Monday, November 30, 2015

Cover Reveal: Merry Blissmas

We Wish You A

Merry Blissmas...


A Last Riders Holiday Book

Jamie Begley

Releasing Dec 11th, 2015
Young Ink Press


What can I say? I’m not a nice person. When I walk by, people call me a slut, and I’m okay with that. I believe in calling a spade a spade. I am a slut.
With the holidays approaching, I miss belonging to The Last Riders. Drake’s keeping me warm, but he wants more than I can give. He wants me to trust him, to believe he can protect me. Doesn’t he know Santa put me on the Naughty List long ago?


What can I say? I’m a nice guy and have always done the responsible thing.
Bliss is everything I shouldn’t want, but it’s hard to resist a woman who stopped believing in miracles. She wants to be back with The Last Riders, whom she considers her true family. Doesn’t she know it’s Christmas, and miracles do happen?

was born in a small town in Kentucky. My family began poor, but worked their
way to owning a restaurant. My mother was one of the best cooks I have ever
known, and she instilled in all her children the value of hard work, and

after my mother, I've always love to cook, and became pretty good if I do say
so myself. I love to experiment and my unfortunate family has suffered through
many. They now have learned to steer clear of those dishes. I absolutely love
the holidays and my family puts up with my zany decorations.

now, my days are spent writing, writing, and writing. I have two children who
both graduated this year from college. My daughter does my book covers, and my
son just tries not to blush when someone asks him about my books.

I am writing five series of books- The Last Riders, The VIP Room, Predators MC,
Biker Bitches, and The Dark Souls.

my books are written for one purpose- the enjoyment others find in them, and
the expectations of my fans that inspire me to give it my best.”

TLC Excerpt Tour: The Santa Claus Man

About The Santa Claus Man: The Rise and Fall of a Jazz Age Con Man and the Invention of Christmas in New York

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press (October 1, 2015)
Miracle on 34th Street meets The Wolf of Wall Street in this true crime adventure, set in New York City in the Roaring Twenties.
Before the charismatic John Duval Gluck, Jr. came along, letters from New York City children to Santa Claus were destroyed, unopened, by the U.S. Post Office Department. Gluck saw an opportunity, and created the Santa Claus Association. The effort delighted the public, and for 15 years money and gifts flowed to the only group authorized to answer Santa’s mail. Gluck became a Jazz Age celebrity, rubbing shoulders with the era’s movie stars and politicians, and even planned to erect a vast Santa Claus monument in the center of Manhattan — until Gotham’s crusading charity commissioner discovered some dark secrets in Santa’s workshop.
The rise and fall of the Santa Claus Association is a caper both heartwarming and hardboiled, involving stolen art, phony Boy Scouts, a kidnapping, pursuit by the FBI, a Coney Island bullfight, and above all, the thrills and dangers of a wild imagination. It’s also the larger story of how Christmas became the extravagant holiday we celebrate today, from Santa’s early beginnings in New York to the country’s first citywide tree lighting to Macy’s first grand holiday parade. The Santa Claus Man is a holiday tale with a dark underbelly, and an essential read for lovers of Christmas stories, true crime, and New York City history.
Other holiday highlights found in The Santa Clause Man:
  •        The secret history of Santa letters, including a trove of original Santa letters and previously unpublished correspondences between the post office and charity groups arguing whether Santa’s mail should be answered.
  •        The surprising origins of Christmas as we celebrate it today. From “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to the image of Santa Claus popularized by Coca-Cola, this book outlines how modern Christmas came to be, and includes a standalone timeline of holiday milestones.
  •        The rise of modern-day charity— and charity fraud. Unchecked giving exploded after the First World War and this book follows this growth, as well as some of the most egregious exploiters of the country’s goodwill (including the Santa Claus Man himself), and how they were finally exposed.
  •        Dozens of original vintage holiday photos, including a sculpture of Santa Claus made of 5,000 pulped letters to Santa, and a detailed sketch of a proposed Santa Claus Building, planned but never built in midtown Manhattan.
“Highly readable” — Publishers Weekly
“Required reading” — New York Post
“A rich, sensational story of holiday spirit corrupted by audacity and greed, fueled by the media at the dawning of the Jazz Age.”— Greg Young, cohost of Bowery Boys NYC history podcast
“A Christmas pudding of a book, studded with historical nuggets and spiced with larceny.”— Gerard Helferich, author of Theodore Roosevelt and the Assassin
The Santa Claus Man was featured in this New York Times post entitled “Mama Says That Santa Claus Does Not Come to Poor People“.
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Purchase Links

Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble


Eager for a firsthand look at how Santa answered his mail, Zoe Beckley, a reporter for the Evening Mail, dropped in on Henkel’s Chop House a couple of days into the group’s operations. After winding her way to the back office, squeezing past a few well-dressed men and young secretaries, through a maze of small tables, Beckley reached Gluck’s desk. He popped up from a pile of envelopes, wishing her a hearty welcome and offering to walk her through each step of the association’s process.
Gluck was a natural showboat, and in the first days of the association’s operations, he had proven adept at delighting the handful of reporters who dropped by the headquarters. But he may have been grandstanding a bit more than usual under Beckley’s attention. She had recently joined the Mail after working as a secretary on Wall Street and was by all accounts an attractive, flirtatious, and artful conversationalist. A colleague who worked with her at the time described Beckley as “buxom, apple-cheeked, with a zest for life and an infectious laugh,” who brightened the often dull newsroom. This vivacious spirit had helped her move swiftly from “sob-sister sub,” writing overtly sentimental takes on the news of the day, to producing more prominent features bearing her byline. Getting one’s name in print was still a rare distinction at the time, reserved only for those whom the editors felt could attract regular readers. She had Gluck’s attention.
He moved swiftly through the room as Beckley tried to keep up, arriving at the envelope-scanning table covered with unopened Santa letters, many stamped Insufficient Address by the Post Office Department. A young woman sat at the desk going through the pile. It was here that each day the postman dropped the new mail, and it was up to this volunteer to ensure that each letter explicitly read “Santa Claus.” The 1910 Census listed at least three people with the name “S. Claus” living in Brooklyn alone, not to mention several families of Kringles. Opening their mail, or that of any other nonmythical recipient, would put the association in violation of federal postal law. Gluck didn’t want anyone going to jail on Santa’s behalf, he joked.
Next to this station was the letter-opening table, where a pair of young ladies methodically opened every approved envelope, giving each letter a quick review to confirm that the request and return address were legible enough to answer. They also checked that none included any money, which legally went back to the sender or the Post Office Department (in the first eight hundred letters examined, just two pennies turned up). For each letter she could discern, the volunteer wrote the child’s name on a card and assigned it a number to be filed. If she found the child’s name already on file, the letter would be flagged; no clever kids should be taking advantage of Santa’s generosity.
Next Gluck walked Beckley, dazzled by how many steps were involved, to the letter-reading table, where several older volunteers sat. These women thoroughly reviewed each missive. They determined the number of children for whom each writer requested gifts, jotting this number on the paper’s top right corner. If the child described starvation, homelessness, or abuse, the volunteer set it in a special stack, which was forwarded to the Public Charities Commission for further investigation. If the writer asked for excessive gifts or gave some other indication of not really needing Santa’s help, it was put in the investigation stack. If the missive passed all these tests—Gluck estimated 70 percent of them did—the letter was finally ready for a response.
All these steps for every single envelope? It struck Beckley as very time consuming. But Gluck explained that such precision was necessary. In years past, groups in other cities had created more lackluster operations to answer Santa’s mail and it had not only caused waste and inefficiency but had driven the Post Office Department to revoke the privilege. He would not allow the Santa Claus Association to suffer a similar fate.

Special blog tour Christmas gift: Get a free Santa bookplate signed by the author, plus two vintage Santa Claus Association holiday seals. Just email proof once you buy The Santa Claus Man (online receipt, photo of bookstore receipt, etc.) along with the mailing address where you'd like the gift sent to santaclausmanbook[at]gmail[dot]com. Email before 12/21 to guarantee delivery by Christmas. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Book Review: The Sheikh's Christmas Conquest

Author: Sharon Kendrick
Title: The Sheikh's Christmas Conquest
Publisher: Harlequin Presents
Publish Date: Oct 20, 2015
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 
Summoned by the sheikh!

Sheikh Saladin Al Mektala isn't used to being disobeyed. Incomprehensibly, the woman he summoned to help his favorite mare, the best horse whisperer in the world, turned his generous offer down! So he takes matters into his own hands.

The snow is falling, the fire is roaring and the mince pies are in the oven when innocent Olivia Miller finds a darkly handsome and physically compelling man on her doorstep. The sheikh she dared to refuse is here to whisk her off to his kingdom, and this time he won't take no for an answer!

Review: I had great hopes for this book when I started reading it. Livvy seemed like a very spunky girl that wasn't going to take crap even from a Sheikh. She was working hard at keeping up the historical home as a sort  of B & B rather than working with horses.

Saladin needs her horse whispering skills for his own horse. I liked Saladin to a point. He wasn't overly arrogant but he did go out of his way to get what he wants.

Then things started to go wrong for me. The power outage from a snow storm as well as Livvy being a virgin just didn't sit with me, that and how quickly these two fell into bed. I always like a little more "getting to know you" thing rather than a fling or a seduction.

The other thing that disappointed me was the lack of "Christmas" in the story. I read holiday stories, because I love that theme in the plot of the story. That element was pretty much nonexistent here, except that Livvy's guests were due for the holiday.

Everything else was pretty predictable from there on, including her healing his horse. I'm not
going to complain about that though, because even in fiction, I don't want to see an animal suffer.

This wasn't a bad read. It is pleasant enough for a quick weekend fix, but it just didn't fit the holiday bill for me.

Rating: 3 flowers

Sharon song playlist.

I imagine the story starting – and ending – with the stirring title song from the film Born Free. I can imagine Saladin the Sheikh galloping across the desert on his beloved horse, Burkaan, to the stirring sound of this triumphant music. Two other songs also capture Saladin’s character for me. The first is What Becomes Of The Broken-hearted by Jimmy Ruffin because I think the lyrics say everything which needs to be said, about the pain and desolation you feel when love dies.

Saladin’s other song is Robin Thicke’s You’re A Good Girl and I’m sure I don’t need to tell you why! The Sheikh is a very, very sexy man and he knows very well the effect he has on women...

Friday, November 27, 2015

Book Review: A Christmas Vow Of Seduction

Author: Maisey Yates
Title: A Christmas Vow of Seduction
Publisher: Harlequin Presents
Publish Date: Oct 20, 2015
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 
A Christmas present for the man who has everything… With one band of gold Prince Andres of Petras can erase his past—albeit pleasurable—sins. But his prospective bride is untamable Princess Zara, so the playboy prince must seduce her into compliance and crown her by Christmas! The wayward princess of Tirimia has spent years hiding her untouched heart, and her convenient husband-to-be seems determined to keep it that way. Yet his caresses promise a sensual awakening that's impossible to resist. But once Zara's given him her hand and her body, it won't be long before he has her heart…

Review:  This story was different from most of the presents novels that I read. Prince Andres didn't feel like the typical alpha male. Sure he was domineering, but he didn't have the arrogance that I'm used to with the heroes from this line of books.

One thing I wish I could say about this book was that I knew where the imaginary country of Petras was. I'm used to desert settings with these books, but that wasn't the case here, but Maisey never really explained the setting much. In fact, I found most of this book to be underdeveloped and a little hurried.

Zara is a princess from a neighboring country who had been raised by gypsies since the royal family was disposed. Prince Andres is told by his brother, the king that he must marry her for diplomatic reasons.

This story is set in modern times, so this doesn't click with me. I don't think arranged marriages are all that common these days. But then the story seemed to want to take a My Fair Lady spin, with Andres trying to tame her, but that doesn't really get off the ground.

There was so much baggage between the two characters, but it doesn't stop them from ending up in bed together and falling in love in a week.

I think that's what spoiled this for me. The true love found in 1 week didn't work for me, even though I really liked the characters, especially Andres, who really is the focal character. The reader is in his head more than Zara. At times you'll feel sorry for him and other times you'll want to hit him in the head, really hard.

This is part of a duet of novels and the next story will focus on Andres' brother and his wife Tabitha. I wish they would have had a bigger part in this book, but they were really in the background

This was a good enough read, but it didn't wow me.

Rating: 3 flowers

Maisey's playlist

I build a playlist for every book. Music is a really important part of my process. Now, I’m a huge country music fan, but country doesn’t exactly mesh with my Presents playlists so I have to do a little digging to find the right music for them.

These songs really embodied the story in A Christmas Vow of Seduction, because a lot of it is about being drawn to someone even though you know you shouldn’t be (The One That Got Away, Devil’s Backbone, Animals). Baptized and Bring Me to Life really capture the need to be made new by love, and Hurt Somebody is the perfect fall of the playboy song to me.

The Devil’s Backbone by The Civil Wars

Bad Blood by Taylor Swift

Unkiss Me by Maroon 5

Animals by Maroon 5

Counting Stars by One Republic

Bring Me to Life by Evanescence

Baptized by Daughtry

Hurt Somebody by Dierks Bentley

Shake it Out by Florence + the Machine

Stranded by Plumb

Fair Game by Sia

The One That Got Away by the Civil Wars

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

TLC Book Tours Book Review: Charlotte's Story

Charlotte's Story COVERAbout Charlotte's Story

• Hardcover: 320 pages
• Publisher: Pegasus (October 15, 2015)

The fall of 1957 was a seemingly idyllic, even prosperous, time down in southern Virginia. A young housewife, Charlotte Bliss, lives with her husband, “Press” Bliss, and their two young children, Eva Grace and Michael, in the gorgeous Bliss family home. On the surface, theirs seems a calm, picturesque life, but soon tragedy befalls them: four deaths, with seemingly simple explanations.

But nothing is simple if Bliss House is involved.

Charlotte, nearly crippled with grief, feels more and more isolated from everyone around her. The only thing that brings her solace is going through the old photos and curiosities left behind by her mother-in-law. Then she makes a startling discovery that points not to tragedy, but to murder. How far will Charlotte go to discover the truth? And how far will she get without knowing who her real enemy is?

Not for the faint of heart, or those disturbed by sexual situations and violence, Charlotte's Story injects new levels of horror into the classic Southern gothic.

Praise for Charlotte's Story
“Expertly paced revelations help build a sense of encroaching horror. A satisfyingly creepy tale for a rainy night.”—Publishers Weekly

“An evocative, frightening and flawless gothic, Charlotte’s Story is guaranteed to send a delicious chill down your spine. Nobody does more for the modern southern gothic than Laura Benedict.” —J.T. Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of What Lies Behind

“Laura Benedict spins an ever-shifting web of shadow and light. A thrilling read. Benedict writes with passion and authority. Charlotte's Story is not to be missed.” —Carolyn Haines, author of the Sarah Booth Delaney mysteries, and The Seeker

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Review: Charlotte's Story is a book that you shouldn't judge by its cover. At first glance you might think this is a family saga, perhaps some light reading. If you go by the blurb, you still might not get the whole gist of this story. It is anything but light reading.

Charlotte loses her mother in law and then her daughter and then two other people that were friends of her best friend Rachel. There's a lot of depressing stuff here, but that's what makes it a great gothic style read, especially as there are a lot of ghostly things going on involving Charlotte's mother in law and her daughter and also some darkness surrounding her husband, Press.

This is really a psychological thriller. It is also a book that is hard to review, because to go into more detail would give away too much of the plot and that would be SPOILERS and this book is too good to ruin for anyone else that wants to go on Charlotte's journey with her.

I will tell you one thing, almost everyone is not quite what they seem and when things finally come to a head, you're jaw will drop.

If you are a fan of gothic novels and thrillers this is definitely the book for you.

Rating: 5 flowers

Laura Benedict APLaura Benedict

Laura Benedict is the author of Charlotte's Story and Bliss House, the first two novels in the Bliss House trilogy, as well as several other novels of dark suspense. Her work has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and numerous anthologies. She lives with her family in Southern Illinois. Visit

Connect with Laura on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours: Castles, Customs and Kings

02_by Castles, Customs, & Kings (Vol II)

Castles, Customs, and Kings: True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors (Volume 2)
Publication Date: September 30, 2015
Madison Street Publishing
Hardcover, Paperback, eBook; 598 Pages

Genre: History

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An anthology of essays from the second year of the English Historical Fiction Authors blog, this book transports the reader across the centuries from prehistoric to twentieth century Britain. Nearly fifty different authors share the stories, incidents, and insights discovered while doing research for their own historical novels.

From medieval law and literature to Tudor queens and courtiers, from Stuart royals and rebels to Regency soldiers and social calls, experience the panorama of Britain’s yesteryear. Explore the history behind the fiction, and discover the true tales surrounding Britain's castles, customs, and kings.

Visit the English Historical Fiction Authors blog & Facebook page.

"Thoroughly enjoyable and diverse...leisure reading for any history fan." - Elizabeth Chadwick, on Castles, Customs, and Kings (Volume 1)

Review:  I am currently still making my way through this book. What is wonderful about it, is that since it is essays that you can come and go as you please and skip around.

I have to say I automatically went for the Tudor period as I'm a total Tudor junky, but I did read the first early essays before I started jumping around. The contributors are some of my favorite authors, such as Sandra Byrd, Anna Belfrage, Nancy Bilyeau and Susanna Calkins. There are more contributions than these ladies.

If you are the type of person that wants to know more when reading your historical fiction, this is a great read for you.

Highly recommended for history buffs and historical fiction lovers

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 16
Spotlight at Unshelfish

Tuesday, November 17
Review at Kinx's Book Nook

Wednesday, November 18

Thursday, November 19
Review at Unabridged Chick

Friday, November 20

Saturday, November 21
Spotlight at The Reading Queen

Monday, November 23
Spotlight at HF Connection

Tuesday, November 24

Wednesday, November 25
Review at Broken Teepee

Thursday, November 26
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Friday, November 27
Review at Bookish
Spotlight at Let Them Read Books

Saturday, November 28
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Monday, November 30

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Friday, November 20, 2015

TLC Book Tours Book Review: Whistling Women

About Whistling Women

Paperback: 414 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (November 17, 2015)
A buried secret keeps two sisters apart.
Life went terribly wrong for Addie Bates in San Diego, and she’s been running from those memories ever since. For fifteen years, the Sleepy Valley Nudist Colony has provided a safe haven for Addie to hide from the crime she committed. But when the residents pack up to go on exhibit at the 1935 world’s fair in San Diego, Addie returns and must face the thrilling yet terrifying prospect of reuniting with her estranged sister, Wavey.
Addie isn’t the only one interested in a reunion. When her niece, Rumor, discovers she has an aunt, Rumor is determined to bring her family together. But it’s not so easy when the women are forced to confront family secrets, past and present.
Set against the backdrop of the 1935 world’s fair, Whistling Women explores the complex relationships between sisters, the sacrifices required to protect family, and the lasting consequences of a single impulsive act.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Review: Whistling Women was a really engaging read. I really loved the uniqueness of this story. Addie is a nudist who ran away from events in her past. Rumor is her sister's daughter. There are a lot of family secrets. The big one was a bit easy to predict early on, but it was interesting to see how the forgiveness was found between the sisters and the relationship that grew between aunt and niece.

I loved the World's Fair setting as well as how the story blended between 1918 and 1935. The nudist colony as setting was really interesting, and there was quite a bit of drama with the characters that lived there, particularly Addie's friend Daisy and her son Sal, who befriend's Addie's niece.

This was a fantastic read and one I won't soon forget!

Rating: 5 flowers

UnknownAbout Kelly Romo

Kelly A. Romo currently lives in Oregon with her three children where she teaches writing, literature, and social studies. She loves the outdoors; hiking, kayaking, and camping. Kelly grew up in California running around with all her thrill-seeking cousins and siblings; jumping off cliffs into the Colorado River, exploring caves on the beaches of Mexico, riding dirt bikes, water skiing, and snow skiing.

Connect with Kelly

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Book Review: Big Boned

Author: Meg Cabot
Title: Big Boned
Publisher: William Morrow
Publish Date: Nov 20, 2007
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 
Life is reasonably rosy for plus-size ex-pop star turned Assistant Dormitory Director and sometime sleuth Heather Wells. Her freeloading ex-con dad is finally moving out. She still yearns for her hot landlord, Cooper Cartwright, but her relationship with "rebound beau," vigorous vegan math professor Tad Tocco, is more than satisfactory. Best of all, nobody has died lately in "Death Dorm," the aptly nicknamed student residence that Heather assistant-directs. Of course every silver lining ultimately has some black cloud attached. And when the latest murdered corpse to clutter up her jurisdiction turns out to be her exceedingly unlovable boss, Heather finds herself on the shortlist of prime suspects—along with the rabble-rousing boyfriend of her high-strung student assistant and an indecently handsome young campus minister who's been accused of taking liberties with certain girls' choir members.

With fame beckoning her back into show business (as the star of a new kids' show!) it's a really bad time to get wrapped up in another homicide. Plus Tad's been working himself up to ask her a Big Question, which Heather's not sure she has an answer for . . .

Review: Big Boned is book 3 in the Heather Wells Mystery. This series is so funny. Heather is the administrative assistant in "Death Dorm" aka Fischer Hall. 

 Seriously, how many people can die in one dorm?

As Heather finds out, at least one more. This time it is her new boss, Owen and with a bullet to the head, at close range. Owen wasn't well liked and there are a lot of suspects one is a friend of her grad assistant Sarah, who is fighting with the President for rights for the student workers.

Another murder to deal with and a new boyfriend that she doesn't have much in common with while she's still got the hots for her flatmate, Cooper\ the brother of her ex. Oh and her dad has a strange new job prospect.

This one is a little light on the mystery, but it is no less fun than the other book in the series, and Heather is really just pure fun, and so are all the members of her Dorm/Residence Hall. I love Magda and Pete, and who could not love Tom, her former boss who is acting as her interim boss.

There's also a campus minister that isn't quite as godly as he seems ad some of his actions put him on Heather's suspect list. He ties in with the story on a couple different levels.

This book was a quick easy read. I love the craziness of this series and the fact that all the characters are so lovable. I was also glad to see that Gavin, who has a huge crush on Heather may have found himself a hook up. He's one of the fun students that's bad, but in a good, lovable way.

This series could easily make a cute rom com/mystery flick. If they did, I'd definitely watch it. They consider this an adult novel, but its a clean enough read that some of Meg's older tween readers could enjoy it too.

I have one more book to read in this series to be caught up.

Rating: 5 flowers

Historical Fiction Virtual Tours Book Blast: Decorum

Decorum: A Novel by Kaaren Christopherson

Publication Date: March 31, 2015

Kensington Publishing Corp.

Foramts: eBook, Paperback, Audio

Pages: 425

Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

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Kaaren Christopherson's brilliantly observed novel captures the glamour and grit of one of the world's most dazzling cities during one of its most tumultuous eras--as seen through the eyes of a singularly captivating heroine...

In 1890s New York, beautiful, wealthy Francesca Lund is an intriguing prospect for worthy suitors and fortune hunters alike. Recently orphaned, she copes by working with the poor in the city's settlement movement. But a young woman of means can't shun society for long, and Francesca's long-standing acquaintance with dashing Edmund Tracey eventually leads to engagement. Yet her sheltered upbringing doesn't blind her to the indiscretions of the well-to-do...

Among the fashionable circle that gathers around her there are mistresses, scandals, and gentlemen of ruthless ambition. And there is Connor O'Casey--an entirely new kind of New Yorker. A self-made millionaire of Irish stock, Connor wants more than riches. He wants to create a legacy in the form of a luxury Madison Avenue hotel--and he wants Francesca by his side as he does it. In a quest that will take her from impeccable Manhattan salons to the wild Canadian Rockies, Francesca must choose not only between two vastly different men, but between convention and her own emerging self-reliance.

Rules Of Decorum
A gentleman should not be presented to a lady without her permission being previously asked and granted. This formality is not necessary between men alone; but, still, you should not present any one, even at his own request, to another, unless you are quite well assured that the acquaintance will be agreeable to the latter.

If you wish to avoid the company of any one that has been properly introduced, satisfy your own mind that your reasons are correct; and then let no inducement cause you to shrink from treating him with respect, at the same time shunning his company. No gentleman will thus be able either to blame or mistake you.

The mode in which the avowal of love should be made, must of course, depend upon circumstances. It would be impossible to indicate the style in which the matter should be told... Let it, however, be taken as a rule that an interview is best; but let it be remembered that all rules have exceptions...


“A story of discovery, entitlement and love.” – Northern Virginia Magazine

“Remarkable in its similarities to the work of Edith Wharton. The reader feels drawn into a world of glamour, glitz, and supreme hypocrisy. Everything is permissible as long as one does not get caught. It is a drama of manners and the stakes are high—one misstep could mean social oblivion…[Decorum] will appeal to a wide range of readers, particularly those who enjoy period novels such as Age of Innocence and The Portrait of a Lady.” – The Historical Novel Society

“Beautiful heiress Francesca Lund must figure out how to assert her ideas within the confines of 1890’s New York high society.” – Library Journal

“Reminiscent of Washington Square but with a more modern heroine, Decorum illuminates the dark world beneath New York society. Christopherson incorporates a clever mystery and populates the novel with a large cast of characters.” - RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

About the Author
03_Kaaren ChristophersonKaaren Christopherson is the author of Decorum—a novel about Gilded Age New York—that began taking form in 1999 during a course on writing historical fiction. From that moment, Connor O’Casey (who had been rattling around in her brain for months) finally appeared one night and said, “All right, woman. Here I am. What are you going to do about my story?” So she began to put his words on paper, and he hasn’t kept quiet since. Soon Francesca, Blanche, Tracey, Vinnie, and the rest of the characters began arguing, gossiping, loving, and forming themselves into Kaaren’s first novel.

Kaaren has had a professional career writing and editing for over 30 years and is a senior editor for an international development nonprofit organization in Washington, DC.

She has written fiction since her school days, story poems, children’s books, historical fiction, and time travel, and continues to be active in writer’s groups and writing workshops. In addition to her career as a writer, Kaaren was the owner of a decorative painting business. She loves to travel and prowl through historical sites, galleries, and museums. She is active in several churches in DC and in her local Northern Virginia community, where she shares her home with feline brothers, Archie and Sammy.

A Michigan native, Kaaren received her BA in history and art and her MA in educational administration from Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

For more information visit Kaaren Christopherson's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

To win a Paperback or AudioBook of Decorum please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below.


– Giveaway starts at 12:01am EST on November 15th and ends at 11:59pm EST on December 18th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Decorum Book Blast

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Book Review: Doctor Who: Heart Of Stone

Author: Trevor Baxendale
Title: Heart Of Stone
Publisher: Random House UK
Publish Date: Nov 19, 2015
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: 
The Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory are surprised to discover lumps of moon rock scattered around a farm. But things get even stranger when they find out where the moon rock is coming from - a Rock Man is turning everything he touches to stone! Can the Doctor and his friends find out what the creature wants before it's too late?
Review: This was quite possibly one of the best Doctor Who books that I've read. Trevor Baxendale really brought 11, Amy and Rory to life again. Doctor Who books should always leave you wishing that it was an actual episode. This is definitely one of those books.

The Doctor and the Ponds land in a pigsty on a farm where a rock monster is wrecking havoc. I loved the Conway family, especially the loyalty between daughter and father. Then there's Jess' boyfriend Chris. He works for a research facility and it takes awhile to figure out if he's a good guy or a villain.

The story's monster is The Rock Man, who is made from something in moon rock, and everything he touches turns to stone, including a few of the stories characters. The Doctor has to make sure that the Earth doesn't turn into a big old moon rock.

I have a soft spot for the Eleventh Doctor and an even softer spot the Ponds. I totally loved it. It is a breezy read. One that you can get through in about the same time it takes to watch the 50th Anniversary Special.

If you are a fan of Matt Smith's Doctor, this is definitely one of the stories you must read!!!

Rating: 5 flowers

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Book Review: Doctor Who; System Wipe

Author: Oli Smith
Title: Doctor Who: System Wipe
Publisher: Random House UK
Publish Date: Nov 19, 2015
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: 

The Doctor finds himself trapped in the virtual world of Parallife. As he tries to save the inhabitants from being destroyed by a deadly virus, Amy and Rory must fight to keep the Doctor's body in the real world safe from the mysterious entity known as Legacy . . .

Review: System Wipe is a unique Doctor Who short story. I usually prefer the full length novels, but this one was fast paced and unique, so that the shorter format seemed to work.

If they could have done this story as an episode it really would have been one to watch. Amy and Rory and the Doctor land on Earth in the future, and the earth is being reconstructed and while that's happening the online world of Parallife is also being destroyed.

The Doctor ends up in the game with the help of Blondie (I found myself wondering if she might be Rose) while Amy and Rory were on the outside world/real world with the robot Daryl, who is more than what he seems.

I liked the idea of the virtual world that came to life even though the players were gone and how the characters really grew, especially the Chief Architect.

Rating: 4 flowers

Friday, November 13, 2015

Book Review: Wedding Date For Hire

Author: Jennifer Shirk
Title: Wedding Date For Hire
Publisher: Entangled: Bliss
Publish Date: Oct 12, 2015
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: The author in exchange for an honest review
Book Blurb:

Maddie McCarthy is single, between jobs, and (oh, the shame) lives with her mother. To make matters worse, she's the maid of honor for her sister's wedding, and desperately needs a date. Then she sees her salvation—Match Made Easy, a service for women in Maddie’s exact position. If she can't find a boyfriend, she'll do the next best thing...

Hire one.

Trent Montgomery isn't actually part of Match Made Easy. He's just doing a favor for his cousin, but one look at the blonde who hired him, and he's totally hooked. Now Maddie thinks that the attraction sizzling between them is just “part of the package.” And Trent is running out of time to prove to her that her date-for-hire might just be her happily-ever-after...

Review: Sometimes you need a short fun romance to clear you head and make things enjoyable. This book was just what the doctor ordered.

I love stories where the couple is not really a couple, but then ends up a couple.

Wooo that almost doesn't make sense, but it does make for a sweet story.

Maddie and Trent are a great couple and it helps that they have a past history. Though I had a hard time figuring out how Maddie's mom, who she lived with,  couldn't figure out that her boyfriend isn't really her boyfriend, and while I'm at it what good sister would let her soon to be hubby pick a best man who dumped her sister and got her fired from her job?


That was one thing I couldn't wrap my brain around, but this is romantic fiction and strange things happen here. That's what makes for fun reading, and that's what this is.

But let's talk about Maddie and Trent's back story.  Think Monica and Chandler from Friends. Maddie is a former fat girl who has some serious issues with trust and getting involved. A lot of people feel that there is a curse on the first born women in her family. Maddie seems to use that as a crutch to not get to involved, but when she needs a date for her sister's wedding and her nasty cousin Veronica starts needling her, she takes matters into her own hands, and that's how she ends up at Match Made Easy with Trent as her date for hire. And the cost for his services is pretty steep considering she's an out of work pastry chef. Trent was a high school football player with a huge ego and some nasty friends, that could have stood to learn a thing or two about bullying. Maddie was a victim.

Of course things start to unravel just when they both realize that they have feelings for each other as the week goes on. But not to worry, there's a happy ending here.

Rating 4 Flowers

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

TLC Book Tours Book Review: Food Whore

Food Whore (398x600)About Food Whore

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (October 27, 2015)
food whore (n.): a person who will do anything for food

Fresh out of college, Tia Monroe has every intention of taking the New York City restaurant scene by storm. But after a coveted internship goes up in smoke, Tia's suddenly just another food lover in the big city.

Everything changes when Michael Saltz, a legendary New York Times restaurant critic, lets Tia in on a career-ending secret: he's lost his sense of taste. Now he wants Tia to serve as his palate, ghostwriting his reviews. In return he promises her lavish meals, a boundless supply of designer clothing, and the opportunity of a lifetime. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, Tia agrees.

Within weeks, Tia's world transforms into one of glamour and luxury: four-star dinners, sexy celebrity chefs, and an unlimited expense account at Bergdorf Goodman. Tia loves every minute of it . . . until she sees her words in print and Michael Saltz taking all the credit. As the veneer of extravagance wears thin and her secret identity begins to crumble, Tia is faced with what it means to truly succeed. In a city where "making it" is the ultimate goal, she will have to decide: how far is she willing to go for the life she craves?

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Review: This book is so different when it comes to the types of stories that I usually read. The food writing is so wonderfully descriptive that you will be hungry most of the time you are reading. There will be a lot of random nibbling being done while you read this book.

I wish I could say that I loved the main character, Tia Monroe, but as the book goes on, I found myself hating her, or at least strongly disliking her. The whole way that she ended up ghostwriting the column didn't make a lot of sense to me. When you read the first chapters you'll understand.

If the person that took away your chance at a great internship offered you another opportunity, why would you even want to speak with them. That's what I had a seriously hard time with. I mean, she ended up with an internship as a coat check instead of with her idol. WTF.

After she started ghostwriting, or ghost eating her life changes dramatically and for me, not for the better. She feels an attraction to a chef that she ends up having to review. The whole time, I wanted to shake her, especially after what she did to her college sweetheart, Elliot.

I could also see how easy it would be to get swept away by promises of fabulous food and fantastic clothes, but at what expense?

Michael Saltz is definitely a jerk of the worst kind, but he isn't the only jerk in this book. There's one more that Tia gets involved with that made me want to slug really hard.

This was a fun book and the descriptions of the food where fantastic. It was possible to visualize some of the dishes, and you definitely wanted to taste them.

I think if I could have liked Tia just a little bit more, this would have been a perfect read, but still it is a great book for people that love foodie fiction!

Rating; 4 flowers

Jessica Tom APAbout Jessica Tom

Jessica Tom is a writer and food blogger living in Brooklyn. She has worked on initiatives with restaurants, hospitality startups, food trucks, and citywide culinary programs. She graduated from Yale University with a concentration in fiction writing and wrote the restaurant review for the Yale Daily News Magazine. Food Whore is her first novel.

Find out more about Jessica at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter. See what she's pinning on Pinterest, and follow her photos on Instagram.
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