Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Great Escapes Book Tours Book Review: Devil In The Deadline



Devil in the Deadline
(A Nichelle Clarke Headlines in Heels Mystery #4)
Paperback: 268 pages
Publisher: Henery Press (January 6, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1940976617
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 Book Blurb: 
When the Richmond police offer an exclusive in exchange for help with a case, nothing—not even a costume party—stops crime reporter Nichelle Clarke from making Manolo tracks to the crime scene. The hunt leads her to a televangelist’s compound in the Virginia countryside where the Reverend may be more interested in fat stacks of cash than he is saving wayward souls.
With two sexy guys tangled up in Nichelle’s story—and in her heart—work and love are on a crash course for disaster. Pressure pours in from every corner, including a faceless new competitor that means the deadline is always five minutes ago. As secrets threaten and the truth becomes her lifeline, Nichelle must unmask the killer and nail down the story before she’s snared in the carefully-constructed web.

Review: I absolutely adore the Headlines in High Heels Mystery series. If you haven't read anything in this series, you need to start right now! You can start with this one though, because they can be read stand alone. (You will want to read the rest of the series, though, because these books rock)

There's a great deal of romance, suspense and humor in Nichelle's life and that's what keeps me coming back for more. Plus who can resist a story that has a televangelist. Cos you always know these guys are just a touch slimy, even though they want to save your soul!

Nichelle's investigation involves the death of a homeless girl. So your seeing a real sad aspect of life there along with the crazy world of the tv evangelist.

Oh and don't think Nichelle's love life is taking a back burner, because it is not. That always makes for fun reading. There's a love triangle going on here, but its not one that will leave readers too frustrated for her to make a choice.

Great mystery! Great book! Great series!

Rating: 5 flowers




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TLC Book Tours Book Review: The Girls Of Mischief Bay w/giveaway



Want to know what happens next, click on the banner!

Excerpt: “There’s a burger special,” Pam said with a sigh. “Did you see it? If I get that, will someone eat some of my fries?”
“I will,” Nicole told her. “I get the protein plate here.”
Pam wrinkled her nose. “Of course you do.”
Shannon knew the protein plate consisted of broiled fish and shrimp with a side of steamed vegetables. Healthy, sure, but the low calorie count was of more concern to the body-conscious, bikini-clad locals.
“I’ll have a couple of fries, too,” she said. They would nicely round out the salad she generally ordered.
Pam poked Nicole in the upper arm. “You’re a stick. You should eat more.”
“I eat plenty.”
“Roots and grubs. Have a burger.” Pam leaned back in her chair. “Enjoy your metabolism while you can. Because one day, it’s all going to hell.”
“You look great,” Nicole said easily. “You’re in terrific shape.”
Pam’s brows rose. “If you say ‘for a woman my age’ I’m pitching you out the window.”
Nicole laughed. “I’d never say that. You’re nowhere near a certain age. That’s old.”
So spoke the thirty-year-old, Shannon thought wryly. Time was going faster and faster every day. She couldn’t believe she was only a few months away from turning forty, herself. She glanced at Pam and Nicole’s hands and saw the wedding bands and diamond engagement rings winking back at her. Not for the first time, Shannon considered the fact that somewhere along the way she should have gotten married.
She’d meant to, had always thought she would. Only her career had been her first priority—a fact that the men she knew didn’t like. The more successful she got, the harder it was to date. Or at least find a man who didn’t resent her devotion to her career. Lately, finding someone interesting and appealing had started to seem nearly impossible.
She briefly toyed with the idea of mentioning that. All the articles she read said that she had to put herself out there if she wanted to meet a great guy. She had to be willing to tell all her friends that she was serious and looking. Of course she had a sneaking suspicion that many articles in women’s magazines were written by people who had no idea what they were talking about. Besides, she wasn’t keen on pity. She was a successful, vital businesswoman. Hell, she was the chief financial officer of a company grossing more than a billion dollars a year. She didn’t need a man in her life. Which wasn’t to say she might not like having one around.
“How’s my favorite young man?” Pam asked.
Nicole smiled. “Tyler is great. I can’t believe he’s turning five in a couple of months. It’s going so fast. He’ll be in kindergarten in September.” She paused. “In a way, that will be nice. There’ll be less day-care juggling.”
As she finished speaking, her smile faded and a muscle twitched in her cheek. As if she were clenching her teeth.
Shannon hesitated, not sure if she should ask what was wrong. Because she already knew the answer. The three of them had been in the same exercise class for nearly two years. While she and Pam were faithful participants, the same couldn’t be said for anyone else. For some reason, the Friday noon class tended to attract the flakier clients.
Which meant it had often been just the three of them. They’d talked between Pilates moves, had shared various ups and downs. Shannon knew that Brandon, Pam’s youngest, had been a wild teenager—to the point of driving so drunk, he’d wrapped his car around a tree. Now he was a sober, determined student in medical school. She’d listened as Nicole had tried to explain her bewilderment that her stable, hard-working husband had quit his job to write a screenplay and surf. In turn, Shannon had shared the tribulations of her own personal life. Everything from the challenge of being the only female executive at a tech company to the difficulty finding a Mr. Right who supported her career goals.
While Shannon searched for a delicate way to ask if Nicole’s comment meant Eric was still determined to conquer Hollywood, Pam plunged right in.
“He continues to be an idiot?” she asked.
Nicole wrinkled her nose. “He’s not an idiot. He’s…” She hesitated. “Confusing. I know it’s been six months, so I should be over it, right? It’s not that I didn’t know.”
Pam angled toward her friend. “Honey, everyone says they want to write a screenplay or be on American Idol or something, but no one takes them seriously. There are dreams and then there’s real life. Eric has a wife and a son. He walked away from a great job to type and surf. Who does that?”
Nicole winced. “He’s writing, not typing.”
“Details. He’s not contributing financially or in any other way.”
“He helps,” Nicole said, then sighed. “Sort of. I don’t know what to do. You’re right. Everyone says they want to be rich or famous, and that’s great. But I don’t know. When he walked in and told me he’d quit his job…” She raised her shoulders. “I still don’t know what to say.”
Shannon got that one. She had been just as shocked as her friend and she didn’t have to live with Eric. She supposed a case could be made for everyone having the right to follow his or her dreams, but in a marriage, shouldn’t both parties get a vote? That was what had been so stunning about Eric’s decision. He hadn’t mentioned it or negotiated or anything. He’d simply walked away from his job and told his wife after the fact.
“While I don’t recommend this for every situation,” Pam said slowly, “have you considered smothering him with a pillow?”
Nicole managed a soft laugh. “Not my style.”
“Mine, either,” Pam admitted. “I’m more direct. But it’s an option.”
Shannon grinned. “This from a woman who carefully dresses her dog so she won’t be cold? You talk tough, but on the inside, you’re a marshmallow.”
“Don’t tell,” Pam said, glancing around, as if afraid they would be overheard. “I have a reputation to protect.” She touched Nicole’s hand. “All jokes aside, I know this is difficult for you. You want to shake some sense into him and right now you can’t. Hang in there. You two love each other. That’ll get you through.”
“I hope so,” Nicole said. “I know he’s a good guy.”
“He is. Marriage is like life. Just when you think you have it figured out, it changes. When I stopped working, I felt guilty that John was carrying the whole financial load. But we talked about it and he finally convinced me he liked having me home. I take care of things there and he handles bringing in the money.”
A world she couldn’t imagine, Shannon admitted, if only to herself. It was as if Pam was from another planet. Or another era. Shannon knew there were plenty of stay-at-home moms. The difference was she didn’t know any of them. Not as friends. The mothers she knew were like Nicole—always scrambling to keep up.
Although now that she thought about it, there were a couple of friends who had left their jobs and become stay-at-home mothers. Only once that had happened, Shannon had lost touch with them. Or maybe they’d lost touch with her.
“There are always rough patches,” Pam said. “But if you remember why you’re together, then you’ll get through it.”

Text Copyright © 2015 by Susan Macias Redmond

Permission to reproduce text granted by Harlequin Books S.A.


Author: Susan Mallery
Title: The Girls Of Mischief Bay
Publisher: Mira
Publish Date: Feb 24, 2015
Buy: Amazon

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Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours & the publisher
Book Blurb:  Nicole Lord wants to be a good wife, but there's a difference between being supportive and supporting her husband, who quit his job to write a screenplay she's never seen. He won't even help take care of their son, leaving Nicole to run the house and work full-time.

Sacrificing a personal life for her career is how Shannon Rigg .became VP at her firm, but she wonders now whether she made the right choice. An exciting new relationship with a great guy convinces her that it might not be too late—until he drops a bombshell that has her questioning whether she really can have it all.

Although Pam Eiland adores her husband, she feels restless now that the kids are grown. Finding sexy new ways to surprise him brings the heat and humor back to their marriage, but when unexpected change turns her life upside down, she'll have to redefine herself. Again.

Through romance and heartbreak, laughter and tears, the girls of Mischief Bay will discover that life is richer with friends at your side.


Review: This is one of the few books in the "women's fiction" genre that I've read in a long time. I love Susan Mallery. She creates characters that you really want to know. The friends in this book are the kind we all wish we had. They are lovable and flawed. Sometimes you love them and sometimes you want to shake them.

I think every person who reads this book will pick one of the friends to really like the best. For me, I loved Pam. She was the real "Mom" of the group. She had a good marriage and life and she wanted to stay appealing to her husband. She had a few moments of vanity when her daughter announced her pregnancy, but I could forgive her for that. Oh and if you don't get a few chuckles out of the weekend getaway she has with her hubby, well, you have no sense of humor!

She's also the character that goes through the most in her relationship. Let's just say, her unexpected change isn't a good one

As for the other two ladies, I liked Shannon next and then Nicole, though I'm not sure why. I would have liked to understand her booty call relationship with Quinn better. The guy she becomes involved with is pretty close to perfect, though there are a few things that cause tension between them as the story goes along.

Nicole and her husband annoyed the hell out of me. I couldn't believe that it took the whole novel for their relationship to play out. But this only proves that not everyone's story is a happy one. I just was hoping for something better for her. Plus Eric was a first class jerk.

This was a wonderful novel that I devoured in a little over a day. I loved immersing myself in Pam, Shannon and Nicole's lives.

Rating: 5 flowers





One lucky commenter who leaves there email will win this awesome prize package!

It includes:


A Pacific blue beach towel
Pure Paradise body cream
Luxury moisturizing bath bar from the San Francisco soap company
An autographed copy of EVENING STARS by Susan Mallery (the first book with a character from Mischief Bay)
Flip-flop tea candle holder
Map of Mischief Bay
THE GIRLS OF MISCHIEF BAY Post-It book
THE GIRLS OF MISCHIEF BAY bookmark
Handy bath mini-tote
Susan Mallery lip gloss
Susan Mallery 3D luggage tag
Susan Mallery pen

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Book Review: Caught In The Act




CAUGHT IN THE ACT
The Davenports, Book Two
Montlake Romance, Contemporary
January 27, 2015
Paperback & Kindle

Catherine Davenport Carlton needs a break. After dedicating her life to her political-minded family, shocking scandals from the past have shaken her to her core. Summer in the quiet town of Dyersport, Maine, is just what she needs, especially with a super-hot neighbor right next door…who’s none other than Brody Hollister, the boy she fell in love with as a teen. Cat wants nothing more than to pick up right where they left off eighteen years ago, but she’s still haunted by a terrible secret that could devastate Brody.

Brody Hollister spent years pining over Cat Davenport. They met young and loved passionately—until she disappeared from his life. Now she’s back, as spirited and beautiful as ever. But while Brody is determined to help Cat free herself from her family’s drama, his own family may be hiding something that could ruin their rekindled romance for good.

In Book Two of the Davenports romance series, sex and politics collide…with passionate results.



BUY LINKS:



POWELL’S:  http://www.powells.com/biblio/62-9781477821220-0

Review: I haven't been reading a lot of contemporary romance lately but I'm glad I read this one. It is the second book in the Davenports series, but this is more a family romance type of series, so reading in order isn't necessary.

Cat is a daughter of a powerful political family. The neighbor that she's got her eye on is none other than the Brody who she loved and lost as a teenager. So not only is this a fantastic novel with political doings, but it is also a great novel of second chances.

Like all powerful families the Davenports are full of secrets and lies, but Brody's family has their share too, and that makes for some wonderful reading.

If you are a fan of Catherine Bybee, you want to try Kim Law, because you won't be disappointed.

Rating: 5 flowers




KIM LAW

BIO:
As a child, award-winning author Kim Law cultivated a love for chocolate, anything purple, and creative writing. She penned her debut work, “The Gigantic Talking Raisin,” in the sixth grade and got hooked on the delights of creating stories. Before settling into the writing life, however, she earned a college degree in mathematics and then worked as a computer programmer. Now she’s living out her lifelong dream of writing romance novels. She’s won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award, has been a finalist for the prestigious RWA RITA Award, and has served in varied positions for her local RWA chapter. A native of Kentucky, Kim lives with her husband and an assortment of animals in Middle Tennessee.

CONTACT LINKS:
www.kimlaw.com
kim@kimlaw.com
twitter.com/kim_law
facebook.com/kimlawauthor
pinterest.com/kimlawauthor/




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Friday, January 23, 2015

TLC Book Tours Book Review: The Divorce Diet

Author: Ellen Hawley
Title: The Divorce Diet
Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: Dec 30, 2014
Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tour & Net Galley
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 
Abigail is sure the only thing standing between her and happiness is the weight she gained along with her beloved new baby. Until she instantly loses 170 pounds of husband.

When Thad declares that "this whole marriage thing" is no longer working, a shell-shocked Abigail takes her infant daughter, Rosie, and moves back to her parents' house. Floundering, she turns to an imaginary guru and best friend, the author of her new weight-loss book. But surviving heartache, finding a job, and staying sane as a suddenly single new mom isn't easy, especially on a diet--sorry, life journey.

Make an inventory of your skills, Abigail's guru instructs. Abigail loves cooking and preparing food--real food, not the fatless, joyless dishes her diet prescribes, or the instant-frozen-artificially flavored fare she finds in her mother's kitchen. So far, following everyone else's rules has led to being broke, lonely, and facing a lifetime of poached eggs, faux mayonnaise, and jobs in chain restaurants. What might happen if Abigail followed her own recipe for a good life instead?...


Review:  The Divorce Diet reads quite a bit like Bridget Jones' Diary. Both Abigail and Bridget have some similar annoying qualities, but for some reason, I liked Abigail, a little bit. That's not to say that I loved her, because most of the time I wanted to hit her with something or shake her, or make her do her laundry.

She's not the most likable of heroines. Granted, her life has taken a turn for the worse, but she is really annoying. She clings to her daughter and lets what is left of her life spiral out of control. (She has laundry issues that terrify me).

I loved how the diet book and Abigail's inner voice provide a little bit of levity, so that her story isn't too depressing. I also like that though a diet is what Abigail needs and is on, it isn't the focus of the book and losing weight isn't going to instantly fix things and bring happiness into her life.

Abigail's relationship with food is full of passion, and not in a bad way. I liked how that passion finally shaped the person that she would become post marriage. When she discusses food, it is hard not to start feeling hungry.

Her adventures in food service are down right hilarious.

I wish there were a little more back story to Abigail, especially with her relationship with her husband, Thad and her parents. Abigail is only 25 and her mom and dad are written like they are REALLY REALLY old. It just doesn't feel right. Plus I would have loved to have understood Abigail a bit more.

This was a great book for a quiet afternoon. It was quick and fun and I may just try to make Abigail's meatloaf at some point.

Rating: 4 flowers






Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Chick Ponders Bookish Things: How I Converted To Kindle




I admit, I was a Nook girl until Christmas.  I had a first generation Nook and I loved it, until it took a rather nasty plunge from an elliptical at my local YMCA.

Can you say shattered screen?

I cried.

I had a Nook Color, but I wasn't fond of it. I'm still not very fond of it. So I bought the SimpleTouch with Glolight.

I hated it.

In a little over the year, the screen was giving me problems. I started using the Color more regularly and even got the new HD + to jump on the whole tablet bandwagon.

Guess what?

I use the HD to listen to music at bed time, but I still hate reading on a tablet. The screen bothers my eyes.

I really wanted a basic ereader, even though that isn't the trend. So I got the basic Kindle 7th generation.

I love it, it like I loved my original Nook.  If you don't need the bells and whistles of a tablet, the basic Kindle is the best way too go. And if you use Net Galley, Kindle is definitely the better device.

I feel bad that I've shifted loyalties, but for a product that was pretty much interchangeable when they first came out, Kindle is now the superior product as an ereader. I can't comment on the Fire, because I don't own one and likely won't as I'm no fan of tablets.

Which device do you use for ereading?

Monday, January 19, 2015

TLC Book Tours Book Review: All That Glitters

Author: Michael Murphy
Title: All That Glitters
Publisher: Alibi
Publish Date: Jan 6, 2015
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours & Net Galley
Book Blurb: 
In Michael Murphy’s rollicking new Jake & Laura mystery, the hard-boiled writer and the aspiring movie star head for sun-drenched Los Angeles, where a cold-blooded murderer lurks behind the scenes.

Just arrived from New York, Broadway actress Laura Wilson is slated to star in Hollywood’s newest screwball comedy. At her side, of course, is Jake Donovan, under pressure to write his next mystery novel. But peace and quiet are not to be had when an all-too-real murder plot intrudes: After a glitzy party, the son of a studio honcho is discovered dead from a gunshot wound. And since Jake exchanged words with the hothead just hours before his death, the bestselling author becomes the LAPD’s prime suspect.

br> In 1930s Tinseltown, anything goes. Proving his innocence won’t be easy in a town where sex, seduction, and naked power run rampant. With gossip columnist Louella Parsons dead-set on publicizing the charges against him, Jake has no choice but to do what everyone else does in the City of Angels: act like someone else. Blackie Doyle, the tough-talking, fist-swinging, womanizing hero from Jake’s novels wouldn’t pull any punches until he exposed the real killer—nor will Jake, to keep the role of a lifetime from being his last.

Review: If you love historical mysteries, you are definitely going to want to grab a copy of All That Glitters by Michael Murphy. It is the second book in the Jake and Laura mystery series and it is a page turner.

Murphy really brings 1930s Hollywood to life. The speakeasies, the sultry dames to name a few things.

This isn't a cozy mystery. Jake is a mystery writer who was a former gumshoe. It makes him a far more credible sleuth than most. His fiancee, Laura, is sweet and sassy actress, who is much smarter than the average actress is portrayed as being.

When the writer of the screenplay that Laura is starring in, ends up with a bullet to his head, and Jake is the most likely and yet least likely suspect, he knows he has to clear his name.

Through his investigation, you get to know the actors and studio bosses and stage moms and all of them are pretty quirky. I love the teenage, Sonny, whose career is derailed thanks to Shirley Temple.

This is a fast, fun mystery. There are so many people and scenarios as to whodunit that it will keep you guessing until the very end.

I can't wait to go back and read The Yankee Club!

Rating: 5 flowers


Thursday, January 15, 2015

2015 Reviews

This is my master post for books I've read and reviewed in 2013. This year the reviews will be listed in date order.

For a list of reviews from 2011 click here and for books I read and reviewed in 2012 click here and for books I read and reviewed in 2013 click here and for books I read and reviewed in 2014 here
 
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