emma Lee and her hot boyfriend, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, all over again.

There’s only one way for Emma Lee to be free of the trash-talking ghost—solve the murder so the former prom queen can cross over.

But the last thing Jade Lee wants is to leave the town where she had her glory days. And the more Emma Lee investigates on her own, the more complicated Miss Popularity turns out to be. Now Emma Lee will have to work extra closely with her hunky lawman to get to the twisty truth.

My thoughts:
I had fun going back to this little town to visit with Emma and her friends. It is always neat to me to see/hear how Emma can talk to ghost as well as see them. I am very intrigued by ghosts. I like how the author has a way a making you feel like you are involved in the story. It is up to Emma to find out who murdered Jade so she can move on to the other side. But like always things are not so easy for her. I did not figure it out until the end. Then we get a clue as to what is going to happen in the next book. I am looking forward to the next book and to see just how Emma helps the next person. 

About the author:
For years, USA Today bestselling author Tonya Kappes has been publishing numerous mystery and romance titles with unprecedented success. She is famous not only for her hilarious plot lines and quirky characters, but her tremendous marketing efforts that have earned her thousands of followers and a devoted street team of fans.
Sign up for her newsletter on her website at Tonyakappes.com .

Visit Tonya:
Facebook at Author Tonya Kappes,

Kappes Krew Street Team




For weekly updates and contests, sign up for Tonya's newsletter Kappes Krew Weekly via her website or Facebook.

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Tonya Kappes and Witness Impulse. There will be 1 US winner of one PRINTED set of The Ghostly Southern Mysteries #1-5 by Tonya Kappes. The giveaway begins on January 15th and runs through February 18th, 2017.

February 10, 2017

A Fine Year for Murder by Lauren Carr - Guest Post and Giveaway

Published: January 31, 2017
Number of pages: 430
Genre: Mystery
Series: Thorny Rose Mystery #2

After months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect … except in the middle of the night when, in darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.

When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family living near a winery owned by distant relatives she was visiting and suppressed the memory.

Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?

Buy the Book: Amazon ~ Add on Goodreads

Watch the book Trailer:

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

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

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

Connect with Lauren: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Guest Post:
Thorny Rose Detectives: Love & Mystery Come Together
By Lauren Carr

I love great couples. By that, I don’t mean sexy couples who look like they were brought together by a modeling agency to sell perfume. Have you noticed that couples like that don’t usually last? I think it’s because they don’t make mirrors big enough for both partners and their egos.

I’m talking about couples who complement and play off each other. They are two halves that, when put together, make one fun whole.

Back when my husband and I were newlyweds, shortly after the extinction of the dinosaurs, we were befriended by the couple who lived next door. Jack and Judy had been married close to forty years at that point and had raised three children. I loved spending time with the two of them. Their personalities played off each other so well.

A retired Navy officer, Jack was distinguished and honorable. Judy was fun and sparkly. When they were together, she would give him that adoring look that told you how much she loved him, even after forty years together. On his part, she made him laugh.

They had been together so long, that they were beyond the adolescent phase of sex and had moved into intimacy of the mind and soul. They were so into each other that they could read each other’s thoughts and finish their partner’s sentences.

That’s the type of couples that I strive to match together in my mysteries—not just sexy glamour-pusses—but two fun people that readers would like to have for friends.

In the Thorny Rose Mystery series, I have paired Mac Faraday’s daughter, Jessica, with Joshua Thornton’s son Murphy.

Don’t be fooled by Jessica’s gorgeous violet eyes (inherited from her famous grandmother Robin Spencer) and spoiled rich girl surroundings. Jessica Faraday is a recent college graduate with a master in behavioral and cognitive neuroscience and is pursuing a doctorate in forensics psychiatry.

Murphy Thornton, Joshua Thornton’s (of Lovers in Crime) son, a graduate of the naval academy, who is up to his ears in top secret clandestine operations with the government.

When these two offspring from top-notch detectives came together, it was a match made in a mystery author’s imagination as you can see in this excerpt from their latest mystery A Fine Year for Murder.

In this excerpt, Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday stop for dinner during their trip to southern Virginia. While waiting for their meals, they go over the details of the cold case involving the murder of a family—a murder they suspect Jessica may have witnessed as a child:

Jessica picked up her drink and took another sip. She watched Murphy dig into his salad. They had been so busy that day that she hadn’t had a chance to observe how hand-some he was—something that the server had instantly noticed and that had caused her to give him an extra broad grin while taking their order.

Yep, I am one lucky lady.

“What are you grinning at?”

Suddenly, Jessica realized that he had stopped eating and was looking across the table at her. A wicked grin crossed her face as a dirty thought crossed her mind. She felt her cheeks turn bright pink.

Seeming to read her thought, he chuckled.

Setting down her drink, Jessica caught sight of the plastic straw and remembered what her brother had said when they’d left a few days before. “Did you really threaten to kill Tristan with a plastic drinking straw?”

He laughed. “That was a joke. I’d never kill your brother unless he gave me a very good reason to.”

“Well, for some reason, he believed you and now thinks that it really is possible to kill a man with a plastic drinking straw.”

“That part is true.”

Jessica let out a laugh.

Across the table, Murphy’s lips curled. He arched an eye-brow in her direction.

“You’re joking,” she said.

“You don’t believe me. You told me that your father sent you to all sorts of self-defense classes—and that they taught you that anything can be used as a weapon if you know how to use it.”

“But a plastic drinking straw?” She continued to laugh.

Murphy jerked his chin in the direction of the server, who immediately appeared at their table to ask how she could help him.

“May I have a straw and a potato?”

“What would you like on your potato?” she asked. “Butter? Sour cream? Chives? Loaded?”


The server stared at him. She then turned to Jessica, who was almost as confused as she was. “Raw?”

“Raw,” Murphy said. “And a fresh straw.”

Jessica’s amusement turned to confusion and then to curiosity when the server returned with a potato on a fresh plate.

After handing him the plate, the server made no pretense of leaving, instead preferring to stick around to see what he intended to do with it.

Similarly curious, the children at a nearby table sat up in their seats and craned their necks to watch.

“Daddy, what’s he doing with that potato and straw?” the younger boy asked in a loud voice, prompting his mother to shush him.

“Maybe he’s going to drink it,” the older boy said with a loud laugh, which made their mother shush them again before muttering an apology in Murphy and Jessica’s direction.

Murphy set the potato in the middle of the table for Jessica to study. He tore off the end of the straw’s paper wrapper and shook out the straw. “Now, the purpose of this demonstration is to show you how anything, even an extremely innocent-looking object, can be used as a weapon.” With one hand, he picked up the potato and held it out to her. “Do you agree that this raw potato is stronger and tougher than human flesh?”

Jessica was aware of the many customers who were watching them. Some had even turned around in their seats to observe the experiment. She quickly handed the potato back to him. “Yes, I agree with you about that.”

“Then you probably assume that this potato is tougher than this straw.” Murphy held up the straw for her to see. He placed his thumb over one of the open ends.

“Which is why I am con—”

“Yet if you hit it just the right way—” With a stabbing motion, Murphy plunged the straw into the potato.

The customers and servers around them, caught off guard by Murphy’s sudden motion, audibly gasped.

“You can shove this plastic straw all the way through the potato so that it comes out on the other end.” He held up the potato to show that he had, with one movement, forced the straw all of the way through it.

He leaned across the table, closer to where Jessica was sitting with her mouth hanging open. “Imagine what damage that straw could have done if I had jabbed it into a man’s throat or eye.”

There was a flurry at the table across from them as the mother disarmed her two boys, who suddenly wanted to try out Murphy’s demonstration on each other.

What will become of Murphy and Jessica? If Jessica finds herself in danger, will she remember Murphy’s advice about defending herself with a seemingly innocent-looking weapon?

Find out the answer to these questions and more. Get your copy of A Fine Year for Murder today.

Enter the Giveaway!

Feb 1 - Library of Clean Reads - book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 1 - Mystery Suspense Reviews - book spotlight / guest post
Feb 1 - Books for Books - book spotlight
Feb 1 - Sylv all about books - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 2 - Working mommy Journal - book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 2 - fundinmental - book spotlight / author interview
Feb 2 - Books, Dreams, Life - book spotlight / guest post
Feb 3 - Nighttime Reading Center - book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 3 - Rockin' Book Reviews - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 6 - Celticlady's Reviews - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 6 - My Journey Back - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Feb 7 - Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
​Feb 7 - Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine - book spotlight 
Feb 8 - A Mama's Corner of the World - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 8 - The Silver Dagger Scriptorium - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 9 - fuonlyknew - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Feb 10 - A Holland Reads - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 13 - For Life After - book spotlight / guest post
Feb 14 - Bound 2 Escape - book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 14 - Readers Muse - book spotlight / guest post
Feb 15 - Carol's Notebook - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 16 - Laura's Interests - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 17 - T's Stuff - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 20 - StoreyBook Reviews - book spotlight / 
Feb 21 - JBronder Book Reviews - book spotlight / guest post
Feb 22 - Christa Reads and Writes - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 23 - Within The Pages Of A Book - book spotlight / author interview
Feb 24 - Thoughts on Books - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 24 - Rainy Day Reviews - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Feb 27 - The World As I See It - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 28 - Jessica Cassidy - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Feb 28 - Elsie's Audiobook Digest - book spotlight / author interview
March 5 - Writers and Authors - book spotlight

March 1 - Working mommy Journal - review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
March 1 - Within The Pages Of A Book - review of Kill and Run / giveaway
March 1 - Katherine Scott Jones - review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
March 2 - Working mommy Journal - review of Kill and Run / giveaway
March 2 - My Journey Back - review of Kill and Run / giveaway
March 2 - Within The Pages Of A Book - review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
March 2 - Books, Dreams, Life - review of Kill and Run
March 3 - The World As I See It - review of Kill and Run / giveaway
March 3 - Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf - review of Kill and Run / giveaway
March 3 - Books, Dreams, Life - review of A Fine Year for Murder
March 6 - Christa Reads and Writes - review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
March 7 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
March 7 - Library of Clean Reads - review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
March 8 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
March 8 - For Life After - review of Kill and Run
March 9 - T's Stuff - review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
March 9 - My Journey Back - review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
March 9 - fundinmental - review of A Fine Year for Murder 
March 10 - Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine - review of A Fine Year for Murder
March 13 - Olio by Marilyn - review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
March 14 - Rainy Day Reviews - review of Kill and Run / giveaway
March 15 - For Life After - review of A Fine Year for Murder
March 15 - Thoughts on Books - review of Kill and Run / giveaway
March 16 - fuonlyknew - review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
March 16 - Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf - review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
March 17 - Carol's Notebook - review of Kill and Run / giveaway
March 20 - Nighttime Reading Center - review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
March 21 - The World As I See It - review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
March 22 - Thoughts on Books - review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
March 23 - Rainy Day Reviews - review of A Fine Year for Murder/ giveaway
March 24 - Books for Books - review of Kill and Run
March 27 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of Kill and Run / guest post
March 28 - Laura's Interests - review of Kill and Run / giveaway
March 29 - Pause for Tales - review of A Fine Year for Murder / author interview
March 30 - Laura's Interests - review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
March 31 - Books for Books - review of A Fine Year for Murder
April 3 - Bound 4 Escape - ​review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
April 4 - JBronder Book Reviews - review of Kill and Run 
April 5 - Carol's Notebook - ​review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
April 6 - Dab of Darkness - review of Kill and Run / giveaway
April 6 - JBronder Book Reviews - review of A Fine Year for Murder
April 7 - Mrs Mommy BOOKNERD'S Book Reviews - review of A Fine Year for Murder / guest post / giveaway
April 10 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of A Fine Year for Murder
April 10 - Elsie's Audiobook Digest - review of Kill and Run
April 11 - Turning the Pages - review of Kill and Run / giveaway
April 11 - Readers Muse - review of A Fine Year for Murder
April 12 - Turning the Pages - review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
April 13 - Dab of Darkness - review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
April 14 - Jessica Cassidy - review of A Fine Year for Murder / giveaway
April 14 - Elsie's Audiobook Digest - review of A Fine Year for Murder