Friday, March 31, 2017

Book Beginnings and The Friday 56 - March 31, 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:

Prolog: 1943 - "She first notices him because he always sits at a table off to the side of the USO club and he usually sits alone."

Chapter 1 - "I almost forgot," my brother Will said. ....Got another present for you."

Page 56:

"She leads them over to the fire and wraps the second blanket around them once they have shed their drenched outer garments, then forages for more wood until the flames leap up."

From Long Upon the Land by Margaret Maron. This is the 15th and final book in the Judge Deborah Knotts mystery series. I finished it yesterday and it does ends in a very good and slightly funny way. I love this series. I have not read in order and still have several books in the middle of the series left to read I am still feeling down about the series being over. I loved all of the Knott family, the fictional North Carolina county where they live, and all the relationships that made the stories come alive.

I wonder if any of you have the same reaction as a favorite series ends.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Short and Sweet Book Reviews #84 - Alien Mate by Cara Bristol, The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis, Cursed Command by Christopher G. Nutgall

Alien MateAlien Mate by Cara Bristol
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Starr Conner has been railroaded and she does not know why and at first she does not know where she is going. Even so she never gave up and quit. Imagine her surprise when she arrives at Dakon and finds that she is the mate of a very wonderful Daconian. Torg is everything anyone would want in a mate but Starr comes with some problems. In fact there are some she knows nothing about. I loved the way Starr and Torg worked together. Starr is very strong and Torg is determined to protect her no matter what. Bristol has given the aline mate trope a interesting twist. I look forward to the next stories in the series.


The Guns AboveThe Guns Above by Robyn Bennis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lieutenant Josette Dupris has just been given the command of an airship and is the first woman to to so. That command is the bane of the General commanding the troops so he sends his nephew as his spy to bring her down. Lord Bernat, a foppish aristocrat, is the spy. Josette know why he is there and what happens is a story full of laugh out loud lines wrapped into the blood and guts of battles. I loved how Bernat changes his attitude but not his personality as the story progresses. Josette seems to stay the same while overcoming incredible odds. I really loved this story and hope it is the first of a series. Following Josette and Bernat was such fun I want more.


Cursed CommandCursed Command by Christopher G. Nuttall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Captain Kat Falcone and William McElney are back but this time both are in command of a ship. William has been give the ship UnCanny called "Unlucky" and had to whip it into shape. Both have been sent to the notoriously lawless Jorlem Sector. What happens is easy to predict but still makes very good reading. I enjoyed how Nuttall set everything in motion. The story is told from several view points letting me know what was going on in the background on each ship. A nice military science fiction story that solves some of the problems but leaves more for both Kat and William.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Short and Sweet Book Reviews #83 - Marry in Haste by Anne Gracie, Saving the Space Pirate by Nina Croft, The Soldier's E-Mail Order Bride by Cora Seton

Marry in Haste (Marriage of Convenience)Marry in Haste by Anne Gracie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Annie Gracie has a new series, Marriage of Convenience. I loved her first series and had high hopes for this one. I was not disappointed. While I knew what was going to happen between Major Calbourne Rutherford and Miss Emmaline Westwood Gracie took her time and did a wonderful job of setting the scene. There was not a rush to marry. Instead the story line took its time introducing both the main and the very important secondary characters. I knew a lot about the Major, his sisters and Emmaline before the marriage happened. A interesting story with great hooks for future books in the series. A nice additional touch was getting to see one of the Chance sisters from the first series.


Saving the Space Pirate (Ruby Robbins Sexy Space Odyssey, #3)Saving the Space Pirate by Nina Croft
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Finally the last part of Ruby's story. Once again she and Killian have a very hard time even staying alive. Ruby sticks to her guns about slavery and it gets her into even more trouble. A nice romp for both Ruby and Killian and of course the start of an HEA. I say that because there could be more for Ruby and Killian. I will just have to wait and see.


The Soldier's E-Mail Order Bride (The Heroes of Chance Creek, #2)The Soldier's E-Mail Order Bride by Cora Seton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Talk about two who should not wind up together it is Ella and Austin. I really liked Ella. She was not really into the Hollywood hype and when things went south she headed north and right into Austin's life. Austin just wanted to keep the ranch in the family but marring Ella turned out to be different than he expected. A great coming to terms with real life story.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Deep Blue by Kathleen Duhamel - Blurb Blitz and Giveaway



Deep Blue
by Kathleen Duhamel

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GENRE:   Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

“Barely-not-starving” Denver artist and cancer survivor Claire Martin has almost given up finding an older man with a youthful spirit when she meets charismatic New York soul singer Robert Silver of the legendary band Deep Blue. She soon learns that hero worship can be dangerous, especially when the object of her desire comes with a disturbing past.

Robert is smart and sexy with a self-deprecating sense of humor, but he’s also a man who has suffered from panic attacks, drug abuse, a well-publicized stint in rehab and the death of his wife, screenwriter Elaine Jordan. When his demons resurface on tour, jeopardizing his voice and the band’s future, Claire must decide if she’s willing to take the biggest risk of her life—betting her future on a troubled man.

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EXCERPT:

This tour is for the audio book release of the book.  The excerpt provided are audio files and the review copies will be audio books provided by the publisher.  Please use this for the audio file excerpt:  Audio book sample:https://soundcloud.com/apparatuspress/deep-blue


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Kathleen Duhamel is the author of Deep Blue and Deeper. She wrote and illustrated her first short story at the age of eight, and has been a writer for most of her life.. Her love of the written word continued throughout her varied career as a newspaper journalist and editor, public relations executive, freelance travel writer and owner/operator of two small businesses. A native of Texas, she spent most of her adult life in Colorado before relocating to Virginia in 2014, where she lives with her husband, a standard poodle and geriatric cat. She is a lifelong devotee of rock and soul music, contemporary art and pop culture.


Link to book: http://adbl.co/2kY9Y4w


Amazon audio link:

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 
Kathleen Duhamel will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Purr M for Murder by T.C. Lotempio - Book Blast and Giveaway



Purr M for Murder
by T.C. Lotempio

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GENRE:  Cozy Mystery

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BLURB:

Sydney McCall left behind an ex-fiancé and a New York advertising job to return home to Deer Park, North Carolina and help her sister, Kat, run the local animal shelter, Friendly Paws. Determined to save the shelter from financial trouble, Sydney and Kat organize a cat café fundraising event at a local coffee shop. Things are looking up until their landlord, Trowbridge Littleton, threatens to shut down the event. When Sydney drops by his art gallery to make peace, she finds Kat--along with Littleton's dead body.

Local homicide detective Will Worthington--who just happens to be Sydney's old high school crush--is highly suspicious of the sisters' involvement. Desperate to clear their names from the suspect list, Sydney pounces on the investigation. With the help of one of the shelter cats, a savvy orange tabby named Toby, Sydney begins poking her nose into other local businesses whose owners may have benefited from Littleton's death--until the killer notices she's pawing a little too closely at the truth.

REVIEW:

Sydney and her sister Kat love animals and are working to keep their no kill shelter open. However Trowbridge Littleton wants to shut it down. Nice set up for a murder and for Kat to look guilty. I liked how the shelter and no-kill were made a big part of the plot. There are several cats (my favorites) that are part of the story line. Toby, a big orange cat, often steels the show. There is the hint of a new romance for Sydney when Detective Will Worthington takes a job back in town. Just a hint but enough to add interest to the plot. A nice set up for a new cozy mystery series.

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EXCERPT

We were in the doorway now.  A large desk was at the far end of what appeared to be an office.  The light was coming from a small lamp perched on the edge of the desk, and as we crossed the threshold, it flickered and then went out.  Kat shone the pencil thin beam of the flashlight around the room, letting out a sharp cry as it hit the wall nearest us.  “Lightswitch,” she squealed, and a minute later the room was filled with a harsh fluorescent light. 

I glanced around.  Yes, this was definitely an office, and not a very tidy one at that.  There were several file cabinets pushed up against the far wall, and two of the drawers in the one on the left were half open. Papers were strewn across the desk, and some file folders had dropped onto the floor and were scattered across the Oriental rug.

“Good Lord,” my sister exclaimed.  “For someone always so fastidious about his appearance, he certainly likes to work in a mess.”

I frowned.  “It looks more to me like it’s been ransacked. Someone was searching for something. What do you think, Kat? Kat?”

My sister had moved over to the far corner of the room and was standing before a large wardrobe.  “Wow, this is beautiful,” she said, lifting a hand to run it over the smooth exterior. She balled her hand into a fist and rapped it against the wood. “Solid oak.  I saw a picture of one like this in a catalog.  French, dates back to the late 1800’s.  I wonder what it’s doing in his office?”

“Who knows? Maybe he keeps his suit jackets in it,” I said.  “Why do you care, anyway?”

“It’s such a beautiful piece,” my sister murmured. “Too good for that rotter. It seems out of place in this office.”

“Maybe it just came in and he’s got it here for pricing,” I ventured.

“Maybe.  I wouldn’t mind having something like this,” Kat said, running her hand once again across the smooth wood.  “It looks deep enough – I wonder if the doors swing out all the way? It would be great to put a TV in.”

I eyed the piece. “That thing looks hand-carved. He probably wants an arm and a leg for it.”

“Probably.” She gave the handle a tug. “Hm.  The doors seem to be stuck.”

I waved  my hand impatiently.  “Oh for goodness sakes, leave it alone. Must you examine it now?”

Her lower lip thrust forward. “Yes.  Who knows, I might not get another chance.”

I shot her a sharp look.  “You’re not thinking of buying this, are you?”

She sighed deeply. “I suppose not.  Littleton will probably want some astronomical figure for it.  But I might never get another opportunity to see such a finely made one up close.” She shot me an appealing look.  “Give me a hand, won’t you? You’re strong. Maybe if we both pull on the handle at the same time it’ll open.”

I knew my sister. Once Kat made up her mind about something she was like a pitbull with a bone. I knew when it was futile to argue with her. “Okay, fine. But if we get this open, one quick look and then we’re out of here.”

She nodded and I placed my hand on top of hers. “On the count of three, give it all you’ve got. One, two—three.”

We both tugged at the same time and suddenly the door flew open.  We went staggering backwards at the same time the body of Trowbridge Littleton, his eyes bulging almost out of their sockets, tongue lolling to the side, hit the floor at our feet. 


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

While Toni Lotempio does not commit – or solve – murders in real life, she has no trouble doing it on paper. Her lifelong love of mysteries began early on when she was introduced to her first Nancy Drew mystery at age 10 – The Secret in the Old Attic.  She (and ROCCO, albeit he’s uncredited) pen the Nick and Nora mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime – the first volume, MEOW IF ITS MURDER, debuted Dec. 2, 2014. Followed by #2, CLAWS FOR ALARM.   #3, CRIME AND CATNIP, is out this December. She, Rocco and Maxx make their home in Clifton, New Jersey, just twenty minutes from the Big Apple – New York. Catch up with them at www.tclotempio.com and www.catsbooksmorecats.blogspot.com


Where to find them:

ROCCO’s blog:
Website:

Amazon- Purr M for Murder

Amazon: All Books Page

facebook:
@RoccoBlogger


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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

The author will be awarding autographed copy of <i>PURR M FOR MURDER</i> (hardcover - US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 27, 2017

It Started With A Kiss by Ella Quinn - Book Blast and Giveaway






It Started With a Kiss
by Ella Quinn

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GENRE: Historical Romance

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BLURB:

What is a young Worthington woman to do when the man of her dreams is not who she thinks he is?

This season, all eyes are on the Earl of Worthington’s spirited, beautiful sister, Lady Louisa Vivers. Many gentlemen are vying for her attention in and around the ton. Yet, Louisa longs for someone who can take her beyond the ballroom—a man who is worldly, adventurous, and passionate. She won’t settle for just any suitor. She wants her true soul mate—and she’ll know him when she sees him.

Is Gideon, the Duke of Rothwell, him? The moment he and Louisa meet, they share a powerful attraction. Rides at sunrise and waltzes at dusk follow. Finally, Gideon can no longer resist the urge to embrace her, and Louisa is sure he will ask for her hand. But Gideon believes he is in no position to marry. The Rothwell estate has gone bankrupt, a scandal simmers in its wake, and he has nothing left to offer. Now, he must decide if he will let pride stand in the way of true love—or if he will risk everything, and let the lady decide for herself…


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REVIEW

Lady Louisa Vivers is strong, knows her own mind and is ready to help the man she falls in love with. Gideon, the Duke of Rothwell falls for Louisa but has some troubles he does not want to share. I could see the train wreck approaching but did not see when or where. Secrets have a way of coming out in the worse possible way and Gideon learns that lesson the hard way. Both Louisa and Gideon were great characters and the rest of the Worthingtons played an important part in the story line. A nice addition to the series. 
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EXCERPT

Early morning, Hyde Park, May 1815

Dawn had broken only a few minutes before, but a light fog clouded the air making the sun look like a small yellow ball. Gideon, Duke of Rothwell, was certain he was the only rider at this hour of the morning. Needing the calm a hard ride gave him, he thundered down the empty carriage way. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a dark bay burst through the mist, disturbing his solitude. Yet it was the massive dog, almost the size of a pony, keeping pace with the horse that caught his notice.

What the devil?

Faisu, his black Murgese stallion, pranced nervously as Gideon brought him to a halt. “Easy, boy. We don’t need that beast tangling with you. He could sever your hamstrings in an instant.”

A moment later, a twist of long, dark hair pulled loose from under the rider’s hat, riveting his attention on the woman. By the time she was even with him, he’d taken in the neat figure encased in a dark blue riding habit, and her excellent seat.

She glanced over, slowing her horse for a bare moment as she passed him. Her cheeks were pink from the cool air and a smile graced her lush rose lips. Their gazes collided and held. As if they were the only two people on earth. In that second, Gideon felt as if he would tumble into the vivid blue of the rider’s eyes that reminded him of lapis.

She cannot be real.

He blinked and she was gone. He might have dreamed her except that a few seconds later, a groom raced by, clearly attempting to catch up with his mistress.

For a moment he was tempted to follow as well, but it wouldn’t do him any good. She was obviously a lady, and even if he could obtain an introduction, and their relations proceeded satisfactorily, he was not yet in a position to wed.

It was pure fantasy to think of marriage in conjunction with a woman he’d seen in passing. Still, he would have liked to have been able to dream.

Blast Father! If he were still alive, I’d shake some sense back into him.

But the old duke had been in the ground for over three months when Gideon had returned from Canada. Now all he could do was pick up the pieces his father had left behind.

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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 Links:


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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

Ella will be awarding an Autographed ARC of  IT STARTED WITH A KISS (US Only) to 5 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 82 - Rescued by the Space Pirate by Nina Croft, Stolen by the Space Pirate by Nina Croft, Cold Welcome by Elizabeth Moon

Stolen by the Space Pirate (Ruby Robbins Sexy Space Odyssey, #2)Stolen by the Space Pirate by Nina Croft
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Part two of the Ruby Robbins Sexy Space Odyssey finds Ruby in the palace and Killian there to save her. What I suspected turns out to be true only with a twist. Ruby's mission is not as straight forward as she though. This is a three part series which could be one novella. I got part one and two from Netgalley and have a request in for part 3. A fun read but if you do not like cliff hangers I would wait of all three to be out before reading.


Rescued by the Space Pirate (Ruby Robbins Sexy Space Odyssey, #1)Rescued by the Space Pirate by Nina Croft
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ruby is in love with space so when she is asked to help with a rescue if she is willing to go to space she jumps at the chance. Ruby is a sweetheart. She is loyal to her task and continues even when Killian has rescued her from the slave pit. Killian is a fun characters who connects with Ruby right away. This is part one of the Ruby Series. If you do not like cliff hangers wait for all three parts to be published. I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.


Cold Welcome (Vatta's Peace, #1)Cold Welcome by Elizabeth Moon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was nice to see Klara Vatta again. I read Vatta's war when it came out years ago and really enjoyed it. It was nice to see Klara, the Vatta clan and other friends again. This was a rather slow paced story that allowed me to be reacquainted with both Klara and the previous story line. There is danger and tension. Klara is placed in a very dangerous situation and once again she has to come up with solutions where it seems there are none. A nice start with the new series. There were several loose strings as the story ends so I see a lot of action in the next book. I was glad to see Moon return to Science Fiction. I received a free copy of Cold Welcome in return for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Friday, March 24, 2017

Annie's Recipe by Lisa Jones Baker - Excerpt Tour and Giveaway



Annie’s Recipe
by Lisa Jones Baker

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GENRE: Inspirational (Amish)

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BLURB:

Annie Mast and Levi Miller were childhood best friends until his father was shunned. Now, 10 years later, Levi returns to Arthur, Il, and he and Annie discover their bond is as strong as ever. Soon they begin imagining a future together, but that's unlikely to happen. Levi is part of the English world, and Annie is Amish. But together, with love on their side, they may just find their way to an answered prayer.


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Exclusive Excerpt 

Later that day, Levi stood before the vacant fifteen-acre plot of land he had always loved. Pebble Creek was in between Annie’s house and old Sam’s place.

To his chagrin, he couldn’t rid Annie from his mind. Ten years ago circumstances beyond his control had torn them apart. But right now he was focused on moving forward. A gentle smile tugged at the corners of his lips as he pictured an imaginary self-built, two-story house.

He could almost see shiny hardwood floorboards with glossy polish and could nearly hear dry wood crackle in the fireplace. Beautiful hand-picked stones he had selected himself hovered artistically above it.

He stepped slowly to avoid the uneven earth and made his way to the creek that divided this lot and Annie’s. When he stopped, his thoughts settled on his childhood best friend.

His heart skipped an excited beat. Her cheeks still turned red whenever she was embarrassed. He was sure she still spoke her mind. Absently, he wondered how she got along with other shy Amish girls.

That question prompted him to walk on. To his side, water cascaded over a small fall and into the main creek that wound its way through the hill. Central Illinois was completely flat. Except for this lot. The unusual landscape made it even more special and rare.

The place was magical. But the most memorable part of the day wouldn’t be the land. It would be the person he would meet. He looked off in the distance. Of course she’d always run late. His lips curved in amusement. Where was she?

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Lisa Jones Baker is a multi-published author with Kensington Books.  Her debut book of THE HOPE CHEST OF DREAMS series, REBECCA’S BOUQUET, won a Publishers Weekly starred review.  A former teacher with a BA degree in French education, Lisa has been on 5 out of 7 continents, is a dog lover, enjoys positive thinkers , volunteering in her church’s food pantry, and strong female characters.    

You can find her on


Buy Link:

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

Lisa will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit the other blogs on the tour for more information.


Book Beginnings and The Friday 56 - March 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:

"As the cruise ship rocked and rolled in open water, Roger McGeary stood in front of the mirror and tried for the fourteenth time to tie his damned bow tie." From the Prolog

"On the Tuesday morning after Labor Day, Ali Reynolds pulled into her reservedparking spot outside High Noon Enterprises in Cottonwood, Arizona, just as a dust-covered aging Dodge Ram pickup came to a stop in on of the two designated visitor slots." From Chapter One

Page 56:

"When Harold got home that night, and Irene asked him what Dr. Richards said, Harold made no mention of his real diagnosis."

Man Overboard by J.A.Jance. This is the latest Ali Reynolds novel. I got it from the library today and have not started yet. I do expect to enjoy it as this is one of the mystery series I follow.