Saturday, September 29, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 298 - Agatha Raisin and The Dead Ringer by M.C. Beaton, Death on the Edge by Sara Paretsky

Agatha Raisin and the Dead RingerAgatha Raisin and the Dead Ringer by M.C. Beaton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Agatha just cannot stay out of trouble. Once again Agatha arrives where there is nothing but trouble. I love how the story takes sharp turns as the plot thickens. It takes time for everything to come together and it also takes the entire cast of characters. James is back and Charles arrives several times. All of the employees of Agatha's detective agency play a part and get in on the action. Of course Agatha finds herself in personal danger. Great story and fun to read.

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


Death on the Edge: A V.I. Warshawski Short StoryDeath on the Edge: A V.I. Warshawski Short Story by Sara Paretsky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is indeed a short story that adds to the knowledge about V.I. Warshawski. What seems a simple task turns into a murder and a mystery. Who really wrote the article about guns and who killed the teacher who had questions about the author. All comes together in a interesting and quick to read story featuring one character from a previous book and of course Warshawski.

I received a free copy of the story in return for an honest review.

View all my reviews

Friday, September 28, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 297 - Lone Star Christmas by Delores Fossen, Rocky Mountain Cowboy Christmas by Katie Ruggle

Lone Star ChristmasLone Star Christmas by Delores Fossen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lone Star Christmas is the start of a new series by Fossen and this first book does not follow the pattern she used in previous books. There were no babies or pregnant women and while there were lawmen they were not the central male characters. I liked the change. Using characters who were in the foster care system or who had been in the system highlighted both the good and the bad. Callen Laramie is a product of the bad and then the good. His struggle is to remember the good. Shelby McCall has always had a thing for Callen. Watching the two interact was at the heart of the story. This had romance, great characters, secrets, and dealing with the past. All in all a great start to the series.

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


Rocky Mountain Cowboy Christmas (Rocky Mountain Cowboys #1)Rocky Mountain Cowboy Christmas by Katie Ruggle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A new series from Ruggle and it is off to a great start. I loved Camille Brandt and how she came out of her shell around Steve Springfield's children. It was great to see a character who had problems facing a lot of people and to watch her work out how and when she would be comfortable. It did not hurt that Steve had been her secret crush in high school and that he did not mind her quirky behavior. This was a great book about being different but still being able to be yourself around friends and family.

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

View all my reviews

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Liar Liar by Nancy Boyarsky - Book Blast and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Nancy Boyarsky will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Nicole Graves finds herself in the crosshairs when she reluctantly agrees to babysit a witness in a high-profile rape trial. Mary Ellen Barnes is suing her university’s star quarterback for rape when the authorities won’t act. In the court of public opinion, Mary Ellen appears to be the quintessential, pious, good girl. But her lies and mysterious comings and goings lead Nicole to suspect that she’s not what she seems.

Read an Excerpt

Nicole heard a sound and came in from the balcony in time to see Mary Ellen, now fully dressed, slip out the front door. Nicole ran after her. She couldn’t allow the girl to run off after what she’d said about the hopelessness of her predicament. By the time Nicole got to the elevator bank, it was empty. The girl was already on her way down.

Nicole couldn’t take the stairs; she was on the tenth floor. But the elevator bank had four cars, and luck was with her. Moments later, the door to another elevator opened. When she reached the lobby, she caught sight of Mary Ellen through the window. She had just left the building and was jaywalking across Ocean Avenue toward the beach.

Nicole rushed after her. The wind was picking up, blowing through her jacket. She was halfway across the street, when a car heading south skidded to a stop a few feet away. The driver leaned on his horn and opened his window to scream at her. She ignored him, trying to keep Mary Ellen in sight. The girl seemed to be headed toward the shoreline. When Nicole reached the sand, she started running. She was in good shape, but running on the beach was completely different from a morning jog around the neighborhood. Her shoes sank into the soft surface, making it impossible to gain momentum. Meanwhile, sand leaked into her shoes, chafing her sockless feet.

The beach near the waterline was dark, and Mary Ellen was no longer in sight. Nicole looked desperately around, trying to figure out which way the girl had gone. All at once she stumbled over something lying in her path. As she hit the sand, the figure she’d tripped over slowly sat up, like a zombie in a horror film.

About the Author:
Nancy Boyarsky is the bestselling author of the award-winning Nicole Graves Mysteries. Before turning to mysteries, Nancy coauthored Backroom Politics, a New York Times notable book, with her husband, Bill Boyarsky. She has written several textbooks on the justice system as well as articles for publications including the Los Angeles Times, Forbes, and McCall’s. She also contributed to political anthologies, including In the Running, about women’s political campaigns. In addition to her writing career, she was communications director for political affairs for ARCO.

Liar Liar is the third Nicole Graves novel, following The Swap and The Bequest, each of which can be read as a stand alone. Readers are invited to connect with Nancy through her website.

Website: http://www.nancyboyarsky.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9020987.Nancy_Boyarsky
Twitter: https://twitter.com/nancyboyarsky

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Liar-Nicole-Graves-Mysteries/dp/161153254X
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/liar-liar-nancy-boyarsky/1127685241

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Sweet Christmas Kisses 5, Nine Christmas Romances - Book Blast and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Fill your holiday stocking with love and 9 sweet romance novellas, from USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly, and award-winning authors. Sweet Christmas Kisses 5 brings you heartwarming contemporary romances that celebrate the joy of the season around the world, including in snowy Maine and the sun-kissed skies of Florida, the mountains of Colorado, small-town Illinois and South Carolina, New York to San Francisco, and even the glittering lights of Paris and the old-world charm of Florence. The Sweet Christmas Kisses 5 bundle features all-new, standalone novellas that will make you smile and fill your heart with the Christmas spirit.  On sale for .99.  Here is link:
 https://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Christmas-Kisses-Beate-Boeker-ebook/dp/B07FN4KVWP/ref=sr_1_1
***** 

Christmas With The Poker Group by Beate Boeker, USA Today Bestselling Author. After losing her beloved grandmother and getting dumped by her boyfriend, Sabrina is left feeling like Scrooge this Christmas. She makes a plan to survive the holidays in Florence, only to realize her grieving grandfather has a plan of his own. One that involves the crazy Mantoni family and the distractingly handsome man she’s determined to avoid. It’s beginning to look a lot like a tricky Christmas.

About the Author: Beate Boeker is a USA Today bestselling author with a passion for books that brim over with mischief & humor. She writes sweet, sophisticated romantic fiction and cozy mysteries, many of them set in beautiful Italy. While “Boeker” means “books” in a German dialect, her first name Beate can be translated as “Happy” . . . and with a name that reads “Happy Books,” what else could she do but write novels with a happy ending?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Beate-Boeker-153573758044433/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BeateBoeker
Website: http://www.happybooks.de/ Newsletter: http://www.happybooks.de/newsletter

*****


Christmas With The Carmichaels by Christine Bush, USA Today Bestselling Author. Widow and retiree Gabby is ready for a rocking chair. At least according to her daughter. Except maybe she’s not. After getting stranded in a Maine snowstorm with a silver-haired fox, Gabby might find the courage to say “yes” to life once more, and find a Christmas love she never expected.

About the Author: Christine Bush is an award-winning author of many sweet romances, mysteries, and novellas. When she’s not writing, she can be found teaching Psychology at a local college, working as a Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice, or (mostly) spending time with her twelve grandchildren.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christineabush
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Christine_Bush
Website: http://christinebush.com


*****


The Mistletoe Bachelor Auction by Milou Koenings, USA Today bestselling author. When a supermodel with a string of bad news boyfriends “wins” a volunteer firefighter at a charity bachelor auction, Rose and Ryan might both discover they’ve found their perfect Christmas match. A fun and romantic holiday tale set in the fictional town of Green Pines, Illinois.

About the Author: USA Today bestselling author Milou Koenings writes heartwarming romance novels because sweet stories with happy endings are like chocolate – they bring joy to the world and so make it a better place. She’s lived all over the world, working as an editor and newspaper columnist, but loves staying home with her family most of all. She's the author of the Green Pines Romance series.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MilouKoenings
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MilouKoenings
Website: https://www.miloukoenings.com
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/milousnewletter

*****

Sweet Peppermint Kisses by Josie Riviera, USA Today Bestselling Author. Sometimes the best gifts are hiding right under your Christmas tree. His emotions were once trampled flat. Can he throw his heart over the fence toward the ultimate Christmas gift—a future filled with love? A holiday tale about the healing power of love, set in the charming fictional town of Cherish, South Carolina.

About the Author: Author Josie Riviera writes Historical, Inspirational, and Sweet Romances. She lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband. They share their empty nest with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and an old house forever needing renovations. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Josie.Riviera
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Josieriviera
Website: https://josieriviera.com/

*****


Christmas In Paris by Roxanne Rustand, USA Today Bestselling Author. Kindergarten teacher Heather thought all her dreams were coming true—until she was jilted by her fiancé three months before their Christmas wedding. Since the honeymoon to Paris is already paid for, Heather determines to go sans groom and have a great time, no matter what. Love is not part of her travel plans, but when a handsome young doctor literally runs into her on the street, the magic of Christmas in Paris may cause a change of heart.

About the Author: USA Today bestselling author Roxanne Rustand is the author of thirty-five traditionally published novels, plus four indie novels. She was a Golden Heart finalist twice, and a Golden Heart winner in 1995. She has won two RT Magazine Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and was nominated for an RT Magazine Career Achievement Award. Her earlier books were secular, but she now writes sweet indie romance, and inspirational romance for Love Inspired.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Roxanne.Rustand
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RoxanneRustand
Website: http://www.roxannerustand.com
Newsletter: http://roxannerustand.com/newsletter-signup

*****


Second Chance Christmas by Kristin Wallace, USA Today Bestselling Author. Ten years ago, Mia Reynolds and Win Barrington spent one magical Christmas together—until lies and manipulation tore them apart, and left Mia to raise a daughter all on her own. Now, both are back in their hometown of Palm Cove, Florida just in time for the holidays. Once they uncover the truth about what happened, can Mia and Win rediscover love and celebrate a Second Chance Christmas with their daughter?

About the Author: Kristin Wallace is a USA Today bestselling author of inspirational, contemporary and women’s fiction filled with “Love, Laughter and a Leap of Faith.” Her popular series include the Covington Falls Chronicles and Shellwater Key Tales.

Facebook: http://facebook.com/KristinWallaceAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/KWallaceAuthor
Website: http://kristinwallaceauthor.com
Newsletter: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/wMWhn

*****


Ghosts From Christmas Past by Mary Alford, Publisher’s Weekly Bestselling Author. She was the love of his life, until a tragic accident on Christmas Eve left Charlotte Swenson in a coma. For eight years, Sheriff Dylan Parker of Bitter Creek, Colorado has held on to the hope that somehow his love will find a way back to him. And when Charlotte opens her eyes, just days before Christmas, Dylan can’t help but believe a holiday miracle may grant his every wish.

About the Author: Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author Mary Alford was inspired to become a writer after reading such romantic suspense greats as Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. Creating characters and throwing them into dangerous situations that test their faith was a challenge, but 2012 Mary received “the call” to publish her first book — a dream come true. Today, Mary writes Christian romantic suspense, and small-town contemporary romances.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaryAlfordAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/maryalford13
Website: http://maryalford.net

*****


Christmas Pizza To The Rescue by Jean C. Gordon. When a freak winter storm strands them alone at the Team Macachek barracks in Central New York, champion motocross racer Royce Evans and out-of-work investigative reporter turned pizza deliverer Samantha Linder strike a bargain that benefits them both. But when it appears Sam has broken the agreement, will the spirit of Christmas be strong enough to save their blossoming holiday love?

About the Author: Award-winning sweet and inspirational author Jean C. Gordon writes what she knows best — small-town, happily-ever-afters set in her native Upstate New York.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JeanCGordon.Author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JeanCGordon
Website: https://www.jeancgordon.com/
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/2wFYzPq

*****


The Love Clause by Liwen. Y. Ho. He needs a fake girlfriend to advance his career. She needs a pretend date to keep her mom off her case during the holidays. The solution to both of their problems? A contractual relationship with one clause: neither of them can fall in love. A Christmas tale set in romantic San Francisco that will cause this reluctant couple to rethink the “no love” clause.

About the Author: Liwen Y. Ho writes sweet and inspirational romance infused with heart, humor, and a taste of home (her Asian roots). She lives in California with her family and blogs about life as a recovering perfectionist.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/2square2behip/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/2square2behip
Website: http://www.2square2behip.com/
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bt2nEL

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Exit Stage Left by Catherine Russell - Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway



Exit Stage Left
by Catherine Russell 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE:  Dark Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Megan O'Day seems to be navigating the unpredictable relationship with Geoffrey Drake, her centuries-old vampire guardian angel, rather well. But then his past suddenly rips him from her, forcing her to face the unknown future alone in the gripping sequel to The Stage.

Still bound to Geoffrey through the power of the Link despite his unexplained absence, Megan's mind is flooded with his haunted memories. While she relives the darkest moments of his previous life, she discovers his attachment to a woman who bears a striking resemblance to her.

As she questions Geoffrey's love for her, she strikes up a dangerous alliance with Geoffrey's brother, Alexander, who is also a vampire. She hopes that he will help her find a way to rescue Geoffrey: instead, he seems to be awakening new emotions and desires within her.

As the past and present collide, Megan struggles to fend off Alexander's dark seduction. Is Geoffrey truly beyond the reach of her love forever? If not, what must be sacrificed to bring them back together again?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Read on for my interview with Catherine Russell and then on to a excerpt of Exit Stage Left.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Answer: Oh my…this one always gets the oddest, strangest, and curious reactions. Sure Rocky Road is gooey delicious with marshmallows, rich fudge ribbons running through chocolate ice cream mixed with nuts. Even Orange Sherbet is great on a hot summer day. However, as a small child visiting a mom-n-pop ice cream parlor in Ocean Shores, Washington I discovered my true passion, my favorite of all time: Black Licorice ice cream. Now true Black Licorice ice cream is quite challenging to come by these days due to the dye that is used to give its most ungodly coloring, as it’s not really black but a near-black green hue, which not only stains the eater’s tongue, mouth, lips…but also EVERYTHING it comes in contact with as it goes through a person’s GI tract. Everything is tinted the blackish green color for quite some time after enjoying it’s awesome flavor in one’s mouth on a blistering hot day. And since my main character and I are very similar, Black Licorice ice cream is also her favorite too. 
Which mythological creature are you most like?
Answer: As much as I would love to say Vampires, as I do love the darkness of night, the lack of light and the black sky as it wraps around my home…alas I was born a day shifter or I guess you could say a Day Walker, I’d say the creature I’m most like is actually mermaids as I love the water, the sensation of weightlessness and the very calming effect that any body of water has on me. I swam on my high school swim team, with back stroke and butterfly being my chosen styles in competition. 
First book you remember making an indelible impression on you.
Answer: Once again I must say I have 2 that have stuck with me all these years. The first one however I don’t know who wrote it but the title is “The Good Luck Child”, as the story is about a child that is born with 2 different eye colors…which I incorporated into my own story line with both Megan O’Day and Geoffrey Drake, when he was human, both having bilateral eye colors. Plus while in elementary and junior high myself, one of my class mates had the same mutation, which truth be told I was envious of. The 2nd book was a guide of sorts as I hit my angst filled teen years. A little ditty titled “Are you there God, it’s me Margaret” by Judy Blume. I recognized myself in the main character at a time I needed it the most. 
How do you develop your plot and characters?
Answer: My plot creates the need for characters and the characters create the need for an ever expanding plot…hope that makes sense. With The Stage Chronicles, I already had most of the characters in my head long before I put pencil to paper. Gradually I added more as I needed to flush out the plot twists and turns, hence more characters. I enjoy flushing the characters out, giving them life, their own backgrounds, nicknames (which can take time to come up with as its not instantaneous) and quirks, etc. With plot, sometimes it depends on where physically my story takes me. As in Exit Stage Left Book 2, I had just returned from Las Vegas when inspiration hit me and I quickly wrote it down and then did more research on the surrounding communities and geography, adding it to my story easily. 
Describe your writing space.
Answer: It can be my lunch room at work, with my ear buds plugged in on high, listening to Muse, and frantically letting the words flow out as fast as I can hand write them. Or sometimes it’s actually on my Sunday or Saturday morning runs, when I’m pounding the pavement in to submission and again with the music in my ears when I come up with astounding ideas and scenes. The last location is my home office, with a huge hutch type desk, with upper cubbies, nooks and crannies and a few filing drawers. My only dim lighting is supplied by a Mickey Mouse lamp and next to that I’ve crammed onto the top a docking station for a very old iPod containing the Chronicles original sound track that can be frequently heard playing. On the ceiling of the room are bats…yes bats…well Halloween decal bats to be precise. A scattering of photographs of my family, primarily of my son plus dozens upon dozens of CD’s along with mixture of paranormal & vampire research books, which includes a Vampire Encyclopedia that’s cover is Keiffer Sutherland in “Lost Boys”. My one favorite, guiding picture is that of my infant son, perhaps a month old…as it reminds me that time flies away from us too fast, to enjoy the here and now as tomorrow becomes today so fast that you don’t realize it was here until its yesterday. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT

An image of Dawn’s mangled, bloody body filled my thoughts, and I stopped sorting through my art supplies. It had happened just before Christmas. There was poor Dawn, distraught over her break-up with Ian, wearing my jack, and waiting in Geoffrey’s car in the alley behind The Stage.
            
They thought Dawn was me.
            
They- The Inner Circle, Geoffrey’s first coven-wanted him back.
            
Marco, his sire, was the head honcho there, and I its prime the coven had been quite large with a very strong presence in the community. As the years passed, it prominence had faded, but Marco still clung to his power. Geoffrey said that the older Marco got the more manipulative, abusive, and obsessive he became. It didn’t make sense. Marco had exiled him, and now he wanted his prized son back, even though Geoffrey’s twin, Alexander, was part of the Inner Circle. To top it off, they wanted me dead. Why? Because I came between Marco and Geoffrey? Was it because of the Link?

Shh, my love,said Geoffrey’s sweet, cool voice though the Link. 
            
But I couldn’t keep my thoughts from whirling. Nerdy Chase Montgomery, my neighbor, was Geoffrey’s Guardian- a scholar of immortals, more or less. He was assigned to watch over Geoffrey, but he had trouble staying close to him. So he had followed me instead, filling my apartment with micro-cameras and audio pickups. When Geoffrey finally confronted Chase, I got a look inside his apartment-and at his computer screens. Nearly every inch of my apartment was under surveillance.
            
How fast everything had happened! Only four months ago, I started working at Ashleigh’s bar, The Stage, which was now the hottest club in Seattle. Geoffrey and his family which made up his band, The Darkness, were the house band there, and he and his family lived what they jokingly called an “alternative lifestyle”- even for vampires. Believing our human lives were too short as it is, they found other sources for their drug of choice, blood.
            
By the way, did I say reality bites? Yeah it does. I guess that comes with the territory when the one you love is a vampire.  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Catherine Russell was born in Tacoma, Washington and raised in a small town just south, South Hill, Puyallup. At the time South Hill was a heavily wooded area and far off the beaten path. Growing up she had the forests as her fantasy world along with the wild animals. She lived with her parents and an older sister. There are a few similarities from her own childhood that have carried over in to her first novel, “The Stage”. As a child, she did have a small dog named Toto, whom she would quite frequently roam the woods with. Her childhood home still stands, and is still nestled in the woods even though South Hill has undergone an extreme makeover since she lived there. She enjoyed hours of day dreaming and playing in the woods, which in turn fed her fantasy world of make believe.

The book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour only.

The Stage Chronicles site http://www.thestagechronicles.com/


Amazon link for The Stage Chronicles Book 2 Exit Stage Left https://www.amazon.com/Exit-Stage-Left-Chronicles/dp/1935460889/ref=sr_1_2

Amazon link for The Stage Chronicles Book 1 The Stage  https://www.amazon.com/Exit-Stage-Left-Chronicles/dp/1935460889/ref=sr_1_2

Twitter for The Stage Chronicles https://twitter.com/CathyMRussell

Facebook for The Stage Chronicles https://www.facebook.com/thestagechronicles/

Instagram for The Stage Chronicles https://www.instagram.com/thestagechronicles_/


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION


One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit the other blogs on the tour:

August 28: Readeropolis
August 30: The Tired Buyer
September 4: Christine Young
September 6: Fabulous and Brunette
September 11: Romance Novel Giveaways
September 13: Sharing Links and Wisdom
September 20: Viviana MacKade
September 25: Mixed Book Bag
September 27: Kit 'N Kabookle
October 2: Independent Authors
October 4: Edgar's Books
October 9: Beyond Romance
October 11: The Reading Addict
October 16: Jazzy Book Reviews
October 18: Bookstanista
October 23: Kimmi Love
October 25: Two Ends of the Pen
October 30: Bookaholic
November 1: Lampshade Reader
November 6: Author C.A.Milson
November 13: B-Gina Review
November 15: T's Stuff
November 27: It's Raining Books
November 29: Kimmi Love
December 6: Locks, Hooks and Books - review
December 11: Long and Short Reviews

Monday, September 24, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 296 - Season of Wonder by RaeAnne Thayne

Season of Wonder (Haven Point, #9)Season of Wonder by RaeAnne Thayne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dani Capelli has come to Haven Point to start over but lives in fear that her past will drag her and her children down. I liked Dani's background. She worked hard to first get a college degree and then to go to school to be a vet. This has all the elements of a good romance. Our hero, Ruben Morales, is Dani's next door neighbor. He is a police officer and attracted to Dani. The two start to get close when Dani's fear of her past makes her back off. Ruben just does not give up. Add a teenager and a six year old to the mix and you have more possibilities for action. Good addition to the series.

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


Wolfsbane (Sianim, #4 / Aralorn, #2)Wolfsbane by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have become very fond of Aralorn and her wolf Cain. They have been together for years when Aralorn goes home because her father has died. That is the hook for the entire story for it seems that her father is not dead he is under a spell. This bring a large cast of characters into play as they try to undo the spell. Wolf is great at keeping secret the fact that he knows Aralorn's secret. The two are a great pair and they both are part of an interesting story. Katherine Kellgren does a very good job bringing the story to life.

View all my reviews

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 295 - Mistletoe Miracles by Jodi Thomas, Searching for the Fleet by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Mistletoe Miracles (Ransom Canyon)Mistletoe Miracles by Jodi Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

While this is part of a series it reads like a stand alone. Previous characters are mentioned but not featured. This skips between three different sets of characters as they work their way to a HEA. If you took each one it is the size of a novella. Put together they make a book. Thomas has taken several familiar tropes and made interesting stories with their own unique flavor. I loved the Johnson's - the trope mistaken identity. The Holloway trope a marriage of convince. Last but not least Jaxon O’Grady is the wounded hero who is hiding out. Each set have their own problems and come to their HEA using their own solution. Great Christmas read.

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

Searching for the Fleet: A Diving NovelSearching for the Fleet: A Diving Novel by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love the Diving Novels and had Searching for the Fleet on preorder. I put it at the top of my TBR list and started it as soon as it showed up on my Kindle. Then I started reading and found that the first part was the novella Dix which I had already purchased and read. It went downhill from there. About half way through there was another novella I had purchased and read. While I liked both Coop and Yash I found much of their interaction and search boring. This did finish the story leaving both Coop and Yash with a new goal. I guess a good ending with some excitement at the end but still a disappointing story to end the series.

View all my reviews

Friday, September 21, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 294 - More Than a Phoenix by Ashlyn Chase, Why Not Tonight by Susan Mallery

More Than a PhoenixMore Than a Phoenix by Ashlyn Chase
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

While the problems the characters have are serious the tone of the book is very light hearted. That is a combination that is hard to do but Ashlyn Chase handles it with ease. I loved both of the Phoenix Shifters. They were strong but very opened minded. The added paranormal characters added interest to the story line. They all had so many secrets and all were needed to solve the problems in the story. This is book two in the series but works well as a stand alone.

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

Why Not Tonight (Happily Inc., #3)Why Not Tonight by Susan Mallery
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Natalie Kaleta arrived in Happily as a left at the alter bride and decided to stay. Ronan Mitchell came to get away from the family that kept an important secret from him. Natalie turns lemons into lemonade. Ronan broods. Not a good mix but of course in the third book about Happily they end up together but not until Ronan comes to terms with the secret and the people who kept it. A nice romance with some fun moments. It follows the story line of the previous books but is still a good read.

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

View all my reviews

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Rogue Dragon Part One Rising by TJ Shaw - Book Blast and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Twenty-three year old, Amari Hawke, is thrust into the world of two-soul shifters when she is injured and kidnapped by trackers outside the veil, beyond the safety of her homeland. Unable to remember her past, she trusts no one and relies on instinct to survive. As her awakening approaches, the first time she will transition into her animal, she must evade rogue shifters trying to capture her.

Now free from the King’s Army, powerful dragon lord, Jaxon Blackthorn, seeks a peaceful life. Intent on building his lands into a viable plantation, away from war and bloodshed, he is reluctantly pulled back into the fight when he defends the mysterious shifter with no past against an unseen enemy.

As evil threatens to destroy the entire realm, can the battle-hardened warrior and coming-of-age noblewoman accept their differences to forge an alliance that will ultimately unite the shifter nations?

Read an Excerpt

“Deep in thought?”

His baritone voice rolled over Amari and soaked into her skin, fostering the hair on her arms to rise. She inhaled a breath to gather her thoughts and lifted her head. Her eyes widened. A small gasp slipped out before she could catch it, and any further attempt to draw air into her lungs ceased over the larger-than-life male consuming her vision.

Wearing tan pants and a white collared shirt, Lord Jaxon Blackthorn sat astride a magnificent black beast, his elbow resting on the saddle horn. His mount shifted, and Lord Blackthorn’s body compensated with an easy grace. The suns at his back cast him in a muted glow, accentuating his cheekbones and rugged jawline. A breeze kicked strands of black hair across his face in a wildness that pleased her. The man before her would never be mistaken for a sheep, and her body hummed in appreciation.

“Resting,” she gasped out, wondering when her lungs would start working again.

Lord Blackthorn glanced toward the others. “By yourself?”

“I like being alone,” she said with a small shrug. Fidgeting under his stare, she would have squirmed out of her skin and fled into the surrounding forest if possible. Running trembling fingers through her hair, she concentrated on keeping her heart from thumping out of her chest.

He followed her movements, and she sizzled inside. Her head wound must be more severe than she thought because no sane woman would be excited over the hungered focus of this predator.

About the Author:
TJ Shaw is a multi award-winning author who writes from her heart by incorporating her dreams and experiences to create strong, passionate characters who must overcome personal flaws to survive against the challenges of traversing through magical realms, undiscovered planets, and apocalyptic catastrophes.

TJ is a member of Romance Writers of America and Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Romance Writers.

Website: https://tjshaw.com/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tjshawauthor/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TjShawAuthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/TJShaw
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/tjshaw
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TJShawAuthor

BOOK IS ON SALE $0.99 DURING TOUR ONLY

– Paperback and eBook

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Rogue-Dragon-Rising-part-Outside-ebook/dp/B07FSKH3XX/
< Barnes and Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rogue-dragon-rising-part-one-tj-shaw/1129183174
iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1417772232
Google Play https://play.google.com/store/books/details/TJ_Shaw_Rogue_Dragon_Rising_part_one?id=QLhmDwAAQBAJ
Kobo https://play.google.com/store/books/details/TJ_Shaw_Rogue_Dragon_Rising_part_one?id=QLhmDwAAQBAJ

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 293 - The Ledberg Runestone by Patrick Donovan, Uncontrollable by Nina Croft

The Ledberg Runestone (The Jonah Heywood Chronicles, #1)The Ledberg Runestone by Patrick Donovan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first in a new series with a shaman, Jonah Haywood, as the main character. This is one that I probably would not have finished if I was reading but continued with the audio book. I did not like how often Jonah got beaten up and how unrealistic it was that he just continued to function after each beating. The story was interesting enough. There was a lot of backstory and world building in with the violence. A lot was left hanging but then this is the first in a new series so there will be other books to finish what was left over.


UncontrollableUncontrollable by Nina Croft
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The latest in books about The Tribe this is a thriller from the first. Quinn Sutherland goes to break Martin out of prison and finds him with Melody Lyons who says she is a FBI agent. From there on it is a run for their money. Quinn and Melody connect even as both have secrets. Some questions about The Tribe are answered and Quinn and Melody do end up together after a very interesting journey. I enjoyed their story but did not really like the ending. Did they save the world? Don't know so there must be more to the story. Hope so anyway.

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

View all my reviews

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Pricilla by Charlene Raddon - Book Blast and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charlene will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

After losing her father and husband in a mine disaster, Priscilla Heartsel faces poverty and eviction from her home by a heartless mine owner. Tricked into a bank robbery gone wrong, Braxton Gamble finds himself shot and unconscious in Priscilla's bed. Can they survive long enough to find a love more precious than gold?


Read an Excerpt

April 9, 1844, Wildcat Ridge, Utah

Priscilla Heartsel wiped her bloody fingers on her long, filthy dress. She was kneeling in a hole, one of several she had dug with her own hands, seeking, searching….

Papa. Robert, where are you?

She sat back on her heels and glanced around. Several other women and children remained on the hill of rubble that, earlier that day, had been a working gold mine. The Lucky Lady. What a travesty.

"Priscilla?"

Her friend, Thalia, climbed the ragged hill toward her, holding her skirts up out of the dirt.

"You need to go home and sleep, Priscilla," Thalia said when she reached her. "You need to eat."

"No. I have to find Robert and Papa." She began clawing at the earth again and uncovered a shoe. Brown, not black like Robert's. Not Papa's either. She thought of the smile her husband had given her that morning as she'd tied his shoes before he left for his law office. If only he'd stayed there.

Why did you have to come to the mine? Why didn't you stay here? With me? Wasn't it bad enough that I lost Papa? Why did I have to lose you, too?

Thalia grabbed her wrists to stop her. "They're gone. They're all gone. All our men, some of the women and even children. Gone."

Priscilla managed one word. "Jeffrey?"

Thalia nodded, and a tear escaped to run down her cheek.

Priscilla pulled her friend into her arms. Poor Thalia and Jeffrey were to be married in May. Priscilla wanted to cry. For Thalia, for herself, for all the widows and children left behind by this horrible, horrible tragedy. The need was a pain in her chest, in her throat. Her entire body felt ready to explode from withholding her grief.

Grown women do not cry, Priscilla. We keep our emotions to ourselves. No one wants to hear about your pain. They have their own.

Thalia drew away, tears raining down her cheeks now, but kept hold of Priscilla's grubby hands. Looking down at them, Priscilla noticed her wedding ring was gone.

About the Author: Charlene Raddon’s first serious attempt at writing fiction came in 1980 when a vivid dream drove her to drag out a typewriter and begin writing. Because of her love of romance novels and the Wild West, her primary genre is historical romance. Kensington Books originally published five of her novels. These were later released as eBooks by Tirgearr Publishing. Currently, Charlene is an Indie author with . She also designs book covers, specializing in western historical.

Website: https://charleneraddon.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/charleneb.b.raddon
Twitter: http://twitter.com/craddon
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Charlene-Raddon/e/B000APG1P8/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1232154.Charlene_Raddon

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07G9N8PC7/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 17, 2018

Cloaked by Taylor Hobbs - Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway





Cloaked
by Taylor Hobbs

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE:   Historical Fantasy Romance

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

As the Cloaked Shadow, Fawkes has made his career breaking into prisons for any contract with a large enough purse. He takes advantage of the kingdom's impending revolution by playing both sides of the conflict. Each rescue contract he fulfills turns a tidy profit until he angers the wrong duke.
Charlotte is a criminal-in-training who yearns to crack her mentor’s guarded façade, but is unprepared to confront the depths of his dark past. As her sense of right and wrong blurs, Charlotte discovers just how far she will go for the Cloaked Shadow and the sacrifices he requires.
Now hunted throughout the land, Fawkes must face long-buried secrets in order to survive, but they could destroy him. Charlotte risks everything, including her heart, to set Fawkes on the path to redemption.
Will Charlotte have the strength to pull Fawkes into the light, or will she follow him into the shadows?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT

“Please, whatever you are,” Henry begged, “don't hurt us. Please.”

There was no answer, but Charlotte heard the rustle of fabric and a felt a light breeze on her skin as the shadow whisked by her. She whirled around to face the cell across from Henry's. Through the haze of her torchlight circle, Charlotte watched as the shadow knelt down, freeing a hand holding a key from the depths of a long, black cloak. With the telltale rasp of iron on iron, the door to the other cell creaked open.

The stranger crept soundlessly inside, returning seconds later with a body slung over its shoulders. The body emitted a low groan, and the shadow lowered its burden to lean against the wall. With unexpected care, the shadow crouched over the emaciated prisoner and murmured softly to him.

Seeing this spark of humanity gave Charlotte the courage she needed. “Help us.” It was a statement, not a question.

The cloaked figure remained kneeling next to its charge, and a man's voice finally spoke in a low rumble. “But you have nothing to offer me.”

Charlotte hesitated at his unexpected statement, trying to decipher its meaning. “Free my brother, and you can have anything you want.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I asked Taylor where are five places you might visit for inspiration for your books?  Here are her answers.  

Thanks for having me on your blog today, Jo, and for the great question! I had fun remembering all the locations I visited while writing Cloaked. Each holds a special place in my heart for helping me finish the book.

1. The library.For readers and writers, I feel like libraries are a place of worship. There is something so special about getting lost among the stacks, surrounded by incredible stories just waiting for me to crack open their spines. If I got stuck while drafting Cloaked,reading other books always triggered a burst of inspiration. They let me step away from my manuscript for a while and gave me a new perspective on the story.
2. A writer’s group. I was fortunate enough to attend best-selling author Jonathan Maberry’s infamous ‘Writers Coffeehouse’ group every month when I lived in San Diego. This meeting was simply writers getting together to talk about writing. We helped motivate and energize each other instead of critique. Cloaked would not be the novel it is today had I not attended this group. 
3. A coffee shop. Coffee shops are fantastic for people-watching and coming up with character sketches. A steady stream of unique looks, mannerisms, accents, and behavior stream in and out of them all day. Studying humanity is a great way to make characters feel authentic in the story (just don’t be creepy about it!). I did a lot of great outlining for Cloakedin coffee shops. 
4. A yoga studio. This activity allowed my thoughts to clear and banish any writer’s block while I worked on Cloaked. Meditative breathing gives me to access my most creative brain and allows the obvious solutions to problems in my stories to surface. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind! 
5. The Beach. I saved the best for last. When I’m at the beach, I feel like my very soul is being cleansed. I am so in tune with myself and my surroundings that the story ideas just appear out of nowhere. Crashing waves and a salty breeze both relax and inspire me at the same time. 

Readers, where do you find your greatest inspiration? Is it in one of the five places I listed, or is it rooted in an idea instead? I’m curious! Let’s discuss.  




~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Taylor Hobbs lives aboard a 38 ft sailboat named Story Time with her husband, baby girl, and dog. They are a military family who love to travel, whether it is by sea or air. When she's not writing, Taylor enjoys doing yoga and planning her next adventure. You can keep up with their crazy life at http://www.cannonstocruising.com or follow on Twitter at @tayhobbit. 

Cloaked is her debut novel and can be found at https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/6046-cloaked.html

Buy links:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

Taylor Hobbs will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway