Sunday, August 31, 2014

Book Review ~ Almost Perfect by Diane Daniels Manning

Almost Perfect
by Diane Daniels Manning

An old woman who has given up hope and a boy who believes the impossible wonder if life would be perfect at the Westminster Dog Show.

Seventy-year old Bess Rutledge has dreamed of winning the Westminster Dog Show all her life. Despite her decades-long career as one of America’s top Standard Poodle breeders, she has decided she’s too old to hold on to her foolish dream. She sells off all the dogs in her once famous kennel except for the aging champion McCreery and his mischievous, handsome son Breaker. Part of her senses they might have been the ones to take her to Westminster, if only she’d dared to try.

Bess meets Benny, a teenager with mild autism who attends a therapeutic special school, and learns he has a dream of his own: to impress his self-absorbed mother. Benny is drawn into the world of dog shows and becomes convinced he has found the perfect way to win his mother’s attention. If he can win Westminster with either McCreery or Breaker, he just knows she will finally be proud of him. Getting Bess to go along with his plan, however, is not going to be so easy. . .

Up to 100% of the author’s profits will be donated to charities serving animals and children. Visit

Click HERE to add Almost Perfect to Goodreads

My Thoughts
First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, Beltor and NetGalley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Benny is a special needs child who lives with his father and step-mother.  All he wants is for his dysfunctional mother to love him and spend time with him.  He feels that if he does something ‘big’ with his life, his mother will love him more.  And most of all, he has always wanted is a dog to call his own.

Bess is a seventy-year old who always dreamed of winning the Westminster Dog Show with her poodles.  Deciding she is now too old to pursue that dream, she closes down her famous kennel. She sells off all of her dogs except for McCreery and his adorable son, Breaker.

When Benny and Bess get together, they realize that together, dreams can come true.

Almost Perfect is one of those books that will leave a lasting impression on your heart – it did mine for sure.  Right from the start, the cover really pulled on my heart strings.  The puppy?  So freaking cute! The story itself was very emotional and touching.  I fell in love with McCreery and Breaker along with the other characters.  I loved that the characters were real.  They had real problems, real emotions and real solutions that anyone can relate to.   I truly enjoyed reading this book and it is one that I would recommend to not only animal lovers, but to anyone looking for a story that is inspirational.

My Rating:  5 out of 5 stars

Book Trailer

About the Author
Diane Daniels Manning was raised in Redding, Connecticut, the setting for her novel ALMOST PERFECT. As a youngster, she rode her bike up and down former cow paths to the Mark Twain Library where she plundered the children's shelves and fantasized she'd grow up to a famous writer like Samuel Clemens.

Inevitably she was educated, taught English and reading in Connecticut, and earned a Ph.D. in Education and a post-doctoral M.P.H. from Harvard. She climbed the tenure ladder and served as Director of the Reading and Learning Disabilities at Tufts University. There she became convinced that special needs children are best helped when equal attention is paid to their emotional and their academic lives. Her Standard Poodle, Bel Tor Mandy, accompanied her to work daily and taught her the therapeutic benefit of animals.

Following an appointment in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Harvard School of Public Health, she moved to New Orleans where she served as Chair of the Department of Education at Tulane and became certified as a child and adult psychoanalyst by the American Psychoanalytic Association. In 2005, she moved to Houston and co-founded The New School in the Heights ( , a therapeutic school for bright children with social and emotional challenges. She continues to serve as Executive Director.

Diane's writing awards include the Faulkner-Wisdom Novella Prize and a Women in Film and Television Short Script Competition. She learned the workings of dog show kennels by writing an authorized oral history of a past President of the Poodle Club of America. When not at The New School in the Heights, she and her writing partners, a Standard Poodle named Misty.
Author Links

Purchase Link

Follow on Bloglovin

★★ BOOK BLITZ & GIVEAWAY ★★ What to Read After FSOG Gemstone Collection 5

Gemstone Five

Book Blitz


What to Read After FSOG Gemstone Collection 5
Release Date: August 31, 2014
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions (


Playing the Game by Stephanie Queen
Superstar athlete Barry Dennis gets taken down a peg by a woman in the habit of taking men down a peg.
She’s been accused of murder because of her habit.

Triage by Tara Crescent
A surgeon with secrets. A woman craves to be spanked. When they get together in an examination room – what will happen next?
Lisa Preston has always fantasized about a doctor tying her down on the examination table, and taking her for his pleasure. When she meets Dr. Patrick Anderson in a club, will she be brave enough to tell the Doctor what she needs? And will the Doctor make her fantasies come true?
Note: This novella includes medical play, spankings, domination, graphic sexual scenes, and more.

Fever by Cathryn Fox
Reporter Sara Jack has the fever to do a story on the Hot Line.  There’s no better man than Mitch Adams to help with research.  The solid stud is all pro, but in Sara he’s met a woman willing to fulfill one of his fantasies—if they’re ready to accept what comes next.

Rules of the Game by Elaine Raco Chase
"You need an attitude adjustment!" Samantha Logan told Adam Rourke.
She didn't care that he was rich, she didn't care that he was handsome, and she didn't care that her boss was his surrogate father.
She tried to ignore the fact that his deep voice hit her behind the knees and made her feel oddly off balance. And she was sure those heart palpitations were the result of drinking two five-hour energy drinks in less than thirty minutes and definitely not from a pair of broad shoulders, green eyes and a sexy stubble.

Fragmented by Colleen Connally
The first in the Boston's Crimes of Passion Series! A pulse-pounding thriller! Ms Connally's first murder mystery delivers! Suspenseful...shocking...a psychological thriller-- leaving readers on the edge of their seat. Cameron Quinn is caught in a web of deceit. Protecting her brother from being framed for a murder places Cameron in untold danger. When the real killer diverts his attention to her, she has nowhere to turn, especially not to the man she shared one unforgettable night... who now is trying to put her brother in prison.

Drake Restrained by S.E. Lund
Drake Morgan, MD, Neurosurgeon, bass player, philanthropist – Dominant. He doesn't do girlfriends, he doesn’t do sleepovers, and he certainly doesn't do breakfast in bed the morning after. Into bondage, D/s and the occasional dungeon scene, Drake keeps every part of his life separate, the divisions between them neat and tidy. That is until Kate McDermott crosses his path and screws everything up. Now, nothing is neat and tidy anymore, for Drake is smitten and things are going to get messy…

Cooking Class by Valerie Douglas
Lily Cavanaugh did it the hard way. She'd apprenticed under Master Chef Evan Taylor until he threw one temper tantrum too many. Then Evan and the director of his new TV show, Dylan Bryant, walk into her restaurant to offer her an intriguing proposition...

The Principles of Lust by Sasha White
Step into Lush, the decadent art gallery that specializes in the sensual, and let your desires set your heart free.
Businesswoman Teal Jamison knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. With her dream art gallery about to open, she’s in need of some serious stress relief and virile carpenter Zack Dillon is just the man to give it to her.Only Zack doesn’t think they’re a good match. He likes to be in control, always, and Teal’s anything but submissive when she comes on to him.

The Sexperts: The Girl With the Pearl Necklace by Melinda DuChamp
In the future, some people are still prudes...
And the most prudish of all are the righteous defenders of righteousness at the Purity Foundation. When the director sends her own daughter on an undercover mission to eliminate sexual satisfaction from earth, the only thing standing between the human race and complete and total sexual frustration are the good instructors of the Seimann Sex Institute.
Fanny and Peter, along with new instructors Chastity and Milo, have devoted their lives to ensuring everyone can enjoy a healthy, prosperous sex life. But they will have to use every tool and technique in their arsenal if they are to overcome this new threat, because the Purity Foundation isn't going down...not without a fight.
No sacrifice is too much if the cause is just, and love might the greatest cause of all...

A Voice to Love by Karolyn James
Lead singer Luke Nolan's sudden success is everything dreams are made of. Going from playing at a local dive bar to touring with mega band Chasing Cross, seemingly overnight, and ultimately saving the headliner's tour, has the men of Fallen Tuesday absolutely loving the life on the road. In fact, Luke is loving it so much that he has used every excuse to not tell his bandmates about his medical condition that is worsening with each performance.
In a small town just outside Syracuse, New York, Amy Deleranne seeks solitude in the kitchen of Tommy Two's, her uncle Tom's restaurant that should have been hers by now. She understands his emotional attachment, but she has poured her life into its survival and has more at stake than anyone knows...
With Luke battling a skyrocketing career and the medically unknown and Amy terrified to look over her shoulder at all times, it is no wonder that sparks fly when they meet. However, can their hearts, and their careers, survive the secrets they've been keeping?

Meet the Author
Stephanie Queen: USA Today Bestselling author Stephanie Queen is a romantic at heart and a writer by nature with the enthusiastic soul of a cheerleader. She enjoys creating stories where her rose-colored world-view comes to life and the good guys always win. Although she lost count of all the jobs she had before she settled on being a Novelist, her favorite was selling cookies as a Keebler Elf.

Tara Crescent: Tara Crescent is a writer of erotic fiction. She believes in sassy submissives, firm Dominants, completely consensual relationships and happily-ever-afters! Her favorite kind of romance stories are ones that are somewhat believable.
In her spare time, Tara reads, gardens, cooks, and procrastinates about cleaning. From time to time, Tara blogs about what she's working on (and anything else that she finds interesting) at She lives in Toronto.
She is somewhat active on Facebook and Twitter, especially when the writing is going poorly.

Cathryn Fox: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathryn Fox is a wife, mom, sister, daughter, and friend. She loves dogs, sunny weather, anything chocolate (she never says no to a brownie) pizza and red wine. Cathryn has two teenagers who keep her busy and a husband who is convinced he can turn her into a mixed martial arts fan.  When not writing, Cathryn can be found laughing over lunch with friends, hanging out with her kids, or watching a big action flick with her husband.

Elaine Raco Chase: If you like sassy, laugh out loud, contemporary romances - some more explicit than others - you have found the right author!
Reviewers have called them: "cat & mouse" - "slow burn" - "hot and steamy" - "highly addicting" - "solid characters & lots of humor" - "amazing reads!"
I call them fun! My heroines are NOT: thin, petite, clueless or submissive. They are strong women who aren't looking for a man - until the right one comes along!
And those men! Tough-guy, alpha males who don't know what hit them! But do know they want MORE!

Colleen Connally: Colleen Connally is one of the pen names of Jerri Hines. Under Colleen Connally, she has written a historical romance series, Secret Lives, which is riddled with romantic suspense and a touch of paranormal. The Secret Lives Series consist of Seductive Secrets, Broken Legacy, and now Seductive Lies. Fragmented, Book One Boston's Crimes of Passion, marks Ms Connally's first contemporary suspense thriller.

S.E. Lund: S.E. Lund lives with her family of humans and animals in a small city in Western Canada in an old house on a quiet tree-lined street. Besides writing erotic and contemporary romance for a living, she advocates for climate action, plays piano and dreams of living in a warm climate by the ocean.

Valerie Douglas: Valerie Douglas is a prolific writer and a genre-crosser, much to the delight of her fans. A fan of authors in almost every genre she writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and, as V.J. Devereaux, erotic romance.
Happily married, she's companion to two dogs, four cats and an African clawed frog named Hopper who delights in tormenting the cats from his tank.

Sasha White: Gifted with a salacious imagination, USA Today and NYT Bestselling Author Sasha White’s brand of Romance with Heat, and Erotica with Heart is all about sassy women and sexy men. Whether it’s contemporary, paranormal, or romantic suspense, you can’t go wrong by reading something White Hot.

Melinda DuChamp: I'm a professional author who has written more than fifty novels, most of them romances. Recently, I began writing erotica under this pen name, beginning with Fifty Shades of Alice in Wonderland. I do my best to make my books playful and funny without taking away from the kinky, steamy love scenes. It's erotica for smart people who like to laugh, just like you.

Karolyn James
Did you know Karolyn James is the pen name for bestselling western romance author, Claire Charlins?
Stay up to date with Karolyn's mailing list!

Buy the Book


Amazon FinalAmazon UK FinalB&N FINALkobo-icon FINAL

Gemston Quad

Amazon FinalAmazon UK FinalB&N FINALkobo-icon FINAL


a Rafflecopter giveaway

promotionsbutton with TRIM

Follow on Bloglovin

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Book Review ~ The Spirit Guide by Elizabeth Davies

The Spirit Guide
by Elizabeth Davies
Seren has an unusual gift – she sees spirits, the shades of the dead.
Terrified of being accused of witchcraft, a very real possibility in twelfth century Britain, she keeps her secret close, not even confiding in her husband.

But when she gives her heart and soul to a man who guides spirits in the world beyond the living, she risks her secret and her life for their love.

My Thoughts

I have been a fan of Elizabeth Davies ever since I read her Resurrection Trilogy, so when she asked me if I would be interested in reviewing her newest book, The Spirit Guide, I was beyond excited!  I am so glad that I did read it because it is simply amazing!

Seren has an awesome gift, she can see spirits.  However, her gift is not so awesome in the twelfth century where some would see that as witchcraft.  Not so good for Seren.  She has guarded her secret forever, only slipping every now and then.  

When it comes time for marriage, she has been betrothed to Rolf.  Although Rolf is good looking and comes from a good family line, Seren really has no desire for marriage.  The desire is even less when she meets George.  George is everything that a women desires. The only problem is, well, George is a spirit guide - no longer living - one that Seren can actually touch.  One would think this would be a problem, but with love, anything is possible!

Of course, every great story has to have a villain, and this story is no exception.  Vaughn is Seren's father-in-law and he is dabbling in the dark spirit realm.  Seren may have bitten off more than she could chew when she tries to solve the mystery of what Vaughn's intentions really are - and let me tell you, he is up to no good.

Seren's story is at times heartbreaking due to how women were treated back in that time.  At times, I wanted to kill Rolf (along with some other characters)  because how cruel and heartless he had become.  The fact that men back in that time thought nothing of taking a mistress while the wife was expected to just accept it is beyond appalling.  I loved it though when Seren was accused of sleeping with another man, and she responded that she had never slept with another 'living' man.  Way to go Seren - twist those words to work in your favor!

With an ending I did not see coming, Rolf and his mistress redeemed themselves by giving Seren and George a 'gift' and I have forgiven them (kind of) for the crap that they put Seren through.

This spectacular story drew me in with its descriptive words and characters I found myself really caring for.  This period in time has always fascinated me, and Ms. Davies really brought it to life within the pages.  

Ms. Davies ability of combining history, paranormal aspects and romance in just the right way really drew me into this beautiful story.  The story flowed effortlessly and kept me engrossed throughout.  The Spirit Guide is a book that I would recommend and is definitely worth reading. 

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

About the Author
Elizabeth Davies was born and raised in South Wales more years ago than she cares to remember. She lived in England for nearly two decades but returned to her roots when she felt the mountains of her youth calling to her, and hiking in her beloved Brecon Beacons is now one of the joys in her life. When she is not working as a full time secretary, Elizabeth loves spending time with her family, hates doing necessary chores, and tries to fit in writing whenever she can. She has published the Resurrection trilogy, beginning with "State of Grace", continuing with "Amazing Grace", and ending with "Sanctifying Grace". She is currently working on another paranormal romance set in Wales.
She is also seriously addicted to chocolate.

Author Links
Goodreads * Website * Facebook * Twitter

Purchase Links

Follow on Bloglovin

Last Weekend! Bound Anthology ~ only .99 cents! 100% of the proceeds go to Susan G. Komen For the Cure!

Bound Anthology
100% of the proceeds will go to:
Only 99 cents!

Releasing control is relief… 

I was warned about men like Brett Maclean. 

He was dark and thrilling, intense and controlling. And he captivated me from the very start. He unleashed something inside of me like no other. His bad rep and troubled past drew me to him like gasoline feeding a flame. 

With just one taste, I felt the danger in him, the uncontrollable power that left me breathless. The passion consumed me. Fast and hard. 

Temptation couldn't guard my heart. I should have known a man of such raw and wild desires came with competition.

Brooke has spent the past eleven years living with a man she thought would be her forever. One afternoon of unanswered phone calls reveals he isn’t the man she thought he was. 

Just when things couldn’t get any worse, she’s forced to call upon a stranger for help. 

Can Dylan save Brooke from her broken past or does he have secrets of his own that will destroy them before they even get started?

Logan Clay is a dreamy, starving artist working multiple jobs to support his ailing mother and unemployed father, all while pursuing his dream of becoming a famous musician.

When luck shines on him, it looks like he might finally get the big break that he has been waiting for- that is until he meets Gina.

The daughter of a record label executive, Gina Vile has the potential to make all of Logan’s dreams come true or destroy any chance he will ever have. Can fame and love go hand in hand?

A prequel novella to Sand & Clay.

Four friends. Four secrets. One dare.

Alicia Thomas finally told her friends the reason she divorced her husband—she caught him in his office, naked, a ball gag in his mouth while a prostitute spanked his lily-white ass. But she can’t admit her own fantasy—being at the total mercy of her ex’s gorgeous boss, Richard Brand.

Then in a chance encounter one stormy night, Richard offers to make Alicia’s desires come true. Alicia learns not only to submit to Richard, but his friends as well, and she glories in every minute. But can she abandon her new life when she discovers that Richard’s games have more to do with revenge on her ex-husband than Richard’s desire for her?

I am weak. 
I am lonely. 
I am a slut. 
I am strong. 
I am Dominant. 
I am independent. 
I am Seven James. 

My entire life, no one has wanted me, and that was fine, because I sure as shit didn't need anyone else. Blah, Blah Blah, insert sad story here about negligent parents, and shitty siblings, and you have my life story in a nut shell. When my college boyfriend dumped me, it was just icing on the cake. Five years, and a booming career later I am here to collect my revenge. 

That was until a delicious plaything walked into the kink club I frequent, and rocked my typically un-rockable world. Causing me to break the one rule I have lived by since Daniel Alexander walked out of my life, never have sex with the same person twice. Ever. 

Rebecca Chase has never been interested in dating, and definitely not in relationships. She only had two goals in life, to get her college degree and to get the hell away from her house. When she meets Lucas everything that she thought she had wanted was now turned upside down. 

Lucas Masterson has it all money, fame, and his dream job of being in the music industry. He knows that most people are just out for themselves and will use him as much as they can. When he meets Becca he realizes that he never really knew what he wanted. He thinks that she is the most amazing person he has ever met, but can he balance her and his crazy life? 

Can two people who come from completely different worlds make it work or will the people trying to tear them apart succeed? 

Get ready to get lost in this crazy romantic adventure and surrender yourself to Lucas and Becca. 

Holly is Jacks Best friends little sister. The two of them were raised as family and always were as close as siblings. But as they get older Jack and Holly realize their feelings for one another were something more than that of Big Brother and Little Sister.

Bound will be back for ONE week in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

Follow on Bloglovin