Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Book Tour Book Review: Guardian

Author: Terri Reed
Title: Guardian
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
Publish Date: April 1, 2017
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 

When a fellow FBI agent is kidnapped and a protected witness vanishes, Leo Gallagher will stop at nothing to find them both. So when he discovers a link between the case and a single mother in Wyoming, Leo and his trusty K-9 partner rush to question Alicia Duncan. Could she be the key to locating the missing persons? Not if a killer has anything to say about it. Someone is determined to keep Alicia from talking, so Leo and his chocolate Lab must keep her and her little boy safe on their family ranch. With danger lurking around every corner, Leo must work overtime to not lose another person who's important to him.

Review: Terri Reed writes exceptional suspense novels. I really wish she would step out of the inspirational genre though, because the references to God, don't have anything to do with the story, they just seem to be there, so that the book can fall into the genre.  Mostly asking the Lord for help. It works better when its Alicia, rather than a tough as nails FBI guy.

There's very little romance in Guardian. The story focuses on Alicia who witnessed a murderer tossing a body into a lake.

Enter Leo, a FBI agent who sees a link between this case and one he's working on. He's got a lot of issues. He feels responsible for the kidnapping of his partner and the death of his sister in his childhood. (I won't go into why..cos..well SPOILERS)

Alicia's, husband, who was a cop, died and she found he wasn't what he seemed. She is a mother of a young son, who is a good part of the story, without being too central to things.

Both lead characters are broken but tough and they feel an instant connection.

The HEA in this story that comes after the resolution of part of the case doesn't fit. There is no way that in a matter of days that true love blooms and a marriage is in the offing. For me that just doesn't work.

If the romance was taken out, this story works well. It is full of suspense and definitely a great read.

Rating: 3 flowers

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour Spotlight & Review: The Mourning Ring

The Mourning Ring

by Sarah Parke
Publication Date: October 10, 2016
eBook & Paperback; 350 Pages

Genre: Young Adult/Historical Fantasy


Sixteen-year-old Charlotte Bronte lives to tell stories. She longs to improve her fortunes through her writing. Charlotte’s father expects her to leave behind her childish fantasies in order to set an example for her three younger siblings.

But the Bronte children hold a secret in their veins—a smidgen of fairy blood that can bring their words to life.

When Charlotte discovers that the characters from their childish stories exist in an alternate world called Glass Town, she jumps at the opportunity to be the heroine of her own tale.

The city of Angria teeters on the brink of civil war and Charlotte and her siblings must use their magic and their wits to save its people from a tyrant with magic abilities. But entering the fictional world means forfeiting control of their own creations. If they fail, the characters they have come to know and love will be destroyed.

Charlotte is determined to save the city and characters she loves, but when the line between creator and character becomes blurred, will she choose her fantasy or her family?

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Review: What if the Bronte's were part fairy? That's what you get with The Mourning Ring. This is the kind of book that you want to devour. I wish I could have sat down with it and just read it straight through, but life didn't let me do that.

Its the story of young Charlotte and her siblings and the alternate world that she's created.

This is a young adult novel, but definitely one that fans of Bronte and just about anyone that loves a good story will enjoy, because its just that well written.

I love what the mourning ring actually is, as you will find out in the first pages of the book. (I always like when we know why an author chose a particular title...

The Glass Town all have root in Bronte history. I think that is really what makes this book so wonderful, the fantasy is there, but there's so much that was part of these people's lives.

I highly recommend this book.

Rating: 5 flowers

About the Author

Sarah Parke writes fantasy and historical fiction (sometimes at the same time) for young adult readers and those young at heart.

She has a MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast MFA program. Her work has been published internationally, most recently in the July 2015 issue of The Writer magazine.

For more information, please visit Sarah Parke's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Wednesday, April 19
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Thursday, April 20
Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Review, Excerpt & Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Friday, April 21
Excerpt at The Lit Bitch
Review at Queen of All She Reads
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective
Review & Excerpt at Adventures Thru Wonderland

Saturday, April 22
Interview at T's Stuff
Review at A Book Drunkard

Sunday, April 23
Review, Excerpt, & Interview at Quitterstrip

Monday, April 24
Review & Excerpt at Rainy Day Reviews

Tuesday, April 25
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Wednesday, April 26
Review at Just One More Chapter
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Blog Tour Q & A: Brenda Novak

Do you write from experience?

Boy, do I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked that question! LOL It’s almost always said with a wink and a smile so that I understand the asker is talking about the sex scenes.

My response? Usually something along the lines of…“Since I write as much about murder as anything else, I hope not!” To me it’s only logical that if I can use my imagination to stalk and kill someone (fictionally, of course), I can use the same approach when it comes to a bedroom scene. But maybe the basis for this question is really more about the romance genre and some of the myths or out-dated stereotypes attached to it, such as:

  1. Romance novels are all about sex. This couldn’t be more wrong. Romance novels are no more about sex than mystery novels are about murder. In a mystery, it’s solving the puzzle that readers like. In a romance novel, it’s watching two people figure out a way to forge a lasting relationship despite all the obstacles keeping them apart. It’s about the HAPPILY EVER AFTER--not the sex.
  2. Romance novels are all the same. Romance novels are no more “the same” or “written according to a formula” than mystery novels or thriller novels. There are certain conventions readers expect in each genre, but it’s the journey to that happy ending that readers enjoy in romance, and every journey is different. Now that the romance genre has grown and developed to the point that authors are mixing genres, there is more variety than ever (i.e. paranormal romance, romantic suspense, comedy and thriller, erotica, inspirational, and—the most recent addition—urban fantasy).
  3. Reading romance novels is something to be ashamed of, a guilty pleasure. Why feel guilty about jumping into a good story when you need to relax or have to wait for hours at a doctor’s office? Some of the most touching fan mail I ever receive goes something like this: “I want to thank you for writing (whichever book they’ve been reading). Your characters enveloped me in their world when I needed it most. I’ve never been through a worse time than the past year. I’ve been (fill in the blank with--going through a divorce, watching my mother die, getting chemotherapy treatments, learning to walk again after a terrible accident), and it brought me joy when I needed it most. Please keep writing.” These people make me proud of what I do.
  4. Anyone can write a romance. Writing romance isn’t easy, especially in this crowded market. It is, however, the genre that sells the best by FAR. (According to Publisher’s Weekly in the latest article I could find, romance outsold every other genre by at least 30%.)
  5. The people who read romance lack healthy sex lives and thus must live vicariously through fictional characters. An Info Trends study commissioned by Romance Writers of America revealed the heart of the genre’s readership is women aged 31 – 49 who are currently in a romantic relationship.

I enjoy a lot of genres, have always been an eclectic reader, but romance will always be my favorite. Why? Because romance novels promote happiness and hope and act as a testament to the age-old theme that love conquers all. I believe the Beatles got it right when they sang, “Love is all you need.”

Check out my review for Finding Our Forever here

Book Review: The Magnate's Mail Order Bride

Author: Joanne Rock
Title: The Magate's Mail-Order Bride
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Publish Date: April 4, 2017
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 

A mix-and-match mock engagement?

Ballerina Sofia Koslov's career is on the line when she's accosted at the airport by a rich, reckless playboy who thinks she's his mail-order bride! But the playboy's levelheaded brother, Quinn McNeill, solves the media snafu with a switcheroo. He'll pretend to be her legitimate fiancĂ© to protect her reputation—and to protect his family's business deals from her father's wrath. Sofia's one condition: they'll share the spotlight as a loving couple but won't share a bed. But soon Quinn's gentlemanly ways strike a chord, and Sofia's dying to renege on that condition and have a real fling…

The Magnate's Mail-Order Bride is part of The McNeill Magnates series.

Review: I read Teri Wilson's "His Ballerina Bride" last year, and I loved it.  Getting to know more about the dance profession more is really what drew me to this book, plus JoAnne Rock is one of my favorite Desire authors.

This was a case of the fake fiance, which is a rather common plot, but one that really worked well in this story. Sofia's father wants her to get married, and Quinn's brother somehow picked her on an matchmaking site.

That's when things get going. Quinn (who is Cam's brother) offers to help her out of the mess by acting as her fiance until after her audition.

What makes their fake relationship so wonderful, is how it isn't fake. These two have such fabulous chemistry and they develop a friendship very quickly and though they don't seem to have much in common, these two really work well together.

When the fake relationship becomes real, you really root for them. They are one couple that really work together. I find a lot of romance relationships don't seem to show any common ground between the hero and heroine, but that really isn't the case.

Quinn respects Sofia's career and they show care about each other's personal lives. When an illness befalls a member of Quinn's family, Sofia shows support and Quinn goes to her. (I don't like to give away too much, but this really impressed me with the book)

This was one of the best Desire novels that I've read in a long time. Great characters and a great story. I can't wait for the next book!

Rating: 5 flowers

Friday, April 21, 2017

Harlequin Blog Tour Book Review: Once a Moretti Wife

Author: Michelle Smart
Title: Once a Moretti Wife
Publisher: Harlequin Presents
Publish Date: March 21, 2017
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: "I love having you at my mercy… And you love it, too."

The only desire billionaire Stefano Moretti has for his estranged wife, Anna, is revenge—she humiliatingly left him weeks ago. So when Anna returns to his life, with no memory of their tempestuous marriage, he's certain fate has dealt him a winning hand.

Stefano's plan is twofold: a private seduction that will reawaken Anna to their red-hot attraction, followed by a public humiliation to match the one she landed on him. Until Stefano realizes there's something he wants even more than vengeance—Anna, back in his bed, for good!

Review: Once a Moretti Wife is one of the first Harlequin Presents novels that really wowed me in a long time, which is odd, because the plot is one that would usually anger me.

Stefano's anger towards Anna is justified, but his desire for revenge is a little bit over the top. With Anna and her amnesia, you really don't know what went wrong in their relationship. Bits and pieces of their past are given as the story goes on, but the woman Stefano is ready to seek revenge on, doesn't seem like the girl in the story, and that is why you have to keep turning the pages.

I was so intrigued by Anna's missing memories.  I was almost tempted a few times to skip to the end to see what had happened, but I was a good girl and didn't.

On top of the memory loss, her older sister has gone to Australia to visit their estranged mother. There are some serious mommy issues here. They are kind of understandable ones too, maybe not for Stefano who had what could only be called a crappy childhood, but definitely understandable issues.

The mommy aspect is the only part of the book that didn't set well with me. What kind of a mother abandons her two children? Truthfully I could understand how Anna could be angry with her mother. I could see Melissa staying in England, but to leave a 14 year old girl with her sister as a caretaker. That's a pretty crappy mom.

I really enjoyed this book and will definitely read more of Michelle Smart in the future.

Rating: 5 flowers

TLC Book Tours Book Review: No Getting Over A Cowboy

Author: Delores Fossen
Title: No Getting Over A Cowboy
Publisher: HQN
Publish Date: March 28, 2017
Buy: Amazon 
Book Blurb:  The golden cowboy of Wrangler’s Creek returns home to Texas to discover some old flames never fizzle… There are plenty of things Garrett Granger hadn’t counted on losing—his child to miscarriage, his wife to another man and the family business thanks to a crooked CFO. He also hadn’t counted on moving back to the family ranch, where he’s met by another surprise—former flame Nicky Marlow, who is renting his grandmother’s old house.

Nicky’s been rebuilding her shattered life since her husband’s death two years ago. But Garrett’s timely arrival in Wrangler’s Creek doesn’t automatically make him the missing piece of the puzzle. Even if he does seem to adore her two-year-old daughter… Even if seeing him again stirs up old feelings Nicky would gladly keep buried, forcing her to wonder if moving forward has to mean leaving everything behind…

Review: Delores Fossen is one of my favorite romance writers these days. I wasn't usually a cowboy type of girl, until I read her books.

This is Garrett and Nicky's story. Delores does a wonderful job at mixing family and humor into a story that you won't be able to put down.

Sometimes I wish I could write a review that really brings across how good this book was without giving away spoilers or just plain gushing.

So just trust me on this one. Delores Fossen delivers every time!

Rating: 5 flowers

Tasty Book Tours Cover Reveal: Preservation

Some things have to fall apart before they can be put back together.

The Walshes #7
Kate Canterbary
Releasing May 23, 2017
Vesper Press

Two lonely hearts.

Just once, she'd like to be someone's first choice.
She's strong-willed and spunky, but she's left picking up the pieces from her ex's lies and manipulations, and daydreaming about taking a scalpel to his scrotum.

Flying under the radar is what he does best.
He's laid-back and loyal, but he wants the most off-limits woman in his world, and nothing will ever make that a reality.

An arrangement of mutual benefit.

Two months, four dates.
Five, if things go well.
Five at the most.
But possibly six.
Definitely no more than six dates.
Only the appearance of a romantic relationship is required, and they expect nothing more from their time together. There will be none of those benefits involved.

One wild weekend.

After waking up in bed together—very naked and even more hungover—the terms and conditions of their arrangement no longer apply. Now they're faced with something riskier than exposing their fake relationship:  letting go of the past and zipping up the future.

Some things have to fall apart before they can be put back together.

Kate Canterbary doesn't have it all figured out, but this is what she knows for sure: spicy-ass salsa and tequila solve most problems, living on the ocean--Pacific or Atlantic--is the closest place to perfection, and writing smart, smutty stories is a better than any amount of chocolate. She started out reporting for an indie arts and entertainment newspaper back when people still read newspapers, and she has been writing and surreptitiously interviewing people—be careful sitting down next to her on an airplane—ever since. Kate lives on the water in New England with Mr. Canterbary and the Little Baby Canterbary, and when she isn't writing sexy architects, she's scheduling her days around the region's best food trucks.

Start The Walshes series for ONLY $0.99

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Tasty Book Tours Cover Reveal: Lightstruck

Brewer Ross has given up on love…until he meets a 

woman who turns his life—and brewery—upside down.

The Brewing Passion Series #2
Liz Crowe
Releasing May 30, 2017
Totally Bound

Brewer Ross has given up on love…until he meets a woman who turns his life—and brewery—upside down.

Ross Hoffman held the potential for a perfect life in his hands—a life with Evelyn, the only woman he’d ever allowed himself to love, their baby and…her husband, Austin Fitzgerald, who also happened to be his best friend. But the challenge of trying to make a threesome into something acceptable—let alone the thought of actually sharing Evelyn with anyone—forces him to bolt. Determined to put all thoughts of their relationship behind him, Ross jumps headfirst into a new brewery job in Colorado, and back into the sort of sexual decadence that he hopes will distract him from his misery.

When he agrees to assist Austin through a spate of brewery mishaps, he lays eyes on his true fate—in the form of the petite, mysterious and exotic Elisa Nagel. Hired as assistant brewer, Elisa is absolutely everything he believes he doesn’t want in a woman. But he’s drawn to her in ways he can’t explain, and he can’t help but fall hard, fast and deep, which places him square in the middle of her horrific, until now secret backstory.

Ross is determined that his love will conquer and overcome the horrors of Elisa’s past, allowing her to trust him with the only thing he desires—her heart.

Reader Advisory: This book contains a scene with attempted rape and violence, as well as a brief scene alluding to person being drugged and raped.

Amazon best-selling author, mom of three, Realtor, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.

Her early forays into the publishing world led to a groundbreaking fiction subgenre, “Romance: Worth the Risk,” which has gained thousands of fans and followers interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”).

With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.

Don’t ever ask her for anything “like a Budweiser” or risk bodily injury.

Great Escapes Book Tours Book Review: Cat Got Your Cash

Author: Julie Chase
Title: Cat Got Your Cash
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publish Date: April 11, 2017
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: Lacy Marie Crocker’s whimsical pet couture has gained a following in New Orleans’s cozy Garden District, and word of mouth has traveled all the way to her favorite fashion designer, Annie Lane. Lacy’s thrilled when Annie schedules a private session at her home to discuss a companion line for her evening wear, but when Lacy arrives for the appointment, she enters the kitchen to two mewling Siamese cats--and one very dead Annie.

Lacy takes the kittens home to care for them until they can be properly claimed by Annie's family or friends, but after a busy day of work, she returns home to find them missing. And when Lacy learns the cats are set to inherit Annie's fortune, she begins to wonder if the killer was after the kittens all along. Now Lacy will stop at nothing to save the Siamese and find justice for Annie--if the killer doesn’t sink his claws into her first.

Luckily, Lacy has the help of handsome NOLA PD homicide detective Jack Oliver to help her catch the cat-napper before its too late in Cat Got Your Cash, the endearing second Kitty Couture mystery from Julie Chase.

Review: First of all, this book's cover is adorable The kitty reminds me of a stray that I forced my sister to take in, Ifuplz.

I read the first Kitty Couture mystery and loved it, so I was more than ready to jump into this one.

A dead client, catnapped siamese kitties that are set to inherit a fortune and a little bit of romance make this a fabulous read, and one you won't want to put down

This is a sweet cozy that you won't want to miss

Rating: 5 flowers

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours Book Review: The Fisherman's Bride

The Fisherman's Bride by Catherine Magia

Publication Date: November 2, 2016

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC, CreateSpace

Kindle & Paperback; 240 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Biblical Fiction/Christian Literature


She has no name. She is not even a footnote. Her tale is hidden behind the well-told fable of her husband, the man who would become Simon Peter, the first Apostle.

Cast off by her family after shunning a wealthy suitor to marry a humble fisherman, her life is fraught with hardship. She endures her husband’s growing restlessness, fish shortages from the Sea of Galilee, and the oppression of an all-powerful Roman Empire over her people. Then her life is forever changed when her dying mother is saved by a miracle performed by a young carpenter—a man who speaks with understanding and acts with compassion. A man who can inspire the extraordinary.

Simon Peter lives on in history as the undaunted martyr of the carpenter. This is the untold story of his young bride. Her journey traverses villages and deserts, love and tradition, and a brewing revolution, to an awakening of faith that challenges everything she has ever known.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

"Catherine Magia has penned a moving Christian story that transcends religious boundaries--a novel that occupies the rare space between the historical and the Biblical realms. At once speculative and interpretive, Magia's vigorous first-person narrative of St. Peter's wife makes a compelling case for the life, motivation and spirituality of a minor, nameless Biblical character. An ambitious and impressive debut." -Andrew X. Pham, author of Catfish and Mandala and The Eaves of Heaven: A Life in Three Wars

"Right from the start, the evocative and compelling tone of The Fishman's Bride casts its line and draws in readers with a deftness that borders on enchantment. Perhaps this is because Catherine Magia uses an uncommon perspective and outsider's view of events. And, by 'outsider,' this means observations that come from beyond Jesus' inner circle, yet are closely connected by love and association. Also included in the saga are stories of fortunes made and lost, faith thwarted and regained, fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and the impact of social and political change upon entire communities. Catherine Magia's attention to embracing the extent of daily living in Biblical times, from different methods of preserving fish to different attitudes encountered during their travels, brings the story to life.

Readers of Christian literature and Biblical retellings will find this story a powerfully written, compelling account of the impact of Jesus on all layers of society, narrated from the eyes of an outsider to his central group of believers who uses the ordinary life experiences of an unnamed wife to chronicle an extraordinary journey of love, faith, and miracles." -D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review.

Review: I wanted to be part of this tour because I knew this was a book my mother would love. She's blind, and I read it too her, which was a unique experience for me, as well.

Catherine Magia's writing brings Simon, the apostle's, life so well, that you almost felt like you were in the story.

Simon's wife remains unnamed throughout the story, which lets you see how women were treated in that time. She went from a wealthy daughter to a poor women who was disowned by her father, because she refused to marry a wealthy merchant, instead choosing to be the wife of Simon and orphan, fisherman.

You see Simon's struggles at business, her loss of a child, and the desire of her husband and his brother to find someone that will save the Jews, from Judas to John the Baptist, finally to Jesus and how his finding Jesus changes his relationship with his wife.

It takes half the book to first encounter Jesus, but it was really enjoyable to see the fiction relationship that Catherine created with Simon and his wife, and later how she figured in with Jesus' ministry as we see in the gospels.

Simon's wife may be a nameless character, but she is a strong woman, and a character you won't soon forget.

This story was absolutely stunning and so well written. If you love biblical fiction this is an absolute must read. (My mother agrees) We are both looking forward to the continuation of the story.

Rating: 5 flowers

About the Author
Catherine Magia was born in Brooklyn, New York, and moved to New Jersey as a teenager. Although her formal education was in the hard sciences, Catherine has always maintained a passion for the written word, publishing her poetry in several literary journals including the Michigan Quarterly Review.

She discovered the voice of Simon Peter's wife on a soul-searching journey, a trek through the biblical lands of Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. She spent seven years researching and writing her debut novel, traveling as far as Ephesus, Turkey.

She is working on her second book - the conclusion to The Fisherman's Bride.

By day, she works as an associate director of marketing research in the development of new cancer medications. She is currently based in Boston.

For more information please visit Catherine Magia's website and blog.

Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, April 17
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, April 18
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective

Wednesday, April 19
Excerpt at Broken Teepee

Thursday, April 20
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Friday, April 21
Spotlight at The Paperback Princess

Saturday, April 22
Review at Rainy Day Reviews

Monday, April 24
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Tuesday, April 25
Interview at Books, Dreams, Life

Wednesday, April 26
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Thursday, April 27
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Friday, April 28
Review at Beth's Book Nook Blog
Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog

Monday, May 1
Spotlight at Susan Heim on Writing

Tuesday, May 2
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Wednesday, May 3
Review at WS Momma Readers Nook

Thursday, May 4
Review at Just One More Chapter

Friday, May 5
Review at Unabridged Chick

To win a copy of The Fisherman's Bride by Catherine Magia, please enter via the Gleam form below. Two copies are up for grabs!


– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on May 5th. 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.

The Fisherman's Bride

Blog Design by Use Your Imagination Designs using images from the Tea Time kit and the Saturday Night kit by MK-Designs