Friday, July 29, 2016

Spring Fling Kitty by Rachelle Ayala - #review

Heartbreaker Connor Hart, one of the youngest fire chiefs in the country, is planning on marrying Dr. Elaine Woo, a woman who pretended to cheat on him with his best friend many years ago. She bought him a Dalmatian puppy, he gave her a ring—and the women of San Francisco are about to lose their most eligible bachelor.

Artist and poet Nadine Woo is down on her luck. The cast-off half-sister of Dr. Elaine Woo, she doesn’t measure up, according to her strict and distant father. When Nadine and her mother are about to be evicted from their apartment, she gets an interesting offer from her sister. Seems she’s in need of a little help concerning her relationship with Fire Chief Connor Hart.

As soon as Nadine meets Connor, she knows she’s in for a rough ride. Connor is the fireman who rescued her and her little gray kitten, and she’s never forgotten how safe she felt in his arms.

When Nadine takes her sister’s place at a spring fling weekend with Connor, love ignites, and there’s no going back.

Can a spunky little kitty show Connor and Nadine that doing the wrong thing is sometimes right, especially when it comes to love?

Spring Fling Kitty is Book #3 of the Have A Hart Romance Series. It can be read standalone, although characters from the previous books appear here in supporting roles.
Have a Hart Romance Series 
Christmas Lovebirds, Book #1 
Valentine Hound Dog, Book #2 
Spring Fling Kitty, Book #3

Available to buy from...

"Beautiful romance with a touch of suspense, great combination!” - Amazon review

"A beautiful, heartfelt story. Love saw. Love came. Love conquered. I truly recommended everyone to read this book."  Amazon review

About heroine Nadine Woo - "A free spirit is a gift in my eyes. It's what makes her beautiful. It's what makes Connor love her. It's what brings life to this story." - Corissa Palfrey



If each person has a story, there are billions of stories in the world today.  Rachelle Ayala gives us a doozy of a story about the relationship between Connor Hart and Nadine Woo.  At the beginning Nadine and her kitten are quite literally 'up a tree'.  Fire Chief Connor rescues the two of them.  As the two 'wonder about the other', they come to find out that Connor is engaged to Nadine's half-sister, Elaine.

There is also a lot about values in Spring Fling Kitty.  Not as in 'family values', but as in professions that have more 'value' than others, wealth, ethnicities and so many more.  Nadine's mother has been mistress to Nadine's father for more years than Nadine has been alive.  You see, that Dr. Woo has always been married to Elaine's mother the entire time.  Being from the 'legitimate' (and isn't that a term loaded with judgment) has provided Elaine and her brother status and opportunities not available to Nadine.

And can we all agree that Elaine will be on that year's Top Bridezilla shows?  As irritating as she could be to be around, I feel sorry for her.  Her micro-management gives her an illusion of control.  She doesn't want to go to a weekend getaway that Connor has planned for just the two of them because she doesn't want to.  Then she has the great idea to send Nadine in her place to give credence to her planned story that Nadine and Connor 'cheated' and Nadine got pregnant.  All the while, she was planning to pay Nadine to carry a baby made from hers and Connor's biological bits.  But that would have not been viewed as 'proper'.

But then, they weren't doing that to be proper, they had hatched this plan to create crisis in the family so the senior Dr. Woo would not divorce his wife to get married to a younger lady doctor.  They figured with a crisis, the father would stay the course.

So yes, Nadine, artist, bastard half-sister, keeps Elaine's date (and Connor had no idea that she would be the one showing up).  And that's where the real fun begins.

There are definite soap opera-ish elements to Spring Fling Kitty, but I mean that in a best way.  Soaps develop die-hard fans and usually have stories that are involved, easy to follow, and characters that people care about.

And Connor?  He's just a sweetheart, trying to do the right thing.  Which sister will he wind up with?  I don't do spoilers so you'll just have to read the book.  He's It's worth it. ;)

About the author
Rachelle Ayala is a bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her foremost goal is to take readers on a shared emotional journey with her characters as they grow and become more true to themselves. Rachelle believes in the power of love to overcome obstacles and feels that everyone should find love as often as possible, especially if it's within the pages of a book. Her book, Knowing Vera, won the 2015 Angie Ovation Award, and A Father for Christmas garnered a 2015 Readers' Favorite Gold Award.

Sign up for her NEWSLETTER to get a FREE surprise book and her latest book news HERE!

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Quirky Quiz Show Caper by Sally Carpenter - #review

Former teen idol Sandy Fairfax is a guest panelist on a TV game show—and the first category is murder! When his kid brother, Warren, is framed for killing a college student, Sandy makes it his duty to track down the thug before the police move in. After all, Sandy did play a detective once on a hit TV show. Sandy will get right on the case—right after he visits his kids; fights with his ex; woos his hoped-to-be girlfriend, Cinnamon; and convinces his parents he should be the special entertainment at a black tie gala designed to raise funds for his father’s faltering orchestra. All this while he and his biggest fan attempt to “Raise The Stakes” on a rigged quiz show where––wonder of wonders––the murder victim had recently been a contestant. Sandy’s ready to pull out some of his long blond hair as the game points and the suspects pile up.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Homicide in the House by Colleen Shogan - #review

Kit Marshall has bounced back from her first brush with the law, when she was suspected of murdering her senator boss. Now she is working for a freshman congresswoman, Maeve Dixon, a young Gulf War veteran representing North Carolina. It’s February, and Kit is feeling out of sorts. A government shutdown has just been announced, wreaking havoc on the Hill, and Dan, Dixon’s chief of staff and Kit’s supervisor, is an inexperienced lightweight flying blind. Then there’s Kit’s distracted live-in boyfriend, Doug, who doesn’t seem any closer to popping the question. Kit’s best friend Meg is up to her eyeballs with her new beau and oversight committee job, and Clarence the beagle mix will certainly not win Capitol Canine if Meg has to campaign for him all by herself. Bad as things are now, they are about to get much worse.

Early one morning Representative Dixon is caught standing over the corpse of Jack Drysdale, the Speaker of the House’s top staffer, a man she argued with in front of the press the day before. The murder weapon was the Speaker’s gavel. This item was entrusted to Dixon at the time, leading the police to believe they’ve found their killer. To save her job, Kit must clear her boss’s name, and quickly. Dixon’s career may be over if the police declare her a suspect or an anonymous blogger known as Hill Rat breaks the story. Solving this murder will test Kit’s courage and all her fledgling powers of deduction as she roams a spooky, sparsely populated Capitol Hill looking for clues and sounding out suspects.

Painted Lady by Richard Masefield - #review

From her luxurious mansion in St James’s, London, Milady looks back through the years – to hear the church bells ringing in celebration of Wellington’s great victory at Waterloo, at the time when she left clacking tongues behind her in the Sussex village of Alfriston for adventure and employment in fashionable Brighton, the ‘second capital of England’. There as the seventeen-year-old Sary Snudden, with her reputation already ruined, she becomes a prostitute, the ‘Painted Lady’ of the title. Yet even Regency conventions are to prove too narrow for a girl of Sary’s flamboyant character. Caught up in a passionate affair with young David Stanville, heir to Lord Southbourne’s great estate of Hadderton, she and her lover cross the Alps on a perilous journey by coach and sled to the excitement of a popular revolution in Turin and an erotically charged idyll in the Italian lakes. But the question of how she’ll cross the greater gulf, which lies between her humble origins and the noble status David seeks for her, remains the central problem of Milady’s life. Moving from the great military encampments of Napoleonic Sussex to the pleasure grounds of nineteenth century Europe, from the practical routines of a well-run brothel, to the elegant manners of St James’s, Painted Lady spans a colourful half-century of European history. A delightful, romping adventure, the novel introduces an unforgettable new heroine to historical fiction.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Finding Fontainebleau by Todd Carhart - #review

FINDING FONTAINEBLEAU (On-sale: May 17, 2016; $27.00; ISBN: 978-0-525-42880-0) recounts the adventures of Carhart and his family—his NATO officer father, his mother, four siblings, and their dog—in the provincial town of Fontainebleau, France, in the 1950s. Dominating life in the town is the beautiful Château of Fontainebleau. Begun in 1137, fifty years before the Louvre and more than five hundred before Versailles, the Château was a home for Marie-Antoinette, François I, and the two Napoleons, among others, all of whom added to its splendors without appreciably destroying the work of their predecessors.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Murder on the Mother Road by Glenn Nilson - #bookblast

Bobby Navarro rides his Harley into another adventure when he discovers the body of a young woman in the trunk of a parked car in Williams, Arizona, on old Route 66.

Who would leave a car, with a body in it, parked on the main street of town? And, who told the police Bobby had been the driver of the car, because they soon take him to the police station to conduct an “interview”.

Then, to make matters worse, Bobby realizes one of the police officers is a woman he had a crush on in high school. And, that’s just his first night in town. Next morning, Bobby has breakfast at a local diner, where everyone is talking about the murder and the arrest of one of the diner’s cooks. The staff don’t think the suspect is guilty of the crime, and one of the locals, Daryl King, lets slip to Bobby that he knows who the guilty party really is. Trouble is, Daryl won’t tell the police whatever it is he knows. In fact, Daryl has trouble talking with anyone. The fact that he made an exception in Bobby’s case, leads to Bobby agreeing to work with the police to find out if Daryl does know who the killer is. Bobby’s part in the investigation takes him to the Holiness Pentecostal Church of the Brethren, a church run by an ex-biker and two of his former gang members. There, he discovers a host of suspects, leaving Bobby to wonder whether he will have to “get religion” in order to help solve this Murder on the Mother Road.

Planted by C. T. Collier - #review

Planted is book one of the new mystery series, The Penningtons Investigate, from award-winning author C. T. Collier. The Penningtons, Lyssa and Kyle, are both PhD’s, and when their clever minds start asking questions, clever killers can’t hide.

It’s Monday of spring break when Professor Lyssa Pennington’s backyard garden project unearths a loaded revolver. With no record of violence at their address and no related cold case, the Tompkins Falls police have no interest. But the Penningtons and a friend with the State Police believe there a body somewhere. Whose? Where? And who pulled the trigger?

The Penningtons’ canvass of their quiet neighborhood turns up disturbing secrets about the family who lived in their house for decades and another ill-fated family a few doors away. No one seems to know how to contact the only sons of either family. The few facts they have about them don’t add up and, since the gun was buried about the time both young men disappeared from Tompkins Falls, the Penningtons feel compelled to find them and make sure all is well.

Lyssa follows the money story and finds twenty million dollars, a neighbor who’s not what he seems, and a long-buried rivalry. Kyle goes after homicide data in six states and finds a body. Their next surprise is a murderer who will go to any length to conceal the crime.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Address to Die For by Mary Feliz - #review #giveaway

For professional organizer Maggie McDonald, moving her family into a new home should be the perfect organizational challenge. But murder was definitely not on the to-do list . . .

Maggie McDonald has a penchant for order that isn’t confined to her clients’ closets, kitchens, and sock drawers. As she lays out her plan to transfer her family to the hundred-year-old house her husband, Max, has inherited in the hills above Silicon Valley, she has every expectation for their new life to fall neatly into place. But as the family bounces up the driveway of their new home, she’s shocked to discover the house’s dilapidated condition. When her husband finds the caretaker face-down in their new basement, it’s the detectives who end up moving in. What a mess! While the investigation unravels and the family camps out in a barn, a killer remains at large—exactly the sort of loose end Maggie can’t help but clean up . . .

Remember My Beauties by Lynne Hugo - #review

Imagine a hawk’s view of the magnificent bluegrass pastures of Kentucky horse country. Circle around the remnants of a breeding farm, four beautiful horses grazing just beyond the paddock. Inside the ramshackle house, a family is falling apart.

Hack, the patriarch breeder and trainer, is aged and blind, and his wife, Louetta, is confined by rheumatoid arthritis. Their daughter, Jewel, struggles to care for them and the horses while dealing with her own home and job—not to mention her lackluster second husband, Eddie, and Carley, her drug-addicted daughter. Many days, Jewel is only sure she loves the horses. But she holds it all together. Until her brother, Cal, shows up again. Jewel already has reason to hate Cal, and when he meets up with Carley, he throws the family into crisis—and gives Jewel reason to pick up a gun.

Every family has heartbreaks, failures, a black sheep or two. And some families end in tatters. But some stumble on the secret of survival: if the leader breaks down, others step up and step in. In this lyrical novel, when the inept, the addict, and the ex-con join to weave the family story back together, either the barn will burn to the ground or something bigger than any of them will emerge, shining with hope. Remember My Beauties grows large and wide as it reveals what may save us.

For more information on this and other Switchgrass titles, be sure to visit their website HERE.

Chalkhill Blue by Richard Masefield - #review

Chalkhill Blue is an award-winning novel of the First World War, and of so much else besides. A grand romance in the English narrative tradition, it spans more than two decades, from the Edwardian heyday through the cataclysm of the ‘war to end wars’ to the uncertain new world of the 1920s. As a study of deception and self-deception, it traces the lives of two women who have dared to flout the rules of their society, and those of the men who love them; the double strands of a remarkable love story which concludes with a heart-stopping double-twist that makes it literally unforgettable. But far more than a romance, this is also a descriptive novel of tremendous scope, transporting the reader from the parched drove-trails of Queensland to the horse-drawn congestion of Edwardian London; from the snow-capped cordilleras of the Andes to a truly astonishing underground city deep in the chalk of Artois. The timeless downland landscapes of Sussex and the little blue butterfly that haunts them are horrifyingly contrasted with the man-made desolation of their notorious counterparts across the Channel at Arras and on the Somme. Based on a true story, Chalkhill Blue is compulsory reading for anyone with a taste for the authentic and the unusual.

Friday, July 15, 2016

The White Cross by Richard Masefield - #review

The White Cross is a whole new reading experience; a book that brings something entirely original to historical fiction. Set in the late twelfth century at the time of King Richard I’s crusade to win back Jerusalem from the Saracens, the story deals with timeless issues – with the moralities of warfare and fundamental religion, the abuse of power, the heights of martial fervour and the depths of disillusionment The writing blazes with colour (literally in the case of the printed edition, which makes groundbreaking use of colour throughout). It pulses with life, capturing the sights and sounds, the very smells of medieval life. At the novel’s heart is the relationship between Garon and Elise – the story of an arranged marriage which rapidly develops into something deeper, to challenge a young husband’s strongly held beliefs and set him on a long and painful journey to self-realisation, to break and finally restore a woman’s spirit as she battles for recognition and for justice in a brutal man’s world. And then there is the Berge dal becce; a character who is surely more than he appears? The only way to uncover all the secrets of The White Cross is to read it!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Nun But the Brave by Alice Loweecey - #review #giveaway

Giulia Driscoll’s sister-in-law barges into Driscoll Investigations and promptly passes out from OD’ing on an unknown drug. Two OD’d teenagers are found dead in the park and behind a convenience store. DI’s new client insists her missing twin sister is not dead and enlists Giulia as the “Missing Person Whisperer.” Hooray for steady work?

The missing sister’s trail leads to married, pregnant, ex-nun Giulia’s first experience with online dating sites, to the delight of her husband and employees. Those dates lead her to local Doomsday Preppers. They grow their own everything, and that everything may be connected to the drugs, her sister-in-law, and the missing twin. These Preppers are about to learn the true meaning of doom.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Stepping Into a New Day by Beverly Jenkins - #review

• Paperback: 304 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (June 28, 2016)

In Henry Adams, Kansas, you can’t start over without stirring things up . . .

Many a good woman has had to leave a no-good man, but how many of them took a backseat to his six-hundred-pound hog? On her own for the first time, Genevieve Gibbs is ecstatic, even if certain people preferred the doormat version of Ms. Gibbs. Finding someone who appreciates the “new” her has only just hit Gen’s to-do list when T. C. Barbour appears in her life.

A tiny Kansas town is a far cry from his native Oakland, California, but it’s just the change T. C. needs. While helping his divorced nephew acclimate to single fatherhood, T. C. lands a gig driving a limo for the most powerful woman in Henry Adams. It’s a great way to meet people—and one in particular has already made the job worthwhile. All it takes is a short trip from the airport for Genevieve to snag T. C.’s attention for good.

But it wouldn’t be Henry Adams without adding more drama to the mix. When Gen’s ex Riley returns with his hog in tow, it sets off a chain of events that can ruin everything—unless the residents pull together once again to save the day.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Murder Under the Covered Bridge by Elizabeth Perona - #review

Working on a television taping to promote the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival, the ladies decide to use their access to the Roseville Bridge to cross an item off Charlotte’s bucket list: #39) Be a Sexy Calendar Girl. But the photo shoot is interrupted by gunshots and Francine’s cousin William stumbling down the riverbank followed by a man with a gun. William sustains life-threatening injuries, but is it homicide?

Francine and Charlotte go into detective mode to uncover the secret William knew about the shooter. Their success, however, depends on surviving two arson events, a séance, a shortage of Mary Ruth’s wildly popular corn fritter donuts, memory-challenged nursing home residents, and a killer who refuses to go up in flames.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Killer Finds Character Guest Post - Anne Hillstrom (by Vicki Vass)

Antique hunter Anne Hillstrom’s whirlwind shopping tour to Paris comes to a dead stop, as dead as the man sitting next to her on the plane. And to make matters worse, her identity has been stolen, leaving her to face her worst nightmare. She must sell all her precious antiques with the help of her business partner and co-blogger, CC Muller. Together, they open a pop-up antique store in the quaint suburb of Glen Ellyn Illinois. Their blog fans flock to the store looking to find that perfect treasure and so does a killer. When the Sweet Shop lady next door is found caramelized, the success of the pop-up sale turns bittersweet. Anne and CC dust off the clues, unraveling a centuries-old mystery that leads them to one conclusion. They must find the killer before the killer finds them.


I am so thrilled today to have Ms. Anne Hillstrom with us on the back porch and let us know how to find treasures all over the world!  Take it away, Anne!

This is my very first guest post, and I’m thrilled to be able to debut it on Back Porchervations. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Anne Hillstrom. My friend and antique hunting partner, CC Muller, typically writes our blog posts but I thought I would today. Together, we appear in a series of books called the Antique Hunters Mysteries.

I should say I’ve never meant an antique that I didn’t find some value in. While I don’t live in Kentucky like LuAnn, I recently traveled through Kentucky on my way back to Chicago from Asheville, N.C. CC and I toured the fabulous Biltmore estate but that’s a story for another day so stay tuned. While in Kentucky, I visited several antique stores in Georgetown and in Lexington. What a delightful way to pass the time.

At the first store, I saw local items related to horse farming, including bridle bit bracelets, Kentucky Derby souvenir cups and even an old horse blanket. While CC wasn’t looking, I might have bought a trinket or two. The bracelets designed by a local artist will make great presents and be a visual reminder of our summer excursion. Even though I do buy antiques for resale, I always make sure they are something I would keep if I can’t sell them.

Now I know some people who read our stories think I am obsessed with shopping. That’s not quite all true. I’m also obsessed with food. While traveling, CC and I enjoyed some delicious meals including a fantastic one at the legendary Loveless Café in Nashville. The fresh-made biscuits were warm from the oven, melting the generous helping of butter and fresh strawberry preserves. I can’t wait to go back there just for the biscuits though I might have gobbled up a slice of their pecan pie.

And, while we were in Nashville, I did find time to do some antique shopping in Franklin, Tenn. CC bought a memory box which contained actual bullets found on the battlefield of the battle of Fort Donelson, near the Cumberland River. I myself am not as partial to war antiques as CC. Instead I have spent my days longing over this 19th century 18-carat gold necklace with a two-carat pink sapphire (see picture). It was slightly above my budget but it would make a wonderful addition to my collection. I will need to ask them if they have layaway.

And, then from Nashville, we went to Asheville. This was the highlight of our trip. A tour of the magnificent Biltmore Estate. I’ve always wanted to see this grand achievement, and it surpassed my expectations. I could picture myself wearing the necklace and perhaps a sumptuous silk dress by Worth dining in the ornate dining room. It is the stuff dreams are made of. Perhaps someday. One can only dream. Unfortunately I spend much of my time dreaming, and it is typically for things that are beyond my budget.

You can read about my shopping love in our most recent book, Killer Finds. Even a dead body or two couldn’t deter from my true love of antique hunting.

That was our exciting summer adventure. I hope you all have a fantastic summer vacation. Let me know where you are traveling to, and perhaps, I can share some antique hunting tips for you fellow enthusiasts.

Thanks, LuAnn, for letting me share my vacation with you and your readers!

It was so great to hear your take on antique hunting. C'mon back any time!

Killer Finds by Vicki Vass - #review

Antique hunter Anne Hillstrom’s whirlwind shopping tour to Paris comes to a dead stop, as dead as the man sitting next to her on the plane. And to make matters worse, her identity has been stolen, leaving her to face her worst nightmare. She must sell all her precious antiques with the help of her business partner and co-blogger, CC Muller. Together, they open a pop-up antique store in the quaint suburb of Glen Ellyn Illinois. Their blog fans flock to the store looking to find that perfect treasure and so does a killer. When the Sweet Shop lady next door is found caramelized, the success of the pop-up sale turns bittersweet. Anne and CC dust off the clues, unraveling a centuries-old mystery that leads them to one conclusion. They must find the killer before the killer finds them.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bring Your Own Baker by D. E. Haggerty - #review #giveaway

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Bring Your Own Baker by D.E. Haggerty


Cozy Mystery Self Published 
Print Length: 166 pages 
Publication Date: June 20, 2016 



Anna just wants to earn enough money on the side to buy into the bakery, Callie’s Cakes, where she works together with her best nerd pal, Callie. The last thing she expects to see when she walks into Arthur’s apartment to do some moonlighting is a blood bath. Callie’s ready to jump into the investigation of Arthur’s murder, and she’s bringing another bakery worker, Kristie, into their hijinks whether Kristie wants to or not. But things aren’t as they seem. There are gang affiliations, illegal gambling dens, and ladies of the night to wade through. Will Anna and Callie discover who murdered Arthur, or will Callie’s detective boyfriend and Anna’s self-appointed protector put a stop to such aspirations? 

Come join us at Callie’s Cakes, where murder investigations are on the menu, but make sure to bring your own baker, because Anna’s a bit preoccupied at the moment.
Warning: This is NOT your mom’s cozy mystery. Bring Your Own Baker may be a ‘clean’ read, but if gangs, illegal gambling, and pimps make you turn your nose up at your e-reader, you might want to skip this one. Although you’ll be missing some sizzling chemistry between Anna and her protector. Not to mention a whole bunch of witty dialogue.



Anna, Callie's baker and friend gets to come out and play more in this sequel to Never Trust a Skinny Cupcake Baker, which is a great change from the norm.  Normally, once a sidekick, always a sidekick.  It should be noted that this was a label I applied to Anna (with whom I share a middle name), not Callie.

In fact, Callie so values Anna's contribution to the success of Callie's Cakes, that she wants to give her half the business!  I don't know of many, if indeed any, business owner nowadays who would do such a thing.  But then cozy heroines are kind of exceptional people, and Callie is certainly exceptional!

Anna has been moonlighting for a hacker to earn extra money so she can purchase half of the business at a fair price.  I can understand that.  A 50-50 partnership is a heck of a gift, no matter how much one has contributed to the success of a business.  So Anna goes over to Arthur's apartment, and danged if he hasn't up and gotten himself murdered.

Unbeknownst to Anna, Arthur had connections to some shady business going down in the town.  Artie has apparently been dabbling in illegal gambling and getting cozy with at least one of the larger gangs.  It was a clear case of 'you lay down with dogs and you get fleas'.  

Being as Anna 'discovered' the body and he was known to her, she feels vested in finding out whodunnit.  And she dives deep into the investigation, to the chagrin of the local law, who would rather just lock her up and be done with the case.  But Anna has a self-proclaimed protector in the guise of a hot bad biker boy.

The action gets pretty steamy once Anna gives the guy her key so he can stop breaking in the apartment.    And it was apparent pretty early on that bad boy had a definite soft spot when it came to Anna.  Likewise, Anna developed a soft spot for her biker, and then they started *ahem* comparing soft spots.  You might not need a cold shower after bring reading Bring Your Own Baker, but do make sure you A/C is working before you crack the cover. *wink*

Overall, this was a great follow-up to Never Trust a Skinny Cupcake Baker.  Callie has stopped emphasizing all the reasons she can't believe her guy would want to be with a woman like her, and has accepted his charming attentions...quite often, as a matter of fact.  Now we know more about Anna, so I'm really hoping there is at least one more book coming in the series because, Callie and Anna together?  That town will n.e.v.e.r. be the same!




I grew up reading everything I could get my hands on from my mom's Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to Little Women. When I wasn't flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although I did manage every once in a while to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. Another job change, this time from lawyer to B&B owner and I was again fed up and ready to scream I quit, which is incredibly difficult when you own the business. Thus, I shut the B&B during the week and in the off-season and started writing. Several books later I find myself in Istanbul writing full-time.

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(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.)

Friday, July 1, 2016

Friday Bookish Post - July 1, 2016


Thanks to Freda from "Freda's Voice" and Gilion at "Rose City Reader" for hosting these bookish link-ups!  Click one of the buttons to go to the link-up page.


Jennie Bateman has again fallen in love with Thomas, her former husband, but Tasha, one of his children, is determined to destroy their relationship.

Jennie had done that herself a number of years earlier. In the midst of a manic episode, she had deserted Thomas and their two daughters, choosing, instead, a life of shameless debauchery.

Perhaps she was shocked when Thomas filed for a divorce. Perhaps it was the influence of a preacher who took an interest in her. Perhaps she simply cycled back toward normal.

Whatever the cause, years later, when she again made contact with her family, she was a different person. Even so, they wanted nothing to do with her.

But time moves on. Circumstances change...



"Hump day, hump day," Jennie Bateman sang as she sauntered down the hall.  It was Wednesday afternoon, halfway through the week, two more days before she slid into the weekend and a mother-daughters dinner in Atlanta.
Lunch had just ended, and her third-grade class was with the music teacher.  Because of a quirk in this week's schedule, they would go from music class directly to art, and, as a result, Jennie had almost an hour to herself.  She was headed to the school's office for coffee.

Can I get an 'amen' from the teachers? :D  This book will be reviewed tomorrow on the blog, so be sure to stop back by!




In Henry Adams, Kansas, you can't start over without stirring things up ...

Many a good woman has had to leave a no-good man, but how many of them took a backseat to his six-hundred-pound hog?  On her own for the first time, Genevieve Gibbs is ecstatic, even if certain people preferred the doormat version of Ms. Gibbs./  Finding someone who appreciates the "new" her has only just hit Gen's to-do-list when TC Barbour appears in her life.


I did my Friday 56 from a different book, because my Kindle is under the weather, and I have a print copy of the above title.

As always, class began with the pledge and the Negro National Anthem.  It was Zoey's day to accompany the singing on the piano.  Eli had been in Henry Adams going on three years now and knew the words by heart.  When he had his dad first arrived it had been weird being one of only two White kids in town and he'd been pretty sure he wasn't going to like it, but nobody made a big deal about it and he'd done a lot of growing up since then.  He'd also learned a ton of Black history and realized people were people.  As Amari once pointed out, Eli was now bicultural and personall he thought there was a lot of cred in that.
(I had no idea there was even such a thing as the "Negro" National Anthem.  Now I've also seen it described as the Black National Anthem.  It is a wonderfully spiritual song, alluding both to past and present blessings as well as degredations.  Here is a link to the sons on YouTube for anyone who is interested.)

I'll review this book on the blog here a week from Monday (July 11, 2016).  Y'all come back now ... er, then.


Book Blogger Hop   

Thanks to Billy B at the "Coffee Addicted Writer" for hosting this link-up!  Click on the buttons above to go to his blog.

This week's question comes from Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews:

Name an author or authors that you have read most of his or her books and would recommend to others.

I really can't claim to have read most of an author's work, but there are three I've read several of there books, and to whom I'd like to give a shout-out:

Joyce and Jim Lavene

Sadly, both these wonderful authors (and people) have passed in the last year:  Joyce in October 2015, and Jim in May of this year.  This is really a devastating to the cozy mystery genre - last time I heard a count on the number of books they had published it was like over 70.  SEVENTY!!!  Their son and daughter, Christopher and Jeni, have taken over the reins of "Team Lavene", as I took to calling them after Joyce passed.  I loved how the family pulled together to continue the legacy of this fine writing duo.  I've read maybe 7-10 of their books...give or take, well, actually only the one that means (maybe more than that).

Daryl Woods Gerber

One of Daryl's "Cheese Shop Mysteries" (written under her Avery Aames pseudonym) was actually my introduction to cozy mysteries.  And I won the book in an online drawing at Great Escapes Virtual Blog Tours.  Now I have read I think all but the lastest in that series.  I've also read several of the "Cookbook Nook" mysteries and her suspense/thriller "Girl on the Run".  I'm fixin' to read the newest Cookbook Nook Mystery ("Grilling the Subject"-to be published August 2016!).

NLB Horton

The first book in NLB's "Parched Series", When Camels Fly, is on my semi-official "Top Ten Books I've Read" list!.  The sequel, The Brothers' Keepers, only increased my appetite for Archaelogist Grace Madison's thrilling adventures!  Luckily I won't have to wait too long, because the third installment is due this fall.



Thanks to Ramona at Create With Joy, Janice at Mostly Blogging, and Tina at Mommynificent for these fun link-ups!  Click on the button to visit the sites to join in!  The more the merrier...really! :O)