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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Blog Tour: The Darkest Corner (Gravediggers Book 1) by Liliana Hart

Author: Liliana Hart
Publisher: Gallery, Pocket books
Date of publication: May 23, 2017

Deacon Tucker is a dead man walking. A former black ops agent, he was disavowed and stripped of all honor before being recruited as a Gravedigger. But his honor and good name no longer matter, because no one knows he's alive, and he'll never get the recognition he deserves. His mission is simple: save the world or die trying. And for God's sake, don't ever fall in love. That's a rule punishable by death. The kind of death a man can't be brought back from.

Tess Sherman is the only mortician in Last Stop, Texas. She has no idea how Deacon Tucker ended up in her funeral home, but she'll eat her hat if he's only a funeral home assistant. Deacon is dangerous, deadly, and gorgeous. And she knows her attraction to him can only end in heartache.

Deacon is on a mission to stop the most fatal terror attack the world has ever known—what's known as The Day of Destiny—a terrorist's dream. But when he discovers Tess has skills he can use to stop them, he has to decide if he can trust her with secrets worth dying for. And, most important, he has to decide if he can trust her with his heart. 


The Darkest Corner is the first in a series about a super-secret elite group of soldiers who the world thinks are dead.  They have their headquarters set up in a small backward town in Texas.  For me, this was an OK read.  It had great potential, but didn't live up to all of my expectations.

My favorite part of the story was the Gravedigger team.  I liked their camaraderie and would have loved to get to know them better.  But, we are not really given much background on the team. How are they chosen? I wanted more on Deacon and what made him tick.  The setting kind of threw me off as well. If you were trying to hide a super secret elite team, why would you choose a small town where gossip is the hottest commodity? 

I also liked Tess.  She was feisty and smart.  But, I thought she took Deacon's revelation about what was going on way too easily.  There was no question, at all.  Just full acceptance.  As for the romance part, I never really bought into Tess and Deacon.  I wanted more of them together before I could feel the love between them.  We are told that they have been around each other for a while.  We are also told they each have a secret attraction, but never really see them interact with each other. There was just too much insta-love for me. 

This story had great potential.  I liked the idea of the team and almost would have liked it more without the romance.  It's very much a first book in a series, so I do want to see where the team goes from here. I'm hoping we get come more answers and background. The next book, Gone to Dust, comes out in June.

Buy links:

Amazon Kindle  B&N Nook  Kobo  iBooks  Google Play

About the Author:

Liliana Hart is a New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher's Weekly Bestselling Author of more than 40 titles. After starting her first novel her freshman year of college, she immediately became addicted to writing and knew she'd found what she was meant to do with her life. She has no idea why she majored in music.
Since self-publishing in June of 2011, Liliana has sold more than 3 million ebooks and been translated into eight languages. She's appeared at #1 on lists all over the world and all three of her series have appeared on the New York Times list. Liliana is a sought after speaker and she's given keynote speeches and self-publishing workshops to standing-room-only crowds from California to New York to London.
Liliana can almost always be found at her computer writing or on the road giving workshops for SilverHart International, a company she founded with her partner, Scott Silverii, where they provide law enforcement, military, and fire resources for writers so they can write it right. Liliana is a recent transplant to Southern Louisiana, where she's getting used to the humidity and hurricane season, and plotting murders (for her books, of course).

Author Links:


Monday, May 22, 2017

Blog Tour: The Truth About Goodbye by Russell Ricard

Author: Russell Ricard
Publisher; W.I. Creative Publishing
date of publication: April 2017

Sebastian Hart has dealt with a lifetime of goodbyes. And now, a year after his husband Frank’s death, the forty-year-old chorus boy still blames himself. After all, Sebastian started the argument that night over one of Frank’s former date items, someone younger than Sebastian who still wanted Frank.

Challenged by his best friend, the quirky ex-Rockettes dancer Chloe, Sebastian struggles toward his dream of becoming a choreographer and grapples with romantic feelings for Reid, a new student in his tap class.

Ultimately, Sebastian begins to wonder whether it’s his imagination, or not, that Frank’s ghost is here, warning him that he daren’t move on with another love. He questions the truth: Is death really the final goodbye?

”Ricard offers a thoughtful debut novel . . . The narrative is endearing and impressively assured, and it will be an entertaining treat for fans of LGBT romantic fiction.” –Kirkus Reviews

”A magical, witty, and endearing story that taps deeply into your heart.” –Casey Nicholaw, Tony-award winning Director-Choreographer of The Book of Mormon, Aladdin, and Something Rotten!

In The Truth About Goodbye, Sebastian struggles with his grief over the loss of his husband a year earlier.  He also is struggling with turning 40 and aging out of the chorus boy roles that are available on Broadway.  I really wanted to love this one, but in the end it kind of fell short for me.

Let me start by saying that I thought the author did a wonderful job of showing Sebastian working through his grief.  I personally have not lost a spouse, but I have watched a close friend go through it and it is devastating.  I think that part was what I liked most about the book as that was well written. I was really rooting for him to work through his grief and be happy again.  

But in the end, I had a hard time connecting with the story.  I didn't feel like the characters were genuine and were almost too quirky.  I'm not sure if people are really like that in the theater world, but it just came across as overly comical.  I also didn't like the "romance" part of it.  I didn't feel the connection between Sebastian and Reid.  The addition of the many pop culture references took me out of the story and I fear they will really date the book in the future. 

While this story wasn't for me, I do think this is worth giving it a shot.  This is a debut book and I would like to see what Mr. Ricard comes up with next.


Purchase Links
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About Russell Ricard


Russell Ricard is a veteran musical theater performer who s appeared in regional, national, and international productions and on Broadway. He received his MFA in creative writing from The New School. The Truth About Goodbye is his debut novel. He lives in Forest Hills, NY, with his husband, cat, and a lovingly supportive stand-up desk named Ruth.
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Connect with Russell


Russell Ricard’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, May 15th: BookNAround
Tuesday, May 16th: A Book A Week
Wednesday, May 17th: Bibliotica
Monday, May 22nd: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, May 23rd: Read Day and Night
Tuesday, May 3oth: Suzy Approved
Thursday, June 1st: 50 Books Project
Categories: Uncategorized 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Lost Rider by Harper Sloan

Author: Harper Sloan
Publisher: Gallery, Pocket Books
Date of publication: April 2017

Maverick Austin Davis is forced to return home after a ten-year career as a rodeo star. After one too many head injuries, he’s off the circuit and in the horse farming business, something he’s never taken much of a shine to, but now that it’s his late father’s legacy, familial duty calls. How will Maverick find his way after the only dream he ever had for himself is over?

Enter Leighton Elizabeth James, an ugly duckling turned beauty from Maverick’s childhood—his younger sister’s best friend, to be exact, and someone whose heart he stomped all over when she confessed her crush to him ten years back. Now Leighton is back in Maverick’s life, no longer the insecure, love-stricken teen—and Maverick can’t help but take notice. Sparks fly between them, but will Leighton be able to open her heart to the one man who broke it all those years ago?

Written in the vein of Diana Palmer and Lindsay McKenna, this Texas-set series is filled with sizzle, heart, and plenty of cowboys.


Lost Rider is the first in a new series about the Davis siblings. Maverick is a famous bull rider who is back home after his career has come to an end.  His abusive father is finally gone and Maverick must face more than one mistake he left behind, starting with Leighton James.  

As this is one of my favorite romantic themes, I had high hopes. In the end, I liked the story and found it entertaining, I just didn't love it.  Maverick was kind of hard to like in the beginning.  But as his story came out about what he went through as a kid and his reasons for hurting Leigh, I began to like him more.  I liked that he was able to own up to his wrong doings and his willingness to make amends.  He was a dumb 18 YO when he left, so I could see how he was a bit misguided. Leigh had to grow on me as well.  The way she had to over analyze everything drove me nuts. I loved their HEA.  It was very sweet.

As I said, I thought it was entertaining and worth giving a try.  I do want to read Quinn story next in Kiss My Boots coming out in August.




Saturday, May 20, 2017

Excerpt and Giveaway of Sweet Southern Trouble by Michele Summers

Today we welcome to author Michele Summers.  She is with us promoting her latest book, Sweet Southern Trouble.  Enjoy her thoughts on one of her favorite things about the south as well as an excerpt from the book.

Author: Michele Summers
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Pub Date: May 2, 2017
ISBN: 9781402293641

An ambitious Southern belle
Marabelle Fairchild knows she’s a gal who can get things done. Feeling unappreciated at the exclusive private school where she’s a kindergarten aide and varsity tennis coach, Marabelle determines to score with the next big fundraiser. What she doesn’t expect? A smokin' hot football coach to throw her off her game...

A reclusive NFL bachelor...
NFL coach Nick Frasier is Raleigh’s most eligible bachelor, but he wants to focus on his career…not his playboy status. He doesn’t need a smart-mouthed, pint-sized kindergarten teacher pestering him. So he cuts Marabelle a deal—in exchange for Nick sponsoring a bachelor auction starring him and his gorgeous celebrity pals, Marabelle will pose as his fiancée to ward off unwanted advances.

What could possibly go wrong?


Buy Links:


Thoughts about the south:

The best things about the South can be debated until the cows come home. For me, the list changes as often as our weather. I was born and raised a Carolina Blue Tarheel, but after college, I made my home in Miami, Florida and stayed for over twenty years (A different kind of south altogether). But since returning to my Tarheel state, it’s quite evident, some things have changed…and some things have not!

Here’s one of my favorite things about the south:

College Rivalries: I live in the heart of the ACC and yeah, we love our football, which includes tailgating with barbeque, fried chicken, deviled eggs, pimento cheese and sweet tea. But football is kind of like the appetizer, leading up to the main course. We use football season to get in shape and start flexing our school color muscles, because what we really cut our teeth on and can cause more devastating arguments than the Presidential debates is…basketball! Make that college basketball. Those buzzer-beater games where we all sit on the edge of our seats, praying our team wins before we succumb to our final heart attack. Where we cheer and cry along with our favorite players and shake our fists and curse at the blind refs or coaches who call bad plays. My kids have vivid memories of being shoved in their bedrooms during basketball games, when they were little, because mommy couldn’t be held responsible for her colorful language.

We take our basketball as seriously as we take our fried chicken, NASCAR or sweet tea.



EXCERPT:
“Coach Frasier, may I be perfectly frank?”
“Have you ever been anything else?”
Marabelle hesitated before answering. “Well, no, but I think it’s an admirable trait.”
Nick bit the inside of his cheek to keep from smiling. “Then certainly don’t change on my behalf.”
Blinking huge, chocolate-brown eyes, Marabelle looked more determined. Her face—sans the paint—was attractive. Faint freckles were scattered across her small, pert nose, but her mouth—by far the main attraction—had that bee-stung look that Hollywood stars coveted. For a moment, he wondered if her lips were as soft as they were full, if she tasted…
Where had those thoughts come from? She’s a kindergarten teacher, for chrissakes. He punted those unwanted thoughts right out of the stadium, and got his head back in the game by focusing on her small hands, which seemed to talk even more than her sexy, full mouth.
Marabelle paced in front of the large, white, dry-erase board. “Trinity Academy has a very important fund-raiser every spring that the whole community supports, and this year is going to be extra special, because they’re raising money to improve the football field and add two more tennis courts. And—”
Nick had heard this pitch a million times. Same setup, different location. “And you want me to contribute to the fund? Right?”
She stopped pacing. “Well, it’s more than just your money. Don’t get me wrong, your money is huge.” Nick chuckled at her lack of tact, but she ignored him, intent on lining up dry-erase markers in alternating colors.
“We need your help in contacting your celebrity friends and asking them to participate in the golf and tennis tournaments,” she said, leaning the markers against the board. “And we want you to ask the single, eligible men you know to sell themselves in our bachelor auction,” she finished all in one breath and turned, knocking all the markers to the floor.
“Um, what?” Nick shook his head as he bent to help her gather the scattered markers. This had to be a joke. “Are you secretly filming me for YouTube or something? Is this some sort of practical joke?” He’d had enough of being secretly filmed to last a lifetime, and if this fairy-tale character thought she could pull a fast one on him, she had no idea who she was up against. His gaze darted around the classroom, searching for a hidden camera. The room looked clean. Then he smirked. “Did my offensive coordinator set this up?”
Kneeling on the floor with puckered brows, Marabelle asked, “Who?”
Nick handed over three reds and two blues. “Coach Prichard. We’ve been arguing about the draft, but I didn’t think he was this upset.”
Right on cue, she turned stern schoolteacher. Standing, she released the handful of markers on the metal tray, her back as straight as if fused with a goalpost. “Coach Frasier, this is not some reality TV show, and I don’t even know your offensive coordinator. But if he’s upset, I suggest you make nice, and maybe you guys will start winning some ballgames.”
Splaying hands on his hips, he delivered one of his fiercest stares. “You tetched in the head or something? Are you telling me how to coach a professional football team?”
Marabelle didn’t flinch. A room full of five-year-olds must be tougher than he thought. Curling her fingers around a ruler in the metal tray as if she might rap his knuckles, she said in the same firm, schoolteacher voice, “If there’s dissension among your staff, it would be prudent to smooth things over. Arguing with your staff is bound to affect the players. It just goes to reason.” Tap, tap went the ruler in her palm.
Nick swore under his breath. Many a rookie had backed down from his most intimidating stare. Its effect was legendary. But not on crazy Marabelle. “Ms. Fairchild, you don’t know jack shit about coaching football.” Nick rarely lost his temper off the field, but she’d managed to push all his buttons. He knew his young team had struggled last season. He certainly didn’t need reminding from little Miss Muffet. He had the team’s owner, general manager, and the press for that. But Nick believed in his team. They had raw talent, and with good coaching and proper discipline, they’d only get better. Yet, it still rankled when he was confronted with their less-than-stellar record.
He didn’t need this hassle. “I’m out of here,” he muttered, starting for the door.
“Coach Frasier, please wait!”
Nick whipped around to squash the crazy, ruler-toting fairy once and for all, when three high school boys barged through the classroom door, carrying large tennis bags over their shoulders.
“Hey, Coach, you comin’ to practice today?”
“What?” The theme song from The Twilight Zone played in his head. Why would he be coming to practice here?
“Whoa! You’re Nick Frasier,” said the tallest of the boys as all three gazes landed on him.
Nick plastered on a smile, not wanting his scowl to be reported all over social media. “Hey, guys. What’s up?” All three eagerly shook his hand, talking at once. “You boys play for the tennis team?” Nick asked in between introductions and hand pumping.
“Yeah. We’re heading to practice and wondering if Coach is coming.”
“Coach?” Still confused, he searched their faces.
“Surprise, surprise,” Marabelle chimed softly next to him.


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About the author:

MICHELE SUMMERS writes about small-town life with a Southern flair, and has her own interior design business in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Miami, Florida. Both professions feed her creative appetite and provide a daily dose of humor. |

Friday, May 19, 2017

Triple Six by Erica Spindler

Author: Erica Spindler
Publisher: Erica Spindler
Date of publication: November 2016

The countdown continues . . . 


Detectives Micki Dare and Zach Harris are back in TRIPLE SIX, their second adventure in Erica Spindler’s supernatural thriller series The Lightkeepers. 

It's been three months since that night - the night that Micki almost died. Physically, she's healed but the nightmares remain, and she can't shake the feeling that more happened that night than Zach is telling her. The only thing she can do is try to carry on as normal and solve the latest case she and Zach have been assigned to. 

A string of brutal home invasions are rocking New Orleans and the families targeted seemingly have nothing in common. Why were these victims chosen? The deeper Micki and Zach go into the case, the more they realize something isn't right. There's something . . . familiar about the person doing this - and it's a familiarity Micki has been trying to forget. Suddenly, this case is hitting too close to home and Micki has to decide if she really wants to learn the truth about that night . . . 

Triple Six is the sequel to The Final Seven which I reviewed  last year.   I would say you might want to read the first book before this one in order to really have a handle on what is going in the second book.  The author does do a good job of catching the reader up, but I still think readers would benefit from having the first book under their belt.

This story takes place about 3 months after the events of the first book.  Micki and Zach are working well together and solving cases.  However, Micki isn't convinced that Zach has told her everything about the night that she almost died.  Now an old threat is back and seems to be wrapped up in the current string of home invasions.  I'm not going to talk about the plot too much as there is a lot packed into this and I don't want to give spoilers.

I liked this one sightly more than the first one.  I thought Micki and Zach felt more comfortable with each other as partners.    The one character that just annoyed me to no end was Angel.  She was so whiny and ungrateful here.  She is clearly being duped but is too dumb to see it.  Then she wonders why Micki wants to keep such a close eye on her. She just seemed too naive for an 18YO who had been in foster care and seen more than the average person.  The mystery wasn't too hard to figure out but there were a couple of surprised thrown in.  The ending clearly leaves room for a third book.  I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next.  

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Spotlight & Giveaway of Killing Wonder Woman by Tenaya T.J. Tison

Author: Tenava T. J. Tison
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing 
Date of publication: February 2017


POW! BLAM! OOF!
Working women of faith are subjected to daily blows of lies and deception. We are barraged with messages that we’re not good enough, smart enough, thin enough, spiritual enough. We believe that our professions mean very little in the eyes of God. We’re feeling tired and discouraged from holding ourselves to impossible standards. These damaging lies and labels now have a name: Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman is a symbol of the unobtainable. She is a blend of all the women both real and fictional–that we idolize. She is the whispers of doubt and negative self-talk that run rampantly through our minds. It’s time to stop listening. It’s time to slay Wonder Woman!
Killing Wonder Woman is more than a book. It’s a long-overdue weapon that we, as working women of faith, can yield to cut down burnout, destroy discouragement, and set ourselves free of unrealistic expectations. Once we break loose of Wonder Woman’s deception, we can open ourselves more fully to trust God’s plan and integrate Him into all aspects of our lives, including in our workplace calling.
Are you ready to win at work and soar in faith? This is your call to arms.


Purchase Links

Giveaway details:

We are giving away a copy of the book along with a "Killing Wonder Woman" t-shirt. (Us/Canada only).  Fill out the rafflecopter below.  Goodluck!


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About Tenaya T. J. Tison


Tenaya TJ Tison is a business leader and entrepreneur, with a proven track record as a strategic advisor and change agent within the small business sector. T.J. has held twenty-seven different jobs throughout her life and finally found her calling in helping businesses grow.

T.J. and her husband of twenty-five years have two grown children and together enjoy the peace of their Wisconsin hobby farm with a myriad of pet animals. In her spare time (ha ha), she likes to run, play golf, read, and cheer on the Minnesota Vikings.

T.J. is also the founder and executive director of Working Women of Faith, a nonprofit that exists to equip women to win at work and soar in faith. To learn more about Working Women of Faith, visit: workingwomenoffaith.com.

Connect with T. J.

Tenaya T. J. Tison’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Tuesday, May 2nd: Read. Write. Repeat.
Monday, May 8th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Tuesday, May 9th: Dwell in Possibility
Monday, May 15th: An Anchored Faith
Tuesday, May 16th: Just Commonly
Wednesday, May 17th: Reading is my Superpower
Thursday, May 18th: From the TBR Pile – spotlight
Friday, May 19th: Dreaming Big
Monday, May 22nd: Seaside Book Nook
Tuesday, May 23rd: Run Wright
Wednesday, May 24th: Laura’s Reviews
Monday, May 29th: Fiction Aficionado


Throwback Thursday: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare



Author: Cassandra Clare
First published in 2007 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know... 

When I saw this book on the 8th grade summer reading list, I decided to give into the hype and read it before my daughter did this summer.  I'll admit that I only got 50% of the way through this book.  I have two questions.  Who thought this book was good for a summer reading list?   How did this book get so many rave reviews? 


This story was a mess.  The characters were forgettable and annoying.  The writing wasn't very good and not up to the quality that I would expect for a summer reading book.  I felt like I had read this story so many times before.  Clary was bratty and pretty TSTL. Jace was arrogant and annoying.  I'm still not even sure what the shadow hunters are and what they do,  

Anyway, if you missed the hype when this book came out, don't worry, you aren't missing anything.  Really!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Inteview with Dan Gutman author of Flashback Four #2: The Titanic Mission

Today, we are extremely excited to feature an interview with best selling author, Dan Gutman.  He is currently promoting his latest book from the Flashback Four series, The Titanic Mission.  Make sure to pick up a copy today.  Welcome Dan!

Author: Dan Gutman
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date of publication: April 2017

In the second adventure in New York Times bestselling author Dan Gutman’s latest middle-grade series, Flashback Four #2: The Titanic Mission (Harper Collins; On-sale: 4/4/2017; 9780062236357; $16.99; Ages 8 – 12), four kids are sent back in time to acquire a new photo for the billionaire Miss Z’s photography collection—a shot of the sinking Titanic!

The eccentric billionaire Miss Zandergoth is very disappointed with the Flashback Four. Luke, Isabel, David, and Julia did not come back from their first time-travelling adventure with a photograph of Abe Lincoln delivering the famous Gettysburg Address for Miss Z’s rare photography collection. But she’s willing to give the Flashback Four another chance, by sending them on their most dangerous trip yet—to the deck of the doomed Titanic, for a shot of the sinking ship. In this latest installment, Luke, Julia, David, and Isabel embark on a journey to capture one of the most exciting and tragic moments in history. Along the way they will meet and learn about some of the most famous real-life passengers aboard the ship, including millionaire John Jacob Astor and captain Edward John Smith. Historical photographs, combined with Dan’s signature mix of hilarity and action, make this a time-travelling adventure of titanic proportions! Racing against time and rising waters, the four kids must work together to get the perfect shot—and most important—to get back home!


Kari& Autumn: What inspired you to become a writer?

Dan: I started writing when I was about 25 years old, after I finished college.  I had studied psychology and even went to graduate school for two years.  But I didn't enjoy it and I knew I didn't want to become a psychologist.  I didn’t know what to do with myself.  But I always enjoyed writing letters to my friends, so I just decided to start writing.  In the beginning, I wrote for grownups (quite unsuccessfully).  After my son Sam was born in 1990, I decided to try writing for kids, and as soon as I did I realized THIS is what I'm good at!  THIS  is what I should have been doing all along.   So I switched to writing for kids, and I've been doing it ever since.

Kari& Autumn: Where do you come up with the ideas for your books?

Dan: I get my ideas from all different places: reading newspapers, watching TV, listening to the radio, listening to my own kids talk, and my own childhood.  Sometimes I just make crazy stuff up.  I try to come up with a "big idea."  Like, I try to take an ordinary kid and put that kid into an extraordinary situation.  A kid runs for president of the United States ("The Kid Who Ran For President").  A kid gets the chance to take one foul shot for a million dollars ("The Million Dollar Shot").  A kid finds the most valuable baseball card in the world and discovers he has the power to travel through time with it ("Honus & Me").  Two kids take a cross-country trip with their parents over summer vacation while some bad guys are trying to kill them the whole time ("The Genius Files").  These are the kinds of stories I think kids can fantasize about.   

Kari& Autumn: What exciting projects are waiting in the wings?

Dan: I'm deep into my new series "Flashback Four," which is about a group of kids who travel through time in an attempt to take photographs of things that were never photographed before.  The first two books are out.  In #1, they try to take a picture of Lincoln delivering The Gettysburg Address.  In #2, they try to take a picture of the Titanic as it is sinking.  I already finished #3, but it won't come out until next April.  They go back to the year 79 and try to take a picture of Mt. Vesuvius as it is erupting.  And now I'm working on #4, in which they will try to shoot a video of the Alexander Hamilton-Aaron Burr duel.

Kari& Autumn: Who is your favorite literary character and why?

Dan: I like bad guys.  They are much more fun to write than good guys.  If all stories were about good people who did good things all the time, nobody would ever read another book.  But bad guys are interesting.  James Bond villians.  Dr. Evil.  People who want to take over the world.  In my books, Dr. Herman Warsaw in "The Genius Files" and Mr. Finkle in "The Million Dollar Shot."

Kari& Autumn: Just for fun, if you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

Dan: A bird!  Because, duh, THEY CAN FLY!  Anytime somebody asks me which superpower I would choose if I could have one, I always say the power to fly.  That would be cool to just swoop around looking at stuff, dive bombing small rodents, and scaring pedestrians.  


About the author:


Dan Gutman is the New York Times bestselling author of the Genius Files series. He is also the author of the Baseball Card Adventure series, which has sold nearly 2 million copies around the world, and the My Weird School series, which has sold more than 11 million copies. Thanks to his many fans who voted in their classrooms, Dan has received nineteen state book awards and ninety-two state book award nominations. He lives in New York City with his wife, Nina. You can visit him online at www.dangutman.com.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Blog Tour: Bai Tide by Erika Mitchell

Author: Erika Mitchell
Publisher: Champagne Books
Date of publication: April 5, 2015

An espionage thriller for people who like explosions and sarcasm.

CIA case officer Bai Hsu is stationed in San Diego, where his job is to safeguard the valuable emotional collateral of some of the world’s most powerful people (read: their kids). Just when he thinks he’s landed the easiest assignment of all time, an operative starts targeting the school and it’s up to Bai to figure out who the operative is after, and why. This fast-paced story will take you from the picturesque beaches of San Diego to a deadly blizzard in Pyongyang and make Bai question everything he thought he knew about working in the field, and about himself.

I've never really been a big fan of spy novels, so I was pleasantly surprised by Bai Tide.  Bai Hsu is a CIA agent.  He finds himself on assignment at a girls' private boarding school for the rich and elite. After chasing after an intruder and almost getting himself blown up in the process, he realizes someone at the school is in grave danger.

When I think of spies, James Bond or Jason Bourne usually come to mind.  Bai isn't like either of those mentioned.  He seems to be pretty new to the spy scene.  He's smart and brave, but he also makes some rookie mistakes.  I liked him, he had a great sense of humor, which is rare in a spy. He also comes across as more human and believable. He's a character I could see myself reading more about.

The plot was pretty easy to follow and it's fast paced.  That is something I usually have issues with in spy novels.  They can get too convoluted and confusing with too many characters.  So, it was refreshing to have a story that reeled me in and wasn't confusing.  There were a couple of twists that made it that much more entertaining. It is the second in a series, but I had no trouble following the storyline. I definitely recommend this one.  It's a quick, fast paced and exciting read. 


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Praise for Bai Tide

Bai Tide is a classic spy tale with blisteringly original characters set against the up-tempo backdrop of North Korean-American relations. Erika Mitchell turns the Asian theater of operations into her personal literary playground for fashioning a no-holds-barred thriller that reads like a post-modern combination of Frederick Forsyth and John Le Carre with just enough Len Deighton sprinkled in for good measure. A thinking man’s, or woman’s, page turner that revs in the red from artful beginning to crafty climax.” –Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author of Strong Darkness

“High octane action combined with the slow burn of great, unforgettable characters. The kind of book that demands to be read in a single long burst. Almost impossible to put down. This one will be on your mind long after you’ve finished it.” –Ted Kosmatka, 2010 Asimov’s Readers’ Choice Award-winning author of Prophet of Bones.

“Recommended for those who enjoy a fast-paced thriller, and especially for anyone who read and enjoyed Blood Money. Mitchell does a wonderful job of balancing the humanity of the story with exactly the right pacing to keep the reader’s interest.” —Dwell in Possibility

About Erika Mitchell


Erika Mitchell is the author of Blood Money, a standalone novel about one accountant’s efforts to take down a terrorism financier, and Bai Tide, the first book in her Bai Hsu series. Erika uses her lifelong passion for espionage to infuse her stories with the fun and intrigue of the James Bond movies she grew up watching, and sets those stories in ripped-from-the-headlines locations around the globe. When she’s not writing, she’s raising two tiny spies-in-training with her husband in Seattle, WA.

Find out more about Erika at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter. You can also read her blog at parsingnonsense.com.


Tour Stops
Tuesday, January 24th: Man of La Book
Monday, May 1st: Spinatale Reviews
Tuesday, May 2nd: Helen’s Book Blog
Wednesday, May 3rd: Lit.Wit.Wine.Dine.
Friday, May 5th: Sara the Introvert
Monday, May 8th: Thoughts On This ‘n That
Tuesday, May 9th: Just Commonly
Thursday, May 11th: alyssarossblog
Monday, May 15th: Mel’s Shelves
Tuesday, May 16th: From the TBR Pile
Wednesday, May 17th: Clues & Reviews
Thursday, May 18th: Back Porchervations


Monday, May 15, 2017

Blog Tour: Rogue by Brynley Blake


Author: Brynley Blake
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Date of publication; May 15, 2017

Reeling from the death of her daring Navy SEAL brother, reserved McKenzie Prescott decides to honor him in the only way she can think of--by finishing his bucket list.  Suddenly, she’s doing things she’s never dreamed of--like jumping off waterfalls...and inviting the intoxicating stranger she meets in Las Vegas to help her with some of the more racy items on the list…

Noah Payne used to be a Navy SEAL…until his job cost him his family. Now he wants revenge, and he’s not above playing dirty to get it. His current mission—to find a missing shipment of guns—is the last piece of the puzzle. But his only lead is Liam Prescott’s bucket list. Noah figures that by getting close to Liam’s sister, McKenzie, he’ll soon get his hands on the list. Only keeping his hands off a suddenly sexy McKenzie is turning out to be the real challenge!

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Rogue is the first in a romantic suspense series by Brynley Blake.  Who doesn't love Navy SEALs, right? In Rogue, McKenzie's brother died while on a mission with his SEAL team.  She is determined to finish out his bucket list for him.  First on the agenda is jumping off of a waterfall in Costa Rica.  She didn't expect to get shot at while doing it.  Noah seems to wants to help her finish out the list, but he has completely different motives for sticking close.

This was a pretty quick read and while I did enjoy the book, there were things I had a hard time buying into.  I really liked the action scenes in the book.  The cave scene in particular was kind of terrifying and the reason I would never go kayaking into a dark cave.  I also really liked McKenzie.  I had to give her credit for being willing to do dangerous things to help fulfill someone else's bucket list.  That takes guts.  

What I had a hard time buying into was her hooking up with Noah.  She heads to another country to take a long boat ride along the coast and this guy she met for a few hours in Las Vegas shows up and happens to have the only boat available.  She never questions it, ever.  Did her SEAL brother teach her nothing?  She also assumes her brother's team mates sent him to protect her, yet she never asks him out right.  I mean, we all know he's a good guy, but she doesn't.  Anyway, I did ultimately like them together, even if the I love yous came a bit fast for me.

The book ends in a kind of a cliff hanger.  Hopefully in the next book we will get some questions answered.


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About Brynley Blake:


A lifelong reader with a taste for adventure, Brynley Blake writes the writes the kind of books she likes to read: steamy contemporary romances featuring smart, sassy heroines with a sense of humor and strong, dominant alpha males who love their women a little feisty.  She lives in Texas with her family and an assortment of pets, and loves rainy days, hot coffee, cold beer, red wine, traveling, and spending time with her family.  She writes contemporary and erotic romance as Brynley Blake and Brynley Bush.

Connect with Brynley: