Thursday, November 29, 2018

Book Review: City of Secrets (Counterfeit Lady #2) by Victoria Thompson ~ #CozyMystery @BerkleyMystery

Book Details:

Print Length: 316 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

About the Book:

Con artist Elizabeth Miles has determined that Society is the biggest con of all. So far, Elizabeth’s only real social success has been with Priscilla Knight. Priscilla is a dedicated suffragist who was recently widowed for the second time in her young life. Her beloved first husband, DeForrest Jenks, died in a tragic accident and left her with two young daughters and a comfortable fortune. Soon after his death, her pastor convinced her she needed a man to look after her. Before she knew it, he had engineered a whirlwind courtship and hasty marriage to fellow parishioner Endicott Knight. Less than nine months later, Endicott is also dead in a somewhat less tragic and even more suspicious accident.

Priscilla confides to Elizabeth that she had understood Endicott was wealthy in his own right, and she had brought a sizeable fortune to the marriage as well. Now her banker is telling her she has hardly any money left and that her house has been mortgaged. The banker has hinted at a scandal that could damage the family’s reputation and her daughters’ future prospects. Fearing destructive gossip, Priscilla doesn’t know whom to trust.

Elizabeth discovers some unsavory evidence that seems to point to the possibility that Endicott’s death may have been connected to blackmail. To save her new friend’s future, Elizabeth must use her special set of skills to find the truth.

My Review:

City of Secrets by Victoria Thompson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

City of Secrets is the second book in the Counterfeit Lady series by Victoria Thompson. Elizabeth, our heroine, is a con artist trying to settle down with an honest lawyer. When a church patron named Priscilla Knight reveals that she doesn’t know why she married her now-deceased second husband and that she doesn’t remember anything about the wedding ceremony, Elizabeth smells a rat. Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, Elizabeth and Gideon, embark on a case that involves lies, deception, and most of all, secrets. What follows is an investigation involving brothels, blackmail, and the potential to release information that could cause a huge scandal. Elizabeth relies on her family’s set of unique talents to try and make the wrongs done to Priscilla right but at what could be a terrible expense for Elizabeth and Gideon.

City of Secrets is a wonderful book filled with realism and emotion from start to finish. The author’s world building in the book is vivid and descriptive. The author did a great job with the continued character development in City of Secrets. Elizabeth is s a strong character but you must be if the art of the long con is your way of living. She’s also compassionate especially towards Priscilla Knight and her situation. It is easy to identify with Elizabeth, feel her emotions and the emotions of others, and fit right into the story. All the characters were written well, and I enjoyed each one of them.

This book is rich in emotional content and I was engaged in the story from the very beginning. The story is fast paced and truly set up and executed well. I can’t wait to see what the author has instore for Elizabeth next.

I was given a copy of this book to read.

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Book Blast & #Giveaway ~ An Alien Exchange (An Alien Exchange Trilogy Book 1) by Keri Kruspe ~ Sci-Fi Romance ~ @GoddessFish @authorkkruspe ~ #99cents

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Keri Kruspe 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.
About the Book:
Aimee Gwiazdowski has a passion for Alien Abduction romance stories. She vicariously lives through the heroines of her books to escape her lonely, loveless life. Until one morning, she wakes up in a strange, white room where an alluring voice invites her to the “Exchange” to find love and adventure in another world. Did she dare believe it? Could she leave everything behind and take a chance to become one of those heroines who finds true love among the stars?
Exiled Prince Qayyum E’etu and commander of the space vessel StarChance has a mission—transport the human women to the Exchange along with an offer he can’t refuse: find evidence against rumored human trafficking connected with the Exchange. If he can successfully bring the traitors back to Zerin for justice, it would give him a chance to return home. How was he supposed to know that meeting a human woman would put everything he was working for in jeopardy?

As unforeseen evil slowly brews discord within the galaxy, it works to tear Aimee and Qay further apart. If they don’t learn to overcome their fears and trust the love they have for each other, the coming cataclysm will devastate not only Zerin, but Earth as well.

An Alien Exchange is the first book in a sci-fi romance that features intergalactic action, engrossing plots, and courageous individuals. If you like fast-paced action, raw emotions, and sexy aliens, you’ll love this new space adventure.

I dedicate this book to those who are alone in a crowd. To those who are desperately trying to right a wrong they’ve done in the past. Sometimes taking a chance may seem crazy, but you’ll never know until you try.

Read an Excerpt from An Alien Exchange:

Then he did the most unexpected thing. His eyes left hers to fixate on her lips before his mouth covered hers. His tongue stroked over her, gentle and tentative as if asking for permission. Then, a switch flipped, the kiss deepened with bold sweeps in a masculine demand.

What in the world was that flavor? Spicy sweetness, like the tang of nutmeg mixed with an unknown taste of pure masculine bite. Delicious. She opened her mouth and welcomed him in.

It was all the encouragement he needed. His tongue swooped through with masterful determination. His body sidled over her side, his soft linen shirt rubbing enticingly against the naked skin of her stomach.

Lost…she was lost in an overload of sensation. When he pulled back and broke their connection, she whimpered in disappointment.

“Yes, Aimee, give yourself to me—to us.” His husky whisper fueled her passions to a higher level.

Before his words seeped through her befuddled mind, he resumed their mind-blowing kiss. As his tongue lavished over hers, she returned the favor. His mouth was an intoxicating hint of savory goodness and she wanted more. She whimpered as she raised her head to get closer. Stroking, sucking, caressing, and absorbing the rush he gave her.

Her body shivered in reaction. The intense emotion scared her.

She broke away. She couldn’t think. How stupid was she to let this go on? She couldn’t be more embarrassed if she stood in a room full of strangers stark naked.

Meet the Author:

“Author of otherworldly romantic adventures”

A writer since the age of twelve, Keri Kruspe has always been fascinated with otherworldly stories that end with the dream of Happily Ever After.

A native Nevadan, Keri resides with her family in the wilds of Northwest Michigan where she enjoys the stark change in seasons and the pleasures each one brings. An avid reader, Keri loves an enjoyable bottle of red wine, a variety of delicious foods and watching action/adventure movies…usually at the same time. You can find her most days immersed in her fantasy world on her latest novel while foot tappin’ to classic rock. When not absorbed in her writing, Keri works alongside her husband in building their dream home or discovering intelligent life in America in their RV.

Why I Wrote This Book:

I was reading one of my favorite Sci-fi romances on my electronic reader after watching the latest’s news about computer hacking. It got me thinking…what if aliens hacked into my reading habits to find someone like me who liked alien romances. Wouldn’t that be a perfect way to find women who might be willing to leaving Earth to find love among the stars…

I envisioned Star Wars meets Pretty women. And that, they say, was that. My story “An Alien Exchange” was born.

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

Buy An Alien Exchange to experience the first installment of this exciting trilogy!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Book Blast & #Giveaway ~ Longevity: The Wardens of Time by Caleb Smith ~ #YA #UF @GoddessFish @CalebSmith

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Caleb Smith 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.
About the Book:
Noah Thomas is a scrawny seventh grader who is bullied to the brink in his new town. Friendless, except for sassy tomboy Wendy Sherman, who seems to lend him the confidence he needs to stand up to his oppressors. Upon stumbling into a bookshop one afternoon while on the run from some teenaged tyrants, Noah is hurled into an unexplainable adventure. Noah learns that the bookshop does, in fact, lead to the Akashic Records – a place that holds all spirit lives recorded in tablets of light. With this new found knowledge, Noah begins to grow in wisdom and confidence to face his fears. His biggest challenge comes in the form of five demonic spirits that he accidentally lets loose from a lost tablet. Will Noah succeed with the help of his guardian angel cat he calls Keeper, or will all Hell's henchman prevail?
"A spiritual thriller that skillfully celebrates determination and self-discipline - Kirkus Reviews "
Read an Excerpt from Longevity:

Elijah was busy containing the damned and all the energies he could catch, holding them tightly until their essence spontaneously combusted into cosmic dust as the window shattered. The night wind howled angrily. With the wave of his hand, Elijah repaired the window to its normal state, and Enoch found the metal sleeve to lock this lost Akashic tablet, sliding both book and key into his deep pocket. Elijah then moved to Noah’s aid, ignoring the result of the mayhem that had occurred in this room. He cradled Noah’s head and lifted his torso. Noah awakened to the sight of the two pillars of heaven towering over him and shining light into his peepers. He was not as shocked as he should have been. He quickly remembered what he had done, and then Elijah set him on his feet to stand. He wished he was more surprised to see them, but he knew full well the reason for their visit.

About the Author:

Caleb Smith an author from Bangor Maine, holds a passion for nature, spiritual study, family, poetry, art, strength training and golf. Honesty, simplicity and a hard work ethic are the best things that shape his day.

Book Video:
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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Happy Release Day to Earth Quarantined by D.L. Richardson ~ #Giveaway ~ #Aliens ~ @DLRichardson1

It’s release day for Earth Quarantined, a new alien occupation fiction novel by the author of Welcome to the Apocalypse.

If you like alien occupation fiction, then this book is for you. It’s like ‘The Expanse’ but played out on Earth. Aliens brought peace to Earth and promised us the technology for interstellar travel. 300 years later and they still haven't given us this technology. They're lying to us. What they don’t know is that we’re lying to them...

The author is giving away to one lucky winner one $15 giftcard. Easy to enter. No purchase necessary. And you can choose between amazon, Kobo or Barnes & Noble giftcard. Read on to find out how you can enter.

About the Book:

World peace came with rules. We’ve just broken them.

In the year 2055, millions of humans were wiped out by a deadly virus known as EMB-II, a bioweapon strain of Ebola that could not be stopped. The need to get off the planet and into space was never stronger. Before the ships could be launched, First Contact was made. A dozen spaceships arrived, carrying twelve Criterion Advocates – peacekeepers of the universe – and thousands of Criterion soldiers, aides, workers, and engineers. To stop the virus getting into space, Earth was placed under quarantine and work begun to save the planet and humanity. Through tough control measures, world peace was achieved.

The year is now 2355. The virus is gone. Humanity is eager to get into space. Yet the Earth is still under quarantine. The Criterion are lying to us. What they don’t know is that we’re lying to them.

Kethryn Miller is an award-winning actress, but nothing will prepare her for the role she’ll take on when a strange woman who shouldn’t be alive turns up in the city, threatening to expose the lies that have kept peace on Earth for 200 years.

Read an Excerpt:

The thud of her boots and the hum of overhead pipes clogged her head. Too loud in her ears, rude for the sound to be there but it had no other place to go.

Neah gulped in a lungful of air and for a split second obliterated time and space. Visualize the power to do whatever you want. Intense.

When she held her breath she could master the quiet. But her twenty-four-year-old lungs needed air the way the underground bunker needed to thump and hum and give off the stench of burning oil. At last she exhaled, though it came out as a heavy sigh. Somewhere in the distance a machine groaned. Life inside this station was like that heavy sigh. Intense.

Pressing a hand against the concrete wall, she tried to detect motion. Legend said the old power station housed their souls, and Neah’s daughter, Becka – four years old at the time – had held her ear against the wall beside her bed, claiming to hear the beating heart of the station. If the station and its inhabitants existed as one, then if Neah detected the heart of the station, she could detect the same of Becka.

She pressed a fist against her chest.

“Always remember,” she whispered.

A bang came from her left. The metal door to the guardhouse command room swung open and a sentinel stepped out, yawning and stretching. Neah whipped her hand away from the wall and brushed past the guard muttering her usual greeting.

“Get out of my way, dipshit.”

It was six a.m., August 17 of the year 197 ATW (After The War), and Neah was about to clock on to start a normal day in an abnormal world. She’d rather have been anywhere else on Earth. The problem was finding anywhere livable.

Gazing up at the duty roster brought a snarl to her lips. The board contained the running tab on which sentinel would die first from a routine check of the station for a contamination breach. The tab beat the boredom out of having nothing to do other than pursue young kids who spat from the top of the gangways and old folks who forgot to wear pants. Someone had crossed out the hundred-to-one odds against Neah’s name and written TODAY.

“Freaking scumbag,” she said.

In two strides she stood at the board and scrubbed out the word TODAY, and upped the odds to two hundred. While it was considered it bad form to complain about the pranks the other guards pulled, she wasn’t in the mood for jokes today. Not today, not this week, not this month.

Evin, a tall guy with meaty arms who was her boss and also her roommate, walked into the room. He stood in the middle like a towering black stone.

Evin flicked his chin at the board. “Wasn’t like that when I signed on.”

“Probably that shithead, Gus.” Neah clenched her hands into fists. “Always messing about with the board. I ought to skin him alive.”


$2.99 ebook for only $2.99


Also available in print

Earth Quarantined is available to buy at any of these great online retailers:

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About D L Richardson:

D L Richardson writes speculative fiction, which encompasses science fiction, light horror, supernatural fiction, and fantasy. When she’s not writing, she can be found wandering in her yard waging war on weeds, watching back-to-back episodes on Netflix, playing her piano or guitar, curled up on the couch reading a book, or walking the dog.

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Other books by D L Richardson:

Welcome to the Apocalypse - Pandora

Welcome to the Apocalypse - CyberNexis

Welcome to the Apocalypse - Primal scream

Resident Spy

One Little Spell

The Bird with the Broken Wing (**Saph's Favorite Book by DL Richarson)

Poison in the Pond – A Shivers Novella Vol 1

Evil in the Embers – A Shivers Novella Vol 2

Danger in the Dirt – A Shivers Novella Vol 3

Space Junk – 4 short sci-fi stories

Enter the Giveaway:

The author is giving away to one lucky winner one $15 giftcard. Easy to enter. No purchase necessary. And you can choose between amazon, Kobo or Barnes & Noble giftcard.

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Book Blast & #Giveaway ~ The Storm in our Chests by Enrique Betancourt ~ @enribetan ~ #YA Young Adult ~ @GoddessFish

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enrique Betancourt 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.
About the Book:
After being separated abruptly, best friends Benj and Élan reunite after five years. They are not children anymore, and teenage and experience changed them.
Benj used to be an isolated antisocial child, now he’s popular and outgoing, leaving for college in the following year.

Élan used to be chipper, now he’s sad and insecure after years of being tossed around the foster system and realizing he is gay, crushing on a boy he thinks is unattainable.

Their reunion proves to be a challenge as they are the polar opposites of how they knew each other, the journey to healing and proves to be tough. Bonding again may be the only thing that saves them. Through small moments and swift dramatic turns, Benj and Élan will have to prove they are more than friends - they are buddies, and the epitome of unconditional love.
Read an Excerpt:


“Please! Don’t take my best friend away!”

I remember. Hurts every time.

Even if it’s been five years, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget that. The day that changed the course of my life, and the moment when I realized everything was lost. He was running behind the car, trying to reach me. I was crying, sobbing real tears that threatened to break my already shattered heart. I remember asking the social workers for leniency, to let me say goodbye to Benj. But they said this was for the better. They said this is what it was meant to be. They said it wouldn’t hurt that bad this way.

It still hurts every day.

I looked through the window and I saw him, crying for me. That was the last time I heard someone who loved me cry out my name. I know it’s stupid, it’s been five years and I should probably try to move on. Sometimes I want to forget, but then I remember that it would be worse. If I forgot Benj, I’d probably be hollow. So I held on to the memory of us as long as I could. He was my light in the darkness.

Every night filled with shadows, he was my anchor to strength. I kept saying that one day we’d meet again and things would be like they used to be, so I try to be strong. Even if I grow hair in unexpected places and my voice deepens, or if I’m taller, he would still like me. Even if I don’t see life the same way as before, he would still love me.

I was not Batman, he was.

He was my Batman.

Purchase Your Copy:


About the Author:

I am the published writer of a novel called THE IMAGINARIUM OF THE INNOCENT by Austin Macauley Publishers, and also I have been awarded the Rosa Maria Porrúa Award for my Spanish-language novella SOBRE LAS CENIZAS. My books stand out for their literacy excellence that got me an award, and the dramatic and emotional way I handle my characters. I am Mexican who lived 6 years in the United States, I love to read, to write and music is such a powerful inspiring force for me.


Purchase Links:

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Book Feature, Book Review, & #Giveaway: A Cold Brew Killing (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery, Book 3) by Lena Gregory ~ #CozyMystery @LenaGregory03

A Cold Brew Killing (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery) by Lena Gregory

About the Book:

A Cold Brew Killing
All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery, Book 3
Cozy Mystery

Lyrical Underground

November 6, 2018

Print Length Approximately 250 Pages

Digital ASIN: B079R5Y14L

When an ice cream vendor discovers a frozen stiff, Florida diner owner Gia Morelli has to serve up some just desserts . . .

Gia has become good friends with Trevor, a fun, flirtatious bachelor who owns the ice cream parlor down the street from her popular All-Day Breakfast Café. Trevor has the scoop on all sorts of local attractions and activities. But when he bursts into her diner, trembling and paler than a pint of French Vanilla, she can tell something's very wrong. Trevor points her toward his shop then passes out cold. When Gia runs down to his shop, she discovers a chilling sight—a dead body in the open freezer. But the ice cream man's troubles are just beginning. The police suspect him of this murder a la mode, especially when details of his questionable past surface. Gia believes in her friend and is determined to clear his name and find the real cold-blooded killer before someone else gets put on ice . . .

Read My Review:

Meet the Author:

Lena Gregory lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children. When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.

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Book Review: A Cold Brew Killing All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery, Book 3 by Lena Gregory ~ #CozyMystery @LenaGregory03

A Cold Brew Killing (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery) by Lena Gregory

Book Details:

A Cold Brew Killing 
All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery, Book 3
Cozy Mystery 

Lyrical Underground 

November 6, 2018

Print Length Approximately 250 Pages 

Digital ASIN: B079R5Y14L

About the Book:

When an ice cream vendor discovers a frozen stiff, Florida diner owner Gia Morelli has to serve up some just desserts . . .

Gia has become good friends with Trevor, a fun, flirtatious bachelor who owns the ice cream parlor down the street from her popular All-Day Breakfast Café. Trevor has the scoop on all sorts of local attractions and activities. But when he bursts into her diner, trembling and paler than a pint of French Vanilla, she can tell something's very wrong. Trevor points her toward his shop then passes out cold. When Gia runs down to his shop, she discovers a chilling sight—a dead body in the open freezer. But the ice cream man's troubles are just beginning. The police suspect him of this murder a la mode, especially when details of his questionable past surface. Gia believes in her friend and is determined to clear his name and find the real cold-blooded killer before someone else gets put on ice . . .

My Review:

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gia is back at it in A Cold Brew Killing. Partnering with her friend Trevor who owns the ice cream shop, Gia is working on cold brew that the two shops will share. When Trevor stumbles into her café in shock and she finds a dead body in his, her only instinct is to figure out what happened. Gia is certain that Trevor is innocent even though, now, she may be the only one. As the mystery unfolds, childhood friends, enemies, and frenemies crawl out of the woodwork bringing with them means and motive for both the murder and the set up, if indeed, Trevor is innocent. 

I really enjoyed A Cold Brew Killing. The book is perfectly paced - not too fast and not too slow. I was pulled in from the very beginning and engaged in the plot. The character development continues, and we learn more about the characters and learn backstory without being bogged down with useless filler. The story was fun, exciting, suspenseful, and full of twists and turns. I had a wonderful time trying to figure out just what happened and who was responsible. The continued world building is great, and I was able to visualize the story.

Gia came from New York one person and has since evolved into another as she gets used to the differences in Florida. Gia is a very strong character and I enjoy the books about her world. I love that the author does not, at any time, write her as weak or unstable. She's just had a very rough past that she thought she would escape by moving away from her former life and completely starting over. Samantha and Hunt are stability characters for Gia. Savannah is a wonderful best friend and Hunt proves to be another person who has Gia's back. 

As in previous books, Gia does some questionable things in A Cold Brew Killing that made me shake my head. Her shenanigans don’t detract from the story, though. The characters are all likeable, the setting in Florida is nice. The chemistry between Gia and Hunt is sweet and believable. I prefer a little bit of soft romance in my cozy mysteries. I really enjoy the author's writing style and love her Bay Island Mystery series.

I was provided a copy of this book to review.

Purchase Links:

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Book Feature & #Giveaway ~ Chasing Shadows (First Wives, Book 3) by Catherine Bybee ~ @catherinebybee

About the Book:

Avery Grant doesn’t date. Her first marriage was a mutually beneficial contract that gave her the financial freedom she needed to step away from her controlling parents. Wealthy and single, the last thing she’s looking for is love sneaking in to mess up her life plans. And after a brutal attack, she’s determined to never be vulnerable again, even if the new man in her life helps her feel safe.

Mesmerized from the moment he sets his eyes on Avery, Liam is driven to learn everything about this tough, sexy, challenging woman. Breaking down her defenses won’t be easy, but Liam refuses to be pushed away. All he needs is a tiny crack in Avery’s armor to wiggle his way into her heart.

But when a terrifying lie about her attacker’s fate comes to light, Avery’s past returns to haunt her. Now she’s willing to put herself in danger to get the answers she needs. That means jeopardizing the best thing that’s ever happened to her: Liam

Read an Excerpt:

Avery’s head shot up at the sound of a female voice calling her name.


Oh, damn

When Lori was at their table, Avery detached from Liam’s side and stood for a hug. “What are you doing here? Where’s Reed?”

Lori eyed Liam while she answered the questions. “Reed’s on his way down. We’re going out to dinner. Wanted a drink first.”

What were the chances of Lori excusing herself before Avery was forced to make an introduction?

Lori reached out a hand toward Liam. “I’m Lori.”

Liam stood; a broad smile matched his broad chest. “Liam Holt.” Once he released Lori’s hand, he pulled out a bar stool. “Sit, we just ordered drinks.”

Avery wanted to elbow his ribs.

Instead, she smiled.

Liam signaled for Nikki.

“Liam, huh? Avery hasn’t mentioned you.”

He pulled Avery’s chair closer to his and waited for her to sit. “We haven’t known each other long.”

Lori sent a questioning look to Avery. Instead of adding to Liam’s explanation.

“I’ve known Lori for a few years. We live in the same building.”

“What do you do, Liam?”

Small talk … is that what this was going to be?

Lori signaled Reed when he walked in the door. “This is my husband.”

Avery laughed. “You love saying that, don’t you?”

Lori nodded.

“They’re newlyweds,” Avery explained.

Once again Liam stood when Reed approached the table.

“Look who I found,” Lori said.

Reed kissed Avery’s cheek. “I haven’t seen you here in a while.”

“That’s because you two never come up for air,” Avery teased.

“This is Liam … Avery’s friend.” Yeah, Lori wanted more details.

The men shook hands.

“Have I ever met one of your friends?” he asked.

Avery glared. “Smooth, Reed … really smooth.”

Lori nudged her husband’s arm. “Stop teasing.” She turned her focus on Liam. “Avery keeps her private life private.”

Avery tried not to flinch when Liam placed a hand over hers. “I’ve figured that out recently.”

“How did you two meet?” Reed asked.

Avery said “the gym” at the same time Liam said “a bar.”

Lori’s lawyer radar spiked. Avery saw it in her eyes. “Those two things are worlds apart.”

She caught Liam’s hand and squeezed.

“The first time I saw you was at Pug’s Bar. I approached you at the gym.”

“I knew it. That was you at Pug’s. How did you figure out where I worked out?” She’d been asking herself that question for over a week.

“That wasn’t hard. Leslie had a gym bag.”

“Who’s Leslie?” Lori asked.

Avery didn’t look away from Liam. “A friend. So your job at the gym wasn’t on accident?”

“I might have approached Brenda about a side job so I could meet you.”

Avery’s jaw dropped.

“Who’s Brenda?” Reed asked.

“The owner of the gym,” Avery and Liam said at the same time. “How did you know I was there on Tuesday and Friday nights?” She wasn’t sure if his actions were exciting or scary.

“Appointment book. Brenda’s office is always open.”

“Wait, wait, wait.” Lori placed a hand between the two of theirs. “You see Avery in a bar. You search out a location of her gym, follow her to it, get a job there, and now you’re both here having drinks?”

Liam offered a brief, unapologetic nod.

Lori grabbed Avery’s hand. “How well do you know this guy?”

Avery liked the gleam in Liam’s eyes. “He’s safe.”

“What he just described is a little too close to stalking for my taste.”

Reed placed a hand on Lori’s shoulder. “Simmer down, Counselor. If Liam had an ulterior motive, he wouldn’t have told us all that.”

“I wanted to meet you,” Liam said. “

Yeah, well, you’ve met her.” Lori wasn’t happy.

Nikki showed up with Avery’s and Liam’s drinks.

“My usual, Nikki,” Lori told her.

“Hon, our reservations are in thirty minutes. Maybe we should go.”

Lori looked at Reed like he was crazy. “We aren’t leaving him with her. He could be a sociopath.”

Liam smiled, his eyes crinkling with amusement. “I’m not.”

“That’s what they all say.”

Avery put a free hand in the air. “Chill, Lori.”

Avery realized that her other hand had somehow ended up back in Liam’s. His thumb stroked the underside of her wrist in a strangely calming way.

“Do you want a drink, Reed?” Nikki was still standing there, watching the four of them.

“No, thank you. We’re leaving.”

Lori pushed back her chair. “We’re going to talk about this later,” she warned Avery. “And you … just so you know, I’m an attorney, and my big, burly husband here is in private security. He has even bigger friends.”

Liam reached into his back pocket and removed his wallet. From it, he pulled out what looked like a business card. “I have nothing to hide.”

Lori glanced at it briefly before Reed snatched it from her fingertips. “C’mon. Let’s leave them to their date.”

Liam stood again and shook Reed’s hand before he ushered Lori out of the bar.

“That was intense.”

“My friends are protective.”


“You really went through all that just to meet me?”

Liam picked up his cocktail for the first time. “Worked, didn’t it?”

Avery let loose his hand and lifted her glass to his. “Yes, it did.”

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About the Title:

Title: Chasing Shadows
Author: Catherine Bybee
Release Date: November 13, 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance

About the Author:

New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee has written twenty-eight books that have collectively sold more than five million copies and have been translated into more than eighteen languages. Raised in Washington State, Bybee moved to Southern California in the hope of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the Not Quite Series, the Weekday Brides Series, the Most Likely To Series, and the First Wives Series.

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Saturday, November 10, 2018

Book #Review ~ Scion's Destiny (Seven Seals, Book #1) by Traci Douglass ~ #PNR Paranormal Romance

About the Book:

From a USA Today Bestselling author comes a divinely steamy new paranormal romance series featuring the Scion--a brotherhood of hella sexy heavenly warriors on a mission to save the world--and their destined mates--from ultimate destruction.

Love Conquers All, but can it stop the apocalypse?

After centuries of lonely, faithful service in the heavenly realms, Kagan is tired of watching the world go by from the sidelines. He longs for an earthly mission, to break free and feel the wind on his face, but he cannot leave his eternal Scion duty--to guard the mortal host of the first Seal of the Apocalypse. But when he senses a new call, he seizes his chance for freedom, only to discover the summons came from the very woman he's sworn to protect, a woman who awakens in him the long-dormant, darkest desires of his heart.

Mira Herald is shocked when a gorgeous, buff Adonis shows up at the bar where she works in Chicago, claiming to be a legendary, immortal Scion sent to protect her and carry out the vengeance she craves against her cheating ex. But when the attraction to her handsome guardian grows too strong to resist, and her ex turns out to be far more dangerous than she ever expected, can Mira believe in Kagan and what they have together, no matter the cost?

***This book contains characters originally featured in the book Seal of Destiny, which is no longer available. The story has been completely updated, edited, and reimagined for 2018, though some of the basic elements are the same.***

Seven Seals Series:

Book One -- Scion's Destiny
Book Two -- Scion's Surrender
Book Three -- Scion's Awakening
Book Four -- Scion's Redemption
Book Five -- Scion's Fortune (October 22, 2018)
Book Six -- Scion's Valor (TBA)
Book Seven -- Scion's Completion (TBA)

My Review:

Scion's Destiny by Traci Douglass
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Scion's Destiny is a breath of fresh air in terms of ideas, plot, and character interactions. This is not the same ol' same ol' paranormal romance. I enjoyed the Scion concept and the idea that the first Seal of the Apocalypse is tucked away inside a human host.

Kagan and Mira have terrific chemistry and believable interactions. These two characters are wonderfully matched and the author did a great job with them. Kagan is fierce protector but not in the caveman-hit-them-over-the-head-and-drag-them-back-to-the-cave way. Mira is strong and very capable, not needing Kagan for the most part, but accepting him. They make a great team.

The world building and character development created a story filled with vibrancy, action, and wonderful characters. The pacing was fast, leaving the reader no time to find the story boring. I was engaged in the story from the beginning and am glad I took the time to sit down and read Scion's Destiny. The book is fun, steamy, and filled with interesting characters and dialogue. The author's unique take on the seals of the apocalypse made this book a very enjoyable read without breaking into extreme religiousness that sometimes accompanies books featuring anything biblical.

I enjoyed this book very much and look forward to grabbing book 2.

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Friday, November 9, 2018

Top Nine Places Meant to Inspire Horror Writers by Ruschelle Dillon, Author of Arithmophobia ~ @RuschelleDillon #Numbers #Magic @TCMPublicity

Ruschelle Dillon's Arithmophobia Blog Tour November 5-12, 2018

Please welcome Ruschelle Dillon to the blog today!!

Ruschelle Dillon’s Top Nine Places Meant to Inspire Horror Writers
(Her collection Arithomophobia is bubbling with 9 creepy and sometimes humorous stories. So that’s why you're not getting 10.)

 Inspiration isn’t always easy to find. Especially as a writer. We go through the old haunts in our minds; castles, cemeteries, turnpike restrooms. But nothing seems to excite us, or bite us in the ass (which sometimes excites us).  Personally, I believe in road trips. An afternoon or evening drive to a fresh locale experiencing the sights, sounds and stenches will impart a new twist on the what you believe may be familiar!

Trust me, these little excursions to everyday and not so everyday places will give your inner beast something new to snack on. 

But why would you trust me, a stranger? Because I have candy...and a van.  And here’s your candy, in the form of some tips for best places to find some inspiration:

1.       Metaphysical stores - Spells, crystals, and strange offerings are just what an author needs to invoke the spirits of the dark. And maybe a few other spirits, if you're feeling creative and feisty! Word of warning: never burn patchouli, drip menstrual blood candles and chew Swedish Fish over a Chutes and Ladders game board. You'll just end up summoning a demon with eternal cramps who'll possess your Netflix account, streaming only the movie Mean Girls. Worse yet, it’ll hack into your Facebook account and remove all the duck lips from your selfies.

2.       An Uncomfortable Space- What location fuels your fears and tests your anxiety with barely a nip of thought? A tiny, dark closet?  A trip to the dentist? A strange convenience store after midnight with an overly helpful attendant named Ricky?  A weekend at your in-laws? {{shudder}} Maybe the dentist isn’t so bad.

3.       Basement Tours- This isn't a “thing"…yet. But after this blog post- it will be!  Get your best friends together to explore each other's dark, musty, spider-infested coal or cold cellars, sheds and basements and discuss the unloved, unused and unwanted items that are stored there. The stories create themselves.

4.        A Mattress Store- These places are brightly-lit, sterile and usually void of any life. Honestly, they are the most BORING stores in the world. If this place doesn’t elicit murderous thoughts of blood and brains staining every pristine white mattress topper and overpriced box spring, turn in your horror writer’s membership card.

5.       Your Local Morgue - There's nothing scarier than a corpse being prepared for burial. Or peeking into the refrigerated lockers to see what might or might not be inside. Okay, if the cops show up asking why you broke into the morgue that might be a little scarier.

6.       The Woods - A no brainer here. A slasher writer’s playground. But for those scaredy cat authors, substitute your local park. But even city parks hold real dangers. Deranged power joggers? Venomous squirrels? Accidentally rousing a family of bums nesting in a large shrubbery because you drank too much crapo’cchino will send you screaming for your mommy.

7.       The Middle of a Large Body of Water - Take a leisurely boat ride out into the middle of a sizable body of water and just sit. No music, no cell phone...nothing. Except some pen and paper because…hello…you’re a writer. Write.

8.       Get Lost…Somewhere - Fill your gas tank and follow an old dirt road somewhere. Find your way out of a tiny town without a map or GPS. Talk to the locals; ask about historical sites or the town ghost story.  A word of caution; if you hear banjos… there’s probably a country music concert in town. The traffic might get rough.
9.       Walmart - Honestly, is there anything scarier?
Get ready for a great blog tour featuring Ruschelle Dillon! Arithmophobia is a very creative and unique collection of tales that centers around the magical, mysterious impact of numbers! This collection spans a number of genres, including dark humor, mystery, thriller, and horror!


About Artithmophobia: 

Adam is a young preacher, with a loving wife and a child on the way. His family, his congregation, and his affinity for one particular science fiction movie are enough to keep him happy with his life. But when a new member of that congregation begins to haunt him at seemingly the worst possible moments, he begins to question the weight of his life’s responsibilities. Can he handle being “the one” – the one so many look to in times of need?

Detective Oswald Quinn is not so happy with life. His marriage has not turned out quite as happy as Adam’s, but his responsibilities have become just as heavy. The latest of these burdens have led him to the investigation of a serial killer who seems to seek perfection in the number 3.

Meanwhile, Scott seems completely unburdened by responsibility, save for his endless pursuit for a full glass at the bar. The drinks should be flowing freely on May 5, or “Cinco de Mayo”. But on this date, Scott discovers a failure much more haunting than an unquenchable thirst.

Arithmophobia is a collection of short stories that leads you on a journey to consider the sometimes haunting, sometimes humorous impact of numbers. Whether it be the value we assign to our lot in life, a date on a calendar, or the numerical magic that mother-nature can offer, Arithmophobia’s nine stories examine the magic and mystery that begins at the intersection of life and a single digit. 

Meet the Author:

Ruschelle Dillon is a freelance writer whose efforts focus on the dark humor and the horror genres. Ms. Dillon’s brand of humor has been incorporated in a wide variety of projects, including the irreverent blog Puppets Don’t Wear Pants and novelette “Bone-sai”, as well as the live-action video shorts “Don’t Punch the Corpse” and “Mothman”. She also interviews authors for the Horror Tree website. Her short stories have appeared in numerous anthologies and online zines. Ruschelle lives in Johnstown with her husband Ed and the numerous critters they share their home with. When she isn’t writing, she can be found teaching guitar and performing vocals and guitar in the band Ribbon Grass. 

Author Links:

Twitter: @RuschelleDillon

Tour Schedule and Activities:

11/5 Horror Tree Guest Post
11/5 Shells Interviews Author Interview
11/6 Breakeven Books Author Interview
11/7 I Smell Sheep Review
11/7 Sonar4 Landing Dock Reviews Review
11/8 The Seventh Star Guest Post
11/9 Sapphyria's Books Guest Post
11/10 The Book Lover's Boudoir Review
11/11 Jazzy Book Reviews Vlog or Guest Post
11/12 Willow's Thoughts And Book Obsessions Review

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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Book Feature: A Wrench in the Works (Fixer-Upper Mystery, Book #6) by Kate Carlisle #CozyMystery @BerkleyPub @katecarlisle

Fixer-Upper Mystery, Book #6
Kate Carlisle

Contractor Shannon Hammer has to dig through murder suspects in the latest Fixer-Upper Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Eaves of Destruction and Once Upon a Spine.

About the Book:

Don't miss the Hallmark Movies & Mystery Originals starring Jewel, based on the Fixer-Upper Mystery series!

Shannon Hammer's younger sister Chloe left Lighthouse Cove after high school to make it big in Hollywood. And she did it! For several years now, Chloe has been the co-host of a popular home repair show on the Do-It-Yourself Network. Now, after ten years, Chloe returns to Lighthouse Cove with her crew and co-host to film several shows featuring her sister Shannon, along with some special mini-segments on Victorian style and design.

But Shannon realizes quickly that things are not exactly blissful in TV land. Her sister's handsome co-host is being stalked by someone who turns out to be his estranged wife, Erica--who also happens to be the executive producer of the show. Erica's got a knack for stirring up sticky situations and when she's found dead, Chloe and the entire crew are under suspicion.

Shannon soon discovers the real reason why Chloe was so eager to move away from Lighthouse Cove all those years ago. Can Shannon figure out if that ten-year-old secret is connected to Erica's death? And can she track down the real killer before her beloved sister becomes the next victim?

Book Details:

Print Length: 303 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: November 6, 2018
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Wednesday, November 7, 2018

New Release ~ Murder, She Wrote: Manuscript for Murder by Jessica Fletcher and Jon Land ~ Cozy Mystery @BerkleyPub

About the Book:

Jessica Fletcher investigates a mysterious manuscript with deadly consequences in the latest entry in this USA Todaybestselling series...

Jessica Fletcher has had plenty to worry about over her storied career, both as a bestselling novelist and amateur sleuth. But she never had any reason to worry about her longtime publisher, Lane Barfield, who also happens to be a trusted friend. When mounting evidence of financial malfeasance leads to an FBI investigation of Lane, Jessica can't believe what she's reading.

So when Barfield turns up dead, Jessica takes on the task of proving Barfield's innocence--she can't fathom someone she's known and trusted for so long cheating her. Sure enough, Jessica's lone wolf investigation turns up several oddities and inconsistencies in Barfield's murder. Jessica knows something is being covered up, but what exactly? The trail she takes to answer that question reveals something far more nefarious afoot, involving shadowy characters from the heights of power in Washington. At the heart of Jessica's investigation lies a manuscript Barfield had intended to bring out after all other publishers had turned it down. The problem is that manuscript has disappeared, all traces of its submission and very existence having been wiped off the books.

With her own life now in jeopardy, Jessica refuses to back off and sets her sights on learning the contents of that manuscript and what about it may have led to several murders. Every step she takes brings her closer to the truth of what lies in the pages, as well as the person who penned them,

Book Details:

Series: Murder She Wrote (Book 48)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley (November 6, 2018)
ISBN-10: 0451489306
ISBN-13: 978-0451489302

Purchase from Amazon

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

New Book Release ~ Cordial Killing (A Backyard Farming Mystery, Book 2) by Vikki Walton ~ #Cozy #Mystery ~ Character Inverview ~ Elderberry Cordial Recipe

Cordial Killing
Backyard Farming Mystery
Vikki Walton

Snuggle up with a cozy mystery that will keep you guessing!

Cordial Killing (A Backyard Farming Mystery)

About the Book:

Anne is excited for the opening of the Brandywine Inn. Kandi and Hope are her partners in the bed-and-breakfast in Carolan Springs, Colorado, where they also provide homesteading and herbal workshops for guests. As soon as the guests arrive, it’s plain that the five old college chums have bad blood between them. When Anne finds a threatening note, it's clear that someone is out for revenge. Then they find a guest dead. At first, the death appears to be natural, but suspicions begin to grow. When a blizzard threatens the Inn, will it trap them all with a killer and no way out? Cordial Killing is a classic who-dun-it with a twist. Set in the fictional small town of Carolan Springs, you will enjoy an armchair getaway into beautiful Colorado. 

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Character Interview:

Hope, can you share with our readers about yourself? 

Certainly. I live above the shop of an herbal apothecary I own in Carolan Springs, Colorado. I’m also a medical doctor.. My mother, Faith, lives with me and I care for her. I’m an only child and I moved back to care for my mother when she started having health issues. I love living in a small town and I love Colorado. I’m in the perfect place for the life I want to live and the work I want to do. I have a new intern, Autumn, so that’s helping me to expand into other areas of interest. 

You’ve recently opened a bed-and-breakfast with your friends. Can you tell us about that?

My father, Ralph Rogers, passed away, and I inherited his house. I didn’t know for years that Ralph was my father, so it surprised me when he left me the home in his will. The house is a huge, old Victorian that probably stood by itself for many years before the other homes went up around it. Anne, who has become a good friend, and Kandi, another friend, talked about the possibility of opening a bed-and-breakfast in the house. As they live on either side of the house, it works well for them. Anne has written and taught about suburban homesteading while Kandi is a great cook. Plus, I get to do teaching on herbs through workshops we hold there. It’s called the Brandywine Inn as Ralph was a big fan of Brandywine tomatoes. In the summer we open it up primarily for tourists and those who come for the homesteading fair. Then we can hold workshops in the spring and fall.

Tell us about where you live.

I live in the small mountain town of Carolan Springs in Colorado. (Don’t try to find it on a map as it’s only in the author’s imagination). I have to say the weather here in Colorado takes some getting used to. There can be a snowstorm in the morning and by the afternoon, lots of bright sunshine and warm temperatures. The key is to wear layers at any time of the year! I finally learned that after living here for a few years. I’m excited about spring because it’s that shoulder season when it's normally crisp morning and sunny days. It’s a great time for hiking and seeing all the early wildflowers popping up and sometimes even mushrooms. We’re incorporating hike opportunities for our guests.

Can you tell us a bit more about Carolan Springs and its inhabitants?

It’s a fairly small town—around 3500 people—and just like everywhere else, you have many characters. My shop is along the main street filled with little shops and everyone is usually nice though we have some cranky folks just like any other town. I think Sheriff Carson and Anne should just get on with it and become a couple because they’re both so stubborn that they’d be a perfect match. But don’t tell them I said anything. Problem is they’ll probably end up with others. Oh well, what can you do? I’m sure you’ll find out more about the town’s residents in future stories.

You mentioned the author, what can you tell us about her?

Well, she was born in Chicago but spent most of her life in Texas—around the San Antonio area. But just like me, she loves Colorado’s mountains. She grows and uses herbs and making her own tinctures, tonics, and salves. She loves the basic edible herbs like basil, cilantro, dill, and others. A few of her favorite medicinal herbs are astragalus and osha for tinctures along with comfrey she uses in salves. In addition to writing mysteries, she’s also written nonfiction books. She loves everything about being a suburban homesteader or what some call backyard farming. She’s a certified permaculture designer, has chickens and beehives and gardens of various types.

Hope, can you tell us what’s next for the series?

We’ve all been talking about getting beehives for the property, so we can offer honey to our guests. Having bees on the property will also help with all the gardens we want to install. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of those being a part of the next book in the series.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I can’t think of anything. Though my mother (Faith) says she has a bad feeling about our opening weekend at the bed-and-breakfast. She has second-sight so that’s a bit disconcerting that she says she has a bad feeling. But I’m sure it’s nothing. I hope.  

Marie’s Elderberry Cordial Recipe:

Items Needed
  • Quart canning jar with lid
  • Funnel (large mouth)
  • Wooden spoon
  • Label or masking tape
  • Sharpie
  • Cheesecloth (optional)
  • Strainer (optional)
  • Decorative Bottle (optional)
Ingredients Amounts needed

Elderberries 1.25 cup dried or 2 cups fresh For fresh, remove from stems.
Brandy 3 cups Can also use other alcohol but brandy is most commonly used.
Honey ¼ to ½ cup (or to taste) Vegans or those who don’t have access to good local raw honey can substitute maple syrup. Acquiring local honey will provide your cordial with its own unique flavor.
Cinnamon stick One Flavor along with Antioxidants and Anti-Inflammatory properties
Rosehips ¼ cup Extra Vitamin C
Ginger 1-2 tbsp grated fresh ginger

Flavor along with Antioxidants
  • Place elderberries (and any optional ingredients, if using) into quart jar.
  • Cover with brandy.
  • Add honey.
  • Stir with wooden spoon or put lid on and shake.
  • Place in dark, cool space (usually a cabinet will do) for three to four weeks.
  • If desired, strain with cheesecloth and using a strainer, put into a decorative bottle.
  • Or you can leave ingredients in jar.
  • In winter take 1-2 tbsp daily for immune-boosting. If ill, take 3-4 tbsp (basically a shot glass) a few times a day until symptoms improve. This cordial can also be used as a base for poor-tasting tinctures such as osha.
  • Can last for a year with fresh berries and longer if made with dried berries—if you have it that long!

Elderberry is a wonderful plant to have in your yard or on your property. It has many medicinal benefits and uses. The elderberry plant most commonly associated with immune-boosting and flu-fighting properties is the dark berry plant (Elderberry Sambucus Nigra). Elder flower is also used in elixirs, teas and food. Elder was the International Herb Association’s Herb of the Year in 2013. It’s usually harvested in September. **This Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.** 

  Cordial Killing (A Backyard Farming Mystery Series—Book Two)  

About the Author:


Vikki’s first words were “I get it!” This attitude became her life-long mantra to always go after what she wants. It also helped her realize her desire to help others get what they really want out of life. After spending years as a registered interior designer, Vikki began to write. While writing for periodicals, Vikki found herself on assignment interviewing publishers in Colorado Springs. It wasn’t long before the natural beauty of Colorado captured her heart. After moving to Colorado, Vikki worked with nonprofits. However, she soon realized she needed more autonomy in her work. Vikki started her own business as a nonprofit consultant and grant writer. She has helped nonprofits across the U.S. to receive millions of dollars for their work. Yet, she realized doing one thing wouldn’t satisfy her for long. Vikki became a Work Quilter™ combining her many passions to create multiple income streams. She started speaking and teaching adults on myriad and diverse topics around her knowledge, skills and passions. She's taught and spoken on Creative Writing, Design for Heart and Home, Fundraising Fundamentals , Suburban Homesteading, Permaculture, How to Get What You Really Want, and of course, Work Quilting. Two words that continually appear on instructor and speaker feedback forms are "engaging" and "knowledgeable." Born in Chicago, Vikki lived outside of Paris for a few years as a small child. That may account for her love of travel. She moved to Wichita with her parents before going on to live most of her life around the San Antonio, Texas area. She is the founder of #girlswantago and you can connect through Facebook or Vikki is also an experienced, professional global house and pet sitter. Vikki's favorite genre is mystery so it wasn't long before she had begun her first cozy mystery series. Incorporating her love of suburban homesteading, or as some call it, backyard farming, Vikki's first book is Chicken Culprit. You'll most often find Vikki out hiking with her dog, outside gardening, traveling abroad, house or pet sitting, or writing her next book.


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