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Friday, July 31, 2015

The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak


Welcome to my tour stop for The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak. This is the first book in her Fairham Island series. It is a women's fiction novel that released July 28th. The tour runs July 27- Aug. 7th. Check out the tour page for the full schedule.

The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak

Trade paperback, 400 pages

Published by Mira, July 28, 2015

Did she once have a sister? Has her mother lied all these years? Why?

After a painful divorce, Maisey Lazarow returns to Fairham, the small island off the North Carolina coast where she grew up. She goes there to heal—and to help her brother, Keith, a deeply troubled man who's asked her to come home. But she refuses to stay in the family house. The last person she wants to see is the wealthy, controlling mother she escaped years ago.

Instead, she finds herself living next door to someone else she'd prefer to avoid—Rafe Romero, the wild, reckless boy to whom she lost her virginity at sixteen. He's back on the island, and to her surprise, he's raising a young daughter alone. Maisey's still attracted to him, but her heart's too broken to risk…

Then something even more disturbing happens. She discovers a box of photographs that evoke distant memories of a little girl, a child Keith remembers, too. Maisey believes the girl must've been their sister, but their mother claims there was no sister.

Maisey's convinced that child existed. So where is she now?

What I Thought:
Well, I thought this was going to be an okay book, but I was a little turned off when the two main characters jumped in bed on day two after having seen each other since High School.  Other than the intimacy, this book was good.  It had a good storyline, a lot of suspense and it kept my attention and kept me wondering.  I liked the family dynamics and how dysfunctional this family was a first.  All in all this was a good book, I could have done without the romantic scenes though.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.


Brenda NovakAbout the Author:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak has penned over 45 novels. A two-time Rita nominee, she’s won The National Reader’s Choice, The Bookseller’s Best, The Bookbuyer’s Best and many other awards. She runs an annual online auction for diabetes research every May at To date, she’s raised over $2 million. Brenda considers herself lucky to be a mother of five and married to the love of her life.

Find Brenda Novak Online:


Five (5) copies of The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak
Ends Aug. 12th
prizing provided by the publisher, hosts are in no way responsible

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This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Shadows of Ladenbrook Manor by Melanie Dobson

About the book:
Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor (Howard, June 2015)

When Heather Toulson returns to her parents' cottage in the English countryside, she uncovers long-hidden secrets about her family history and stumbles onto the truth about a sixty-year-old murder.

Libby, a free spirit who can't be tamed by her parents, finds solace with her neighbor Oliver, the son of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor. Libby finds herself pregnant and alone when her father kicks her out and Oliver mysteriously drowns in a nearby river. Though theories spread across the English countryside, no one is ever held responsible for Oliver's death.

Sixty years later, Heather Toulson, returning to her family's cottage in the shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, is filled with mixed emotions. She's mourning her father's passing but can't let go of the anger and resentment over their strained relationship. Adding to her confusion, Heather has an uneasy reunion with her first love, all while sorting through her family's belongings left behind in the cottage. What she uncovers will change everything she thought she knew about her family's history.

Award-winning author Melanie Dobson seamlessly weaves the past and present together, fluidly unraveling the decades-old mystery and reveals how the characters are connected in shocking ways.

Set in a charming world of thatched cottages, lush gardens, and lovely summer evenings, this romantic and historical mystery brings to light the secrets and heartaches that have divided a family for generations.

Purchase a copy:
What I Thought:
Well the first two words that come to mind are mesmerizing and wonderful.  I feel in love with this book!  I really loved reading this stories of Maggie and Walter, Heather and Christopher, and Libby and Oliver.  Melanie is such a great writer weaving the past and the present together in this wonderful book.  I loved the element of mystery to it.  And I also loved that some of these tragic love stories didn't have a happy ending, it was very real.  The characters were all so likable, I would really love to hear more of the story, but most of the story was told.  I highly recommend this book, it will also stay with you long after you stop turning the pages.  Too bad I can only give it five stars.
I received a complimentary copy for my honest review.

About the author:
Melanie Dobson is the award-winning author of thirteen historical romance, suspense, and contemporary novels. Two of her novels won Carol Awards in 2011, and Love Finds You in Liberty, Indiana won Best Novel of Indiana in 2010. Melanie lives with her husband Jon and two daughters near Portland, Oregon.

Find Melanie online: website, Twitter, Facebook

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Trawling for Trouble by Shelley Freydont

Trawling For Trouble
by Shelley Freydont

TRAWLINGTrawling for Trouble:
A Celebration Bay Mystery Novella

Cozy Mystery
Publisher: InterMix (July 21, 2015)


The author of Independence Slay is back as intrepid event planner Liv Montgomery discovers something fishy going on beneath Celebration Bay’s deceptively calm surface.
Liv Montgomery knew that asking Celebration Bay’s newspaper owner-slash-ne’er-do-well Chaz Bristow to teach her how to fish meant angling for more than a lesson in sinkers and chum. Like asking him to spearhead the fund raiser that’ll benefit the town’s community center. And there are worse ways to spend the afternoon than out on the town’s picturesque lake.
But it’s not long before Liv reels in a huge catch—already quite dead. It’s the body of an unknown man, and it was no accidental drowning. This floater was murdered. While local authorities investigate, it’s Liv and Chaz who stumble upon a shocking motive, and become live bait for a ruthless killer determined to keep his secrets down in the deep.
Includes exclusive previews of the next Celebration Bay mystery, Trick or Deceit, and A Gilded Grave, the first book in Shelley Freydont’s new Newport Gilded Age Mystery series.

What I Thought:

This was a great novella installment of the Celebration Bay Mysteries.  Liv is at it again, she just can't seem to keep out of trouble!  And the banter between her and Chaz is humorous at times.  Chaz is teaching Liv how to fish and she fishes a body out of the water.  Her and Chaz embark on a mission to find the killers.  Of course the Zimmerman sisters are involved in this one, along with two Vietnam Vets, some diamonds, and Liv's Westie Whiskey, who is right in the middle, again.  This is a fast, entertaining read that will keep you on the edge of your seat. 

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

About the Author

Shelley Freydont is the author of the Liv Montgomery Celebration Bay Mysteries, Foul Play at the Fair, Silent Knife, Independence Slay as well as the Kate MacDonald Sudoku Mysteries and the Lindy Haggerty dance company mysteries, and the upcoming Newport Gilded Age Mysteries, beginning with A Gilded Grave (6/15)
As Shelley Noble, she is the NYTimes Best selling author of women’s fiction (Beach Colors, Stargazey Point, Breakwater Bay, and Whisper Beach as well as several novellas. A former professional dancer and choreographer, Shelley lives at the Jersey shore and loves puzzles, light houses and antique carousels. She also loves to hear from readers.
A former professional dancer and choreographer, she most recently worked on the films, Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. Shelley is a member of Sisters-in-Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and Liberty States Fiction Writers.
For more about Shelley, please visit her website
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Monday, July 13, 2015

Summer's List by Anita Higman

About the book:
Summer's List (River North, June 2015)

A dying wish alters the course of a young woman's life.

Life hadn't been easy for Summer Snow. In acts of selflessness---caring for her ailing parents and running her grandmother's bookstore---she had forfeited her youth and dreams for the needs of others. And the only tries she had at love . . . didn't turn out. She had the bookstore, she had her beloved granny, but she was missing something---or someone.

Opportunity strikes when Granny sends Summer on an unexpected adventure with one Martin Langtree, a kind but gangly young man from Summer's past. A childhood friendship is rekindled, a romance is sparked, and mysteries are solved in one magical Texas summer. Will Summer strike out on love again, or will things finally go her way?

Purchase a copy:

What I Thought:

This really book was okay.  I liked some things but not a lot of it.  It was kind of tedious reading this book.  Summer seems like a flighty girl who can't make up her mind.  This book did have a good family and faith element to it though.  It just wasn't something that caught my fancy.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

About the author:

Best-selling and award-winning author, Anita Higman, has over thirty books published (several coauthored) for adults and children. She's been a Barnes & Noble "Author of the Month" for Houston and has a BA degree, combining speech communication, psychology, and art. Anita loves good movies, exotic teas, and brunch with her friends.

Find Anita online: website, Twitter, Facebook

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Murder on the Bucket List

Murder on the Bucket List
Series: A Bucket List Mystery (Book 1)
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Midnight Ink (July 8, 2015)
ISBN-13: 978-0738745091
The septuagenarian women of the Summer Ridge Bridge Club have gathered in secret late one July night to check skinny dipping off their bucket list. But as Francine observes, the jittery members seem more obsessed with body issues and elaborate preparations than actually stripping down and getting in the pool. A pungent smell emanating from the pool shed provides a perfect distraction. When a dead body flops out, it’s an answered prayer for Charlotte, since the first item on her list is to solve a murder.
Unfortunately for Charlotte and Francine, before they can discover who really killed the man, they must negotiate neighborhood tours of the crime scene, press coverage of their skinny dipping, an angry Homeowner’s Association, a disastrous appearance on Good Morning America, media offers sought by a hungry publicist, and a clever killer.
What I Thought:
This cozy will have you chuckling.  When a group of septuagenarian women gather to cross skinny-dipping off one of the groups bucket-lists, little do they know they will get themselves into a murder mystery.  This is a group of ladies you wish you knew, wish were your grandmother, or were your friends if you were of a similar age.   This one will also keep you guessing till the end.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
Tony & Liz
About The Authors
Elizabeth Perona is the father/daughter writing team of Tony Perona and Liz Dombrosky. Tony is the author of the Nick Bertetto mystery series, the standalone thriller The Final Mayan Prophecy (with Paul Skorich), and co-editor and contributor to the anthologies Racing Can Be Murder and Hoosier Hoops & Hijinks. Tony is a member of Mystery Writers of America and has served the organization as a member of the Board of Directors and as Treasurer. He is also a member of Sisters-in-Crime.
Liz Dombrosky graduated from Ball State University in the Honors College with a degree in teaching. She is currently a stay-at-home mom. Murder on the Bucket List is her first novel.
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Friday, July 10, 2015

A Batter of Life and Death by Ellie Alexander

Welcome to my tour stop for A Batter of Life and Death by Ellie Alexander! This is the second book in the Bakeshop Mystery series.

The tour runs July 6-17 with reviews, interviews, guest posts and excerpts. Check out the tour page for the full schedule.

About the Book:

A Batter of Life and DeathWelcome to Torte--a small-town family bakeshop where the coffee is hot, the muffins are fresh, and the cakes are definitely to die for…

It's autumn in Ashland, Oregon--'tis the season for a spiced hot apple cider with a serving (or two) of Torte's famous peach cobbler. It's also the perfect time for Jules Capshaw to promote her family's beloved bake shop by competing in The Pastry Channel's reality show, Take the Cake. The prize is $25,000. But as Jules quickly learns, some people would kill for that kind of dough. Literally.

Then, just as Jules dusts off her Bavarian Chocolate Cake recipe and cinches up her apron, the corpse of a fellow contestant is discovered--death by buttercream. What began as a fun, tasteful televised adventure has morphed into something of a true-crime detective show for Jules and everybody else on set. Who could have killed Chef Marco, and why? Can Jules sift out the killer before someone else gets burned?

What I Thought:

This was another great installment of the Bakeshop Mysteries by Ellie Alexander.  The writing was superb in this book and the plot line was great.  This story flowed really well and kept my attention throughout.  I like how Ellie elaborated on all of the baking and cooking at Torte, it made the book seem all the more real.  I really like the characters in this story, they are well developed and have realistic relationships with each other.  I can't wait to find out what messes Jules will herself into in the next installment of this series.

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


About the Author:

Ellie Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native who spends ample time testing pastry recipes in her home kitchen or at one of the many famed coffeehouses nearby. When she’s not coated in flour, you’ll find her outside exploring hiking trails and trying to burn off calories consumed in the name of research. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter to learn more.


Signed copy of Meet Your Baker and A Batter of Life and Death, 1 pound coffee, Oregon Chai, Gourmet cupcake liners (US)
Ends July 21st

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Fatal Fairies by Jim and Joyce Lavene, Review and Guest Post

Fatal Fairies
(Renaissance Faire Mystery Book 8)

Cozy Mystery
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Print Length: 181 pages
When a fairy named Apple Blossom is found dead in the Good Luck Fountain at Renaissance Faire Village, Jessie Morton makes a wish she lives to regret–that her husband, Chase Manhattan, is no longer the Village Bailiff. She doesn’t want him to look for the fairy’s killer and ruin their plans to go away for their first wedding anniversary.
Trapped in a timeless ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ experience, Jessie is transported to a different Village to face the consequences of her wish where Chase isn’t the Bailiff, and he’s not married to her.
Jessie’s fairy godmother who granted the wish tells her that she must find a way to make Chase fall in love with her again, and they must discover who killed Apple Blossom, if she ever wants to go back to the life she knew.

What I Thought:

Wow, what havoc a simple wish can wrought.  Jessie and Chase are getting ready to celebrate their one year anniversary when a fairy named Apple Blossom is killed.  This throws a wrench in Jessie's plans and she wished Chase wasn't Baliff any more.  This sets of a set of events that leaves Jessie reeling.  Her own fairy-godmother comes to visit and tells Jessie what she has to do to get Chase back and to get her life back.  This is an action packed, magical cozy that will keep your attention from the time you pick it up till you put it down, which you want to do.  It is always fun to visit the Renaissance Faire, there is always something going on. 

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

About These AuthorsJoyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

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Fatal Fairies Post for Melina


Wanted: A Fairy Godmother

By Joyce Lavene


Ever wish you had a fairy godmother?

I think everyone has read stories about a wonderful person sweeping into someone’s life and making everything better. Sometimes these are real life stories and sometimes they are myths. Sometimes we all wish we could ask for changes and they would appear.

One thing for sure—you better be careful what you wish for!

In Fatal Fairies, Renaissance Faire Mystery #8, Jessie Morton, history and Renaissance lover, gets more than she bargained for when she wishes that her husband, Chase Manhattan, wasn’t the Village Bailiff so they can go on their second honeymoon.

Funny thing about wishes. They sometimes go awry.

Jessie finds herself in a different place where Chase isn’t the Village law keeper, but he also isn’t her husband. A snarky fairy godmother tells her that she granted her wish and now Jessie must make Chase love her again to return to her home. To make matters worse, there has been a murder in the Village and she has to find a way to get Chase to investigate it even though he isn’t Bailiff.

Like all stories about expectations and wishes granted, Jessie learns something about her life and the connections she has with other people in the process of setting things right.

But look out! Renaissance Faire Village may never be the same again!


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Grace Cries Uncle by Julie Hyzy

Grace Cries Uncle (A Manor House Mystery)

The New York Times bestselling author of the Manor House Mysteries and the White House Chef Mysteries shows how a blast from the past can spell trouble for Grace Wheaton…

When Grace’s estranged sister Liza shows up on her doorstep, the timing couldn’t be worse. Grace’s beloved boss and benefactor, Bennett Marshfield, has finally gotten her to agree to a DNA test to establish if he is, in fact, her uncle. If so, Grace would move from being the trusted curator and manager of Marshfield Manor to Bennett’s heir. And her duplicitous sister would be right behind her in the line of inheritance.

Liza is not the only mysterious visitor to arrive in town. A man claiming to be an FBI agent has shown up, and a swarm of avaricious antique collectors have descended on Emberstowne for a prestigious convention. When Bennett reveals he’s in mind to acquire a secret antique and the FBI agent turns up dead, the plot thickens. And Grace can’t help but wonder if Liza is at the center of it all…

What I Thought:

Grace Cries Uncle was action from the very start.  This was a book that caught my attention and kept it throughout.  There is a lot going on in this book, from Grace and Bennett starting the process to see if they are really related to jewel thefts and black market art rings.  If you are looking for an action packed story that has well developed characters in a great setting, then this is the book for you.


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