Saturday, October 31, 2015

Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours: Flipped For Murder

Flipped For Murder
(Country Store Mysteries)

New Cozy Series
• Series: Country Store Mysteries
• Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
• Publisher: Kensington (October 27, 2015)
• ISBN-13: 978-161773925


In this freshly baked series, author Maddie Day lifts the lid on a small town in southern Indiana, where a newcomer is cooking up a new start--until a murderer muddles the recipe...

Nursing a broken heart, Robbie Jordan is trading in her life on the West Coast for the rolling hills of southern Indiana. After paying a visit to her Aunt Adele, she fell in love with the tiny town of South Lick. And when she spots a For Sale sign on a rundown country store, she decides to snap it up and put her skills as a cook and a carpenter to use. Everyone in town shows up for the grand re-opening of Pans ‘n Pancakes, but when the mayor's disagreeable assistant is found dead, Robbie realizes that not all press is good press. With all eyes on her, she'll have to summon her puzzle-solving skills to clear her name, unscramble the town's darkest secrets, and track down a cold-blooded killer--before she's the next to die...

Review: This is the first book in a new series set in "The Middle" erm, Indiana. Robbie moved there from the West Coast and she is opening a new store/restaurant

This one kind of follows the successful cozy mystery format, with Robbie having two guys vying for her attention. But what is a good cozy without the hope of love triangle? In this book lawyer Jim and Abe vie for her attentions. I have to say, right now I like Jim, but only because he was the more prominent character in this book.

I always love first books, because you get to know all the characters you will be seeing in future books and there are some great quirky people in South Lick that you'll definitely come to love and some that you will come to hate. cough....Corrine.

I got hungry every time there were scenes at Pans 'n Pancakes. The food sounded so good. It definitely made me want to try some of the recipes that you'll find at the end of the book.

The mystery unraveled at a nice pace with a lot of twists and turns, with Robbie being a suspect in the case for awhile. There were two characters that could have done it and both end up on the wrong side of the law at the end, but Maddie did a good job of keeping things under wraps until the end of the book.

This book was such fun and the mystery was too. I can't wait to see what the future holds for this series, especially with the Robbie and her long lost father.

Rating: 5 flowers

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Friday, October 30, 2015

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours Book Review: The Lake House

02_The Lake HouseThe Lake House

by Kate Morton
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Atria Books
Hardcover & eBook; 512 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction

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From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Secret Keeper and The Distant Hours, an intricately plotted, spellbinding new novel of heart-stopping suspense and uncovered secrets.

Living on her family’s idyllic lakeside estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane is a bright, inquisitive, innocent, and precociously talented sixteen-year-old who loves to write stories. But the mysteries she pens are no match for the one her family is about to endure…

One midsummer’s eve, after a beautiful party drawing hundreds of guests to the estate has ended, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. What follows is a tragedy that tears the family apart in ways they never imagined.

Decades later, Alice is living in London, having enjoyed a long successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, is staying at her grandfather’s house in Cornwall. While out walking one day, she stumbles upon the old estate—now crumbling and covered with vines, clearly abandoned long ago. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone...yet more present than ever.

A lush, atmospheric tale of intertwined destinies, this latest novel from a masterful storyteller is an enthralling, thoroughly satisfying read.


Review: Kate Morton writes these wonderful tomes that you absolutely get lost in. I have just about every one of her books, so when I had a chance to take part in a book tour for this one I was super excited.

It goes between the 1930s and modern times.

I loved how the house was a huge focal point in this story almost like it was a character. This book is just so lovely that it is hard for me to write about it.

It isn't totally like her other novels, but that's not anything to be concerned about.

It is beautifully written and as I said before it was the type of book that you get absolutely lost in. I'm not usually a person that reads long books, as I have a short attention span, but this one really kept me involved in the characters and the story.

Rating: 5 flowers



Kate Morton grew up in the mountains of south-east Queensland and lives now with her husband and young sons in Brisbane. She has degrees in dramatic art and English literature, specializing in nineteenth-century tragedy and contemporary Gothic novels.

03_Kate MortonKate Morton has sold over 7.5 million copies in 26 languages, across 38 countries. Her novels include The House at Riverton, The Forgotten Garden, The Distant Hours, and The Secret Keeper.

You can find more information about Kate Morton and her books at or


Monday, October 5
Review at Just One More Chapter

Tuesday, October 6
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Monday, October 12
Review at Book Drunkard

Thursday, October 15
Review at The Eclectic Reader
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective

Tuesday, October 20
Review at Unshelfish
Review at Luxury Reading

Wednesday, October 21
Review at Ageless Pages Reviews

Monday, October 26
Review at Beth's Book Nook

Tuesday, October 27
Review at Peeking Between the Pages

Wednesday, October 28
Review at The Maiden's Court

Thursday, October 29
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, October 30
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Sunday, November 1
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf

Monday, November 2
Review at A Book Geek
Review at CelticLady's Reviews

Tuesday, November 3
Review at Bookish
Review at Bookramblings
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, November 4
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at Words and Peace

Thursday, November 5
Review at The Lit Bitch
Review at Kinx's Book Nook

Friday, November 6
Review at A Literary Vacation
Review at Curling Up By the Fire

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

TLC Book Tours Book Review: After Alice

After Alice (429x648)About After Alice

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (October 27, 2015)
Down the rabbit-hole, where adventures await . . .

When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice's disappearance?

In this brilliant new work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings—and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll's enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice's mentioned briefly in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend but arrives a moment too late—and tumbles down the rabbit-hole herself.

Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. The White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the bloodthirsty Queen of Hearts—droll and imperious as always—interrupt their mad tea party to suggest a conundrum: If Eurydice can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or if Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. In any case, everything that happens next isAfter Alice.

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Review: Like most people, I've read Wicked. I actually read Wicked before it headed off to be a huge Broadway musical. I loved it. I never got around to the other books, but for some reason, the After Alice book appealed to me.

Who doesn't love Alice in Wonderland?

Unfortunately for me the book didn't grab me. In fact, I was totally confused for the first few chapters as to what was going on. For a short book, of less than 300 pages, it was a tough read, and that made me sad because I really loved Wicked.

The problem is that where Wicked was a fun read and an interesting take on the Wicked Witch, this wasn't much of a fun anything to do with Alice in Wonderland. Ada wasn't a character that you easily warmed to and when you look at the people in her life her governess and Alice's sister are equally unpleasant.

I really wanted to like this so much more, but when all is said and done, I think it would probably be better if I re-read Lewis Carroll's Alice.

Rating: 3 flowers

gregory maguireAbout Gregory Maguire

Gregory Maguire is the New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister; Lost; Mirror Mirror; and the Wicked Years, a series that includes Wicked, Son of a Witch, A Lion Among Men, and Out of Oz. Now a beloved classic, Wicked is the basis for a blockbuster Tony Award–winning Broadway musical. Maguire has lectured on art, literature, and culture both at home and abroad. He lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts.

Find out more about Gregory at his website and follow him on Facebook.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Book Review: Christmas Undercover

Author: Hope White
Title: Christmas Undercover
Publisher: Love In spired Suspense
Publish Date: Oct 2015
Buy: Eharlequin
Book Blurb: 

FBI agent Sara Vaughn believes a group of pharmaceutical businessmen are engineering drugs with deadly results. Her boss won't approve a sting operation, so she goes rogue—following the suspects on a hike in the Cascade Mountains to record evidence. But when Sara witnesses them murder one of their own, they target her. Saved by a handsome volunteer mountain rescue worker, Sara at first suspects Will Rankin is another bad guy hunting her. But when the widowed father of two risks everything to save her, she knows that Will is all that's standing between her and seeing Christmas morning.

Echo Mountain: Saving lives and finding love in the mountains of Washington State

Review: It has been a long time since I read a romantic suspense novel. This was really great read if you are the type of person that likes more suspense then romance. It is also a faith based novel, so there isn't any graphic sex or anything else of that nature. It's a clean read. Also, don't worry about it being overly religious, it isn't and most of the strength of faith belongs to Will.

That said, that doesn't meant that the book is light reading. It does keep you on the edge of you seat wondering what's going to happen to Sara, especially after she sees too much and the group she was tailing see her. The story isn't as fast as a lot of other novels in this series, but it does have a fantastic heroine that doesn't take any malarkey. Will is fantastic too. He's strong but a very good and capable father, trying to cope with the death of his wife a few years back.

Sara is FBI, but she's gone rogue to catch some unsavory characters. In doing so she drags Will and his daughter down a dangerous road. It is easy to understand why she doesn't trust Will when he first shows up trying to help her.

Will has problems of his own. Getting involved helping her is putting his daughter at risk as well as his in-laws.  Will really takes charge in his own way, when it comes to keeping Sara safe, but not in the way you usually see in these types of books. He's not a He-Man type of guy, but he is the protective kind of guy, and I think I like that better. I also like that Sara doesn't let the man do all the rough stuff.

I really loved this book.

Rating: 5 flowers

Book Spotlight: Christmas Uncover with Movie Star Cast

Author: Hope White
Title: Christmas Undercover
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
Publish Date: Oct 2015
Buy: Eharlequin
Book Blurb: 

FBI agent Sara Vaughn believes a group of pharmaceutical businessmen are engineering drugs with deadly results. Her boss won't approve a sting operation, so she goes rogue—following the suspects on a hike in the Cascade Mountains to record evidence. But when Sara witnesses them murder one of their own, they target her. Saved by a handsome volunteer mountain rescue worker, Sara at first suspects Will Rankin is another bad guy hunting her. But when the widowed father of two risks everything to save her, she knows that Will is all that's standing between her and seeing Christmas morning.

Echo Mountain: Saving lives and finding love in the mountains of Washington State

Stop back later today for my review of this fabulous story!

Here is who Hope sees as her characters!

Movie Star Cast

Leading roles are played by stars of the TV show, Castle:
Nathan Fillion as Will Rankin
Stana Katic as Sara Vaughn

Henry Cavill as Detective (soon to be chief!) Nate Walsh

Taylor Swift as Cassie McBride

David Paetkau as Aiden McBride

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

TLC Book Tours Book Review: Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters

About Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters

Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters cover• Paperback: 332 pages
• Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc (September 30, 2015)

Watch out Southern California! There's a new entertainment attorney in town and she's got game. Only problem is, it’s not the one she should be playing. Corrie Locke belongs behind a desk, not behind a Glock. She should be taking VIP calls, not nosing around a questionable suicide. Instead, she's hot on the trail of a murderer.

Luckily, she's the daughter of a late, great private eye and she's inherited his love of sleuthing…and illegal weaponry. It doesn't help matters that her gene for caution is a recessive one. Corrie finds herself in the center of a murder case, unearthing suspects in shocking places. With a cold-blooded killer on the loose, Corrie will have to up her game, or die trying.


Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters is a delightful twisting maze complete with Hollywood film production, murder and mayhem, sexy and quirky characters and a smart lawyer who is trying to make sense of it all. —Kimberley Troutte, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

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Review: Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters is an absolutely hilarious mystery along the lines of the Stephanie Plum series. The heroine, Corrie Locke is an entertainment lawyer working for a rather unusual production company.

The firm she's working for is totally nuts, with just about every woman sleeping with or wanting to sleep with the executives. Oh and a certain married man, that Corrie was once involved with begins working for the same company.

What she wasn't expecting was getting involved sleuthing for one of her co-workers because a previous employee supposedly committed suicide. Oh and there's a basketball player who has a Siamese that was catnapped and another case involving, erm...alien abuction.

The characters are all super quirky. Corrie's mom locks her closet to keep her out of it. Oh and Veera is the absolute best. She reminds me a bit of a smarter Lula from the Plum series. Then there's her almost boyfriend Michael and his BFF James. There's a potential love triangle here. I have to admit, I'm more team Michael though, because I go for sweet guys over bad boys most of the time.

I really liked how the story came together. The ending made me want to smack myself for not figuring it out, because there was a pretty big hint dropped at the beginning of the book that came back into mind at the end.

This book was a wild ride that fans of series like the Plum novels will definitely enjoy. This is the first book in a new series and it is absolutely fabulous and funny. I can't wait for the next book!!

Rating: 5 flowers

Lida Sideris author photoAbout Lida Sideris

Like her heroine, Corrie Locke, Lida Sideris hails from Southern California and worked as an entertainment attorney for a film studio. She has written numerous magazine and newspaper articles, a poem or two and a teleplay. She shares her home with her family and an assortment of dogs and chickens. She was the recipient of the 2014 Helen McCloy/Mystery Writers of America scholarship for mystery writing. Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters is her first novel.

Find out more about Lida at her website and connect with her on Facebook.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Book Review: Up and In

Author: Deborah Disney
Title: Up and In
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publish Date: December 1, 2014
Buy: Amazon

Distinctly middle-class parents, Maria and Joe have committed every bit of available income to giving their daughters Kate and Sarah the best education possible, which to them means attending the most exclusive girls school in the state. But when Kate befriends the spoilt and moody Mirabella, Maria finds herself thrust into a high society of champagne-swilling mother-istas she hasn't budgeted for. Saturday morning netball is no longer a fun mother-daughter outing, but a minefield of social politics.

While the increasingly neurotic Maria struggles to negotiate the school mum hierarchy, Joe quietly battles a midlife crisis and Kate attempts to grow up as gracefully as possible (without having her life ruined by embarrassing parents).

For every woman who has ever felt she may be wearing the wrong shoes, this is a book that will remind you - you're not alone.

Fans of Liane Moriarty and Fiona Higgins are sure to enjoy this debut offering from new Australian author, Deborah Disney.

Review: It is funny. I'm not a mom, nor did I ever have hopes of being one but I found I loved this book. There's something about this kind of story that makes me think of sitcoms. Fun sitcoms, that they don't make anymore, or a movie. I was trying to figure out how to cast this book the whole time I was reading

I found it amusing that as parents they were trying to be something that they weren't and how they were trying desperately to be liked by the wealthy parents that they were associating with because they were sending their children to the "right" school.

The parents from the right side of town are the Beas, with Bea being the Queen Bea so to speak. Maria's daughter Kate befriends her daughter Mirabella, and that's how everything starts. As the story goes on you see mother and daughter losing themselves trying to be like their friends or rather so called friends. It becomes apparent quickly that not many of the Beas are really friends with Maria and Kate, at times I thought, for the love of god, send her to a different school, get her out of these activities, Circus School? Who has this? What sane mum would pay for this?

I really wanted Maria to stand up to these women, especially when they were being particularly nasty.

This was really a light easy read that is really entertaining and super fun. The ending is perfect though I'm not sure Bea's response to Maria's message was really realistic considering her past behavior.

Rating: 4 flowers

Friday, October 23, 2015

Historical Fiction Virtual Tours Book Review : A Trust Betrayed

Please join Margaret Kerr as she tours the blogosphere for her Margaret Kerr Mystery Series, from October 12-23, with HF Virtual Book Tours, and enter to win one of three (3) Sets of A TRUST BETRAYED and THE FIRE IN THE FLINT in eBook!

A Trust Betrayed (Book One)

03_A Trust Betrayed
“Thirteenth-century Edinburgh comes off the page cold and convincing, from the smoke and noise of the tavern kitchen to Holyrood Abbey under a treacherous abbot. Most enjoyable.” —THE LIST

In the spring of 1297 the English army controls lowland Scotland and Margaret Kerr’s husband Roger Sinclair is missing. He’d headed to Dundee in autumn, writing to Margaret with a promise to be home for Christmas, but it’s past Easter. Is he caught up in the swelling rebellion against the English? Is he even alive? When his cousin, Jack, is murdered on the streets of Edinburgh, Roger’s last known location, Margaret coerces her brother Andrew, a priest, to escort her to the city.

She finds Edinburgh scarred by war—houses burnt, walls stained with blood, shops shuttered—and the townsfolk simmering with resentment, harboring secrets. Even her uncle, innkeeper Murdoch Kerr, meets her questions with silence. Are his secrets the keys to Roger’s disappearance? What terrible sin torments her brother? Is it her husband she glimpses in the rain, scarred, haunted? Desperate, Margaret makes alliances that risk both her own life and that of her brother in her search for answers. She learns that war twists love and loyalties, and that, until tested, we cannot know our own hearts, much less those of our loved ones.


Review: A Trust Betrayed is the first book in the Margaret Kerr series and the first book by Candace Robb that I've read. I love mysteries and I really love historical fiction, so when the two are combined I'm really in my element.

A Trust Betrayed introduces us to Margaret Kerr, who is worried about her husband, Roger, who has been away from home without word for a very long time. His business partner, Jack, has turned up dead, murdered and she wants answers.

Margaret is a young woman and a very strong woman. She's probably stronger than most women of this time period. She sets out with her maid, her brother, who is a priest and heads for Edinburgh,which is not the safest place in Scotland.

Once there she encounters a lot of opposition to her questions. There is also a lot of death and somehow a lot of it ties into the doings of her husband, Roger. Her uncle, Murdoch, is helpful but only to a certain extent.

As this is part of a continuous series, you don't get all the answers you want when the book ends. You do get some and the ones that you don't get are the reason why you want to move on to the next book.

I slowly came to like Margaret as she started showing some spunk and I really wanted her to find Roger.

I really enjoyed this book and can't wait to see what happens next in Margaret Kerr's life.

Rating: 5 flowers

The Fire in the Flint (Book Two)

04_The Fire in the Flint“Intrigue abounds…. Robb’s captivating blend of history and mystery vividly evokes medieval Scotland.” —BOOKLIST

Scots are gathering in Murdoch Kerr’s Edinburgh tavern, plotting to drive out the English forces. Margaret takes her place there as innkeeper, collecting information to pass on to William Wallace—until murder gives the English an excuse to shutter the tavern. The dead man was a witness to the intruders who raided chests belonging to Margaret’s husband and her father, the latest in a string of violent raids on Margaret’s family, but no one knows the identity of the raiders or what they’re searching for.

Margaret’s uncle urges her to escape Edinburgh, but as she flees north with her husband Roger, Margaret grows suspicious about his sudden wish to speak with her mother, Christiana, who is a soothsayer. Margaret once innocently shared with Roger one of Christiana’s visions, of “the true king of Scotland” riding into Edinburgh. Now she begins to wonder if their trip is part of a mission engineered by the English crown...


A Cruel Courtship (Book Three)

05_A Cruel Courtship“This is history as it should be told!” —GOOD BOOK GUIDE

In late summer 1297, Margaret Kerr heads to the town of Stirling at the request of William Wallace’s man James Comyn. Her mission is to discover the fate of a young spy who had infiltrated the English garrison at Stirling Castle, but on the journey Margaret is haunted by dreams—or are they visions?—of danger.

He who holds Stirling Castle holds Scotland—and a bloody battle for the castle is imminent. But as the Scots prepare to cast off the English yoke, Margaret’s flashes of the future allow her to glimpse what is to come—and show her that she can trust no one, not even her closest friends.

A CRUEL COURTSHIP is a harrowing account of the days before the bloody battle of Stirling Bridge, and the story of a young woman’s awakening.


02_Candace Robb ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Growing up, Candace Robb wanted to be a ballerina, tap dancer, folk singer, journalist—but on the day that she walked into Liz Armstrong’s undergraduate class on Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, that all changed. A gifted teacher, lively, witty, always laughing even when cringing at a lazy response, Dr. Armstrong launched into the opening stanzas, and within a few lines Candace’s ears adjusted to the middle English—and she was hooked. Chaucer’s psychological study of the two lovers was a revelation to her. The next quarter was The Canterbury Tales. That clinched it. Candace went on to graduate work in medieval history and literature, and ever since she’s been engaged in bringing to life the rich culture of the period, from the arts to the politics. She is the internationally acclaimed author of thirteen crime novels featuring the sexy, brooding, clever Owen Archer, who solves crimes for John Thoresby, Archbishop of York and Lord Chancellor of England, and the young Margaret Kerr, searching for her missing husband and her role in a Scotland overrun by English soldiers. Candace is currently under contract with Pegasus Books for a new crime series set in 15th century York, the Kate Clifford mysteries, which will debut in 2016.

Writing as Emma Campion, Candace has published two historical novels about the women of the English court in the 14th century, A Triple Knot and The King’s Mistress.

Born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Candace grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and has lived most of her adult life in Seattle, Washington, which she loves for its combination of culture, natural beauty, and brooding weather so like Yorkshire, Wales, and Scotland, which she visits as often as possible. She has taught the art of writing the crime novel in the University of Washington’s certificate program, and offers workshops in writing the historical novel and in creating and plotting the crime series. Candace (and Emma) blog about writing and medieval topics at A Writer’s Retreat,



Monday, October 12
Interview at The Writing Desk

Tuesday, October 13
Review at Worth Getting In Bed For (A Trust Betrayed)
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Wednesday, October 14
Review at Book Nerd (A Cruel Courtship)
Spotlight at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Thursday, October 15
Review at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf (A Trust Betrayed)
Spotlight at Buried Under Books

Friday, October 16
Review at Worth Getting in Bed For (The Fire in the Flint)

Monday, October 19
Review at A Book Geek (A Trust Betrayed)
Character Interview at Boom Baby Reviews
Review & Interview at Singing Librarian Books (A Trust Betrayed)

Tuesday, October 20
Review at Singing Librarian Books (The Fire in the Flint)
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch

Wednesday, October 21
Review at Singing Librarian Books (A Cruel Courtship)
Spotlight at CelticLady's Reviews

Thursday, October 22
Review at Worth Getting in Bed For (The Fire in the Flint)
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection

Friday, October 23
Review at A Chick Who Reads (A Trust Betrayed)
Review at History From a Woman's Perspective (A Trust Betrayed)
Spotlight at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf


To win one of three (3) Sets of A TRUST BETRAYED and THE FIRE IN THE FLINT in eBook, enter using the Rafflecopter Widget below.


– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on October 23rd. 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.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Book Review: A Lady Never Lies

Author: Stephanie Burkhart
Title: A Lady Never Lies
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Publish Date: June 11, 2014


GENRE: Steampunk Romance



Jocelyn Dunkirk is not your typical Victorian lady. She dresses in leather, wears goggles, and is not afraid to get a little grease under her fingernails. Gentlemen avoid her like a dirty rivet.

Richard Windsor, the Prince of Wales, travels through time to claim Jocelyn's heart, but if it isn't one challenge, it's another. He determines to be a constant, steady presence in her life, hoping to prove he'd make a worthy husband.

Jocelyn's facing a bucket full of problems. The prime minister wants her to assist in ending a coal strike before it cripples the nation while her father attempts to recover from a serious injury. Will Jocelyn's dedication to her country and family ruin the one chance she has at love?

Review:  This is a fabulous steampunk series. A Lady Never Lies is book 3 in the Windsor Diaries series. I don't often stray much from contemporary novels, but when it comes to Stephanie Burkhart's series, I am always on board. If you've never tried this genre, her books are a wonderful place to start.

I recommend reading Victorian Scoundrel and A Gentleman and A Rogue before tackling this one, even though this can be read as a stand alone novel, especially if you are a fan of continuity. If that kind of thing doesn't bother you, by all means go ahead and read this one, you'll enjoy it either way.

In this book the usual cast of characters are present from the other books, but the main focus is on Jocelyn Dunkirk (from the past) and Richard, the Prince Of Wales (from the present).  An accident at the beginning of the book shapes the actions here, and results in a terrible injury for a focal character.

Jocelyn is a woman ahead of her time. She's definitely out of place in Victorian times, and it is her close relationship with her father that keeps her from jumping through time to be with Richard Windsor, the Prince of Wales.

It is a ring that Richard gave her that caused the accident at the beginning of the book that sets the ball rolling.

More time travel causes more problems in the future, especially when one of the time travelers tries to change history which will leave readers anxious for the next book to see what is going to happen next.

These books are short but the pacing is fast and never slows down. Once you are involved in the story it is hard to put it down.

Rating: 5 flowers

Friday, October 16, 2015

TLC Book Tours Book Review: All the Stars in the Heavens

All the Stars in the Heavens (397x600)About All the Stars in the Heavens

Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Harper (October 13, 2015)

Adriana Trigiani, the New York Times bestselling author of the blockbuster epic The Shoemaker's Wife, returns with her biggest and boldest novel yet, a hypnotic tale based on a true story and filled with her signature elements: family ties, artistry, romance, and adventure. Born in the golden age of Hollywood, All the Stars in the Heavens captures the luster, drama, power, and secrets that could only thrive in the studio system—viewed through the lives of an unforgettable cast of players creating magic on the screen and behind the scenes.

In this spectacular saga as radiant, thrilling, and beguiling as Hollywood itself, Adriana Trigiani takes us back to Tinsel Town's golden age—an era as brutal as it was resplendent—and into the complex and glamorous world of a young actress hungry for fame and success. With meticulous, beautiful detail, Trigiani paints a rich, historical landscape of 1930s Los Angeles, where European and American artisans flocked to pursue the ultimate dream: to tell stories on the silver screen.

The movie business is booming in 1935 when twenty-one-year-old Loretta Young meets thirty-four-year-old Clark Gable on the set of The Call of the Wild. Though he's already married, Gable falls for the stunning and vivacious young actress instantly.

Far from the glittering lights of Hollywood, Sister Alda Ducci has been forced to leave her convent and begin a new journey that leads her to Loretta. Becoming Miss Young's secretary, the innocent and pious young Alda must navigate the wild terrain of Hollywood with fierce determination and a moral code that derives from her Italian roots. Over the course of decades, she and Loretta encounter scandal and adventure, choose love and passion, and forge an enduring bond of love and loyalty that will be put to the test when they eventually face the greatest obstacle of their lives.

Anchored by Trigiani's masterful storytelling that takes you on a worldwide ride of adventure from Hollywood to the shores of southern Italy, this mesmerizing epic is, at its heart, a luminous tale of the most cherished ties that bind. Brimming with larger-than-life characters both real and fictional—including stars Spencer Tracy, Myrna Loy, David Niven, Hattie McDaniel and more—it is it is the unforgettable story of one of cinema's greatest love affairs during the golden age of American movie making.
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Review: I absolutely love Adriana Trigiani. I try to grab a copy of any of her books that I possibly can. All The Stars In The Heavens is a little different from her other books.

This one is full of names that you know Loretta Young and Clark Gable whose relationship is where the main plot of this story revolves.

I wish I could say that I loved this book as much as I did The Shoemaker's Wife or The Supreme Macaroni Company. This one dragged a bit, ok maybe more than a bit. I think that even though the book was well researched, Ms Trigiani was a bit out of her comfort zone here.

There's also the problem of Loretta and Clark's relationship involving a date rape. Its hard to believe how much of their relationship was really a "romance" with that little nugget sitting in the back of your mind. I think that's what kept me from really falling in love with this book. (It didn't help matters that I always google historical people that I'm reading about)

It still can't be denied that Trigiani's writing is beautiful and compelling.

Rating: 3 flowers

Adriana Trigiani About Adriana Trigiani

Adriana Trigiani is an award-winning playwright, television writer, and documentary filmmaker. Her books include the New York Timesbestseller The Shoemaker's Wife; the Big Stone Gap series; Very Valentine; Brava, Valentine; Lucia, Lucia; and the bestselling memoir Don't Sing at the Table, as well as the young adult novels Viola in Reel Life and Viola in the Spotlight. She wrote the screenplay for Big Stone Gap, which she also directed. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.

Visit Adriana at her website:, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Book Review: Chef Maurice & The Bunny Broiler Bake Off

Author: J.A. Lang
Title: Chef Maurie & the Bunny Boiler Bake Off
Publisher: Purple Panda Press
Publish Date: Oct 12, 2015
Buy: Amazon
Book Blurb: 
Spring has sprung, the bunting is up, and for the residents of the little Cotswold village of Beakley, this can only mean one thing: it’s time for the Beakley Spring Fayre.

Drawing the crowds this year is stiletto-strutting celebrity chef Miranda Matthews, a woman for whom making enemies is a piece of (shop-bought) cake. And one of them is lurking around the Fayre, ready to make sure Miranda hangs up her apron—for good.

Faced with a murderer with a possible penchant for top(ping) chefs, Chef Maurice must sift through the clues and weigh up the suspects—not to mention contending with a sous-chef with mummy issues, a food critic on a diet, and a bulletproof pudding—as he finds himself on the trail of a killer who’s not cooking by the rules...

Review: I love this series! The Bunny Boiler Bake Off is the third installment in the Chef Maurice series. These books are really so much fun and they get better and better.

Patrick and Lucy's relationship is progressing, and if you read the last book, you know they were having some issues. Chef Maurice has again found himself in the middle of a murder investigation when another celebrity chef is found dead.

The victim, Chef Miranda seemed to have a lot of enemies, so finding her killer is not an easy task, even for Chef Maurice. Just when things start pointing to one person, then something happens to send you on a different direction.

Miranda is just not a nice person, she's got an ex, a former co-worker and a few other people that just might want to end her existence.

I always love how well Ms Lang keeps you from figuring out all the particulars of the mystery until the very end, and this installment is no different.

I loved this book and this series.

My only gripe, is there's not enough with Hamilton. There can never be enough Hamilton. There is an awesome scene about the Hog Roast at the Fayre which will bring about quite a few giggles.

Highly recommended!

Rating: 5 flowers

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Book Review: Starry Knight

Author: Nina Mason
Title: Starry Knight
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publish Date: Aug 4, 2015
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: 
Can these star-crossed lovers bridge two worlds?

British aristocrat Vanessa Bentley has beauty, fame, and fortune, but she gets no respect for her decision to become a paranormal investigator. Determined to prove the naysayers wrong, Vanessa ventures to the misty moors of Caithness, Scotland. There stands the immense Castle Barrogill, where a vampire is rumored to be stalking the dungeons—a vampire Vanessa is determined to find. She'll just have to get past the resident shape-shifter…

Callum Lyon is the gorgeous reclusive astrologer and faery knight who guards the castle. For free-spirited Vanessa, seducing him proves to be easy. After all, he was once a breeding drone to a Queen. But astrologically, their differences are harder to overcome. Will Vanessa's mission—and Callum's secrets—be more than their burgeoning love can take? Or will flesh—and blood—win over the ghosts that haunt them both? …

Review: I was looking for a paranormal romance because it had been a long time since I ventured into this genre. I wish I could say I was a little more excited by it. Also, it offended the Doctor Who fan in me. The show has been around for over 50 years. If you are going to reference it in a book, do so properly and not as Dr. Who. The show is called Doctor Who. Now that the Whovian in me has had my say, let me get on to my feelings for the book.

It was ok. There's a lot of sex going on here, and I can say that Nina Mason knows how to write a hot sex scene. You'll be heading for a shower when you finish this one, a cold one, because those parts of the book are so hot.

It is a shame I had a hard time liking both of the main characters. I understand trying to sound like the era and the area that the character comes from but if Callum said "Oh aye!" I think I might hurl my kindle against the wall.

Vanessa on the other hand was too much of the strong woman. She didn't believe in love or want to marry. Gee you can't be involved and still be a strong independent woman? Bah.

The rest of the plot seemed a bit too much like all other vampire novels, and that disappointed me, because the synopsis made everything look so exciting. I thought there would be something exciting going on with Vanessa's career as a paranormal investigator, but  that didn't really happen, or at least it didn't for me.

The events at the end actually were the best part, because it seemed to set up what was coming in the next novels, and this book would have been more enjoyable if there were more action than sexual action.

I think some people will love this book, but for me it just didn't work.

Rating: 3 flowers

Monday, October 12, 2015

TLC Book Tours Book Review: The Determined Heart

Author: Antoinette May
Title: The Determined Heart
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publish Date: Sept 29, 2015
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: TLC Book Tours
Book Blurb: 
The Determined Heart reveals the life of Mary Shelley in a story of love and obsession, betrayal and redemption.

The daughter of political philosopher William Godwin and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Shelley had an unconventional childhood populated with the most talented and eccentric personalities of the time. After losing her mother at an early age, she finds herself in constant conflict with a resentful stepmother and a jealous stepsister. When she meets the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, she falls deeply in love, and they elope with disastrous consequences. Soon she finds herself destitute and embroiled in a torturous love triangle as Percy takes Mary’s stepsister as a lover. Over the next several years, Mary struggles to write while she and Percy face ostracism, constant debt, and the heartbreaking deaths of three children. Ultimately, she achieves great acclaim for Frankenstein, but at what cost?

Review: When I started reading this book I wasn't sure that I was going to like it, but I got into the story of Mary Shelley quickly and I couldn't put it down.

Mary had quite a unique life, complete with unconventional parents, then a wicked stepmother and jealous step sister that manages to integrate herself into Mary's relationship with Bysshe.

One thing I never quite understood was why they said that Mary and Bysshe eloped, but that was when she leaves to go on the continent. Bysshe was still married to Harriet.

The beliefs that Bysshe and the Godwins held are totally freaky. It is hard figure out how people that are really supposed to be terribly smart can do such stupid things. Like Clara/Claire and Lord Byron. That relationship, along with the friendship between Byron and the Shelley's made me interested in his story, because he really was a strange figure in history. If Byron were around now he'd be a slightly smarter Kardashian.

I really felt for Mary when Fanny took her life. It seemed like her eyes finally opened, and how she seemed to let her half sister, the one she actually liked, fade into the background.

All the relationships were so unusual, which is what made this story so engaging. As the book progresses, you find out that only Bysshe is the only one that really held onto those beliefs. Mary wants to, but it seems she wants a real relationship more.

It really made you feel sorry for Mary most of the time. She followed her heart, but at a great cost, but then again, if she hadn't, she probably wouldn't have become the woman that she was, and that would be a shame.

Loved this book!

Rating: 5 flowers

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