Tuesday, September 29, 2015

TLC Book Tours Book Review A Fine Summer's Day

A Fine Summer's Day coverAbout A Fine Summer's Day
• Paperback: 384 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (September 29, 2015)
On a fine summer's day in June 1914, Ian Rutledge is planning to propose to a woman he deeply loves, despite hints from his family and friends that she may not be the most suitable choice for a policeman's wife. To the north, another man in love—a Scottish Highlander named Hamish MacLeod—asks his own sweetheart to marry him.
Back in England, a son grieves for his mother, dredging up a dark injustice that will trigger a series of murders that Rutledge must solve. The victims are all upstanding and well-liked. The local police have their suspicions about the culprits and are less than cooperative with the London detective.
As clouds of war gather on the horizon, Rutledge digs deeper, finding similarities and patterns between the murders. With every moment at stake, he sets out to right a terrible wrong—an odyssey that will eventually force him to choose between the Yard and his country, between love and duty, and between honor and truth.
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Review: A Fine Summer's Day is book 17 in the Ian Rutledge series. Book 17!!! How did I miss out on this series? I love historical mysteries, especially ones set around WWI. 

I'm used to series with a female lead character, so having Ian as the central character was something different for me, and I really liked him. I've read a few of the Bess Crawford books, but I think I like this series better. 

This book takes place as Europe is about to enter the war. It is actually a prequel book to the series, which makes this a great place to start the series, and I really enjoyed getting to know the characters.

What really makes these books so wonderful are how much attention to detail that you'll find here. I highly recommend this series and any other books by the Charles Todd, mother/son duo

Rating: 5 flowers

Charles ToddAbout Charles Todd

Charles Todd is the author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother and son writing team, they live in Delaware and North Carolina. Visit their website at Charlestodd.com and like CharlesToddNovels on Facebook.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Book Review: Size 14 Is Not Fat Either

Author: Meg Cabot
Title: Size 14 Is Not Fat Either
Publisher: William Morrow
Publish Date: Nov 26, 2013
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 
Former pop star Heather Wells has settled nicely into her new life as assistant dorm director at New York College—a career that does not require her to drape her size 12 body in embarrassingly skimpy outfits. She can even cope (sort of) with her rocker ex-boyfriend's upcoming nuptials, which the press has dubbed The Celebrity Wedding of the Decade. But she's definitely having a hard time dealing with the situation in the dormitory kitchen—where a cheerleader has lost her head on the first day of the semester. (Actually, her head is accounted for—it's her torso that's AWOL.)

Surrounded by hysterical students—with her ex-con father on her doorstep and her ex-love bombarding her with unwanted phone calls—Heather welcomes the opportunity to play detective . . . again. If it gets her mind off her personal problems—and teams her up again with the gorgeous P.I. who owns the brownstone where she lives—it's all good. But the murder trail is leading the average-sized amateur investigator into a shadowy world. And if she doesn't watch her step, Heather will soon be singing her swan song!

Review: The Heather Wells mysteries are the books I go to when I need to read something light and funny.

In Size 14 Is Not Fat Either the murder is a little more grisly. I mean, how often do heads get found in pots in residence halls kitchen. Not often.

The cast of character in this book (and all of the Heather Wells books) will have you rolling in the aisles. You get familiar faces like her ex Jordan Cartright and his brother Cooper, who is her landlord, boss and crush, Magda the cafeteria lady and now her ex con father. Oh and my favorite reoccurring character was Gavin, and he plays a huge part in helping Heather uncover who killed Lindsey.

The whodunit was a little bit easy to figure out, but it was super fun getting there!

Meg Cabot always delivers books that are fast paced and funny. I like to categorize this series as cozy chicklit mysteries.

Nothing is realistic, but everything is hilarious and that's what makes these books so enjoyable. I do recommend reading them in order. (I read the most recent book first, so I had spoilers as I started reading the other books in the series, so that took some of the fun out of them)

I highly recommend this series to anyone looking for a light fluffy fun mystery that's geared toward a younger set. (Most cozy mysteries seem to focus of middle aged sleuths, sadly of which I am one)

Rating: 5 flowers

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours Book Review: Living In The Shadows

Layout 1Living in the Shadows

by Judith Barlow
Publication Date: July 16, 2015
Honno Press
eBook & Paperback; 320 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Family Saga

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It's 1969 and Mary Schormann is living quietly in Wales with her ex-POW husband, Peter, and her teenage twins, Richard and Victoria. Her niece, Linda Booth, is a nurse - following in Mary's footsteps - and works in the maternity ward of her local hospital in Lancashire.

At the end of a long night shift, a bullying new father visits the maternity ward and brings back Linda's darkest nightmares, her terror of being locked in. Who is this man, and why does he scare her so?

There are secrets dating back to the war that still haunt the family, and finding out what lies at their root might be the only way Linda can escape their murderous consequences.

Sequel to the acclaimed Changing Patterns and Pattern of Shadows.


Review: Living in the Shadows is really part of a series, but it can be read as a stand alone novel. I felt I would have liked to have read the other two books before, but it didn't spoil the enjoyment of this book, it was more so I could have a complete story.

This story really read like a UK soap opera. I loved getting all the stories within the story and there were a lot of them at varying degrees of drama, and the drama didn't stop until the final page is read.

The story takes place at the tale end of the 60s and unlike most family saga type books that I've read, the characters here are really more "real" more "ordinary". They could be people you know, and that's really what I liked about it. And their struggles? Well those weren't quite so ordinary, in fact, most of the struggles were pretty extraordinary, especially the whole thing involving Richard and Karen's relationship.

Some of the characters are easier to like than others. Victoria was really hard to like and it was understandable when other characters reacted negatively towards her at the end of the book.

All the characters were so well rounded and their stories so complex. The book deals with so many issues, homosexuality, the hippie movement along with murder and complex family situations.  The characters will feel like family as the stories go on. The drama really comes to a head at the end, and it is almost impossible not to shed a tear or two or even a whole river at the end. (Yes, there's death)

This is a fabulous story and well worth the read and I definitely want to go back and read the other books.

Rating: 5 flowers

03_Judith Barrow_Author ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Judith Barrow has lived in Pembrokeshire for thirty years. She is the author of three novels, and has published poetry and short fiction, winning several poetry competitions, as well as writing three children's books and a play performed at the Dylan Thomas Centre. Judith grew up in the Pennines, has degrees in literature and creative writing and makes regular appearances at literary festivals.



Monday, September 21
Spotlight & Giveaway at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Tuesday, September 22
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, September 23
Spotlight at I'd So Rather Be Reading

Thursday, September 24
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Saturday, September 26
Guest Post at The Writing Desk

Sunday, September 27
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Monday, September 28
Review at Book Nerd
Guest Post at Historical Fiction Connection

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Book Review: Keepsake Crimes

Author: Laura Childs
Title: Keepsake Crimes
Publisher: Berekley
Publish Date: May 6, 2003
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 

New Orleans scrapbooking shop owner Carmela Bertrand delights her customers with the sophisticated looks she achieves with their scrapbooks. But among her client's keepsakes she finds a tip of her own-about a murder...

Review: Keepsake Crimes is the first in the Scrapbooking Mystery series by Laura Childs. I've read several of her Tea Shop Mysteries, and I've enjoyed them, but I think I liked this book best.

Carmela Bertrand owns a scrapbook shop in New Orleans and during Marti Gras and at one parade, she sees one of the local businessmen die.  Somehow her estranged husband Shamus has his hands in it, and is considered a prime suspect.

Lisa Childs really good at bringing her settings to life and in Keepsake Crimes I felt I was in NOLA during Marti Gras and more than that, I wanted to be there.

The mystery was light. I felt like this was a bit more of a novel about friends then the typical cozy mystery,  but this is the first book in the series, so you really are reading to get to know the cast of characters that you will be spending your time with for however long the series lasts.

I enjoyed Carmella and her friends especially Jekyll and Ava that were really eclectic lot.

I would have liked a meatier mystery, but this is the first book in a series, so that's not usually what you get when you start out a series.

This was light enjoyable reading. I look forward to what happens to Carmela next, and really I look forward to finding out what happens to her husband.

Rating: 4 flowers

Monday, September 14, 2015

Book Review: Zen For Cats

Author: Henry Beard
Title: Zen For Cats
Publisher: John Wall Associates
Publish Date: Dec 1997
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 
From one of America's bestselling humor writers comes a New Age take on our feline friends that is destined to become a classic. A must for cat owners who yearn to understand the feline psyche, this witty and laugh-out-loud funny book is Henry Beard at his best.

Review: I've had this book for a long time and I've skimmed through it many times, but I've never really made it all the way through it until now.

The illustrations that go along with Henry Beard's New Age catisms are perfect.

If you are cat fan, this is a great quick read. Even if you aren't a cat fan, it is super fun.

Rating: 4 flowers

Book Review: Size 12 Is Not Fat

Author: Meg Cabot
Title: Size 12 I Not Fat
Publisher: William Morrow
Publish Date: Dec 27, 2005
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 
Heather Wells Rocks!

Or, at least, she did. That was before she left the pop-idol life behind after she gained a dress size or two — and lost a boyfriend, a recording contract, and her life savings (when Mom took the money and ran off to Argentina). Now that the glamour and glory days of endless mall appearances are in the past, Heather's perfectly happy with her new size 12 shape (the average for the American woman!) and her new job as an assistant dorm director at one of New York's top colleges. That is, until the dead body of a female student from Heather's residence hall is discovered at the bottom of an elevator shaft.

The cops and the college president are ready to chalk the death off as an accident, the result of reckless youthful mischief. But Heather knows teenage girls . . . and girls do not elevator surf. Yet no one wants to listen — not the police, her colleagues, or the P.I. who owns the brownstone where she lives — even when more students start turning up dead in equally ordinary and subtly sinister ways. So Heather makes the decision to take on yet another new career: as spunky girl detective!

But her new job comes with few benefits, no cheering crowds, and lots of liabilities, some of them potentially fatal. And nothing ticks off a killer more than a portly ex-pop star who's sticking her nose where it doesn't belong .

Review: I read the most recent installment in the Heather Wells series when it came out in 2013 and I absolutely loved it. I was finally able to go back and start the series from the beginning, and I have to say I loved it just as much.

Heather Wells is a former pop star who is now working as an assistant dorm director at New York College.

What I love about this series is that it mixture of chicklit and cozy mystery. Heather is simply hilarious with her problems that the average woman would never have. (Like the ex-boyfriend that won't go away, even though he's attached to someone else)

The mystery here involves the deaths of two students in the residence hall that could really be passed off as accidents, but something just doesn't seem right about them. With the help of her PI roommate, who is also her ex's brother, they start to find out what really happened to these girls.

If you read the series out of order, like I did, you'll know the answer to the mystery. I read book 5 in 2013. Thankfully, I couldn't remember the outcome as I read this story.

Heather is a fun character. I loved her and weight issues. There's a scene in a dressing room that is hysterical.

Meg Cabot delivers a witty novel that keeps you turning the pages, and laughing the whole time.

Rating: 5 flowers

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Great Escapes Book Tours Book Tours Book Review: Girl Meets Class

Girl Meets Class
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Paperback: 266 pages
Publisher: Henery Press (September 8, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-1941962855

The unspooling of Toni Lee Wells’ Tiffany and Wild Turkey lifestyle begins with a trip to the Luckett County Jail drunk tank. An earlier wrist injury sidelined her pro tennis career, and now she’s trading her tennis whites for wild nights roaming the streets of Rose Hill, Georgia.
Her wealthy family finally gets fed up with her shenanigans. They cut off her monthly allowance but also make her a sweetheart deal: Get a job, keep it for a year, and you’ll receive an early inheritance. Act the fool or get fired, and you’ll lose it for good.
Toni Lee signs up for a fast-track Teacher Corps program. She hopes for an easy teaching gig, but what she gets is an assignment to Harriet Hall, a high school that churns out more thugs than scholars.
What’s a spoiled Southern belle to do when confronted with a bunch of street smart students who are determined to make her life as difficult as possible? Luckily, Carl, a handsome colleague, is willing to help her negotiate the rough teaching waters and keep her bed warm at night. But when Toni Lee gets involved with some dark dealings in the school system, she fears she might lose her new beau as well as her inheritance.

Review: When I pick up a book by Henery Press it is usually a quirky mystery. This time Girl Meets Class is chicklit and it really fits in with what I expect from Henery Press.

It is funny, Southern and just delightful.

Toni is a spoiled rich girl that has to get and keep a job or her inheritance goes by byes! This Paris Hilton, if you know what I'm saying. If that doesn't give you a few chuckles, I don't know what will. Mind you Toni is a bit hard to deal with at the beginning

How she ends up teaching special need kids in a low income part of town is stuff only chicklit books are made of. Again, more laughs here and even some growing on the part of Toni. When you toss in a new romantic relationship, thing are just about perfect.

I absolutely adored this book.

Rating: 5 flowers

About The Author –
Karin Gillespie is national bestselling author of five novels and a humor columnist for Augusta Magazine. Her nonfiction writing had been in the New York Times, The Writer Magazine and Romantic Times. She maintains a website and blog at Karingillespie.net. Sign up for her newsletter on her website, follow her on Twitter or connect with her on Facebook.
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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

TLC Book Tours Book Review: Sisters of Versailles

Author: Sally Christie
Title: Sisters of Versailles
Publisher: Atria Books
Publish Date: Sept 1, 2015
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 

A sumptuous and sensual tale of power, romance, family, and betrayal centered around four sisters and one King. Carefully researched and ornately detailed, The Sisters of Versailles is the first book in an exciting new historical fiction trilogy about King Louis XV, France’s most “well-beloved” monarch, and the women who shared his heart and his bed.

Goodness, but sisters are a thing to fear.

Set against the lavish backdrop of the French Court in the early years of the 18th century, The Sisters of Versailles is the extraordinary tale of the five Nesle sisters—Louise, Pauline, Diane, Hortense, and Marie-Anne—four of whom became mistresses to King Louis XV. Their scandalous story is stranger than fiction but true in every shocking, amusing, and heartbreaking detail.

Court intriguers are beginning to sense that young King Louis XV, after seven years of marriage, is tiring of his Polish wife. The race is on to find a mistress for the royal bed as various factions put their best foot—and women—forward. The King’s scheming ministers push Louise, the eldest of the aristocratic Nesle sisters, into the arms of the King. Over the following decade, the four sisters—sweet, na├»ve Louise; ambitious Pauline; complacent Diane, and cunning Marie Anne—will conspire, betray, suffer, and triumph in a desperate fight for both love and power.

In the tradition of The Other Boleyn Girl, The Sisters of Versailles is a clever, intelligent, and absorbing novel that historical fiction fans will devour. Based on meticulous research on a group of women never before written about in English, Sally Christie’s stunning debut is a complex exploration of power and sisterhood—of the admiration, competition, and even hatred that can coexist within a family when the stakes are high enough.

Review: I love love love this kind of book.  It is the first of three and I'm going to have to read them all. It is hard to believe that 4, count em 4 sisters could fall into the bed of the same man, let alone the king of France, but that is what happened here.

The story is perfect for those that love books like The Other Boleyn Girl. Only imagine that this family has 4 out of 5 sisters that end up in bed with the king. Yikes.

I've read a lot of stories about the French monarchy, almost as many as I've read about the English monarchy, and I've not encountered anything about these sisters.

How the heck did that happen? And if there are books, why did I miss them.

I do think that part of the reason I missed out on these ladies is because of Louis XV's other mistress, Madame du Pompadour.  (If you don't know who she is, what The Girl In The Fireplace episode of Doctor Who) But back to these sisters, they are all very different women with equally different personalities.

I liked Louise and the ditzy Diane, but Pauline and Marie Anne were downright evil ad nasty and Hortense, the only sister not to shack up with the king was way to pious for my liking. If you didn't know that these women and their stories were real this definitely felt like a work of total fiction.

I absolutely loved this book and cant want to read the next book in the Mistresses of Versailles series.

Rating : 5 flowers

TLC Book Tours Book Review Broken Homes and Gardens

Author:  Rebecca Kelley
Title: Broken Homes & Gardens
Publisher: Blank Slate Press
Publish Date: April 28, 2015
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 
A girl, a guy, a broken-down house. Not exactly on-again, off-again, Malcolm and Joanna are in-again, out-again: in love, out of each other's arms, in an awkward co-living arrangement, out of the country. Their unconventional relationship is the only way, Joanna says, to protect herself from the specter of commitment, which inevitably leads to heartbreak.

When Harry Met Sally for the Millennial generation, set in the damp and drizzly neighborhoods of Portland, Oregon, Broken Homes and Gardens is an ode to friendship, lust, and the unrelenting pull of love.

Review: First of all, this the cutest cover I've ever seen. I'm a bit on the fence on how I really feel about the book. At times it was really funny, but the twenty something, Joanna was a character I had trouble loving, but I did enjoy laughing with.

Joanna was really a snapshot of so many people out of college, which in some ways is a sad portrait of life in our twenties. She has commitment issues but wants to be involved. She comes from a broken home, and her experiences with her mother have left her really jaded when it comes to relationships.

I liked her crazy relationship with Malcolm really was really what this story was all about and they really seem to belong together, even though both of them seemed to do everything to prevent it from happening. For the most part, I wanted to shake Joanna, really hard, because she seemed to sabotage her life. Malcolm is very much the same, but no matter what these two seem to end up in each other's company and eventually living together. I can see how some might compare it to When Harry Met Sally for modern times, but I found the characters here to be a bit more juvenile, or less mature, whichever you choose.

Overall it was a fun book, probably more for the college age set than for old forty-something fogies like me.

Rating: 4 flowers

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours Book Review: Avelynn

02_Avelynn_CoverAvelynn by Marissa Campbell

Publication Date: September 8, 2015
St. Martin's Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback, Hardcover
Pages: 320 ISBN13: 978-1250063939
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance

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 One extraordinary Saxon noblewoman and one fearless Viking warrior find passion and danger in this dazzling and sensuous debut. Marissa Campbell's debut novel is a winning combination of romance, history, and adventure sure to appeal to fans of Diana Gabaldon. It is 869. For eighteen years, Avelynn, the beautiful and secretly pagan daughter of the Eadlorman of Somerset has lived in an environment of love and acceptance. She hasn't yet found a man to make her heart race, but her father has not pressured her to get married. Until now. With whispers of war threatening their land, her father forces Avelynn into a betrothal with Demas, a man who only covets her wealth and status. The dreaded marriage looming, she turns to her faith, searching for answers in an ancient ritual along the coast, only to find Alrik the Blood-Axe and sixty Viking berserkers have landed. Alrik is unlike any man she has ever known, strong and intriguing. Likewise, he instantly falls for her beauty and courage. The two stumble into a passionate love affair, but it's more than just a greedy suitor who will try to keep them apart. As the Saxons and Vikings go to war, Avelynn and Alrik find themselves caught in the throes of fate. Can they be true to their people as well as to each other?



"Marissa Campbell brings a long-forgotten era splendidly to life in this adventurous and passionate debut." - Susanna Kearsley, New York Times bestselling author "Avelynn is a captivating tale of star-crossed lovers. He is a Viking and she is a Saxon. Their struggle to be together will lead you on an exciting journey through a background filled with rich and detailed description." - Connie Mason, New York Times bestselling author of Viking Warrior "Marissa Campbell's Avelynn is a fast-paced, rollicking historical novel whose irresistible heroine starts out as the willful daughter of a Saxon earl and evolves into a warrior and leader, as fierce as she is passionate." - Barbara Rogan, author of A Dangerous Fiction and Suspicion "A hot-blooded tale of Viking invasion, Saxon valor, and a love that conquers kingdoms. Get ready to be bewitched by the bold, brave Avelynn." - Barbara Kyle, author of The Queen's Exiles


03_Marissa Campbell_AuthorABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marissa Campbell is a published freelance author, and co-author of the award-winning, spiritual self-help book Life: Living in Fulfillment Every Day. Look for her debut historical fiction Avelynn coming September 8th, 2015, from St. Martin’s Press. Currently, hard at work on the second book in the Avelynn series, she is a proud member of the Historical Novel Society, Romance Writers of America, Writer’s Community of Durham Region, and local critique group B7. When she is not writing, she is busy looking after her wonderful children, spending time with her fantastic husband, hanging out with her awesome friends, teaching yoga, dancing, laughing, and having fun! For more information visit http://marissacampbell.com. You can also follow Marissa Campbell on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Review: Avelynn is Marissa Campbell's debut novel. It is really a wonderful novel rich in history. Its actually a novel that's a little out of my comfort zone, but I like change things up a bit and read different things, and this book turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

I liked the strength of Avelynn and that fact that she wasn't a traditional heroine by any means. Then there's Alrik. Nothing like a good Viking to get things going, in more ways than one.

This book had it all. It is by no means a fluffy romance. It is full of action and alone with that, violence. (Sword fighting etc) I'd say there was more violence here than in the average historical novel that I read. Its edge of your seat stuff too.

This was a really great end of summer read for me

Rating: 4 flowers


Monday, September 7 
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Tuesday, September 8
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Obsession
Wednesday, September 9
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Excerpt at What Is That Book About
Review & Giveaway at Unshelfish
Thursday, September 10
Interview at Unshelfish
Guest Post at Book Lovers Paradise
Friday, September 11
Spotlight at The Never-Ending Book
Saturday, September 12
Excerpt & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More
Sunday, September 13
Review at Genre Queen Monday, September 14
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews
Tuesday, September 15
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Friday, September 18
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection
Spotlight at Romantic Historical Reviews
Monday, September 21
Interview & Excerpt at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
 Tuesday, September 22
Review at Just One More Chapter
Wednesday, September 23
Review at Curling up by the Fire
Thursday, September 24
Review & Giveaway at 100 Pages a Day
Sunday, September 27
Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews
Monday, September 28
Review at CelticLady's Reviews
Tuesday, September 29
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Review & Giveaway at Reading Lark 
Wednesday, September 30 
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story 
Thursday, October 1
Review & Giveaway at A Literary Vacation 
Friday, October 2
Review at The True Book Addict

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Monday, September 7, 2015

TLC Book Tours Book Review: Starlight On Willow Lake

About Starlight on Willow Lake

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Mira (August 25, 2015)
Join #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs on a journey to a charming Catskills town that feels like home and where a cast of brilliantly drawn characters awaits in a poignant story of reconciliation and the healing power of love.
 Mason Bellamy’s world is fast, loud and decorated with the most extreme risks. Nothing can tempt him to give up his high-rolling Manhattan life and high-maintenance girlfriend—not even family. When he’s called home to upstate Avalon to help his quadriplegic mother in her deepest time of need, he sets his mind on temporary, determined to craft a way to care for her from a distance.
Alice Hayes is supposed to be his best solution. Hiring the gentle-hearted yet struggling caregiver as a live-in nurse gives Alice and her two daughters shelter, his mother companionship and Mason the freedom to escape to his adrenaline-pumped, no-attachments routine. But Alice’s beautiful presence promises to repair Mason’s frayed family ties. And his unstoppable attraction to Alice could lead to the most exhilarating thrill of his life.
“Wiggs’s storytelling is heartwarming… [for] romance and women’s fiction readers of any age.”—Publishers Weekly
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Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

About Susan Wiggs

Susan Wiggs is the author of many beloved bestsellers, including the popular Lakeshore Chronicles series. She has won many awards for her work, including a RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America.

Connect with Susan

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Review: This is book 11 in the Lakeside Chronicles Series. Like Cedar Cove by Debbie Macomber and the Chesapeake Series by Sherryl Woods,  these books are all stand alone novels with characters that interconnect because of the small town setting.

The subject matter of this book is a serious downer. The hero, Mason Bellamy, has lost his father in a skiing accident a year prior and his mother was left a quadriplegic. She's also not the most pleasant person. As you learn more about Alice Bellamy, you understand more of her feelings of anger.

Faith is broken too and she's broke. This wouldn't be so bad if she didn't have two daughters, and one with type 1 diabetes.

Alice requires a new caregiver as a result of an accident that happens while Mason and his siblings are away scattering their father's ashes. Instantly you know there's more to this story, and it becomes even more and more apparent when Faith starts her work.

This is more than just a small town romance, actually there's very little romance to this story at all. It is more a book about healing and finding the courage to move on.  I think if Faith and Mason falling for each other would have been more of a focal point in this book, it would have been perfect, but as it was, their relationship was just a small part of the whole story.

Alice was really the character that you have to love. She's a curmudgeon, and rightly so, because so much has been taken from her. She had so much and lost much more. By the end of the book, she's more accepting and definitely an inspirational character.

The subject matter is far from light and if that's what you are looking for, this book probably won't suit you. For awhile there, I wasn't sure that it would suit me, but I kept on reading and by the time.

 If you are enjoy a book with deep and well developed characters, than give this story a go. It really is worth your time.

Rating: 4 flowers

Friday, September 4, 2015

Great Escapes Book Tours Book Reviews: Trick Or Deceit

Trick or Deceit (A Celebration Bay Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
Series: A Celebration Bay Mystery (Book 4)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley (September 1, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0425281475

This October in Celebration Bay, you can’t swing a black cat without hitting a haunted house. There are three finalists in the contest for the town’s official Haunted House, and ten thousand dollars will go to the winner, with the rest of the contributions and proceeds funding a new community center. Event coordinator Liv Montgomery has invited her friend Jonathan Preston, the debonair CEO of a philanthropic organization, hoping he will award a grant to the center.
But after the Museum of Yankee Horrors wins first place, the transformed Victorian boarding house is vandalized … and among scattered mannequins of Hester Prynne, Lizzie Borden, and the Headless Horseman, a real dead body is found—one of the contest judges. Now in addition to playing host to Jon, Liv has to play detective and coordinate the clues to unmask a self-appointed judge, jury, and executioner.
ShelleyNoble FinalV3 copyAbout the Author
Shelley Freydont is the author of the Liv Montgomery Celebration Bay Mysteries, Foul Play at the FairSilent KnifeIndependence Slay as well as the Kate MacDonald Sudoku Mysteries and the Lindy Haggerty dance company mysteries, and the upcoming Newport Gilded Age Mysteries, beginning with A Gilded Grave (6/15)
As Shelley Noble, she is the NYTimes Best selling author of women’s fiction (Beach ColorsStargazey PointBreakwater Bay, and Whisper Beach as well as several novellas. A former professional dancer and choreographer, Shelley lives at the Jersey shore and loves puzzles, light houses and antique carousels. She also loves to hear from readers.
A former professional dancer and choreographer, she most recently worked on the films, Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. Shelley is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and Liberty States Fiction Writers.
For more about Shelley, please visit her website www.shelleyfreydont.com.
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Review: I really love cozy mysteries and I love holiday stories and this is both. I am so glad I was introduced to this series with this book.  Liv and Ted are great characters as is her dog, Whiskey.

Shelley creates the perfect small town that you wish you lived in. I felt right at home in Celebration Bay from the very start. Why can't more towns be like the ones in cozy mysteries and Debbie Macomber novels?

What I found really unique about this series, is that there's no love interest for Liv. There's some tension between her and Chaz, but nothing really going on.

The murder was one that really got you thinking. From the start there are a few suspects and there are enough twists and turns that you are kept guessing until the very end. There were a few times when I was sure it was someone and then...boom! It wasn't.

What I really liked about Liv, was that even though she was in the thick of the investigation, but she didn't really do the stupid things that a lot of cozy mystery sleuths do. She worried about the case, but she was really focused on her job.

I also hope we get to see more of Yolanda in the upcoming series. I'm all for a real quirky characters, and if that character might be witch. Her and her coven really made this story more interesting, and when you added the Doomsday guy, there were a lot of interesting side stories going on.

Loved this book!

Rating: 5 flowers

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