Monday, March 31, 2014

RELEASE BLITZ ~ Bleak Devotion by Gemma Drazin ~ EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY!

Bleak Devotion - Release Blitz
By Gemma Drazin
Young Adult Futuristic Dark Fantasy
Date Published: March 31, 2014

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Jessica doesn't know how long it's been, only that it seems like forever since she's allowed her feelings to show. Ever since they attacked her city. Monsters which appear human but are void of any expression, and seem bent on destroying all signs of sentiment in others. Their lethal blades shred anyone who shows even the slightest emotion.

After her only remaining friend is killed, Jessica flees the city hoping to find a place where emotions aren't fatal. A place to grieve those she lost and live out her meager existence. When she discovers the world of the emotionless creatures isn't what she believes, the love it leads her to may also be the path to her own death.


Jessica clamped her teeth together and took a deep breath. “I can stay calm if he can.”

Zach shook his head. “I don't think—”

“Let her speak with me.” A deep male voice resonated through the crowded hallway.

Throwing on an emotionless mask, Jessica slowly shifted her body toward the voice. A tall male, whom she could only assume was the monster they called Blade, had managed to sneak down the stairs and stood mere inches from her. If she reached out, she would be able to touch him. The thought disturbed her and she struggled to maintain her composure.

The only thing she wanted to do was run screaming at this monster who had ruined her life. Every emotion that she'd been forced to hold in since the invasion begged to be launched at him. Grief. Torture. Outrage. Terror. All of it, she wanted him to feel. She wanted the rage to coat him inside and out, no matter what it would do to him.

Gemma Drazin
Gemma Drazin is the author of short stories and Young Adult Fantasies, sometimes mixing in a love story. She has a great love for cute shoes and can often be found outside with a book and a treat. When she’s not reading or writing she can be found enjoying time with her husband and children.

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Virtual Book Tour~Shattered Embrace by P.R. Newton~EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY!

Contemporary / Women's Fiction

Date Published: 3/14/2014

Bethlehem took her first breath as her mother took her last. 

Left to survive in overcrowded Ethiopian orphanages, she developed survival skills rivaling a warrior - a fierce, independent fighter before she could walk or talk. As she approached her second birthday, Bethlehem lived her days guided by two rules: everyone leaves and trust no one. 

A world away in Canada, Tory Witcraft is trying to adopt from Ethiopia with her husband, Matt, when her adoption agency goes bankrupt, threatening her dreams of becoming a mother. Against the advice of many, including government officials threatening to revoke the adoption, she goes to Ethiopia, and her new daughter, Bethlehem.

When they finally meet, both mother and daughter struggle to connect, each trapped by their own fears and demons. Emotions and tempers run hot. Hearts and dreams collide, shattering a family before it could fully form.  

The adoption journey was difficult, but no one expected the hardest part of the journey would begin once they met.

An itty bitty little thing of a girl came running into the room. Bouncing high with each step as she flew at them and promptly threw herself into Matt’s lap. Tory’s hand clutched her face, her breath stopped in her chest as she watched Matt draw the little girl close. His body rocked as he held her, his face split into a smile of pure joy.
“Daddy!” she cried out in a squeaky voice. She grabbed Matt’s face kissing each cheek with a big, slimy, open mouth kiss.
“Bethlehem!” Matt breathed out as he hugged her and kissed the top of her head.
Bethlehem,” Tory whispered the name, as if saying it for the first time as she took in the face of the little girl she had studied through pictures for months. Blowing up the pictures until she could examine every facet of the the little girls features. Seeing her up close, face to face, finally close enough to touch left Tory breathless. Her skin itched to touch her. With a tentative hand she stroked her back.

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P. R. Newton

P.R. (Piper) Newton is a proud geek mom of two little boys, one through birth, one through adoption. She has a background in psychology and continues to take post-grad courses in childhood trauma and development. In her writings she loves to explore the human mind, putting her characters through unthinkable things, just to see how they react. She is a full-time author, who believes in the magical, creative inducing powers of arm warmers and stripy socks.

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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Review ~ Darkness & Light by J.A. Belfield

Darkness & Light
by J.A. Belfield

Jem Stonehouse, a housewife with a neurotic husband bent on keeping her in line, dreams about werewolves in, what she believes, is a bid to escape boredom.

Sean Holloway is a werewolf, living a charade within the human race, whose mind drifts to a bond he shares with a woman he hasn't met--at least, not in this lifetime.

Apart, the two are safe but live unfulfilled lives.

Together, they'll become prey to rival packs just as they have been for hundreds of years.

When their worlds collide, and not for the first time, instinct takes over. Dreams become reality. Futures are uncertain. To keep history from repeating itself, Sean must teach Jem about his heritage, convince her of her role, and win her love.

Can Jem accept her destiny before it's too late, or is her inner wolf buried too deep to save her future with Sean?

My Review:
4 out of 5 stars

Darkness & Light is the first book in the Holloway Pack series.  Although many characters are introduced, this book is mainly about Sean and Jem.  When the story starts, Jem is married to a complete asshole jerk named Peter.  For eight years, she has basically been a submissive housewife catering to Peter's demands and abuse.  He even picked out her clothing to wear.....way to controlling.  Peter is a piece of work and all throughout the book, I was wishing that horrible things would happen to him.

Jem has been having dreams that she is a werewolf and making an appearance in her dream world is Sean. While she has no clue what the dreams mean or who Sean is, they definitely make her curious and provided some escape from her boring life. Little does she know, but the dreams are from real events that took place in her other life.

This is my favorite quote from the book and it really captures the theme of the story:
"Fate and destiny to hand in hand.  It is impossible to change our destiny.  Only the path upon which we walk to reach our destination alters.  If we should stray from that path, fate will take control and guide us in the right direction." 

Jem is quite the character.  I was either loving her or hating her.  Half the time, she isn't listening and heeding the advice that is given to her, and she is way to compulsive, which of course lands her in trouble throughout most of the book.  I will say though that by the end, Jem did become the strong, independent woman that I had hoped she would become.

Sean came across as overbearing at times, but I really tried to understand the situation he was in, so I gave him a pass just hoping that he was not going to be a repeat of Peter.  Sean is over the top good looking, sexy, strong and well, he's a werewolf.  Can't get any better than that!  He has is hands full when it comes to Jem though!  I really enjoyed reading as the relationship between Sean and Jem grew.  They are totally connected in heart, mind and soul. 

This was an amazing, well-written book that was intriguing throughout.  It was a fresh take on the traditional werewolf/romance story.  I will definitely read the other books in this series (I have to know more about the other sexy Holloway brothers!) and highly recommend Darkness & Light to anyone who loves a good paranormal romance book.

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

PROMO Blitz ~ Firefly Hollow by T.L. Haddix ~ EXCERPT!

Firefly Hollow - WEEK BLITZ
By T. L. Haddix
Romance w/ Light Paranormal Elements
Date Published: 9/23/2012

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The mysterious recluse…

Owen Campbell holds himself apart from other people. Badly scarred from emotional wounds that have never healed, he doesn’t expect to find true love or happiness. He remains isolated in a prison of his own making, determined to not let anyone close enough to hurt him again. But his willpower is shaken to the core when Sarah Browning enters his world.

The girl next door…

Sarah Jane Browning is three years into her college degree when a call from home changes everything. Back at the family homestead in the heart of Appalachia, she’s forced to reevaluate her hopes and dreams for the future.

Distraction from her heartache comes in the form of her parents’ neighbor. Whispers about “odd Owen Campbell” abound in their small community, and Sarah’s curiosity is aroused. When she breaks the rules and trespasses onto his land, what she finds is beyond her wildest imaginings.

As Sarah struggles to overcome tragedy and loss, her burgeoning relationship with Owen is sorely tested. Will love conquer all, or will the secrets from Owen’s past tear them apart forever?


Checking back over her shoulder after a few steps, Sarah frowned when the deer continued to mimic her path. Dismissing the incident as the curiosity of a wild young deer that hadn’t yet learned humans were the enemy, she let her mind drift. Before long, she heard the sound of water trickling rapidly over rocks, and as she rounded a curve, she saw a small stream curving through the mountainside. The branch of water cut into a shallow hollow, one side protected by a higher ledge of earth that was full of mountain laurel.

Sarah stopped to take in the sight and drew in a cleansing breath. As she looked around, she realized the deer had followed her and stopped a short distance away. The bench of land it stood on converged with the deer path alongside the stream.

If Sarah hadn’t known better, she would have sworn the deer wore a look of consternation. The animal bent its head to nibble at some greenery on the ground, but kept its eyes on her. It almost seemed to glance between her and the water, as though weighing the danger of coming closer for a drink.

“Maybe if I turn away, you’ll feel bolder.” The deer path crossed the branch at a narrow point, and she decided to go a bit further. The water cascaded down a small waterfall above the narrow point, pooling in a shallow area that would be the perfect spot for a thirsty deer to get a cooling drink. Hopping across the water, Sarah followed the trail. To her surprise, the path didn’t continue to the flat bench on the other side of the small ridge, but climbed up and around the rocky outcropping. Curious, she climbed the incline. The sight took her breath away, and for a moment, she didn’t believe what was in front of her was real.

The rocky outcropping the water cascaded down was a sort of natural dam. On its other side, a large pool of water had collected. Fifteen feet across and nearly that wide again going in the opposite direction, the pool was surrounded by sloping granite on all sides except the front, where the water dropped over the edge. The water was blue-green, going from light aqua to deeper cobalt, and the banks of rock and earth protected it on all sides.

On the opposite side, a craggy granite cliff rose about ten feet out of the water, overhanging slightly to form a shallow cave. The mountain seemed to curve around the pool and, mesmerized, Sarah continued around, crossing the branch once more at a point above the pool. From there, she was able to climb on top of the granite boulder that created the cliff. Easing to the edge, she carefully sat down, her legs dangling over the side.

When the curious deer appeared at the edge of the pool below, Sarah laughed. The deer gave a small jerk at the sound, eyeing her warily.

“I’m sorry.” She felt utterly insane, carrying on a conversation with a deer, but it had followed her like a curious puppy. Sarah realized that keeping quiet would feel even more absurd. “It’s so beautiful here. I had no idea any place like this existed.” She looked around, noticing that the trees didn’t arch out over the pool the way she thought they would have.

“I’ll bet it’s really hot here in the summer, and that water feels so good and cool. Or does the pool dry up, I wonder?”

For a while, she just sat, braced back on her hands, her face lifted to the sky. The peace imbued in the place washed over her. When she felt ready, she let herself remember Kathy’s words to Paul, and their laughter. The memory made Sarah sad and still made her cringe with embarrassment, but she realized that she didn’t feel quite as angry about it as she had.

“Thank you, God, for letting me hear that today. At least I don’t have to face Paul until Monday,” she said to the sky. “And… and maybe, if that’s what he likes, then maybe he’s not as special as I thought he was. Let him have his buxom girls. At least I don’t look like a milk cow, unlike someone I could name.”

A snort came from below, and Sarah jumped. She’d forgotten the deer. Looking down, she saw that it had moved to the edge of the exposed granite and settled down on a soft patch of leaves.

“What are you snorting at?”

When the deer shook its head, Sarah laughed. Even though she knew it was probably batting away flies with its ears, the deer acted almost human.

She glanced down at her watch and was shocked when she saw the time. She was going to have to run in order to make it home in time for supper. With a muted curse that she’d heard her father say when he hit his thumb with the hammer, she scrambled to her feet and looked around. Another bench ran down from the side of the boulder opposite where she’d come up and fell naturally into the one the deer had been on when she’d first seen it.

“That saves me a little time.” With one last look at the deer, which had gotten to its feet when Sarah did, she headed down the bench. “I’ll come back someday,” she promised over her shoulder. “Try to not get shot or anything.”

For a day that had gone so badly, she thought as she ran, things had turned out to be okay.

* * *

For a long time after the girl had gone, Owen stood on the edge of the pool, looking after her. With his enhanced hearing, he could follow her progress down the trail and back onto Browning land.

He didn’t know what to think. He’d never encountered another human in all the time he’d been exploring the woods. His parents had seen to that over the years; no one dared come onto Campbell property without his father’s permission. Now that the property belonged to Owen, he guessed he was the one who’d have to do something about trespassers.

He bent his neck, taking another sip from the water. As the girl had guessed, it was cool and delightful.

Owen sighed, a sound that came out in deer form much as it did when he was human. The pool was one of his favorite places to roam, one of his safe places. If the girl came back as she promised, he didn’t know what it would mean for him. He couldn’t risk being caught, and he wasn’t willing to give up his solitude. If the girl threatened that… he hated the thought of having to go to her parents, but if it came to that, he’d do it.

T.L. Haddix

T.L. Haddix was born in Hazard, Kentucky, a small town in the center of the Appalachian coal fields. Taught to read by her grandmother, T.L. has had a life-long love affair with books, devouring whatever she could get her hands on. From childhood favorites such as the Trixie Belden series and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House” books, to her current favorites from authors like Tami Hoag, Alex Kava, J.A. Jance and Lisa Kleypas (among many others), T.L. still finds refuge in the written word.

“Growing up, I wanted to be everything – astronaut, police officer, doctor, teacher, reporter, psychologist – there was no clear choice for me. I wanted to do it all. Becoming a writer has allowed me to do just that, because I can live vicariously through my characters.”

A resident of eastern Kentucky, T.L. is hard at work on her next book, when she isn’t chasing after her three cat-children with her husband.

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Review ~ Damsel In Distress by Lee French

Damsel In Distress
by Lee French

Synopsis from Amazon:
Given the burden of safeguarding a precious treasure at a tender age, Sabetia is placed squarely in the middle of a fantastical legend. Swords, demons, magic, a curse: it has everything a great epic tale should. All she needs to do is face the danger that could threaten the world if left unchecked. If only it were so simple. A hero could solve this problem, but she doesn't happen to be one. 

A good wife is obedient, patient, obedient, quiet, obedient, doting, and above all, obedient. Sabetia was raised to be a good wife. It makes her perfect prey, a perfect damsel in distress.

My Review:
4 out of 5 stars

At age 7, Sabetia's grandmother gifted her with a family heirloom past down from Sabetia's great grandmother.  A brilliant blue stone that has been made into a necklace contains a demon who has been trapped for many many years.  The stone was originally part of a sword that was used to battle the demon.  The sword shattered into pieces and all the pieces, except the stone, have never been recovered.  And that's just what needs to never happen.  If the sword pieces ever come back together, the demon will be set free.

At age 14, Sabetia has been matched with Jason, The Earl of Venithys.  Jason, a.k.a My Lord, is very enchanted with Sabetia and the two get married as soon as possible.  Before the wedding, Jason was kind and patient with Sabetia, but the morning after the wedding, he became a very different person.  Jason has a very demanding sexual appetite and expects Sabetia to be submissive to him in every way.  Becoming a very abusive jerk, Sabetia believes that the reason he treats her this way is because she deserves it thanks to the way she was brought up by her crazy, abusive mother.

After numerous miscarriages and continued abuse, Sabetia's maid and best friend, Myra, planned an escape for both of them, but the plan failed and in the process Sabetia's necklace was stolen by a thieving, dastardly elf.  And here my friends is where the adventure begins!

Lee French is a magnificent storyteller that has created an extraordinary tale full of magic, intrigue and mystery that pulls you into the story from page one and you can't help but turn each page in hopes that Sabetia finally gets the happy life that she deserves and that her wretched husband dies a slow and painful death.  At times, this was a very emotional story as you really start to feel sorry for Sabetia and the way she is treated.   The fact that she thinks its perfectly normal to be beaten for everything because this is the way she was brought up is absolutely heart-wrenching.

Despite a few editing issues, this was a well-written book that flowed very smoothly. The character development was excellent and the story line was amazing.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves to read Fantasy and has several hours set aside because this is one you will not want to put down!

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PROMO BLITZ ~ Damsel In Distress by Lee French~ EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY!

Date Published: 3/20/2014

Given the burden of safeguarding a precious treasure at a tender age, Sabetia is placed squarely in the middle of a fantastical legend. Swords, demons, magic, a curse: it has everything a great epic tale should. All she needs to do is face the danger that could threaten the world if left unchecked. If only it were so simple. A hero could solve this problem, but she doesn't happen to be one.
A good wife is obedient, patient, obedient, quiet, obedient, doting, and above all, obedient. Sabetia was raised to be a good wife. It makes her perfect prey, a perfect damsel in distress. 

Excerpt 1
Staring at the full length mirror, the little girl stood completely still while her dress was buttoned up. Not doing so would only earn her a swat on the rump, she already knew this. Her dress for this occasion was a simple blue silk gown, embroidered in a lighter blue with flowers around the hems, waist, and collar, with a white lace pinafore, white silk socks and blue slippers completing it. The color was sky blue, a shade she liked well enough, one that matched her eyes. It was, of course, chosen for that reason.

“The buttons barely meet,” her mother said disdainfully. “Sabetia, you're getting fat. No lunch for you today and your meals will be smaller.” The girl did everything she could to hide her reaction to this pronouncement. It wasn't fair and she'd starve like that!

Sabetia's new maid, a plain girl in her late teens, frowned as she tugged the buttons in the back together and fastened them. “Madam, she's only seven. More like she's growing into the fine young lady she'll become in a few years. This isn't fat, I think-”

“I did not hire you to think,” her mother snapped.

Excerpt 2
It was a brilliant blue stone with silver streaks and dark patches, shaped like a teardrop and almost as big as a walnut. A delicate golden wire basket held the stone on a thin gold chain.

“It's beautiful,” she breathed, afraid loud noises would harm it somehow.

“No, Sabetia, you're beautiful. This is just a pretty rock.” Lifting the gift from the girl's hand, Grandmother put the chain around her neck, fastening and straightening it. “It has a story, one that you'll need to tell your daughter or granddaughter someday, so listen well.” She waited for Sabetia to nod, eyes wide with wonder again, giving her grandmother her rapt attention. “Once upon a time, there was a great hero, a swordsman who lived long ago, before even the time of Clynnidh, before we knew of the bounty of the Mother Goddess and when men were savages. He was a noble adventurer, the kind of person that roams about righting wrongs for the mere sake of doing so.

“Many are the stories of him, I'm sure, but I only know the one. He stalked a demon plaguing the land. It made a pact with a sorcerer to escape the Hells and managed to kill its controller, leaving it free to wander and pillage. Many were killed and harmed before the hero learned of it, but once he did, he hunted it. It was tricky and clever, but he was strong and brave. When he caught up to it, many lives were taken or shattered already, and he fought it to put an end to its horrible reign of terror. The battle was epic, grand, a thing to be a tale in itself. The final killing blow pierced the demon's heart, but it held a horrible secret.

“You see, the demon knew it was going to die as soon as the sword touched its flesh that final time, and it had a moment to react. That wasn't enough to save itself, but it was enough to utter a final curse, one that made its shell explode. The explosion shattered the sword, flinging one of the shards into the hero and killing him. The rest of the shards were flung far away by the force, to be buried in places far, far away, save the one,” she tapped the pendant that now hung halfway down Sabetia's chest, “left in his heart. We keep it safe for him, because the demon could not be killed forever, such things cannot be. But,” she lifted a finger to emphasize a point, “they can be contained. Just as the demon made a wish with its last breath, so did the hero. He wished for the demon to be imprisoned in the sword. But, it was broken, and the only piece to fulfill his wish was the handsome jewel set into the pommel.

“Should the pieces of the sword ever be brought together again and reforged, the demon will be released. And now, Sabetia,” Grandmother fixed her with a very direct, serious gaze, “you are being entrusted with the safekeeping of the jewel. You must never let anyone take it from you. Do you understand? This is a weighty responsibility I place on your shoulders.”

Her mouth hanging open in awe at the tale, Sabetia nodded. “I will keep it safe,” she said solemnly. “I promise.”

“Good girl,” Grandmother said with a nod of satisfaction.

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Lee French

Lee French lives in Worcester, MA with two kids, two bicycles, and too much stuff. She has written several books, including the Maze Beset superhero novel trilogy. In addition, she is an avid gamer and active member of the Myth-Weavers online RPG community, where she is infamous for finding unexpected ways to use squirrels. She also trains year-round for the one-week of glorious madness that is RAGBRAI, has a nice flower garden with absolutely no lawn gnomes, and tries in vain every year to grow vegetables that don’t get devoured by neighborhood wildlife.

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Review ~ The Burning by Jane Casey

The Burning
by Jane Casey

A serial killer who wants to watch you burn…The media call him The Burning Man, a brutal murderer who has beaten four young women to death, before setting their bodies ablaze in secluded areas of London’s parks. And now the fifth victim has been found…Maeve Kerrigan is an ambitious detective constable, keen to make her mark on the murder task force. Her male colleagues believe Maeve’s empathy makes her weak, but the more she learns about the latest victim, Rebecca Haworth, from her grieving friends and family, the more determined Maeve becomes to bring her murderer to justice. But how do you catch a killer no one has seen? And when so much of the evidence they leave behind has gone up in smoke?

My review:
3 out of 5 stars

There were two plots within this story, one was extremely fast-paced and interesting and the other one was sluggish and highly predictable. Sadly, with so many descriptions and details, the story progressed entirely to slow and seemed to drag on forever.  I love details, but this story had too many which dragged it down and made it regrettably hard to get involved.  Overall, this was a well-written book with great character development; it was just not my cup of tea.  If you love to read about police procedures and what it takes to solve a crime described with a lot of details, then I would recommend this book.  

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Review ~ First There Wasn't, Then There Was by Troy Blackford

First There Wasn't, Then There Was 
by Troy Blackford

Four young men have noticed a peculiar man wandering around the streets downtown where they work, muttering to himself with a trashbag slung over his shoulder. After one of them hatches a plan to capture the strange old man's words, the group quickly realize that the fellow has seen and done things that defy the imagination.

A metaphysical tale of action and adventure that takes you beyond the bounds of normal human experience and into a world of secret colors and hidden doorways, of uncoiling panthers and recoiling nailguns, 'First There Wasn't, Then There Was' is a novella unlike any other.

My Review:
4 out of 5 stars
The Lansburne Leaners are a group of four men who work for Lansburne-Bradley.  They got their name because every day at 7:50a.m., 10a.m. and shortly after 3p.m., they go out and have a smoke and lean against the building.  One day, they start noticing a homeless man walking each day muttering words they can’t understand.  No matter what, they never can get the man to talk to them.  Curious as to what the man is muttering, they devise a plan to record the man throughout the day.  Once they get the recording device back, they never in their wildest dreams could imagine the story that was about to be unfold. In a clear and concise voice, the homeless man re-tales a story that will change how the group looks at the old man………and at life.

First There Wasn't, Then There Was takes the reader on an incredibly imaginative journey into one man’s mind as he coped with unimaginable terror.  What started off as a story told by someone with a normal frame of mind at the beginning, quickly turned into a story told by someone who clearly had lost touch with reality in an effort to save himself from the horror that was taking place around him on that terrifying day back in 1980.  Although you really can’t believe what you are reading at times, you can’t help but feel for the old man telling the story.  The story within the story is truly amazing and really had something important to tell the four men who were engrossed by the man’s words.  In the end, the tears started falling from my eyes and I just wanted to give the old man a hug. Mr. Blackford is an amazing story teller and although this story was short, it was packed full with emotion and action that one might find in a full-blown novel.  Thank you Mr. Blackford for writing a well-written and thought-provoking story that will stay with me for quite some time.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Review ~ Quiet Anchorage by Ed Lynskey

Quiet Anchorage 
by Ed Lynskey

Quiet Anchorage, Virginia, looks like paradise. When she's accused of murdering her fiance, however, the small town is anything but heavenly for Megan Connors. With her fingerprints on the murder weapon, it looks like an open-and-shut case, and Sheriff Fox, running for reelection and anxious to get credit for 'solving' a murder case, intends on ramming through charges and getting a conviction. Megan's only champions are her aging aunts. They don't believe she's guilty, but what can two senior citizens do against the powers of the state and the evidence against Megan?

Isabel and Alma Trumbo may be aging, even worried about memory loss, but they've read just about every mystery published in the past half-century. They're sure they've picked up the skills and knowledge they need to prove Megan's innocence. Starting with the town's gossips and loafers, then scaling up when the sexy ex-girlfriend of one of the Sheriff's deputies joins them, they search for alternate suspects, possible motives, and any evidence that might exonerate their niece.

My Review:
4 out of 5 stars

Sisters, Isabel and Alma are on the case when their niece, Megan, is falsely accused of the murder of her fiance.  Since they have been reading murder mysteries novels forever, they believe they are experts when it comes to solving crimes.  These two elderly sisters are a hoot!  Their back and forth conversations are like a pinball machine, jumping from subject to subject without missing a beat.  I swear if these two ladies were real people, I would get whiplash every time I had a conversation with them.  And good Lord almighty, they are a determined pair! 

This was such a delightfully fun novel to read.  Once I started, I could not put it down until I figured out who the real killer was (like Isabel and Alma, I was quite determined!).  The author certainly kept me guessing until the very end.  This was a well-written story and had such a great cast of characters that kept me giggling throughout.

If you enjoy a good, solid mystery, then go grab your favorite drink, settle down in your comfy chair and spend the day with Isabel and Alma as they unravel the mystery of who done it!

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Review ~ Dog Gone, Back Soon by Nick Trout

Dog Gone, Back Soon
by Nick Trout

 April 8, 2014

When Dr. Cyrus Mills returned home after inheriting his estranged father's veterinary practice, The Bedside Manor for Sick Animals, the last thing he wanted was to stay in Eden Falls, Vermont, a moment longer than absolutely necessary. However, the previously reclusive veterinarian pathologist quickly found that he actually enjoyed treating animals and getting to know the eccentric residents of the tiny provincial town-especially an alluring waitress named Amy. 

So Cyrus is now determined to make Bedside Manor thrive. Not an easy goal, given that Healthy Paws, the national veterinary chain across town, will stop at nothing to crush its mom-and-pop competitor. And the rival vet practice isn't Cyrus's only competition; a handsome stranger shows up out of nowhere who clearly has a mysterious past with Amy. To top it off, Cyrus finds himself both the guardian of a very unique orphaned dog and smack in the middle of serious small town drama.

This charming sequel to The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs is a wild and delightful ride through one jam- packed week, where Cyrus must figure out how to outsmart the evil veterinary conglomerate, win back Amy's heart, solve several tricky veterinary cases, find a home for an orphaned dog, and detangle himself from an absurd case of mistaken identity. DOG GONE, BACK SOON brims with Nick Trout's trademark humor, charm, and captivating animal stories, and is proof that all dogs, lost or not, on four feet or two, deserve a second chance.

My Review:
5 out of 5 stars

I had an absolutely doggone good time reading this hilariously funny book!  A special thanks to NetGalley and Hyperion for providing me with a copy of this awesome book to review.

When Dr. Cyrus Mills, a Veterinarian pathologist, comes back home to Eden Falls to take over his late father’s practice, Bedside Manor, he quickly learns that dealing with live patients and their owners is quite different than dealing with the deceased ones.  He also is trying to save the dying practice from the big box rival, Healthy Paws, located a town away. Healthy Paws is all about making the big buck with their new state-of–the art equipment and modern medicine.  Bedside Manor is all about the customer and giving options that meet the client’s budget and the personal touch that really makes the difference in a business.

In between the patients and dealing with Healthy Paws, Dr. Mills is also trying to woo the girl he has in eyes on…..Amy.  I did not read the first book in this series yet, The Patron Saint of Lost Dogs, so I was a little lost on this budding relationship, but I quickly found that despite the inability to communicate, these two make a really cute couple.  I definitely want to know more about Cyrus and Amy and hope that there is another book that will be coming out that will continue their story. 

The most notable character in this story is Stash.  I WANT a dog like Stash who is the coolest and most talented dog…..EVER.  Service Dogs have so much to offer, and this book highlights their need and their importance to not only senior citizens, but to our disabled veterans as well.

This book has so much to like…..humor, likable characters and tons of adorable animals.  And the cover!  How can you resist not opening up this book just for the cover?  So freaking cute!  I thoroughly enjoyed reading the adventures of veterinary care through the eyes of Dr. Cyrus Mills.  The author, Nick Trout is an amazing writer who is able to write a book that entertains the reader and pulls on the heart strings like no other.  I am now a fan of Mr. Trout and look forward to reading all of his work.

Buy Links:
Amazon / Barnes&Noble

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PROMO Blitz ~ Bad Boy vs Millionaire by Candy Starr ~ EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY!

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Bad Boy vs. Millionaire 
By Candy Starr
New Adult

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When fate forced Hannah Sorrento to take on the management of indie rockers, Storm, she managed to survive but, when she found out she'd been played by their mercurial front man, Jack Colt, the betrayal hit her hard.

She flees to Tokyo, where her father orchestrates a deal to save their collapsed financial empire.  A deal that involves a gorgeous millionaire.

Tamaki is everything Jack isn't and, with their similar backgrounds, he and Hannah form a bond.  He offers her safety and security as well as a return to her luxurious lifestyle.  But the passion Jack arouses in Hannah won't be denied.

In the second Bad Boy Rock Star book, Rock Star vs Millionaire, can Hannah forgive Jack or will she take the sanctuary Tamaki offers?


Jack was in the kitchen, making breakfast. How could a man look so good first thing in the morning? With his tussled hair and baggy pj bottoms… and I didn't even want to think about his arms in that tank top. That curve from his shoulders down his arm. A classically trained ballerina could not move as gracefully as that curve in his muscle as he . If I thought too hard about it, the only decision left in this world would be whether I wanted to trace that indent with my finger tip or my tongue.

"Want a coffee?"

I jumped, hoping he couldn't read my thoughts.

I sat at the kitchen bench with my gaze fixed firmly on my hands.

"So, what's the plan for today?" he asked.

I hadn't really thought about it.

"I guess I should start looking for a place to live."

"You can stay here as long as you like, you know. It's okay." He grinned at me. I'd add that to my collection of the other four or five genuine Jack Colt smiles I'd got in this life.

"With you sleeping on the couch, I don't think so."

The words hung in the air. Emotions flitting over both our faces, words we didn't want to put out there. Jack didn't have to sleep on the couch. I had taken over his bed and that bed had a huge Jack Colt-shaped emptiness that had haunted my dreams.

He squeezed by me to get cups out of the cupboard. In the small kitchen space, I couldn't help but be aware of his physical closeness, the feeling of his body almost brushing against mine and the smell of his skin that even the fresh coffee couldn't hide. I wanted to press against him and feel his heat. I wanted him to be mine to touch and caress but he wasn't. Too many questions hung over us. He'd told me that he wanted me, he wanted to be with me but I still had no idea if I could trust him.

I moved to sit on the sofa, putting some space between us.

Maybe I should just ask, I thought. Bring it all out into the open. Tell him how I felt, my fears and worries. Let him know what was holding me back. But the words didn't exist in me. This wasn't some talk show. We were real people and real people didn't let it all out. They held it deep inside, hugging it to themselves. When you told people how you felt, that gave them the power.

If I was a normal girl, I'd have these straight forward emotions that I could talk about. I'd be able to lay it out on the table, take it or leave it. But, instead my emotions squirmed inside me, burrowing deeper and deeper.

Candy Starr
 photo candy_zpseb97f9bd.jpgCandy J. Starr used to be a band manager until she realised that the band she managed was so lacking in charisma that they actually sucked the charisma out of any room they played. “Screw you,” she said, leaving them to wallow in obscurity – totally forgetting that they owed her big bucks for video equipment hire.

Candy has filmed and interviewed some big names in the rock business, and a lot of small ones. She’s seen the dirty little secrets that go on in the back rooms of band venues. She’s seen the ugly side of rock and the very pretty one.

But, of course, everything she writes is fiction.

Author Links

Website | Twitter

Buy Links
Amazon Author Page


$10 Amazon Gift Card

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