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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Little Monsters by Kara Thomas

Author: Kara Thomas
Publisher: Delacourte
Date of publication: July 2017

Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls. When she moved in with her father, she stepped into a brand-new life. A life with a stepbrother, a stepmother, and strangest of all, an adoring younger half sister.

Kacey’s new life is eerily charming compared with the wild highs and lows of the old one she lived with her volatile mother. And everyone is so nice in Broken Falls—she’s even been welcomed into a tight new circle of friends. Bailey and Jade invite her to do everything with them.

Which is why it’s so odd when they start acting distant. And when they don’t invite her to the biggest party of the year, it doesn’t exactly feel like an accident.

But Kacey will never be able to ask, because Bailey never makes it home from that party. Suddenly, Broken Falls doesn’t seem so welcoming after all—especially once everyone starts looking to the new girl for answers.

Kacey is about to learn some very important lessons: Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes when you’re the new girl, you shouldn’t trust anyone.
 


I loved Darkest Corners, so I was excited to read Little Monsters.  While I didn't love it as much, it was still a fairly good mystery.  The story is told through Kacey's point of view.  She has recently come to live with her father and his family.  They are essentially strangers.  Trying to fit in, she makes friends with Bailey and Jade.  All seems to be going well until Bailey leaves a party and is never seen alive again.   As I said, I thought this was a fairly good mystery.  The ending was a bit surprising.  One thing that helped make the book more intriguing was the little snippets from Bailey's diary.  It helped me get a better insight into the missing girl.   

The story, while fairly short, did drag in places. I also thought the main characters made some incredibly stupid mistakes.  Why do people insist on speaking to the police repeatedly without a lawyer?  Has no one watched a cop show?  Also, why don't people tell the truth up front?  There were a few truths that were held back from the police dragging out the investigation.  That just got a little frustrating as it made the book drag out longer than it needed to be.  That said, I would recommend this one.  It's a fairly mild YA murder mystery.  I look forward to Ms. Thomas's next book.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Blog Tour: Lilac lane by Sherryl Woods

Author: Sherryl Woods
Publisher: Harlequin (Mira)
Date of publication: October 17, 2017

No one writes about friends, family and home better than Sherryl Woods. Told with warmth and humor, Lilac Lane is a brand-new story in her beloved Chesapeake Shores series, one readers all over the world have waited two years to read!

At the heart of Lilac Lane is Keira Malone, who raised her three children alone after her first marriage broke apart, and who, after years of guarding her heart, finally finds love again. But that love is short-lived when her fiancé suffers a fatal heart attack. Grieving and unsure of what’s next, Keira agrees to move from Dublin to Chesapeake Shores, Maryland, to spend time with her daughter, Moira, and her new granddaughter, Kate, as well as to help her son-in-law, Luke, with his Irish pub, O’Briens.
Not wanting to live underfoot, she rents a charming cottage on Lilac Lane, replete with views of the ocean and her neighbor’s thriving garden—not to mention views of the neighbor himself. The neighbor is none other than Bryan Laramie, the brusque and moody chef at the pub, with whom Keira is constantly butting heads. But things get real when Bryan’s long-lost daughter, whom he hasn’t seen since she was a baby, shows up out of the blue. As Bryan and Keira each delve into their pasts, reopening wounds, the rest of the town is gearing up for the Fall Festival Irish Stew cook-off, and making no bones about whose side they’re on. It’s Kitchen Wars meets This is Your Life—a recipe for disaster…or a new take on love?

You won’t want to miss this epic return to Chesapeake Shores, a place we’re betting you’ll want to stay forever.

Lilac Lane is the first book in this series that I have read.  While I think it can ultimately be read as a stand alone, a new reader would benefit from reading at least Moira and Luke's story before this one.  It think it might give more context for Keira's situation. 

I was looking forward to a good romance, but in the end it was just OK for me.  The book kind of dragged and I just wasn't invested in Keira and Bryan's relationship.  For me, it just lacked heat.  What I did find enjoyable were the secondary characters that rounded out the story.  I enjoyed watching them help Keira find a place to belong in Chesapeake Shores.  I think fans of the series will enjoy this addition. 


Purchase Links

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About Sherryl Woods


With her roots firmly planted in the South, Sherryl Woods has written many of her more than 100 books in that distinctive setting, whether in her home state of Virginia, her adopted state, Florida, or her much-adored South Carolina. Sherryl is best known for her ability to creating endearing small town communities and families. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 75 romances for Silhouette Desire and Special Edition.

Connect with Sherryl

Review tour for LILAC LANE:
Monday, October 16th: From the Library of Mrs. Gardner blog and Instagram
Monday, October 16th: The Sassy Bookster – spotlight
Tuesday, October 17th: The Sketchy Reader
Tuesday, October 17th: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, October 18th: Stranded in Chaos
Thursday, October 19th: Reading Reality
Thursday, October 19th: Readaholic Zone
Friday, October 20th: Black ‘n Gold Girl’s Book Spot
Monday, October 23rd: Katy’s Library blog and Instagram
Tuesday, October 24th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, October 24th: What is That Book About – spotlight
Wednesday, October 25th: Books and Bindings
Thursday, October 26th: Bookchickdi
Friday, October 27th: View from the Birdhouse
Friday, October 27th: Book Reviews and More by Kathy – spotlight
Monday, October 30th: A Holland Reads
Monday, October 30th: A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, November 1st: Novel Gossip
Thursday, November 2nd: Suzy Approved
Saturday, November 4th: Girl Who Reads
Monday, November 6th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Tuesday, November 7th: Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, November 8th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Thursday, November 9th: LiteraryJo Reviews blog and Instagram
Friday, November 10th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Monday, November 13th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Tuesday, November 14th: The Romance Dish
Tuesday, November 14th: Blogging with A


Monday, October 16, 2017

Spotlight Tour: Excerpt of Christmas in a Cowboy's Arms Anthology

Author: Leigh Greenwood with Rosanne Bittner, Linda Broday, Margaret Brownley, Anna Schmidt, and Amy Sandas
Pub Date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

The Beating Heart of Christmas

Whether it’s a lonely spinster finding passion at last…an infamous outlaw-turned-lawman reaffirming the love that keeps him whole…a lost and broken drifter discovering family in unlikely places…a Texas Ranger risking it all for one remarkable woman…two lovers bringing together a family ripped apart by prejudice…or reunited lovers given a second chance to correct past mistakes…a Christmas spent in a cowboy’s arms is full of hope, laughter, and—most of all—love.

The six authors participating in this anthology are: USA Today bestseller Leigh Greenwood, USA Today bestseller Rosanne Bittner, New York Times bestseller Linda Broday, RITA finalist Anna Schmidt, New York Times bestseller Margaret Brownley, and USA Today bestseller Amy Sandas.



Enjoy these excerpts:


From “Father Christmas” by Leigh Greenwood
           
“If you’re going to shoot me, get on your feet first.  I’d hate to have it known I was killed by a woman so weak she couldn’t stand up.”

“I can stand up,” Mary insisted.  To prove her point, she threw back the covers and started to get to her feet.  Immediately she felt faint.

Joe caught her before she fell.
           
“I never met such a foolish woman in my life.  Stay in that bed, or I’ll tie you down.  You can shoot me when you feel better.  Meantime, you’d better give me this.”  He took the pistol from her slackened grasp.  “Next thing you know, you’ll drop it and put a hole through the chicken pot.  I’m not chasing down another rooster.”

Mary started to laugh.  The whole situation was too absurd.  Nothing like this happened to ordinary people.  She was ordinary, so it shouldn’t be happening to her.

She certainly shouldn’t be experiencing this odd feeling.  It almost felt as if she wanted to cry.  But she didn’t feel sad.  She felt bemused and bewildered.  Her brain was numb.  Here she was, completely helpless, and she had tried to shoot the only human who had come along to help her.

She must be losing her mind.    

From “A Chick-a-Dee Christmas” by Rosanne Bittner

“Sadie Mae!”  Jake screamed her name as he made it around the other side of the small hill.  He couldn’t see or hear her.  All he saw was Tommy curled up on his knees against one of the boulders, a cougar clawing at his shoulder. 

Jesus, where is Sadie Mae!  Jake had to kill the cougar, but the bullet could go right through into Tommy or even into Sadie Mae.  He could kill both of them!

“Grampa!  Grampa!” he heard someone screaming behind him. 

The boys must be watching.  “Don’t shoot!” Jake ordered them. 

It all happened in a matter of perhaps three seconds.  Jake knew he had no choice.  He cocked and raised his 30-30 Winchester.  A six-gun might not do the job … but the risk!  The risk!  The big cat was moving violently over Tommy.  Sadie Mae must be under him!  One of the other kids could be next!  He aimed … and prayed … and fired … cocked the rifle again … fired again.


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Connect with the authors online

Leigh Greenwood

Rosanne Bittner
Twitter: @RosanneBittner

Linda Broday
Twitter: @LBroday

Margaret Brownley
Twitter: @margaretbrownly

Anna Schmidt

Amy Sandas


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Spotlight: Excerpt of Surrendering the Past by Pamela Lynne



In a world of honor and obligation, falling in love can be a dangerous game. Captain Richard Granville has returned to London after serving the Crown in perilous missions fighting Napoleon’s army. Bone weary and distrustful of all around him, the captivating Jane Dawson awakens his long dormant desire for more than a solitary existence. When he learns she is betrothed to his father, the conniving and dangerous Earl of Litchfield, shadows of the past descend upon Richard, bringing along memories of a tortuous childhood and his failure to protect the person he had loved most.

Jane Dawson would pay any price to renew her family’s happiness, but is the cost of marrying Lord Litchfield too high? A woman of virtue and honor, she cannot break a promise once given, especially when doing so would ruin those she seeks to protect. But can she ignore the connection she feels to the wild soldier who understands both her duty and her heart?

Follow the men of the Granville family in this suspenseful Regency romance series as they discover that their family legacy is much darker than they realized, and that the future holds treasures they can only grasp by surrendering the past.



“Ah, my son and my nephew. You have finally joined us.” The earl’s voice held a sickening sweetness that made Richard want to run. It was the voice Litchfield always gave when he was up to something vile—the performance before the mask was removed to reveal the evil underneath. Richard began to question his belief that the purpose of the evening was simply to celebrate Wesley’s betrothal, but rather something far more sinister.

Neither man responded but stood as the earl’s icy gaze trailed over his son. “It is good of you to make an appearance, Richard. I did not know if you were alive or dead these last two years.”

Richard’s outward appearance did not change as his father spoke. He retained the cold, emotionless expression he held when he walked through the door. Inside, he was reminding himself that he was no longer a child, and that voice need not send a bolt of fear straight through him. “You seemed to know enough to find me last week.”

“Yes, well, London is my town, is it not? I have many acquaintances here who like to fill me in on all the goings on. I am not fortunate enough to have friends in France or wherever it was you were all this time.” He paused once more to search Richard’s expression. Knowing full well what he was doing, Richard kept his gaze hard and unyielding. “Well, it is of no matter now. Your brother will be happy to see you.”

As the earl’s attention turned to Julian, Richard’s eyes once again wandered to his brother. Wesley seemed to stand straighter than the last time he saw him. As the eldest and heir to the considerable Litchfield estate, Wesley, Viscount Ashly, certainly had reason to be proud. However, it was not pride Richard read in his eyes as Wesley stared into his own, but curiosity mixed with something Richard could not name.

He father’s voice resonated beside him, but Richard barely heard him as the women in Wesley’s company came into focus. He recognized Rachel by the way she smiled sweetly in his direction. The years had been good to her. He remembered her as a slightly mousey, and mouthy, young lady, but the woman standing there was beautiful. He assumed the lack of a husband had kept her young and strong.

He nodded to her and turned his eyes to a smaller woman with many of the same features standing between Rachel and Wesley. She had a grip on his brother’s arm that left no doubt who she was. Kathleen. My future sister. The possessiveness in her expression hardened her otherwise lovely features, and Richard wondered at the cause of the protective stance. A slight look to the left of Wesley gave him his answer.

Captain Richard Granville was not often in the company of women. He had no sisters or any living female relations. He had often thought this was because the Granville men were so large and consuming that there was no room for delicacy, and the women just could not survive among them. There were, of course, the whores who followed the encampments along the battlefields and the occasional female spy who could never be trusted. But having so little experience with ladies in polite society, he was at first surprised and then gratified as a blush crept up this woman’s features as he held her eyes in his own. He heard the cackling laugh once more and watched as her blush intensified and turned into one of shame. She turned away, and Richard immediately missed having her eyes upon him. What was this angel doing in the den of the devil?




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Pamela Lynne grew up in the American South, surrounded by Southern Gothic works by Faulkner, O'Connor and the like. These authors helped shape her evolving mind and continue to influence everything she produces as an adult. It was a Regency-era wit from across the Atlantic, however, who lit a life-long interest in 19th Century England.

Pamela cites Jane Austen as her primary literary influence and she delves into the darker aspects of Regency life in all her novels, most particularly in the upcoming Granville Legacy Series, where she explores the bonds of family and what it costs to break them.

Dearest Friends: A Jane Austen Inspired Novel, Pamela’s debut work, won the Independent Publishers 2016 IPPY Awards Bronze Medal for Romance.

Pamela currently lives in the rolling hills of Tennessee with her husband of more than a decade, three kids, two cats and one very blond dog. She is still a Marianne hoping to grow into Elinor, or Clairee from Steel Magnolias.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Blog Tour: Spotlight of Ultimate Sacrifice by S.E. Green


Author: S.E. Green
Genre: YA Horror
Publisher: Oftomes Publishing
Date of publication: October 2017

Vickie has always lived a quiet, ordinary life in an equally quiet and ordinary small town. Yet one fateful night a child turns up dead in the woods behind her house in a ritualistic slaughter. Vickie and her family are suddenly thrown into a national spotlight. But as the investigation unfolds, she begins to realize her family isn’t so ordinary after all. Evil is inching closer to those she holds dear and Vickie isn’t sure who she can ultimately trust.


Grab Your Copy Now!

Check out the Trailer:


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About S.E. Green:


Shannon Greenland, or S. E. Green, is the award winning author of the teen thriller, Killer Instinct, a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers; the spy series, The Specialists, an ALA Popular Paperback and a National Reader’s Choice recipient; the teen romance, The Summer My Life Began, winner of the Beverly Hills Book Award; and the romance, Shadow of a Girl. Her books have been translated into several languages and are currently on numerous state reading lists. Ultimate Sacrifice is her debut horror and is due out October 2017.
Shannon has participated in and served as a guest speaker at festivals and conferences around the country to include but not limited to the LA Times Book Festival, American Library Association, Book Expo of America, Bouchercon, Romance Writers of America, RT Book Convention, Young Adult Keller Book Festival, Southern Festival of Books, and many more.
Shannon grew up in Tennessee where she dreaded all things reading and writing. She didn’t even read her first book for enjoyment until she was twenty-five. After that she was hooked! When she’s not writing, she works as an adjunct math professor and lives on the coast in Florida with her very grouchy dog. Find her online everywhere @segreenauthor.
Connect with S.E. Green!


Friday, October 13, 2017

When I am Through with You by Stephanie Kuehn

Author:  Stephanie Kuehn
Publisher: Dutton books for Young Readers
Date of publication: August 2017

“This isn’t meant to be a confession. Not in any spiritual sense of the word. Yes, I’m in jail at the moment. I imagine I’ll be here for a long time, considering. But I’m not writing this down for absolution and I’m not seeking forgiveness, not even from myself. Because I’m not sorry for what I did to Rose. I’m just not. Not for any of it.”

Ben Gibson is many things, but he’s not sorry and he’s not a liar. He will tell you exactly how what started as a simple school camping trip in the mountains ended the way it did. About who lived and who died. About who killed and who had the best of intentions. And he’ll tell you about Rose. But he’s going to tell you in his own time. Because after what happened on that mountain, time is the one thing he has plenty of.


I had to think about this book for a few days before I wrote my review.  After mulling it over, I have to say that I really didn't like it.  This may get a bit spoilery, so if you want to read it, you may want to skip the review.  

The book starts out with Ben admitting that he did kill his girlfriend, but we have to go through the whole story to find out why.  I was curious, so I stuck with it.  I'm sorry I did.  The ending was terrible and the way and reason he did it was terrible and I just didn't buy into it.  You must really suspend belief when reading the book.  First, what teacher takes a group of kids into the Sierras in October without making them take cold weather gear?  Really.  The guy admits he hiked Denali and lets them pack and dress like it's summer.  He also didn't bring a satellite phone with him or check the weather forecast.  He is traveling with teenagers and he ignores the basic of precautions before traveling.  Ben, who supposedly studied and prepped for this hike also neglects to do any of this.  The kids also make bad decisions after bad decision.  I just didn't buy it.

The book is being marketed as a YA.  I would keep it to the over 16 crowd.  It's a bit more adult than I would want my 12-15 YO to read.  In the end, I really wouldn't recommend this book anyway.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Deep Storm by Lincoln Child


Author: Lincoln Child
First published in 2007 by 

Former naval doctor Peter Crane is urgently summoned to a remote oil platform in the North Atlantic to help diagnose a bizarre medical condition spreading through the rig. But when he arrives, Crane learns that the real trouble lies far below—on “Deep Storm,” a stunningly advanced science research facility built two miles beneath the surface on the ocean floor. The top secret structure has been designed for one purpose: to excavate a recently discovered undersea site that may hold the answers to a mystery steeped in centuries of myth and speculation.

Sworn to secrecy, Dr. Crane descends to Deep Storm. A year earlier, he is told, routine drilling uncovered the remains of mankind’s most sophisticated ancient civilization: the legendary Atlantis. But now that the site is being excavated, a series of disturbing illnesses has begun to affect the operation. Scientists and technicians are experiencing a bizarre array of symptoms—from simple fatigue to violent psychotic episodes. As Crane is indoctrinated into the strange world of Deep Storm and commences his investigation, he begins to suspect that the covert facility conceals something more complicated than a medical mystery.The discovery of Atlantis might, in fact, be a cover for something far more sinister . . . and deadly.


Deep Storm is the first book in the  Jeremy Logan series.  I'm not sure why this would be labeled as part of that series since the guy shows up in like 5 pages.  I read that the author decided to make him more of a protagonist in later books, so by the third book in this set, he is "on screen" a lot more.  

As a thriller, this one was a bit bland, but as a cheesy sci-fi story it was kind of fun.  You have to suspend a lot of belief to buy into this story.  However, there wasn't too much originality.  If you've read Sphere or seen movies like Leviathan you have read this book.  You know what I mean...a big corporation or the government finds something and wants to acquire and exploit it, despite all of the warning signs.  There were a couple of surprises, but nothing that made the book really stand out.  The story gets bogged down in the science at times.  I found it easier to try no to make sense of what was trying to be explained.  I am not a mathematician at all. 

If you missed his early one, it's not a bad read.  It's just not that great either.  I'll probably give some of the others in the series a try at some point to see if they improve.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Reveal Tour: Excerpt of Cowboy Up by Harper Sloan

We are super excited to be a part of the excerpt reveal tour for Cowboy Up by Harper Sloan.  It comes out in December.  Enjoy this sneak peek and keep your eyes out for a review coming in December!

Author: Harper Sloan
Publisher: Pocket Books
Date of publication: December 19, 2017

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Harper Sloan returns with a passionate and breathless romance about the sparks that ignite when a cautious cowboy and a once-scorned woman open up to each other in the third installment of the Coming Home series.

As the eldest Davis, Clayton has always tried to lead by example. He takes his job as head of the family businesses seriously, making sure the farm and auto shop are running smoothly—along with keeping an eye on his brother and sister. For him, there’s a time and place to let go of the control he holds with an iron grip. And with the way he grew up, coupled with a disastrous end to his last relationship, he’s just fine with his quiet, solitary life.

Most of the time.

What he hadn't counted on was the cute, quirky, shy bookstore owner, Caroline Michaels. She's the proverbial woman next door—well, the next town over, that is. Caroline hasn't lived an easy life, but after escaping a verbally abusive ex, she's finally living it for herself. The last thing she ever expected was a one-night stand with Clay Davis she can’t stop thinking about.

So when she falls on hard times and Clay comes out of nowhere to her rescue, she realizes just how impossible it’ll be to stay away from him. Now all she has to do is convince him to live a little…. Will Clay be able to give up the reins and finally settle down? And, more importantly, will Caroline muster enough courage to lasso him up?


EXCERPT

I push my hands from his shoulders and palm his jaw as his stubble prickles against my fingers while my hands wander up to his hair. His hat falls to the ground with a thud and I know he’s just as lost in me as I am in him, because he doesn’t even make a move to pick it up. He lets out a deep grunt when I mold myself against his body, seeking some sort of friction. The next thing I know, my back is against the door and he’s gripping my bottom. His mouth hits my jaw with a bite of his teeth, making a squeak of pleasure shoot up my throat, and his deep rumble of laughter reaches my ears as he presses me harder into the door with his hips. The heavy bulge of his erection against that spot makes me so desperate for him that I whimper in relief when his mouth finally closes over mine in a wet tangle of tongues.
 I’ve never been kissed so thoroughly.
 This is the kind of kiss that sets the bar for any that might follow.
The kind that shows you everything you’ve been missing and everything you never knew you wanted. I’m going to be comparing every kiss I ever have to my dark cowboy’s, even though I know there’s a good chance no one will ever compare. The sounds coming from my mouth, the ones being swallowed by his, are nothing short of needy. My hips move in tandem with the thrusts of his, and even though we’re both fully clothed, I know it won’t take much more of this for me to go off like the town’s fireworks on the Fourth of July.
“Fuck, you taste just like apple pie,” he whispers against my lips, breaking away with a gasp.
“Huh?”
“Goddamn, I love apple pie,” he says before his mouth is back on mine, this time with a whole new kind of hunger deepening his kisses.
I’m held captive, enraptured. Then his hands move from my bottom to glide up my torso. He lifts his hard chest off mine and suddenly those delicious fingers are at my breasts. Even if I had big boobs his hands would dwarf them, I’m sure, but as it is he covers both with a firm grasp before adjusting his hold with a deft twist of the wrists. His mouth continues to feast on mine while his huge hands learn my body with slow movements. I tear my mouth from his with a breathy moan when he pushes my shirt up and slips his fingers into the cups of my bra to tweak my nipples.
“Oh, God,” I moan when he does it again.
“I can’t get enough of you,” he rumbles.
“Please,” I beg, not with the slightest clue as to what I’m begging for.
His hips dig even harder into mine as he leans back, supporting me against the door with that connection alone as he pulls my shirt off. The darkness makes me feel more confident than I normally would be, almost half naked with a man—no, a stranger.
“Yours too,” I tell him as his fingers move to unclasp my bra. “I want to feel your skin on mine,” I breathe, taking over the task so he’ll hopefully give me what I want.
I fumble in my haste to feel more of this dangerous arousal he’s creating in my body, but the second my bra is free and dangling toward the floor, his naked chest collides against mine, pushing me into the door with a force that sends the air rushing out of my lungs.
His mouth hits my collarbone at the same time his hands grasp my bottom, sliding me up the door until I feel the wet heat of his breath against my breast.

Then he stops.

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About the author: 


Harper is a NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL and USA TODAY bestselling author residing in Georgia with her husband and three daughters. She has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books, hibachi, tattoos and Game of Thrones. When she isn't writing you can almost always find her with a book in hand.




Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Guest Post by Randy Rawls, author of Jingle and his Magnificent Seven

Please welcome author Randy Rawls as he promotes  his book, Jingle and his Magnificent Seven.  Enjoy his guest blog!

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Date of publication: September 2017

When Jingle Bell, Santa’s SEIC Santa-Elf-in-Charge) for Southeastern operations of the SBI (Santa Bureau of Investigation) is assigned to recover the naughty list from a rogue elf, he finds himself in need of human partners. He recruits Nep Thomas, a PI in Coral Lakes, Florida. But the problem grows as Jingle, aka Rocky, discovers that his adversary, Rime, is dealing with Abdul Abaddah, a Mid-East terrorist recruiter and financier. More support is needed. Soon, Rocky’s group grows to a magnificent seven, but they face a dirty dozen. Only when the dozen has been neutralized – without serious injury – can Rocky bring Rime to justice.

Buy link for Jingle and his Magnificent Seven:


JINGLE AND HIS MAGNIFICIENT SEVEN
By Randy Rawls

        Every once in a while, I tire of writing serious crime fiction. I’ve written murders, burglaries, conspiracies, drug lords, coffee barons, etc. Then that day comes when my inner-Randy jumps up and says, “Write something lighter. Plant a chuckle along the way.”
        Several years ago, in a similar situation, I wrote a book I called JINGLE’S CHRISTMAS. It featured a Santa Elf who contacted my PI, Ace Edwards, for help. It was a fun write and, I hope, a fun read. Well, about a year ago my psyche yelled at me, “Why not another Jingle?”
        I thought about it and decided it was an excellent idea. So, let me see, I thought. I need to move Jingle to South Florida. Oh, he is now the SEIC (Santa-Elf-in-Charge) of the southeastern region of the SBI (Santa Bureau of Investigation). And he is on the trail of a rogue elf who has . . . has . . . stolen the Naughty List and is looking to sell it. He might be negotiating with . . . with . . . How about the leader of a Middle Eastern terrorist cell? What a deal? If the terrorist could get a copy of the Naughty List, they’d have the name and identifying data on every potential terrorist in the world. Wow, I thought, patting myself on the back, I’m onto something here.
        But, Jingle ran into a problem, almost wrecking my wonderful idea. Santa has a firm rule that a Santa Elf can bring no harm to a human. How could he get to Rime without hurting Abdul Abaddah, the cell leader? He couldn’t—not without help. Then Jingle has a revelation. All he has to do is get a local PI to help him. He recruits Nep Thomas.
        Now, Nep’s not exactly a pushover for a red-bearded, two-foot tall elf, but he can be convinced. However, after meeting Abaddah, Nep knows they need more help. He cannot go to the police. I mean, picture this: “Ah, Mr. Police Chief, I’m reporting the leader of a Middle Eastern terrorist cell who is about to buy Santa’s Naughty List and recruit millions of followers.” And the Chief says, “How do you know this?” Nep, being an honest PI says, “An elf told me.” About that time, the guys with the white jackets with the sleeves that tie in the back would rush in, and Nep would get a nice stay in a comfortable room—padded walls and all.
        Nope. Jingle and Nep have a problem. The answer is to recruit more PIs. Fortunately, I’ve written a lot of PIs over my career, so Jingle and Nep have a group from which to recruit. Within a few chapters, the Magnificent Seven is created: Nep Thomas, Cassie Casey, Ace Edwards, Kit Carsen, Beth Bowman, Josh Hawkins, and Chief. And with those seven heads working the problem, Abdul Abaddah and his dirty dozen are in deep reindeer do-do.

        Are the Magnificent Seven successful? Ask Santa.

About the author:


Randy Rawls was born and reared in Williamston, North Carolina, a small town in the northeastern part of the state. From there, he says he inherited a sense of responsibility, a belief in fair play, and a love of country. As a career US Army officer, he had the opportunity to learn, travel, teach, and hone talents inherited from his parents. Following retirement, he worked in other ventures for the US Government. Every job has in some way been fun. Even the dark days of Vietnam had their light moments, and he cherishes the camaraderie that was an integral part of survival in that hostile world.

Today, he has short stories in several anthologies, and a growing list of novels to his credit. As a prolific reader, the reads across several genres and takes that into his writing. He has written mysteries, thrillers, an historical, and two fantasy/mystery/thrillers featuring a Santa Elf. The count is now at fourteen and growing. He is a regular contributor to Happy Homicides, a twice annual anthology of cozy short stories. He also has a series of short stories featuring a cattle-herding burro. Wherever his imagination will take him, he follows.



Monday, October 9, 2017

Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt of One Summer Night by Caridad Pineiro

Author: Caridad Pineiro
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of publication: October 2017

An offer that’s impossible to accept…

Maggie Sinclair has tried everything to save her family’s business, including mortgaging their beloved beach house on the Jersey shore. But now, she’s out of options.

The Sinclair and Pierce families have been neighbors and enemies for almost thirty years. That hasn’t stopped Owen Pierce from crushing on Maggie, and he’s determined to invest in her success. Now he has to convince her that he’s more than just trouble with a capital T…

One Summer Night is the first in a new series about a group of independent women who find love.  This is Maggie and Owen's story.  Theirs is a modern day Romeo and Juliet story.  Their fathers have been in a feud for years and they were forbidden to interact long ago.  However, the sparks between them make them want to throw caution to the wind.  For the most part, I liked the book.  I just didn't love it as much as I wanted to since it is a friends to lovers story.

I did like the romance between the couple.  I thought it was fun and flirty.  They were good together. I also loved Maggie's friends.  They are set up to have their own romances in this book and I want to read them.  What I didn't love about this book was that it was quite repetitive.  I got tired of constantly being reminded of the feud between the two fathers.  I found myself skimming over parts because I felt like that ground had already been covered multiple times. Maggie's situation with her father was a bit annoying as well.  She should have stood up to him a lot sooner than she did.  In the real world, I wonder how long the shareholders would have allowed his poor business sense to keep going.

As I said, for the most part, it's a fun romance.  I do look forward to reading the next in the series.



Enjoy this excerpt!

Sea Kiss, New Jersey

Tracy Parker was in love with being in love.
That worried her best friend and maid of honor, Maggie Sinclair, more than she cared to admit.
In the middle of the temporary dance floor, Tracy waltzed with her new husband in a satin-and-lace designer gown, gleaming with seed pearls and twinkling sequins. But the sparkle dimmed in comparison to the dreamy glow in Tracy’s eyes.
The sounds of wedding music competed with the gentle rustle of seagrass in the dunes and the crash of the waves down on the beach. The fragrance from centerpiece flowers and bouquets battled with the kiss of fresh sea air.
Connie and Emma, Tracy’s two other best friends and members of the bridal party, were standing beside Maggie on the edge of the dance floor that had been set up on the great lawn of Maggie’s family’s beachfront mansion on the Jersey Shore. Huddled together, Maggie and her friends watched the happy couple do a final whirl.
“She’s got it so bad,” Maggie said, eyeing Connie and Emma with concern past the rim of her rapidly dis- appearing glass of champagne.
“Do you think that this time he really is The One?” Connie asked.
“Doubt it,” Emma replied without hesitation.
As the DJ requested that other couples join the happy newlyweds, Maggie and her friends returned to the bridal party dais set out on the patio. Grabbing another glass of champagne, Maggie craned her neck around the gigantic centerpiece piled with an almost obscene mound of white roses, ice-blue hydrangea, lisianthus, sheer tulle, and twinkling fairy lights and examined the assorted guests mingling around the great lawn and down by the boardwalk leading to the beach.
She recognized Tracy’s family from their various meetings over the years, as well as some of Tracy’s sorority sisters, like Toni Van Houten, who in the six years since graduation had managed to pop out a trio of boys who now circled her like sharks around a swim- mer. Although the wedding invite had indicated No Children, Toni had done as she pleased. Since Tracy had not wanted a scene at her dream beachfront wed- ding, Emma, who was doing double duty as the wedding planner for the event, had scrambled to find space for the children at the dinner tables.
“Is that Toni ‘I’ll never ruin my body with babies’ Toni?” Connie asked, a perplexed look on her features. At Maggie’s nod, Connie’s eyes widened in surprise, and she said, “She looks…happy.”
A cynical laugh erupted from Emma. “She looks crazed.”
Maggie couldn’t argue with either of their assessments. But as put-upon as their old acquaintance seemed, the indulgent smile she gave her youngest child was positively radiant.
Maggie skipped her gaze across the gathering to take note of all the other married folk. It was easy enough to pick them out from her vantage point on the dais, where she and her friends sat on display like days’ old cakes in the bakery. They were the last three unmarried women in an extended circle of business and college acquaintances.
“How many times do you suppose we’ve been bridesmaids now?” Maggie wondered aloud. She finished off her glass and motioned for the waiter to bring another.
“Jointly or severally?” asked Connie, ever the lawyer. “Way too many,” replied Emma, who, for a wedding planner, was the most ardent disbeliever in the possibility of happily ever afters.
Maggie hadn’t given marriage a first thought, much less a second, in a very long time. She’d had too many things going on in her life. Not that there hadn’t been a few memorable moments, most of which revolved around the absolutely worst man for her: Owen Pierce.
But for years now, she’d been dealing with her family’s business and its money problems, which had spilled over into her personal finances. As she gazed at the beauty of the manicured grounds and then back toward her family’s summer home, it occurred to her that this might be the last time she hosted a celebration like this here. She had mortgaged the property that she had inherited to funnel money into the family’s struggling retail store division.
Unfortunately, thanks to her father’s stubborn refusal to make changes to help the business, she spent way too much time at work, which left little time for romance. Not to mention that none of her casual dates had piqued her interest in that direction. Looking down from her perch, however, and seeing the happiness on so many faces suddenly had her reconsidering the merits of married life.
“Always a bridesmaid and never a bride,” she muttered, surprising herself with the hint of wistfulness in her tone.
“That’s because the three of us are all too busy working to search for Prince Charming,” Connie said, her defense as swift and impassioned as if she were arguing a case in court.
“Who even believes in that fairy-tale crap?” Emma’s gaze grew distracted, and she rose from her chair. “Excuse me for a moment. Carlo needs to see me about something.”
Emma rushed off to the side of the dance floor, where her caterer extraordinaire, Carlo Teixeira, raked a hand through his thick, brown hair in clear frustration. He wore a pristine white chef’s jacket and pants that enhanced his dark good looks.
Emma laid a hand on Carlo’s forearm and leaned close to speak to him, apparently trying to resolve a problem.
“She doesn’t believe in fairy tales, but her Prince Charming is standing right in front of her,” Connie said with a sad shake of her head.
Maggie took another sip of her champagne and viewed the interaction between Carlo and Emma. Definitely major sparkage going on, she thought.
“You’re totally right,” she said with an assertive nod. Connie smiled like the proverbial cat, her exotic green-gold eyes gleaming with mischief. “That’s why you hired me to represent your company as soon as I finished law school. Nothing gets past me.”
“Really? So what else do you think you’ve seen tonight?”
Raising her glass, her friend gestured toward the right of the mansion’s great lawn, where some of the frater- nity brothers from their alma mater had gathered. One of the men slowly turned to sneak a peek at them.
“Owen has been watching you all night long,” Connie said with a shrewd smile.
“Totally impossible, and you of all people should know it. Owen Pierce has absolutely no interest in me.” She set her glass on the table to hide the nervous tremble of her hand as her gaze connected with his for the briefest of moments. Even that fleeting link was enough to raise her core temperature a few degrees. But what woman wouldn’t respond like that?
In his designer tuxedo, Owen was the epitome of male perfection—raven-black hair, a sexy gleam in his charcoal-gray eyes, broad shoulders, and not an ounce of fat on him, which made her recall seeing him in much, much less on a hot summer night on Sea Kiss Beach. She had been staying in the quaint seaside town on the Jersey Shore with her grandmother that summer, much as she had all her life. As they also had for so many years, the Pierce boys had been residing next door for the entire season.
The two beachfront mansions had been built side by side decades earlier, before the start of the Pierce and Sinclair rift. The cost of waterfront real estate had esca- lated so drastically since their construction that neither family was willing to sell their beloved home to put some distance between the warring clans.

Well, make that the warring fathers, because as far as Maggie was concerned, she had no beef with Owen.






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About the author:

To stay in touch with the latest releases, contests and happenings with Caridad, sign up for her newsletter at http://bit.ly/2cbxlYw.

NY Times and USA Today Bestseller Caridad Pineiro is a Jersey Girl who just wants to write, travel, and spend more time with family and friends. Caridad is the author of over 50 novels/novellas and has sold over 1 million books worldwide. Caridad loves romance novels, super heroes, TV and cooking. For more information on Caridad, please visit www.caridad.com or www.rebornvampirenovels.com. You can also find Caridad/Charity on:

Twitter at https://twitter.com/caridadpineiro
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Caridad.Author
Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/caridadpineiro/
Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/Car
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