January 31, 2019

With this Pledge by Tamera Alexander - Review

Book details
Series: The Carnton Series (Book 1)
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (January 8, 2019)
ISBN-13: 978-0718081850

Book description
History takes on vivid life in the stunning first full-length novel in bestselling author Tamera Alexander’s new 4-book Southern series… The Carnton Novels

What can a woman–a mere governess–do against the scourge of slavery?
Elizabeth “Lizzie” Clouston’s quietly held principles oppose those of the Southern Cause–but when forty thousand soldiers converge on the fields of Franklin, Tennessee, the war demands an answer. The Carnton home, where she is governess, is commandeered as a Confederate hospital; and Lizzie must summon fortitude to assist the military doctor with surgeries that determine life or death–even as she fears for the life of Towny, her fiancé and lifelong friend.
A young soldier’s dying words convey an urgent message that Lizzie promises to deliver, yet she knows little more than the boy’s first name. That same night, decorated Mississippi sharpshooter Captain Roland Ward Jones extracts a different promise from Lizzie: that she intervene should the surgeon decide to amputate. Even if it costs him his life.
Lizzie is nothing if not a woman of her word, earning the soldiers’ respect as she tends the wounded convalescing within Carnton’s walls. None is more admiring than Captain Jones, who doesn’t realize she is already pledged to another. But Captain Jones holds secrets of his own, which prove costly for Lizzie. Because a betrothed woman shouldn’t harbor feelings for a man other than her intended. Especially not when that man is a slave owner.
When Towny vanishes after a crushing battle in Nashville, Lizzie must confront the costs of war. And torn between love, principles, and promises made, she struggles to be true to her own heart while standing for what she knows is right–no matter the cost.

Purchase Links

Meet the author - Tamera Alexander
Tamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling novelist whose works have been awarded and nominated for numerous industry-leading honors, including the Christy Award (two-time winner, seven-time finalist), the RITA Award (two-time winner, four-time finalist), the Carol Award, the Maggie Award, the Booksellers Best Award, and Library Journal’s top distinction, among others. After seventeen years in Colorado, Tamera and her husband now reside in Nashville, Tennessee, where they live a short distance from Belmont Mansion and Belle Meade Plantation, the setting of Tamera’s two USA Today bestselling Southern series.

Connect with Tamera

My thoughts
I really enjoyed this first in a new series by Tamera. She does such a good job adding all the historical details. This book grabbed me from the start and for me moved along at a good pace. The characters were strong and well liked. Lizzie was a strong woman and wanted make sure she followed her beliefs while at the same time helping soldiers.  I liked reading about her and Roland and how their relationship progressed. All in all a great book that will hold your attention and is fully of historical accuracy. 

Tamera Alexander’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, January 14th: Book By Book
Tuesday, January 15th: Blooming with Books
Wednesday, January 16th: Read Eat Repeat
Thursday, January 17th: Fiction Aficionado
Friday, January 18th: Amy’s Book-et List
Tuesday, January 22nd: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Wednesday, January 23rd: Running Through the Storms
Thursday, January 24th: Christian Bookshelf Reviews
Friday, January 25th: Rockin’ Book Reviews
Monday, January 28th: The Sketchy Reader
Tuesday, January 29th: Laura’s Reviews
Wednesday, January 30th: Jathan & Heather
Thursday, January 31st: A Holland Reads
Monday, February 4th: Reflections from My Bookshelves
Tuesday, February 5th: Christian Fiction Girl
Wednesday, February 6th: @booktimistic
Friday, February 8th: View from the Birdhouse
Tuesday, February 12th: The Lit Bitch

January 30, 2019

Courage Between Love and Death by Joseph Pilliterri - Review

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

Book details
Paperback: 302 pages
Publisher: Fireship Press (March 29, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-1611793888

Book description
Elspeth has recently landed a nursing position at the 1901 Pan American Exposition Hospital in Buffalo, New York. This is a big boon for her, but things are not going as expected. She has to navigate mischievous patients, egotistical doctors, rival nurses and prejudices. For an Irish girl with a temper, this is no easy feat. Now President McKinley is coming to visit the Expo and everyone is in an uproar. On the home front, her life is no less hectic as she struggles to put food on the table and look out for her younger siblings.

When the unthinkable happens, it is a turning point, not only for the medical industry and our country’s security, but for Elspeth personally. With her career and reputation on the line, will she have the courage to overcome the challenges she faces to clear her name and continue to be there for the ones she loves?

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

Meet the author - Joseph Pillitteri
While working at Roswell Park Memorial Hospital in Buffalo, NY, Pillitteri became intrigued by the role Dr. Park played in the surgery of President McKinley at the 1901 Pan American Exposition. He shaped facts and fiction together to tell the story.

My thoughts
I thought this was an interesting book. I learned some as I was reading this book as I did not really know anything about the death of President McKinley.  The author did a good job with the historical details. It added to the story to me and made it seem like I was learning about a piece of history.  You also learn a bit about the medical fit at that time in history as Elspeth gives us a good view. She was a strong woman character and in that time was not always the case. This was well written and easy to follow. An enjoyable book for me. 

January 26, 2019

The Gown by Jennifer Robson

Book details
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (December 31, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-0062674951

Book description
London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest winter in living memory, burdened by onerous shortages and rationing, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation’s recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown.

Toronto, 2016: More than half a century later, Heather Mackenzie seeks to unravel the mystery of a set of embroidered flowers, a legacy from her late grandmother. How did her beloved Nan, a woman who never spoke of her old life in Britain, come to possess the priceless embroideries that so closely resemble the motifs on the stunning gown worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding almost seventy years before? And what was her Nan’s connection to the celebrated textile artist and holocaust survivor Miriam Dassin?

With The Gown, Jennifer Robson takes us inside the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created. Balancing behind-the-scenes details with a sweeping portrait of a society left reeling by the calamitous costs of victory, she introduces readers to three unforgettable heroines, their points of view alternating and intersecting throughout its pages, whose lives are woven together by the pain of survival, the bonds of friendship, and the redemptive power of love.

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

My thoughts
I loved this book. In fact I will say it is one of the best books I have ever read. The author did a good job in getting you to really feel like you know the characters. As I read this book I did not want to put it down. I ended the book wanting more. What happens with the rest of Heather's life? I loved both Ann and Miram and wish they could have kept in touch. The author's attention to detail was nice. I just can't say enough good things about this book and I am very glad I read it. I plan on sharing my copy with others and telling everyone about it. 

How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gates Gill - Review

Book details
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Avery; Reprint edition (September 2, 2008)
ISBN-13: 978-1592404049

Book description
In his fifties, Michael Gates Gill had it all: a mansion in the suburbs, a wife and loving children, a six-figure salary, and an Ivy League education. But in a few short years, he lost his job, got divorced, and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. With no money or health insurance, he was forced to get a job at Starbucks. Having gone from power lunches to scrubbing toilets, from being served to serving, Michael was a true fish out of water.

But fate brings an unexpected teacher into his life who opens his eyes to what living well really looks like. The two seem to have nothing in common: She is a young African American, the daughter of a drug addict; he is used to being the boss but reports to her now. For the first time in his life he experiences being a member of a minority trying hard to survive in a challenging new job. He learns the value of hard work and humility, as well as what it truly means to respect another person.

Behind the scenes at one of America's most intriguing businesses, an inspiring friendship is born, a family begins to heal, and, thanks to his unlikely mentor, Michael Gill at last experiences a sense of self-worth and happiness he has never known before.

Meet the author - Michael Gates Gill
The son of New Yorker writer Brendan Gill, Michael Gates Gill was a creative director at J. Walter Thompson Advertising, where he was employed for over twenty-five years. He lives in New York within walking distance of the Starbucks store where he works, and has no plans to retire from what he calls the best job he’s ever had.

My thoughts
I thought this was a good book. It read fast and I enjoyed reading about the author's journey after he lost his boss. This is something that a lot of people need to read and understand that just because you work in a certain place does not mean that you are less than. It shows what a humbling experience he has went through.

January 22, 2019

Accessible Fine Dining by Noam Kostucki and Chef Quentin Villers - Spotlight and Giveaway

Book details
Book Title: Accessible Fine Dining - The Art of Creating Exciting Food in Your Everyday Kitchen by Noam Kostucki, with Chef Quentin Villers
Category: Adult Non-fiction , 128 pages
Genre: Creative Cookbook / Fine Dining
Publisher: Amazon
Release date: Dec 10, 2018
Tour dates: Jan 7 to 31, 2019
Content Rating: G

Book Description:
Six months after opening my first restaurant, one of my dishes was selected as "25 dishes to travel around the world", featuring me next to culinary legend Heston Blumenthal.

Exciting and healthy food doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Over the years, I have seen some of the most exciting dishes come from the simplest kitchens and the most modest ingredients. The purpose of this book is to focus our attention away from the distractions of fancy kitchen equipment and luxury produce and instead focus our attention towards ingenuity in the kitchen and culinary innovation.

For some strange reason, cooking is taught in books as a series of mechanical steps to follow and repeat with precision. I see cooking as a creative art like painting or playing music: it is the freedom of expression that is most interesting to me. When we create from an artistic perspective, we give birth to something new and potentially magical.

The purpose of this book is not to teach you specific recipes, because the ingredients you will find in your local organic food market will likely not be the same as the ones we see here. Nor is the purpose to show you how to imitate us. The purpose of this book is to guide you into thinking about your dishes in a way that elevates them to a fine dining level, from ingredients which are easily accessible to you. Naturally, you will find a few recipes, but most importantly you will find a new way to look at food.

We will share how we think about food shopping, searching for unusual ingredients, the combinations of flavors, techniques, textures, nutritional value, and of course, plating. The purpose of this book is to guide you to become a more exciting, creative and adventurous version of yourself in the kitchen. What separates a craft from an art form is the story behind it; cooking is a craft, while fine dining is an art form.

If you want to create fine dining dishes, start to focus your attention on the different stories a dish can tell. Some stories can be told through your cooking, and others are told through words. Taking the time to present your dishes before people eat is crucial to creating anticipation for the food they will eat


Buy the Book:
Watch the book trailer:

Meet the Authors:
Noam Kostucki


I was an awkward child, so I changed school 5 times. I spent most of my life trying to please others, and be the kind of person I believed everyone else wanted me to be. I wasn't happy and I struggled to get what I want. Everything changed when I started changing.

I spent the last 12 years creating the life I dream of. I've had the privilege to be homeless twice, and to speak at Harvard about entrepreneurship. I have grown to be myself more fearlessly than ever before. I am now surrounded by people I love, and who love me.

I traveled over 40 countries, and I've helped over 25,000 people create magic. For example Patryk Wezowski who raised $500,000 in 8 weeks and Esther Perel who gave the 30th most viewed TED talk. Some less public successes include a blind eyed student who experienced his blind eye for the first time and a journalist who left an abusive relationship.

As a university drop out, I was surprised when my first book (personal branding) became required reading at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, as well as receiving the UK Business Speaker of the Year runner up award, and a honorary degree in Business from Hofstra University. As an artist, I was honored to exhibit my photography at the European Union's Innovation Conference.

My most recent venture is HiR Fine Dining, a jungle culinary adventure. I create a discovery menu of 7 plates per person for groups of up to 12 people. HiR Fine Dining became #1 fine dining on TripAdvisor in Tamarindo within the first month. Within 6 months one of my plates was selected out of 40,000 restaurants by OpenTable as one of "25 dishes to travel around the world for". I was invited to speak at Chateau 1525, Costa Rica's most reputable cooking school and our guest chefs include a blind chef who traveled all the way the United Kingdom.

Quentin Villers
Quentin has been cooking in restaurant since the age of 18. He helped his brother build a restaurant for which they received a Michelin Star. Quentin moved to Costa Rica to consult for hotels and restaurants. He managed 3 of the 4 restaurants at Hotel Nayara in La Fortuna, for which he lead a team of over 20 people to be selected to enter Relais & Chateaux, a prestigious network of unique luxury hotels with exquisite cuisine. Quentin is a regular guest chef at HiR Fine Dining and consults for a number of fine dining restaurants in Costa Rica.

Connect with the Authors: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

Enter the Giveaway!
Grand Prize: Win a 4-seat dinner at HiR Fine Dining in Costa Rica (value $580) or win a paperback or ebook copy of Accessible Fine Dining (20 Kindle copies and 10 paperbacks) open int’l to wherever Amazon delivers
Ends Feb 7, 2019


Jan 7 - Literary Flits - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 7 - #redhead.with.book - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 7 - found in words - book spotlight
Jan 8 - A Mama's Corner of the World - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 8 - 100 Pages A Day - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 9 - Rockin' Book Reviews - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 10 - Seaside Book Nook - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 10 - Library of Clean Reads - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 11 - Amy's Booket List - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 14 - Olio by Marilyn - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 15 - Locks, Hooks and Books - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 16 - Icefairy's Treasure Chest - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 17 - Words And Peace - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 18 - StoreyBook Reviews - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 21 - Books Direct - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 21 - Lukten av trykksverte - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 22 - A Holland Reads - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 23 - Laura's Interests - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 24 - Cheryl's Book Nook - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 25 - Celticlady's Reviews - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Jan 25 - Cat’s Corner - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 28 - Bound 2 Escape - bok spotlight / giveaway
Jan 29 - Books for Books - book spotlight
Jan 30 - The Autistic Gamer - book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 31 - ​Stormy Vixen's Book Reviews - book spotlight / giveaway

January 20, 2019

Fashions Fade, Haunted is Eternal by Rose Pressey - Spotlight and Giveaway

Book details
Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Kensington (December 18, 2018)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 1496714660
ISBN-13: 978-1496714664
Digital ASIN: B07BV3RM9S

Book description
A photo shoot in a graveyard ends in a grave shooting . . .

Cookie Chanel—owner of the chic clothing store It’s Vintage Y’All in Sugar Creek, Georgia—has been hired to dress models for a fashion shoot. The spread will be featured in Fashion and Style magazine’s October issue—so the models are posing in a cemetery. As someone who can see and talk to ghosts, Cookie’s not spooked by the location. But she is surprised when a new ghost appears, decked out in 1920s couture. And she’s shocked when she hears a gunshot. Then a model runs toward her, saying the grumpy photographer has been edited out of the picture – for good. With help from her ghostly pals, Cookie must zoom in on the truth before she’s the next to strike a final pose . . .

Don’t Miss Cookie Chanel’s Shopping Tips!

Meet the author - Rose Pressey
Rose Pressey enjoys writing quirky and fun novels with a paranormal twist. The paranormal has always captured her interest. The thought of finding answers to the unexplained fascinates her.

When she’s not writing about werewolves, vampires and every other supernatural creature, she loves eating cupcakes with sprinkles, reading, spending time with family, and listening to oldies from the fifties. Yeah, she loves Elvis. She can’t help myself.

Rose lives in the beautiful commonwealth of Kentucky with her husband, son and two sassy Chihuahuas.

Author Links
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/authorrosepressey
Blog – itsvintageyall.blogspot.com
Website – http://rosepressey.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/rosepressey

Purchase Links – AmazonB&NKoboGoogle PlayIndieBound

Tour Participants
January 14 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
January 14 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
January 15 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
January 15 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
January 16 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
January 16 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 17 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 17 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
January 18 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW
January 18 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
January 19 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT
January 19 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW
January 19 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT
January 20 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
January 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST 
January 20 – The Montana Bookaholic – FASHION TIPS POST

Botched 4 Murder by J.C. Eaton - Spotlight and Giveaway


Book details
Cozy Mystery 4th in Series 
Kensington (December 18, 2018) 
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages 
ISBN-10: 1496719883 
ISBN-13: 978-1496719881 
Digital ASIN: B07C9WK1J8

Book description
Bowled over . . . Sophie “Phee” Kimball is getting dragged into the drama again at her mom’s Arizona retirement community. A new board member wants to get rid of two golf courses and replace them with eco-friendly parks, and some of the residents are pretty teed off about it. On top of that, her mother’s book club friend Myrna is being pushed out of the bocce league. These seniors are serious about winning, and Myrna’s dragging them down. She’s so bad at bocce, in fact, that when a community mem.ber’s dead body is discovered while Myrna’s practicing for a tournament, she assumes it was one of her own errant balls that killed the woman. But before Myrna can be tossed off the bocce court and into criminal court, the police find an arrow in the victim’s neck. It looks like this was no accident—and Phee and her investigator boyfriend Marshall will have to team up to bounce a killer into the slammer . . .

Meet the authors - Ann I Goldfarb and James E. Clapp
Ann I. Goldfarb 
New York native Ann I. Goldfarb spent most of her life in education, first as a classroom teacher and later as a middle school principal and professional staff developer. Writing as J. C. Eaton, along with her husband, James Clapp, she has authored the Sophie Kimball Mysteries (Kensington) set for release in June 2017. In addition, Ann has nine published YA time travel mysteries under her own name. Visit the websites at www.jceatonauthor.com and www.timetravelmysteries.com

James E. Clapp
When James E. Clapp retired as the tasting room manager for a large upstate New York winery, he never imagined he’d be co-authoring cozy mysteries with his wife, Ann I. Goldfarb. His first novel, Booked 4 Murder (Kensington) is set for release in June 2017. Non-fiction in the form of informational brochures and workshop materials treating the winery industry were his forte along with an extensive background and experience in construction that started with his service in the U.S. Navy and included vocational school classroom teaching.

Visit their website at www.jceatonauthor.com and Like and Follow on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JCEatonauthor/

Purchase Links Amazon B&N Kobo GooglePlay IndieBound 


January 16 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
January 16 – Laura`s Interests – SPOTLIGHT 
January 16 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT 
January 17 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
January 17 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT 
January 18 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST 
January 18 – View from the Birdhouse – REVIEW 
January 18 – MJBReviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
January 19 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
January 19 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST
January 20 – Brooke Blogs - SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT 
January 20 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT 
January 20 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
January 21 – Here's How It Happened – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
January 21 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews - REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST 
January 21 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
January 22 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book - REVIEW 
January 22 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT 
January 22 – Reading Is My SuperPower – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

January 13, 2019

Searching for You by Jody Hedlund - Review

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

Book details
Series: Orphan Train (Book 3)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (December 4, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-0764218064

Book description
Despite years on the run, Sophie Neumann is determined to care for two young children. She won't abandon them the way she thinks her older sisters abandoned her. But times are growing desperate, and when she falls in with the wrong crowd and witnesses a crime, she realizes fleeing 1850s New York is her only option.

Disappearing with her two young charges into a group of orphans heading west by train, Sophie hopes to find safety and a happy life. When the train stops in Illinois for the first placement of orphans, Sophie faces the most difficult choice of her life.

Reinhold Weiss has finally purchased his own small farm. With mounting debts, a harvest to bring in, and past scars that haunt him, he's in no position to give his heart away . . . but can he say no when his long-lost friend shows up on a nearby train pleading for his help?

Meet the author - Jody Hedlund
Jody Hedlund is the author of over a dozen novels, including Love Unexpected, Captured by Love, Unending Devotion, The Preacher's Bride, and A Noble Groom, and winner of the 2014 Carol Award for historical romance. She received a bachelor's degree from Taylor University and a master's from the University of Wisconsin, both in social work. She lives in Michigan with her husband and five children. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog at www.jodyhedlund.com.

My thoughts
This was a very good addition to the Orphan Train series.  I also enjoy the way Jody writes her books as they are engaging, informative and easy to read. She captures the time and place of the setting very well. You feel transported back to a different time when reading this book. I felt bad for Sophie as her she is trying to help two young kids and then she has to run with them. I was happy when she found Reinhold and asked him for help I was happy as I was hoping things would turn around for her. There is plenty to keep you reading and enjoying it.  I thought this was a fitting end to this series. 

January 11, 2019

The Library Book by Susan Orlean - Review

Book details
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (October 16, 2018)
ISBN-13: 978-1476740188

Book description
On the morning of April 28, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm. As one fireman recounted, “Once that first stack got going, it was ‘Goodbye, Charlie.’” The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who?

Weaving her lifelong love of books and reading into an investigation of the fire, award-winning New Yorker reporter and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean delivers a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling book that manages to tell the broader story of libraries and librarians in a way that has never been done before.

In The Library Book, Orlean chronicles the LAPL fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from their humble beginnings as a metropolitan charitable initiative to their current status as a cornerstone of national identity; brings each department of the library to vivid life through on-the-ground reporting; studies arson and attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; reflects on her own experiences in libraries; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago.

Along the way, Orlean introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters from libraries past and present—from Mary Foy, who in 1880 at eighteen years old was named the head of the Los Angeles Public Library at a time when men still dominated the role, to Dr. C.J.K. Jones, a pastor, citrus farmer, and polymath known as “The Human Encyclopedia” who roamed the library dispensing information; from Charles Lummis, a wildly eccentric journalist and adventurer who was determined to make the L.A. library one of the best in the world, to the current staff, who do heroic work every day to ensure that their institution remains a vital part of the city it serves.

Brimming with her signature wit, insight, compassion, and talent for deep research, The Library Book is Susan Orlean’s thrilling journey through the stacks that reveals how these beloved institutions provide much more than just books—and why they remain an essential part of the heart, mind, and soul of our country. It is also a master journalist’s reminder that, perhaps especially in the digital era, they are more necessary than ever.

Meet the author - Susan Orlean
Susan Orlean has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1992. She is the author of seven books, including Rin Tin Tin, Saturday Night, and The Orchid Thief, which was made into the Academy Award–winning film Adaptation. She lives with her family and her animals in upstate New York and may be reached at SusanOrlean.com and Twitter.com/SusanOrlean.

My thoughts
This book started out really good for me and I loved all the tidbits about libraries, but then it got a little long in the tooth for me.  I was hoping for a little more about solving who started the fire.  After reading this book I would like to visit the LA Central library.  It sounds like an amazing place to be. The author's writing style was easy to read. 

Grimoires, Spas & Chocolate Straws by Erin Johnson - Spotlight

Book details
Cozy Mystery 8th in Series 
Self Published (December 29, 2018)
 Paperback: 332 pages 
ISBN-10: 1792728727
ISBN-13: 978-1792728723 
Digital ASIN: B07LB49VBR

Book description
Sandy slaughter. An enchanting suspect. Can a magical baker protect her friends from a dangerous paradise?

Stranded on Badlands Island, Imogen Banks is driving herself crazy looking for her brother. So when the spell-casting baker's friends suggest they escape for a luxurious dragon spa treatment, she doesn't need a second invitation. But her hopes for coastal romance with Hank fall flat when a resort guest turns up roasted in the sand.

Suspecting murder, Imogen zeroes in on the town's rumored "black widow" as a possible culprit. But when her friend falls for the beautiful woman despite the deadly track record, Imogen fears he'll be the next victim to stay buried.

Can Imogen sift through the clues before the killer gives her one final treatment?

Grimoires, Spas and Chocolate Straws is the eighth book in the Spells and Caramels delightful paranormal cozy mystery series. If you like endearing heroines, a touch of romance, and unexpected twists, then you’ll love Erin Johnson’s magical whodunit.

Buy Grimoires, Spas & Chocolate Straws to massage a new mystery today!

Meet the author - Erin Johnson
Erin Johnson is a native of Tempe, Arizona, Erin spends her time crafting mysterious, magical, romance-filled stories that’ll hopefully make you laugh. In between, she’s traveling, napping with her dogs, eating with her friends and family, and teaching Pilates (to allow her to eat more). 
Purchase Link – Amazon

January 8 – Valerie's Musings – REVIEW
January 8 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
January 9 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW
January 9 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 10 – Sapphyria's Books – REVIEW
January 10 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT
January 11 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
January 11 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
January 12 – This Is My Truth Now – REVIEW
January 12 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
January 13 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
January 14 – Carla Loves To Read - REVIEW
January 14 – Cozy Up With Kathy – SPOTLIGHT
January 15 – The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW
January 15 – Devilishly Delicious Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
January 16 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
January 16 – Celticlady's Reviews - SPOTLIGHT
January 17 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT 
January 17 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

Gown With the Wind by Stephanie Blackmoore - Spotlight and Giveaway


Book details
Cozy Mystery 4th in Series 
Kensington (December 18, 2018) 
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages 
ISBN-10: 1496717511 
ISBN-13: 978-1496717511 
Digital ASIN: B07BV3K4N8

Book description
Professional wedding planner Mallory Shepard knows her job is challenging under any circumstances. But when the groom is your ex and someone invites murder, there may never be another tomorrow . . .

Mallory’s fine—really—handling the wedding arrangements for her ex, Keith. But his fiancée, Becca, has at the last minute decided to switch from a Japanese-cherry-blossom theme to a Gone with the Wind theme. She wants to honor her ailing grandmother, who owns an impressive collection of GWTW memorabilia—and who is fiercely at odds with the groom’s mother over the nuptial plans.

But among other complications, Becca gets into a fight with an old childhood rival over a replica Scarlett O’Hara wedding gown. She wins the dress—but soon becomes a murder suspect when the other woman is found dead in Becca’s swimming pool. And it’s up to Mallory to solve the mystery behind this unhappy occasion, before a different kind of civil war breaks out . . .

Meet the author - Stephanie Blackmoore
A native Pittsburgher, Stephanie Blackmoore now lives in Missouri, with her husband, son and two-spirited cats. She was an attorney in Pittsburgh and a librarian in Florida before becoming a writer. Stephanie is a fan of everything black-and-yellow. She is hard at work on her next Wedding Planner mystery. Connect with Stephanie at the links below. 
Social Media Links: Website Facebook Twitter 
Purchase Links - Amazon B&N Kobo Google Play 


January 7 - The Montana Bookaholic – REVIEW 
January 7 - Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT 
January 7 - Laura`s Interests – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
January 8 – Mallory Heart's Cozies - REVIEW 
January 8 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW, RECIPE 
January 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT 
January 9 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW 
January 9 – Carla Loves To Read – REVIEW 
January 9 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST 
January 10 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW 
January 10 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
January 10 – View from the Birdhouse- SPOTLIGHT 
January 11 – Varietats – REVIEW 
January 11 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT 
January 11 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT 
January 11 – My Journey Back-The Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT 
January 12 – That's What She's Reading – REVIEW, RECIPE 
January 12 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
January 12 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
January 13 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW 
January 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST 
January 13 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

January 8, 2019

Steamed Open by Barbara Ross - Spotlight and Giveaway


Book details
Cozy Mystery 7th in Series 
Kensington (December 18, 2018) 
ISBN-10: 1496717945 
ISBN-13: 978-1496717948 
Digital ASIN: B07BV3RCDG

Book description
It’s summertime in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, and the clamming is easy—or it was until a mysterious new neighbor blocks access to the beach, cutting off the Snowden Family Clambake’s supply. Julia Snowden is just one of many townspeople angered by Bartholomew Frick’s decision. But which one of them was angry enough to kill?

Beachcombers, lighthouse buffs, and clammers are outraged after Frick puts up a gate in front of his newly inherited mansion. When Julia urges him to reconsider, she’s the last to see him alive—except the person who stabs him in the neck with a clam rake. As she pores through a long list of suspects, Julia meets disgruntled employees, rival heirs, and a pair of tourists determined to visit every lighthouse in America. They all have secrets, and Julia will have to work fast to expose the guilty party—or see this season’s clam harvest dry up for good.

Meet the author - Barbara Ross
Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries. The first book in the series, Clammed Up was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel, the RT Book Reviews, Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Amateur Sleuth and was a finalist for the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. She is co-editor/co-publisher of Level Best Books, which produces anthologies of crime stories by New England authors. She writes at her home overlooking the harbor in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Barbara blogs with the Wicked Cozy Authors and Maine Crime Writers. Readers can visit her website at MaineClambakeMysteries.com

Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo 


January 7 - The Avid Reader – REVIEW 
January 7 - Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW 
January 7 - Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE 
January 8 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews -REVIEW 
January 8 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST 
January 8 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
January 9 – Laura`s Interests – REVIEW 
January 9 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE 
January 9 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT 
January 10 – My Journey Back-The Journey Back – SPOTLIGHT 
January 10 – Valerie's Musings – GUEST POST 
January 10 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
January 11 – Rosepoint Publishing - REVIEW 
January 11 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW 
January 11 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE 
January 12 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT 
January 12 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
January 12 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – REVIEW, CHARACTER INTERVIEW 
January 13 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW 

The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way by Frances Metzman - Spotlight and Giveaway

Book details
Cozy Mystery 
Wild River Consulting & Publishing, LLC (June 21, 2018)
Paperback: 506 pages 
ISBN-10: 9781941948064 
ISBN-13: 978-1941948064 
Digital ASIN: B07CV2GP9Z

Book description
Would you move a dead body for the sake of your best friend? Ask cha-cha babe Celia Ewing, a sixty-five-year-old widow who has just settled into Boca Pelicano Palms, the Florida retirement community of her dreams. When Celia’s best friend Marcy calls her and their friend Deb for help in the middle of the night, they find a naked Marcy trapped under the body of her beau, the community’s board president, Melvin. And he’s dead. The three friends secretly move Melvin back to his apartment setting off a chain of events that will threaten to tear their community apart and send them to jail. Melvin is one of a number of residents who are dying under suspicious circumstances; and soon Celia becomes an amateur sleuth in an attempt to identify what she suspects is a serial murderer.

Filled with humorous, witty observations about retirement communities, the realities of getting older, and the promise of new love, the Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way celebrates the deep bonds of female friendships, the desire for companionship at any age, and shows us that it’s never too late to learn how to cha-cha through life.

Meet the author - Frances Metzman
Frances Metzman, a graduate of Moore College of Art and a Masters degree from the University of Pennsylvania, co-authored a novel, Ugly Cookies, by Pella Press. Her short story collection, The Hungry Heart: Stories, was published by Wilderness House Press, February 1, 2012. In 2009 she won a nomination for a Dzanc Books award, “Best of the Web.” In addition to publishing numerous (25) short stories in various literary journals, she has a novel published by Wild River Books, 2018, The Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Way. Her teaching credits include Adjunct professor at Rosemont College to graduate school, Temple University at OLLI (creative writing and memoir). Other writing workshops, memoir/creative writing, have been given at universities and colleges such as Bryn Mawr, Penn State, Delaware, University of Pennsylvania, Widener, etc. As fiction editor for a literary journal, Schuylkill Valley Journal, she selects and edits the submissions. Many articles, essays, and stories she writes deal with aspects of society that influences relationships for all ages, including the mature set (sometimes tongue in cheek). Many articles are dedicated to improving attitudes toward the mature folks and address myths about “age appropriate” thinking.

Author Links Twitter - https://twitter.com/FranWrites 
Purchase Links - Amazon - B&N - Kobo 


January 7 - Books, Dreams, Life – SPOTLIGHT 
January 7 - My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST 
January 8 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
January 8 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT 
January 9 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT 
January 9 – Maureen's Musings – SPOTLIGHT 
January 10 – Mallory Heart's Cozies – REVIEW 
January 11 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT 
January 12 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
January 13 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT 
January 13 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
January 14 – Handcrafted Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
January 15 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST 
January 16 – Ruff Drafts – GUEST POST 
January 17 – MJB Reviewers – AUTHOR INTERVIEW 
January 18 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT 
January 19 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW 
January 20 – A Wytch's Book Review Blog – CHARACTER GUEST POST

January 7, 2019

The Best of Us by Robyn Carr - Review

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

Book details
Series: Sullivan's Crossing (Book 4)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: MIRA; Original edition (January 8, 2019)
ISBN-13: 978-0778351306

Book description
Dr. Leigh Culver loves practicing medicine in Timberlake, Colorado. It is a much-needed change of pace from her stressful life in Chicago. The only drawback is she misses her aunt Helen, the woman who raised her. But it’s time that Leigh has her independence, and she hopes the beauty of the Colorado wilderness will entice her aunt to visit often.

Helen Culver is an independent woman who lovingly raised her sister’s orphaned child. Now, with Leigh grown, it’s time for her to live life for herself. The retired teacher has become a successful mystery writer who loves to travel and intends to never experience winter again.

When Helen visits Leigh, she is surprised to find her niece still needs her, especially when it comes to sorting out her love life. But the biggest surprise comes when Leigh takes Helen out to Sullivan’s Crossing and Helen finds herself falling for the place and one special person. Helen and Leigh will each have to decide if they can open themselves up to love neither expected to find and seize the opportunity to live their best lives.

Meet the author - Robyn Carr
Robyn is the author of more than 50 novels, which have sold over 28 million copies worldwide. She has written 11 #1 New York Times bestsellers, as well as the beloved Virgin River and Thunder Point series. In 2016, she was awarded the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award from Romance Writers of America.

My thoughts
I enjoyed this new installment in the Sullivan's Crossing series.  It was nice to meet the new characters Leigh and Helen but even better to visit our old friends back at the crossing.  Robyn has a way of writing stories that make you fall in love with the characters first page.  The descriptions of the crossing make me want to pack up and head out there. I like how she puts everyday issues into the story and how they are dealt with. It is just another way that she makes her her stories good to read. We will see what she has in store in the next book.