Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Second Time Around by Ella Quinn - Book Blast and Giveaway

The Second Time Around
by Ella Quinn


GENRE: Historical Romance



Can a beautiful Worthington widow find love again? Depends on who’s asking . . .

Before he died, Patience was the Earl of Worthington’s second wife. So why shouldn’t Patience be allowed a second chance at marriage, too? Of course, finding a new husband was not something the mother of four had ever planned on. But a surprise encounter with her first love has suddenly made the impossible seem possible all over again . . .

It seems like a lifetime ago that Richard, Viscount Wolverton, was halfway around the world, looking for adventure . . . while Patience, at her coming-out, was left with no choice but to take old Worthington’s hand. Richard never forgot the woman whose heart he yearned for—and now that he’s back, he’s not going to let her slip away again . . .



This is a nice novella that features Patience and Richard. They were young lovers but when Richard went off to explore the world Patience married an older man. Now she is free but is she really. It was fun to watch Richard discover what he was up against with Patience. Times and laws were different then and Patience faces a choice between Richard and her children. This will stand alone but I think it would be better if you had read the previous Worthingtons books. Be sure to read the authors notes about the rights of women in Regency times at the back of the book. It is an eye opener.


Patience gasped. Not loudly, she was much too self-contained to draw attention to herself. But Richard could feel her pulse jump, and he was pleased that he still had the ability to shake her calm, to make her react to him. He wondered if her old husband had been able to command her attention in the same way. The corners of his lips twitched. Probably not. Whether she knew it or not, she was his and always had been.

If only he hadn’t been such an idiot. Who forgets the year of his beloved’s come out? A young man who had traveled halfway across the world looking for adventure, that was who. By the time he had returned home, it was just days before her marriage to Lord Worthington. He had argued with her father to be able to see her, but it was as if her parents had locked her in the house. When they’d traveled to Town for the wedding, he had followed. However, his pains had been to no avail. Neither her mother nor father was going to let him ruin their plans for Pae. After all, an earl outranked the heir to a viscount. There was also the scandal that would ensue if she broke the betrothal just days before the nuptials. He would not have cared, but he was the only one. Even his parents would have been appalled if Pae jilted Worthington for Richard.

Too late. That is what everyone had told him. But he wasn’t too late now.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Bestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them. She has just finished her first series, The Marriage Game, and her new series, The Worthingtons, began in April 2016.

 She is married to her wonderful husband of over thirty years. They have a son and two beautiful granddaughters, and a dog. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true and are now living on a sailboat cruising the Caribbean and North America. Europe is next!


Buy Link:



Ella will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Short and Sweet Book Reviews #77 - Imprudence by Gail Carrier, A Terrible Beauty by Tasha Alexander, Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delany

Imprudence (The Custard Protocol, #2)Imprudence by Gail Carriger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I like Imprudence better than Prudence the first book in the Custard Protocols. Once again Prudence and her crew are off in the Spotted Custard, her airship. Part of the book finishes out the Parasol Protectorate; something I had wondered about. As it turns out everything happens as planned in the last book Timeless. From there Pru and friends are off in another interesting adventure. This could be the last book in the series as things ended on a high note for Rue and Quesnel. We will see if there is more to come. This would stand alone but is much better if you have read Prudence and the Parasol Protectorate series.

A Terrible Beauty (Lady Emily, #11)A Terrible Beauty by Tasha Alexander
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It seems that we are going back to book one in the Lady Emily series. Once again it seems like Philip, Lady Emily's first husband is alive. This time it is not a hint but a person who shows up looking and sounding like Philip. It throws both Emily and Colin a big curve. It was interesting to see how both reacted. Neither Emily or Colin want to end their marriage. They are still very much in love and plan to stay together. Philip does not seem to pose too much of a threat to the two but he does come with a mystery and brings danger with him. Is this really Philip or is it someone else? That is not resolved until the end of the book. An interesting addition to the series even though it seems like a re-tread of book one.

Elementary, She Read (A Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mystery #1)Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delany
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had not read a cozy mystery in quite awhile and had forgotten how much I enjoyed them. Elementary She Read had a book store devoted to Sherlock Holmes as the setting for this new series. Sherlock Holmes is part of the story line but the characters are unique unlike many that are following the Holmes theme. The setting is New London, New England and Baker Street. The main character is very good at noticing details but she is also sometimes to clever for her own good. She makes mistakes but does finally realize committed the murders and why. A engaging book. The cat named Moriety was one of my favorite characters. Relives in the books story and likes everyone but the book store owner. A very different cat who does nothing to help solve crime.

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Stacking The Shelves - February 25, 2017

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books I added to my shelves this week. They may it be physical or virtual. I include books I buy in a physical store or online, books I borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!  Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews.  Follow the link to see what others have on their shelves. 

I haven't posted in awhile but got several books this week.  I purchased Devil in Spring by Lisa Keypas.  Got Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delany and The Walking Land by Callie Bates from Amazon Vine.  Checked out The Dog Stars by Peter Heller from the library; it is our next months Science Fiction Book Club selection.  Won an autographed copy of Archangel's Enigma by Nalini Singh and Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed by Anna Campbell.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Book Beginnings and The Friday 56 - February 24, 2017

I'm linking up with Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings and Freda's Voice for Page 56. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Pick the closest book on your book stack and join the fun.

The Beginning:

"A grandfather and his granddaughter walked under the leaf-bare trees of late autumn:
"Tell me again about Grandma Greta, Grandpa?'

Page 56:

COL. SMITH: Shut up. It was decided by this team that in order to expedite the voluntary recruitment of the candidate we should subject Rita Douglas to a motivational scenario. Frightening but basically harmless."

From Empire Games by Charles Stross, A New Tale of the Merchant Princes Multiverse. This is a universe Stross left years ago. I followed the series through all six of the books. It was a surprise to see that he has set a new book there. It is listed as book on in the Empire Games series. When I saw this at the library I could not pass it up.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Short and Sweet Book Reviews #76 - Holden by Delores Fossen, Death of a Ghost by M.C. Beaton, Romancing the Rogue by Erica Ridley

Holden (The Lawmen of Silver Creek Ranch #10)Holden by Delores Fossen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a new twist on the unexpected baby trope. Holden and Nicky have a history but not a good one. Seems that Nicky kept information to herself instead of sharing and almost got one of the Ryland men killed. As Nicky and Holden were starting a romance that stopped it in its tracks. Now a baby appears and it will take both Nicky and Holden to get to the bottom of who, what, when and where. The who has a lot of candidates and the other issues add to the twist and turns. A nice addition to the series. Once again it takes a baby or make that two to bring about an HEA.

Death of a Ghost (Hamish Macbeth, #32)Death of a Ghost by M.C. Beaton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hamish has been featured in 32 books so far and he is still looking for that prefect woman. I have not read these in order so I missed his latest. I only know about her because he manages to send her packing as the book begins. Now he is on the lookout again but a new mystery appears. What looked like one mystery was actually two and I was in the dark on who done it until the very last. Beaton always makes a Hamish book fun to read and Death of a Ghost was no execution.

I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Romancing the RogueRomancing the Rogue by Erica Ridley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What happens when you lose the one person who treated you like a person and how do you get them back. That is the problem for Daniel Goodenham, Lord North Barrows. Daniel comes across as very human. He messed up and has waited years to try to make right. I loved Miss Rebecca Bond. She has made a place for herself by staying out of sight and now that is no longer an option she is being very pro-active in finding a new place even though it means using Daniel to help. It was fun watching the two interact after years apart. They have a interesting journey before getting to their HEA.

View all my reviews

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Soul Seeker Series, Affliction by Marilee Brothers - Tour and Giveaway

by Marilee Brothers

Welcome Marilee Brothers Author of the Soul Seeker Series.  She has an interesting post about what to do when you are writing and get stuck.


Okay, fellow writers, artists and others who must dip daily into your well of creativity. What happens when the well goes dry? What happens when you get stuck? I’m not talking about writers’ block. In my opinion, getting stuck is a whole different thing.

I recently started a new book and, since I fly by the seat of my pants, I had main characters in mind and a vague idea of the plot line. I’d learned to trust my process. In the past, the act of writing stimulated the creative part of my brain, resulting in forward progress. Sure, once in a while, I’d write myself into a corner and have to backtrack, but it was usually an easy fix and I considered it a learning experience. Six chapters flew by and then my fingers froze on the keyboard. I was stuck. Here’s what happened next:

1.     I brooded and indulged in a lot of negative self-talk. What the heck’s wrong with you? Yikes! After ten books are you out of juice?

2.     I forced myself to write. As the saying goes, you can’t edit a blank page. When it took me an hour to write two sentences, I knew it wasn’t working. This was followed by . . .
3.     More brooding.

4.     I tried writing in long hand, a technique that sometimes works for me. Not this time.
5.     I comforted myself with junk food which, in turn, led me to . . .

6.     The Solution. Concerned about putting on weight from the aforementioned junk food, I hit the elliptical machine at our local fitness club. Something about the music feeding directly into my brain via ear buds, mindless repetition as I sweated and pedaled, plus the oxygenated blood surging through my body did the trick.

Remember my term, “vague idea of the plot line?” I realized I was a little too vague. I was writing romantic suspense, for Pete’s sake! I had a spunky little heroine named Mel. I had a sexy Harley-Davidson riding ex-Marine named Billy. I had dead bodies, nasty villains, stolen babies and human trafficking. Way too many moving parts for an author flying by the seat of her pants. I needed details. I needed more characters. I needed more plot details. OMG, was I becoming a plotter? Were my pantser days over?

Happily, I’m back on track after taking some time to answer the obvious questions. Who? What? Why? Where? When? Part plotter, part pantser. It works for me. And, if it happens again, I know how to get through it.

Eat junk food.


GENRE:  Paranormal



Twenty-two year old Honor Melanie (Mel) Sullivan has an affliction. Due to childhood trauma and inappropriate social behavior, she is diagnosed with Aspergers, a form of autism. But, Mel knows Aspergers is not her true affliction. She prefers not to gaze into a person’s eyes because she is a soul reader, and what she sees can be frightening. It can also get Mel into trouble.

After a brush with the law, Mel leaves her family home in Southern California and travels to Oregon where she meets Harley-Davidson riding William McCarty (Billy the Kid) and stumbles upon a human trafficking/baby-selling scheme involving a foreign girl from Kazakhstan, and others. Even though Mel's life is in danger, she won't stop until she finds the answers that will help those unable to help themselves.


Transplanted California girl, Melanie Sullivan, vows to stay in Oregon until she nails the killer of her best friend, Dani. Mel’s ability to search a soul for innocence or guilt is a big plus. Her love for Billy the Kid, former Marine and now a detective with the 3 Peaks police department is also a factor in her decision. She’s not quite sure what’s going on with Billy. Has the PTSD from his Middle East deployments returned?

When a hate crime is committed in 3 Peaks, Mel is recruited by sexy Homeland Security agent, Mick, who requires her soul-reading ability. Mick doesn’t hide his feelings. He’s more than eager to step in if Billy steps out, a complication Mel doesn’t need or want. As she goes undercover, Mel embarks on a dangerous journey, aided by her Uncle Paco and devoted friends. Along the way, she learns a valuable lesson about the power of forgiveness.



I lean down to drop a chaste farewell kiss on his forehead. A split second later, I’m flat on my back, pinned to the bed and Billy the Kid grins down at me like a naughty little boy. He rips out his ear buds and pulls the cord free until the music washes over us. It’s a rock and roll tune, a blast from the past.

“Hey, baby,” he says. “Wanna dance?”

Before I can form an answer, I’m swept off the bed and twirled around until I’m dizzy and laughing uncontrollably.

He sets me on the floor and pulls me tight against his body. “You sneaking out on me, Minnie Mouse?

I manage a weak, breathless protest. “I’m supposed to meet Steve at 9:30 a.m. I need to get going.”

He cups my face between his palms and brushes his lips across mine. “You sure about that?”

“Well, um...”My body says bring it on. My brain chimes in, promptness is overrated.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Marilee Brothers is a former teacher, coach, counselor and the author of ten books. Marilee and her husband are the parents of three grown sons and live in central Washington State. After writing six young adult books, Marilee is once again writing romantic suspense for the adult market. She loves hearing from people who have read her books.

Feel free to contact her at http://www.marileebrothers.com and sign up for her newsletter The Obsessive Page Turner. Her author page on Facebook is: www.facebook.com/marilee.author and she occasionally tweets @MarileeB.

Check out Marilee’s Amazon page here:http://www.amazon.com/Marilee-Brothers/e/B003RL7EWQ/

Marilee’s blog is Book Blather, http://bookblatherblog.blogspot.com where she features aspiring and published authors as well as some tidbits of her own.

Buy Links:





The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to one randomly drawn winner and print copies of AFFLICTION and ALLEGIANCE to another randomly drawn winner (US only) via rafflecopter during the tour

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Asmodeus by Brooks Hansen - Review Tour and Giveaway

Asmodeus: The Legend of Margrét and the Dragon
by Brooks Hansen


GENRE: Romantic Historical Fiction



…Here again, his natural figure crouched beside her in the dank darkness of the cave, watching her in silence as she slept, struggling with cravings which were new to him, both tender and violent, and which he could only really compare to hunger… (from ASMODEUS)

On the cusp of the Great War, an even more pitched battle is waged in the furthest corner of the Nordic highlands, the final chapter of a centuries-old rivalry, pitting a troubled bloodline of thieves, journeyman, and politicians against the last and greatest dragon of the hemisphere, Asmodeus.

Until now, the source of this antagonism has been a single gemstone, the fabled shamir, whose history traces to the coffers of King Solomon. The present clash, however, has been sparked by the emergence of an even more desirable, more defiant, and more powerful force than that.

Inspired by the golden legend of St. Margaret, Brooks Hansen’s Asmodeus is a masterfully woven tapestry of history, myth, and fantasy, in the tradition of J.R.R.Tolkien, Bram Stoker, and C.S. Lewis. By turns a romance, an adventure, and the darkest imaginable Gothic, his tale is also, as seen through the eyes of the maiden Margrét, an unflinching exploration of our divided nature — what makes us beasts, what makes us human, and what makes us divine.



Asmodeus weaves a story that seems to be set in both the past and the present.  Asmodeusu is the last of the dragons and Margret is a figure from both legend and fantasy.  The characters moved the story from one place to another as Asmodeus searches for the jewel that was stolen from him years ago.  It seems that the jewel is at the heart of the plot but Margret plays a more important part as the story progresses.  The characters, plot and setting kept my attention.  I did not know what to expect from one page to the next and I got a surprise at the end.  A nice blend of history, fantasy and myth.



His golden eyes flicked open, blinked, and narrowed to a squint as he finally lifted up his great, horned head. He shrugged the veil of wings. He uncoiled from his most precious gem and lumbered upward, following the airborne trail up through the high tunnel to the opening just beside the cataract.

Only his muzzle appeared at first, shining like tar in the slanting sunlight, but even that merest of appearances stirred notice among the hovering hawks and vultures: Look. Be warned and wary. The master had awakened.

His head slid further out, taking in the day. The clouds had lifted. The sky was polished glass, but the familiar whisper was still there, coming from below. Down on the near shore of the inlet was a scuttled boat. Again his eyes narrowed, trying to figure from the tides just how long ago the wreck had occurred, and whether its victims were still on premise. He hoped not. Men had their place, but it wasn’t here.

…He crawled further out onto the ledge and extended his neck toward the curtain of water, which was fuller today than usual, gushing down from the mountains after all that rain. He helped himself to several gulps. He let the bracing cold beat on his head a while, then shook free with a glistening, majestic explosion, lifted his wings and leapt. He glided most of the way down, turning three wide circles in the crux of the fjord, his great spanned shadow dashing along the cliff-side, flicking across the cataract, then across the blue surface below, around and up and around again three times before finally re-meeting him, claw to claw, on the strand beside the boat...


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

BROOKS HANSEN is an author, screenwriter, essayist, and teacher. His novels – THE MONSTERS OF ST. HELENA, PERLMAN’S ORDEAL, THE CHESS GARDEN, and BOONE (co-authored with Nick Davis) were all New York Times Notable Books. THE CHESS GARDEN was also selected as a PW Best Book of the Year in 1995. He has written one book for Young Readers, CAESAR’S ANTLERS, which he also illustrated. In 2009 he released his first memoir, THE BROTHERHOOD OF JOSEPH, and in 2005 he received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for his most recent book, JOHN THE BAPTIZER, which was published in 2009 by W.W. Norton. More recently, his fiction appeared in CENTRAL PARK: AN ANTHOLOGY (Bloomsbury USA, 2012), and he has an essay slated to appear in another upcoming anthology THE GOOD BOOK (Simon & Schuster, 2015).

Brooks Hansen is the critically acclaimed author of The Chess Garden and 7 other books, most recently Asmodeus: The Legend of Margret and the Dragon. He has recently launched his own imprint, Star Pine Books. He lives in Carpinteria, California with his wife and children.

Website link is brookshansen.com



Brooks will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour

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Be sure to visit the other tour sites for further information and chances to win.

January 30Long and Short Reviews
February 6The Avid Reader
February 6Natural Bri 
February 13Two Ends of the Pen
February 13Deep In the Crease
February 20Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
February 20Mixed Book Bag

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 75 - The Golden Gate by Robert Buettner, Someone to Hold by Mary Balogh, Baby by Accident by Caro LaFever

The Golden GateThe Golden Gate by Robert Buettner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I did not know what to expect from this near future novel. What I did find was a interesting story line that was a mystery set in the near future making it Science Fiction. Kate Boyle and Ben Shepard are tasked with finding out why the car driven by Manuel Colibri was the target of a bomb. What follows is an interesting mystery that goes into the past while looking into the future. Buettner did a great job building the story line while keeping the suspense going. I had no idea who was responsible for the bomb. A interesting story that kept me reading into the night. This is one for both mystery and science fiction fans.

Someone to Hold (Westcott, #2)Someone to Hold by Mary Balogh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Camille Westcott was not a nice character in the first Westcott novel. In Someone to Hold Balogh wrote a story that allowed Camille to become a much more likable person. It did not happen overnight but did happen in a fairly short period of time and with the help of Joel Cunningham another character from the first book. I loved the pace of this story and how both Camille and Joel had to release the past and embrace the future. A very good addition to the Westcott series. All of the characters from the first book are back and help move the story along making the story even more enjoyable.

Baby By Accident (International Billionaires, #3)Baby By Accident by Caro LaFever
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lisa Helton and Vico Matter meet and the lust is immediate. What drives the story is the fact that neither want to act or acknowledge it. The story line is familiar. They do act on it and the result is something neither of them want. Marriage and distrust drive the story. A fun easy to read romance that was free on Amazon.

View all my reviews

Friday, February 17, 2017

Book Beginnings and The Friday 56 - February 17, 2017

I'm linking up with Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings and Freda's Voice for Page 56. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Pick the closest book on your book stack and join the fun.

The Beginning:

"Many hundreds of light-years from the solar system you call home, inside a spindly crystal structure floating at the edge of a great nebula shaped like an eye, a yellow light began to blink."

Page 56:

"Paolo unzipped the duffle bag and tossed a pressuresuit at Phoebe. "Get dressed." He threw two more suits to Liam and Shawn."

From Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson. I am part of a blog tour for the book today so visit my other post for more information about the book and the author.

Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson - Review Tour and Giveaway

Last Day On Mars
Age Range: 8 - 12 years
Grade Level: 3 - 7
Series: Chronicle of the Dark Star (Book 1)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Walden Pond Press (February 14, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062306715
ISBN-13: 978-0062306715


It is Earth year 2213—but, of course, there is no Earth anymore. Not since it was burned to a cinder by the sun, which has mysteriously begun the process of going supernova. The human race has fled to Mars, but this was only a temporary solution while we prepare for a second trip: a one-hundred-fifty-year journey to a distant star, our best guess at where we might find a new home.

Liam Saunders-Chang is one of the last humans left on Mars. The son of two scientists who have been racing against time to create technology vital to humanity’s survival, Liam, along with his friend Phoebe, will be on the very last starliner to depart before Mars, like Earth before it, is destroyed.

Or so he thinks. Because before this day is over, Liam and Phoebe will make a series of profound discoveries about the nature of time and space, and find out that the human race is just one of many in our universe locked in a desperate struggle for survival.


The last day on Mars starts with Liam and two friends leaving their class to have one last adventure.  What should have been a fun adventure turns out to be anything but.  It is the start of something unexpected that brings danger and the threat of death to the remaining few humans that are left on Mars.  That danger follows Liam into space.  This is a great set up for a series.  The plot is full of unexpected twists and turns.  Look for the first mention of Phase One and see if you can figure out what it was.  There is no resolution to the problems humans leaving the Solar System are having.  There are hints but nothing is spelled out.  You must use se your imagination until book two comes out.


“Emerson’s writing explodes off the page in this irresistible space adventure, filled with startling plot twists, diabolical aliens, and (my favorite!) courageous young heroes faced with an impossible task.” --Lisa McMann, New York Times bestselling author of The Unwanteds series

“Last Day on Mars is thrillingly ambitious and imaginative, a rousing space opera for any age, meticulously researched and relentlessly paced. A fantastic start to an epic new series.” --Soman Chainani, New York Times bestselling author of The School for Good and Evil

“This is perfect science fiction: a terrifying yet very cool vision of the future, lots of technological awesomeness, mind-bending alien mysteries, a mission to save the human race—and two funny, resourceful, very real kid heroes who I’d follow to the edges of the universe.” --Tui Sutherland, New York Times bestselling author of the Wings of Fire series

“A hugely enjoyable blend of adventure, humor, science, and kids trying to find their place when humanity itself doesn’t have one.” --Emma Trevayne, author of The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden

“Action-packed science-fiction adventure.” --Brightly.com


Author of the EXILE series, THE ATLANTEANS series, THE FELLOWSHIP FOR ALIEN DETECTION, the OLIVER NOCTURNE series and CARLOS IS GONNA GET IT. Musician in THE BOARD OF EDUCATION. Former K-8 science teacher, currently teaching with Richard Hugo House and Writers in the Schools. Originally from Cheshire, CT, now living in Seattle, by way of Boston.

--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

7 Copies of Last Day on Mars (Chronicle of the Dark Star #1) by Kevin Emerson

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