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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hungry Mother Creek by Heather Cobham, Review and Guest Post

 
 
 
 
To the outside world, it looks like Maya Somers lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, her husband, the bungalow they shared and her job. But inside Maya knows Katrina gave her the gift of a fresh start. She and her yellow lab, Doodle Bug, leave the destruction of the Gulf Coast for North Carolina and settle in Oriental, a quaint fishing village on the Pamlico Sound. 
In her new home by the water, Maya begins to rebuild her life. She knows she needs to heal from her abusive marriage and the trauma of Hurricane Katrina but isn’t sure where to start. It isn’t long before teachers appear to help her: Hazel, her elderly but spirited neighbor who has secrets of her own, Travis, a handsome kayak guide to whom she immediately feels a strong attraction, Buster, a crusty old fisherman who always seems to show up just when she needs him, and Bay Witherspoon, the much younger wife of a wealthy attorney who becomes a close friend despite their initial differences. Maya finds the most profound help when she is welcomed into a women’s circle that meets on the banks of Hungry Mother Creek. Gathered with these women, Maya learns that becoming vulnerable and sharing her pain with others is the first step of her healing journey. 
But what is the second step? Maya isn’t sure but with the help of her loyal yellow lab, her new friends and the peace of living by the water she stays the course. Ultimately Maya finds the healing journey to be messy, tangled and unpredictable, and the end result is nothing she could have ever imagined.

 
Buy the Book!



 
 
My Review:
 
This was a riveting story of one woman's journey to find herself.  Maya is a victim of the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and has a lot of things to overcome, when she takes a trip to Oriental, NC, she has an instant connection with the place.  She moves to Oriental and makes a new life for herself.   Heather Cobham has written and enthralling story of Maya's journey and I really enjoyed and I really connected with all the characters.  The writing was so good, I felt I knew the characters personally and I feel that I know the area of Oriental, even though I have never been to the area.  I say great job Heather, and I look forward to your next novel.
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
 
 
About the Author:
 
Heather Cobham grew up in North Carolina and now lives in Oriental with her husband and yellow lab.  Heather has always loved to write and has written poetry and short stories since she was a child.  Seven years ago she consciously created more time and space to write a novel and the publication of Hungry Mother Creek is a dream come true. Heather is a licensed clinical social worker and works as a counselor in a private practice in New Bern, N.C.  She writes on Wednesdays, Fridays and the weekends and is currently working on the sequel to Hungry Mother Creek.  Heather fights writer’s block by running, paddle boarding and kayaking. 
 
Connect with Heather!
 
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8056473.Heather_W_Cobham


Guest Post:

Into the Wild
 
     One of the blessings of living in Oriental, the setting of my novel Hungry Mother Creek, is being close to nature.  Our home is at the end of a road, on a point, surrounded by water on three sides.  The homes on our road take up less space then the marshland, overgrown vacant lots and forest.  On a regular basis I see rabbits, squirrels, turtles, deer, sea gulls, and osprey.  On a less regular, but consistent basis I see fox, owls, snakes, and raccoons. 
    The common factor in all my wildlife sightings is they occur at the edge of the river grasses or undergrowth or as the animal is moving quickly from one wild area to another.  I have never seen an animal linger long on the manicured lawns or open roads of our neighborhood.  Back in the unkempt, overgrown tangle of grasses, wildflowers and young trees, they sleep, eat, find safety, give birth and die.  If you sit quietly at the edge of a wild area you hear it teeming with life.  The leaves crunch and crackle under the feet of the mice, rabbits and deer.  The bees and crickets create a low hum.  The cat tails sway and collide as birds fly from one to the other.  Meanwhile the lawns are neat, uniformly cut and pretty, but quiet and empty of any wildlife. 
     As I reflect on this phenomenon, I see the same can happen in our lives. We often spend large amounts of time and effort creating a persona that is neat, organized and visually pleasing, just like my neighbors spend time and money maintaining their yards.  But too much attention to our surface presentation and we risk becoming as quiet and void of life as the well manicured lawns.
    If your life feels empty with limited passion and purpose, then you may be lingering too long in the well manicured persona you have created to please others.  For change to occur you must dive into the undergrowth and create time to go to your own wild place.  You don’t literally need to go into the wild, although some may, to find your wild place.  The most important ingredient is to remove yourself from the influence of society, friends and family so you can connect with your heart and mind and find the courage to be honest with yourself. Maybe this is meditation in the corner of your bedroom, maybe it is a vision quest in the desert, or maybe it’s ten minutes of truthful journaling every day.  Whatever feels right for you, DO IT.
     I regularly visit my wild place during pre-dawn solitary runs, time on my paddle board and by journaling, time in nature and occasional silent retreats. Writing a novel and moving permanently to Oriental, were both inspired by time in my wild place.  I have never felt more happy and fulfilled and attribute this to having the courage to follow the inspirations I’ve received.
   How do you connect with your “wild place” and where will time in your wild place take you?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rival Hearts by Tara Randel

Rival Hearts
New from Quilts of Love | Rival Hearts
They both want the promotion. But will they find out that it is worth the cost?
Molly Henderson and Ben Weaver have been rival magazine writers for the same publishing group for years. When both come up for the same promotion, they find themselves in an unexpected competition to win the spot. Molly, editor of Quilter’s Heart, and Ben, editor of Outdoor Adventures, must switch roles, each working for the other for one month, then submit an article at the end of their quests. Can girly‑girl Molly survive the outdoor adventures that Ben has planned? Can Ben navigate the perils of the social dynamics of quilting events without destroying a valuable quilt in one short month? More importantly, in this he‑said, she‑said situation, will Molly and Ben give in to their attraction and fall in love, no matter who wins?
Find out more and purchase a copy at the Quilts of Love website.

My Review:

This was a charming book.  I really enjoyed reading Molly and Ben's story.  Tara Randel is an excellent writer and she made the characters seem so real, I felt their pain and triumph like they were old friends of mine.  This is one of the best Quilts of Love books that I have read so far.  The title pretty much sums up the whole book.  Molly and Ben were rival hearts, but they lost their hearts to each other.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

About the Author:

Tara Randel is the author of five romance novels including "Lasting Love," "Melody of Love" and "This Time Love." A member of ACFW, Tara is also the lead author of the new Annie’s Mysteries series (see AnniesMysteries.com). Tara lives in New Port Richey, Florida.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Revealing by Suzanne Woods Fisher

About the book: 

Naomi King, soft spoken, loyal, and easily overlooked, has a gift. She sees what others can't see. Intuition, she calls it. Others in Stoney Ridge don't know what to make of it and dismiss her hunches and inklings altogether.

When a young woman arrives at the Inn at Eagle Hill with a shocking secret about Tobe Schrock, Naomi fears the worst. She can't ignore the feeling that something sinister is at work--- something more than a threat to the tenuous love begun between her and Tobe.

As signs mount, they begin to point to Jake Hertzler, the elusive mastermind behind Schrock Investments' downfall. Soon, events spiral hopelessly out of control and Naomi must decide whether to listen to her head or her heart.

In this riveting conclusion to The Inn at Eagle Hill series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher pulls out all the stops with a fast-paced tale of deception, revelation, and just the right dose of romance.

Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/ywEHT 
 
 
My Review:
 
This was a great conclusion to a wonderful series, everything was brought to a close so wonderfully in this book.  I would really love to read more about the community of Stoney Ridge and it's charming inhabitants.  This was a very well written book that flowed really well and was a very easy and fast read.  It kept my attention from the time I started it, till I finished it.  There were some twists and turns in this book that kept me on the edge of my seat and I couldn't wait to find out what happened.  I thoroughly enjoyed this boo, great job Suzanne.
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
 
 
 
 
 
About the author: 

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of the Inn at Eagle Hill series, Lancaster County Secrets series, and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is also the coauthor of a new Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner and a Christy Award finalist. She is a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California.

Download Suzanne's free app! http://bit.ly/10Tygyi

Find Suzanne online: website, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest

 


In The Revealing, the riveting conclusion to the Inn at Eagle Hill series, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher pulls out all the stops with a fast-paced tale of deception, revelation, and just the right dose of romance.



Suzanne is celebrating by giving away THREE iPads!

revealing-400-click



THREE grand prize winners will receive:

  • An iPad
  • PickPocket Tablet Accessory Pouch (A stylish storage pouch designed to hold all your tablet accessories. Info.)
  • The Inn at Eagle Hill series (The Letters, The Calling, and The Revealing)
Five second place winners will receive:


  • The Inn at Eagle Hill series (The Letters, The Calling, and The Revealing) by Suzanne Woods Fisher
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 20th. All winners will be announced July 21st at Suzanne's blog. AND ... if you're looking for more in the Inn at Eagle Hill series, be sure to pick up the ebook novella, The Rescue, for just $1.99!



BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!


Suzanne is also giving away two 10-book mystery prize packs! 

One of the major themes of The Revealing is learning to trust your intuition and instincts. These are God-given qualities that we sometimes are too timid or unsure of to act on. For a chance to win one of the 10-book prize packs, leave a comment on this blog and share about a time when your intuition or instinct saved the day—or a time you ignored it and missed an opportunity. 

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit Suzanne's blog on the 21st to see if you won one of the great prizes! (Or better yet, subscribe to her blog and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Granny Skewers a Scoundrel by Julie Seedorf, Review and Guest Post

 
 
 
 
 
 
Granny Skewers a Scoundrel:
A Fuschia Minnesota Mystery

Cozy Mystery – 225 Pages
Cozy Cat Press (March 11, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-1939816382


Synopsis

Granny has a new addition to her arsenal of crime fighting weapons as Fuchsia, Minnesota’s most colorful detective. Now, along with her famous crook-hooking umbrella, she’s acquired a scoundrel-skewering knitting needle. And just in time! Residents of Fuchsia seem to be dropping dead like flies! First, it’s Granny’s neighbor Sally (who gives up the ghost in her weed-filled front yard), followed by Esmeralda Periwinkle (the squirrel lover on Main Street), and then, Mr. Nail, owner of the local hardware store (who is squashed when dozens of bags of fertilizer fall on top of him). Granny is baffled. Who is behind this murder spree?
Granny enlists the help of her sort of boyfriend franklin Gatsby, the town’s police chief Cornelius Stricknine (or “The Big Guy”), her reality-show loving neighbor Mavis, and her own son Thor. And, of course, the special assistance of her menagerie of pets — including Mr. Bleaty, the goat. Soon Granny is hot on the trail of this dastardly murderer. Unfortunately, when Granny herself is poisoned, everyone insists that she cool her crime solving ways and stay indoors and out of harms way. Of course, that’s never going to happen! Not when Granny knows all the secret passageways and tunnels that run underneath Fuchsia. Out she goes–and watch out, you evil doers! Granny will solve this mystery–you can bet your pink undies, she will!

My Review:

Well, Granny really skewered me in this book.  Once I started it, I didn't want to put  it down.  Granny is such an eccentric character that you can't help but love her, she really gets herself into some hairy and humorous situations.  She definitely is not your typical Granny, that is for sure.  Another thing that makes this series so enjoyable is the menagerie of animals that Granny has accumulated, and keeps accumulating, and the quirky characters that inhabit the town of Fuchsia, MN.  Granny has the possibility of a romance in this book, will she take the plunge.   I can't wait for the next Fuchsia Minnesota Mystery to come out to see what Granny is up to next!

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my  honest review.

About This Author



Julie grew up in a small Minnesota community. She knows the value of neighbors looking out for neighbors.
Julie has worn many hats during her lifetime. She has been a waitress, barmaid, activities assistant, store clerk, office manager and for the last 14 years has worked in computer repair, and finally owning her own computer repair business. In January 2014 she closed her computer business to write full time.
Her most important career in her estimation has been wife, mother and grandmother. Nothing could equal the gift of nurturing and watching her children and grandchildren grow.
Julie is also a columnist for the Albert Lea Tribune. Her column “Something About Nothing” brings a little fluff to an unfluffy world. She believes there is always something underlying in the nothings we talk about. In 2011 she self-published “Whatchamacallit? Thingamajig?. It is a book about grandmothers and grandchildren. It was a collaboration between her grandchildren and Julie. Along with a glossary and lots of weird words, it is a mystery that reveals to the characters grandchildren who Grandma used to be.
In 2013 Julie signed a contract with Cozy Cat Press for the publication of her Cozy Mystery “Granny Hooks A Crook.” It fulfilled one item on Julie’s bucket list. Granny lives in the fictional town of Fuchsia, Minnesota. The Fuchsia, Minnesota books is a series. Granny Skewers A Scoundrel, book two in the series was released in March 2014. The Fuchsia books are unusual cozies with a little satire about small communities and an over the top Granny that gives a new meaning to old.  Julie also writes free lance for the Courier Sentinel and the Albert Lea Tribune. She also is designing a line of shirts, cups and other material to complement her books.

Never quit dreaming is Julie’s motto. Dreams are the gateway to fun, fantasy and the future.
Author Links
Purchase Links
AMAZON B&N

Guest Post:


You Are Uniquely You

 

E. L. Doctorow made this statement; Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.

That statement gave me pause for thought. My first book Granny Hooks A Crook came out of nothing. It came out of the nothingness of my dreams at night. Each day I woke up and a new chapter was in my head. I couldn’t explain it but those dreams lifted me out of an illness and a depression and gave me hope for a new tomorrow full of joy and creativity.

The reviews of the book were mixed because people found it hard to read a book that was fantasy and fun. Others loved the book because the main character, Granny, was someone they would love to be later in life instead of the broken down idea we have of older people. Fuchsia, Minnesota was the community we might like to live in without all the rules and regulations that bog us down in our real life. Writing Granny Hooks A Crook started from nothing, fantasy and creativity became my learning experience. It had been a long time since I felt able to let go of today’s problems and wallow in fun and creativity. Fuchsia and Granny did that for me.

Writing Granny Skewers A Scoundrel was hard to start out of nothing because fear and the what if’s took over. What if no one liked it? What if I couldn’t keep up the humor and creativity? What if…what if….what if.

I also love to read. I read many different genres of books but I love Cozy Mysteries. Reading the wonderful stories that others weave made me also doubt my talent. My mystery is different. My mystery is more silly and fanciful. I got scared and thought that perhaps I should change the way I write. Could I write a little more seriously when it came to a cozy story?

Yes, the panic set in and for a small time I was blocked with indecision. I turned to my young reader series, Granny’s in Trouble for answers. It was a series I started to let my grandchildren know a little bit about who their grandmother was when she was young. As I worked on my books in that series I realized that for too many years I tried to be someone else and stifle the fantasy that didn’t seem to fit with the adult world I lived in today.

I write because I need to let the fantasy and ideas flow. I write because I love to write. I write because I want to touch others’ lives. I write because it reminds me that finally, now, I understand I can no longer be who others think I need to be. I need to let my own inner light shine in whatever way that will keep my dreams and my soul alive to love life in the good times and the challenges that we all face living in this world.

The statement by E.L Doctorow is a statement about writing, but it could be a statement about our lives. When we are born we all start from nothing. We grow and explore and learn. When we are new to this world we opened our eyes in amazement at the first time we saw a butterfly or felt a hug or a kiss from someone we loved. We trusted, we played, and we grew our own unique personalities.

The key is asking ourselves what we learned and what we changed as we traveled our life and explored expectations. Did we leave our fantasies behind and put in place of them the hard cruel world? Or did we keep our light shining for all to see in the way that nurtured our inner soul?

Writing the Fuchsia, Minnesota Series, writing the Granny’s In Trouble Series and writing the other series that I have started found that little light still shining deep in my soul. I only had to let it out again.

My advice to my readers; let your little light shine from deep in your soul. Embrace the part of you that you used to be when you started from nothing. Look for the wonder again in your life and let your little light shine for the entire world to see. You are uniquely you.

 

 

 



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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Biscuit, A Casket by Liz Mugavero, Review and Guest Post

 
 
 


A Biscuit, A Casket by Liz Mugavero
Cozy Mystery – 320 Pages
July 7 – July 16, 2014
A Biscuit, a Casket
Series: A Pawsitively Organic Mystery
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Kensington (April 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 0758284802
ISBN-13: 978-0758284808
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Synopsis:
The small town of Frog Ledge, Connecticut, has wholeheartedly embraced Kristan “Stan” Connor’s new business – preparing quality organic treats for dogs and cats. On a healthy diet, the animals may live longer…but one local farmer won’t be so lucky. As Halloween approaches, Stan is asked to cater a doggie costume party hosted by the Happy Cow Dairy Farm. Part of a local co-op, Happy Cow specializes in organic dairy products, and farmers Hal and Emmalee Hoffman have started opening up the farm for parties, offering a “haunted” corn maze as an added attraction. When Hal’s lifeless body is found in the maze, the police at first suspect his wife, but Stan soon learns the dairy farmer had plenty of enemies – from bitter family members to shady business associates. If Stan can’t extract a kernel of truth from the labyrinth of lies, she may be the next one to buy the farm…
 
 
My Review:
 
I know the cover of a book doesn't have anything to do with how good it is, but I just love the cover of this book, it is so cute.  It was a great book that I literally almost could not put down.  Liz does a such wonderful job with writing, that this book just flowed so well, and it was a very fast read.  It kept me guessing till the very end, which is what I like in a cozy mystery.  I was also set in a charming place filled with charming and quirky characters.  I really liked the animals in this story also, as I am a huge animal lover.  I say great job Liz, I will definitely be reading more in Pawsitively Organic Mystery Series. 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
 



About This Author
Liz Mugavero has been writing stories since she could hold a pen. Before that, she would tell them to anyone who would listen (not many at the time). After deciding early on she would write books for a living, she practiced by writing bad, angst-filled poems, short stories and even a storyline for a soap opera–all by age 15. She never wavered from her goals despite all the usual questions including, “So are you going to be an English teacher with that degree in English?” or, “That writing thing sounds nice, but how are you REALLY going to make a living?”
She went on to get a master’s in writing and publishing and spent time in journalism, PR, and presently, corporate communications. And she’s confident this writing thing IS the way to make a living.
Aside from writing, she loves animals (has a houseful), the beach, reading other writers’ masterpieces and Starbucks coffee.
Author Links
Webpage: www.lizmugavero.com
Blog: www.wickedcozyauthors.com
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6475412.Liz_Mugavero

Purchase Links
Amazon B&N


Guest Post

 

Life in Frog Ledge

 

One of my favorite parts about writing a cozy series is building the town - the place where all the action happens, where the characters live and evolve and the story comes to life.

Frog Ledge, Conn., where the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries are set, is a fictional town, created from a hybrid of places nearby to where I live. When I was brainstorming the series, my mind kept going back to the town green where I take my dogs for walks. This town green wasnt like any Id ever seen. First, it was huge. It had a walking trail around it, and I could tell it was the place where life happened in this town. Farmers markets, concerts, fireworks, you name it - it all took place on the green. I knew immediately this would be the center of my fictional town.

In the books, Stan buys a Victorian house on the south end of the green. From her upstairs windows, she gets to keep a pretty good pulse on whats going on. Also around the green are the town library, the historical society, some Revolutionary War historical buildings and the general store.

Of course, a lot of this is an ad-lib from the real thing. I chose the pieces that worked from the real town and changed the ones that didnt. I added some aspects of another town in close proximity, including some of the history, to shape Frog Ledge. But I also made it more modern. I gave it a gourmet coffee and chocolate shop (something Id love to see in my town!), and a classy Irish pub. I gave it a bed and breakfast with an alpaca farm built in. I gave it a vet clinic that offered natural treatments along with traditional. And I gave it a caring, compassionate animal control officer who cares deeply about animal rescue. Which, in my mind, makes it a hugely desirable place to live!

The most important thing, though, is to make this town resonate with readers. They have to want to come back and visit. And while the small town setting has a lot to do with that, the town would be empty without its citizens. So as I created Frog Ledge, I imagined the kinds of people Id expect to be living there - and then some Id never expect. This is how I found Char Mackey, southern transplant and B&B owner who still expects drive-through daiquiri stands like the ones she left behind in New Orleans to make an appearance someday. And Izzy Sweet, the exotic sweet shop owner. Even Stan, who is so out of her element around dairy farms and cow manure. Frog Ledge has its share of farmers, too, which makes sense given its longstanding agricultural nature, but its much more than that. Its quirky, its quaint, its a traditional New England gem - and I hope readers enjoy visiting it as much as I love writing about it.





Saturday, July 12, 2014

Be Careful What You Witch For by Dawn Eastman, Review and Guest Post

 
 
 
 


Be Careful What You Witch For
(A Family Fortune Mystery)

Genre: Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Publisher: Berkley (July 1, 2014)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425264478
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Synopsis
Leaving a traumatic police career behind, Clyde Fortune has returned to her seemingly quiet hometown of Crystal Haven, Michigan. In spite of the psychic powers of its residents, there’s no telling what trouble is brewing in this burg…
The highlight of the fall festival in Crystal Haven is a bonfire with a witch’s cauldron resting over it. Clyde’s best friend Diana leads a ritual to divine the future, but it seems no one foresees that one of their own will drop dead—or that Diana will be a prime suspect.
 Clyde already has her hands full with her eccentric family, runaway nephew, and burgeoning secret romance with a hunky homicide detective. But after another coven member is attacked, Clyde suspects there’s a witch hunt afoot and focuses her psychic and sleuthing skills to clear her friend’s name and catch a killer.

My Review:

The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover, I just love it, it is so eye catching.  And the book didn't disappoint me either.  I was hooked from the very first page.  I don't really believe in spiritualists myself, but I enjoyed reading about this very eccentric family.  There were some laugh-out-loud moments in this book as the Fortune family, and Clyde in general, gets it's self into some pretty hairy scrapes.  It is also great because it has two wonderful dogs in it, and I am a sucker for dogs.  This was a great cozy mystery because it totally blew my mind as to who the killer turned out to be, and there were a lot of twists and turns in it that kept me guessing.  I cannot wait till the next Family Fortune Mystery comes out, I am totally hooked on this series. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.


About This Author
Dawn Eastman is the national bestselling author of Pall in the Family, the first book in the Family Fortune Mystery Series. She lived in Michigan for many years in a house full of animals, unusual people, and laughter. She now lives in Iowa with her husband, son, daughter, and one extremely bossy small dog.
Author Links
www.DawnEastman.com
Twitter – @DawnAEastman
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DawnEastmanAuthor
Goodreads – under Dawn Eastman, the link is weird but here it is: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6544185.Dawn_Eastman

Purchase Links 
Amazon B&N


Guest Post:


It’s Just No Fun Without a Pet.

 

When I began planning the Family Fortune mystery series, there was no question that there would be dogs involved. Two of my characters are animal psychics. One is self-proclaimed and of dubious talent, the other is still keeping his true gift under wraps. This allows for all sorts of animal intrigue. Dogs have always been a part of my life and I can’t imagine being without one. I learned to walk by holding onto our Boxer while he patiently escorted me around the living room.

 

Later, we had an extremely intelligent standard Poodle who, according to my mother, was smarter than my brother and I combined. Sadly, she has data to back this up. He is the only dog I’ve ever known who was capable of playing hide and seek. One winter during a long blizzard with multiple snow days my brother and I taught the dog how to play. We went into the basement to hide while my mother counted.  Then she let the Poodle come down the stairs. Of course, he found us within seconds. The amazing part was when he got to hide. One of us would hide the dog and tell him to stay quiet, and then go hide ourselves. The human was always found first. The Poodle never gave away his hiding spot, even if we called him and offered treats.

 

We also had an Airedale that stole whole chickens off a hot grill, a Cocker Spaniel who won a talent contest just for being cute, and an Australian Shepherd who took her job very seriously even without any sheep to herd.

 

Now, I live with a Bichon-Shih Tzu mix who tries to tell everyone what to do. He has an uncanny sense of time as it relates to his meal times and a profound lack of faith that anyone will feed him without his intervention. He was clicker trained as a puppy and now squeaks his toy as a reward for anyone who understands his commands and does what he wants.

 

There are two dogs in the Family Fortune series, both rescued after their owners’ untimely demise. Baxter is a Bullmastiff. He is large, stubborn, and drooly. He is also loyal, brave, and gentle.

 

Tuffy, the Shih Tzu, is bossy and easily frightened by new experiences. He has his adopted human completely trained to meet his every need. He’s very lucky he’s so cute.

 

I’d love to hear about your too-smart dogs or cats (or any pets) in the comments!

 

 

 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Death in Perspective by Larissa Reinhart, Review and Giveaway






Death in Perspective (A Cherry Tucker Mystery) (Volume 4)
A Cherry Tucker Mystery #4
Cozy Mystery
Paperback: 250 pages
Publisher: Henery Press; First edition (June 24, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-1940976181
E-book File Size: 594 KB
ASIN: B00L5Q7AYW
Synopsis
In Cherry Tucker’s fourth mystery, the curtain rises on Cherry’s debut as a high school set designer at the posh, private Peerless Day Academy. Cherry’s been hired to design scenery for an avant garde adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, but the theater teacher’s hoping Cherry can also turn the spotlight on a malicious bully who’s sending poisonous texts to the faculty. The director’s got his own drama to hide, and the phantom texter seems eager to spill school secrets. When a school secretary’s death is ruled a suicide, Cherry suspects foul play. The phantom bully may be using blackmail to rid the school of unwanted staff, urging a Montague-Capulet styled showdown.
With Deputy Luke Harper wanting to return as Cherry’s leading man, he’s eager to assist her efforts in fingering the phantom culprit, but Cherry fears family secrets may doom them to the role of star-crossed lovers. Offstage, Cherry’s searching for her missing brother who’s fixed on a vendetta against Luke’s stepfamily, so she instead turns to the local, foreign racketeer, Max Avtaikin, for assistance. With the bully waiting for a murderous encore and her own family skeletons to hide, Cherry scrambles to find her brother and the mysterious texter before the phantom decides its curtains for Cherry and forces her to take a final bow.

My Review:

Larissa Reinhart has done it again, written a book that is both edge of your seat and humorous.  Cherry Tucker is a very likable character, and this time, she is going back to school.  Cherry really gets herself into some scrapes!  I always enjoy visiting the quirky town of Halo, Ga.  Larissa writes stories that I can relate to, and this one was not different.  If you like a fast-paced, humorous, easy read, then this is the book for you. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

About The Author
After teaching in the US and Japan, Larissa enjoys writing, particularly sassy female characters with a penchant for trouble. She lives near Atlanta with her family and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit. Visit her website or find her chatting on Facebook. Death in Perspective is the fourth book in the best selling Cherry Tucker Mystery series. The first, Portrait of a Dead Guy, is a Daphne du Maurier finalist, Emily finalist, and Dixie Kane Memorial winner.
 



Author Links:
Website: http://larissareinhart.com/
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1qMwr29
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RisWrites
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/RisWrites
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5806614.Larissa_Reinhart
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/LarissaReinhart/
Purchase Links
Amazon B&N


GIVEAWAY:

THERE IS GOING TO BE ONE CHERRY TUCKER MYSTERY E-BOOK, WINNERS CHOICE FROM THE  WHOLE SERIES, GIVEN AWAY.  JUST LEAVE A REPLY, AND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, NO EMAIL, NO ENTRY.  I WILL PICK A WINNER ON JULY 11.  GOOD LUCK.  THERE IS ALSO A RAFFLECOPTER BELOW.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, July 6, 2014

A Mother's Secret by Amy Clipston

About the book: 

Book two in the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series.
Carolyn Lapp dreams of marrying for love. But will the errors of her past destroy this dream forever?
Carolyn Lapp longs to have a traditional Amish family. But she lives on her brother's farm with her parents and her 15-year old son, Benjamin. Carolyn has never revealed the identity of Benjamin's father and lives daily with the guilt and shame of her youthful indiscretion. Her brother simply will not forgive her.
His answer is to arrange a practical marriage for Carolyn to Saul, a widower with a little girl. But Carolyn isn't convinced that Saul really loves her and believes he is simply looking for someone to help raise his daughter.
When Benjamin causes trouble at a local horse auction, horse breeder Joshua Glick decides that he must be taught a lesson. Carolyn and Joshua are unmistakably drawn to each other, but Joshua mistakenly assumes that Benjamin is Carolyn's brother. Carolyn fears that if he discovers the truth, her past will destroy their budding romance.
After years of shame and loneliness, Carolyn suddenly has two men vying for her attention. But which of them will give her the family-and the unconditional love-she's longed for?

Purchase a copy:  http://ow.ly/xlHpQ 
 
My Review:
 


I always enjoy reading books by Amy Clipston.  Her writing is so wonderful and she makes her characters seem so real.  I like that she makes her characters with flaws to show that not everyone is perfect.  I also like how she puts characters in her stories that sometimes are not likable.  This story seemed so real.  Amy writes from the heart and makes you feel like you are right there with the characters experiencing what they are experiencing. I really liked the character of Carolyn and didn't like how some in the community treated her.  This goes to show that even Amish people are not perfect and that we all need the grace of God. .  In this story, Carolyn had a son out of wedlock and for the Amish that is frowned upon, so Carolyn is not treated the best by the community, even by her own brother, with whom she and her son live.  When Benjamin, Carolyn’s son, gets into some trouble at the horse auction, breeder Joshua Glick feels Benjamin should be taught a lesson.  He mistakenly thinks that Benjamin is Carolyn’s brother.  Will Carolyn be brave enough to reveal the truth to Benjamin? In the meantime, her brother is trying to arrange a marriage between Carolyn and another man, Saul.  Carolyn has a lot of struggles, but Amy has created a very well developed character who only wants to do what is best for herself and her son.  Amy’s books are very well written and they flow so well, that they end way too quickly.  Amy really makes you care about the characters in her books and you actually worry about them and long for them to get their happy ending.  Amy is they type of writer whose books stay with you long after you have put them down.  I look forward to more from Amy, great job.


 


I received a complimentary copy of this book.



About the author: 

Amy Clipston holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, and two sons and four spoiled rotten cats.


Amy can be found at: website, Twitter, Facebook
 


Don't miss the newest offering in the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series from Amy Clipston, A Mother's SecretAn unwed Amish woman yearns for real love and a family. The only thing in her way is the shame she’s been carrying for half of her life. The novel received 4-1/2 stars from Romantic Times and was chosen as a Top Pick.



Amy is celebrating with a Kindle Fire giveaway.

motherssecret-400-click
 One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • Books 1 and 2 in the Hearts of the Lancaster Grand Hotel series, A Hopeful Heart and A Mother's Secret.
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on July 6th. Winner will be announced July 7th on Amy's blog.



Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Amy's blog on July 7th to see if you won.


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Lost Then Found by Christina Freeburn with Giveaway

 
 
 
 

Lost Then Found
(New Beginnings)

First in Series
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc (April 13, 2014)
Paperback: 180 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1612527505
E-Book File Size: 479 KB
ASIN: B0061XJJKC
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Synopsis
The hope of a future for the broken begins in Mourning.
Skip-tracer Renee Stratford-Knight’s life plan changed upon her sister’s murder. Instead of using her skills to find people, Renee opened New Beginnings a firm specializing in “vanishing” abused women. Now her ex-husband -and former business partner – Jonas Knight reenters her life asking about her most vulnerable client.
Jonas knows his ex-wife helped embezzler Gina Howard elude the authorities and intends to bring the young woman to justice. When Renee is threatened, Jonas grows suspicious of his client’s reason for finding his niece.
In order to uncover the secret a teenager girl disappeared to keep, and a killer wants silenced, Jonas and Renee must struggle through distrust and the pain of their pasts to work together to save the life of teenage girl – and their own.
 
My Review:
 
I was really excited to review Christina's book because she is from the same town that my husband is from.  She didn't disappoint either.  This book had a lot of action, I liked the characters, and I liked that Renee had a relationship with God.  The writing was superb in this book.  It also had a good storyline that kept me interested.  I look forward to reading more of Christina's work.
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
 
About This Author
Christina Freeburn is a full-time writers and focuses on stories with characters, especially heroines, overcoming their pasts and striving to help the down-trodden turn around their lives. The stories are sometimes told with humor, other times serious, but always with heart.
The New Beginning Series includes the books: LOST THEN FOUND, LED ASTRAY, SAFE AND SOUND, LONG GONE, and FAR AWAY.
She lives in West Virginia with her husband, children, dog, and rarely seen cat except by those who are afraid or allergic to felines.
  • Author Links
Webpage: www.christinafreeburn.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Christina-Freeburn-Author/245592138834150?ref=hl
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/ChristinaFreeb1
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5315723.Christina_Freebur
Purchase Links
AMAZON B&N


 
 
GIVEAWAY:
 
One Print copy of this book will be given away, sorry US only, just leave a comment with your email, no email, no entry.  Good luck!

Guest Post:

My Frenemy the Computer

By Christina Freeburn

 

My computer and I have a complicated relationship. I love it, and at other times it is the bane of my existence. It’s suppose to make writing easier, but at times it makes me start over—like with this blog post. My fantastic, original blog post disappeared. Okay, it didn’t really vanish. I forgot to save it. In my defense, I had thought I saved it. I had two documents up and was positive the blog post was safe and sound on my hard drive. Nope. What I had saved was the “throw away” document where I tested out ideas.

The moment I pressed the button saying, “Yes, I’m sure I saved this”, not really caring because it was the “test” document, I knew I made a huge mistake. It was too late. I heard myself wail “No!”, and tried to “unclick” the mouse button. Of course, that didn’t work. Since it hadn’t taken me very long to write, there wasn’t an automatic saved version. The blog post was gone. I tried recreating from memory but nothing sounded right. It was gone forever. The brilliance. The perfect guest post—gone.

I bemoaned my fate, said some not very nice things to—and about—the computer. I acted like it was the computer’s fault I hadn’t paid attention to which document I was working on. The most prevalent thought (besides I should’ve known better) was if I still used a typewriter I wouldn’t have lost all those brilliant words. My poor words. Gone into the vast nothingness. Never to be found or seen again.

There is a chance those vanished words aren’t quite as brilliant as I now fondly remember them. It usually works that way. I glanced at the typewriter on my desk fondly. If I had used it, I’d still have the piece. But, if I still wrote on a typewriter editing would take a lot longer. And if everyone still used typewriters, I wouldn’t be writing a guest blog post in the first place. Where would one put a blog post if not for the computer and the internet? Would there even be blogs?

I took a couple of deep breaths, made sure I only had one document opened, and started typing a new blog post. One about losing my other post…writers can find ideas in anything.

 

Christina is the author of the New Beginnings Series published by Desert Breeze Publishing. The books in the series are: Lost Then Found, Led Astray, Safe and Sound, Long Gone, and Far and Away. She is also the author of the Scrap This Mystery Series published by Henery Press.