Friday, July 3, 2015

Excerpt from Lucky For You by: Jayne Denker

Clunk.

Shuff.

Will stiffened. The noises were coming from the chief’s office, but Zoë wasn’t due in for another half hour. And if she was in her office, she would have turned on the lights when she came in. His hand drifted instinctively to his belt, even though he hadn’t drawn his weapon in . . . well, ever. Not in his whole four and a half years as a Marsden police officer.

“Zoë?” he called tentatively, expecting her brusque “Yeah” in answer. It didn’t come.

The silence thickened, as though whoever was in the chief’s office was holding his breath, frozen in place. Will squared his shoulders and put on his “cop attitude”—the air of authority that did more to control a situation than any weapon could—and planted himself in the doorway.

“Oh, hey, Mister Policeman.”

His shoulders drooped. “Shit.”

Jordan Leigh, occasional Marsden resident and frequent scourge of the town, was sitting at the chief’s desk—in Zoë’s chair, no less—like she owned the place. Of course she was. It was what she did. Jordan had more attitude—and more nerve—packed into her small frame than anyone would expect. Anyone who didn’t know her, anyway. Will, on the other hand, knew her pretty well, so instead of relaxing, he stayed on high alert.

“Nice to see you too.” Jordan propped her elbows on the arms of the chair and spun it first one way, then the other, and back again.

“How did you get in here?”

“You’ve gotta ask? It’s not rocket science to get into any building in this town. Even the police station, apparently. Who’s on the cleaning crew lately? They left the door open.”

“They did not.”

“Might as well have, if all it took was a good hip check to open it.”

“What do you want, Jordan, before I arrest you for trespassing?”

She clucked disapprovingly. “Not a morning person, huh? You’d better check your daily briefing or your . . . town crier’s scroll or whatever. I have an appointment.”

Will crossed his arms and leaned against the doorjamb. “Do you, now?”

“Yep.”

“No offense, but I thought the last place you’d ever want to visit is the police station. What kind of appointment could you possibly have?”

Jordan ran her fingers through her jagged, pin-straight dark hair, massaged her scalp, then flashed a wicked little smile. Without another word, she rolled the chair backward and propped one leg on Zoë’s desk, then crossed the other one over it, at the ankle. Will pushed off from the door frame, ready to ream her out for being rude—a Jordan Leigh specialty—when she cleared her throat and waggled the foot on top.

She sported an ugly, clunky ankle monitor that looked as though it was weighing her down and could snap her slender limb at any moment.

The flicker of sympathy Will felt for her was so slight he barely noticed it. Fighting back a smile that smacked of schadenfreude, he asked, “What did you do this time?”

“I said read your notices.” She wiggled her fingers in a dismissive wave, but he didn’t move.

“Get up; let’s go. My desk is out here, and I’m not turning my back on you for a second.”

Jordan obeyed, but Will still didn’t feel comfortable in her presence. He’d never reveal that to her, of course. Instead, he did his best to fill the room as he watched her rise and saunter over to him. He squinted at her suspiciously—partly because he didn’t trust her, partly because it masked the fact that he was watching the swaying of her narrow hips too closely. When she got closer to him, he realized she was going to have to squeeze past him to get through the door, and his skin started prickling. Still, he didn’t move an inch. No quarter—not for this one. He knew her too well, even if she didn’t spend a whole lot of time in Marsden these days.

When Jordan reached him, she stopped and looked him in the eye. She had a natural end-of-summer tan, as though she’d spent the season boating; a few freckles dotted the bridge of her upturned nose, and the neutral color of her lips accentuated the healthy shade of her skin.

He swallowed and hoped it wasn’t as audible to her as it was to him. “What, Jordan?” he demanded.

She stayed silent for another moment, then her lips twitched. They weren’t full and lush, but they definitely held their own unique appeal. He immediately looked over her head instead of staring at them.

“Nothing. You’re cute when you’re being all bossy, that’s all.”

With an irritated sigh, he muttered, “Move it.”

Jordan laughed softly and passed through the doorway. Will wondered if she’d brushed her shoulder against his chest intentionally or not. He wasn’t even officially on duty yet and already it had been a long, trying shift.

Review: Dressed to Kill by: Lynn Cahoon



Title: Dressed to Kill
Author: Lynn Cahoon
Publisher: Kensington Books
Series: A Tourist Trap #4
Pages: 320
Format: NetGalley e-book ARC
Source: Great Escapes Book Tour & NetGalley

Description:

Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More in the tucked-away town of South Cove, California—is not particularly thrilled to be portraying a twenties flapper for the dinner theater murder mystery. Though it is for charity…
Of course everyone is expecting a “dead” body at the dress rehearsal…but this one isn’t acting! It turns out the main suspect is the late actor’s conniving girlfriend Sherry…who also happens to be the ex-wife of Jill’s main squeeze. Sherry is definitely a master manipulator…but is she a killer? Jill may discover the truth only when the curtain comes up on the final act…and by then, it may be far too late. 

My Thoughts: 

In this book everyone is getting ready for dinner theater murder mystery that is going on in South Cove when one of the participants winds up dead.  Of course the person who dies happens to be dating Sherry who is Greg the cute cop that is dating Jill's ex-wife.  Did Sherry have anything to gain by the death of her boyfriend?  Or was someone else determined to kill Kent?

Also in this book is more interaction with Jill's neighbor Esmeralda.  Jill keeps finding Esmeralda's cat on her property and it's up to Jill to return the cat and get a reading by her neighbor each time.  Which makes Jill wonder if Esmeralda is the real deal or not?

This book was full of so much action and adventure snad learning about the women in Kent's life and who had enough anger and vendetta to kill him and why.  I was totally stumped on the killer and all I can say is Ms. Cahoon you rock in the world of mystery throwing so much caution to the wind.  I thoroughly enjoyed all the antics and mystery that was going on.  Can't wait to see what is next in this fabulous series!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Murder on Parade by; Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain

I decided to do a throwback thursday to older posts and spotlight them since July 4th is coming up I thought I'd share Murder on Parade by: Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain.  It was great cozy book centering around the fourth of July and of course a mystery is always included.

Here's a link to the post:

http://communitybookstop.blogspot.com/2013/10/review-murder-on-parade-by-jessica.html

Check it out and let us know what you think of the throwback thursday!  Whether you would like to see more of this.  I value your comments so let us know!

My Review:

I have recently been introduced to the tv show within the past 8 years and have soaked up countless hours of it when I can.  When I discovered they were also a book series I jumped at the chance to read them.  I am partial to Cabot Cove books.  I enjoy reading about Seth, Jessica and the Sheriff Mort Metzger.  I find them to be a great cozy mystery. 

 This one dealt with Joseph Lennon a big money maker who decides to make Cabot Cove his home and tries to change parts of Cabot Cove that people love.  Alot of the people love what he’s done but just as many don’t like the change they like the simpleness of Cabot Cove, and find what Mr. Lennon is trying to do a horrible shame.  

This book also brings back Amos Tupper and a retired FBI agent that Jessica has worked with before.  While things are heating up for the fourth of July so are tempers when it comes to the changes being made by Joseph Lennon.  When he turns up dead it’s up to Jessica to get to the bottom of it.  

To me this series Murder She Wrote I think in a way started the world of cozy mysteries, after all she was a simple school teacher who wrote a mystery book and has continued to help friends who find themselves suspected of murder.  The people she has saved is too large to name but in the end Jessica always gets her man or woman if the case maybe.  While the show has long ended it’s nice to have these books to read and see what they are up to. 

Definitely a great book for those who love the show or characters from the show, you can almost hear them saying the lines in the book with the actors who portrayed them.

Book Trailer Thursday: Fun Cycle by: Billy Gordon

Purchase Links:

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Interview with Jayne Denker

What genre do you write?

That should be a simple question, but it’s pretty complicated! My publisher (Kensington/Lyrical Shine) labels my books contemporary romance. But that’s such a broad classification! So much stuff under that umbrella. It’s the same with women’s fiction, which I shy away from, because it sounds more serious than what I write. The only genre classification that guarantees a book is a comedy with a happy ending is chick lit, but American publishers won’t even think the words for fear of being turned to ash. So I prefer to describe my books as “romantic comedies.” Calling a book a “rom-com” effectively communicates that it has romance, laughs, and a happy ending. I think all of us disenfranchised chick lit authors should be able to use the term “rom-com” instead. Come on, publishers! Let’s do this!


What series, if any, do you write?


My first two books were standalones, then I wrote Down on Love, which was also going to be a standalone. After it was finished, my editor asked me if I’d like to make it a series. I certainly wasn’t going to say no! So Down on Love became the first Marsden novel, named after the fictional small town in the Catskills where the books are set. The second Marsden novel is Picture This, which came out last year, and Lucky for You, the third in the series, is publishing next month, on August 18.


Who is your favorite character to write about?


Aaaaggghh I can’t pick just one! I love all my characters—even the villains, because they’re so much fun to write. I love all the peripheral townspeople in my Marsden novels—they’re 31 flavors of crazy. I’d have to say I’m particularly fond of Amelia, who’s Georgiana’s (the main character from Down on Love) niece. Amelia is a baby in DoL, around four years old in Picture This, and closer to five in Lucky for You. The older she gets, the more of a hellion she becomes. Plus she swears like a sailor without actually swearing. I love that kid, but she’d be a nightmare in real life.

Can you tell us what brought you to writing romantic comedies?


When I decided to write my first novel, By Design, I was so intimidated—it was such a huge undertaking. I mean, I’ve been a writer all my life, but I’ve never set out to write a 90,000-word story with the end goal of having it published. Anyway, I figured that if I was going to spend that much time with a bunch of characters living in my head, they’d darn well better make me laugh. Plus—not to sound maudlin or anything—there’s already so much misery in the world, I couldn’t imagine adding to it. I’d much rather make people laugh. You know—put something positive out into the world. That’s better karma. :)

Who influences your writing?


If I need to get into “the zone” for writing, I’ll watch my favorite funny movies or TV shows. I prefer the ones with clever wordplay—they get my mind thinking along the same lines, and then I’m off and running with my own stuff. I absolutely worship Amy Sherman-Palladino’s dialogue-writing skills (Gilmore Girls, Bunheads). She’s a genius. I can only aspire to her greatness and yet I accept that I will inevitably fall far short. I also bounce ideas off some romance writer friends: Glynis Astie, Tracie Banister, Tracy Krimmer, Kathryn Biel. They always help me sort out my tangled thoughts.

What type of books do you like to read?


I find myself reading romances by default these days, because so many of my friends are romance writers and I want to keep up with their stuff, but honestly, I’ll read just about anything, from YA to NA to classics to current best sellers. My deep, dark secret: I actually miss reading to my son before his bedtime. When he was younger, I got to read all the Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson) and Wimpy Kid books. Now I have to steal them when he’s finished with them!

What do you do when you’re not writing?


...There are other things to do besides writing?! Why wasn’t I told? Seriously, it seems I’m always writing—or plotting beforehand or editing afterward—plus doing promotional work and keeping up with social media. When I put the laptop away...ah, who am I kidding? I never put the laptop away! (And that explains my generous expanse of backside, as I spend so much time sitting and exercising only my mind.) No, I do get up...occasionally. I spend time with my family and try to keep the house clean—the usual “life” stuff. From October through March, I’m an Odyssey of the Mind coach. My team is in division II (middle school) now. During the OotM season, everything else comes to a screeching halt. That program takes tons of time and energy, but the kids love it—they get to be so creative!

If you could take three things to a deserted island, what would they be?

Hmmm...food, water, and Chris Pratt. I’m sure that’s all I’d need.

Spolight: Picture This & Down on Love by: Jayne Denker

Synopsis on Down on Love by: Jayne Denker

When it comes to love she's a professional skeptic. Is it too late for a career change?
If there's one thing Georgiana Down is an expert in it's bad relationships. That's what inspired her blog Down on Love where she gives snarky advice--usually along the lines of "dump him." In fact George is abstaining from men all together. At least that's the plan--until she makes a trip back to her tiny hometown in the Catskills where meddling is an art form. . .


George loves helping out with her new baby niece but she's counting the days until she returns to Boston. Then she runs into Casey Bowen her high school crush. The boy she once loved is now a handsome grown man--and suddenly George needs a little advice of her own. She's in the right place because when she drunk posts on her blog everyone in Marsden has something to say about George and Casey. It's like high school all over again--but maybe this time she'll get things right. . .

Synopsis of Picture This by: Jayne Denker

It’s where everyone knows your business—and remembers everything you’d rather forget. But somehow the little Catskills town of Marsden draws the most unlikely people back home, turns their lives
every which way, and helps them finally figure out what—and who—they want most…
As a celebrity photographer’s assistant, Celia Marshall is used to seeing all kinds of weird antics. But subbing as the model in irrepressible movie star Niall Crenshaw’s latest endorsement ad—while wearing his silk boxers, no less—is definitely not in her job description. Neither is falling for him, especially since he’s dating his latest co-star. To complicate things further, Celia is returning to Marsden to keep an eye on her eccentric grandmother—and Niall is driving her there, then staying to judge a talent contest…


Soon Celia is pulled in a dozen different directions, trying to get her grandmother to act her age, placating her frantic former boss who’s organizing the contest—and attempting to stay away from funny, sexy Niall. Celia’s always been level headed, but suddenly she’s wishing she could get reckless right along with him. Has the time come for sensible Celia to cut loose?...

Check out these great steals:
DOWN ON LOVE #1 is $1.99 and PICTURE THIS #2 is 99 cents.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Review: A Christmas Ghost & Zero Regrets by: Jennifer Fischetto

Title: A Christmas Ghost & Zero Regrets
Author: Jennifer  Fischetto
Publisher: Gemma Halliday Publishing
Series: Dead by The Numbers
Pages: 42
Format: Nook e-book
Source: Purchase

Description:

From National Bestselling author Jennifer Fischetto comes a hauntingly humorous short Christmas tale... 

While Gianna Mancini longs for a cozy family Christmas back home, this year her cousin, Claudia, is getting married, and Gianna is the maid of honor. Having to spend the holiday in another state may have Gianna a bit blue, but when Claudia runs off the night before her nuptials, Gianna is determined to find her. 
To complicate things Gianna has a rare gift...she sees dead people. Reluctantly teaming up with gorgeous, P.I. Julian Reed, and her cranky dead Aunt Stella, Gianna sets out to catch her runaway bride cousin, find the sender of a cryptic love note, and track down a list of Claudia's ex-boyfriend—the "ghosts" of her love life past, present, and possibly future.

My Thoughts: 

This book features Gianna who in a previous book reviewed on this site was up to her eyes in murder you can read about it here.  In this book Gianna is helping her cousin get ready for her wedding when the bride has cold feed and we get to learn why and watch as Gianna helps her cousin Claudia determine whether or not she is destined to be married. 

We also for the first time meet Julian and see how Gianna and Julian meet and end up together I can't wait to see what is next for this author!

Review: If The Shoe Kills by: Lynn Cahoon

Title: If The Shoe Kills
Author: Lynn Cahoon
Publisher: Kensington
Series: A Tourist Trap Mystery #3
Pages: 203
Format: Nook e-book
Source: Purchase

Description:

The tourist town of South Cove, California, is a lovely place to spend the holidays. But this year, shop owner Jill Gardner discovers there’s no place like home for homicide. . .

As owner of Coffee, Books, and More, Jill Gardner looks forward to the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers. But when the mayor ropes her into being liasion for a new work program, 'tis the season to be wary. Local businesses are afraid the interns will be delinquents, punks, or worse. For Jill, nothing’s worse than Ted Hendricks--the jerk who runs the program. After a few run-ins, Jill’s ready to kill the guy. That, however, turns out to be unnecessary when she finds Ted in his car--dead as a doornail. Officer Greg assumes it’s a suicide. Jill thinks it’s murder. And if the holidays weren’t stressful enough, a spoiled blonde wants to sue the city for breaking her heel. Jill has to act fast to solve this mess--before the other shoe drops. . .

My Thoughts:

In this book we follow book owner Jill Gardner who is getting ready for the holidays especially her huge Thanksgiving Day dinner with friends and family.  She is also implementing a work program to help people find steady employment and learn skills to help them better their lives.

Of course Jill didn't count on finding Ted Hendricks who runs the work program dead in his car.  Jill feels it her duty after finding the dead Ted to solve his murder but the more she looks into the more of a jerk he seems to be.  Will she ever solve this crime in time?

I love this series it's so different unlike others I've read with characters who have their issues and main characters who aren't perfect and talk about relationship issues among other subjects.  I really find myself pulled into this one series and there are only a few series that pull me in like this one.  Since I'm doing a tour of the latest book in July I figured I would catch up with Jill, Greg and the others.

Next in the series is:

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Review: Just in Case by: Elizabeth Marx



Title: Just in Case
Author: Elizabeth Marx
Publisher: Createspace
Series: Carpetbaggers, Rebels & Yankees #1
Pages: 386
Format: Nook e-book
Source: Book Tour

Purchase Links:
B&N: http://goo.gl/AKy4rg 
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/547850
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18214103-just-in-case
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/just-in-case-6

Description:

What happens when your darkest truth is revealed to the world? Scarlett Marbry was just sixteen when her mother, an acclaimed Sacred Harp singer, committed suicide in front of her, sending her running from rural Alabama and the darkness that pushed her mother over the edge. Now, after five years of building a fragile cage around her heart to protect herself, she must return to Crossroads for her grandparents' funeral. There, she'll not only be forced to deal with the reality of her deep Southern roots, but she'll have to face the one she left behind. Revell Marshall is used to working with fragile objects. He's built a life and career around reassembling the delicate stained glass windows that have put Crossroads back on the map. He's also been pining for Scarlett all these years . . . Determined to win her heart, he helps her piece together the facts of her mother's past. Except these revelations, once exposed, could set Scarlett on the downward spiral she barely escaped the last time. Especially when the truth that stained the past may be the same one that shatters her faith in the one person she thought she could trust . . .

My Thoughts:

This book follows Sister Scarlett Marbry who was a young girl when she found her mother hanging in her grandfather's church.  Since then she has long since buried what happened in Alabama and thrives in Chicago, or so you think.  When she gets called back to Alabama when her grandparents are found dead a fire in their house.

Revell Marshall is going about business as normal when he finds Scarlett in his bar, the girl who got away from him but he never forgot about her.  They had a close relationship but when Scarlett's mother died Scarlett was sent to live with friends in Chicago.

Returning home for Scarlett has brought up all sorts of issues for people in town who believe that Scarlett's grandfather is a wonderful man and a great preacher but Scarlett knows otherwise.  Now Scarlett has to come face to face with the horror of what she remembers from her childhood but can she trust Revell to be her just in case, and to build something with him?

My Just In Case:

I loved this story so much it was so addicting while I read it I felt drawn to the characters and couldn't put it down and like Revell in the book my just in case is my wonderful husband of over 13 years. He has been there through so much good and bad and I know that when times get hard I can turn to him and he supports me and guides me when I need it but doesn't take away from choices I make.

Who is your just in case?  And what do you all think of this story?  I can't wait to see what Ms. Marx's offers next in this series!



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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Review - The Spaghetti Detectives by: Andreas Steinhöfel

Title: The Spaghetti Detectives
Author: Andreas Steinhöfel
Publisher: Chicken House
Series: Rico & Oskar #1
Pages: 176
Format: Hardcover
Source: Personal purchase

Description:

1 String of Spaghetti + 2 Friends = A Noodle-Cooking, Crime-Solving Adventure!

Sometimes Rico acts a bit odd -- his mom calls him a "proddity" -- but he's GENIUS at noticing little things nobody else does. Like a string of spaghetti stuck to the sidewalk. Or the big buckteeth of that boy in the blue motorcycle helmet. Or the strange behavior of the neighbors in his apartment building.

Oscar is a true prodigy, with a high IQ and high anxieties to match. He's the one who wears the blue helmet -- to protect his precious brain! Oscar may have a lot of book smarts, but he needs Rico's help to face his biggest fears. And when other kids mysteriously start going missing, it's up to the two friends to use their noodles, keep track of the clues, and crack the case!

Funny, sweet, and just the right amount of scary, THE SPAGHETTI DETECTIVES shows how two opposite, seemingly mismatched kids can put their heads together and be better as a pair.

My thoughts:

I love children’s books, and I couldn’t resist diving into Rico and Oskar’s adventures once I read the back cover. I LOVE THESE KIDS! Especially Rico. And, of course, I love Andreas Steinhöfel for creating them and making their storylines so cute and exciting.

Rico is an 11-year-old, “unusual” boy who lives with his mother in Berlin, on 99 Dieffe street. What’s an unusual boy like, you say? Let me tell you: Rico needs to walk in a straight line on the street without entering side streets, he can’t tell left from right so he doesn’t go out much, he can’t remember everything that people tell him, especially when he gets excited, bingo balls start bouncing around in his head and therefore he gets confused.

Rico’s mother has explained his situation to everyone in the building the day they moved into their apartment and everyone is very helpful to him. They even allow him to enter their apartments and look around. There is even a lady whom he watches movies with on some evenings. The adventure begins when Rico finds a macaroni piece on the street. He knocks on almost every door in the building, asking whether what he found is a Rigatoni or something else. Serendipitously, he meets Oskar, who’s super smart and walks around with a helmet because he’s afraid anything might happen to him at any time.

In the meantime, there’s a felon on the loose nicknamed Mister 2000: he kidnaps children and asks for a ransom that’s below the “usual” limit, and is therefore known in the media and in public as the “cheap kidnapper.” Of course, all families and children live in fear of this guy. As poor Rico starts thinking of Oskar as a friend, Oskar is kidnapped by this Mister 2000. His father can’t find the money and alerts the cops, which leads to more chaos.

The way Rico observes the world and tried to make sense of things through the commotion in his head is a delight to read. Yes, it’s a children’s book, but all my guesses about whom Mister 2000 could be turned out to be completely wrong in the end. This is definitely a book that both children and adults can enjoy. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Review - The Heretic's Daughter by: Kathleen Kent

Title: The Heretic's Daughter
Author: Kathleen Kent
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pages: 332
Format: Hardcover
Source: Personal purchase

Description:
 
Martha Carrier was one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. Like her mother, young Sarah Carrier is bright and willful, openly challenging the small, brutal world in which they live. Often at odds with one another, mother and daughter are forced to stand together against the escalating hysteria of the trials and the superstitious tyranny that led to the torture and imprisonment of more than 200 people accused of witchcraft. This is the story of Martha's courageous defiance and ultimate death, as told by the daughter who survived.

Kathleen Kent is a tenth generation descendant of Martha Carrier. She paints a haunting portrait, not just of Puritan New England, but also of one family's deep and abiding love in the face of fear and persecution.

My thoughts:

I’d bought this book and read a few pages back in 2011. I don’t remember why I put it off back then, but I got excited all over again when I remembered it was about the Salem witch trials, which is a personal interest of mine. As soon as I read about 60-something pages, though, I kind of remembered why I put it aside in the first place.

I’m guessing that due to the subject matter being witch trials, I might have thought it would be a story like American Horror Story’s ‘The Coven.’ Or, at least, something along the lines of Women of the Asylum: Voices from Behing the Walls, a witch-y version of it or something. However, when the chickenpox incident at the beginning of the book seemed to drag forever, I thought to myself, “maybe, all witches lost their lives to this disease.” I waited and waited. I waited some more. And NO WITCHES.

All that I’ve mentioned above are in no way a reflection of Kathleen Kent; that I want to make clear. Kent’s ancestors have lived through the witch trials through 1692-1693 that took place in Ipswich and Andover as well as Salem. Passing down to 10 different generations, these stories have become a book at Kathleen Kent’s penmanship—while reading Water for Elephants, I’d thought that Sara Gruen tried too hard to include all her research and neglected the storytelling part. I felt the same thing while reading The Heretic’s Daughter. Yes, it’s a historical novel that has real details… Maybe it wasn’t advertised as focusing on the Salem witch trials, I wouldn’t be this disappointed; I don’t know.

For me, the most interesting part about the book was that the narrator is a child. Sarah is a little girl who’s growing up thinking her parents, and her family in general, are just super boring people. She believes this even more when she’s sent away to live with her cousin’s family when the chickenpox breaks. Later, though, toward the end of the book, we find out that the real excitement was in her own family even though what they have to go through is very sad and disturbing.

Sarah’s mother, Martha, is accused of being a witch. When this happens, Sarah is in awe of her “boring” mother’s bravery, her acceptance of death even though she knows she’s innocent. Martha saves her children by telling them to accept the accusations.

As I’ve mentioned in the beginning, The Heretic’s Daughter was far from what I’d imagined it would be. Instead of a crowd of witches, I found in it family ties, people who are faithful to their beliefs, those who judge what’s different and attack everything they’re afraid of.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Review: Fools Rush In by: Kristan Higgins

Title: Fools Rush In
Author: Kristan Hggins
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 384
Format: Nook e-book
Source: Purchase

Description:

Millie Barnes is this close to finally achieving her perfect life...
Rewarding job as a local doctor on Cape Cod? Check. Cute cottage of her very own? Check. Adorable puppy suitable for walks past attractive locals? Check! All she needs is for golden boy and former crush Joe Carpenter to notice her, and Millie will be set.
But perfection isn't as easy as it looks--especially when Sam Nickerson, a local policeman, is so distracting. Sure, he needs a friend after being dumped by Millie's fortune-hunting sister, but does she really need to enjoy his company that much? He is definitely not part of her master plan. But maybe it's time for Millie to start a new list...
My Thoughts:
This book follows Millie Barnes who is all about getting cute guy Joe Carpenter to notice her, date her and marry her.  What she doesn't realize is sometimes the image we create is greater then the reality of the real person.  What Millie also doesn't realize is that Sam Nickerson is there and cares about her.  Even if he is suffering his own issues after Millie's sister left Sam for someone else.
While Millie spends her time stumbling all over Joe she finally realizes that Joe isn't what she wants at all, and what she wants is in Sam.  But will everyone close to Millie understand including her nephew Daniel, Sam's son?
Kristan is a remarkable writer everything she writes is gold.  I have followed her books since the beginning and have loved the road she takes you on.  Her characters are so real with real issues and not perfect but they figure things out along the way and find their happily ever after!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Review: A Hundred Summers by: Beatriz Williams

Title: A Hundred Summers
Author: Beatriz Williams
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Pages: 357
Format: Nook e-book
Source: Purchase

Description:

Memorial Day, 1938: New York socialite Lily Dane has just returned with her family to the idyllic oceanfront community of Seaview, Rhode Island, expecting another placid summer season among the familiar traditions and friendships that sustained her after heartbreak. 

That is, until Greenwalds decide to take up residence in Seaview.

Nick and Budgie Greenwald are an unwelcome specter from Lily’s past: her former best friend and her former fiancé, now recently married—an event that set off a wildfire of gossip among the elite of Seaview, who have summered together for generations. Budgie’s arrival to restore her family’s old house puts her once more in the center of the community’s social scene, and she insinuates herself back into Lily's friendship with an overpowering talent for seduction...and an alluring acquaintance from their college days, Yankees pitcher Graham Pendleton. But the ties that bind Lily to Nick are too strong and intricate to ignore, and the two are drawn back into long-buried dreams, despite their uneasy secrets and many emotional obligations. 

Under the scorching summer sun, the unexpected truth of Budgie and Nick’s marriage bubbles to the surface, and as a cataclysmic hurricane barrels unseen up the Atlantic and into New England, Lily and Nick must confront an emotional cyclone of their own, which will change their worlds forever. 

My Thoughts:

This book goes back and forth between 1938 and 7 years prior.  In the prior years we meet Lily Dane who is in college and just met and fell in love with Nick Greenwald.  They are joined with Budgie Byrne and her boyfriend Graham Pendleton.  

In 1938 Lily is spending the summer with her family in Seaview Rhode Island.  There she spends her day tending her sister Kiki and her aunt Julie.  

The road this author takes you on is incredible it's really the story of a broken love with too many people interfering and with a friendship based on jealousy and deception.  The relationship between Budgie and Lily is damaged at best.  While Lily tries to act like the bigger person she misses a lot of what is really going on and why so many people are betraying her all over the place except the one person who really loved her.

Definitely a great story I enjoyed reading it and couldn't put it down at all! Can't wait to see what the author writes next!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Review - Swamplandia! by: Karen Russell

Title: Swamplandia!
Author: Karen Russell
Publisher: Vintage Books
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal purchase

Description:

The Bigtree alligator wrestling dynasty is in decline — think Buddenbrooks set in the Florida Everglades — and Swamplandia!, their island home and gator-wrestling theme park, is swiftly being encroached upon by a sophisticated competitor known as the World of Darkness. 

Ava, a resourceful but terrified twelve year old, must manage seventy gators and the vast, inscrutable landscape of her own grief. Her mother, Swamplandia!’s legendary headliner, has just died; her sister is having an affair with a ghost called the Dredgeman; her brother has secretly defected to the World of Darkness in a last-ditch effort to keep their sinking family afloat; and her father, Chief Bigtree, is AWOL. To save her family, Ava must journey on her own to a perilous part of the swamp called the Underworld, a harrowing odyssey from which she emerges a true heroine.

My thoughts:

The Bigtree family lives on an island near Florida. Grandpa Sawtooth Bigtree has been put in a mental institution due to his “dementia” problem. Hilola Bigtree, the mother of the Bigtree children we witness the stories of, has died due to cancer. Her husband and three children who are left behind are in a very tough situation because Hilola is the star of Swamplandia; people come to see her wrestle with alligators. As if Swamplandia losing its appeal and star aren’t enough, they have competition: a theme park called the World of Darkness. The father (Chief) and the three children (Kiwi, Ossie and Ava) all have their own solutions for their problems, of course…

The Chief is planning the innovations they can bring to Swamplandia. The oldest child, Kiwi, says that they should just sell the park but when nobody else in his family agrees to it, he goes to the mainland and starts working at the World of Darkness in order to “check out the competition.” At the same time, he has a desire to learn and dreams of going to college. Getting weirder and weirder after their mother’s passing, Ossia gets into spiritism in hopes of being able to contact Hilola. She talks to spirits and even dates some of them. The youngest, Ava, on the other hand is set on becoming as good an alligator wrestler as their mother and saving the park.

Karen Russell is an author who is rather crafty at bringing together fantasy and reality. She has a very real way of showing how people hold onto places they think they belong to, how some of them do just the opposite and run as far away as they can. She shows how different people deal with the same problem in different ways and none of their ways can actually be considered “wrong,” especially when dealing with grief.

There’s the idea of the naivety of childhood and what dangers it can bring throughout the story. Accordingly, what happens to Ava when a guy called Bird Man is supposedly helping her find Ossie, Ossie being left on the altar while she’s on the verge or marrying a spirit make the reader angry, worried, revolt all at the same time. If you’re looking for a weird book that brings together fantasy and reality in a way that might hurt your insides, Swamplandia! might just be what you’re looking for.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Review: Dying For The Past by: T.J. O'Connor



Title: Dying For The Past
Author: T.J. Connor
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Series: Gumshoe Ghost mystery #2
Pages: 395
Format: Paperback
Source: Great Escapes Book Tour

Description:

Dying is not for the faint of heart . . . . . . Neither is the murder of a mysterious philanthropist with ties to the Russian mob and 1939 gangsters.

At an A-list charity ball organized by his wife, Angela, former detective Oliver "Tuck" Tucker is doing his best to prove that ghosts know how to have a good time--until a man is murdered in cold blood on the dance floor.

Never one to let a mystery go unsolved, Tuck is on the case with help from Angela and his former police-detective partners. Together, they must be the first to read "the book"--deceased gangster Vincent Calabrese's journal that names names and reveals the dirty secrets of several modern-day spies.

As Tuck learns the book's secrets, he begins to unravel his own family's wayward past, leading to the question--is being a ghost hereditary? Even while chasing a killer, the biggest challenge Tuck must conquer is how to be back amongst the living . . . but not one of them. 

My Thoughts: 

This book follows the story of Tuck who had died in the previous book and finds himself working to solve murders with his partner from when he was a cop Bear and his wife Angela mainly referred to as Angel.  In this book someone gets killed at a Charity Ball and during the course of investigating this Tuck finds himself being pulled into a different era.  

This book pulled you in and had you wanting to know why overtime Bear and Tuck turned around the FBI was taking over the case.  What does this mystery have to do with the Feds and what is their goal in all of this?  

i love this series it really pulls you in wanting to see how Tuck the ghost is going to solve this crime before someone close to him gets snuffed out.  Add to the fact that this book goes back and forth between current time and the past.  Definitely a great new series I will soak up as much as possible!

Respect The Arc