Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Historical Fiction Book Tours Interview: M.J. Rose

Today I am pleased to have a Q & A with author M.J. Rose author of Seduction to share with you. 

What book are you currently reading?

Past Caring by Robert Goddard

Who is your favorite author?
Daphne Du Maurier

Where is your favorite place to read?
In bed.

Can you give us any book recommendations?
The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers
The Queens Vow by C.W. Gortner
The Columbus Affair by Steve Berry
Mermaid by Carolyn Turegon
The Twelth Enchantment by David Liss

What was your inspiration for Seduction?

When I write a novel I always need a question I want to answer. It’s not what the book is about… the reader might not even notice… but it keeps me motivated. The question that started this novel was way back in the early 2000s when I read Les Miserables. I was so curious about Fantine. She was such a tragic and heartfelt character. Who was she? Why did she have such a great impact on Hugo? Being a writer I knew it probably wasn’t as obvious as it one might guess.

How much research do you have to do for your novels?

It’s different for every novel but lately from 3 – 6 months.

What was the most interesting fact you discovered when researching for Seduction?

I didn’t know – and don’t think many people know - how much Hugo believed in reincarnation and the spirit world. He held over 100 séances trying to reach his daughter and completely believed he was talking to long dead souls like Jesus, Dante and the devil.

Tell our readers why they should read Seduction

I can’t… but I’ll let some other peopleJ

"Mysterious, haunting, and tragic, Seduction emerges as a suspenseful alchemy of potent ingredients, beautifully blended, that ignites your senses and leaves you aching for more." —Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

"Seduction transcends time, recounting the story of Victor Hugo's tragic loss of his daughter and his desperate attempts to contact her via séances. Fast forward to the present, when Jacinthe 'Jac' L'Etoile, a mythologist specializing in Celtic lore, probes the secrets of the Isle of Jersey, where Hugo communed with spirits and composed his journal. With alacrity, Rose interweaves mythology, the supernatural, psychoanalysis and Evil Incarnate, creating an amazing amalgam of narrative wonder. And, yes, M.J. Rose fans, there are reincarnationists in Seduction, and they will haunt you." —Mystery Lovers Bookshop

"Seduction by M.J. Rose interlaces the tale of a bereft Victor Hugo, mourning the loss of his daughter over 150 years ago, with the present day chronicles of Jac L'Etoile, caught up in an ancient Druid mystery that is affecting the lives of everyone around her. Intriguing, absorbing, and utterly captivating, Seduction will leave you begging for a sequel." —Books & Books

M.J. RoseAbout the Author

M.J. Rose is the international best selling author of eleven novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in many magazines and reviews including Oprah Magazine. She has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com. The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Renincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and runs the blog- Buzz, Balls & Hype. She is also the co-founder of Peroozal.com and BookTrib.com.
Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.
For more information on M.J. Rose and her novels, please visit her WEBSITE. You can also find her on Facebook.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Historical Fiction Book Tours Book Review: Seduction

SeductionPublication Date: May 7, 2013
Atria Books
Hardcover; 384p
ISBN-10: 1451621507
From the author of The Book of Lost Fragrances comes a haunting novel about a grieving woman who discovers the lost journal of novelist Victor Hugo, awakening a mystery that spans centuries.
In 1843, novelist Victor Hugo’s beloved nineteen-year-old daughter drowned. Ten years later, Hugo began participating in hundreds of séances to reestablish contact with her. In the process, he claimed to have communed with the likes of Plato, Galileo, Shakespeare, Dante, Jesus—and even the Devil himself. Hugo’s transcriptions of these conversations have all been published. Or so it was believed.
Recovering from her own losses, mythologist Jac L’Etoile arrives on the Isle of Jersey—where Hugo conducted the séances—hoping to uncover a secret about the island’s Celtic roots. But the man who’s invited her there, a troubled soul named Theo Gaspard, has hopes she’ll help him discover something quite different—Hugo’s lost conversations with someone called the Shadow of the Sepulcher.
What follows is an intricately plotted and atmospheric tale of suspense with a spellbinding ghost story at its heart, by one of America’s most gifted and imaginative novelists.

Review: Seduction brings back some of the characters that you met when reading M.J. Rose's last novel The Book Of Lost Fragrances, so there will be some familiar faces here, especially for those of us that have been reading The Reincarnationist Series. (These books can be read as stand alone novels, but I think in this case, it might be helpful if you had read the previous book in the series)

This book, like the others in this series, blends past and present beautifully, bringing the life of Victor Hugo into the realm of fiction. His character is one of the main reasons I wanted to read the novel and as always, M.J. Rose didn't disappoint. I really felt connected to him in a way I never have before. He's  more than just the author of Les Miserables now.

More than suspenseful, this book also has a lot of spooky going on, which gives it a slightly different feel from the other novels. It almost made me wish that this book had been released in the autumn, because it is more the type of book I read around Halloween. (I'm crazy like that...I tend to read all my spooky novels in October)

The seances that occurred in Hugo's time period were creepy and the things that happened to Jac really give this book some dark undertones.

I love how well researched the book was in regards to Hugo's life. I found myself doing many an internet search to fact check and I found myself even more intrigued with Hugo's life after reading this book.

This is definitely the best book in the series so far.

I highly recommend this book and all of the series to fans of mystery/suspense and just a little something different.

Rating: 5 flowers

M.J. RoseAbout the Author

M.J. Rose is the international best selling author of eleven novels and two non-fiction books on marketing. Her fiction and non-fiction has appeared in many magazines and reviews including Oprah Magazine. She has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – Authorbuzz.com. The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Renincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and runs the blog- Buzz, Balls & Hype. She is also the co-founder of Peroozal.com and BookTrib.com.
Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.
For more information on M.J. Rose and her novels, please visit her WEBSITE. You can also find her on Facebook.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bewitching Book Tours: An Affair To Dismember

An Affair to Dismember
The Matchmaker Series, Book One
Elise Sax

Genre: Comedic romantic mystery

Publisher: Ballantine (Random House)

ISBN: 978-0345532220

Number of pages: 320
Word Count: About 80,000

Amazon     BN    Wal-Mart    BooksAMillion

Book Description:

Certain to appeal to fans of Janet Evanovich, Jennifer Crusie, and Katie MacAlister, Elise Sax’s hilarious series debut introduces matchmaker-in-training Gladie Burger, who stumbles into a dangerous quagmire of murder and red-hot romance.

Three months has been Gladie Burger’s limit when it comes to staying in one place. That’s why Gladie is more than a little skeptical when her eccentric Grandma Zelda recruits her to the family’s matchmaking business in the quaint small town of Cannes, California. What’s more, Gladie is also highly unqualified, having a terrible track record with romance. Still, Zelda is convinced that her granddaughter has “the gift.” But when the going gets tough, Gladie wonders if this gift has a return policy.

When Zelda’s neighbor drops dead in his kitchen, Gladie is swept into his bizarre family’s drama. Despite warnings from the (distractingly gorgeous) chief of police to steer clear of his investigation, Gladie is out to prove that her neighbor’s death was murder. It’s not too long before she’s in way over her head—with the hunky police chief, a dysfunctional family full of possible killers, and yet another mysterious and handsome man, whose attentions she’s unable to ignore. Gladie is clearly being pursued—either by true love or by a murderer. Who will catch her first?

Praise for An Affair to Dismember

“Elise Sax’s new Matchmaker series is off to a rousing start! . . . Sax gives the comic mystery genre a new spin. . . . A fun read sure to entertain.”—RT Book Reviews

“Fans of laugh-out-loud romantic suspense will enjoy this new author as she joins the ranks of Janet Evanovich, Katie MacAllister, and Jennifer Crusie.”—Booklist

“Elise Sax will win your heart.”—New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis

“In the tradition of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, Elise Sax’s new novel is a funny, sexy ride.”—Valerie Frankel, author of Four of a Kind

“What a fun book! It will leave readers begging for more.”—Kim Gruenenfelder, author of There’s Cake in My Future

Chapter 1

When you first start out, you’re going to ask people what they’re looking for. This is a big mistake. Huge. They want the impossible. Every woman wants a Cary Grant with a thick wallet who doesn’t mind if she’s a few pounds overweight. Every man wants a floozy he can take home to Mom. See? Asking their opinions only leads to headaches you could die from. Take it from me, I’ve been doing this a lot of years. Nobody knows what they want. You have to size a person up and tell them what they want. It might take convincing, but you’ll widen their horizons, and they’ll thank you for it. Eventually. Remember, love can come from anywhere, usually where you least expect it. Tell them not to be afraid, even if it hits them on the head and hurts a lot at first. With enough time, any schlimazel can turn into a Cary Grant or a presentable floozy.

Lesson 22, Matchmaking Advice from Your Grandma Zelda

The morning I found out about Randy Terns’ murder, I was happily oblivious. I was too busy to care, trying to make heads or tails of my grandma’s matchmaking business. Nobody actually mentioned the word “murder” that morning. I sort of stumbled onto the idea later on.

That Thursday I sat in my grandma’s makeshift office in the attic of her sprawling Victorian house, buried under mounds of yellowed index cards and black-and-white Polaroid pictures. It was all part of Zelda’s Match­making Services, a business I now co-owned at my grandma’s insistence as her only living relative and what she called “a natural matchmaker if ever I saw one.”

“Gladie Burger,” she had told me over the phone three months before, urging me to move in with her, “you come from a long line of Burger women. Burger women are matchmaker women.”

I was a Burger woman, but I had strong doubts about the matchmaker part. Besides, I couldn’t decipher the business. It was stuck in the dark ages with no computer, let alone Internet connection. Grandma fluctuated between staging workshops, running group meetings, hosting walk-­ins, and just knowing when someone needed to be fixed up. “It’s an intuitive thing,” she explained.

I pushed aside a stack of cards, stirring up a black cloud of dust. I had been a matchmaker in training for three months, and I was no closer to matching any couples. To be truthful, I hadn’t even tried. I wiped my dusty hands on my sweatpants and stared at the giant mound on her desk. “Grandma, I’m not a matchmaker,” I said to her stapler. “I’ve never even had a successful relationship. I wouldn’t know one if I saw one.”

I had a sudden desire for fudge. I gave my stomach a squish and tugged at my elastic waistband. My grandmother was a notorious junk food addict, and I had slipped into her bad habits since I moved in with her. Hard to believe I was the same person who not even four months ago was a cashier in a trendy health food store in Los Angeles, the second-­to-­last job I had had in a more than ten-­year string of jobs—­which was probably why Grandma had twisted my arm to move to Cannes, California.

I decided against fudge and picked up an index card. It read: George Jackson, thirty-­five years old. Next to the note, in Grandma’s handwriting, was scribbled Not a day less than forty-­three; breath like someone died in his mouth. Halitosis George was looking for a stewardess, someone who looked like Jackie Kennedy and had a fondness for Studebakers. Whoa, Grandma kept some pretty old records. I needed to throw out 95 percent of the cards, but I didn’t know which 5 percent to keep.

Putting down the card, I stared out the window, my favorite activity these days. What had I gotten myself into? I had no skills as a matchmaker. I was more of a temp agency kind of gal. Something where I wasn’t in charge of other people’s lives. My three-­week stint as a wine cork inspector was more my speed.

A man and his German shepherd ran down the street. I checked my watch: 12:10 p.m. Right on time. I could always count on the habits of the neighbors. There was a regular stream of devoted dog walkers, joggers, and cyclists that passed the house on a daily basis. Not much changed here. The small mountain town was low on surprises. I tried to convince myself that was a good thing. Stability was good. Commitment was good.

With sudden resolve, I took George Jackson’s card and threw it in the wastebasket. “Bye, George. I hope you found love and an Altoid.”

I tried another card. Sarah Johns. Nineteen years old. She had gotten first prize at the county fair for her blueberry pie, and she was looking for an honest man who didn’t drink too much. My grandma had seen something more in her. Poor thing. Art school better than man, she had written in the margins.

I tossed the card, letting it float onto George. Matchmaking was no easy task. It wasn’t all speed dating and online chat rooms. Lives were on the line. One false move and futures could be ruined.

About the Author:
Elise Sax worked as a journalist for fifteen years, mostly in Paris, France. She took a detour from journalism and became a private investigator before trying her hand at writing fiction. She lives in Southern California with her two sons. An Affair to Dismember, the first in the Matchmaker mystery series, is her first novel.

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Book Review: The Long Way Home

Author: Mariah Stewart
Title: The Long Way Home
Publisher: Ballentine Books
Publish Date: Jan 29, 2013
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: 
As the only child of a wealthy investment manager, Ellie Chapman has never known anything besides a life of perfect privilege. But her years of good fortune come to an abrupt end when her father is exposed for swindling billions of dollars from innocent investors in a massive Ponzi scheme. And just like that, Ellie loses everything: money, job, home—even her fiancé, who’s jailed as her father’s partner in crime. With no job prospects on the horizon, no cash, and her family name in tatters, Ellie has only one place to go.

Sleepy St. Dennis, Maryland, is hardly where Ellie intends to stay, however. Keeping her identity a secret, she plans to sell the house her late mother left her in the small town and use the proceeds to move on with her life. Unfortunately, her ticket to a new beginning is in dire need of a laundry list of pricey improvements, many of which she’ll have to do herself. And until the house on Bay View Road is fit to be sold, the sole place Ellie will be traveling is the hardware store. But as the many charms of St. Dennis—not to mention Cameron O’Connor, the handsome local contractor who has secrets of his own—begin to work their magic, what begins as a lesson in do-it-yourself renovations might just end up as Ellie’s very own rejuvenation.

Review: The Long Way Home takes us back to St. Dennis, Maryland. This is a series that can be read in order or simply as a stand alone book. I've read the first 3 and I missed two somewhere along the line, because this is book 6 in the series.

I think St. Dennis reminds me a bit of Debbie Macomber's Blossom St series or Sherryl Woods Chesapeake Shores. Wouldn't it be nice if all our small towns were so quaint and colorful?

Ellie's character is a sweeter version of Caroline from 2 Broke Girls, complete with her own crook of a father, just like Bernie Madoff. If there wasn't already a cupcake business I'd expect her to try to start one!

The problem is unlike Caroline Channing ...Ellie Chapman is a bit blah. She doesn't want to get close to people because she doesn't want to rejected because of what her father did, yet she's looking for clues to her past.

Another problem, most people find out her secret without her telling them.

That makes things a little less interesting.

Too much falls into place easily for her and her relationship with Cameron didn't feel right either.

In comparison to the other books in this series, this one felt hurried to me and the relationship not so romantic.

Rating:  3 flowers

Friday, April 26, 2013

Book Review: The Comfort Of Lies

Author: Randy Susan Meyers
Title: The Comfort Of Lies
Publisher: Atria Books
Publish Date: Feb 12, 2013
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: 
“Happiness at someone else’s expense came at a price. Tia had imagined judgment from the first kiss that she and Nathan shared. All year, she’d waited to be punished for being in love, and in truth, she believed that whatever consequences came her way would be deserved.” Five years ago, Tia fell into obsessive love with a man she could never have. Married, and the father of two boys, Nathan was unavailable in every way. When she became pregnant, he disappeared, and she gave up her baby for adoption.

Five years ago, Caroline, a dedicated pathologist, reluctantly adopted a baby to please her husband. She prayed her misgivings would disappear; instead, she’s questioning whether she’s cut out for the role of wife and mother.

Five years ago, Juliette considered her life ideal: she had a solid marriage, two beautiful young sons, and a thriving business. Then she discovered Nathan’s affair. He promised he’d never stray again, and she trusted him.

But when Juliette intercepts a letter to her husband from Tia that contains pictures of a child with a deep resemblance to her husband, her world crumbles once more. How could Nathan deny his daughter? And if he’s kept this a secret from her, what else is he hiding? Desperate for the truth, Juliette goes in search of the little girl. And before long, the three women and Nathan are on a collision course with consequences that none of them could have predicted.

Riveting and arresting, The Comfort of Lies explores the collateral damage of infidelity and the dark, private struggles many of us experience but rarely reveal.

Review: Randy Susan Meyers has created a book that involves a subject that sends terror into the hearts of most wives, infidelity.

In The Comfort Of Lies, she weaves a story of three women and how one choice affects all of their lives.

None of these women are perfect and each have to deal with the choices they made. I found it hard to like any of these women, but I did feel sorry for each one of them in different ways.

Tia was the other woman who ended up pregnant from her affair. She's a mess. Even up to the last pages, she isn't totally together. She's also the youngest of the bunch. She may not have been a young girl that got knocked up, but she was a twenty something girl with a lot on her plate who foolishly fell in love with someone she couldn't have.

Juliette is the wife of the man Tia had an affair with. That affair messes with their life and their marriage and in fact the whole ordeal turns her into as big of a mess as Tia. (And really that girl needs to get her life in order)

Caroline is the women who along with her husband Peter, adopts Tia's baby.

One action by Tia 5 years after the birth of her child sends so many actions into place and suddenly they are all in each other's lives, whether they want to be or not.

I had an easier time coming to grips with Tia, because I could understand her love for Nathan and her home situation, with a mother in hospice. At times, she goes almost Fatal Attraction nuts. Yeah, girlfriend is off her rocker.

Juliette and Caroline are both career women, in different ways. Caroline is the harder character to relate to for me. She's a brilliant woman, working in pathology to discover cures for childhood cancers. It is hard to believe she loves her work more than her family. (Not that she doesn't love her daughter)

Juliette is more the typical mom who goes off the deep end when she realizes that the affair her husband had produced a child. My main problem with her character was how she obsessed over the affair 5 years later, when it was obvious Nathan hadn't had any contact with Tia. But I felt sorry for her, because her mother would be enough to make her a nut job!

I couldn't stand Nathan at all. I couldn't figure out why either woman would want him and the parts of the story that were told from his point of view seemed to try to paint him as the injured party. Seriously? The guy didn't deserve his wife or Tia.

This isn't a happy read or a fun read, but the characters draw you in. It is a book that makes you think of how one little thing can change the lives of so many.

Rating: 5 flowers

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Book Trailer: Cindy Woodsmall - The Winnowing Season

The Winnowing Season is Book 2 In The Amish Vines & Orchards Series.

I absolutely love Amish fiction and I can't wait to read this book!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

TLC Book Tours Book Review: The Enchanted Life Of Adam Hope

Author: Rhonda Riley
Title: The Enchanted Life Of Adam Hope
Publisher: Ecco
Publish Date: April 23, 2013
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours & the publisher
Book Blurb:  The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope is an unconventional and passionately romantic love story that is as breathtaking and wondrous as The Time Traveler’s Wife and The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.

During WWII, teenager Evelyn Roe is sent to manage the family farm in rural North Carolina, where she finds what she takes to be a badly burned soldier on their property. She rescues him, and it quickly becomes clear he is not a man…and not one of us. The rescued body recovers at an unnatural speed, and just as fast, Evelyn and Adam fall deeply in love.

In The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope, Rhonda Riley reveals the exhilarating, terrifying mystery inherent in all relationships: No matter how deeply we love someone, and no matter how much we will sacrifice for them, we can only know them so well…

Review: First, let me say that this book is the whole deal, beautiful cover, those nifty jagged pages that make you think you have something special, and do you know what? You do.

The Enchanted Life Of Adam Hope is Rhonda Riley's debut novel and it is one that will stay in your heart for years to come.

This is one book that try as I may, I find it hard to review without giving anything away.

One thing I can say about this book, it is a love story of the most unusual variety

Suffice to say, Adam is not quite human and that knowledge, along with Rhonda's beautiful prose kept me reading long after I should have gone to bed. If I weren't reading this on work night, I probably would have been up until I turned the last page.

The relationship between Adam and Evelyn is so full of emotion and their life together is full of joy and sorrow, some of which stems from whatever it is that Adam is..(It would have been nice if the author would have shed some light on that..and that is my only gripe with this story)

I found the book to move slowly at the beginning, when Evelyn discovers A. who is Addie first but then changes to Adam...(So weird..yes) but once she marries Adam the story picks up and moves along quite nicely. Their children really made the story as they were part of whatever their dad was and part human.

This is definitely not a book for readers without an open mind, but if you do have one and like a little bit of fantasy/sci-fi in your reading, this is a great debut novel.

Rating: 5 flowers

TLC Book Tours Book Review: The Mermaid Of Brooklyn

Author: Amy Shearn
Title: The Mermaid Of Brooklyn
Publisher: Touchstone
Publish Date: April 2, 2013
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours & the publisher
Book Blurb: 

Formerly an up-and-coming magazine editor, Jenny Lipkin is now your average, stretched-too-thin Brooklyn mom, tackling the challenges of raising two children in a cramped Park Slope walk-up. All she really wants is to survive the sweltering New York summer with a shred of sanity intact. But when her husband, Harry, vanishes one evening, Jenny reaches her breaking point. And in a moment of despair, a split-second decision changes her life forever.

Pulled from the brink by an unexpected ally, Jenny is forced to rethink her ideas about success, motherhood, romance, and relationships. But confronting her inner demons is no easy task. . .

Review: The Mermaid Of Brooklyn is one of those books that you can't help but keep reading. It isn't because this is a fantastic work of fiction. In fact, the first part of the book is pretty darn depressing. When Harry up and leaves Jenny without a word, you can't help but hate him.


Because Jenny is so very inept. She's a harried and truth be told, not a very good mom, and probably not a very good wife either. There were times throughout the book that I really wanted to slap her simple and the fact that she disliked Juniper, her husband's dog didn't endear her to me much at all.

I don't like animal haters and Jenny felt like one, so we didn't get off to a good start.

Then she dies...or well she doesn't..because somehow a mermaid decides to inhabit her body, giving her a second chance at life.

Thanks to the mermaid, Jenny becomes a slightly better mom, a bit of a business women and possibly even a better person, except for the whole thing around "Cute Dad" Sam.

Just about everyone in this novel is dysfunctional. Harry has disappeared before this, as he has a gambling problem, Jenny's friend Laura is recording interviews with random people at a diner late nights when she can't sleep, and then there's Sam, who is married but in a less then perfect relationship. (And yeah, things happen with Cute Dad Sam)

Most of the time I was reading this, (and I read it in one day) I was thinking, I'm so glad I don't know Jenny.

You know from the start that Harry is going to come back, but I was so surprised that after all that had happened that she takes him back and because both of them had gone through changes that things would be just fine?


The best character by far in the story is voice of the mermaid that is inhabiting Jenny's body. You get a little glimpse of what her life was like before she became a rusalka.

This book was definitely different and unexpected. Not a happy go lucky romp or even fantasy oriented as you might think with the title...its just really "Real" with a touch of something different.

Rating:  4 flowers

About Amy Shearn

Amy Shearn is the author of How Far Is the Ocean from Here. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa and the University of Minnesota’s MFA program. Her work has appeared in Real Simple, Martha Stewart Living, The Millions, Poets & Writers, The L Magazine, Opium, and Five Chapters, and she writes for Oprah.com and RedbookMag.com. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children. Connect with Amy at her website, Facebook or Twitter @amyshearn.

Cover Reveal: Blue Lines

Blue Lines - Cover Reveal
Toni Aleo
Contemporary Sports Romance
Date to be Published: August 13, 2013


Opposites do more than just attract in Toni Aleo’s latest Nashville Assassins novel about a very bad boy and the good girl he can’t resist.

The instant Piper Allen sees Erik Titov, she wants him—wants his rock-hard body, sure, but the strength and mystery that lies behind that superstar hockey jock demeanor, too. So when he sidles up to her at a bar and slinks his arm around her waist, she’s lost. What follows is the wildest night of her life . . . followed by inevitable heartbreak the next morning. And then, a few weeks later, a very big surprise: two blue lines on a pregnancy test.

Only a check to the head could make Erik fall for a nice girl like Piper. But since their crazy-sexy night together, he’s been trying to forget about her alluring body by falling into bed with every woman in Nashville, and it’s not working. So when Piper shows up at his house with a baby-bomb to drop, it doesn’t take much for Erik to suggest the nuclear option: marriage. While it’s supposed to be all for show, the second they say “I do,” the ice between them starts to melt into sizzling steam.

About the Author:

My name is Toni Aleo!
I am a wife, mother, and hopeless romantic.
I have been told I have anger issues, but I think it's cause of my intense love for hockey!
I am the biggest Shea Weber fan ever, and can be found during hockey season with my nose pressed against the Bridgestone Arena's glass, watching my Nashville Predators play!
When my nose isn't pressed against the glass, I enjoy going to my husband and son's hockey games, my daughters dance competition, hanging with my best friends, taking pictures, and reading the latest romance novel.
I love things that sparkle, I love the color pink, and did I mention I love hockey?

Get the first 3 books in the series:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cozy Mystery Book Tours Book Review: Buyer Beware


Author: Diane Vallere
Title: Buyer Beware
Publisher: Polyester Press
Publish Date: March 6, 2013
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Cozy Mystery Book Tours & the author
Synopsis for Buyer Beware:
Out of work fashion expert Samantha Kidd is strapped, until the buyer of handbags for a hot new retailer turns up murdered. When Samantha is recruited for the job, it comes with a caveat: she’s expected to find some answers. The police name a suspect but Samantha's convinced the label doesn’t fit. With patent determination and a tote bag of tenacity, she turns to a sexy stranger for help. As the walls close around her like a snug satin lining, Samantha must get a handle on the suspects, or risk being caught in the killer’s clutches.

Review: This is book 2 in the Style & Error Mystery series. I'm reading out of order again, but this one was so fun and so different that I know I'll go back and read the first.

I mean, how many cozy mysteries start with the main character stealing a work of art that happens to be a naked man? And she's doing that to win a contest from a new local store, Heist.

That's the only spoiler you get, but that should be reason enough to make you want to read!

Along with the mystery there's a bit of a love triangle going on too. Things are hot with Samantha and her long distance boyfriend, Nick, but there's also Cat's brother Dante in the picture too. Dante has that mysterious sexiness to him that makes you think of Ranger in the Stephanie Plum novels. He just oozes sex. It is hard to imagine her holding out for Nick who is across the ocean in Italy with him around.

The mystery has plenty of twists and turns and just when you think you know who did it you will find out that you're wrong.

I liked the combination of fashion and mystery and I really loved Samantha, she is a fun character to get to know.

Rating: 4 flowers

Author Bio:
I grew up reading both Trixie Belden mysteries and Vogue magazine and learned how to spot a counterfeiting ring and accessorize a wardrobe. When it was time to find a career I headed out to the mall...and nine years later was a buyer for one of the top luxury stores in the country. But while Paris, Milan, and New York satisfied my appetite for fashion, my passion for creativity went unfed. Now I sell fine apparel by day and uncover crimes of fashion by night, in the form of mystery writing. I still love accessories, only now some of them are accessories to murder.


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Monday, April 22, 2013

Cozy Mystery Book Tours Book Review: Cliffhanger


Author: Amy Saunders
Title: Cliffhanger
Publisher: Createspace
Publish Date: Feb 16, 2013
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Cozy Mystery Book Tours & the publisher
Synopsis: Making her grand re-entry into Portside, Rhode Island, Belinda Kittridge expected fun, sun, and sugar cookies. Instead, she gets one jilted lover braced for round two, an old rival on the hunt, and the murder of a former classmate and friend. Even worse, Belinda must return to the events surrounding a tragic sailing accident to set things right. But new possibilities emerge in the form of security expert Bennett Tate. Between her connections and his know-how, they're bound to catch the killer - and kick the skeletons out of the closet for good.

Review: Cliffhanger is the first book in a new series of cozy mysteries by Amy Saunders.

Our reluctant sleuth is Belinda Kittridge and on the side of law enforcement is Bennett Tate, an ex-cop who is now a PI he's also going to be the love interest for Belinda.

You can't help but love Belinda who comes from a well to do family but isn't your typical rich girl. She's much to nice, as is her friend Veronica, but not everyone is sweet in this story.

The opening scenes where her neighbor's 18 year old son asks her out is hilarious. Got to give him credit for trying. I wonder if he'll do it again when he reaches 21! We can only hope the series is still going then! (Maybe give Bennett a run for his money)

The mystery involves the death of one of Belinda and her twin brother Kyle's friends, Jeff, who is party to the sailing accident that took the life of another member of their set, 10 years prior. If they find out who killed Jeff, they might get more closure on Mark's death as well.

There are a lot of surprises here and more than one person that could be the killer, until you realize someone is after Belinda, that's when the suspect list narrows down quite a bit.

All through this you see Belinda's relationship with Bennett growing. They are a kinda sorta couple. Nothing is formal yet, but we know it will be.

This was a great cozy with romantic elements and hopefully a start of a long fun series!

Rating: 5 flowers

Author Bio:
I've written two mystery novels so far. My first, Dead Locked, is about Imogen Bell who works for a team of underwater archaeologists and ends up embroiled in a deadly treasure hunt. My second mystery, The Jester's Apprentice, is about Philippa, a woman caught between her new husband Edric and his smoky past - and hers.

I've always loved mysteries, even in elementary school. My mother raised me on TV show reruns like Murder, She Wrote, Matlock, and Magnum, P.I, and later I picked up her Agatha Christie addiction.

However, sometimes I just want a hot (but intelligent) guy and a strong woman bantering for pages. Or a gripping action sequence. Or some fun sci-fi/fantasy elements. And sometimes I want it all in the same book. So with mystery as the backbone of my stories, I blend in romance, action, adventure, and soon sci-fi to keep it fresh and exciting.

Why should you take a chance on my books? Well, I write what I'm passionate about, and I'm passionate about people and mysteries. I make my characters passionate too: about each other, about what they're hunting, fixing, or piecing together. Above all, I want my readers to have fun, and leave happy!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Book Review: The Magic Of His Touch

Author: Barbara Monajem
Title: The Magic Of His Touch
Publisher: Harlequin Historical Undone
Publish Date: April 1, 2013
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: The publish in exchange for an honest review
Book Blurb: England, 1804

Tired of being paraded before every eligible bachelor, Peony Whistleby decides it's time to find her true love—through the ancient custom of rolling naked in the dew on May Day morning. But the magic goes awry when she is caught in the act—and by an entirely unsuitable man. And yet, the way his eyes linger upon her flesh ignites a sensual craving that can only be satisfied by his touch…

Book one of the May Day Mischief duet.

Review: When you need a quick fix story to keep your attention for an hour or so, or however long it takes to read 59 pages, you want to find an Undone by Barbara Monajem.


Because she knows how to write a story that has the romance and the steamy sex and the happily ever after that you want, and she does it in such a way that you feel satisfied with the ending. Nothing is hurried.

It is hard to believe that a story this short can be this good.

You had to feel sorry for Peony. No one felt that she could find her true love and she had to resort to an ancient custom of rolling naked in the dew on May Day to see if her True Love would find her.

The only person who found her was her cousin's fiance, Sir Alexis.

What a tangled web! Especially when Peony starts to feel things for Sir Alexis and he seems to return those feelings.

There's a lot of magic afoot here and maybe even a haunted bedchamber.

The sex is just the right amount of steamy too and timed perfectly to come towards the end of the story.

A great slightly racy regency short!

Rating: 5 flowers

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Chick Ponders Bookish Things: Look At What I Bought!

The only good thing about my dad going to the hospital, and believe me there's never anything good about his stays at Mon Valley Hospital, are the stops at the Gift Shop.


I bought all these books at the shop and each one was only a quarter!

You really can't get much better than that, unless they were giving them away!

My favorite purchase though, has to be my new bookcase, which is causing me some mess at the present time. I'm trying to go through old books and sort through new ones and there's a terrible mess on the floor right now.

But the case is awesome and really reasonable!

$19.99 at Ollie's Bargain Outlet! And its one of those book cases that you don't have to put together! It folds down!

Double awesome!

Now if only I could get the room back into some semblance of order all would be good.

I am happy to have the new book case. It is a start!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Historical Fiction Book Tours Book Review: Dangerous Illusions

Dangerous Illusions

Publication Date: March 26, 2013
Open Road Media
eBook; 344p

The first book in Amanda Scott’s acclaimed Dangerous series journeys from the battlefields of Waterloo to the ballrooms and boudoirs of London, where a deadly deception unfolds . . .

Engaged by proxy to a man she’s never met, Lady Daintry Tarrant is dismayed when the war hero returns, introducing himself as her fiancé, Lord Penthorpe. She cherishes her independence and has turned away many suitors, but this one she must marry. Penthorpe is completely captivated by Lady Daintry—but he’s not who he claims to be.

Penthorpe and Lord Gideon Deverill fought together at the battle of Waterloo, and when Penthorpe fell, Gideon assumed his identity in order to see the beautiful Lady Daintry. Gideon knows there’s bad blood between Lady Daintry’s family and his own, but he’s smitten with Daintry and determined to reunite the bitterly feuding clans. When a ghost from Gideon’s past appears, he could lose everything—including Daintry’s love.

Review:  This wasn't quite what I expected for a Regency era type novel. Usually these are more fluffy, book candy and this really wasn't.

Lady Daintry is a forward thinking woman. She doesn't want to be tied down to a husband because she's seen the way men treat there wives, and in this era, it wasn't uncommon for a husband to beat his wife. She was his property and that was that.

I think that took over the story and really overshadowed the romance especially when things got nasty with Susan and her husband Geoffrey. That was one evil guy. I couldn't stand that no one would stand up for her, it made me hate just about every member of their family. And then with the things that happened to Daintry, I wanted to kill him.

Not to sound like a teenager, but geeze the guys were simply mean. It is understandable that Daintry didn't want to marry with men that didn't have an ounce of kindness to them and her mother was simply too wishy washy.

Gideon is a breath of fresh air among the men that Daintry knows. He's nice, yet it takes a while to really warm up to his character. It was hard to figure out why he masqueraded as his dead friend at the beginning.

The characters that were more fun in this novel were Aunt Ophelia and the two little girls, Charley and Melissa. Such fun, and such terrors in a round about way.

The plot of this novel centered around such vile behavior on the part of most of the male characters..not the hero..and well not another male character whose name would very well be a spoiler.  So it keeps this from being a great romance.

I know the message that the author was trying to convey, I just couldn't believe that every man in the heroine's family could be so despicable.

Overall a good read but not the best from this genre.

Rating: 3 flowers

About the Author

A fourth-generation Californian of Scottish descent, Amanda Scott is the author of more than fifty romantic novels, many of which appeared on the USA Today bestseller list. Her Scottish heritage and love of history (she received undergraduate and graduate degrees in history at Mills College and California State University, San Jose, respectively) inspired her to write historical fiction. Credited by Library Journal with starting the Scottish romance subgenre, Scott has also won acclaim for her sparkling Regency romances. She is the recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award (for Lord Abberley’s Nemesis, 1986) and the RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award. She lives in central California with her husband.

For more information on Amanda Scott’s novels, please visit the official website.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Goddess Fish Book Tours Book Review: What She Wants

Let's welcome Sheila Roberts to the blog today! 


            Ah, the bright lights of the big city, the excitement, the energy! The shopping. Cool as big cities are, I’m afraid they’re not for me. Even though I grew up in the city, I’m a small town girl at heart. We lived in a small town when our children were growing up and I loved running into people I knew in the grocery store. (And, inevitably, when I looked my worst that was when I ran into the most people I knew!) I loved the sense of community. And the lack of traffic.

            Maybe that’s why my new series, Life in Icicle Falls, is set in a small town. Everyone knows everyone and familiar faces keep popping up for guest appearances. Of course, I know that in small towns everyone knowing everyone can have its downsides. There are no secrets in a small town! But there are also lifetime friendships, fun and laughter. At least there are in Icicle Falls.

            So it’s no secret that my latest hero Jonathan Templar needs some help in the love department. Jonathan is shy and geeky and he’s been in love with Lissa Castle since they were kids. Sadly, Lissa’s never seen him as anything but a friend. (Ever been in that situation yourself? I have! It’s sooo frustrating.) But Jonathan is about to find the help he needs when he discovers romance novels. Ah, now there’s a place where a guy can get some inspiration. And maybe, if he works hard enough at it, he can even transform himself into the kind of man a woman will want!

            Not an easy project when the whole town is watching. But in Icicle Falls you can be sure you’ll get plenty of support to help you make your dreams come true. Because that’s what this town is all about.

            And my imaginary town is actually based on a real town: Leavenworth, WA. I love Leavenworth. Nestled in the Cascades, this charming town is a popular destination spot. It’s got wonderful shops, gorgeous scenery and friendly people. And a real spirit of determination.

            Back in the fifties, Leavenworth was almost a ghost town. The railroad had moved, the lumber industry had dried up and they were in trouble. But they didn’t give up, pack up, and leave. Instead, the town leaders got together and decided it was time for the town to reinvent itself. And so they did! With its beautiful mountain setting, they figured Leavenworth was as lovely as any Bavarian village. And that’s what they turned it into. Today, Leavenworth’s economy is healthy and property values have held. It offers any number of festivals throughout the year, the most popular being their Christmas tree-lighting celebrations that run all through December. It’s one of my favorite places to visit and proof that small towns and big ideas pair well.

            If you ever get a chance to visit Leavenworth I hope you’ll take it. Meanwhile, I hope you’ll visit my fictional town of Icicle Falls.

What She Wants
by Sheila Roberts



What do women want?

Jonathan Templar and his poker buddies can't figure it out. Take Jonathan, for instance. He's been in love with Lissa Castle since they were kids but, geek that he is, she's never seen him as her Mr. Perfect. He has one last shot—their high school reunion. Kyle Long is equally discouraged. The pretty receptionist at his office keeps passing him over for other guys who may be taller but are definitely not superior. And Adam Edwards might be the most successful of Jonathan's friends, but he isn't having any success on the home front. His wife's kicked him out.

When Jonathan stumbles on a romance novel at the Icicle Falls library sale, he knows he's found the love expert he's been seeking—Vanessa Valentine, top-selling romance author. At first his buddies laugh at him for reading romance novels, but soon they, too, realize that these stories are the world's best textbooks on love. Poker night becomes book club night…and when all is read and done, they're going to be the kind of men women want!

Review: What She Wants is a divinely different book about guys reading romances to get the women that they want.

It isn't a romance and its not quite what you'd call chick lit, but it is pure fun. 

The guys of Icicle Falls are nice normal guys. Not hunks, just your average boy next door types, or geek next door, in the case of Jonathan and Kyle.

Kyle and Jonathan could be less nerdy cast members of Big Bang Theory. They are a bit too normal and tech savvy to really get the gorgeous women they want, in Jonathan's case it is Lissa and for Kyle it is receptionist Jillian.

You also get to see their poker buddy Adam try to win back his wife Chelsea, who tossed him on his butt when he forgot the ever important anniversary.

There's a lot of hilarity along the way with each guy, especially when Vanessa Valentine, romance author, enters the picture.

What made this book so fun was that you watched each guy grow as he worked to get or fix his relationship and some didn't turn out quite the way you expected things to.

I almost wish things were different with Jonathan, because unlike his buddy Kyle and even to a lesser extent, his friend Adam, he really tried to change who he was to impress the girl, rather than just being himself.

There's nothing wrong with being a geek. Just an FYI, this girl thinks geeks are sexy, but I was glad that things worked out for him in the end...much like Big Bang Theory.

Though the primary story revolved around Jonathan, you did get equal parts Adam and  Kyle and it kept the story interesting, since this is a super clean story, but even without a lot of hot steamy sex, the guys make the story fun, especially with many romance novel incidents...like a book falling in the toilet, and Jonathan not being able to flip his dance partner Daphne on his first solo outing at a club.

There's really a lot of laughs here and a lot of warm fuzzy feelings as things start going right for the guys. (It takes longer for some of them)

I admit I do have one small gripe with this story and it is part of the Jonathan/Lissa storyline. I wanted to know more of why she was "The One." But then again, she wasn't really part of the story until the end, but other than her being the girl next door and his high school BFF, the reason for him carrying the torch for her for 15 years is a bit much, I wanted him to find someone else that would love him for his sweet geeky self, and Jonathan was such a sweetie pie, he should have had to "bulk up" or change himself in any way for a woman.

Still, this was a super fun story, one that definitely will appeal to fans of Debbie Macomber and Robyn Carr.

Rating: 5 flowers

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Sheila Roberts lives on a lake in the Pacific Northwest. She’s happily married and has three children. She’s been writing since 1989, but she did lots of things before settling in to her writing career, including owning a singing telegram company and playing in a band. Her band days are over, but she still enjoys writing songs. When she’s not speaking to women’s groups or at conferences or hanging out with her girlfriends she can be found writing about those things near and dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.







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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Book Review: A New Home For Lily

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher & Mary Ann Kinsinger
Title: A New Home For Lily
Publisher: Revell
Publish Date: Feb 1, 2013
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: Lily Lapp is moving with her family to Pennsylvania to join a new Amish community. In this small town, Lily has to get used to a new school, new friends, and Aaron Yoder, the most annoying boy in the world! But some changes are good, like exploring an attic full of adventure and getting a new baby brother. Still Lily wonders, why can't God bring her just one sister?

Review: A New Home For Lily is an absolutely darling children's novel about a young Amish girl and the changes in her life as she's growing up.

Lily really comes across as your typical little girl. Sometimes she seems wise beyond her years and other times, she seems like a baby. She's sweet and full of mischief and you just can't help but love her.

The book is set up in a series of stories that can be read one at a time or straight through. There's continuity but it isn't a book with a continuous flow, each story is separate but they do follow a sort of time line.

The writing style makes this book a great read for any age. Lily is a character that you can't help but love, just as her brother's are as well.  Like most little girls, she has some tormentors too, Aaron Yoder is a total terror, and so is Effie Kaufmann. In fact, Effie is so obnoxious you'll wish she'd get some sort of comeuppance at least once during the book.

There are so many parts of this story that will endear Lily to you, most of these scenes are a result of Effie being a nasty little brat. (That's the only way you describe that child) From memorizing a poem to her mangling paper dolls that Lily and her cousin Hannah loved. There's no way you can like that little girl.

The story paints a good picture of Amish life and it shows the changes they face when moving from one community to the next. (Things that are ok with certain communities aren't ok in others)

This is a great book for young readers as well as older ones that have a love for Amish fiction. It is part of a series, but can easily be read as a stand alone novel.

Rating: 5 flowers

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