Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Book Spotlight: Do I Know You by: CJ Vermote

Synopsis:

With both parents gone, no siblings, no other family members and her best friend, Brandon, on the East Coast, Sara sits in her attorney’s office and finds herself completely alone for the very first time in her life. After her boss agrees to her request to take a couple weeks off work, Sara drives herself to Seaside, Oregon for her first true vacation, where she meets Rob…again. Their first encounter dates back to Kindergarten where they quickly became “an item”. But life changes interfered with their young love, as Sara and her family move the summer before she started third grade, thirty miles north to Lynnwood, WA. The distance proves too far away for this puppy-dog love to continue.

Then a chance meeting again after some 15 years proves to be a welcome “second chance” encounter. Getting to know Rob as an adult was turning out to be quite an adventure. Looking out for Sara’s best interest, Brandon finds himself concerned about how quickly her relationship with Rob is moving, but decides to hold reservation until after he meets Rob on his next trip West. Before long, Sara finds herself falling in love and happily says yes to Rob’s proposal. Her happiness is slowly shattered as evidence begins to unfold confirming Sara’s suspicion that Rob is aware of her inheritance and is willing to do anything for it.


Review: Geared For The Grave by: Duffy Brown

Title: Geared for The Grave
Author: Duffy Brown
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Series: The Cycle Path Mysteries #1
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback
Source: Birthday Present

Description:

Where biking takes a deadly turn

Shakedowns cover-ups and big fat lies keep bodies hidden on Mackinac Island and bike-riding tourist oblivious to it all.

Geared for the Grave

To boost her chances for a promotion, Evie Bloomfield helps her boss’ dad with his cycle shop. The good idea turns bad when dad winds up prime suspect in a murder. To save her job Evie takes over the failing shop though she’s never ridden a bike, finding a killer though she can’t find her keys in her purse and discovering why someone is out to frame Dad. Can Chicago Evie survive life on Mackinac Island without her Honda, being on an eight-mile chunk of land with horses, carriages, bikes, fudge-eating tourists, the resident sage writing her eulogy and a killer who wants her dead?


My Thoughts: 

This book follows Evie who has recently moved to Mackinac Island to help her boss's father who has a broken leg.  When she gets their she finds the the bike shop in desperate need of fixing up.  Little does she know she will be using her sleuthing skills to save Rudy before he looses his shop forever when he is accused of murder.

I loved this book.  Everything about it  was incredible the characters you meet everyone from Irma the local cops mother to Irish Donna.  I found myself cracking up over some of things going on in this town like brownies with a great kick to them, to the secrets the residents hide.  I can't wait to see where Duffy goes next in her books.  If you haven't read this book you really need too.  She delivers the right amount of mystery, humor and adventure!

Monday, December 29, 2014

REVIEW - THE ART OF ASKING by: AMANDA PALMER

Title: The Art of Asking or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help
Author: Amanda Palmer
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover 
Source: Personal purchase

Description:

Rock star, crowdfunding pioneer, and TED speaker Amanda Palmer knows all about asking. Performing as a living statue in a wedding dress, she wordlessly asked thousands of passersby for their dollars. When she became a singer, songwriter, and musician, she was not afraid to ask her audience to support her as she surfed the crowd (and slept on their couches while touring). And when she left her record label to strike out on her own, she asked her fans to support her in making an album, leading to the world's most successful music Kickstarter.

Even while Amanda is both celebrated and attacked for her fearlessness in asking for help, she finds that there are important things she cannot ask for-as a musician, as a friend, and as a wife. She learns that she isn't alone in this, that so many people are afraid to ask for help, and it paralyzes their lives and relationships. In this groundbreaking book, she explores these barriers in her own life and in the lives of those around her, and discovers the emotional, philosophical, and practical aspects of THE ART OF ASKING.

Part manifesto, part revelation, this is the story of an artist struggling with the new rules of exchange in the twenty-first century, both on and off the Internet. THE ART OF ASKING will inspire readers to rethink their own ideas about asking, giving, art, and love.

My thoughts:

Growing up, "you must stand on your own two feet" was one of the sentences I heard the most from my family. Maybe that's why I'm the kind of person who sees asking for help as a last resort. Of course, nobody ever told me I shouldn't do it; I believe it's something I came up on my own. When I think more about it, I realize I'm afraid asking for help will make me look weak and good-for-nothing. Up until now (and still) I've always called my aunt when I came to the point of asking for help becuase there is nothing she cannot resolve, and if she can't, that means whatever it is cannot at all be resolved. In The Art of Asking, Amanda Palmer threw all I knew about asking out the window, as if holding me from my shoulders and shaking me to my core, going, "stop it!" I've always liked Amanda Palmer, but even if I had no idea who she was, this book would've shaken me down just like it did.


If you do like her, you'll like her even more after reading The Art of Asking. If not, like I've said before, that's alright because she does actually introduce herself to you in the book. Deciding she'll be an artist instead of getting a job that's "normal" in the eyes of society and family, she starts off being a live statue in a wedding dress on the streets of Boston. She holds flowers. She stays still until someone drops a dollar in her hat. Then she moves. She looks them right in the eye, thanking them wordlessly by hanging them a flower from her bouquet. Like most artists, what she wants is obvious:

BELIEVE ME. I'm real.

Amanda Palmer is very, very different from me in another aspect as well: she actually likes being around people, connecting with them, sharing their joy and sorrow. She also observes them very well, gets to know them. She remembers so vividly the people from her live statue days that it leaves you in shock. This thing she does continues after she forms The Dresden Dolls; even now. She does it by connecting with her fans personally, one-on-one, by listening to their problems and staying at their homes. Even when she falls in love with Neil Gaiman, who isn't as open as her about anything, she finds a way to open him to the world as well: they do and continue to do ninja gigs and ninja readings together.

The difference between asking and begging

Amanda Palmer is a woman who stood up very publicly to her record label. Those who only have seen the news here and there will think she dumped them because they thought she looked fat in a video, but that's just part of it. While the record label is only worried about what they can sell and how much money they can make, Amanda is okay with having a group of closeknit people. She wants to continue to get to know everyone, be a family. When she dumps the label, the family she created embraces her: they support her Kickstarter project to the end. There are people who applaud her for the success of the project as well as people who call her names, one of them being "beggar." Yet, what she does is not begging: as someone who supported her Kickstarter project, I know that much. Why? Because I would've bought her album anyway. I believe in her art. So I had no problem giving the money away in advance, and I gave whatever I could afford, not what a record company wanted to charge me for it. 20 bucks got me her music, an autographed note and a couple of stickers and pins. Consider me a very happy, satisfied fan!

This really is the difference between asking and begging. First of all, Amanda isn't all whiny and small when she's asking for money. She's like, "I'm gonna do a record, don't have enough money for it, so spot me some, please?" And in return, you get art as well as a whole bunch of stuff ranging from posters to teapots to home parties. Yes, home parties! When we give money to beggars, we hope they use it for food, but we have no clue where it's going. But when somebody asks you for it, you know why and how they will use it. And you also see the results. 


Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

From all of us at Community Bookstop here's to wishing you a wonderful Christmas and Happy Holidays!  We look forward to working with you in the New Year!



Book Trailer: The Insurrectionist by: Jennifer Ott


Purchase Links:


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Book Spotlight: A Glimpse from Christmas Past by: Dan Donahue

Synopsis of Book:

While doing some last minute shopping one Christmas Eve a man has a magical experience. He watches a child preparing to get on Santa's lap through a shop window and is reminded about a special Christmas memory. When the child gets down Santa makes eye contact with the man and they are immediately taken back to a moment they had shared in his past. So the story unfolds as he stares through a window of time at a Glimpse from Christmas Past . . .

Purchase Links:


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Review: Merry Christmas Baby by: Jill Shalvis

Title: Merry Christmas Baby
Author: Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Series: Lucky Harbor # 12.5
Pages: 64
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Description:

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis brings you a heartwarming tale that could only happen in Lucky Harbor . . .

SEASON'S KISSES

Wild child Chloe Thompson can't believe how much things have changed. She still can't get enough of her sexy husband Sawyer, but he seems to prefer working to thinking about impending fatherhood. So tonight, a very pregnant Chloe is escaping her troubles at the town Christmas party.

Sheriff Sawyer Thompson hopes surprising Chloe at the party will give him a chance to set things right. But as the snow begins to fall and the wind rages, he wonders whether he can make it back in time. While mother nature conspires to keep Sawyer and Chloe apart, an unexpected arrival will require them to kiss and make up . . . and ring in the happiest holiday Lucky Harbor has ever seen. 

My Thoughts:
 
Oh Mrs. Shalvis you've done it again created such a great story bring back the core characters that started Lucky Harbor with Maddie, Chloe and Tara.  I've missed not hearing about them as much but was so excited when I heard they were coming back I leapt at the chance to read it. 

This one follows Chloe who has been married to Sawyer for five years and they are expecting their first child, and Chloe has been pushing Sawyer away and it's only while he's gone doing work that she realizes how much she loves him and her life is complete when he is with her.

In a winter storm Chloe begs a friend of theirs to take Chloe to a party and realizes she is going into labor with the baby and admit the contractions finds her partner in life has shown up and is there to help with the birth of their daughter.

I loved visiting with the girls, Jax and Sawyer and Ford it was great to see how they are all so well connected.  Such a great Christmas story!  All I can say to this is Merry Christmas Mrs. Shalvis you've earned it and then some! 

Review: Snow Angels by: Lezlie Anderson

Title: Snow Angels
Author: Lezlie Anderson
Publisher: Cedar Fort Publishing & Media
Pages: 16
Format: e-book
Source: Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Description:

A winter storm, a family, and an idea for a service project all add up to a delightful Christmas surprise! When Mom and Dad suggest serving their neighbors for the holiday, their kids can’t stop grumbling. But as they secretly shovel snow, their attitudes change, and soon the parents can’t get the kids to stop serving. Share the joys of serving others in this wonderful Christmas pamphlet. 

My Thoughts:

This was a cute little novella about the ability to provide a service to others without being asked or expecting something in return in this book Mom and Dad get their kids shovel walks for people who are unable to get to theirs due to age, or agility or recently having surgery.  

This theory takes off and the kids can't wait to shovel and do more shoveling as the nights go on they find other 'snow angels' join in the fun of helping their neighbors without expecting anything out of it.  
It was a great story that showed the power of helping others.  I really enjoyed the enthusiasm the kids showed when they began their service project.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Editorial: Cleaning Up




With the holiday season closely approaching I will be cleaning up this blog and adding some great things for 2015.  I will also be redoing the ads we offer on our blog if this is something you would be interested in please check out our ad post.  We will be offering some great book tours for everyone to check out in January!  We look forward to what the future holds and can't wait to work with authors and publisher's again in 2015!

Review: Spell For Sophia by: Ariella Moon

Title: Spell For Sophia
Author: Ariella Moon
Publisher: Smashwords Edition
Series: Teen Wytche Saga
Format: ebook
Source: Book Tour

Description:

Sophia Perez-Hidalgo’s survival depends upon her mastering magic and the supernatural before her lawless parents and their vengeful boss catch up to her. How far must she flee to escape them forever? Sophia runs until she’s out of stolen money, then… Fate delivers her into the arms of Louisiana teen Shiloh Breaux Martine, and his grand-mère, a reclusive voodoo priestess living deep in the bayou.


Breaux knows Sophia is trouble — but he’ll travel through time, battle zombies, and risk his bright future to protect her. While Ainslie, best friend extraordinaire, will jeopardize her sanity to find and aid Sophia. When friendship, magic, and love are not enough, Sophia will have to save herself. But first, she must believe she’s worth saving.

My Thoughts: 

This book follows Sophia Perez-Hidalgo who is on the run from her parents and their drug boss.  After running she winds up in Louisana and meets Shiloh Breaux and gets brought to his grand-mere who takes in 12 year old Sophia who is hiding from everyone.

When Sophia's life is turned upside down when grand-mere dies it's up to Sophia to figure out what to do next.  She contacts Breaux to help her get away.  But soon into that they figure out that people are after Sophia and is resorted to telling Breaux what she is on the run from.

Ainslie knows something is up with her best friend Sophia but having just gotten out of being the crazy girl and is determined to help her friend hopefully without loosing her mind. 

This book was full of action, and a story of survival in the case of Sophia who has to deal with people who want her.  I think those who are fans of any paranormal, teens, and ya and in general will enjoy this books.  I really enjoyed this story and can't wait to see what is next!

Spell For Sophia
SpellForSophia_453x680 Spell for Sophia Sophia Perez-Hidalgo’s survival depends upon her mastering magic and the supernatural before her lawless parents and their vengeful boss catch up to her. How far must she flee to escape them forever? Sophia runs until she’s out of stolen money, then…Fate delivers her into the arms of Louisiana teen Shiloh Breaux Martine, and his grand-mère, a voodoo priestess living deep in the bayou. Breaux knows Sophia is trouble — but he’ll travel through time, battle zombies, and risk his bright future to protect her. While Ainslie, best friend extraordinaire, will jeopardize her sanity to find and aid Sophia. When friendship, magic, and love are not enough, Sophia will have to save herself. But first, she must believe she’s worth saving. Sometimes the worst scars are the ones you cannot see.  
  Book Trailer:   teen wytch saga new The Teen Wytche Saga by Ariella Moon Think magic will solve your problems? Bring you love? Cure you? Protect you? Help you find someone who is lost? Think again. Magic tests friendships. It hisses, chirps, stinks up the room, backfires, and explodes. Magic forces you to make tough decisions. Shatter limitations. Discover your true self. When you use magic, expect results in the ultimate triple-un—unpredictable, uncontrollable, and so undeniable. And you thought navigating high school was tough.   ariellaAuthor Ariella Moon Ariella Moon is the author of the Teen Wytche Saga, a sweet Young Adult paranormal series. Ariella writes about magic, friendship, high school, secrets, and love in Spell Check, Spell Struck, and Spell Fire from Astraea Press. Ariella spent her childhood searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. Extreme math anxiety, and taller students who mistook her for a leaning post, marred her youth. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. Ariella is a Reiki Master, author, and shaman. She lives a nearly normal life with her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and an enormous dragon.
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          25_Amazon_Paypal Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 1/19/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Review - Not That Kind of Girl by: Lena Dunham

Title: Not That Kind of Girl
Author: Lena Dunham
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 265
Format: Hardcover 
Source: Personal purchase

Description:

From the acclaimed creator, producer, and star of HBO's Girls comes a hilarious, wise, and fiercely candid collection of personal essays that establishes Lena Dunham as one of the most original young talents writing today.

In Not that Kind of Girl, Dunham illuminates the experiences that are part of making one's way in the world: falling in love, feeling alone, being ten pounds overweight despite eating only health food, having to prove yourself in a room full of men twice your age, finding true love, and, most of all, having the guts to believe that your story is one that deserves to be told.

Exuberant, moving, and keenly observed, Not that Kind of Girl is a series of dispatches from the frontlines of the struggle that is growing up. "I'm already predicting my future shame at thinking I had anything to offer you," Dunham writes. "But if I can take what I've learned and make one menial job easier for you, or prevent you from having the kind of sex where you feel you must keep your sneakers on in case you want to run away during the act, then every misstep of mine will have been worthwhile."

My thoughts:

Even though I can't stand most of the characters on it, I do like Lena Dunham's show GIRLS (even just for the love of Adam, it's worth it). I think Lena Dunham is a smart, creative and fun girl. So, when I heard she wrote a book, I had to check it out.

Lena has a very successful career. She received $3.7 million just to write this book. Adding in the fact that she's also the writer/creator of a popular HBO show, we can easily say that she's achieved big success even though she's only in her twenties. Because she's the child of famous artists, because she grew up wealthy, because she's had all this success at a young age, she's also often made a lot of haters. However, none of this means Dunham isn't a talent. 
I always tell people that in all classes where you learn to write, the professors tell you to "write what you know." While watching GIRLS, I did feel like Lena was writing what she knew; and I kept thinking, "how can someone make all this up?" Reading Not That Kind of Girl was a confirmation for me for all of this. Even though everything is quite exaggerated on the show, Lena has lived through it all, and that's why she can tell the story so well. In her book as well she tells you what she's lived through and what she's learned during, just like what it promises on the cover.
Not That Kind of Girl is made up of five sections: 1. Love and Sex, 2. Body, 3. Friendship, 4. Work and 5. The Big Picture. Even though she was raised in a different country, a different kind of environment around different kind of people, as you can tell from the titles of the sections, out worries, what makes us happy or unhappy aren't all that different. Lena's difference is that while I like to talk about these things with my friends or nobody at all, she shares them with the entire world. She has a wide scope of stories, too, from how she has a crooked uterus to finding a condom on the house plant during sex to being sent to a therapist when little due to a fear of death to not feeling like she belonged even though she was supposed to be surrounded by the creative, "right" people.

Maybe it's because I don't enjoy reading about relationship problems, my favorite sections were the Body and Work ones. I once again saw that I'm not alone in freaking out, stressing out and getting close to losing all hope due to the stress of work. I once again saw that I'm not alone in dragging from one nutritionist to the other with intervals in between where I pig out in a mad craze and am still overweight. Most importantly, I remembered that no matter your ass or stomach size, you can use your brain and creativity to be successful at something. I remembered that having OCD is not the end of the world and that I and I alone hold the power to control it. 
Lena Dunham is a celebrity who's accused of being selfish and self-centered like the character Hannah Horvath she plays on GIRLS. Of course, I'm not a crazy fan that stalks her all over the Internet, but I haven't come across her saying the opposite in any of the interviews. She doesn't deny being selfish in Not That Kind of Girl either. Being self-centered and thinking first about ourselves is something that's taught to us as a bad quality. However, having read Lena's book, I'm starting to think those put themselves first are the ones who get what they want; not those like me who put others first and then get crushed when nobody sees or appreciates them.

Review: Cranberry Bluff by: Deborah Garner


Title: Cranberry Bluff
Author: Deborah Garner
Publisher: Cranberry Cove Press
Pages: 184
Format: kindle e-book
Source: Book Tour

Description:

Molly Elliott's quiet life in Tallahassee, Florida, is disrupted when routine errands land her in the wrong place at the wrong time: the middle of a bank robbery. Accused and cleared of the crime, she flees both media attention and mysterious, threatening notes, to move across the country to Cranberry Cove, where she has inherited her Aunt Maggie's bed and breakfast on the Northern California coast. Her new beginning is peaceful - that is, until five guests show up at the inn for a weekend, each with a hidden agenda.

Mix together one blushing honeymoon couple, one flamboyant boutique owner, a deadpan traveling salesman, and a charmingly handsome novelist, and there’s more than scones cooking at Cranberry Cottage Bed and Breakfast. As true motives become apparent, will Molly's past come back to haunt her or will she finally be able to leave it behind?


My Thoughts:

This book starts out with various guests entering into their rooms at Cranberry Cottage.  One set of guests is a newlyweds recently married spending sometime at Cranberry Cottage as part of their honeymoon.  The next being a 'business man', and an older woman, and a good looking younger man.

Molly is set to move on from the history of things that happened in Florida but what she doesn't realize is what is going on with the secrets that guests are keeping each with their own agenda.  To what end will their agenda's cause Molly?  Will her past come back to haunt her?

This book had so many twists and turns as who was out to gain what while some characters were good some were bad and you didn't even notice it right away.  I really enjoyed this book can't wait to see what the author comes up with next!




Book Trailer: Ember by: Carol Oates


Purchase Links:



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review: Six Geese-A-Slaying by: Donna Andrews

Title: Six Geese-A-Slaying
Author: Donna Andrews
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Series: Meg Langslow #10
Pages: 288
Format: e-book
Source: Purchase

Description:

 Meg and Michael’s house is serving as the marshaling point for the annual Caerphilly Christmas parade. The theme is “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” and it features twelve drummers from the school marching band, eleven bagpipers, ten leaping lords costumed in medieval finery from the college drama department, etc. There are also assorted Christmas-themed floats, a live nativity scene on a flatbed truck, the Three Wise Men on Caerphilly zoo camels, and Santa Claus in a bright red horse-drawn sleigh (eight reindeer were beyond the zoo’s scope).

Meg has been volunteered to organize the parade, which is to proceed from her house to the local campus, where Santa will take up residence to hear the Christmas wishes of the town’s children. Of course, getting all the camels, pipers, leapers, and drummers in order is proving every bit as difficult as Meg feared it would be. Then her nephew Eric, wide-eyed and ashen-faced, whispers, “Meg, something’s wrong with Santa.”

The local curmudgeon, whose beard and belly made him a natural for the role, has been murdered. Now Meg and Chief Burke, who is playing one of the wise men, are faced with the two-fold mission of solving the murder and saving Christmas!

My Thoughts:

 Meg Lanslow has her work cut out for her in this book dealing with being in charge of the holiday parade whiich means organizing all the floats and keeping people from annoying each other.  Which includes one cranky Santa that many seem to dislike.  It isn't long into this book when meg's nephew Eric tells her something is wrong with Santa.


Who had enough of grudge to kill the jolly man?  Were they killing Santa or the legend in the suit?  Was it the local Spoor group?  Or one of his renters in his property?  Or was it someone else?

Gosh this book is great it's got humor, mystery, and tons of small town drama especially when you have a claustrophobic medical examiner, who believes most things are connected to the Supernatural. I regret not starting this series sooner as this book pulls you in wanting to find out who committed the crime and why.  I was really dragged in and couldn't put it down until I knew how it was going to turn out!

This series is a joy to read I found myself loving the characters that Donna Andrews creates and can't wait to read about more adventures they have.

Next in the series:


Cover Reveal: Before I Say I Do by: Emerald Barnes

Back in June, Emerald Barnes released her Christian novel, Entertaining Angels, and it is with great pleasure that she will be releasing the the follow-up story to it, Before We Say I Do. Today, she reveals the cover for the story set to release on January 13, 2015.


Finding that she couldn't leave her characters from Entertaining Angels, she decided that their story wouldn't end there, so she wrote Before We Say I Do. And now, here is the cover:


Before We Say I Do Cover

About Before We Say I Do:

Following the best-selling first book of the series, Entertaining Angels, comes Before We Say I Do, An Entertaining Angels Short Story.

It’s been five years, and Chase Sanders and Madison Andrews are about to declare their love for one another in the most sacred of ways. Everything has been going perfectly, especially when an old friend returns to town to stand by Chase’s side on their big day. But is Zach there to see their union, or is he concealing the truth of why he’s actually back in town?

Chase has lived perfectly fine without his father around, but now that his father is divorcing again, he is seeking forgiveness. Chase can’t look at his father, let alone forgive him.

Before Chase and Mads can say “I Do,” Chase must first learn to let go of the past before the dark forces that haunt his nightmares come to life.

**Please note that in order to read this short story when it's available, you will need to read Entertaining Angels. It isn't a stand-alone nor is it a prequel. This is the story of Chase and Mads after the ending of their first book together.**


Cover by RocStarr Art & Design
Emerald Barnes resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it. She tries her hardest to write novels that appeal not only to young adults but to those who are young at heart as well.

She mainly writes suspense/thrillers in the YA genre, but she dabbles in other genres and her books are enjoyed by all ages! She’s constantly working on new novels and has more ideas than she knows what to do with. She’s also a volunteer at the World Literary Cafe which is amazing, and she is a crazy grammar nazi who proofreads novels!

When she isn't writing or proofreading novels, she's spending all of her time with her nieces and nephews. She's a self-proclaimed nerd, avid reader, and TV watcher. God is number One in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor.


Connect with Emerald:
Website
Blog
Inspiration Blog
Facebook
Tsu
Twitter
Goodreads
Google +
Amazon Author Page
Piercing Through the Darkness
Read Me Dead
Entertaining Angels

Review: Shadow of Doubt by: Nancy Cole Silverman

Title: Shadow of Doubt
Author: Nancy Cole Silverman
Publisher: Henery Press
Series: A Carol Child Mystery #1
Pages: 276
Format: e-book ARC
Source: Great Escapes Book Tours

Description:

When a top Hollywood Agent is found poisoned in the bathtub of her home, suspicion quickly turns to one of her two nieces. But Carol Childs, a reporter for a local talk radio station, doesn’t believe it. The suspect is her neighbor and friend, and also her primary source for insider industry news. After a media frenzy pits one niece against the other—and the body count starts to rise—Carol knows she must save her friend from being tried in the court of public opinion.

But even the most seasoned reporter can be surprised, and when a Hollywood psychic shows up in Carol’s studio one night and warns her there will be more deaths, things take an unexpected turn. Suddenly nobody is above suspicion. Carol must challenge both her friendship and the facts, and the only thing she knows for certain is that the killer is still out there. But the closer she gets to the truth, the more danger she’s in.


My Thoughts:

This book starts out when one of Hollywoods Agents Pepper Millhouse is killed in her bathtub no less, but quickly the focus gets put on her nieces as to who murdered her.  Carol Childs ends up investigating the murder to find out what really happened and to clear her neighbor Samantha who is due to inherit with the death of her aunt.  Who had the most to gain with Pepper dead?  Or was it just someone she really upset?

I enjoyed reading this book and learning things about Hollywood and the radio business you would never know.  This book was full of twists and turns and had me really on edge to find out who the murderer was.  This book is great for reading on one of those days you don't want to leave the house.  Can't wait to see what Ms. Silverman comes up with next.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Editorial: Entertaining Angels up for award!!


Best Indie Books of 2014! It could use your vote in the "other" category! Please vote!

Synopsis of Entertaining Angels:

Madison Andrews can’t face her reflection in the mirror. All she sees is a big, fat nobody. Yet, deep inside she longs for something more, something that’s not skin deep.

Along comes Zach, the new guy in school. He’s smoking hot and totally out of her league. She somehow catches his eye, and he makes her feel beautiful for once. But just as she gets close to Zach, her nerdy best friend, Chase, won’t let Madison doubt her true beauty, no matter how many meals she skips.

Even as Madison begins to realize that she is more than what she thinks, darker forces are at work, darker than the lies and mocking from her peers, stopping her from amounting to her full potential. Can Madison find true happiness in her own skin?

If you haven't checked this out yet please check it out!

Amazon |Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Best of Luck to Emerald Barnes such a fabulous story!

Review: Once Upon A Grind by: Cleo Coyle

Title: Once Upon A Grind
Author: Cleo Coyle
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Series: CoffeeHouse Mystery #14
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover ARC
Source: Great Escapes Book Tours

Description:

When coffeehouse manager turned amateur sleuth Clare Cosi roasts "magic” beans for Fairy Tale Week, she brews up a vision that leads to a sleeping beauty in Central Park; a big, bad wolf of Wall Street; and an East Side enclave with storybook secrets...

Fairy tale fever has descended on New York City. Broadway fans are flocking to Red Riding Hood: The Musical; museums are exhibiting art inspired by the Brothers Grimm; and Clare Cosi gives her coffee truck a "Jack and the Beanstalk” makeover for a Central Park festival.

Clare’s coffee hunter ex-husband contributes a bag of African beans with alleged magical properties. His octogenarian mother entertains customers with readings of the grinds, but Clare remains skeptical—until she receives a vision that helps her find a young model’s body in the park’s woods.

The police dismiss "sleeping beauty” as the victim of a drug overdose. Then Clare uncovers evidence that points to a roster of suspects, from a wolf of Wall Street to a New York Giant and a wicked witch of the West Side.

Now Clare is really in the woods—with a dangerous predator on her heels and an investigation that leads from a secret Prince Charming club right back to her own NYPD detective boyfriend. If she doesn’t solve this mystery, those magic beans predict an unhappy ending.

My Thoughts: 

In this book we follow Clare Cosi, Matt Allegro her ex-husband and all their workers at the village blend.  This time they are working in Central Park festival full of princesses, princes, and knights.  When the pink princess Anya disappears, along with Mike's kids Clare and Matt search out to find Mike's kids who went into the woods which leads Matt and Clare in the woods, quickly they find the kids but it isn't until they are searching for their missing dog that Clare stumbles upon the pink princess in a deep sleep.

Who had it out for the Anya and why did they silence her in this manner?  This book goes deep into Russian folklore and a slew of Russian people to find out who had it out for Anya, when Red another princess from the park ends up dead and Clare finds her.  The pressure is on to find out who is killing young Russian women and who is trying to frame Matt for the crime.  

With the pressure on and the heat getting to a boiling point Clare enlists just about everyone she knows to help rescue Matt from his prison cell where he is being unjustly prosecuted by some hot to trot cops who have it in for him.

This book had everything I could hope for with Cleo Coyle.  So much was tucked into this book it felt like the only thing missing was the kitchen sink.  It had depth of characters, relationships developing further along.  It had different sides to NYC then you normally would see.  Also alot of things about Russian people and Russian stories.  I really enjoyed being part of this tour reading this book was like sipping a great coffee you want to savor but also see the depth of it.  As it turns out this book was incredible.  I can't wait to see what is next for Cleo Coyle.

Guest Note and Giveaway: Once Upon A Grind by: Cleo Coyle



A NOTE FROM CLEO:


For over a decade, our wonderful readers have been meeting us at the Village Blend, where coffee and crime are always brewing. This latest entry in our Coffeehouse series is more than a murder mystery. It’s also a novel about the magic and power of story. That’s why we chose the most basic and beloved stories of our culture—fairy tales—to serve as our motif.

Like any good fairy tale, Once Upon a Grind takes you through secret doors; plays with your sense of reality; introduces you to an array of colorful characters; and while the ending may be happy, not everyone survives.

Intertwined with the murder mystery is a very personal story for our amateur sleuth. Coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi doesn’t want to admit it, but her life has become a grind. “If you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave.” This is the epigraph that opens Once Upon a Grind, and it applies directly to Clare.

She wants to leave her story and start another, but she’s afraid of disappointing the people she loves. Is Clare able to change her story by the end of the book? No spoiler here. But if you’re a fan of our series, you won’t want to miss this entry. 

On the other hand, if you’ve never read our Coffeehouse Mysteries before, no worries. Once Upon a Grind can be read as a stand-alone novel. And if you enjoy it, you’ll have 13 more books you can read, as well.

To download a free checklist of all 14 Coffeehouse Mystery titles, click here.http://www.coffeehousemystery.com/userfiles/file/Coffeehouse-Mysteries-in-Order-Cleo-Coyle.pdf


To read the Prologue and First Chapter of ONCE UPON A GRIND, click here.


To sample some of the book’s wicked good recipes click here.


SECRET CODE: The 8th of the 9 words in Cleo’s Secret Code Contest is ELSE (Learn how to enter Cleo’s Secret Code giveaway here.)

Thank you to Community Bookstop for hosting us today. We have one last stop on our blog tour. Be sure to join us for a special treat, and…

May your holidays be bright!

~ Alice and Marc (Cleo Coyle)



CONTEST:


Enter The Giveaway to win a copy of Once Upon A Grind.  This contest is open to USA residents.  Leave a comment below of your favorite character in the Coffeehouse mysteries.  Also include your email address and I will pick a winner at random.



Monday, December 15, 2014

Review: Mistletoe Murder by: Leslie Meier

Title: Mistletoe Murder
Author: Leslie Meier
Publisher: Kensington
Series: Lucy Stone #1
Pages: 209
Format: Paperback
Source: Birthday Present

Description:


As if baking holiday cookies, knitting a sweater for her husband’s gift, and making her daughter’s angel costume for the church pageant weren’t enough things for Lucy Stone’s busy Christmas schedule, she’s also working nights at the famous mail-order company Country Cousins. But when she discovers Sam Miller, its very wealthy founder, dead in his car from an apparent suicide, the sleuth in her knows something just doesn’t smell right.

Taking time out from her hectic holiday life to find out what really happened, her investigation leads to a backlog of secrets as long as Santa’s Christmas Eve route. Lucy is convinced that someone murdered Sam Miller. But who and why? With each harrowing twist she uncovers in this bizarre case, another shocking revelation is exposed. Now, as Christmas draws near and Lucy gets dangerously closer to the truth, she’s about to receive a present from Santa she didn’t ask for–a killer who won’t be satisfied until everyone on his shopping list is dead, including Lucy herself…

My Thoughts:

This is the first in the Lucy Stone series which follows Lucy and her friends and family as they get ready for Christmas.  The founder of Country Cousins a business where people call in orders Sam Miller is found dead what first appears to be suicide turns into a murder mystery.

Lucy finds herself wanting answers to who killed Sam?  Was it his brother?  Or maybe a disgruntle town resident?  Or maybe his wife?

This was a great cozy mystery that really set up the series.  It dragged you in and wouldn't let go until the mystery was solved.  I enjoyed reading about Lucy her family and friends they were a refreshing change to some cozies out there!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Review: Antiques Fruitcake by: Barbara Allan

Title: Antiques Fruitcake
Author: Barbara Allan
Publisher: Kensington
Series: A Trash 'n' Treasures Mystery
Pages: 40
Format: Nook e-book
Source: Birthday Present

Description:

During the dress rehearsal for small-town Serenity's festive Christmas play, star Madeline de Morlaye topples over-on stage!-after a bite of prop pastry. Since the frosty actress had earned plenty of enemies through her offstage dramatics, the cast of suspects is longer than Santa's "Naughty or Nice" list. Prop mistress Brandy Borne and her diva-turned-director mother, Vivian-assisted by their savvy shih tzu, Sushi-must solve this fruitcake fatality before it's curtains for anyone else.

Includes A Tasty Recipe!

My Thoughts: 

I love this series so much it is filled with everything humor, mystery, drama. This book follows Brandy and her mother Vivian as they are working on a play to help benefit people during the holiday season. 

Early on in the this book Madeline winds up dead and there really are no shortage of suspects could it have been her understudy or a few of the men she had tyrsts with?  Or could it be a costume designer she threatened to report?  Or is the culprit someone else who had been abused by Madeline?

While this is a short novella it still held the whole murder/mystery aspect and I have to say my favorite part is what we find when Brandy/Vivian/Editor go at it never leaves me without a mad case of the giggles.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Review: A Haunting is Brewing by: Juliet Blackwell

Title: A Haunting is Brewing
Author: Juliet Blackwell
Publisher: InterMix
Series: A Witchcraft Mystery #6.5, A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery #4.5
Pages: 109
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Description:

In this all-new novella, New York Times bestselling author Juliet Blackwell’s popular characters from her Witchcraft Mysteries and Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries find themselves joining forces to solve a supernatural dilemma…

When Mel Turner is hired to rehab an old Victorian mansion to act as the eerie setting for a Halloween bash, she’s expecting the normal challenges—old wiring, bad plumbing, maybe a ghostly specter or two. But when a young man is killed after spending the night in the house, and the mannequins in the attic start to come to life, it’s clear that this is serious paranormal activity. Maybe this time, a real witch is needed.

Recommended by a mutual friend, vintage clothes expert Lily Ivory arrives to offer her help with the mannequins. Armed with Lily’s spells and Mel’s know-how, the two women must figure out the cause of all of the ghostly commotion—before Mel’s renovation project turns into even more of a deadly haunt.

My Thoughts:

This book followed Mel Turner who is fixing up the Spooner house for a Halloween Bash, when early on one of the kids from the college helping to decorate is found dead in the same maner as the surviving owner of the Spooner house was found dead.  It's up to Mel to figure out who killed Adam and how to get him to cross over.

Mel meets Lily Ivory from one of the college kids who thinks Mel might need a little witchcraft in dealing with Adam. After meeting Lily she then meets a voodoo guy who sheds light on poppets which the Spooner family had made before they died.

I loved this novella and am going to be checking out more of Ms. Blackwell's books I loved the idea of a ghost hunter and witch working together and will be interested to see how they do in their own series.

Juliet's books remind me of Victoria Laurie's ghost hunter series!  Such a great book full of so much in such a short story.  I especially liked when they did the research into the family that adds to what I love about a good ghost story!  Can't wait to see what is next for Ms. Blackwell.

Next up for Mel Turner is:



Friday, December 12, 2014

Editorial: Advertising is open again 2014!

Dear Authors, 

Every year I try to find a way to pay it back to the great authors I host through various tours, or reviews.  After some time I figured out about two years ago a way to pay back these great writers and I offer advertising for free as that is the best way I can think to help you all.  If you are interested or know of others who are interested please don't hesitate to pass this around to other authors, publishers etc.

Services Offered:

  • Book Reviews:
I also offer free reviews for those looking for more than just advertising, I read epub or physical books.  I can read kindle but that is on my iPhone and the print is rather small.  

  • Guest Posts
  • Book Trailers
  • Advertising
  • Book Spotlights
  • Cover Reveals
  • Promotions
  • Chapter Reveals

Along with anything else I can come up with.  If you want something not listed feel free to contact me about it.

Prices: 

For my site it is free I don't charge as I know it is hard enough to go through the publishing and editing role so I don't offer for anything on my site.  This is my present to all of you and your hard work I can't see charging when this is something I love to do.



Genre's My Site Offers: 

I read a variety of genre's including:

Romance (chic lit)
Christian Themed Fiction or Romance
Cozy Mysteries (one of my favorites)
Mystery 
Fiction 
Historical Fiction 
YA
Dystopian

usually I base whether or not I will read a book on the description/synopsis of the book if it grabs my interest then I am likely to pursue the book.  I also love reading series and try to read the whole series.

If I can be of any further service to you please don't hesitate to contact me.  My contact info is:

My Social Site Links:

We at Community Bookstop want to wish everyone a safe and happy Holiday Season may the spirit of the season allow you to have a festive time with friends and family!  We look forward to working with you in 2015!

Season's Greetings!

Paula

Review: Treacherous Toys by: Joyce and Jim Lavene

Title: Treacherous Toys
Author: Joyce and Jim Lavene
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Series: A Renaissance Faire Mystery #5
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchase

Description:

Hail ye, hail ye, and welcome to the Renaissance Faire Village. Here, associate professor Jessie Morton spends her summers honing her skills and finding the lady, lord, or serf whodunit. But when she comes for Christmas, will murder mean a very unhappy holiday? 
A NAUGHTY TOY MAKER BETTER WATCH OUT… 

Jessie Morton is getting just what she wished for this holiday season at the Renaissance Faire Village—working as an apprentice to the new toy maker. But when Chris Christmas is discovered dead just hours after her arrival, Jessie’s holiday plans start to melt away. Jessie can’t imagine who would want to silence the toy maker, but apparently the red-cheeked Chris Christmas liked toying with the ladies. Although it may be her shortest apprenticeship ever, she wants to unwrap the truth before word gets out in the village that it’s not safe to be Santa—or one of his helpers… 

My Thoughts:

This book follows Jessie Morton and her boyfriend Chase as they work in the Renaissance Faire Village.  Jessie is there as her teaching career is in question and she needs to work in the meantime this time she is assigned to Chris Christmas helping him make toys.

Not long into this book Chris Christmas is found dead and Jessie finds herself knocked out by the killer.  Jessie feels compelled by Christine Christmas Chris's wife to find out who killed her husband but this book entails alot of secrets and many of them having to do with the King and Queen of the village.

I love this series so much to be able to see the other side of a faire.  Too meet all sorts of characters and see how the mystery would play out was incredible.  This series is great for those who love mysteries, and Renaissance Faires you won't be disappointed in the least.

Next in the series:



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Book Trailer: Afterglow by: Ute


Purchase Links:


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Review: Bad-Mouthed by: Susan J. Kroupa

Title: Bad-Mouthed
Author: Susan J. Kroupa
Publisher: Laurel Fork Press
Series: Doodlebugged Mysteries #4
Pages: 175
Format: e-book
Source: Great Escapes Book Tour

Description:

Who knew chasing a rat in the middle of a Christmas pageant could cause so much trouble? Certainly not Doodle, the obedience-impaired labradoodle who works for “the boss,” Josh Hunter of Hunter Bed Bug Detection, nor Molly, the boss’s ten-year-old daughter. But then Doodle’s the first to admit he doesn’t quite get Christmas.

Doodle’s antics during the pageant draw the attention of a popular video-blogger, who asks to do a feature his on sniffer-dog skills. But when the blog airs, pretty much the opposite of what Molly and the boss expected, the boss’s phone rings off the hook with distraught customers who think Doodle’s bed bug “finds” can’t be trusted.  Molly, searching for a way to set things right, befriends the blogger’s son, a boy alienated from his mother who wants only to go live with his father.

Throw in a handful of threatening letters, some lost dogs, and a devastating fire, and Molly and Doodle have their hands—well, in Doodle’s case, his paws—full finding out just who’s been naughty and who’s been nice.

A charming cozy for all seasons and for dog lovers of all ages.

My Thoughts:

This book...oh my it is unlike any book I have read for my blog and I've been doing book blogging for 5 years.  This book is told from the dog's point of view, and what he observes and hears.  The dog's name is Doddle and he's such a cute dog.

In this story Doddle is in a pageant with Molly.  Doddle is a sheep in the play due to his curly fur and being black.  Molly is Shepard, and is using a leash with Doddle.  Doddle is having a slight issue during the pageant which is a rat that has gotten his attention and while Molly is singing he gets distracted by the rat and decides to eliminate the rodent.  He deposits the rat at Molly's feet and once he's realized that the woman running the pageant is about to remove the rat Doddle picks up his rodent and carries him outside where he drops it again on command from his owner.

The next day while Doddle, Annie his trainer and Molly are working with other animals a letter arrives threatening Miguel who's house Annie, Molly and Doddle are staying at.  The three get the letter and wonder who has it out for Miguel.

Someone is out to mess with Miguel's dogs the next morning all 5 dogs are outside having been released from their cages.  Molly is very determined for Annie to know that she secured the cages the day before.  Who is the stranger that Doddle can smell and why was he releasing the dogs?

Such an incredible story.  Lots of fun and interesting approach at a story.  I loved it can't wait to read more by: Ms. Kroupa.  Definitely a big Doodle fan!



Review: My Pearl Harbor Scrapbook 1941 by: Bess Taubman

Title: My Pearl Harbor Scrapbook 1941
Author: Bess Taubman
Publisher: MapMania Publishing Co.
Pages: 98
Format: Hardcover
Source: FSB Media

Description:


A Nostalgic Collection of Memories unravels the momentous event of one of America's greatest tragedies, the attack on Pearl Harbor from its early Japanese inception, through the attack and its devastating aftermath.

With the "look and feel" of a WWII period scrapbook, each two-page spread illuminates a specific aspect of the Pearl Harbor story with the use of hundreds of original photographs, maps, telegrams, newspaper articles, hand-typed notes and letters.

The use of captivating design elements engage the reader in what life was like at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii before, during and after December 7, 1941. Told in "bite-sized" pieces this history book is easy and fun to read for all audiences. Treasured collections from the 1940's of ephemera, pins, buttons, watches and medals illustrate each page and stirs the imagination. My Pearl Harbor Scrapbook, 1941: A Nostalgic Collection of Memories is an "adventure in learning" about the many essential details of the Pearl Harbor account.

My Thoughts:

This book was sent to me via FSB Media for a honest and fair review.  What an incredibly done book.  It tells all sorts of information you might not know about Pearl Harbor.  It shows newspaper clippings and a speech President Roosevelt gave to congress regarding the attack on Pearl Harbor and also shows what the Japanese where trying to accomplish prior to their attack.

It has pictures of envelopes, telegrams, and various photos of people in Hawaii and the President along with the admiral in Japan. It also shows a timeline in regards to Pearl Harbor.  They also include posters of Uncle Sam wanting people to sign up to fight this war.  I was impressed with how many posters they had made all together to the sum of over 200,000.

This book is a must have for anyone who wants to remember the fateful time in our history to be able to pass that history down through kids, and grand-kids.  I know in my house we plan to teach this book to our children so they can learn what it was like.  How different things were, like telegrams, postcards etc.  Now a days I don't think kids realize how different it was and I'm hoping to show them how different it is compared to the technology era they live in.




Saturday, December 6, 2014

Cover Reveal: Wedding Duress by: Elizabeth Lynn Casey

I have a great cover reveal for today Elizabeth Lynn Casey's new cover from Wedding Duress which will be out in April.  How many of you are excited for the next Sewing Circle Mystery.  I know I am I can't wait for Tori's Wedding.  Here's your new cover for the book feel free to share your thoughts on the cover or the book series in the Comments below!

Ta-Da:


Such a beautiful dress on the cover I love it!!
 

Guest Post: Bess Taubman Author of My Pearl Harbor Scrapbook

America's First Air Hero's of WWII  or "Just An Easy Day"
By Bess Taubman,
Author of My Pearl Harbor Scrapbook 1941


On the eve of December 6th, Lieutenants Kenneth M. Taylor and George S. Welch, dressed in tuxedos, attended a formal dance at the Officer's Club at Hickam Field. They left around 11 p.m. and drove back to the Bachelor's Officer Quarters at Wheeler Field. The usual Saturday night poker game at the BOQ was in full swing so they sat in to play. Welch turned in early. Close to 4 a.m. a weary Taylor left the game to hit the sack thinking Sunday would just be another easy day.

The men in the BOQ were suddenly awakened the morning of December 7th, by the sounds of roaring planes and loud explosions. Someone yelled "We're under attack!" Taylor, still in his tuxedo pants and a skivvy shirt, ran to the window and saw clouds of smoke and fire rising from the twisted wreckage on the flight line where the squadron's fighter planes were parked wingtip to wingtip for anti-sabotage protection -- indeed an inviting target for Japanese planes. He met up with Welch who had just called the Haleiwa auxiliary airstrip on the North Shore where their squadron was stationed. Told there was no damage at the base, he ordered all aircraft fueled and armed ASAP. Within minutes they were in Taylor's Buick speeding up to Haleiwa.

Taylor and Welch took off in their Curtiss P-40 fighter planes, climbed to 3,000 feet and flew towards Pearl Harbor. Seeing a formation of Japanese planes circling over the Marine air base at Ewa, they charged in and quickly shot down four enemy planes and damaged two others.

Having expended all their ammunition and low on fuel, they flew back to Wheeler to re-arm. Wheeler Airfield came under attack by a group of Japanese "VAL" dive bombers. Welch was the first to take off. Taylor quickly followed and as he was gaining altitude he got on the tail of a "VAL" and began firing. However, he was wounded as his P-40 came under fire from behind with a "VAL" on his tail. Taylor managed to watch his pursuer shot down by Welch who also shot down another of the attackers for his fourth kill of the day. With his plane still flyable, Taylor continued chasing after other enemy planes until all his ammo was expended. He returned to base still wearing his tuxedo pants.

Both Army pilots were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for their outstanding acts of heroism on a Sunday morning that turned out to be "not just an easy day" after all.

© 2014 Bess Taubman, author of My Pearl Harbor Scrapbook 1941

Author Bio:
Bess Taubman, author of My Pearl Harbor Scrapbook 1941, combines her unique talents as writer, designer and publisher creating dynamic, educational products about historical subjects. She has been writing about the Pearl Harbor story for over twenty years. Presenting the reader a unique way to learn about complex subjects, Ms. Taubman is helping to reshape the way historical information is introduced with colorful vivid story lines. This is her first book. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and daughter.

For more information please visit http://mypearlharborscrapbook.com, and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.


*Photos are courtesy of FSB Media and My Pearl Harbor Scrapbook all rights reserved.*