Edelweiss

Christmas in Kilts

Christmas in Kilts
Christmas in Kilts

Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday
Flashback Friday

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

KISS ME GOODNIGHT BY MICHELE ZURLO- SPOTLIGHT AND GIVEAWAY



KISS ME GOODNIGHT


by Michele Zurlo


~~~~~~~~~~~~~


BLURB:


I’m Lacey Hallem, and I have a few secrets. These aren’t them: I wash my hands a lot and lie when I’m stressed. Also, I have horrible taste in men. That’s how I knew Dylan was trouble the first time I saw him…


Life can be challenging for Lacey, especially when things don’t come in sets of six, but she’s smart and funny and able to keep her demons at bay—most of the time. She might have sensed trouble when she set eyes on Dylan, a delectable musician in a vintage T-shirt, but that doesn’t stop her from thinking about him, or spending more and more time in his company.


Enter Thomas. Wealthy, handsome, and completely adoring of Lacey (flaws and all), he’s everything a man should be. So why can’t she convince her heart to fall in love?







KISS ME GOODNIGHT


by Michele Zurlo


~~~~~~~~~~~~~


BLURB:




I’m Lacey Hallem, and I have a few secrets. These aren’t them: I wash my hands a lot and lie when I’m stressed. Also, I have horrible taste in men. That’s how I knew Dylan was trouble the first time I saw him…


Life can be challenging for Lacey, especially when things don’t come in sets of six, but she’s smart and funny and able to keep her demons at bay—most of the time. She might have sensed trouble when she set eyes on Dylan, a delectable musician in a vintage T-shirt, but that doesn’t stop her from thinking about him, or spending more and more time in his company.


Enter Thomas. Wealthy, handsome, and completely adoring of Lacey (flaws and all), he’s everything a man should be. So why can’t she convince her heart to fall in love?





Excerpt: (Lacey meets Dylan for the first time)

Within minutes, Mr. Hotness appeared on the other side of my table, blocking my view of the road. I was struck by his teal eyes. I hadn’t expected them. The color seemed too bold to be true on the surface, but when I looked more closely, I saw flecks of blue and green. His midnight hair, longish, falling over his forehead and curling at the ends, made their color stand out even more.

He smiled—a friendly one, not a wanna-fuck one. "Are these seats taken?"

I wouldn’t have minded seeing the wanna-fuck one, though he was clearly with his son, and blatant flirting, even if he was divorced, would be crass. I didn’t see a Mrs. Hotness or a ring anywhere, but men this yummy didn’t stay single for long. And again, the fact that I found him attractive spoke volumes. I might be seeing his face tonight in place of Davey’s. Sorry, Davey. Oh—maybe Mr. Hotness and Davey together, both of them focused completely on me. That fantasy bore further exploration.

I shook my head. The thought of those lips wrapped around pink parts of me banged around in there, but eventually clattered away. I did not give him an inviting smile, though I was tempted. He oozed sexy badness, and whoever says they don’t have a weakness for that has a serious case of the pants-on-fire syndrome.
 


Excerpt:  (Lacey meets Thomas for the first time)
I was in high school ten years ago. I wasn’t sure about B.J. We stared at each other in an odd silence. The air should have crackled with tension. After all, I was pretty sure he was firing me, but the room did not grow heavy with the weight of my impending doom. I think we both found this development odd. If I had to pinpoint anything developing in the air between us, I’d to go with a different kind of friction. That unsettled feeling in my tummy returned, though it was not as acute as it had been earlier with Dylan. Based on the way B.J. looked at me and then away, I guessed he was experiencing the same malady.
As we studied one another, I became aware of him as a man. I shifted and put some serious energy into resisting the urge to play with my hair or smile coyly. If we’d been in the coffee shop, I think he would’ve struck up a conversation culminating in a request for my phone number, and I would’ve given it to him.
B.J. rubbed his thigh, drawing my attention there, and picked at some lint on his sock—again, not very boss-like. "We’re downsizing to make the company salable. The alternative is to just close up shop."
His tone was closer to "Hey, I like you. Want to grab coffee?" than "You’re about to lose your job." I had no idea how to take that, so I ignored his tone and responded to the meaning behind his words.



 
 
 





AUTHOR Bio and Links:


I’m Michele Zurlo, author of over 20 romance novels. During the day, I teach English, and in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips.


I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts. Find out more at www.michelezurloauthor.com or @MZurloAuthor.


Amazon Author Page: HYPERLINK "http://www.amazon.com/Michele-Zurlo/e/B003EG3IOC/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1393005919&sr=8-1" http://www.amazon.com/Michele-Zurlo/e/B003EG3IOC/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1393005919&sr=8-1


BN Author Page: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/michele-zurlo
Kiss Me Goodnight (Kiss Me #1)Kiss Me Goodnight by Michele Zurlo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kiss Me Goodnight is by Michele Zurlo is a 2014 Omnific Publishing release. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Lacey finds out she is about to be out of a job and falls back on behavior that she seems incapable of controlling. She lies and washes her hands obsessively and does things six times or has six of everything. These symptoms are recognized immediately by a Dylan, a guy Lacey accidently spilled coffee on at the food court. She and Dylan continue to run into one another and once Lacey is sure Dylan is single she lets her guard down around him a little.
Dylan is in a band named... yep you guess it- "Kiss Me Goodnight" . It just so happens Lacey is going to work at the club where Dylan is playing. Before long, Lacey has become the band's manager. But, things between Lacey and Dylan tend to run hot and cold. Dylan isn't married now, but he was. The situation is really sensitive and Lacey is sure Dylan is still pining over his wife. So, when Lacey's former boss makes contact with her and asked her out, Lacey doesn't see why she should hang around waiting for Dylan. Dylan's reaction to Lacey's new love interest is rather interesting. Does he just want to be friends with Lacey? Does he view her as a fragile, mentally ill girl that he feels compassion for and nothing else? Well, those are very good questions and Lacey thinks she knows the answers. But is she right about Dylan?
Recently, I have fallen out of love with New Adult romances. The characters are too immature and let one hurt destroy all the good in a relationship. This book is NA but very different and a cut above. This book is listed as New Adult but could also fall into the Chick Lit or Contemporary Romance categories as well. I thought the author did a very good job of writing in first person . It's obvious that Lacey has OCD and it's not being controlled medically or with a counselor. Despite those handicaps, Lacey does manage to lead a productive life although she can drive her friends and family a little crazy. It's not doing things six times, it's not the constant hand washing, it's the lying that gets to most people. We aren't talking about little white lies here. These are whoppers!! Lacey has quite an imagination too! Sometimes I couldn't help but laugh at her antics, but I know it's not really funny. The author does a good job of showing how life is for those suffering with this type of disorder. That is why the first person narrative works so well here. We are inside Lacey's head and are getting a front row seat to her everyday struggles.
Dylan ... well, that's a tough one. I think I have to side with Lacey because Dylan never indicated he was romantically interested in Lacey. He's quiet and moody and expects Lacey to know how he feels without showing her or telling her. It wasn't until Lacey got fed up with him and started trying to move on with her life that Dylan decided he had the right to be jealous. He then turns into a real arse . I don't know how I would feel if I were Lacey . I think she had a right to feel angry and hurt . Does Dylan redeem himself? Slowly, but he's still so low key and quiet. I guess Lacey needs someone like that considering her condition, but I would have liked more of a grand gesture for Lacey. While Dylan had some real hard knocks in life, Lacey really had some HUGE traumas and so I felt bad for Dylan but not as bad as I felt for Lacey. Overall this was a very solid romance novel that dealt with difficult subject matter and still managed to entertain. This one gets four stars.

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SUTTON CAPITAL SERIES BY LORI RYAN BOOK BLAST AND GIVEAWAY


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lori will be awarding a $15 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Remember, the more stops you visit and comment, the better your chances to win.



Lori Ryan's Sutton Capital Series Boxed Set masterfully combines contemporary romance with a kick of suspense to keep you turning the pages well after midnight! This three novel and one novella set is sexy and steamy and the individual books have over 150 Five Star reviews on Amazon. Regularly priced at $4.99, Lori is discounting it to 99 cents from April 29th through May 5th only! Grab it now before the price goes up.




Now enjoy an excerpt:

Jack waited in his home office, keeping busy as he looked at projections and company profiles until her heard Kelly come in from her run and start the shower. He climbed the stairs and headed into their bedroom. He opened the French doors that led to the balcony and leaned on the railing while he waited for her to finish. This was going to be fun, he thought.

He heard the shower turn off and turned to wait for her to open the door, but if he thought he was prepared for what he saw, he was dead wrong. Kelly stepped out moments later with her hair hanging wet over her shoulders, wearing nothing more than a towel wrapped around her. She’d tucked an end into the dip between her breasts to hold it up. He was actually stunned silent for a minute and stared as she crossed the room to the walk-in closet. He had known Kelly was gorgeous, and he had felt some of her body, but seeing her like this was so much more than he imagined. He felt a jolt straight down to his groin and swallowed as he watched her.

Her skin was creamy and looked so soft he was dying to nibble every inch of it. Her breasts were full and begged for his hands to hold them, his tongue to explore them. The towel fell just past her luscious hips that curved and cried out to be held, explored, entered. Her legs were smooth and bare and still had small droplets of water on them that shimmered against her skin. Jack could picture himself covering those legs from her ankles to thigh with slow, lazy kisses.

Kelly turned and saw Jack watching her from the balcony, and her small scream jolted Jack back to his senses. A slow smile spread across his face, but his eyes burned hot and intense as he watched her. Kelly pulled the towel tighter around her curves as he walked slowly over to join her in the room.

“Why are you avoiding me in the evenings, Kelly?” he asked her softly.

***

Kelly felt as if Jack’s low, gravelly voice were washing over her, caressing her. Her body tingled in anticipation.

“I-I….” She stumbled over her words and couldn’t come up with more to say as he slowly stalked her. He moved in on her, and she had to back up toward the wall to keep some distance between them. When she couldn’t go any further, Jack leaned down and kissed the curve between her neck and her shoulder, lingering as his breath tickled and teased her.

“You’re avoiding me, Kelly.” Jack pressed hot kisses down her shoulder. “What I can’t figure out is why you would do that because I know you’re as attracted to me as I am to you.” Now he looked her right in the eye as she shook her head, causing him to grin in response.

“Kelly, it’s my job to know when people are bluffing,” he said as he ran the tips of his fingers lightly over her arms, down to her wrists and back up again.

“You’re bluffing, Kel. You’re attracted to me. I feel it when I kiss you, when you press your body against mine, when your breath catches as I whisper in your ear.”

Kelly’s head swam, and she could barely think straight as Jack attacked all of her senses. “No, I’m not. I mean, I’m….” Frustrated, she felt the color creep up her cheeks as she tried to explain why she had avoided this very scene.

“Jack, I’m not like the women you’ve been with. I don’t sleep around. I’m not a supermodel. I’m just normal. Completely normal with a normal body and normal breasts, and I wear normal size clothes not Barbie Doll sizes like you’re used to.” Once Kelly got started, she blurted it all out. “I can’t compete with what you’re used to. I don’t want to compete with them.”

Jack stopped his seductive teasing and stood up, stunned. Now he leveled a serious look at her, and he could see she really meant what she’d said. She wasn’t fishing for compliments or playing games like a lot of the women he had dated.

“You’re completely serious, aren’t you? You don’t think I’m attracted to you.” He didn’t back off an inch. He kept her pressed against the wall.

“It’s okay, Jack. I mean, I didn’t expect you to be when we started this, and I’m okay with that.” Kelly continued to babble on as he watched her in disbelief. Finally, Jack made up his mind and shook his head.

“Then, I’ll have to convince you.” He dipped a finger into the vee of Kelly’s towel at her breasts and tugged her gently toward him as he captured her mouth with his once again. When he broke from her lips, leaving her breathless, he looked her in the eyes again.

“I’m extremely attracted to you, Kelly. I love your body. I love the curves of it, the size of it, your softness, your full breasts – everything about it. All you have to do is enter the room and I’m ready for you. And soon, I’m going to convince you of that and get you into bed in the true sense instead of just sleeping next to me.” As Jack spoke, he peppered her neck, shoulders, mouth, and jawline with searing kisses that had Kelly’s legs shaking and her body melting for him.

“And when I take you to bed, Kelly, you’ll be confident that I’m truly interested in being there with you – and nobody else. That I want to be there with you.” With one last deep kiss, Jack released her.

“Good night, sweetheart,” he said, and he smiled at her dazed expression as he slipped from the room.


Lori Ryan is a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes contemporary romance with a twist of suspense. She lives with an extremely understanding husband, two wonderful children, two mostly-behaved dogs, and a lone little cat in Austin, Texas. It's a bit of a zoo, but she wouldn't change a thing.

http://loriryanromance.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Sutton-Capital-Boxed-Set-Books-ebook/dp/B00IDRVHP4/ref=la_B00CFUKD1E_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398271708&sr=1-6

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sutton-capital-series-boxed-set-lori-ryan/1118613331?ean=2940148287315

ENTANGELD THING CALLED LOVE BY JULIET ROSETTI


Tangled Thing Called Love (Life and Love on the Lam, #3)Tangled Thing Called Love by Juliet Rosetti
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tangled Thing Called Love ( Life and Love on the Lam #3) by Juliet Rosetti is a 2014 Loveswept publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

As usual for Mazie, life has thrown her another curve ball. Ben went off to L.A. to pursue his dreams of being a big time photojournalist. The longer he is away the fewer the calls and emails become until one day Mazie calls Ben only to have another woman answer the phone. To top it all off, Mazie loses another job. What to do next? Well, Mazie heads back to her family farm in Quail Hallow. Her grandmother has been put in charge of her twin grandsons while their mom and dad await the arrival of another child. Little does Mazie know that Ben is hot on her trail and it's a big surprise when he shows up at the farm.
When talk of a local girl that went missing many years ago and was never heard from again, gets Ben's attention, he decides that while he is here on the farm he may as well do a little investigating into the cold case. Meanwhile Mazie finds herself entering a beauty pageant that is allegedly cursed.
Maize and Ben are always on a different page in their lives, but somehow they can't seem to stay away from one another. Ben has been surrounded by starlets and Mazie is convinced he cheated on her, but she can't deny they still have a physical attraction that is hard to pass up. Ben has Mazie tempted to give in to his repeated sexual advances despite the emotional issues that came between them. However, the case Ben and Mazie decided to look into and the twins keep Ben and Mazie too busy to get their relationship issues resolved.
This is another wonderfully hilarious installment in the life and times of Mazie McGuire. Ben gets a chance to meet some of Mazie's relatives, live life on a farm, and help solve a cold case. Mazie is being sabotaged repeatedly when she finally gets clearance to compete in the Quail Hollow beauty pageant. Someone is trying to make sure she doesn't have a change to win. This leads to Mazie getting an orange tan and many other catastrophes.
The banter between Mazie and Ben is still sharp and witty, the twins were all boy and a handful but they were also fun to be around, especially for Ben, who decided that he and Mazie would have girls... LOL!
All is well that ends well and it looks as if Mazie and Ben are back on solid ground...at least for now!
I love this series !!
This one is an A! (4.5 stars)
Juliet Rosetti grew up on a Wisconsin farm. She has taught school in Milwaukee and in Sydney, Australia, where her duties included coaching cricket, a pretend sport invented by Monty Python. Her work has appeared in The Milwaukee Journal, Chicago Tribune, and in many other publications. She is a past winner of Wisconsin Magazine's Wordsmith Award for nonfiction. Currently she lives in Oshkosh, Wisconsin (motto: Oshkosh: more than a prison, a landfill, and 40 million construction barrels), and is writing the second book in the Mazie Maguire series.
My website is still a work in progress, but you can check out my blog at JulietRosetti:Schnibbles.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

TWILIGHT OVER MOLDAVIA BY STEPHANIE BURKHART- FEATURE + REVIEW+ GIVEAWAY

 
 
 


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Twilight Over Moldavia

by Stephanie Burkhart

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Romanian unification is on the horizon and the spirited Crown Princess of Carpathia, Caroline, would prefer to ride horses and archery to embroidery and dancing. Complicating her life is her recent discovery that she's a witch.

Prince Stefan Sigmaringen travels to Carpathia to meet Caroline. He discovers he has much in common with her. He also learns that a strange man, Timon, has an unnatural interest in him.

Upon Stefan's engagement, he overhears his mother confessing to a horrible secret – she cursed him in order to conceive him and Stefan will become a werewolf when he turns eighteen. There is a condition to overcome the curse, but it will require Stefan to draw on all his inner strength and Caroline, her courage. Can they break the foul enchantment and secure their future or will Stefan give himself over to the lupine curse that haunts his family?

 
 
Excerpt:


Stefan stepped into the grand room and came face-to-face with the Carpathian royal family.

"King Mircea, Queen Aurora, and their children, Crown Princess Caroline and Princess Helena, welcome you to Carpathia."

Stefan took one look at Caroline, and his heart rate accelerated. She was Aurora -- the beautiful outdoorswoman he'd met only hours earlier. She had used her mother's name.

Her cheeks colored fiercely, and satisfaction filled him. Even from this distance, he could feel the same magnetic heat from her he had in the forest.

How different she looked -- how regal. The dress accentuated her curves and made her look decidedly feminine, yet despite her outward beauty, her eyes betrayed not only surprise, but also unease.

Queen Aurora nudged her. "Caroline."

She stepped forward, along with her sister, and both curtsied. Stefan bowed.

King Mircea spoke up. "We hope your travel to Ploiesti went well."

"It was a delight to travel by rail," Stefan's father replied.

"Come. Dinner is served." Mircea gestured toward the table along the wall. Caroline stood tall next to her father, a spark of pride in her eyes. Stefan quickly assessed her parents and determined she was a unique blend of both, though she slightly favored her father. They shared the same thick chestnut-brown hair.

"Your Highness, Princess Caroline, I have something that might be yours," Stefan said. She raised an eyebrow.

He reached into his pocket and pulled out her scarf. He'd had the dirt and grime removed so the golden parts of the embroidery glistened in the light from the chandelier.

 
 
 
MY REVIEW:
 
Twilight Over Moldavia (Moldavian Moon, #2)Twilight Over Moldavia by Stephanie Burkhart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Twilight Over Moldavia by Stephanie Burkhart is a 2012 Desert Breeze Publishing release. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The time has come for Queen Theresa to pay the piper, so to speak. Her son Stephan and her nephew Michael are grown and Stephan is about to be married to Caroline. But, Timon is aware that Theresa is hoping the curse on Stephan will be broken and he intends to make sure that does not happen.
Caroline never thought she would be the one to marry Stephan. It was supposed to be her sister, but when she tragically died the responsibility fell upon Caroline. It was her duty and she intended to follow through. When she meets Stephan it is very obvious they share an intense connection. Could their love break the awful curse Stephan will have to bear?
This is the second book in the series and while I think you could read this one as a stand alone, I strongly recommend you read the first book before reading this one. This series is one of epic love stories, betrayals, magic and good versus evil with a sort of dark fariytale like quality to it. I am glad I had the chance to discover this series. I enjoyed Stephan and Caroline's story. There were some really sad moments, but long overdue peace will come as well. The next book in the series will follow Michael 's story and I'm excited to see what happens next. Overall this was another strong chapter in the series. This is a 4.5 rounded to 5.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:
FOLLOW THE TOUR FOR MORE CHANCES TO WIN!!

Stephanie will be awarding a $25.00 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a $15.00 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.

 The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 
 

Monday, April 28, 2014

A CROUTON MURDER BY J.M. GRIFFIN- REVIEW AND GUEST BLOG

 
 
BLURB: Meet Melina Cameron. Baker extraordinaire and killer crouton maker. When Franklin Seever, the father of Melina’s best friend BettyJo, is poisoned from eating Melina’s fresh baked croutons at a dinner party, a police investigation once again targets Melina. But Melina has learned her lesson after finding her landlady lying in a pool of blood, and with a crusty piece of bread protruding from her mouth, just a few months ago. If there is one thing Melina is aware of, it’s that you never really know people until you break bread with them. BettyJo’s dad, a wealthy banker, already disliked Melina before the crouton calamity. What’s he going to think of her now that his life is hanging in the balance? Out of the bread pan and into the fire for Melina as she tries to keep BettyJo from freaking out about her dad, and engages in keeping her safe from a weirdo stalker. And wouldn’t you know it? Just when Melina’s life couldn’t get more twisted than a loaf of braided bread, the sexy Scotsman, Aidan Sinclair once again arrives on her doorstep with a smile on his face and an offer that could change Melina’s life forever. BIO: J.M. Griffin/Dana Stone grew up in rural Maine. She relocated to Rhode Island and lives in the north western part of the state with her husband and two cats. J.M.'s first published novel For Love of Livvy, began a series of humorous mysteries featuring Lavinia "Vinnie" Esposito. J.M. has also written a romance under the pseudonym Dana Stone. ONLINE LINKS: • Blog http://mycozymysteries.blogspot.com • Facebook danastone.5815 • Twitter mycozymystery BUY NOW LINK: • Amazon http://tinyurl.com/mn8fpj4 Button HTML Code:
 
 
FIRST CHAPTER – A Crouton Murder

Chapter 1

Sounds of choking and gagging reached me as I entered Bette Seever’s shop. She’d set the tarot reading room up for an impromptu dinner. I gawked as her father grasped his throat, writhed on the floor and suddenly lost consciousness. After I’d hurriedly called 9-1-1, rescue personnel soon rushed into the room to take over the scene. Alongside a police officer, I stood and watched paramedics finger sweep his mouth for an obstruction before they bundled Franklin Seever onto a stretcher and rolled him out the door followed by BettyJo.
When she’d reached the door, BettyJo glanced over her shoulder. "I’ll be at the hospital. You’ll be right along, won’t you?"
I said I would as soon as I locked up for her. BettyJo glanced at the others before she hurried out. I turned to the officer and asked, "What can I do for you, Bailey?"
Alan Bailey and I had taken college courses together before I realized I wanted to bake bread for a living. Broad, but fit, Bailey’s brown eyes took in our surroundings without missing a beat. We hadn’t been close friends, but had attended the same parties, gone to the same Providence Bruins hockey games and had even cheered for the same players.
"Good to see you, Melina, even if it is under these circumstances. Tell me what happened." His voice was rich, not baritone rich, but even and soothing. A coercing voice that encouraged a person to spill their secrets, so-to-speak. He glanced at the other guests who waited to give their account of the event and then gave me his full attention.
"Franklin is BettyJo’s father. She invited him and a few friends for dinner. I’m not sure what happened. I’d run over to my shop for a loaf of focaccia bread and found Franklin choking when I came back." I tipped my head toward the guests and said, "They might be able to tell you more."
After he’d made notes, he asked me to stay and beckoned the others forward. "What happened?"
Helena Bentwood, owner of The Crafty Cupcake Shop, wrung her hands with worry while Charlie Franklin, an antiques dealer spoke up.
"We’d settled at the table, Franklin helped himself to salad and began eating. He’d popped a couple croutons in his mouth and before you know it, he was choking to death. None of us have touched any food," George said.
"Can you bag the salad for me, Melina?" Alan asked.
"I’d be happy to," I answered and reached for the cabinet to get plastic bags. Assured by Helena Bentwood’s statement that Charlie was right, he let the two of them leave. The only people who remained were Ezra Canter and Corinda Blake. They’d arrived with Franklin close behind. Franklin had introduced them as work associates. Ezra was a banker with nearly the same views and power as Franklin. I figured Corinda had tagged along due to her fascination for BettyJo’s dad. It could have been romantic fascination or maybe she wanted to be counted on the power scale. Her avid interest in the man had been obvious to everyone in attendance.
"So you arrived at the same time as Mr. Seever, then?" Alan asked.
"Just a few minutes before," Ezra answered.
"What are your relationships to Mr. Seever?" Alan asked, giving them each a long look.
Ezra cleared his throat and said, "I’m a fellow banker. Franklin and I have been friends since we attended private school together."
"I’m in charge of employee relations at Franklin’s banking headquarters in Providence," Corinda replied. Her confident, steady gaze held Alan’s for a moment before she glanced away.
Cops don’t look away, they stare you down. I believe it to be part of their training academy curriculum. I hid a smirk at Corinda’s first lesson in her police interrogation experience. I’d been down this road not long ago and knew better than to act mightier-than-thou when faced down by a cop. Confidence is fine, but entitlement pisses them off.
A bag of salad awaited the trip to the police lab. If Mr. Seever was dead, God forbid, or he’d had a reaction to something he’d eaten, the lab would make note of it.
"You’re sure Mr. Seever only ate the croutons?" Alan insisted.
With a nod, Ezra said, "Franklin said he was hungry and helped himself to the salad. He ate a couple croutons and maybe a chunk of tomato."
"Who brought the salad?" Alan asked me.
"BettyJo put the salad together. I made the croutons for her and left them here earlier today. Other than that, BettyJo did all the cooking, uh, except for the dessert. Helena baked cupcakes for dessert." I thumbed in the direction of her shop up the street. "She owns The Crafty Cupcake Shop."
Alan turned to Ezra and Corinda. "That’ll be all for now. I have your information, should I need to reach either of you."
Looks of relief flooded their faces. I watched as they gathered their coats and strode out the door in silence. Once they’d reached street level, I noticed Corinda started talking. Ezra grabbed her arm and kept moving toward his BMW parked at the curb across the street.
Alan watched them, a serious gleam in his eyes. I figured he considered them persons of interest, but then, maybe we all were. Briefly, Alan glanced around the shop. He muttered, "Look at all those doodads."
I chuckled. He smirked and answered his jingling phone. He listened intently for a few moments, glanced at me, and then tucked the phone in the holder attached to his utility belt. With a bland expression, Alan’s eyes always told the story. At least they did when I was around. I always knew when he was about to blow-up, laugh, or any of the other feelings one has. His eyes told me all of it. I was in trouble, big trouble.
"Mr. Seever has been poisoned. It seems he would have died if he’d eaten much more. I’ll take that salad along with the croutons, Melina." His face impersonal, his eyes spoke volumes, saying he was sorry to have to tell me this. "Don’t leave town without calling me first. You’re a suspect. Sorry."
"Wh-what? You think I poisoned Franklin? I hardly know the man, I have no reason to poison him or anyone, for that matter." I drew in a deep breath, let it out slowly, and tried to gather my wits. Shut-up, Melina, just shut your mouth now. If I was suspect number one, then I’d better keep my own counsel.
"I’ll be handing this over to the detective division. You’ll likely hear from them as soon as the poison has been identified." Alan tucked the notebook into his breast pocket and took the bag I offered him before he left.
Worry weighed heavily me. The lock clicked as I closed BettyJo’s back door. Racing from the parking lot in my Fiat, I rushed to Rhode Island Hospital’s emergency department. BettyJo probably wondered if I planned to show up.
Her eyes huge as saucers, BettyJo paced the floor of the waiting room. She’d been crying, her make-up had smudged in pools under her eyes where she’d wiped it away. I gave her a hug and murmured, "Officer Bailey said your father had been poisoned. Will he be all right?"
She nodded and mumbled something that sounded like, "He could have died, and it’s all my fault."
"Your fault? Why would it be? You didn’t poison the food, I know you didn’t." I handed her a wad of tissues from my purse.
"The police will figure out we argued all the time and they’ll blame me, you know that, don’t you?" BettyJo wiped away her new flow of tears and blew her nose.
"Why aren’t you in the cubicle with him? I’m sure he’d want you there."
"The nurse said I was to wait here and they’d let me know when Dad was taken to a room. He’s being admitted for observation." BettyJo slumped into a well-used waiting room chair. She rubbed her face, ran her hands through her hair and heaved a sigh. "Will Bailey handle the investigation?"
"No, the department will assign a detective to the case." I patted BettyJo’s shoulder. "I’m so glad your father is going to be fine. I’ll be the main suspect, BettyJo, because the croutons came from me."
BettyJo adamantly shook her head. "Nope, not happening again. We just went through a murder investigation, we can’t go through an attempted murder. Hell, I’ll lose my mind."
"I feel the same way, so let’s get serious and figure out who the hell did this and why. Otherwise, we might be roomies at the big house for bad-asses."
She’d opened her mouth to speak when an orderly approached. "Your father is going upstairs now. Would you follow me, please?" the slight man asked.
We both rose and walked quickly behind him as he entered the elevator. Soundlessly the doors slid closed and seconds later they reopened. Having advised us to stop at the nurse’s station around the corner to the left, the orderly stepped back into the elevator and wished us well.
Corridors stretched out in a couple directions. We scuttled to the way our orderly had pointed and stopped short at the nurse’s station. A dark haired woman with a name badge pinned to her uniform glanced up.
"Can I help you?" Nurse Hadley asked.
"Could you direct us to Franklin Seever’s room?" BettyJo asked.
Checking a roster, Nurse Hadley asked, "And, you are?"
"We’re his family," BettyJo said as she motioned to both of us.
Nurse Hadley checked her computer and then said "He’s been put in room 14. You won’t stay long, will you? He needs rest."
We nodded in unison and skirted the station to get to Franklin’s room. A policeman stood at attention at the door. The single bed in the dismal private room held BettyJo’s father. His pale features were drawn, he lay completely still while monitors beeped and his I.V. dripped. I assumed that I’d look that way or worse if someone had just pumped my stomach. I shivered at the idea.
The cop put his hand out to waylay our entry. BettyJo gave him a sharp glare and said, "That’s my father, and I’ll be going in there, so step aside."
He asked for identification and told me I wasn’t allowed in. Only family could visit. I nodded, gave BettyJo’s arm a squeeze and said I’d be right here, awaiting her return.
Her angry glare directed at the cop, BettyJo said she’d be back directly. I leaned against the wall on the other side of the doorway, the cop took up the other side. He didn’t try passing the time away with idle chitchat, nor did I.
Visitors and staff passed by, glanced at me and then at the cop, curiosity on their faces. I didn’t speak or smile, I just waited. Before long, BettyJo joined me and we left.
"He’ll be fine. His throat is sore from where they stuck the tube down his throat, other than that, he’s pretty chipper for someone in his circumstances," BettyJo remarked.
We walked across the hospital grounds. The car park was jammed with vehicles ranging from jalopies to Mercedes Benz and Lexus SUV’s. My small car nestled among the low end of the money chain, as did BettyJo’s. I’d turned to her when Ezra’s hurried figure caught my eye. He’d scanned the parking lot, and then rushed across a service road, meant for rescues, before he scooted through a private hospital entrance.
"How much do you know about Ezra and Corinda?" I asked while we skipped down a flight of stone steps into the parking area.
"Corinda’s worked for Dad for years. Ezra’s been around since I was a teenager. He and Dad often go on holidays together. Ezra likes to fish, my father, well, not so much, but he goes anyway. I think it’s his chance to kick back and chill. Why?"
"Ezra couldn’t get out of your shop fast enough. When he and Corinda crossed the street, she said something, he grabbed her arm and pushed her toward his car. I thought his actions strange. He could have been stressed over your father’s misfortune, though." I left out that I’d just seen him scurrying into the hospital.
"That must be it, Ezra’s upset over Dad."
"See you back at the shop?" I asked.
She agreed and we parted ways. I drove across the bridge toward India Point and veered toward the row of shops where a group of us lived and worked. Mrs. Peterson, my former landlady, had bequeathed the building and its shops to her daughter. Since her mother had been murdered by that very same daughter, the court had given the building’s operation over to an attorney to handle. The attorney never came around, but left our rent collection up to his secretary. If repairs needed to be done, they were addressed immediately. A sweet change from dealing with Mrs. Peterson.
Traffic was next to none in this part of town once office and shop hours had ceased for the day. My bakery, The Hole in the Wall, was next to BettyJo’s shop, with an unrented shop on the corner. The long building filled one side of the block on Wickendon Street, a historical and famous neighborhood. South Main and Benefits Streets led off from our string of shops which brought business both ways.
I idled into a parking space behind the row of shops and saw BettyJo drive in and park. She walked toward me, her expression one of worry. I suddenly felt the responsibility of an oncoming investigation settle on my shoulders. It seemed not long ago all of us tenants were faced with this sort of encumbrance. I heaved a hearty sigh and slipped my arm through BettyJo’s.
"Let’s get a sandwich from Mack & Mutt’s," I suggested. "I’m famished and had to throw out dinner on orders from Bailey. He took the salad to be analyzed and said I was a suspect. Imagine? I’ve been back from Scotland for a week and we’re already been implicated in poisoning your father? Sheesh!"
Her eyes on me, BettyJo missed a step and tripped up the back stairs leading to the row of businesses. I grasped her arm, hauled her upright and exclaimed, "You did realize that implication, didn’t you?"
Her slight shrug baffled me. Had she or hadn’t she figured that out?
"Just because my father had a reaction to the salad doesn’t mean either of us poisoned him. I had time to think while I waited for you to arrive at the hospital. It occurred to me that we were absent from the room off and on while everyone got seated. Before that, the salad sat on the table and could have been fiddled with while they had wine and chitchatted. I brought dinner down from my apartment and you went for bread which also offered a window of opportunity. Do you think Ezra or Corinda dropped poison in the salad?"
It was my turn to shrug. The whole thing didn’t make sense to me. Who was the intended target? Me, BettyJo, or one of the five others? We would all have likely eaten the salad, so which one of us was the killer after? I couldn’t picture George or Helena doing such a thing, but then I’d never have suspected Mrs. Peterson’s killer either.
"Good question," I said. "For all we know, any one of us could have been targeted by one of the others. We should look into Corinda and Ezra. Dig up whatever we can find out about them and go from there. Until we have a plan, let’s eat and talk about something less depressing than attempted murder. I think it’s safe to say our fellow renters weren’t part of it, though if we don’t find anything of use on your father’s friends, we’ll have to look at Helena and George."
"Sound ideas, both of them. Let’s talk about your trip to Scotland while we eat."
We strolled into the pizzeria, where Carl Mack stood behind the counter, his pen poised over an order pad. He grinned and said, "Boy, it’s been really dull around here while you were gone, Melina. Glad you’re back." He grinned and then said to BettyJo, "Sorry to hear about your father. You must have been scared out of your mind."
She nodded, ordered a spinach calzone and I ordered a pizza for one. When he’d disappeared into the kitchen, we settled at a corner table which offered a view of both ends of Wickendon Street. I noticed BettyJo glance up and down the street of and on while we waited. I wondered what she was looking for, but didn’t ask.
Carl brought our meals over and took a seat opposite us. "How was Scotland, Melina? Did you get married while you were there?"
With a snort, I said, "Hardly. Seanmhair was in her glory and didn’t want to leave. I had a good time, loved the hospitality shown us by Aidan and his household staff, but thoughts of getting my business back up and running worried me. Aidan is a great host, his family tree is impressive and the home he lives in is amazing." I picked a slice of pizza off the plate and gobbled it up.
"Did Aidan stay in Scotland, or did he return to the states with you?"
"He had business at home, so we came back alone. How have you two been doing since Kristina was arrested?" I murmured softly. Carl’s partner, Bill Mutton, had been dating Kristina when she was found to be involved in Mrs. Peterson’s death.
"Bill moped around for a while, mostly because he was so shocked over Kristina’s actions. He seems to be perking up. We’ve been real busy, so that’s kept his mind occupied." Carl glanced at BettyJo and remarked, "I hear somebody will soon move into the shop next to yours. Do you know what business it’ll be?"
"I don’t know. A few people have looked at it while Melina was away, but no one has signed a lease as yet that I’m aware of. A couple came to check it out today. They were in there with the attorney’s secretary for quite some time."
"Too bad to have it empty. It’s not good for a building like ours to have an empty shop. It points to signs of economic stress and shines a poor light on all of our businesses," Carl said. "I was hoping George would encourage one of his friends to rent the store. It’s a corner, so it costs more to rent than in inner shop does."
"It’s a perfect place for just about any enterprise," I added and finished off another slice of pizza.
We’d nearly finished eating when Detective Porter Anderson strode through the door. He glanced at me, nodded, and then read the overhead menu. Carl left us and took his place behind the counter. After Porter ordered, he came toward us, taking in the shop and us in one sharp look. His gray eyed stare, all serious and nerve wracking, rested on me. I pushed a chair out for him and finished my pizza before his questions caused me to lose my appetite.
"Evening, ladies," Porter greeted us softly.
 
A Crouton Murder (Deadly Bakery #2)A Crouton Murder by J.M. Griffin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Crouton Murder by J.M. Griffin is a 2013 Lachesis Publishing release. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Melina and the gang are back in this Deadly Bakery short story. Melina's friend BettyJo's father is poisoned while eating homemade croutons Melinda had personally made. Now she is suspect number one. If that weren't enough, her relationship with Aiden is up in the air and Melina's grandmother has her heart set on moving to Scotland.
This second book in the series sort of picks up where the first book left off. We know BettyJo has issues with her father who is very disappointed that his daughter isn't in the banking business pulling in huge sums of cash. BettyJo and her father argue a lot but that doesn't mean she wanted him dead. But, Melina and BettyJo are not the only suspects. Who else may have wanted to poison BettyJo's pompous father?
Melina's feelings toward Aiden are a mystery to me. He seems besotted but she seems rather reserved. A stunning turn of events will have you wishing for that third book in the series to come along Right Now!!
A very light, fun cozy mystery that will have you wishing for the smells of homemade baked bread. This one gets 4 stars.
GUEST POST:
 
THANKS J.M. GRIFFIN FOR  JOINING ME AT THE BOOK REVIEW TODAY!
 
 
YAWN!
As a storyteller, and avid reader, it’s always an honor when somebody asks if I’d read their book and give them an honest opinion. On the down side of that, is the thought that the book might not be to my liking, it might have unresolved issues, and then there’s the fact that we might be friends (or writing acquaintances) and to be fair, the review might need tempering along the way. With that said, I realize my novels may seem to suffer from some of the aforementioned issues, as well, so I try to keep that in mind when giving a review. Cruelty is never part of that honesty, not ever, and I’m happy about that.
When reading a stand-alone novel, I can usually rest assured there won’t be any repetition of facts, at least I hope not. What bothers me about series novels is the fact that the author will repeat past happenings (and does so way too often) over and over, filling three or four pages with occurrences that aren’t necessary, and makes me yawn. It’s annoying, and I figure, if a reader’s interest is piqued enough, they’ll buy the rest of the series and do so happily. That’s not to say references to something that happened in a previous book shouldn’t be mentioned, just mention it in passing or that introductions of the main characters aren’t necessary, mainly because if this is the first time a reader has begun the series, they won’t have any idea who is who, etc.
Writing, rereading, and editing are part of the process that every author does (at least, I hope so, LOL). We write, rewrite, rear, reread, edit and edit again until we are so tired of the story that we just want to be done with it for a while. That really does happen, no fooling. When we’ve taken a brief respite from the novel writing, editing, and whatever, process, we come back refreshed and with new eyes to look at the story, see what needs fixing or cutting and then have a go at it. All said, it’s fun to be in that mode, and more fun when the editor gets her/his hands on the book and finds little to change or fix.
What’s your take on the issue of prior happenings being repeated until you yawn? I’d be interested to know. Thanks for stopping by today!


WILDE RIDERS BY SAVANNAH YOUNG- SPOTLIGHT + GIVEAWAY


Wilde Riders


Old Town Country Romance


Book One


Savannah Young


Genre: Contemporary Romance


Publisher: Short on Time Books

Date of Publication: February 11, 2014

ISBN: 1495442977

ASIN: B00IDWDWJ8

Number of pages: 186 pages

Word Count: 49,000

Cover Artist: Tony Bryson

HYPERLINK "http://www.amazon.com/Wilde-Riders-Town-Country-Romance-ebook/dp/B00IDWDWJ8/" Amazon

Book Description:

FOUR WILDE BROTHERS...ONE WILDE COUNTRY BAND

WILDE RIDERS is the first novel in a spicy new contemporary romance series about four sexy brothers, their small-town bar and their local country band. WILDE RIDERS can be read as a STAND ALONE NOVEL or as part of the SERIES.

Cooper Wilde spent his entire adolescence counting the days until he could escape rural northwest New Jersey. Now at 26, he can't believe he's coming back. But his late father's bar, Haymakers, is in financial trouble and his older brother, Jake, has asked for Cooper's help.

Riley Smith, 25, is fresh out of her Ivy League MBA program and wants to make an impression on her employer, H & C Bank. Her first solo assignment is a fraud investigation on a business loan they made to Haymakers.

Even though Old Town is less than 90 minutes from New York City, Riley feels like she's stepped into another world in this remote, one-bar town. Riley can't wait to do her business and get back to the city as quickly as her sports car will take her...until she meets Cooper Wilde. He's not like the other guys in this rural town and Riley feels inexplicably attracted to him.

EXCERPT:


As I pull into Old Town the place looks exactly like I thought it would. The buildings in the town square are old and I image the place hasn’t changed much in the last hundred years or so.

Haymakers is just past the town square, down the hill from the deli, next to the gas station. Those were the exact directions I was given, in those words. I take that to mean the town only has one gas station and one deli.

When I pull into the parking lot, there’s only one other vehicle sitting there. It’s an old beat-up Dodge Ram. Nothing like fitting the country bumpkin stereotype like a glove. Then I have a brief moment of panic and wonder if it’s safe to park my BMW in the dirt lot. Then I remind myself where I am. Who is going to mess with it in the middle of the day? A stray deer from the woods out back? The only thing I probably have to worry about is it getting dusty.

I take in a deep breath. I have to be thankful there’s no manure smell yet. The quicker you do this, I remind myself, the quicker you can get back to the lovely asphalt jungle you call home.

I’m hit with a gust of wind as soon as I get out of my car. How is it possible that Old Town is even windier than lower Manhattan? I didn’t think I’d ever find a place windier than Wall Street. Even the Windy City didn’t seem this windy when I had business in Chicago.

When I enter the bar, I try to smooth down my thick hair, which I know is probably a complete mess from the gust. I’m surprised by the homey feel of the place. How could someone like me possibly feel at home in a country bar? Even if I was wearing jeans and cowboy boots, if I even owned jeans and cowboy boots, I wouldn’t fit in at a place like this.

I hear someone clear his throat and I turn to see a guy about my age, mid-twenties, standing next to me. I can’t help my surprise when I see he’s wearing khakis and a polo shirt, like he just stepped off a golf course. He looks as out of place in this country bar as I feel.

"Are you Jake Wilde?" I ask.

The guy gives me the faintest hint of a smile but it’s almost as if it pains him to give that much. His deep brown eyes look even more distressed and I can’t help but wonder what’s behind those sad eyes.

He rakes his fingers through his thick dark hair. "A little windy out, isn’t it?"

My hand automatically goes to my hair and I try to casually flatten it down again. I imagine I must look like I just stepped out of a wind tunnel.

"Your hair looks fine," the guy tries to assure me. But he’s got that hint of a smile on his face again and it makes me wonder if he’s lying just to make me feel better.

"I’m Cooper Wilde," the guy says as he offers a hand.

I don’t know why I suddenly feel nervous about shaking it. It’s a business meeting. That’s what people do. But the way this guy is looking at me gives me the feeling that he might be interested in more than just business.

But I’m not, I remind myself. Not only because I’ve all but sworn off men, I’m here to do a job. I’ve been working for H & C Bank for two years and this is my first solo assignment as a lead investigator. If I continue to do well, I’ll be well on my way to becoming a Vice President before I turn thirty. I don’t need a man to throw me off my career trajectory. And definitely not some guy in a country bar in rural New Jersey.

I take his hand and give it a quick shake but I can’t bring myself to look into his smoldering eyes again. "I’m Riley Smith."

"I figured that," Cooper says.

"Why is that?"

That hint of a smile has returned to his face again. "We don’t often get women in business suits in the bar."

I’m not sure why I’m suddenly overcome with the urge to get a real smile out of Cooper Wilde. I don’t know even know the guy but it somehow seems important. I get the feeling he hasn’t really smiled in a while and it’s long overdue.

Not that I’ve had much occasion for real smiles myself lately.

"My brother will be here in a minute or two. He’s just printing a few documents from the computer. Purchase orders and receipts."

I nod and look around the place. From the outside, I thought it was going to be a dive but the place actually has character. I can tell the wooden bar is old, and it looks hand carved, as do the barstools. There’s a large stage area that looks new. That’s one of the expenses I was charged with investigating. I try to image what the place looks like filled with patrons watching a local band play on a Friday night.







About the Author:


Romance novelist Savannah Young grew up in rural northwest New Jersey in a place very similar to the fictional Old Town, which is featured in her books. When she's not at her computer creating spicy stories, Savannah is traveling to exotic locales or spending time with her husband and their bloodhounds.







Blog: HYPERLINK "http://oldtowncountryromance.tumblr.com/" http://oldtowncountryromance.tumblr.com/

Facebook: HYPERLINK "https://www.facebook.com/SavannahYoungAuthor" https://www.facebook.com/SavannahYoungAuthor

Goodreads: HYPERLINK "https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7814077.Savannah_Young" https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7814077.Savannah_Young

Twitter: HYPERLINK "https://twitter.com/ShortonTimeBook" https://twitter.com/ShortonTimeBook



a Rafflecopter giveaway Wilde RidersWilde Riders by Savannah Young
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wilde Riders by Savannah Young is a 2014 Short on Time Books publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Riley lives in New York and is sick of the slick Wall Street type. She is given the assignment of looking into a fraud case in rural New Jersey. When she arrives in Old Town she is stunned by the contrast. Old Town is like another planet compared to New York.
Then Riley meets the Wilde Brothers. Jake is the one that has been running The Haymaker, a bar owned by his late father. This is object of the investigation, since The Haymaker has been in a little financial trouble. Jake calls his brother Cooper who just so happens to be employed on Wall Street for some advice and help. Cooper had fled Old Town the very second he could. He plans to be a millionaire before he is thirty, he dresses fine, drives a BMW and has absolutely no desire to ever go back to rural New Jersey. When Jake calls and Cooper hears the stress in his voice he reluctantly agrees to help him out.
The bar was where the Wilde Riders country music band made it's home and Cooper loves playing music, but he is out of his brothers band by choice, although Jake tries to lure him to The Haymaker's new stage for old times sake.
When Cooper meets Riley he is instantly attracted to her and feels a compulsion to take care of her, even if it means protecting her from ladies man, Jake , and from his other brother Tucker who is a war vet learning to live with a disability. Riley has to spend a weekend in Old Town after her car is damaged and Cooper makes the most of that situation. The mistake he makes is hiding his New York lifestyle from Riley after she confesses she is tired of the Wall Street crowd.
With this first installment of the Old Town Country Romance series, the author introduces us to a motley group of brothers, each with their own set of issues and personalities. Cooper and Riley are the main focus of this story, but Jake gets a lot of coverage as well. Jake and a local girl that had a massive crush on Cooper for the longest time are spending time together, but for Jake it's just a game. Tucker is bitter and scares Riley a little bit. Then, we have Hunter who is very quiet studious type. I am really looking forward to reading each installment in this series. Now that we have met everyone the real character development can take place . Being drawn to the war hero type I am especially looking forward to Tucker's story. Overall this is a nice start to the series. This one gets a B or 3.5 stars ( rounded to 4)

FINDING HER DREAM BY JENNAH SCOTT BOOK BLAST + GIVEAWAY!!


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jennah will be awarding a $10 Gift card (to the winner's choice of e-book retailer) to a randomly drawn commenter via the Rafflecopter at the end of this post. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Remember, the more stops you visit, the more chances you earn to win.

It wasn't until she watched her best friend find the man of her dreams that RayAnne Hill realized there was a part of her missing. She knows the empty space can only be filled by finding her own true love, complete with kids and the white picket fence. Fear of letting someone in stops her cold, and it's much bigger than just finding Mr. Right.

James Shaw moved away from Kentucky and the family business to chase his own goals, settling in the small town of Kimmswick, Missouri. His business is succeeding, now he's ready to complete his life with a wife and kids. One night, one look and he's found her. RayAnne is everything he's been searching for.

As hard as James has fallen for RayAnne, can he be enough to help her overcome her worst nightmare? Or will he decide he can't wait forever, and walk away to find happiness?


Now enjoy an excerpt:

Well, wasn’t that just the crap on the cake. Selfish. Once again, Ray was thinking of herself before she found out the whole story. James wasn’t ditching her.

“You know, you could have called and rescheduled. I would have understood.” She wouldn’t have liked it, but she knew about having a business and needing to be there. It was the same way with her dad, and for a while, herself.

“I didn’t want to miss our date. You’re a beautiful woman, giving me a chance and I’m messing it all up with my mare. Besides, Doc told me if I didn’t get some food then I’d never make it through the night. I really don’t want to screw this up.”

“Hey. Don’t worry about it. I understand. We’ll enjoy whatever time we have.” Not that the hurt faded completely. There was still a pang in her chest knowing the date was a failure. “Do you want to order something and if necessary, I can bring it out to the ranch? You’ve got to eat.”

He ran his hand down her cheek. Ray leaned into his touch. This was what she wanted. She breathed a sigh of relief when the legs of the chair closest to her scraped against the floor as he pulled it out and then sat down. He was turned slightly toward the table, his shoulders turned to face her.

“You’re such a sweetheart. Thank you. I don’t know how long she’s going to be.” James leaned over, brushed his lips across hers.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Born and raised in Texas, Jennah is a transplant to Missouri long enough ago she should probably consider that her hometown. But she will forever be a Texan. She loves to write any story that will make a reader smile, laugh, and maybe even cry (although you won't ever hear her admit that she cries). Whether the next story she writes is contemporary, urban fantasy, LGBT, or whatever other crazy idea she comes up with, there will always be love and romance in the midst of trials and turmoil.

When she's not writing you can find her on Twitter, with her family, or buried in a book trying to escape reality for just a minute.

Website: http://www.jennahscott.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jennah_scott

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjennahscott?ref=hl

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6820280.Jennah_Scott

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jennahscott/

Buy Links:

All Romance: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-findingherdream-1461203-147.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Her-Dream-Midwest-Kisses-ebook/dp/B00JCAZTX2/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396238996&sr=1-4&keywords=jennah+scott

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/finding-her-dream-jennah-scott/1119020767?ean=2940149369669


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Saturday, April 26, 2014

SHATTERED BLUE BY JANE TAYLOR STARWOOD - A BOOK REVIEW

Shattered BlueShattered Blue by Jane Taylor Starwood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Shattered Blue by Jane Taylor Starwood is a 2013 independent/self published release. I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.



Shannon is living out away from most of civilization with only one close friend in town, no family, husband or kids. Why? Well, her step father recently died in prison after pulling a con with his son that took money from many innocent people. Shannon changed her name to Shane and left her life in New York and started over. When she gets a new neighbor, Matt, she's less than thrilled, no matter how nice looking he is.
Hiding from her family's sins is not all Shane has to contend with. She still suffers from a childhood trauma and recently she has been getting some hang up type calls that has her concerned. A neighbor that insist on being, well, neighborly is a complication she would rather do without.
Matt is selling his portion of a business that has left him with few money concerns. He is getting a divorce and living a slower paced lifestyle than he had in LA. He learns that his neighbor is not too happy about the two of them sharing a hill, so he decides to introduce himself. He is totally blown away by Shane. She was rude, but Matt is determined to show her he is no threat to her peace of mind and that maybe he's one of the good guys.
I really enjoyed this classic style romantic suspense novel that reminds me just a little of Linda Howard or Sandra Brown. If you their style, you will really like this book. Shane's/ Shannon's dark secrets and family crimes have put her in serious danger. When Matt gets involved with Shane, he too becomes a target when the bad guys realize they will need to get him out of the way in order to get to Shane. There are many twist and turns , high intensity suspense and steamy romance. Shannon will learn to trust, to heal , and she will learn the power of friendship, community and love.
I seems like there are only a handful of RS authors out there still giving us this type of thrilling suspense. Mostly these are authors that have carved out a niche for themselves with this formula and it is their bread and butter. There aren't many new authors writing RS like this, though. I like a good action romance book with hot military heroes as much as the next person, but I miss the standard RS format. I hope this book and this author will help bring this style of writing back into the mainstream. This was a wild rollercoaster ride. 4 stars
Jane Taylor Starwood is an eclectic, cross-genre author.
Her debut novel, the romantic thriller "Shattered Blue," has received a BRAG Medallion and RONE Award nomination and is Awesome Indies Approved.
Ms. Starwood is currently completing her second romantic thriller, "Falling Starr," and the first book of "The Seekers' Prophecy," a YA dystopian fantasy trilogy.
The author's "Long Island Wine Country: Award-Winning Vineyards of the North Fork and the Hamptons" is available at bookstores, regional wineries and online.
Ms. Starwood tweets at @StarwoodRomance and @SeekersProphecy.

DEATHSCAPE BY DANA MARTON- A BOOK REVIEW


Deathscape (Broslin Creek #2)Deathscape by Dana Marton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Deathscape by Dana Marton is a 2012 publication.
BOOK BLURB:
After a near-death experience, artist Ashley Price is compelled to paint visions of the dead, and fears she's gone crazy. Then she paints a man buried alive and, recognizing the surroundings, she rushes to save him.

Instead of being grateful to her for rescuing him, Detective Jack Sullivan accuses her of being in league with a serial killer. He swears he will put her behind bars. Except, the more time he spends with her, the more he falls under her spell. Can he trust her, or is he walking into another deadly trap?

This book is a fast paced romantic suspense novel that examines the effects on a person when they are a victim in one way or another of a crime. Ashley is practically a hermit, incapable of taking care of her daughter and Jack is a man that lost his sister to a serial killer and now he is unable to live life normally. His obsession leads him to believe that Ashley could somehow be involved with the killer when he finds her collection of macabre paintings. Ashley and Jack are both at risk of becoming the next victim. Jack's character flaws lead him to think the worst of people and to bend the rules and treat people unfairly. He slowly comes to realize he has been wrong about Ashley and understands he has a lot of changes to make in his life. He also is realistic enough to know he may never really be normal , but is willing to try for Ashley.
Ashley's ordeal will teach her to face her worse fears and realize she wil be able to cope with her past and live a productive life and be a good mother to her daughter. Ashley and Jack accept that they will still face many challenges, but they will love each other just the way they are. So, the in summary, I enjoyed the character development, the suspense, and the touch of paranormal elements mixed in. I give this one 4 stars.



Dana Marton    

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

  Dana Marton writes fast-paced action-adventure romances that take her readers all over the globe. She is a Rita Award finalist and the winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence. She loves writing stories of intrigue, filled with dangerous plots that try her tough-as-nails heroes and the special women they fall in love with. Her books have been published in seven languages in eleven countries around the world.

SIX WOMEN OF SALEM BY MARILYNNE K. ROACH- A BOOK REVIEW

 
Six Women of Salem: The Untold Story of the Accused and Their Accusers in the Salem Witch TrialsSix Women of Salem: The Untold Story of the Accused and Their Accusers in the Salem Witch Trials by Marilynne K. Roach
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Six Women of Salem: The Untold Story of the Accused and Their Accusers in the Salem Witch Trials by Marilynne K. Roach is a 2013 De Capo Press publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book is a non- fiction account of six of the most commonly known people mentioned during the Salem Witch Trials. With the unique idea of spotlighting the accused and the accusers as well one that fell into both categories, the book details the personal lives of those involved and outlines the type of thinking and superstitions of the era. A short story written in italics begins each chapter and those short pieces are fictional. However, the trials are at the core of the book and most of focus in on this area of history.
The first part of the book is a little dry with a lot of dates and genealogy which could be very interesting for hardcore history enthusiast. For those who would rather just get to the juicy parts, you really could skip over part one and start on part two . From that point on the story flows much easier and is very interesting. I have always found this period of time fascinating and I keep my eyes peeled for books that are reputable and well researched that deal with this topic. It is very clear this author wanted to move away from the Hollywood themes and did an incredible amount of research. I don't know if I have read an account like this one before. So much focus is on the girls making the accusations, the reasons why they made them, and the absolute hysteria that followed, that the trials only get a cursory glance, so I found the book educational and revealing.
It is hard for many of us to read history books that are written in this manner. I wonder if the author added the brief fictional stories in an effort to off set the classroom history type format the rest of the book contained. It can get a little dull at times and it has taken me a while to get through this one. I just put it down and read something else for day or so and then picked this one back up. I'm glad I was allowed access to this book via Netgalley and I do wish more books written on this subject had less of the "Crucible" type focus and placed more emphasis on this type of material. This is such a strange time in our history and it's still so shocking. I would like to say we learned something from The Salem Witch Trials, but sadly it seems history has repeated itself in one form or another in this same way.
This one is a 4 star rating.
Marilynne K. Roach works as both a historian and illustrator. Her illustrations, how-to articles, and travel pieces have been featured in the Boston Globe. She's lectured to groups ranging in age from kindergarteners to senior citizens, and is the author of the classic The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege.

Friday, April 25, 2014

THE COWBOY LASSOS A BRIDE BY CORA SETON SPOTLIGHT/ REVIEW + GIVEAWAY


 


THE COWBOY LASSOS A BRIDE


by Cora Seton


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Jake Matheson loves everything about ranching the Double-Bar-K, except for his father’s controlling nature. It’s bad enough the old man won’t step down and let him run things his own way. Now Holt has demanded that Jake find a wife—in the next thirty days. Jake knows just the woman he wants–Hannah Ashton–but they haven’t even gone on a date, let alone been together long enough for him to propose. He’ll have to work fast to secure her hand in marriage before his time is up.

Hannah Ashton loves the fifteen hundred pound bison she rescued from being the object of a trophy hunt. She’s grateful for Gladys’s temporary home on the Double-Bar-K—and for the chance it gives her to see Jake on a daily basis. But now his father, Holt, is threatening to kick Gladys off the ranch—or eat her!—unless Hannah follows some very strange instructions.

Jake is thrilled when Hannah agrees to move into his cabin, but his family seems dead set on breaking them apart. Meanwhile, Hannah is all set to head off to veterinary school, but Jake seems to want a traditional wife.

Will a pregnancy scare unite Jake and Hannah in a common goal? Or will it drive them apart for good?

 


Excerpt :


"If you’re man enough to give me lip, then you’re man enough to settle down and start your family, and I expect you to do just that. You’ve dillydallied enough time away acting like an alley cat. I put you in charge of the herd because I thought you had what it took to the do the job. But you can’t even move the damn cattle when I tell you to do it."


"If I’m in charge of the herd, then I’m in charge of when to move them."


"You won’t be in charge of nothing if you don’t marry by your thirty-fourth birthday. I had four sons by the time I was your age!"

"You can’t tell me when to marry!"

Holt turned to Ned. "You ready to take on some more responsibility?"

"Damn straight." It was obvious Ned was loving this turn of events. Jake, however, felt like the ground had tilted beneath his feet. He’d begun to think of marriage in the last few weeks—in an abstract way as something he and Hannah would do in the future. In the far, far future. Now Holt wanted him to marry within the month?

"I’m the one in charge of the herd." Jake knew he was losing ground fast. Why the hell did he have to throw his father’s dyslexia in his face today of all days? Most of the time he was on board with the family’s campaign to keep that information private. Holt had quit school young over it. Ned, suffering the same problem, barely lasted longer. Mentioning their affliction was like setting flame to a powder keg.

"For now." Holt brushed past him. "You’ve got until December twenty-first to bring your wife to the altar—a proper wedding, too. None of this justice of the peace crap. If you’re still single on the twenty-second, Ned takes over." He clambered back down the ladder and disappeared from sight.

Ned clapped him on the back. "Don’t worry, when I’m in charge I won’t boss you around. Much." He followed Holt down the ladder, laughing.

Jake stood motionless, the leak forgotten. Thirty days to get married? Or leave the ranch?

Well, why the hell not. Maybe his father was right. Maybe it was high time to get married. If Hannah was the one, then she was the one. A smile curved one corner of his mouth. He bet Holt hadn’t figured on him already picking a bride. Now he just needed to fast-forward his timeline to snare her for his wife.

Hannah Ashton had better watch out.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Cowboy Lassos A Bride (The Cowboys of Chance Creek #6)The Cowboy Lassos A Bride by Cora Seton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Cowboy Lassos A Bride (The Cowboys of Chance Creek # 6) by Cora Seton is 2014 publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the author/publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Jake Matheson's father has thrown down the gauntlet. Get married in a month or lose his position on the ranch. Jake lives and breathes the Double- Bar-K. He can't imagine leaving it. It just so happens he might have a chance at pulling off a marriage on short notice if the beautiful Hannah Ashton will give him a chance. Hannah has also been given an ultimatum by Holt Matheson. She needs a place for her Bison. If she agrees to spend two weeks with Jake - all night in the same bed, Holt will give her the land she needs. So, the race is on. Jake and Hannah go at it hot and heavy until it becomes a possibility that there may have been a condom malfunction and Hannah is nearly positive she is pregnant. The other issues at hand are that Hannah plans on pursuing her dream of becoming a Veterinarian no matter what. That means four years in Colorado attending school. Jake is not happy about those plans but then he gets some good advice and things look like they might work out after all. But, of course Jake's plans hit a snag and Hannah finds out Holt has practically forced Jake to marry. Will Jake be able to convince Hannah he really loves her and wants to marry her even if he has to give up the ranch?
While it might offend your sensibilities that a man would go around controlling the lives of his grown sons, Holt is the best there is at it. He may come off as sexist and harsh, but if you stick with the story you will understand more about him. These Chance Creek novels are always a treat. They are light hearted contemporary western romances that place a lot of emphasis on family. All families have their moments of selfishness and stubbornness. Some seem to pull more weight than others and some are more successful than others, there are arguments and hurt feelings, maybe a few tears, but when it comes to getting something done they all pull together to help one another. I think that's what makes these stories so appealing to me. I love the sexy hot cowboys and the steamy romance, but I also like the way everyone comes together through thick and thin, which is what family is all about.
Overall I give this one an A.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Cora Seton loves cowboys, country life, gardening, bike-riding, and lazing around with a good book. Mother of four, wife to a computer programmer/eco-farmer, she ditched her California lifestyle nine years ago and moved to a remote logging town in northwestern British Columbia.


Like the characters in her novels, Cora enjoys old-fashioned pursuits and modern technology, spending mornings transforming a neglected one-acre lot into a paradise of orchards, berry bushes and market gardens, and afternoons writing the latest Chance Creek romance novel on her iPad mini. Visit www.coraseton.com to read about new releases, contests and other cool events!



Blog: www.coraseton.com

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Barnes and Noble: HYPERLINK "http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/cora-seton" http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/cora-seton

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