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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Wedding and a Killing by Lauren Carr

 
 
 
 
 
About the Book:
 
When Mac Faraday decides to do something, there’s no stopping him … even murder!

Not wanting to wait until their big day to start their life of wedded bliss, Mac Faraday and his lady love, Archie Monday, decide to elope to the little church where his ancestors had all married—along the tranquil shore of Deep Creek Lake. However, before they can say, “I do,” the sanctuary erupts into chaos when Gnarly finds a dead body in the church office.

As they dive into the investigation, Mac and his team discover more questions than answers. What kind of person walks into a church and shoots a man for no apparent reason? How do you solve the murder of a man who has no enemies in the world? Which of the seemingly kind-hearted church members is really a cold-blooded killer?

Then, there is the all-important question, how long do Mac Faraday and his lady love have to wait to get married?

For More Information

  • A Wedding and a Killing is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
        
My Review:

Lauren has done it again.  She creates novels that suck you in and keep you turning the pages.  I love to read about Mac and the crew from Spencer Mountain near Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County Md.  I guess I like that location because it is near where I am from in WV, and hey, Lauren is from WV also!  Lauren is such a great writer, how does she come up with these mysteries!  Mac and the crew always seem to get themselves embroiled in some hairy and difficult situations. All Mac and Archie wanted to do was get married! If you are looking for an edge of your seat mystery that will keep you turning pages, but that also has a little romance, then this is the book for you!

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

About the Author
 
Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. A Wedding and a Killing is the eighth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.
 
In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder. Dead on Ice (A Lovers in Crime Mystery) was released September 2012. The second installment, Real Murder was released to rave reviews in June 2014.
 
The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.
 
Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.
 
She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

For More Information

  • Visit Lauren Carr’s website.
  • Connect with Holly on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Visit Lauren’s blog.
  • Is your group looking for a speaker for your next event?  Click here.
  • Contact Lauren.


    


Palmetto Moon by Kim Boykin


 
 
 


About the Book:
 
June, 1947. Charleston is poised to celebrate the biggest wedding in high-society history, the joining of two of the oldest families in the city. Except the bride is nowhere to be found…Unlike the rest of the debs she grew up with, Vada Hadley doesn’t see marrying Justin McLeod as a blessing—she sees it as a life sentence. So when she finds herself one day away from a wedding she doesn’t want, she’s left with no choice but to run away from the future her parents have so carefully planned for her.

In Round O, South Carolina, Vada finds independence in the unexpected friendships she forms at the boarding house where she stays, and a quiet yet fulfilling courtship with the local diner owner, Frank Darling. For the first time in her life, she finally feels like she’s where she’s meant to be. But when her dear friend Darby hunts her down, needing help, Vada will have to confront the life she gave up—and decide where her heart truly belongs.

For More Information

 
My Review:
 
This was a great novel about strong women and how they can and do survive.  I was so glad that Vada followed her heart in this novel.  This was a well written novel that kept my attention.  I really liked all of the characters in this novel.  The location of this novel was great also.  A great read about the south. 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
 
About the Author
 
Kim Boykin was raised in her South Carolina home with two girly sisters and great parents. She had a happy, boring childhood, which sucks if you’re a writer because you have to create your own crazy. PLUS after you’re published and you’re being interviewed, it’s very appealing when the author actually lived in Crazy Town or somewhere in the general vicinity.
 
Almost everything she learned about writing, she learned from her grandpa, an oral storyteller, who was a master teacher of pacing and sensory detail. He held court under an old mimosa tree on the family farm, and people used to come from all around to hear him tell stories about growing up in rural Georgia and share his unique take on the world.
 
As a stay-at-home mom, Kim started writing, grabbing snip-its of time in the car rider line or on the bleachers at swim practice. After her kids left the nest, she started submitting her work, sold her first novel at 53, and has been writing like crazy ever since.
 
Thanks to the lessons she learned under that mimosa tree, her books are well reviewed and, according to RT Book Reviews, feel like they’re being told across a kitchen table. She is the author of The Wisdom of Hair from Berkley, Steal Me, Cowboy and Sweet Home Carolina from Tule, and Palmetto Moon, also from Berkley 8/5/14. While her heart is always in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, she lives in Charlotte and has a heart for hairstylist, librarians, and book junkies like herself.
For More Information
 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Crafty Christmas by Mollie Cox Bryan






 
A Crafty Christmas
(Cumberland Creek)

Publisher: Kensington (October 7, 2014)
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0758293565
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SYNOPSIS
Christmas is just around the corner, and the ladies of the Cumberland Creek Scrapbook Crop are thrilled when Sheila wins the first place prize in a scrapbooking design contest: a ten-day scrapbook-themed cruise in the Caribbean. Vera and Paige decide to tag along, which should pose the perfect opportunity to learn some new techniques, mingle with fellow croppers, and get in some rest and relaxation before the chaos of Christmas. But when Sheila finds a famous crafter dead, and investigators determine she was poisoned, the luxury cruise veers toward disaster as Sheila becomes the number one suspect – or was she really the intended victim? Just as the croppers begin un-wrapping the truth, a storm strands them at sea, and they’ll find it’s harder than ever to survive the holidays with a killer on deck…
 
 
My Review:
 
This book kept my attention from the time I picked it up till the time that I finished it.  And let me tell you, at the end, it had me on the edge of my seat!!  I really enjoyed reading about Sheila, Vera, and Paige getting to go on an exciting cruise.  But, as always, the Cumberland Creek gang gets themselves into a mess, and Annie tries to figure out what is going on on the Jezebel from Cumberland Creek.  I like this series because the characters seem so real and they seem like they are people you would really know.  The ending of this book will leave you speechless, to say the least.  Go out and grab a copy! 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.


 
 
 


About This Author

Mollie Cox Bryan writes the Cumberland Creek Mysteries, published by Kensington. The first book, Scrapbook of Secrets, was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel of 2012; the next one Scrapped, was published in January 2013. Death of an Irish Diva is the third in the series. Plans for the series include two more novels and two novellas—the first one Scrappy Summer will be available in summer 2014. She writes, gardens, runs, and scrapbooks in Waynesboro, Va. with her husband and two daughters.
Author Links
http://www.molliecoxbryan.com
Twitter: @molliecoxbryan
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/molliecoxbryanauthor
Pinterest  http://pinterest.com/molliecoxbryan/boards/
Purchase Links
Amazon B&N
 
 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Catwalk by Sheila Webster Boneham, Review and Guest Post


CATWALK  large banner448









Catwalk_NewSynopsis Agility can be murder for cats, dogs, and people!
Animal photographer Janet MacPhail is training for her cat Leo’s first feline agility trial when she gets a frantic call about a “kidnapping.” When Janet and her Australian Shepherd Jay set out to track down the missing party, they quickly find themselves drawn into the volatile politics of feral cat colonies and endangered wetlands.
Janet is crazy busy trying to keep up with her mom’s nursing-home romance, her own relationship with Tom, and upcoming agility trials with Jay and Leo. But the discovery of a body on the canine competition course stops the participants dead in their tracks—and sets Janet on the trail of a killer.
 
 
 
 
 
My Review:
 
Sheila has created a great new who-dunnit, and it is filled with animals!  Who doesn't love cats and dogs, and who doesn't love a great mystery, so if that is your niche, then this is the book for you.  It is well written and the human characters aren't too bad either.  This book will keep you guessing till the very end with and you will feel like you are one a wild ride with all the twists and turns.
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
 
About This Author
Drop Dead on Recall, the first in the series, won the Dog Writers Association of America Maxwell Award for Best Fiction Book. She is also the author of 17 nonfiction books, six of which have won major awards from the Dog Writers Association of America and the Cat Writers Association. For the past two decades Boneham has been showing her Australian Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers in various canine sports. She has also bred top-winning Aussies, and founded rescue groups for Aussies and Labs. Boneham holds a doctorate in folklore from Indiana University and resides in Wilmington, N.C.
Author Links
Website – www.sheilaboneham.com
Blogs – www.sheilaboneham.blogspot.com
www.animalsinfocus.blogspot.com
Purchase Links
Amazon B&N

There is a raffle copter giveaway with this tour, just click the link below to enter the rafflecopter.

http://www.escapewithdollycas.com/great-escapes-virtual-book-tours/books-currently-on-tour/catwalk-sheila-webster-boneham/

Guest Post:


The Stories Behind the Stories

 

By Sheila Webster Boneham

 

 

People often ask me and my colleagues where we get our ideas.  My answer? Everywhere! Story ideas are all around us in our daily experience, and human beings have been transforming experience into stories since we first learned to speak, both as individuals and as a species. Think of how young children are when they first begin to tell the “stories” of their lives and imaginations!

 

But let me focus for now on the stories I tell in my Animals in Focus mystery series. The big story of each book is purely fiction, but many of the smaller stories that feed the plot are based on real life, recast to serve the book and, in a few cases, to protect the obnoxious, the annoying, the oh-so-guilty!

 

Here’s where the stories come from:

 

·         Experience (my own), revised. I’ve been involved in training and showing animals since I was fifteen—first horses, then dogs. My protagonist, Janet MacPhail, is also a dog—and now cat!—sport enthusiast, so many of Janet’s experiences in the books are based on my own. The details are changed and sometimes multiple experiences are merged into one, but they’re real enough to work for my readers who also play with animals in those venues. Janet’s neighbor and best friend Goldie, and Janet’s mother, are both avid gardeners, and gardening is a hobby dear to my heart. My academic background is in folklore and cultural anthropology, and that shows up in Janet’s beau, Tom, who is an anthropologist. And I grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the setting for the series, so I know the area well.

·          Anecdotes. I confess, I’m a thief. Every writer I know steals, but mostly just stories and bits of stories. In Catwalk, for instance, there’s a scene with a pair of runaway Malamutes that is based on a story I heard maybe twenty years ago. It’s modified to serve my story, of course, but the idea is based on a rather unfortunate incident that happened to someone else. Don’t worry—no Malamutes are hurt in the making of my book!

·         Reading (my own). I’m an omnivorous reader, and very often I get ideas from books and articles that I didn’t know would feed my mysteries until much later. In The Money Bird, for instance, illegal trafficking in tropical birds is a critical issue, and that idea came from reading many articles on the subject, and one particular book--Spix's Macaw: The Race to Save the World's Rarest Bird by Tony Juniper. In the series, Janet chose the nursing home where her mother resides in part because of its garden therapy program, and that idea grew out of an article I read on therapy gardens. Sometimes the written sources are fortuitous finds; sometimes they are books and articles I’ve ferreted out as I research a subject. Whatever works!

·         Reading (sent my friends & readers). Once in a while someone sends me something that ends up in a book. It may something they thought would interested me because of my mystery series, or something quite random. In Catwalk, one of the story lines has to do with “morality police” in the nursing home where Janet’s mother lives. That came from an article my friend Linda Coleman sent me about people interfering with elderly people’s love lives in nursing homes. The idea that anyone would deny another person companionship and love in their final years was so appalling to me that I knew it had to be in a book.

 

That’s probably not an exhaustive list, but those sources do cover a lot plots and scenes and characters in the books. As I write the next book in the series, I have asked for anecdotes from readers on Facebook, and a couple of the funniest are in the manuscript. If you’re inclined to follow me there, maybe you’re story will be next!

 

 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pie Girls by Lauren Clark, Review and Giveaway




Princess, Southern belle, and spoiled-rotten social climber Searcy Roberts swore on a stack of Bibles she’d never return home to Fairhope, Alabama. After marrying her high school sweetheart and moving to Atlanta, Searcy embraces big-city life—Carrie Bradshaw style. 
But now, Searcy has a teeny, tiny problem. Her husband’s had a mid-life crisis. He’s quit his job, cancelled her credit cards, and left her for another man. 
Searcy returns to Fairhope, ready to lick her wounds. But when her mother falls ill, she’s thrust into managing the family business—only to discover the beloved bakery is in danger of closing its doors forever. 
Enlisting the help of the adorable bike store owner next door, an array of well-heeled customers, and her soon-to-be ex-husband, Searcy hatches the plan of the century to save Pie Girls. 
 




My Review:

This was a book about a spoiled little rich girl who goes back to her roots and finds herself.  I really enjoyed reading about Searcy's transformation.  This was a well written book that will show any woman that she can stand on her own two feet and that she doesn't need to rely on a man.  I liked the main character the whole way through the book, even when she was a little spoiled.  I say kudos, Lauren on a great read.  Looking forward to more.

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

Author Bio:
After six years behind the anchor desk at two CBS affiliates, Lauren Clark moved to the Alabama Gulf Coast to raise her family and write full-time. 
 
Lauren has published four novels, Pie Girls (set in Fairhope, Alabama), Stay Tuned, Stardust Summer, and Dancing Naked in Dixie, under the pen name, Lauren Clark. More than twenty-two thousand copies of Lauren's novels have been sold worldwide.
 
 
Visit Laura’s website at www.laurenclarkbooks.com, follow her on Twitter @LaurenClark_Bks, and her blog at www.laurenclarkbooks.com/blog.
 
Available at the following retailers: 
Amazon     BN     Kobo     Smashwords     iBooks



Giveaway:

Comment on the tour page to win a signed paperback copy of Dancing Naked in Dixie by Lauren Clark - 3 US/CA winners will be chosen at the end of the tour! Just click the link below.

 

Fuzzy Logic by Susan Daffron

CLP Blog Tours








Librarian Jan Carpenter likes things just so. Nestled in her tidy little cottage on the outskirts of the small hamlet of Alpine Grove, she enjoys her quiet life with her friendly, rotund black lab, Rosa. 

Jan's orderly life is turned upside down when she attends her mother's latest wedding in San Diego. (Number six...or maybe seven, but who's counting?) There, Jan encounters Michael Lawson, the obnoxious neighbor kid from twenty years ago. He's still irritating, but not as annoying as his dog who has a habit of eating...everything. The last thing Jan wants to do is risk heartache on a vacation fling with a smooth-talking serial dater, even if he is sinfully gorgeous and finds her unusual ability to remember obscure facts fascinating. 

Amidst wardrobe destruction, canine digestive indiscretions, and episodes of extreme mortification, Jan's desire to avoid drama may put the brakes on her fiery attraction to Michael. But maybe being cautious and responsible isn't all it's cracked up to be. 

My Review:

Susan has crafted another fine novel in Fuzzy Logic.  This story is for anyone who loves animals and know what they bring to a human's life.  The relationship elements in this novel were great also.  This was a fast read that kept my attention and had me laughing at times.  If you are looking for a light-hearted, fast read, then this is the book for you.

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


BIO
Susan Daffron is the author of the Alpine Grove Romantic Comedies, a series of novels that feature residents of the small town of Alpine Grove and their various quirky dogs and cats. She is also an award-winning author of many nonfiction books, including several about pets and animal rescue. She lives in a small town in northern Idaho and shares her life with her husband, two dogs and a cat--the last three, all "rescues." You can read more about her at her website SusanDaffron.com.

Social Media Links:



Book Links

Amazon:

Barnes& Noble (paperback)


Friday, October 10, 2014

Joyful by Shelley Shepard Gray

About the book: A young Amish couple gets a second chance at love in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray's final book in her Return to Sugarcreek series.

Randall Beiler is doing his best to put his family and the farm's needs first, even forsaking love. But though he tries, Randall knows he needs help caring for his younger siblings and keeping the house together.
When his brother offers pretty Elizabeth Nolt a job taking care of the house and cooking for the family, Randall is furious---and guilty about the way he once broke Elizabeth's heart. But when he learns that Elizabeth and her grandmother are struggling to make ends meet, he knows the offer, no matter how painful, is the right thing for everyone.
Elizabeth wants to refuse---to stay far away from the man who hurt her---but she needs the money. Though she vows to protect her heart, spending time in the Beiler household makes Elizabeth realize that, while she's older and wiser, her love for Randall still burns strong.
Randal, too, seems to want something more. But does he want Elizabeth because he truly loves her---or because he needs a housekeeper? If Randall sincerely wants something more, he must find a way to show Elizabeth---or risk losing his chance at love forever.

Purchase a copy:  http://ow.ly/BeIYd 
 
My Review:
 
Shelley has crafted another great novel that is filled with characters that I have come to know and love.  I was anxious to return to Sugarcreek and to catch up with everyone again.  I was not disappointed.  Shelley writes with such feeling that I actually feel like I know the characters personally, and that I feel their pain right along with them.  There were some on going things that were resolved in this book, but I hope it isn't my last visit to Sugarcreek.  This is a series that needs to be read in order as some things will be confusing if it isn't.
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. 

About the author: Shelley Shepard Gray is a two-time New York Times bestseller, a two-time USA Today bestseller, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Holt Medallion winner. She lives in Southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.


Find Shelley online: website, Facebook

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Mason Jar

About the book: 

What if your old college roommate called, raving about a book someone sent her, calling it the most beautiful book she's ever read? "But," she said, "it's about you." The author is your college ex.
 
In The Mason Jar, Clayton Fincannon is a Tennessee farm boy raised at the feet of his grandfather. He and his grandfather leave letters for each other in a Mason jar on his grandfather's desk---letters of counsel and affirmation. When Clayton attends college in Southern California, he meets and falls in love with a dark debutante from Colorado. However, when an unmentioned past resurrects in her life and she leaves, Clayton is left with unanswered questions.
 
Clayton goes on to serve as a missionary in Africa, while he and his grandfather continue their tradition of writing letters. When Clayton returns home five years later to bury his grandfather, he searches for answers pertaining to the loss of the young woman he once loved. Little does Clayton know, the answers await him in the broken Mason jar.
 
A story about a girl who vanished, a former love who wrote a book about her, and a reunion they never imagined.
 
Written for the bruised and broken, The Mason Jar is an inspirational romance that brings hope to people who have experienced disappointment in life due to separation from loved ones. With a redemptive ending that encourages us to love again and written in the fresh, romantic tones of Nicholas Sparks, The Mason Jar interweaves the imagery of Thoreau with the adventures and climatic family struggles common to Dances with Wolves, A River Runs Through It, and Legends of the Fall
 
Purchase a copy: http://ow.ly/C52aq
 
My Review:
 
This was a so so book for me.  I thought the writing was superb, but I just didn't connect with the characters.  I liked the plot, though.  I like how the story centered around a Mason jar.  I also liked that there was a good relationship between Finn and his grandpa and that this wasn't just a male/female relationship story.
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
 

About the author: 

James Russell Lingerfelt is the author of The Mason Jar and writes articles for The Huffington Post. James connects with readers at his blog, Love Story from the Male Perspective, and divides his time between Southern California and his family's ranch in Alabama.

Find James online: website, Facebook, Twitter