Sunday, September 30, 2018

October Mini Musings

Normal: This was a weird little novella.  It was pretty short, so I finished it, but I didn't love it.  Maybe if it had been longer it might have been more enjoyable.  There was no background for what the world was, so I'm not sure I really got the point.

Bidding for Keeps:  This is another of the short novellas about the sorority that puts up their virginity for auction.  At least in this one, I finally understood the reason for the auction.  It still didn't really sit right with me.  Has the author never heard of Go Fund me?  Anyway, it ended up being a nice ending and I did like the couple ultimately.

Relatively Dead:  For the most part, I liked this one.  There wasn't really a mystery, , it was more trying to find out how the main character was connected to the ghosts she is seeing.  Not really a solid solution in the end.  There is a cute romance that shows up late in the book.  I was happy for that outcome, because Abby's  first boyfriend was a major douche.  I'll probably pick up the next one to see if there is more explanation.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Books I Didn't Finish - September Edition

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating:  I only made it through the first chapter.  The main character, Hazel, was such an over the top hot mess. Think socially awkward, no-filter single female times a thousand. I already hated her after reading her POV for a few pages.   How do you manage to be best friends with someone and never find out her maiden name or notice that her brother is the guy you knew from college?  I didn't buy that one.  Oh and for the record...kindergartners are already potty trained.  I wanted to love this one, but no.

The Moscow Deception:  I was so lost reading this book that I gave up.  I probably needed to go back and re-read the first book.  I couldn't remember what happened, so I spent a lot of this book lost.  Usually, I can power through and it comes back to me, but that never happened here.  I didn't love the first book enough to re-read it, so I'll be giving up on this series.

Tailspin: I'm majorly bummed out because this is the second new release in as many years of this author's that I have DNF'd.  I got about 30% in and was bored to tears.   I'm, not sure what is going on with her writing lately, but I hope the next one is more enjoyable.

The Naturalist: I loved the Jessica Blackwood series.  I gave all of them 5 stars.  But this new series was a huge snoozefest.  I have my degree in biology, so I understood the science.  However it wasn't interesting.  I gave up at about 50%.  I just couldn't push through any more. The main character was dull and forgettable. I hope he goes back to writing about Jessica again.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Review: City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Scholastic
Date of publication: August 2018

Cassidy Blake's parents are The Inspectres, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one.

When The Inspectres head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn't sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn't belong in her world. Cassidy's powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.

City of Ghosts is the first in a middle grade series featuring 12 YO (I think) Cassidy Blake.  Cassidy almost died in a river the year before.  After being rescued by a ghost, she can now see ghosts.  Her parents are paranormal investigators and are spending the summer touring haunted cities all over the world.

I think I am going to have to admit defeat when it comes to this author.  So far, I haven't finished or enjoyed a book she has written.  I had hopes that a middle grade book would be different.  City of Ghosts was just an OK read for me.  The story was nice enough, but I'm not convinced middle grade readers will flock to it.  The story lacked any real world building and left me with so many questions.   I would hope they will be further explored later in eh series.  

One thing that I found really annoying about the book was the amount of Harry Potter references.  I'm not sure packing the book with those will make it more popular with the middle grade  readers.  I also got tired of the constant explanations for the explanation of terms like what fish and chips were or crisps.  It felt like exposition and slowed the narrative down.  Would I recommend it to my middle grader?  Maybe.   

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Cover Reveal of Exquisite Taste by J.D. Hollyfield

Author: J.D. Hollyfield
Date of publication: November 19, 2018

He was a dare she couldn’t walk away from.
She was a game he was determined to win.

Jensen Stone was thriving in her first year of college.  So thirsty for success she could already taste the achievements on her lips. Nothing would get in the way of her dreams, not even the social pressures of pledging. Until one night, she finds herself in the lion’s den of sorority row, accepting a dare she knew she couldn’t complete.

Damien Cross was bored.  He no longer craved the dominance and control he had swirling in the palms of his powerful hands. He was determined to walk away from the empire he'd spent the last ten years building. What he didn’t factor in was the unexpected distraction. He might be angry at her inconvenient timing, but the urge to break the new toy dangling in front of him was all consuming. It wouldn’t hurt to play one last time.

One night. His rules.

Will she obey his demands to fulfill a dare?

Or will she realize his dark tastes are anything but exquisite?  


J.D. Hollyfield is a creative designer by day and superhero by night. When she’s not cooking, event planning, or spending time with her family, she’s relaxing with her nose stuck in a book. With her love for romance, and her head full of book boyfriends, she was inspired to test her creative abilities and bring her own stories to life. Living in the Midwest, she’s currently at work on blowing the minds of readers, with the additions of her new books and series, along with her charm, humor and HEA’s.
J.D. Hollyfield dapples in all genres, from romantic comedy, contemporary romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, fantasy and erotica! Want to know more! Follow her on all platforms!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Blog Tour: Review of Good Time Cowboy by Maisey Yates

Author: Maisey Yates
Publisher: Harlequin
Date of publication: August 2018

In Gold Valley, Oregon, forbidden desire just might turn into the love of a lifetime…

When Lindy Parker lost her cheating husband, she gained a vineyard. She’ll do anything for Grassroots Winery, including teaming up with the hottest devil she knows, rancher Wyatt Dodge. Wyatt is her ex’s friend and has an ego as big as the bulls he rides. But in spite of that, disciplined Lindy has always wanted him…
Lightning struck Wyatt Dodge the first time he saw Lindy Parker. But there were two problems with that: she was married to his friend, and Wyatt doesn’t do strings. But now Lindy is free, and the two of them can finally explore the heat that’s burned between them for so long. But can Lindy make this good time cowboy decide on forever?

Good Time Cowboy is the third book in the Gold Valley series.  It's also the first one that I have read.  It did hold up fairly well as a stand alone as I never felt lost.  This is Lindy and Wyatt's story.  For me, this ended up just being an OK read.  I wanted to love it, but I didn't.  I did like the two main characters.  Their banter was fun and you could tell they had chemistry with each other. They both bring some major baggage to the table.  What took away from my enjoyment of the book was the pacing.  It was really slow and repetitive.  I  got tired of hearing about Lindy and her hang up of still feeling like she has to prove herself.  There were long section of inner dialogue that happened in the middle of a conversation and even during a love scene. It really slowed the pace and sometimes made me loose the chain of conversation.  It wasn't a bad story, it just could have been shorter.

Purchase Links

About Maisey Yates

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Maisey Yates lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon. She feels the epic trek she takes several times a day from her office to her coffee maker is a true example of her pioneer spirit.

In 2009, at the age of twenty-three Maisey sold her first book. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of sexy alpha males and happily ever afters, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Maisey divides her writing time between dark, passionate category romances set just about everywhere on earth and light sexy contemporary romances set practically in her back yard. She believes that she clearly has the best job in the world.

Connect with Maisey

Instagram tour:
Monday, August 20th: @booknerdingout
Tuesday, August 21st: @brokenteepee
Wednesday, August 22nd: @book_hangover88
Wednesday, August 22nd: @thepagesinbetween
Thursday, August 23rd: @jesssiereads
Friday, August 24th: @moonlight_rendezvous
Saturday, August 25th: @bookish_4_life
Sunday, August 26th: @remarkablylisa

Review tour:
Monday, August 20th: Written Love Reviews – excerpt
Wednesday, August 22nd: Books a la Mode – excerpt
Monday, August 27th: Books and Blends – excerpt
Tuesday, August 28th: A Holland Reads – excerpt
Wednesday, August 29th: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Thursday, August 30th: Jathan & Heather – review and excerpt
Friday, August 31st: @bookishwinterwitch
Monday, September 3rd: Moonlight Rendezvous
Tuesday, September 4th: Run Wright
Wednesday, September 5th: Books & Spoons
Monday, September 10th: Bewitched Bookworms
Wednesday, September 12th: Stranded in Chaos
Thursday, September 13th: Written Love Reviews
Friday, September 14th: Becky on Books
Tuesday, September 18th: A Night’s Dream of Books

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Blog Tour: Review of Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis

Author: Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Avon
Date of publication: September 2018

Most people wouldn’t think of a bad Santa case as the perfect Christmas gift. Then again, Molly Malone, office manager at Hunt Investigations, isn’t most people, and she could really use a distraction from the fantasies she’s been having since spending the night with her very secret crush, Lucas Knight. Nothing happened, not that Lucas knows that—but Molly just wants to enjoy being a little naughty for once . . .

Whiskey and pain meds for almost-healed bullet wounds don’t mix. Lucas needs to remember that next time he’s shot on the job, which may be sooner rather than later if Molly’s brother, Joe, finds out about them. Lucas can’t believe he’s drawing a blank on his (supposedly) passionate tryst with Molly, who’s the hottest, smartest, strongest woman he’s ever known. Strong enough to kick his butt if she discovers he’s been assigned to babysit her on her first case. And hot enough to melt his cold heart this Christmas . . .

Goodreads Link:

Goodreads Series Link

Hot Winter Nights is the sixth book in the Heartbreaker Bay series.  This is Lucas and Molly's story.  You all know I am a huge fan of this series and its characters. I've probably said it before in other reviews that I always feel like I'm meeting up with a good group of friends when I start reading the latest book.  It's hard to pick a favorite couple, but I would definitely say that Molly and Lucas are very high on my list.

I loved these two together.  They both had huge walls over thier hearts.  Both had good reason because of their pasts. It was fun watching those barriers come down.  The best part about their relationship was their banter.  I found myself laughing a lot in this book. I also loved the relationship that Molly as well as Lucas had with their families.  Lucas's family was really endearing.  It was also nice to meet up with Molly's dad again.  

 The mystery was fun with the addition of Molly's elderly neighbors involved.  I just about fell out of my chair laughing after finding out why Molly's electricity was out.  You'll have to read the book to find out for yourself.  This works well as a stand alone,.  I highly recommend it as well as the series as a whole.  I really want Caleb and Sadie's story!! Playing for Keeps comes out in January!

Buy Links
Kindle  iBooks  Nook  Kobo  GPlay  Paperback Series Buy Link

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Author Info

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jill Shalvis writes warm, funny, sexy contemporary romances and women’s fiction. An Amazon, BN & iBooks bestseller, she’s also a two-time RITA winner and has more than 10 million copies of her books sold worldwide.


Monday, September 24, 2018

Blog Tour: Review of Lone Star Christmas by Delores Fossen

Author: Delores Fossen
Publisher: Harlequin
Date of publication: October 1, 2018

Just in time for Christmas
Cattleman Callen Laramie has no intention of returning to his hometown of Coldwater, Texas, until a Christmas wedding and a family secret convince him he has no choice. And when he’s reunited with his childhood crush, the girl who’d always been off-limits, Callen knows leaving might not be so easy this time.

Shelby McCall is as pretty as a Christmas snowfall, and Callen wants to kiss her under the mistletoe…and the Christmas tree…and the stars. But once Shelby knows the whole truth behind this homecoming, will their holiday fling come to an abrupt end? Or will she accept the gift of his heart?

Lone Star Christmas is the first in a new series set in the small town of Coldwater, Texas. This is Callen and Shelby's story.  Callen hasn't been home since he left in his beat-up truck years before.  He intends  to never  go back until he finds out something might be wrong with his foster father, Buck.  Shelby was the girl who was off limits, but now they are adults.  Can she convince him to come home for good?

I thoroughly enjoyed this romance.  It was cute, funny and emotional all at the same time.  I loved the characters, the small town gossip train and the laugh out loud moments.  I'm not sure I'll ever look at cake toppers the same way again.  That wedding would have been a sight to see in real life.  Callen and Shelby were great together.  I was rooting for Callen to find some healing from his past and see that coming home would help him.  He and his brothers went through some thing horrific. I can't wait to see the other three brothers find their HEAs, especially Judd.

I highly recommend this one.  It was a fun book to read and I look forward to the next Coldwater, Texas story!

Purchase Links

About Delores Fossen

USA Today bestselling author, Delores Fossen, has sold over 70 novels with millions of copies of her books in print worldwide. She’s received the Booksellers’ Best Award, the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award and was a finalist for the prestigious Rita ®. In addition, she’s had nearly a hundred short stories and articles published in national magazines.

Connect with Delores

Delores Fossen’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, September 24th: From the TBR Pile
Tuesday, September 25th: Moonlight Rendezvous
Wednesday, September 26th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Thursday, September 27th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Friday, September 28th: What is That Book About – excerpt
Monday, October 1st: Books & Spoons
Tuesday, October 2nd: Laura’s Reviews
Wednesday, October 3rd: Stranded in Chaos
Thursday, October 4th: @_ebl_inc_
Friday, October 5th: Jathan & Heather – review & excerpt
Monday, October 8th: Romancing the Readers
Monday, October 8th: The Sassy Bookster
Tuesday, October 9th: Books and Bindings
Wednesday, October 10th: A Night’s Dream of Books
Thursday, October 11th: A Chick Who Reads
Friday, October 12th: @remarkablylisa
Monday, October 15th: Books & Blends
Tuesday, October 16th: Evermore Books
Tuesday, October 16th: Becca the Bibliophile – review & excerpt
Wednesday, October 17th – Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Thursday, October 18th: What I’m Reading
Friday, October 19th: @omg.kacie.reads and omg.kacie.reads

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Review: Adaptation by Malinda Lo

Author: Malinda Lo
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Date of publication: April 2014

Flocks of birds are hurling themselves at aeroplanes across America. Thousands of people die. Millions are stranded. Everyone knows the world will never be the same.

On Reese's long drive home, along a stretch of empty highway at night, a bird flies into their headlights. The car flips over. When they wake up in a military hospital, the doctor won't tell them what happened.

For Reese, though, this is just the start. She can't remember anything from the time between her accident and the day she woke up almost a month later. She only knows one thing: she's different now. Torn between longtime crush David and new girl Amber, the real question is: who can she trust?

As you probably can tell and if you've been following the blog lately, I have been trying to dig deep into my TBR and read some of the older stuff I have had in my pile.  Adaptation is one of those books.  Adaptation is a fast paced YA sci-fi thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat.  Reese and her debate partner David are on their way home from losing a match in Phoenix when birds start falling out of the sky.  Planes crash and general chaos and panic sweeps the country.  Racing to get home to San Francisco, they are in a car accident and wake up a month later with no memory of what happened  to them. Once they get home, hey both begin to suspect they are different in some way.

I really enjoyed this one.  I read it in one sitting.  It was a pretty refreshing sci-fi YA with some romance in it.  I'm not going to give away much of the plot other than whet is written in the synopsis.  It would ruin the reveals at the end. The characters were fun and interesting.  There is kind of a love triangle, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out in the sequel. The whole story is told through Reese's perspective as she and David try to figure out what happened to the both of them.  I thought the author did a great job of portraying Reese as someone who is questioning being Bi-sexual.  It came across as genuine and not cliche.   Honestly, I'm not sure who I am rooting for, Amber or David.

The book ends in a huge cliffhanger, so I must seek out the sequel to see what happens next.    I would probably keep it to older YA readers as there is a bit of mature exploratory content.  I definitely recommend this one.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Review: Why Not Tonight by Susan Mallery

Author: Susan Mallery
Publisher: Harlequin
Date of publication: September 2018

Natalie Kaleta will do anything for the artists at her gallery, including risk life, limb and the effect of humidity on her naturally curly hair. Braving a downpour to check on reclusive Ronan Mitchell, Natalie gets stranded by a mudslide at his mountain home, where the brooding glass artist reveals his playful side, sending her inconvenient crush from under-the-radar to over-the-top.

After a secret tore apart his family and made him question his sense of self, Ronan fled his hometown for Happily Inc, but the sunny small town can’t fix his damaged heart. He won’t give in to his attraction for beautiful, perpetually cheerful Natalie. She’s untouched by darkness—or so he thinks.

Natalie knows that when a heart goes through the flame, it comes out stronger. Life may not be a fairy tale, but sometimes dreams do come true. Why not this one? Why not tonight?

Why Not Tonight is the third book in the Happily, Inc series.  This one is Ronan and Natalie's story.  I have been kind of iffy on this series so far.  I'm sad to say this one is my least favorite of the three.  Natalie works as an admin assistant in the art gallery in town.  She decides to drive her car in a major storm up the mountain to check on Ronan.  The weather forces her to stay at his house for a few days.  The couple get to know each other a bit better and see a different side of each other.

What frustrates me about this series as well as this book is the lack of chemistry between all of the couples so far.  Ronan and Natalie have zero chemistry. Even their friends are surprised when they find out the couple is sleeping together.  It's hard to enjoy a romance where there is no chemistryThe HEA was sweet, but not really enough.  Ronan and Natalie were also kind of so-so characters.  While I liked Natalie's spunk and love of life, she was still kind of annoying.  I got tired of the constant reminders of her financial situation and comparing herself to the other more established artists who made more money.  Ronan was beyond frustrating in his denial that Elaine was his mom.  I felt bad for her and she barely in the book.  I still think the man needs some major therapy. I did cheer Natalie on when she called him out on his BS.  

It's not a bad book and it wasn't an awful read.  I just want more from this series.  The next book, Not Quite Over You, comes out next month. It's Silver's story.  I'll be reading it, but if that couple isn't any better, then  I will probably be calling it a day with this series.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Spotlight Tour: Excerpt and Giveaway of Wild on my Mind by Laurel Kerr

Author: Laurel Kerr
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date of publication: September 25, 2018

Love runs wild at the Sagebrush Flats Zoo,
where a motley crew of big-hearted animals
helps the most unlikely couples find love.
When Katie Underwood discovers a litter of newborn cougar cubs, the last person she expects to come to the rescue is her former crush—and high school nemesis—Bowie Wilson. The worst part? He doesn’t seem to remember the trouble he caused her.
As a single father and owner of a cash-strapped zoo, Bowie struggles to balance budgets while raising his preteen daughter and a host of rascally animals. He considers himself lucky when Katie agrees to lend her talents to a publicity campaign in support of the zoo’s animal rescue programs—until he learns just what she’s planning…
This time, Katie is determined to resist Bowie’s charm. But a lovelorn camel, a matchmaking honey badger, and a nursemaid capybara have different plans. Can they and the rest of the zoo’s menagerie help Bowie break through the barriers surrounding Katie’s heart?
Love can’t be tamed…
Purchase link:

Enjoy this excerpt:
She knew one thing for certain, though. After publicly humiliating her and effectively ending any chance of her dating anyone else in high school, Bowie Wilson had simply and utterly forgotten her.
“Uh, ma’am? Where exactly are we headed?”
Ma’am? Really? Although she supposed it was better than Katie Underwear.
“I see that, but where did the mother cougar leave her cubs?” The patience in Bowie’s tone irritated Katie even more. How dare he act like he was the rational one?
She whipped around to glare at him. Even in the harsh light of the LED lantern, Bowie was a handsome man.
“We’re headed to a cave,” she bit out.
Twelve years ago, Bowie could have doubled for a teenage heartthrob with the shock of jet-black hair that had always dangled over his piercing gray eyes. Now, with that hair neatly trimmed and a five-o’clock stubble dusting his jaw, he looked like a model posing for an outdoor magazine. As an immature youth, he’d pos­sessed a bad boy prettiness that appealed to girls—even self-proclaimed geeks like her. The years had toughened his features, hardening his male beauty into something more alluring and dangerous, even to a woman who should have known better.
Much better. Darn the man if he still didn’t have the capacity to make Katie’s hormones dance a happy little jig.
She steamed. If time hadn’t mattered, she might have taken them on a more difficult path. Even then, she doubted that it would have fazed Bowie. Despite never climbing on this particular rock face before, the man moved like a machine. She could just imagine his muscular forearm extending as he reached for the next hold. His bicep would flex as he hoisted his body…
Katie cursed at herself. Sometimes she found her vivid imagination more of a burden than a gift. It had certainly brought her more difficulties than successes.
Thankfully, they quickly arrived at the small cave. Katie started inside, but a warm hand rested on her shoulder. Even through the fabric of her T-shirt, she could feel Bowie’s heat and the strength of his fingers. An unbidden shiver slid through her.
“Let me go first.” Bowie’s breath caressed the sensitive skin on the back of Katie’s neck, and she had to fight to suppress another shudder. “The mother cougar may have returned.”
Bowie dropped to his knees and used the light from his headlamp to scan the cave before crawl­ing inside. With his larger frame, it took him a few seconds to wiggle through the narrow passage. As soon as Bowie moved far enough into the alcove for Katie to enter, she crawled over to the cubs. They moved clumsily about, searching for milk and their mother’s warmth. One yawned. Its tiny whis­kers flexed as it emitted a long squeak. The others followed suit. Katie’s heart squeezed. She resisted the urge to gather the little fluffs against her chest. She still didn’t know the protocol on handling kits this small, and she didn’t want to harm one inadvertently.
“Their eyes aren’t even open yet!” she said.
Bowie nodded. “Nor are their ears at this stage. They must be less than ten days old.” The awe in his voice caused Katie to turn sharply in his direction. He appeared just as infatuated with the cubs as she was. Was this the same man who’d once tied granny pant­ies to the undercarriage of her car along with the sign HONK IF YOU SEE MY UNDERWEAR?
Bowie reached for one of the mewling cubs and cradled it against his muscular chest. The little guy bur­rowed against him, and Katie’s hormones went crazy again. Just when she thought the scene couldn’t get any sweeter, the kit yawned, showing its miniature pink tongue. Then with one more nuzzle against Bowie’s pecs, it heaved a surprisingly large sigh as it fell asleep. Bowie’s handsome features softened into a gentle smile as he stroked the baby cougar’s spotted fur with one callused finger.
If Katie hadn’t suffered years of Bowie’s cruel teasing, she would have found herself halfway in love with him. He’d appeared to be the ideal boyfriend once before, but it had all been a veneer, the perfect trap for a geeky girl with silly dreams of romance. And Katie, the woman, would not fall prey to his outward charms again.
“Can I pick up one of the cougars too?” The cuteness of the cub would serve as a nice distraction from her unwanted feelings.
Bowie nodded. “They’ll need to be hand-reared, so they’re going to end up imprinting on humans anyway. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to rein­troduce them to the wild, but we can save them.”
Katie lifted one of the furry bundles, marveling at the softness of its fur. The little guy emitted a small, contented sound and immediately snuggled against Katie’s warmth. She could feel a cold, teeny nose against her skin as the cub rested its head in the crook of her arm. And right then and there, Katie fell in love. With the tiny kit. Definitely not with the man.
Although she hated putting the baby puma down, she knew the little trio needed more than just a warm cuddle. “Did you bring something to carry the cubs back down the mountain with?”
Bowie grimaced and shook his head. “I didn’t know the climb would be so steep.”
And, Katie realized, she hadn’t given him time to grab something from his truck either. To her sur­prise, Bowie was too polite to point that out.
“Do you want me to run back to the house to get a backpack?” she asked.
Bowie shook his head. “We’ll have to improvise. I’m not sure how long the cubs have been without milk, and we need to get them out of this cave as soon as possible.”
Katie scanned the dirt floor of the alcove and saw nothing—not even a twig. She turned back to ask Bowie what he planned on using and stopped. He was halfway out of his shirt. Normally, Katie wouldn’t blatantly ogle a man, but…those abs. And pecs. His biceps flexed as he ripped his shirt down the middle so it made one thick band. Bowie Wilson might be just as bad for Katie as an entire carton of rocky road ice cream, but he looked just as temptingly scrumptious.

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Review: The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James

Author: Simone St. James
Publisher: Penguin
Date of publication: March 2012

Sarah Piper's lonely, threadbare existence changes when her temporary agency sends her to assist a ghost hunter. Alistair Gellis-rich, handsome, scarred by World War I, and obsessed with ghosts- has been summoned to investigate the spirit of nineteen-year-old maid Maddy Clare, who is haunting the barn where she committed suicide. Since Maddy hated men in life, it is Sarah's task to confront her in death. Soon Sarah is caught up in a deperate struggle. For Maddy's ghost is real, she's angry, and she has powers that defy all reason. Can Sarah and Alistair's assistant, the rough, unsettling Matthew Ryder, discover who Maddy was, where she came from, and what is driving her desire for vengeance-before she destroys them all?

The Haunting of Maddy Clare is a good old fashioned ghost story.  I'm not sure how I missed this one when it came out.  In it, Sarah is hired through a temp agency to be an assistant to a ghost hunter.  Alistair is a war veteran and firmly believes in ghosts.  They travel to a small village where the ghost of Maddy Clare haunts a barn.  

I really enjoyed the book.  It was creepy and actually kind of scary.  The author did a great job of setting the dark atmosphere.  Maddy is a formidable ghost bent on revenge.  She wants Sarah's help in solving what happened to her.  She will stop at nothing to manipulate those around her until the truth is discovered.  The characters were great.  I loved Sarah's independence and boldness.  The story takes place after the first World War.  Alistair and Matthew are war heroes who have battle scars inside and out.  I even liked the ghost and  genuinely wanted a solution for her horrible ending.  If you are like me and missed this one, do check it out.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Spotlight of The Boy at the Keyhole by Stephen Giles

Author: Stephen Giles
Publisher: Hanover House
Date of publication: September 2014

Nine-year-old Samuel lives alone in a once-great estate in Surrey with the family’s housekeeper, Ruth. His father is dead and his mother has been abroad for months, purportedly tending to her late husband’s faltering business. She left in a hurry one night while Samuel was sleeping and did not say goodbye. 

Beyond her sporadic postcards, Samuel hears nothing from his mother. He misses her dearly and maps her journey in an atlas he finds in her study. Samuel’s life is otherwise regulated by Ruth, who runs the house with an iron fist. Only she and Samuel know how brutally she enforces order.

As rumors in town begin to swirl, Samuel wonders whether something more sinister is afoot. Perhaps his mother did not leave but was murdered—by Ruth.

Artful, haunting and hurtling toward a psychological showdown, The Boy at the Keyhole is an incandescent debut about the precarious dance between truth and perception, and the shocking acts that occur behind closed doors.

A fiendishly efficient, gorgeously written, nasty little thrill ride of a psychological thriller. I couldn’t put it down, and it’s entirely possible that I’ll never sleep again. A true tour-de-force of a debut novel.”–Lyndsay Faye, author of The Gods of Gotham and Jane Steele

The Boy at the Keyhole is sinister and tight, amusing and intense, an emotional story of a sweet boy in a precarious psychological place. A fun and wicked read that is impossible to put down!”–Matthew Sullivan, author of Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore

Purchase Links

About Stephen Giles

Stephen Giles is the Australian author behind the lauded children’s series “Anyone But Ivy Pocket”, penned under the pseudonym Caleb Krisp. The series, published in the US by HarperCollins/Greenwillow and the UK by Bloomsbury, appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List, has been translated into 25 different languages and was optioned by Paramount Pictures.
Prior to selling his first book, Stephen worked in a variety of jobs to supplement his writing including market research, film classification and media monitoring. “The Boy at the Keyhole” is Giles’ first work for adults and the film rights for this book have been acquired by New Regency.

Instagram Tour:
Monday, September 3rd: @bookpairings
Tuesday, September 4th: @hotcocoareads
Wednesday, September 5th: @worldswithinpages
Thursday, September 6th: @novelmombooks
Thursday, September 6th: @dropandgivemenerdy
Friday, September 7th: @biblio-files
Saturday, September 8th: @booksbeforebedtime
Sunday, September 9th: @jennblogsbooks “Sock Sunday”

Review Tour:
Tuesday, September 4th: The Book Diva’s Reads
Wednesday, September 5th: Mama Reads Blog
Thursday, September 6th: Bookchickdi
Friday, September 7th: Cheryl’s Book Nook
Monday, September 10th: Literary Quicksand
Monday, September 10th: Books Before Bedtime
Tuesday, September 11th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, September 12th: Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday, September 13th: Mrs. Mommy Booknerd
Friday, September 14th: Thoughts from a Highly Caffeinated Mind
Monday, September 17th: Girl Who Reads
Tuesday, September 18th: Buried Under Books
Wednesday, September 19th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, September 20th: @wherethereadergrows
Friday, September 21st: A Bookworm’s World
Monday, September 24th: ReadWonder
Tuesday, September 25th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Tuesday, September 25th: @booksncatsncoffee
Tuesday, September 25th: Books and Cats and Coffee
Wednesday, September 26th: Sweet Southern Home
Wednesday, September 26th: @lesa_cap
Thursday, September 27th: Books & Bindings
Friday, September 28th: What is That Book About