No More Black Magic by A.L. Kessler

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Blurb 
Explosions, body parts, and black magic are all part of Abby Collins’ typical day. As the top Paranormal Investigation Bureau agent, she only gets the best cases, but when the Cult of Ra comes to play she might in be over her head. Finding a murderer while up against a hex, an overprotective coven, and a stubborn werewolf reminds her that nothing in the paranormal world is easy. As the death toll rises and a decades old crime, linked to Abby, is uncovered, disturbing information is brought to light. Abby must unlock an ancient language steeped in black magic to uncover the truth before the murderer comes for her.

 

Northwoods Wolfman by Scott Burtness – Humor, Paranormal Mystery

Northwoods Wolfman coverI’m a fan of the author and eagerly awaited this second book in the series – I wasn’t disappointed!  While you can read this book as a stand-alone novel, I’d encourage readers to read the 1st book in the series, Wisconsin Vamp.

First and foremost, potential readers should know is that this is a humorous take on the vampire-werewolf-witch stories.  If you don’t enjoy tongue-in-cheek paranormal stories, then this book isn’t for you.  However, if you have a sense of humor about the paranormal then get ready for funny (and occasionally gory) romp in the woods with Dallas, Lois and Stanley.

Dallas, the main character, is the Hero of Trappersville after he staked a vampire (Wisconsin Vamp) and ‘saved the town’ from a vampire outbreak.  He might have remained a hero if it weren’t for a pesky tick that happened to bite a werewolf, and then bit him.  His loyal friend Stanley apparently tumbled to the fact that he was a werewolf, but it took a while for him to figure it out.  By the time he did it was a little late.  He had joined a Society of paranormal creature hunters, and as you may imagine the tables were turned on him.

The story takes on a peculiar and hilarious turn when the girlfriend of the ‘dead’ vampire, Lois, becomes a witch.  I don’t want to spoil the story, but you should know it has to do with using a beer can in a totally new way.  This part of the story had me choking on my morning coffee, laughing out loud!

If you enjoy books by Charlaine Harris and Janet Evanovich, this paranormal series may tickle your funny bone.  I can’t wait to see if there is a book 3, and what insect may be at the bottom of THAT story!

I gave this story 5 stars out of 5.

Where to Buy Northwoods Wolfman

Amazon:  Northwoods Wolfman by Scott Burtness

About the Author

Scott Burtness

Scott Burtness, Author

I live in the Midwest with my wonderful wife, Liz, and our pitt-boxer mix, Frank. I’ve always enjoyed reading horror, sci-fi, thrillers, and comedic takes on all three genres. For me, reading is a fun escape, a chance to live vicariously through someone else’s adventures. I decided to start writing with the hope of entertaining readers like myself.

I’m also usually hanging around karaoke bars and bowling alleys in the Midwest. Come visit!

Love in the Time of Murder by D.E. Haggerty – Review

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Love in the Time of Murder

Series: The Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives, Book 3

Genre: Romantic Comedy

My Review:

Love in the Time of Murder is the third book in this series written by D.E. Haggerty.  It has the familiar characters that we have learned to love, and unfortunately will miss at the end of this one.  The author has decided to end the series with this book, and I for one will miss the gray haired ladies!

In this story, we are thrown into the drama of Dee (Delilah) who is fleeing an abusive husband.  Dee is the granddaughter of one of the Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives, and is living with her while figuring out how to end her marriage.

Dee doesn’t have wrestle with this problem for very long because her husband turns up dead, and his body is found not far from her new home.  Since she is his spouse and his body is found nearby, she immediately becomes the prime suspect.

The Gray Haired Knitting Detectives spare no time in getting together to help Dee.  They are determined, as always, to prove that they aren’t old and irrelevant.  If solving a murder isn’t enough, they are also playing matchmaker.  The ladies have decided that Dee needs a new, dependable, non-threatening man in her life.  While Dee isn’t on board with some of the antics, she is compelled to go along with just about everything the ladies decide to do on her behalf.  Other familiar characters (and gray haired lady enablers) Tommy, Izzy, Jack, and Noel are along for this one last crazy ride.

I love how the Gray Haired Knitting Detectives always dive in head first to solve a problem and to help their friends and family.  Their hearts are always in the right place, and it makes me wish that I had a group like them around.  This book makes you cheer for the underdog, feel guilty about being happy that an abusive husband is dead, and genuinely heartened that this group of friends have each other to rely on.

Obviously I won’t give away the ending because I hate spoiler alerts, but I will tell you that it is a fun whodunit murder mystery.  I would recommend this book to people who enjoy cozy mysteries, as well as people who enjoy a little romance in their stories.

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Synopsis:

In Love in the Time of Murder, the Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives face their toughest case yet. Delilah, or Dee as she wishes everyone would just call her already, is the granddaughter of one of the knitting detectives and her life is in a bit of a shambles. She finally manages to pry herself away from her husband’s clutches, move out on her own, and start her own business. But then her estranged husband is murdered and she’s the number one suspect. The Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives aren’t about to let one of their own get sent to the slammer and jump at the chance to search for the true killer. As if Dee doesn’t have enough problems, the knitting detectives decide that Delilah being a widow is the perfect opportunity to find her a new man and decide to put their matchmaking skills to use. Will Dee end up in prison for a murder she didn’t commit or will she be taking another walk down the aisle?

Where to buy:

Barnes & Noble:  Love in the Time of Murder

About the Author:

DE Haggerty
I was born and raised in Wisconsin, but think I’m a European. After spending my senior year of high school in Germany, I developed a bad case of wanderlust that is yet to be cured. My flying Dutch husband and I have lived in Ohio, Virginia, the Netherlands, Germany and now Istanbul. We still haven’t decided if we want to settle down somewhere – let alone where. I’m leaning towards somewhere I can learn to surf even though the hubby thinks that’s a less than sound way to decide where to live.

Although I’ve been a military policewoman, a commercial lawyer, and a B&B owner, I think with writing I may have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. That’s assuming I ever grow up, of course. Between playing tennis, running much slower than I would like, trying to adopt every stray dog within a 5-mile radius, traveling to exotic new locales, singing off tune, drinking entirely too many adult beverages, addictively watching new movies and reading books like they are going out of style, I write articles for a local expat magazine and various websites, review other indie authors’ books, and write a blog about whatever comes to mind.

Connect with the Author:

Jack Gets His Man by D.E. Haggerty – Romantic Comedy – Book Review

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Jack Gets His Man

Series: The Gray-Haired Knitting Detectives, Book 2

Genre: Romantic Comedy (M/M)

Published: July 1, 2015

My Review:

Jack Gets His Man is the second book in the “Gray Haired Knitting Detective Series” by D.E. Haggerty.  I read and reviewed the first book in the series, “Murder, Mystery, & Dating Mayhem”, and was happy to have the chance to review this new book by the author.

The main characters are back, but this new book is told from the point of view of a sub-character from the first book, Jack.  Jack is the co-owner of a unique store that caters to cross-dressers and plus-sized women.  When his store manager has a melt-down, a new book keeper is hired to lighten the work load.  Unfortunately, the new book keeper discovers some huge accounting discrepancies, and there the mystery ensues.  In addition to the mystery, Jack has relationship troubles that threaten to bubble over at work.  His ex-business partner and love interest appears to be emotionally unstable, which makes his new book keeper all the more attractive.  This makes for more than a few awkward moments throughout the story.

The “gray haired detectives” are back, which I’m happy to say are in their usual rare form.  There is nothing feeble about them and they use their skills to do recon missions, perform accounting audits, and get in a little bit of trouble with the local police.  In their spare time they play matchmaker to the single people in their church, whether or not the poor souls want any help.  I’d like to learn more about the gray haired gals individually, and hopefully these characters will be explored a little more in future books.

Overall, this book was a great, light, summer read.  I enjoyed the characters, which for me included wanting to smack a few of them around.  I’m not sure if this new love interest between Jack and his new book keeper, Damien, will last, but they seem to be off to a good start.  Jack may have gotten his man, but will he be able to keep him?  I guess I’ll have to wait until the next book in the series to find out.

As a side note, this is a standalone book, and the first book doesn’t have to be read in order to follow the story.

I rated this book 5 out of 5.  I would recommend this book to mystery fans who enjoy a quick read with a little romance thrown in.

Synopsis:

Jack’s life is awesome. His store is making money hand over fist and his best friend has found love. So what if he’s feeling a bit restless and put out about his upcoming birthday and his ex is being a pain in his fabulous behind? That’s nothing he can’t handle. But then his smoking hot new bookkeeper discovers things at the store aren’t actually as they seem. Someone is playing fast and loose with the finances. Jack’s bestie and his gal pals, the gray-haired knitting detectives, jump at the chance to solve Jack’s problems. When they aren’t re-enacting scenes from spy thrillers, they’re setting Jack up on dates and generally insinuating themselves into his love life. They’re determined to find love for Jack as well as his missing money. Will Jack catch a thief or find love? Either way Jack’s going to get his man.

Buy links:

Amazon:  Jack Gets His Man

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25552260-jack-gets-his-man

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/551332

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1122163358?ean=2940151977913

DE Haggerty

Author bio:

I was born and raised in Wisconsin, but think I’m a European. After spending my senior year of high school in Germany, I developed a bad case of wanderlust that is yet to be cured. My flying Dutch husband and I have lived in Ohio, Virginia, the Netherlands, Germany and now Istanbul. We still haven’t decided if we want to settle down somewhere – let alone where. I’m leaning towards somewhere I can learn to surf even though the hubby thinks that’s a less than sound way to decide where to live. Although I’ve been a military policewoman, a commercial lawyer, and a B&B owner, I think with writing I may have finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up. That’s assuming I ever grow up, of course. Between playing tennis, running much slower than I would like, trying to adopt every stray dog within a 5-mile radius, traveling to exotic new locales, singing off tune, drinking entirely too many adult beverages, addictively watching new movies and reading books like they are going out of style, I write articles for a local expat magazine and various websites, review other indie authors’ books, write a blog about whatever comes to mind and am working on my sixth book.

Author links:

Website: http://www.dehaggerty.com

Blog: http://www.dehaggerty.com/mymusings

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dehaggerty

Twitter: https://twitter.com/denaehaggerty

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DEHaggerty/posts

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/denahaggerty/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7210211.D_E_Haggerty

Email: dena@dehaggerty.com

Book Review: Murder, Mystery and Dating Mayhem by D.E. Haggerty

24787493If you are a fan of Victoria Laurie or Janet Evanovich, you’ll probably enjoy this book. The writer has a conversational tone and the main character, Izzy, has an inner monologue that is humorous all the way through the story.

Without giving too much away, Izzy and her best guy-pal Jack are trying to figure out who wanted to kill her “grandmother” (in actuality she is the grandmother of her dear departed husband). Izzy is unable to stop searching for the person responsible for the evil deed; she is like a bulldog once she gets an idea in her head. Someone is going to be brought to justice, come hell or high water.

In the midst of this murder mystery, another character emerges – a love interest for Izzy. Noel is everything she seems to want in a man, and as a bonus, he is a cop. Unfortunately, she doesn’t feel ready to be in a relationship and lacks confidence (especially when wearing high heels).

My favorite parts of the book, however, were scenes involving the Ben-Gay gang, which consists of little old ladies that were friends of her grandmother. Just like the television character Jessica Fletcher from Murder She Wrote, they become amateur detectives in order to find out who killed their knitting buddy.

I thoroughly enjoyed Murder, Mystery, & Dating Mayhem, and would be interested in reading a sequel if there were to be one.  This story is worth reading for the Ben-Gay gang alone!

I gave this book 5 out of 5 Stars.  I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Buy Link:  Amazon

Author Bio

DE Haggerty

I was born and raised in Wisconsin but think I’m a European. After spending my senior year of high school in Germany, I developed a bad case of wanderlust that is yet to be cured. After high school I returned to the U.S. to go to college ending up with a Bachelor’s degree in History at the tender age of twenty while still managing to spend time bouncing back and forth to Europe during vacations. Unable to find a job after college and still suffering from wanderlust, I joined the U.S. Army as a Military Policewoman for five years. While stationed in Heidelberg, Germany, I met my future husband, a flying – literally – Dutchman. After being given my freedom from the Army, I went off to law school. I finished law school and moved to the Netherlands with my husband and became a commercial lawyer for more than a decade. During a six-month break from the lawyering world, I wrote my first book, Unforeseen Consequences. Although I finished the book, I went back to the law until I could no longer take it and upped stakes and moved to Germany to start a B&B.

Three years after starting the B&B, I got the itch to try something new and decided to pull the manuscript for Unforeseen Consequences out of the attic and get it published as an e-book. Deciding that I may have indeed finally found what I want to do with my life, I went on to write Buried Appearances. After moving to Istanbul, I wrote Life Discarded. Feeling pressured by my girlfriends to write a chick lit novel, I tried my hand at humor with Murder, Mystery & Dating Mayhem. Between tennis, running, traveling, singing off tune, drinking entirely too many adult drinks, and reading books like they are going out of style, I write articles for a local expat magazine and various websites, review other indie authors’ books, write a blog about whatever comes to mind and am working on my fifth book.

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Journey to Jazzland by Gia Volterra de Saulnier – Children’s Picture Book and Review

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ISBN-13: 9780985149284

Publisher: Flying Turtle Publishing LLC

Publication date: 7/1/2013

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My Review

Journey to Jazzland is a story about a group of instruments in an orchestra.  One of the characters, Windy Flute, discovers that she likes to deviate from what has been written on her sheet music.  She enjoys the sounds that she creates on her own.  She decides to go in search of a mythical place called ‘Jazzland’ so that she can continue to create her own melodies.

Some of her fellow orchestra instruments join her on her journey, and along the way she finds other instruments that want to be part of her group.  A few of the new band mates include a piano named Ebony (who has a toothy grin), a guitar named Sly, and a bass named Boomer, among others.  As they grow in numbers, so does the fullness of their sound.

Soon they discover that they need to cross a ‘bridge’ in order to get to Jazzland, and they are a little nervous; the bridge is only as strong as the melody that they create.  When they play together, each creating their own melody, the bridge becomes stronger.

I think children will enjoy this book because of the vibrant colors of the illustrations and the creative descriptions of the instruments.  Children will learn a little about music, the importance of working together as a team, as well as finding out it is okay to be different.  As an added bonus, paper doll cutouts of each character are included in the back of the book so that children can make their own little jazz band to play with!

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

 

Blurb

One day during an orchestra rehearsal, Windy Flute was playing a piece of music and her mind started to wander. Over and over, she had practiced the piece and played the piece. Feeling bored, she felt that she wanted to be a little different.

Then something special happened. She began to hear notes that weren’t on the page of sheet music on her stand!
When she started playing what she heard, Windy realized these new notes made her feel better. The harmonies and the melodies were the same, but the music moved differently. Before she could figure things out, she was interrupted by a stern voice.

“Excuse me, Ms. Flute, do you mind playing with the rest of us? Where do you think you are — Jazzland?” said Mr. Conductor, scowling down at her.

After the rehearsal, Mr. Conductor gave Windy a severe look and stomped off the stage.

Windy turned to her friends in the woodwind section. “What’s Jazzland?” she asked. She was still thinking about the good feelings she got from playing different notes.

“It’s a myth,” said Mr. Bassoon.
“That’s right,” said Mr. Oboe, “It’s a legend. It doesn’t really exist.”
“I think it exists,” said Spitz Trumpet.
“Really, you do? What is it?” Windy was so excited; she almost knocked over her music stand.
“I think Jazzland is a place where instruments in a group have the freedom to play their own music.” Spitz said with a big smile.
“That sounds great!” Windy said to Spitz. “I wonder how I can get there!”

 

About the Author

Gia Volterra de Saulnier

Gia Volterra de Saulnier was born and raised in Fairhaven, Massachusetts and attended University of Lowell (now University of Massachusetts, Lowell). It was there that she learned to love jazz. Gia’s been performing jazz and other kinds of music for over 20 years, throughout the New England area. She lives in North Reading, Massachusetts with her husband and son.

 

Where to Buy

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Phase One: Identify by Rose Wynters – YA Romance Book Tour, Giveaway and Review

 

 

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Virtual Book Tour Dates: 12/30/14 – 1/13/15

Genres: Young Adult Romance, Horror, Zombies, Science Fiction

Series: Territory of the Dead

Tour Promo: All books in this series are $.99!

Available free with Kindle Unlimited.

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My Review:

Meet “Tabs”, a teenager working at a cashier at a local grocery store when the zombie apocalypse happens – with zombies trying to get into the grocery story in a rather grotesque way. She manages to leave and get to her house where she watches the TV with her mom and dad, seeing events unfold on various channels. Eventually all channels go blank as the reporters are killed by the zombies.

This novella is quick paced, and soon Tabs and her family, along with a cute neighbor boy, are running for their lives. Luckily, they meet up with a man named Kellan who promises to keep them safe. He is a prepper that has a hideout, which he claims will protect them from the hungry masses.

The story ends with an epilogue that promises future installments. The next book in the series is “Phase Two: Evaluate” for those who wish to continue the story.

I recommend this book to young adults who want to read a good adventure that has just the right balance of zombie gore and a little romance.

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars for a believable zombie story and clean language for young adults.

 

Blurb:

Eighteen-year-old Tabitha Alexander had just graduated from high school when the dead invaded her small town of Pleasant, Louisiana. Working as a checkout girl in the only grocery store in town, she barely made it out with her life.

But the night was only beginning.

What started out as a group of three grows, as they are joined by the few that are still alive. New bonds are formed as old ones die, and Tabitha suddenly finds that the guy she’s always wanted might just want her back.

The timing couldn’t be worse, though. The zombies in Pleasant are smart, with an awareness that’s horrifying. And when the zombies discover the house full of survivors, those inside realize that the walls aren’t strong enough to keep them out.

All hope is lost. Or is it? Salvation comes in the form of a mysterious man, with a pair of steely-gray eyes and an arsenal to match. He rescues them, but at what cost? Kellan can’t seem to keep his otherworldly eyes off of her.

She’s no match for him. She knows this. Yet, he intrigues her… and Tabitha knows it’s the most dangerous reaction of all.

 

Excerpt:

I exhaled deeply as I finished scanning the last coupon. The woman gave me a sharp look of annoyance, as if I had no room for complaint. Really, what did she expect? Was I supposed to grovel and thank her for allowing me the honor of scanning her precious coupons ten minutes before closing time?

Apparently so. “You know, young lady, it wouldn’t hurt you to smile at your customers and thank them when they offer you their coupons. I don’t think I’ve ever had such poor customer service. I don’t have to shop here, especially with this kind of attitude.” She was working herself up into a rage, her expression full of self-righteous indignation.

I didn’t reply, but instead pushed the total button. Some of the customers in line groaned, while others shifted in impatience. They really didn’t want to be further delayed by her rant. She slammed a hundred dollar bill down on the counter. “Where is your manager? I want to speak with him now.”

I pointed towards Jim, as he straightened his shoulders and attempted to look professional. I could only imagine the holier-than-thou attitude he would have as he sympathetically agreed with her. Around here, I could never do anything right, or so it seemed.

I didn’t see anyone else standing around, though, willing to put up with his crap. If I didn’t need the money so badly, I’d walk out the door faster than he could blink. I was tired of the humiliation and tired of being blamed for the lines, just because he was too tight to hire on adequate staff.

I was silent as I quickly made her change. What could any person say? She was mad due to reasons of her own, something that really didn’t concern me. With one last glare, she huffed and moved on in his direction. She never made it, though.

It would have been worth the complaint and subsequent chewing out I would have received, if the events of the night just wouldn’t have happened. I would later look back on it and pray that things had ended differently. You can’t change events that are completely out of your control, though.

Even so, anything would have been preferable to that one moment when you find your reality has just been blown to pieces and would never be the same again. That’s assuming you live to survive it.

She was halfway to Jim, her teased hairdo bouncing, when it happened. A loud, panicked scream tore through the night, originating somewhere from the parking lot in front of the store. Even through the thick glass, we could hear it loudly. It sounded like someone was being murdered. I immediately stopped scanning, turning in an attempt to see what was happening.

A body slammed against the glass, his face and palms pressed to the surface. It was a horrid sight. His pupils were red and crazed, his face extremely pale and dirty. Dark red blood was smeared across his cheeks and chin. The man stood still for a moment, just watching us with his crazy eyes. Something reanimated him. He slid his palms down the clear, clean glass, leaving a trail of bloody streaks.

 

Buy Link:

Amazon

 

About the Author:

Rose Wynters resides in the southern portion of the USA. When not writing, she enjoys traveling, camping, and meeting new people.

 

Connect With The Author:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

 

Giveaway:

Win a $10 Amazon gift card! This giveaway will run 12/30/14 – 1/13/15. Open worldwide!Click here to enter the Rafflecopter.

 


 

Book Tour Information:

 

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The Killing of Mummy’s Boy by Joan Ellis – Psychological Thriller Book Tour, Giveaway and Review

 

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Virtual Book Tour Dates: 12/10/14 – 1/7/15

Genres: Psychological Thriller

Tour Promo: This book will be $.99 during the tour!

 

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My Review:

The Killing of Mummy’s Boy is a mystery thriller with plenty of twists to keep the reader occupied.  There were a few red herrings along the way to send you searching in the wrong direction.  The ending was unexpected, and disturbing.

I didn’t feel any sympathy for any of the main characters, primarily because they didn’t seem to have any redeeming qualities once the story began.  Sandra (aka Rosie) is a mother who was too lenient with her son, despite a few more than disturbing instances when he was growing up.  She gives up a posh life after her son testifies against a killer and ends up in a witness protection program; she then retreats to a run-down cottage far away from the big city to hide out.  She works at what seems to be a dead-end clerical job at a hospital.  Since she is so mentally fragile due to worrying about her son, she begins binge drinking, which seemed to take over her character completely.

Sandra’s new lover, an ex-con named Ben, seems to want to take care of her, but she is afraid of him because he was in jail for murder.  His character is a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde, switching from caring boyfriend to terrorizing her with a knife.  He drinks quite heavily, and enjoys getting Sandra drunk.

Sandra’s son, Carl (aka Sam), turns out to be a complete jerk to his mother, and blames her for everything wrong in his life.  He doesn’t disappoint either when he uses his new wife as a shield during a fight.

I did enjoy a few of the sub characters including Rob the gay co-worker (his dialogue was fun to read), and Debs (Carl/Sam’s pregnant wife), as she was an innocent and very pregnant woman unaware of the snake pit she was about to walk into.

I would recommend this book to individuals who enjoy British crime dramas, and individuals who wouldn’t mind some foul language (the dialogue is believable, but harsh).

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

 

Blurb:

‘I slit someone’s throat,’ the man told the woman on the 4.20 from Waterloo to Portsmouth.’

Two strangers. One shared interest. Murder. Ben slit a man’s throat. Sandra’s son, Carl witnessed a murder.

With Carl on a Witness Protection Programme, Sandra fled London to live anonymously in a remote village on the Isle of Wight where she becomes increasingly isolated and vulnerable. Terrorised by an unknown stalker, the police are unable to help and she turns to Ben. What makes a respectable, middle-aged woman want to sleep with a killer? More importantly, can the relationship give her the love she craves and help Ben find redemption?

Hate, fear and lies boil over in a page-turner with love at its black heart.

 

Excerpt:

Locking the door and flicking on the radio, she relaxed as the DJ’s silky smooth voice seemed to single her out from his millions of listeners and speak to her alone. It was an old broadcasting trick but she didn’t care. The mindless chatter was soothing and suited her just fine.

‘Do you ever get that?’ asked the DJ. ‘You’re walking along the street and someone says ‘Hi ya, mate. How’s it going?’ And you’re thinking ‘Do I know you? Or are you just some weirdo?’ Ha, ha. If that’s happened to you, tell us. Text the word, ‘stranger’ to …’

She quickly turned it off, her mind jolting back to the man on the train. What if he came back? What if he was here, hiding inside the cottage?

Sandra froze, her heart pounding against her ribs.

‘Dove Cottage, Shorwell, PO30 5AB,’ she could hear herself saying on the train. ‘‘B’ for bravo. ‘B’ for bravo.’

‘‘More like ‘S’ for ‘stupid’,’ she thought bitterly.

Cautiously, she crept upstairs and flung open her bedroom door causing the handle to bang against the wall. From the doorway, she could see the whole of the room, even under the bed. Nothing. Her wardrobe was on the landing. She pulled the door and it swung open. Her scant collection of clothes hung like husks on the rail.

As she approached the bathroom a wild face greeted her. She leapt back terrified before realising she was looking at her own reflection. Breathing heavily, she headed back downstairs and into the kitchen.

She sat at the table and told herself to calm down, there was nothing to worry about, the man had played his sick little joke, game over. Gradually, her heartbeat slowed.

She decided a cup of tea would soothe her nerves and she reached into the fridge for the milk. Spotting half a loaf of bread, she put two slices into the toaster before opening the cupboard where she kept her special plate.

Carl had spotted it in a junk shop in Brighton on one of their many excursions and had asked to have his pocket money early so he could buy it. It was one of the few gifts he had given her over the years and she treasured it.

It was not in its usual place but it was always in the cupboard above the sink, behind the casserole dish. She glanced across at the shelves and work surfaces. No sign of it. Frantically, she tried to recall when she had last used it. It had been just before she had left for London. Her cheese sandwich had tasted all the better for being eaten off such precious crockery. She remembered using the last of the washing-up liquid to wash it up. She checked the bin. Sure enough, there was the empty bottle.

As she turned back she saw it in the sink. She went over and picked it up. It was covered in crumbs and smeared with a dark, sticky substance. She sniffed it suspiciously. Marmite. She had bought a new jar recently but not used it. She opened the cupboard, found the pot and unscrewed the lid. Sure enough, the seal had been broken.

She clung to the edge of sink. He had been back to her house and this time he had been inside. He must have wanted her to know; just like before he made no attempt to cover his tracks.

How the hell had he got in? She was always so careful to lock up. She felt the vomit rise in her throat. She bolted upstairs and into the bathroom where she flung herself over the toilet. Looking down into the porcelain bowl, she was repulsed and shocked to see it was full of dark, foamy urine.

She knew it couldn’t possibly be hers. She had not used the lavatory that morning; she had peed in the shower.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon UK

Amazon

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About the Author:

Advertising copywriter, comedy writer, performer, lecturer – Joan Ellis has been them all. With a full-time job in a top London advertising agency and a new baby, she did what any right-minded woman would’ve done and set up a comedy club. She even appeared on the same bill as Jo Brand. Once.

A career highlight was casting a black and white moggie as Humphrey Bogart for her award-winning cat food commercial. Other great performers who brought her words to life include Penelope Keith and Harry Enfield.

As a lecturer, Joan taught comedian Noel Fielding all he knows about advertising before encouraging him to showcase his creative talents on a wider stage.

Working for The Press Association, she tutored Wordsworth’s great-grandson in the art of copywriting: Buy a host of golden daffodils and get a blue one, free!

Suffering from swine flu and sweating like a pig, she moved from London to the Isle of Wight where she lives on cream teas with her beloved husband, daughter and two cats.

She recently launched her books at The Ventnor Fringe and the Isle of Wight Literary Festival.

 

Connect With The Author:

Website

Twitter

 

Giveaway:

Win an ebook copy of The Killing of Mummy’s Boy (ten winners, open worldwide) or a print & autographed copy of the book (one winner, UK residents only). This giveaway will run 12/10/14 – 1/7/15. Enter through Rafflecopter.

 


 

Tour Information:

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Smolder on a Slow Burn by Lynda J. Cox – Western Historical Romance Book Tour, Giveaway, and Review

 

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Virtual Book Tour Dates: 12/9/14 – 1/6/15

Genres: Western Historical Romance

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My Review:

I’m a Civil War history buff and reenactor, as well as living near the Elmira prison camp as mentioned in the book.  What drew me into this story were the well-written characters, but what kept me hooked was the historical accuracy and attention to detail that the author used throughout the book.  The romance was wonderfully believable, and if you enjoy an action packed story, this is the book for you.

From the first scene on the train with AJ and Allison to the nail-biting trial scenes, the story draws the reader in, chapter after chapter.  The dialogue and pace were very believable.  I didn’t put this book down once, and read it in one sitting to the conclusion.

I’d recommend this book to people who enjoy Civil War era stories, and individuals who enjoy adult romance novels (aka bodice rippers!).  The heroine is a tough cookie, so don’t expect any shrinking violets in this story (wait until you meet the cook wielding a rolling pin!).

I gave this book a 5 out of 5 stars.  Definitely one of the best historical romance books that I have ever read.

Read Lynda’s Guest Post:  My Favorite Christmas Memory

Blurb:

When your life has been stolen from you and the man responsible wants you dead, where do you run? Who do you trust?

Allison Webster dreams of having an adventure like the characters in the books she loves. But there is no romance in being pursued by a man who wants her dead for educating the children of former slaves. Unlike the heroines she reads about she doesn’t have a trusty companion to rescue her…until she literally runs into A.J. Adams, a former Confederate cavalry officer. Now, she just has to convince A.J. he really is the honorable man and hero depicted in the dime novel she is reading.

When everything you fought for was stripped away, even your honor, what is left to fight for other than revenge?

Branded a “traitor” for more than ten years, scarred by harsh treatment in an inhumane prisoner of war camp, A.J. Adams wants revenge. Allison Webster’s arrival into his life provides the bait to destroy the men who murdered his wife and daughters and kidnapped his little brother. The men pursuing Allison are the very same men he has sworn to kill. Falling in love and admitting he might actually be a hero means surrendering his need for vengeance. Surrender is not part of A.J.’s battle strategy.

See the book trailer on Youtube 

 

Excerpt:

A.J. watched her make her way from the boxcar with as much dignity as it appeared she could muster. The memory of that tiny waist in his hands and the slightness of her build had startled him. The barrier of that shapeless dark green sedge skirt vanished the moment his hands closed around her waist, and he could envision long, lithe limbs. He didn’t make it a habit to imagine any woman undressed, but this one knocked every bit of his equilibrium out from under him and he didn’t have the slightest idea why she did.

When she met his eyes, he’d been taken back. Slender, feathered brows lifted and eyes the color of melted chocolate widened—widened enough he was sure she saw all the way into the black abyss that was once his soul. Bright color flooded her cheeks when he told her to have a seat on the hay bale. Her slight Georgia drawl, hidden under layers of what sounded to be years of formal education, knifed into his chest.

He had watched her discreetly tuck several strands of walnut hair back under that ridiculous hat perched on her head. Realizing he had been staring at her, A.J. turned his back, letting the rapidly moving landscape occupy his gaze. She was lovely, he had to admit that. Walnut hair kissed with warm gold, high cheekbones that curved just enough to give her an elfin cast, a pert little nose, and the darkest chocolate eyes he’d ever seen combined into a rather alluring image. It had been a very long time since he had looked at a woman and not compared her to Cathy. He had sworn, as he knelt at Cathy’s grave that there would never be another. Now, a little slip of a thing had gotten in past his carefully constructed battlements and stirred something in him he could have sworn an oath to be long dead and buried beneath a live oak in Kentucky.

She was right, he was no gentleman. Sliding the door shut in her face hadn’t been the most gentlemanly thing he could have done, but he had long ago given up being anything that might even resemble a gentleman. He’d given that up sometime during his tenure in a veritable hell on earth called Camp Infernum. If he’d harbored hopes of regaining anything that came close to gallantry after watching men fight one another like animals for a scrap of moldy bread, all hope died on a warm spring afternoon when he collapsed to his knees at Clayborne at the graves of his wife and daughters and learned his younger brother had been taken by a band of roving deserters. A.J. knew his veneer of civility was just that—a veneer hiding a wounded, dangerous animal.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon

Wild Rose Press

Barnes and Noble

 

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About the Author:

Lynda J. Cox will tell anyone who will listen that she was born at least one hundred and fifty years too late, and most definitely in the wrong part of the country. She holds a master’s degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from Indiana State University after earning her BA from the same university as a non-traditional student. (Think being old enough to be mom to 90% of the students in her freshman cadre.) She’s kept busy with two spoiled rotten house cats, a 30 plus year old Arabian gelding who has been nicknamed “Lazarus” for his ability in the later years of his life to escape death, and quite a few champion collies. When she isn’t writing, she can be found on the road, travelling to the next dog show. She loves to chat about books, the writing life, and the insanity which is called a “dog show” and can be reached through her Facebook page.

 

Connect With The Author:

Facebook

Blog

Twitter

Website

 

Giveaway:

Enter to win an ebook copy of Smolder on a Slow Burn! This giveaway will run 12/9/14 – 1/6/15. Open worldwide! Enter through Rafflecopter.

 


Tour Information:

 

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Tempered by Lucy Varna – Paranormal Romance Book Tour, Giveaway and Review

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Virtual Book Tour Dates: 12/15/14 – 12/22/14

Genres: Paranormal Romance

Series: Daughters of the People

Available on Kindle Unlimited!

My Review:

This was the first book I read in this series, though I didn’t feel that I had to read the previous books to get in the swing of it.  Initially I found the main character, Hawthorne, to be a tough, cold woman who was war-hardened.  The opening chapter was set at a convention (Dragon Con), and Hawthorne was performing in a stick fighting exhibition with Levi (a relative).  Shortly thereafter, I suspected that she had been through a lot due to her extreme composure and aggressive behavior towards men, not to mention the women she dislikes.

Luckily, Hawthorne began to thaw a little in my opinion, and I discovered that she was a character that was admirable; she was loyal to her family and a competent businesswoman.  A love interest, Aaron Kesselman, seems like he is the man that could win her heart.  There is plenty of passion between them, but it remains to be seen if it will fizzle quickly after their initial meeting.

Hawthorne has some chinks in her armor, primarily having a woman’s heart and wanting to fall in love.  Unfortunately, Aaron, is human in so many ways, and Hawthorne is an immortal Daughter.  Trust issues threaten to ruin the relationship before it can ever really get underway; no surprise given the number of secrets this immortal would have to divulge in order to hang on to her man.

I won’t include a spoiler, but suffice it to say there is plenty going on in this story to keep the reader guessing. While the author provided some helpful information at the beginning of the book for those who jumped in mid-series, I’m going to go back and read the books prior to this one because I enjoyed this story so much.  I’d recommend this book to readers who like an indomitable heroine who likes her men straight up, just like her whisky.

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Read the author’s Guest Post here:  A Christmas Tradition

 

Blurb:

Among the People, Hawthorne the Chronicler is well-known for two things: Her faithful rendition of their history and her inclination to behead those who betray her. To mortals, Hawthorne is better known as Al C. Hawthorne, a fantasy writer with a stellar imagination and a knack for complex stories. It is in this guise that she must track down the sources of comic book illustrator Aaron Kesselman’s modernized tales of Rebecca the Blade.

Hawthorne’s blunt words and lithe grace intrigue Aaron, enough for him to take her up on the offer of sharing her bed. Before he knows it, his heart begins the fall into love, a fall he’s willing to take if only he can persuade Hawthorne that she isn’t a two thousand year old immortal descended from one of the most ruthless warriors in British history.

The past isn’t the only obstacle standing in the way of true love. The Eternal Order is on the move, targeting key members of the People in their never-ending quest to extinguish the Light. Hawthorne soon learns that a strong arm and a sharp blade aren’t always the best weapons in a Daughter’s arsenal, especially when her heart is involved.

Excerpt:

Aaron rose slowly and all but pushed her into her bed, pulling the covers up to her shoulders before he kissed her forehead. “Goodnight, Hawthorne.”

She raised herself onto her elbows and considered the resolve in his expression, and the unmistakable arousal pushing against the fly of his jeans. “You are leaving me?”

“I am. Get some rest.” He shoved his hands into his pockets and regarded her solemnly. “We’ll talk in the morning.”

He truly intended to leave her, though he was aroused and ready and adored her. She sniffed delicately, caught the faint aroma of his pheromones, and in that moment, lowered herself to the manipulations of a common human. “Perhaps I need the comfort of a friend this night, after the pushing you did.”

He winced and glanced away, and if she had been capable of feeling shame for her own actions, she would have then.

Fortunately, shame had been burned out of her system centuries ago.

“That’s a really bad idea,” he said. “Really.”

She turned down the covers on the opposite side of the bed and patted the mattress. “I insist. You would not wish me to cry again, would you?”

His eyebrows snapped together and he whirled, muttering God’s gonna strike me dead for thisunder his breath as he snapped off the overhead light and closed the door to her bedroom. She shimmied out of her camisole and panties and dropped them on the floor while he undressed and climbed into bed. He met her in the middle, and she wrapped herself around his long, fit body.

His hands cupped her bare hip and his breath hissed. “You took off your underclothes.”

She buried her face in the crook of his shoulder and slid her hands under his t-shirt, scratching his skin lightly with her nails. It was as she remembered it, warm, firm, beautiful. “Yes.”

“And you expect me to hold you all night like that?”

“If that is what you desire.” She ignored his constrained laugh and skimmed a hand around his ribs, exploring the muscled plane of his back. “Have you not missed our time together?”

“I have, so much.” He slid a muscled thigh between hers and sighed. “I don’t want to hurt you anymore.”

“Then do not.”

“You make it sound so simple.”

“It is as simple as you wish it to be. I did not cry from a harm you inflicted, but from a joy you withheld.”

“That’s…not exactly clear.”

“When you kissed me this evening,” she explained, “I believed you desired me.”

“I did.” His arm tightened across her back where he held her. “I do.”

“Yet, you refused to speak on the way home, refused to touch me or share your gaze with me. Should I not have taken your distance as rejection?”

“No, Hawthorne. Not just no, but hell no. I want you so much it hurts, inside and out, all day and night. Especially the nights. Dreaming of you, the way you smell and taste, like sunshine and woman and everything I’ve ever needed, and the way you feel when I’m in you, so tight and hot and good it takes my breath. I’ve waited so long to have you again, I was afraid my control would snap and I’d take you in the car.” His voice dropped to a low murmur against her ear. “So, no, I wasn’t rejecting you, sweetheart. I was trying not to jump you.”

Her own breath caught in her lungs, refusing to move, choked by the power of his words, the taut need in his voice. “I would not mind this jumping thing so much, if it means having you the way you described. Perhaps you would care to demonstrate.”

His laugh was low and male and scraped across her skin, exposing the billowing desire heating her blood. “I thought you’d never ask.”

Buy Links:

Amazon

About the Author:

Lucy Varna lives in Georgia, surrounded by her large, extended family. She’s a voracious reader and enjoys nothing more than losing herself between the pages of a good book. Her writing draws extensively on her background in genealogy, history, and archaeology, as well as on her eternal love of Science Fiction, Fantasy, the paranormal, and suspense.

Connect With The Author:

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Giveaway:

Grand Prize on the Tempered by Lucy Varna Book Tour:

Print/Autographed Copies of: The Prophecy (Book 1), Light’s Bane (Book 2), The Enemy Within (Book 3).

A $25 Amazon gift card

One winner. This giveaway will run 12/15/14 – 12/22/14. USA only residents, please!   Enter through Rafflecopter.


Book Tour Information:

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