Friday, June 26, 2015

TLC Book Tours Book Review: Whisper Beach

Whisper BeachAbout Whisper Beach

• Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (June 16, 2015)

When a group of friends reunite in the idyllic beach town where they grew up, they must reevaluate their loyalty to one another or lose their friendship forever

Twelve years ago, Vanessa "Van" Moran fell in love and lost her virginity—but not to the same boy. She fled Whisper Beach desperate and pregnant, never telling a soul about her secret. Now a professional Manhattan organizer, she must return home for the first time to attend the funeral of her best friend's husband. Van intends to only stay for a weekend, but her plans fall by the wayside as the troubles of this coastal town draw her in.

Dorie, the owner of the pier's infamous Blue Crab Restaurant where Van and her friends worked as teenagers, enlists Van's help to save the nearly bankrupt eatery. While Van throws herself into this new task, the man she once loved reenters her life, willing to pick up where they left off.

As the restaurant begins to thrive and Van reconnects with old friends, trouble comes from an unexpected source and she realizes she must face the decisions of her past or sacrifice this new life she has so carefully built.

For Van, this summer will test the meaning of friendship and trust—and how far love can bend before it breaks.

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Review:  Two words for you, beach read, and that's not just because the title of the book has "beach" in it. What qualifies this as a great beach read is the fact that you can get lost in the story for a few hours.   I loved the characters, though, I think I liked the secondary characters more so than Vanessa, "Van" who I had a hard time connecting with, though she's the character that grows the most through this book.

 I loved that for once the characters were "real" and not overly wealthy, well except for Suze. It was nice to see a story that could have been about people that you know.

What sets this apart from your usual beach reads, is that it isn't about romance or breaking up. It is about life, and coming home and maybe a few second chances.

Vanessa left home pregnant 12 years prior, thinking the guy she loved betrayed her. Oh and the baby didn't belong to him. So there's a lot of drama involved with her relationship with Joe. Then there's her dad who wasn't quite the father of the year, but as she comes to learn, things aren't always the way they seem.

Van connects with her friends, Suze and Gigi and gives her nemesis, Dana (who isn't as bad as you might think she is) a second chance. She learns that sometimes you can come home and that you don't always know everything about some of your friends. Oh and she starts to help Dorie, who owns a local restaurant and is the mother hen of the locals. I absolutely loved her.

There were a lot of secrets revealed and one of the characters wasn't what she seemed. There's a point in the story where you know which woman isn't quite as nice as you think and you just want to choke her and smack Van for not seeing it sooner.

The ending leaves things open. There's unfinished business with all of them, but also hope for the future.  This was really an enjoyable read, and I hope the author revisits these characters in the future.

Rating: 4 flowers

Shelley NobleAbout Shelley Noble

Shelley Noble is a former professional dancer and choreographer and has worked on a number of films. She lives at the Jersey shore where she loves to visit lighthouses and vintage carousels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America.

Find out more about Shelley at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bon Appetite and a Book Review: Midnight Thunder

by New York Times Bestselling Author
Vicki Lewis Thompson

By Vicki Lewis Thompson
Harlequin Blaze; June 1, 2015
$5.50; 224 pages

ISBN-13: 978-0-373-79851-3

Thunder Mountain Ranch was the only place cowboy Cade Gallagher had ever called home. But after he and Lexi Simmons broke each others’ hearts, he left it behind, along with his foster family. Since then, Cade has drifted, looking for something—anything—to call home. Until a call from Lexi changes everything.
Cade has been gone too long. His foster mother is hospitalized, and the ranch is in deep financial trouble. Yet even as his world crumbles, Cade’s hunger for Lexi is almost as tangible as the taste

of her lips and the way her body fits deliciously against his. It’s bittersweet surrender. But Lexi isn’t the girl she used to be, and she’s determined to have the hot cowboy in her bed only if she keeps him out of her heart.

Review:  I am a sucker for a cowboy. I love stories where the heroes are ranchers. Midnight Thunder is one of those books and Vicki Lewis Thompson is an author that seldom disappoints.
The plot reminds me of a book I read not too long ago that had a foster child that returns home after one of his parents has health issues.

I loved that this book really figures heavily on Cade, rather than Lexi. Cade is a character that you simply have to love. He has a good heart and he's good with animals. I loved how he rescued Hematite and I also loved that he was a cat man. His kitty, Ringo is an awesome little guy.

So basically, Cade is the perfect man in my eyes. I also loved his other blood brothers. In fact, midway through this story I was already dying for Finn's book. He is a very intriguing character, and waiting to see if he gets his "happily ever after" with Chelsea is going to make me burst with anticipation.

But there is a romance going on here. Its a romance that started back in his high school days. I love second chance stories, even though I tend to wonder how anyone could pine after someone for several years.

The chemistry between Cade and Lexi is electric. These two are made for each other and they are written in such a way that you really root for them. I was also pleased that there was no huge conflict that separated them, where you have to wait for one of the characters to start behaving better and get on with their relationship.

I totally loved this book and look forward to reading the next 2 books!

Rating:  5 flowers

A romance writing career has brought Vicki Lewis Thompson many wonderful things –New York Times bestseller status, an appearance on LIVE with Regis and Kelly, the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award from Romance Writers of America, thousands of readers, many dear friends, and the cutest little yellow convertible in the world. Her career has also given her work she loves. Although she’s written more than 100 books, she continues to be fascinated by the many ways that a man and woman fall in love. The age-old story remains a challenging puzzle to be solved anew with each book. That makes her a very lucky person, indeed.
Twitter: @VickiLThompson          

Next up is the recipe. Cade loves his step mom's tuna casserole. I make one very similar to this one and I can testify that it is yummy. In my recipe I add a little bit of milk, and omit the Worchestershire Sauce and cheese, but when I made it earlier this week, I tried this version and it was just as yummy. It is fabulous served over toast.

Vicki Lewis Thompson’s Mushroom-Tuna Casserole

Rosie Padgett, foster mom to the guys when they lived on the ranch, cooked hearty but budget-minded food for her boys and they have fond memories of her tuna casserole.  This is a traditional recipe that serves six but could be doubled or tripled as needed.

2 cans tuna fish
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 1-pound can of peas
¼ cup chopped onions
1 tablespoon Worchestershire Sauce
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
I cup crushed potato chips


Drain tuna; flake.  In a large bowl combine soup, peas, onion and Worchestershire Sauce.  Blend in tuna fish and cheese.  Pour mixture into a greased casserole and top with potato chips.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until bubbly.

Tasty Book Tours Promo and Review: Hotel Moscow

Hotel Moscow
By: Talia Carner  
Released June 2, 2015
William Morrow

From the author of Jerusalem Maiden comes a mesmerizing, thought-provoking novel that tells the riveting story of an American woman—the daughter of Holocaust survivors—who travels to Russia shortly after the fall of communism, and finds herself embroiled in a perilous mafia conspiracy that could irrevocably destroy her life.

Brooke Fielding, a thirty-eight year old New York investment manager and daughter of Jewish Holocaust survivors, finds her life suddenly upended in late September 1993 when her job is unexpectedly put in jeopardy. Brooke accepts an invitation to join a friend on a mission to Moscow to teach entrepreneurial skills to Russian business women, which will also give her a chance to gain expertise in the new, vast emerging Russian market. Though excited by the opportunity to save her job and be one of the first Americans to visit Russia after the fall of communism, she also wonders what awaits her in the country that persecuted her mother just a generation ago.

Inspired by the women she meets, Brooke becomes committed to helping them investigate the crime that threatens their businesses. But as the uprising of the Russian parliament against President Boris Yeltsin turns Moscow into a volatile war zone, Brooke will find that her involvement comes at a high cost. For in a city where “capitalism” is still a dirty word, where neighbors spy on neighbors and the new economy is in the hands of a few dangerous men, nothing Brooke does goes unnoticed—and a mistake in her past may now compromise her future.

A moving, poignant, and rich novel, Hotel Moscow is an eye-opening portrait of post-communist Russia and a profound exploration of faith, family, and heritage.
Goodreads Link:

Buy Links:  Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo | Publisher
Author Info
Traveling around the world has brought Talia Carner, former publisher of Savvy Woman magazine, a business consultant to Fortune 500 companies, and a speaker at international women’s economic forums, to find the stories right within herself. In her new novel, Hotel Moscow, she continues her mission to save and empower women. Carner hit the ground running with her first novel, Puppet Child (The Top 10 Favorite First Novels 2002,) followed by China Doll, (her platform for 2007 U.N. presentation against infanticide,) and Jerusalem Maiden (winner of Forward National Literature Award,) and now shares her passion for social justice and human rights domestically and globally. She explores the individual’s spirit as it clashes with the power of religion, social conformity, or political upheaval. She lives in New York with her husband. Please visit her at

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads
Rafflecopter Giveaway (Three Print Copies of JERUSALEM MAIDEN)

PART 1: Thursday, September 30, 1993


The plane had emptied by the time Brooke Fielding strode down the ramp tube of the Moscow airport, her Burberry raincoat and overnight case strapped with an elastic cord to a wheeled carrier. In the narrow, windowless Jetway, the two last passengers followed right behind her, men lugging clear plastic bags that sported the Duty Free Shop logo and were stuffed with cigarettes, whiskey, perfumes, and a variety of cheese and sausages.
The significance of the moment billowed in Brooke’s chest: she, an American, was arriving in Russia a mere twenty-one months after the collapse of Communism. Like a pioneer, she’d get a taste of the sights, sounds and flavors of a country few Americans had visited since the days of the Czars. Even though she’d had a sense of “there” through her parents’ Eastern European upbringing, she expected the experience awaiting her in Moscow would be unlike anything she’d ever had before. On Monday, when her company’s new management had ordered her to take her unused vacation days, she’d called her friend Amanda Cheng to let her know that she had become available to join Amanda’s women’s mission. She would use her business skills to help Russian women vault over decades of stagnation.
At the sound of swooshing behind her, Brooke glanced back to see that the far end of the skyway had detached from the airplane and was closing with a soft whine. Brooke hurried along, pushed to a faster pace by the two men at her heels, when a small, triumphant voice inside her burst out. Russia, I’m returning on behalf of all my millions of nameless fellow Jews lost on your soil. You didn’t destroy us, after all. She lifted her head. I’m here.
This was a new Russia, Brooke reminded herself, different from the Russia that had experimented with its people’s lives and minds. This new Russia was fighting for liberty, placing the individual’s right for happiness over the collective’s good, and as it struggled to free itself from bigotry, so should she. The negative, judgmental attitudes merely reflected her mother’s prejudices.
Brooke was nearing the door separating the Jetway from the main terminal when a guard approached it from inside. His eyes hooded with boredom, a machine gun dangling from the strap across his chest, he unfastened a door stopper and swung the door shut, locking it, then turned to leave.
“Hey!” Brooke waved, rushing forward. “Wait!”
But the guard just tossed her a blank look through the glass, and walked away.
“I’m still here!” she called to his retreating back. She banged on the door.
“They have orders.” The younger of the two men at her heels spoke in heavily accented English. He wore a rumpled blue suit with a wrinkled open-collar shirt. The older man shook his head of dandelion-fuzz hair and rested his shopping bags on the floor.
From outside rose the hum of a forklift and the thuds of luggage falling onto a conveyor belt. “Welcome to Russia,” Brooke muttered. She adjusted her watch for the time zone. Seven o’clock in the morning was midnight yesterday in New York. She banged again on the glass door, but could see the empty corridor beyond. Amanda and the other ten women executives recruited for this “Citizen Diplomats” mission must have reached passport control. They would be worried.
The hair falling on Brooke’s cheeks smelled of microwaved airplane food and re-circulated air. She tucked a strand behind her ear and took a deep breath. Eventually, someone would let her out; no one got stuck at an airport terminal forever. She glanced at her companions. The two Russian men stood motionless, as if forbidden to even lean against the wall for support.
Brooke hated losing control, which had been happening all week. Last Friday afternoon she was called to an unscheduled staff meeting at which her investment firm’s CEO cheerfully reported that they had been taken over. His faux optimism only made Brooke wonder how big a golden parachute the new owners must have opened for him. He was no doubt making a soft landing into a pile of several million dollars. She left the meeting in a daze and ran off to the synagogue for the start of Yom Kippur. In observance of the day her parents had never honored, she absented herself from her colleagues’ frantic phone calls until Sunday night.
The uncertainties she and her colleagues pondered on Sunday were sealed Monday when The Wall Street Journal speculated that the takeover would probably result in a bloodbath for the current employees. That afternoon, Brooke and other executives were told to take off two full weeks, a gambit to flush out fraud by keeping the staff away from their accounts so they could be examined unhampered.
Not even allowed to visit the office, Brooke would be absent when she most needed to impress the new management, when her clients would be introduced to new teams she had never met, leaving her out of the loop. Never before had she experienced the insecurity of a job suddenly in jeopardy. Her CEO, her mentor, had betrayed her.
But adding expertise on Russia’s new economy would help her keep her hard-won executive position. Not only did Brooke have the opportunity to help Russian women on this trip, but she could poke her nose into business ventures of this nation untangling itself from a seventy-year time warp. She would return to New York brimming with new ideas and investment opportunities. She might even refresh the Russian language that must be lying dormant in her grey cells; she had heard it often enough in her childhood when her mother and her mother’s friends still spoke it among themselves.
This trip would be a win-win situation, she had decided that Monday night.
On Tuesday, the mission’s Russian host had arranged for Brooke’s visa while she splurged for gifts the group could provide the women they would be counseling. On Wednesday she had boarded the flight, and now, Thursday morning, here she was, stuck in Moscow airport.

The foregoing is excerpted from HOTEL MOSCOW by Talia Carner. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers, 195 Broadway New York, NY 10007 

Review: Hotel Moscow was definitely not what I was expecting. It is a book that will leave you thinking just a little bit about what Russia is like in modern times. Most of my reading in regards to this country involves  their revolution and then the distant past.

The main character, Brooke's experiences are loosely based on things that happened to the author. Knowing that really puts things in a different perspective. It wasn't an easy read by any means. It took me a lot longer to get through this one.

Brooke wasn't exactly an endearing character even though she was doing her best to make things better for the women of Russia. I found myself feeling sorry for her parents and I could understand their reasoning for not wanting her to go there.

It really challenges the mind when you think of Brooke went through with the other women on a trip to Moscow to teach women business skills. There's definitely a lot of promise and a lot of culture shock, because the way things were done. Its hard to imagine how backward the Soviet Union was in the late 80s and early 90s. These are modern times, and the way people were treated was horrific.

This is a highly thought provoking read that gives the reader a look at the Soviet Union.

Rating: 4 flowers

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

TLC Book Tours Excerpt Tour: Diana Palmer - Untamed

About Untamed

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (June 30, 2015)
Stanton Rourke lives life on the edge. The steely mercenary is dangerous in every way…especially to Clarisse Carrington’s heart. She and Rourke were playmates as children, but she’s not the innocent girl he once knew. When tragedy robbed Clarisse of her entire family, her life was changed forever. Besides, she’s a grown woman now, and there are secrets that hold her back from succumbing to her pursuer. As she struggles to keep her distance, sparks as hot as a Texas summer fly between them. But danger is following Clarisse, leaving her no choice but to rely on Rourke, even as the old wounds lying dormant between them flare up again…
“Palmer…is the queen of desperado quests for justice and true love.” -Publishers Weekly
“The popular Palmer has penned another winning novel, a perfect blend of romance and suspense.”–Booklist on Lawman
“Diana Palmer is a mesmerizing storyteller who captures the essence of what a romance should be.”–Affaire de Coeur

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He readjusted the ponytail that held his long blond hair. His one pale brown eye was troubled, beside the one wearing the eye patch. He’d lost the eye years ago, in a combat situation that had also given him devastating scars. It hadn’t kept him out of the game by a long shot, but he’d turned his attention to less physical pursuits, working chiefly for K. C. Kantor’s paramilitary ops group as an intel expert, when he wasn’t working for a covert government agency in another country.
K.C. didn’t like him going into danger. He didn’t care what the older man liked. He suspected, had long suspected, that K.C. was his real father. He knew K.C. had the same suspi­cion. Neither of them had the guts to have a DNA profile done and learn the truth, although Rourke had asked a doc­tor to do a DNA profile of his assumed father.
The results had been disturbing. Rourke’s apparent father had been K.C.’s best friend. Rourke’s mother had been a lit­tle saint. She’d never cheated on her husband, to Rourke’s knowledge, but when she was dying she’d whispered to the doctor, Rourke’s friend, that she’d felt sorry for K.C. when the woman he loved had taken the veil as a nun, and things had happened. She died before she could elaborate. Rourke had never had the nerve to actually ask K.C. about it. He wasn’t afraid of the other man. But they had a mutual respect that he didn’t want to lose.
Tat was another matter. He closed his eye and groaned in­wardly. He remembered her at seventeen, the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen in his entire life. Soft, light blond hair in a feathery cut around her exquisite face, her china-blue eyes wide and soft and loving. She’d been wearing a green dress, something slinky but demure, because her parents were very religious. Rourke had been teasing her and she’d laughed up at him. Something had snapped inside him. He’d gathered her up like priceless treasure and started kissing her. Actu­ally, he’d done a lot more than just kiss her. Only the sud­den arrival of her mother had broken it up, and her mother had been furious.
She’d hidden it, smoothing things over. But then Tat’s mother had taken Rourke to one side, and with quiet fury, she’d told him something that destroyed his life. From that night, he’d been so cold to Tat that she thought he hated her. He had to let her think it. She was the one woman on earth that he could never have.
He opened his eye, grinding down on the memories be­fore they started eating him alive again. He wished that he’d never touched her, that he didn’t have the shy innocence of her mouth, her worshipping eyes, to haunt his dreams. He’d driven her into the arms of other men with his hatred, and that only made the pain worse. He taunted her with it, when he knew it was his own fault. He’d had no choice. He couldn’t even tell her the truth. She’d worshipped her mother. She had passed away from a virus she’d caught while nursing others. Now Tat was alone, the tragic deaths of her father and young sister still haunting her months after they’d drowned in a piranha-infested river on a tour of local villages.
Rourke had been at the funeral. He couldn’t help the way he felt. If Tat was in trouble, or hurt, he was always there. He’d known her since she was eight and her parents lived next door to K.C., who was by that time Rourke’s legal guardian, in Africa. Since Tat was ten years old and Rourke was fif­teen, and he’d carried her out of the jungle in his arms to a doctor, after letting her get bitten by a viper, she’d been his. He couldn’t have her, but he couldn’t stop taking care of her. He knew his attitude puzzled her, because he was usually her worst enemy. But let her be hurt, or threatened, and he was right there. Always. Like now.

About Diana Palmer

dianapalmerphotobigwAn icon in western romance, Diana Palmer has been writing with Harlequin since 1980 and has published over 180 titles, with over 61 million books sold! When not writing, Susan’s hobbies are gardening, knitting, crocheting, astronomy, archaeology and animals. She also has dogs, cats, birds and lizards.

EXCERPT TOUR for Untamed by Diana Palmer:

Monday, June 22nd: Book Mama Blog
Tuesday, June 23rd: A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, June 24th: Broken Teepee
Thursday, June 25th: Urban Girl Reader
Friday, June 26th: Book Reviews & More by Kathy
Monday, June 29th: Read Love Blog
Tuesday, June 30th: Bibliotica
Wednesday, July 1st: The Sassy Bookster
Thursday, July 2nd: Bibliophilia, Please
Friday, July 3rd: Books and Spoons
Monday, July 6th: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, July 7th: Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, July 8th: One Curvy Blogger
Thursday, July 9th: Romance Novels for the Beach
Friday, July 10th: Raven Haired Girl
Monday, July 13th: A Night’s Dream of Books
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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Book Review: Chariots Of The Gods

Author: Erich Von Daniken
Title: Chariots of the Gods
Publiher: Berkely
Publish Date: 1968
Buy: Amaon
Book Blurb: 
Erich von Daniken's Chariots of the Gods is a work of monumental importance--the first book to introduce the shocking theory that ancient Earth had been visited by aliens. This world-famous bestseller has withstood the test of time, inspiring countless books and films, including the author's own popular sequel, The Eyes of the Sphinx. But here is where it all began--von Daniken's startling theories of our earliest encounters with alien worlds, based upon his lifelong studies of ancient ruins, lost cities, potential spaceports, and a myriad of hard scientific facts that point to extraterrestrial intervention in human history. Most incredible of all, however, is von Daniken's theory that we ourselves are the descendants of these galactic pioneers--and the archeological discoveries that prove it... * An alien astronaut preserved in a pyramid

* Thousand-year-old spaceflight navigation charts
* Computer astronomy from Incan and Egyptian ruins
* A map of the land beneath the ice cap of Antarctica
* A giant spaceport discovered in the Andes

Includes remarkable photos that document mankind's first contact with aliens at the dawn of civilization.

Review:  I've become hopelessly addicted to Ancient Aliens on History Channel, so I absolutely had to read this book. It is the book that really got the ball rolling on ancient astronaut theory, which I find fascinating.

This book reminds us that there is more than one way to think and that it really is ok to question why we think a certain way.

The book draws parallels betwen the Bible and The Epic of Gilgamesh, which have very similar Flood stories.

Then there are all the theories involving the pyramids in Egypt and Mexico and how they were built, as well as the writings of many of the ancient civilizations whose "Gods" came from the sky.

It may not be a book of facts of why aliens came to earth, but rather a book that gets you thinking of the possibilities that it might have happened. It really gets you questioning things, and it piqued my interest in the ancient cultures.

Chariots of the Gods is really an easy read as well as a quick one. There's nothing overly technical that would make this difficult for the average reader.

I highly recommend it to anyone that has an open mind about aliens.

Rating: 5 flowers

Monday, June 15, 2015

TLC Book Tours Book Review: The Rhyme Of The Magpie

About The Rhyme of the Magpie: A Birds of a Feather Mystery

Published by : Alibi  (June 02, 2015)
Pages: 224
For readers of Laura Childs, Ellery Adams, and Jenn McKinlay, the high-flying new Birds of a Feather mystery series from Marty Wingate begins as a British woman gets caught up in a dangerous plot when her celebrity father disappears.
With her personal life in disarray, Julia Lanchester feels she has no option but to quit her job on her father’s hit BBC Two nature show, A Bird in the Hand. Accepting a tourist management position in Smeaton-under-Lyme, a quaint village in the English countryside, Julia throws herself into her new life, delighting sightseers (and a local member of the gentry) with tales of ancient Romans and pillaging Vikings.
But the past is front and center when her father, Rupert, tracks her down in a moment of desperation. Julia refuses to hear him out; his quick remarriage after her mother’s death was one of the reasons Julia flew the coop. But later she gets a distressed call from her new stepmum: Rupert has gone missing. Julia decides to investigate—she owes him that much, at least—and her father’s new assistant, the infuriatingly dapper Michael Sedgwick, offers to help. Little does the unlikely pair realize that awaiting them is a tightly woven nest of lies and murder.
“Marty Wingate plants clever clues with a dash of romantic spice to satisfy any hungry mystery reader.”—Mary Daheim, bestselling author of The Alpine Yeoman
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Review: I discovered Marty Wingate on a book tour for her Potting Shed Mystery series. I absolutely love that series, so I decided to give this one a go as well.

Whereas the Potting Shed Mysteries involve English Gardens, this book involves birds and some environmental issues as well.

Julia is quiet the heroine in this story. She's dealing with a lot of changes in her life, changes she has a hard time dealing with. I really liked her and found I could identify with her. I know if either of parent were to remarry quickly after the death of the other, and to that parents bff, I'd be more than a bit angry. However, some of her actions are a little too much to handle and she does come across as childish.

So Julia's relationship with her father, who did just that, is strained, to say the least, though thankfully things improve as the story goes on. 

Then her dad disappears and a body is found on his property, a body that belongs to someone who didn't quiet get along with him. In fact, they could call each other enemies. Worse yet, her dad got a threatening letter and then he is kidnapped!

Along with her father's new assistant (a job that used to be hers), Michael, they set about solving the mystery. There's some romantic tension between these two as well. I found that they made an excellent couple and I look forward to seeing how their relationship progresses in upcoming books.

There's a lot of family goings on, as well as stuff with old family friends, who may not be quite so friendly as they were thought to be.

What sets Marty's books apart from other authors, is how well she conceals the whodunit. You definitely will be kept guessing until the very end.

This was a highly enjoyable story and a great start to a new series. I have to say, I like the Potting Shed mysteries better, but I think this series shows promise.

Rating: 5 flowers

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Great Escapes Book Tours Book Review: Dying For The Past

Author: TJ O'Connor
Title: Dying for the Past
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Publish Date: Jan 8, 2015
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Great Escapes Book Tours & the author
Book Blurb: 
Dying is not for the faint of heart . . . . . . Neither is the murder of a mysterious philanthropist with ties to the Russian mob and 1939 gangsters. At an A-list charity ball organized by his wife, Angela, former detective Oliver “Tuck” Tucker is doing his best to prove that ghosts know how to have a good time—until a man is murdered in cold blood on the dance floor. Never one to let a mystery go unsolved, Tuck is on the case with help from Angela and his former police-detective partners. Together, they must be the first to read “the book”—deceased gangster Vincent Calabrese’s journal that names names and reveals the dirty secrets of several modern-day spies.

As Tuck learns the book’s secrets, he begins to unravel his own family’s wayward past, leading to the question—is being a ghost hereditary? Even while chasing a killer, the biggest challenge Tuck must conquer is how to be back amongst the living . . .  but not one of them.


Review: How can you not like a cozy mystery where your sleuth is a ghost? The answer is, that it is impossible. Dying for the Past is the 2nd book in the Gumshoe Ghost Mysteries.  It can be read as a stand alone novel, but reading the first book probably would have been helpful, but I'm a renegade, so I didn't and I still thoroughly enjoyed the book.

I loved how this book blended the past with the present. Not to mention that Tuck is a ghost., I did mention that right?When there's a murder at a charity gala that his wife is involved with Tuck needs to help solve the case. Oddly that case involves a mobster with ties to 1939.

This book moved at a really fast pace which is perfect when it comes to a mystery. I hate when there is too much down time in these types of books. I loved the characters and how well fleshed out they were, erm, even when they didn't have flesh anymore.

If you are looking for a mystery that is a little different, you have to try this one!!

Rating: 5 flowers

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

TLC Book Tours Book Review: Ruthless

Posted By  on March 17, 2015

RuthlessAbout Ruthless

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (June 1, 2015)
  • Paperback: 280 pages
Nick White is the only person who can save Abigail Pierce. After uncovering a plot to have her killed, he attempts to warn her but instead puts himself squarely in the crosshairs. They know who he is, they know where he lives, they know how to get at his family.
Drawn into the conspiracy surrounding Abigail, Nick soon discovers the danger is bigger than he ever believed. Now he must uncover the truth to save her and himself. Gripping and intense, this novel is a twisted thrill ride from bestselling author John Rector.

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Review: I've been reading more and more mysteries and thrillers these days. This isn't my usual genre of choice, but the plot of this one really caught my eye and it was definitely worth the read.

Imagine someone handing you an envelope with a lot of money in and a flash drive with photos of a woman on it.

This was a fast paced book that is perfect for a lazy summer day when you want to get caught up in a book. The events that transpire after a night at the bar for Nick will keep you reading until the last page

This is a book where everything really isn't quite what it seems on any account and that includes Nick. Like a lot of the thrillers that I've read recently, he's a bit of screw up. OK, he is a f-up and he lands in way over his head when he pretends to be someone he isn't.

As a result he ends up getting mixed up with Abby and things just get more and more interesting from there. You never know who is lying or who wants what and that's why it is impossible to put this book down.

The only thing that bugged me about this book was Nick's father, Charlie. I liked him, but as far as a man with emphysema is concerned, if he is on oxygen, he isn't at the beginning stages of the disease, he's either stage 4 or End Stage and even then, he wouldn't necessarily need a nurse coming in to take care of him. (Unless, he was in the final stages of the disease) This only bugged me, because I lived with it for 4 years with my father. So I know that it was off.

I find it hard to review thrillers, because I don't want to give much away, but this is definitely a great read and if, like me, you don't usually read thrillers, this one might be a good one to read, to step out of your comfort zone.

Abby made me think of Amy from Gone Girl. So that might give you a clue on the type of character she is.

This was a great summer read!

Rating: 4 flowers

51NMRGFRgOL._UX250_About John Rector

JOHN RECTOR is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of THE GROVE, THE COLD KISS, ALREADY GONE and OUT OF THE BLACK. His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and won several awards including the International Thriller Award for his novella LOST THINGS, many of his other stories can be found in his collection THE WALLS AROUND US.
He lives in Omaha, Nebraska.

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