martedì 31 maggio 2016

Review & Giveaway: Murder at Morningside by Sandra Bretting


Murder at Morningside
by Sandra Bretting

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GENRE: Cozy Mystery

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BLURB:

Heads turn when milliner Missy Dubois waltzes into town to set up shop on the Great River Road in Louisiana. Heaven only knows the brides who get married in the grand old mansions there could use a bit of help.

But then Missy discovers a murder among the magnolias, and even the worst “bridezilla” seems suddenly tame. 
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My Review:


This cozy mystery is really fascinating and funny, full of humor with whimsical and colorful characters and a charming setting.
  Missy has just opened a shop that sells and manufactures wedding veils. Her neighbor store and friend is Ambrose, a designer of wedding dresses. They are both invited to Morningside Plantation for a wedding weekend. When the bride is killed, Missy helps in the investigation the detective Lance, her old childhood friend.
Missy and Ambrose are a formidable team both at work and in life. I really enjoyed reading their dialogues and see them in action to try to solve the mystery. I loved the atmosphere in this beautiful plantation that gives off all the Southern charm, makes you really want to visit.
Great debut for this series, I can not wait to find out how to evolve the relationship between Missy and Ambrose.
It was a really enjoyable read, with an intriguing and interesting plot, good pace and some twists.
Highly recommended for those who love mystery, South and its plantation. It would be perfect to take on vacation for a book to read in the mountains or on the beach.




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EXCERPT:


Time rewound with each footfall as I began to climb the grand outer staircase at Morningside Plantation. The limestone steps, burdened with the history of five generations, heaved their way toward heaven.

At the top lay a wide-plank verandah supported by columns painted pure white, like the clouds. By the time I took a third step, the digital camera in my right hand began to dissolve into the sterling silver handle of a ladies parasol. The visitors’ guide in my left hand magically transformed into a ballroom dance card bound by a satin cord.

Another step and the Mississippi River came into view as it flowed to the Gulf, languid as a waltz and the color of sweet tea. Could that be a whistle from a steamboat ferrying passengers past the plantation? If so, a turn and a wave wouldn’t be out of the question once I reached the top of the stairs, and good manners would dictate it.

I was about to do that when I realized the whistle was only my friend’s cell and not a Mississippi riverboat. “Ambrose! Turn that thing off. Honestly.”

“Sorry.” He shrugged. “I always forget you were Scarlett O’Hara in a past life.”

The mood was broken, though, and the sterling silver in my hand returned to plastic while the linen dance card hardened to a glossy brochure.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Sandra Bretting works as a freelance feature writer under contract to the Houston Chronicle. She received a journalism degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism and wrote for other publications (including the Los Angeles Times and Orange Coast Magazine) before moving to Texas.

Her Missy DuBois Mysteries series debuts from Kensington/Lyrical Underground in May 2016. Bretting’s previous mysteries include Unholy Lies (2012) and Bless the Dying (2014). Readers can reach her online at www.sandrabretting.com and through Facebook at www.facebook.com/sandra.bretting.


S. Bretting Interview 


When did you first start writing?

I’ve always loved books, and I had a knack for writing essays and school reports when I was young. By the time I left for college, I’d decided to be a journalist, and I moved across the country to attend the University of Missouri School of Journalism. It was there I fell in love with creative writing, and I decided to write both fiction and nonfiction.

My first short story was published in a literary journal in 2000, and my first book debuted in 2012.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Probably making the characters believable. You really have to get inside their skins to know how they’d react to other people. The trick is to juggle a lot of personalities.
 
What authors have influenced your writing and life?

My mother came from Holland, and she collected books by famous American writers to help her learn English. So I read everything from Jack London to Ernest Hemingway. Both of those writers influenced me, but in different ways. London taught me how to write vividly, and Hemingway showed me what a perfect sentence should look like. 

What else do you enjoy doing, when you're not writing?

I love to travel. My family and I took an epic trip to Europe this summer and traveled through Scandinavia and the Mediterranean. I also do yoga, but I cheat and plot out scenes when I’m supposed to be meditating.

What are your dreams and plans for your future as a writer?

I’d love to write more books in the Missy DuBois Mystery Series, because I have so much fun with Missy and her friends. Once the series ends, we’ll see. I know I want to teach young writers at some point, because so many people helped me along the way.


Thank you for having me here today. It’s been fun!
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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Sandra Bretting will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blast & Giveaway: Forbidden Heat by JL White


Forbidden Heat
by JL White

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GENRE:  New Adult Romance

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BLURB:


They call us the Firework Girls.

I’m Isabella. My comfort zone consists of a bank of test tubes and a Bunsen burner. But having to take a philosophy class to graduate from college—well, that’s causing a different kind of burn altogether. I mean, the hottest professor at Hartman is looking right at me.

Can you blame me for looking back?


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EXCERPT:

We’re under our favorite tree, the library behind us, working on various homework assignments and taking frequent breaks to chat and snack on our stash of treats. Just as I’m downing two Pringles in one bite, Sam says, “Holy god. Is that a student or professor?”

I have a feeling I know who’s she’s talking about before I even look.

Yep. There he is, in all his glory, walking from the administration building towards Old Main.

He looks even better outdoors and all sun-shiney.

I need serious help.

I’ve had four more classes with Professor Brooks (not that I’m counting) and have spent exactly four of them trying not to drool all over my desk. I keep thinking it’s going to get better, but if anything it’s getting worse.

At first, he was only a distraction during class, when he was right in front of me and I couldn’t help but think about him. Now it’s gotten to the point where he’s invading my thoughts at unexpected times all during the week.

In the hours leading up to his class, I feel the anticipation of it all throughout my body. An anxious, delicious, tingling sensation. Like I’m feeling right now.

I know it’s an obsession. It has to be. It’s bound to pass eventually, but that can’t happen soon enough. It’s starting to feel like torture.



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

J.L. White writes steamy romances featuring smart, sexy women and the swoon-worthy men who adore them. Her sexy love stories are full of passion but don’t skimp on the tenderness. She’s addicted to trendy coffee houses, poolside lounging, and HEAs. When not tapping blissfully away on her laptop, she takes time to enjoy life with her husband and their children.

Links
Website: http://jlwhitebooks.com/   JLWhiteBooks.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JLWhiteAuthor  JLWhiteAuthor
Books
Forbidden Heat will be $0.99 during the tour.
Forbidden Heat (Firework Girls, Book 1)
         www.amazon.com/Forbidden-Heat-Firework-Girls-Book-ebook/dp/B01CYI91RI
Midnight Heat (Firework Girls, Book 2)
         www.amazon.com/Midnight-Heat-Firework-Girls-Book-ebook/dp/B01CYI91UU
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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

J.L. White will be awarding a $40 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

domenica 29 maggio 2016

NEW RELEASES, FREE & BARGAIN BOOKS {WEEKLY LINK-UP} #9


Sharing the Love of Books
Enjoy our selection of New Releases / Free & Bargain Books this week

Authors please feel free to add your own books
Readers please free to add your own finds
(any genre except erotica welcome)

This weekly link up is hosted by Beck Valley Books & these awesome book loving blogs...
Monday
 Life as Leels | IrishdaisylovesRomance | Book Babble | All Romance Reader
Tuesday
It's My Side of Life | Celticlady's Reviews | First Time Mommy Adventures 
Wednesday
Beck Valley BooksA Library of Reviews | Cinnamon Hollow Reviews
Thursday
Miki's Hope | Nicki's Nook
Friday
Ebook Addicts | I Love Romance | Mother Distracted | Colorimetry | The Ultimate Fan Blog
Saturday
Totally Addicted to Reading | 3 Partners in Shopping | Angie's Angle I Creat Purty Thangs | Wishful Endings
Sunday
Lynchburg Mama | LibriAmoriMieiAli - The Dragon Slayer | Wondermom WannabeMy Bizzy World |  Deal Sharing Aunt | Rambling Reviews 


For Pre-orders post - PRE-ORDER / genre / title /author
For New Releases post - NEW / genre / title / author
For Free Books post - FREE / genre / title / author / end date 
For Bargain Books post - SALE / price / genre / title / author / end date
(Strictly no Erotica please.  Steamy romance is fine but watch those covers people, incase any underage child is viewing it!)

Here is this weeks awesome selection!

Would you like to share our linkup on your site? click here
Would you like to become a weekly host? sign up here


Come back and check out the new selection every week x



giovedì 26 maggio 2016

Review & Giveaway: Hand Over Fist by Michael Ross


Hand Over Fist
by Michael Ross

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GENRE: Thriller

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BLURB:


When an old friend disappears, Martin learns nothing is what it seems… 


Martin Russell can barely face the future. With dismal life prospects and an estranged family, he is at the end of his rope. When an old friend, Hannah, elbows her way back into his life, Martin’s luck begins to turn around. 

Hidden within the shadows of evil, there must be some good… 

Ex-policeman Bobby Tanner lost everything one rage-filled night. Now he runs a reading group for alcoholics where he meets a young drug dealer, Zack, who disturbs him in a way that’s hard to define. Bobby soon discovers the teenager is in over his head and has been dealing with a despicable individual known as The Chemist. 

The roots of evil run deeper than we imagine… 

Martin’s lucky streak begins to unravel when Hannah suddenly goes missing, and he turns to a friend of a friend, Bobby, for help. Thrust into an underworld empire of corruption and half-truths, he learns his friend may not be who he thought she was. 

In a shadowed world of deception, stalkers, and despicable drug dealers, Bobby and Martin must uncover the truth, and fast… 

Several lives depend on it.

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My Review:

This is a really great thriller, full of action, suspense, twists. It's wonderfully well written with a brilliant and well woven storyline, amazing and well defined characters and a really fast pace.
Martin was deeply hurt by divorce, he has lost everything both morally and economically. But when he meets an old friend Hannah, slowly comes back to life. But she suddenly disappears. Only Bobby can help him find her. He is a former cop who now works as private investigator. He also works in a reading group for alcoholics where he meets shady characters like Zack, a drug dealer.
It's a very compelling and engaging reading, once you start it it's really hard to put it down. The final is perfect and unexpected.
Great debut for this new series, I can not wait to read the next chapter.
Highly recommended for those who love thrillers.





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EXCERPT:

She did not recognise the number coming up on her mobile and hesitated slightly before answering, “Hannah speaking.”

“Why just the person, and how are you today, Hannah?”

A cold shiver ran from the back of her neck down to her ankles. She tried to keep her voice neutral. “Hi. I thought you were abroad just now.”

“Who says I’m not?”

A tremor of relief briefly visited her. “Oh, I see.”

“Actually, I’ve come back. I missed the old haunts. I can’t seem to get the place out of my blood.”

Was it her imagination or did those two words, “haunts” and “blood,” seem to resonate in her head? She needed to sound in control, and so her reply was firmly delivered, “And you rang me because?”

“Just to say hello, Hannah, just to say hello.”

With that, the phone went dead. Hannah’s immediate reaction was anger at the caller’s obvious attempt to unsettle her. She hit the recall button and redialled the incoming number but the other phone was already switched off. She was well aware that anger is sometimes a protective shield behind which lurks blinding terror, but sitting alone in her car, Hannah recognised that she had lost that shield and a fearsome terror instantly slewed through her entire body.




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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

It was a strange and twisting road that led to the publication of my first novel. From my humble beginnings, as an office clerk, to ownership of a multi-million dollar business I always maintained my love for literature.

Born and raised in Bristol, England. I spent most of my life in business, my companies turning over in the region of $500 million. The majority of that time marketing cars, eventually owning the largest Saab specialist in the world, before a bitter divorce forced me rethink my priorities. Particularly between 2003 and 2005 when I had to accept that I was no longer a millionaire but literally penniless. I avoided bankruptcy by the skin of my teeth and slowly rebuilt my life.

This led me to the life changing decision to leave the bustling city and move to live halfway up a mountain in the Welsh valleys. At the same time I started a part time six year English Literature course at Bristol University, and attended creative writing classes at Cardiff University. I left school at sixteen and this was my first taste of further education and an immense challenge.

I eventually adjusted my thinking to the academic life, and on 30 June 2015 had confirmation of my 2.1(Hons) degree from Bristol University. At the same time I also won the prestigious Hopkins Prize for my essay on Virginia Woolf and the unsaid within her text. Now the university courses are finished it will, with any luck, gives me plenty of extra time that I can devote to my fiction writing.

Thanks to the university experiences, my interest in English literature has flourished over recent years. Hopefully I have evolved as a writer from my earlier work in short stories (over ninety of them.) Although interestingly my first three novels have all been developed from a long forgotten short story.

Life is, once again, very good, and I live very happily halfway up a mountain, in the Welsh Valleys, with my wonderful partner Mari, and our rescue dog Wolfie.

Twitter         @mikerosswriter
Website        www.michaelrosswriter.com
Blog             http://mikerosswriter.wordpress.com
Goodreads    Mike Ross


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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE


Michael will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blast & Giveaway: The Trouble with Misbehaving by Victoria Hanlen


The Trouble with Misbehaving
by Victoria Hanlen

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GENRE: Historical Romance

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BLURB:


Love, Betrayal and Redemption 

Calista ‘CC’ Collins is used to being the talk of the town. With her scandalous past she’s learnt the hard way that a woman needs to be strong to get what she wants in a man’s world. And what she wants is the infamous Captain Beauford Tollier—roguish son of an earl, notorious blockade-runner and all-round knave of the seas. 

However, Captain Beau is not one to be cajoled—he is done with the dangerous sea life and ready to follow the life of the straight and narrow. But with many powerful forces circling around him, Beau doesn’t stand a chance…


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EXCERPT:


“Dear brother, it’s more than cultural differences! She’s been here a decade. We’ve talked ourselves hoarse trying to convince her she only reinforces the rumors of instability with outbursts like those at dinner. She truly acts chastened and then does it again. I’ve a mind, deep down, our Miss Collins hates men.”

Beau slowly rolled his cigar in his mouth remembering how her soft, full lips moved so delightfully under his and how her lush body melted against him. He jerked the cigar from his mouth. “There must be some mistake.”

His brother’s expression grew reflective. “Had a mare like her once. Refused every stud we presented. Nearly gelded one or two we had mount—”

Mount. Dear God. “Well I—” Beau coughed as he struggled to keep a provocative image of he and C.C. from his mind. Fatigue, too much brandy and now this added bit of mischief made his head pound. Pinching his eyes together, he blinked and grasped for some topic to erase the image. “Does she have outbursts with women?”

“Never seen one. Can’t say she’s ever spoken to me in any way but cordial either. Odd woman, our Auntie Cali. The insanity must come from her American mother’s side.”

Thomas turned and slapped Beau on the back. “I’ve a wonderful wife and must occasionally brush up against some of her crazy relatives. You, on the other hand, are free to keep whatever company suits you. Miss Collins is a pretty package but believe me, you can do better.”



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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Award winning, historical romance author, VICTORIA HANLEN, has worked at a wide range of jobs, from fashion, to corporate business, to treading the boards of stage and professional opera. A lifelong writer, she once put her skills to use in PR and advertising. But her favorite form of writing is happily-ever-afters spiced with a dash of wit and a page-turning mystery. Victoria and her husband live in rural New England surrounded by a host of wildlife.
She enjoys hearing from readers at:






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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Victoria will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

mercoledì 25 maggio 2016

Review & Giveaway: I Promise You This by Patricia Sands

Patricia Sands

on Tour May 17-26 with


I Promise You This
 

I Promise You This

(women’s fiction) Release date: May 17, 2016 at Lake Union Publishing ISBN: 978-1503935723 365 pages Author’s page | Goodreads  

SYNOPSIS

Suddenly single after twenty-two years of marriage, the calm of Katherine Price’s midlife has turned upside down. Seeking to find her true self, she took a chance on starting over. A year later, she is certain of this: she’s in love with Philippe and adores his idyllic French homeland, where he wants her to live with him. But all that feels like a fantasy far removed from Toronto, where she’s helping her friend Molly, hospitalized after a life-threatening accident. Staying in her childhood home full of memories, Katherine wonders: Is she really ready to leave everything behind for an unknown life abroad? And if all her happiness lies with Philippe, will it last? Can she trust in love again? Searching her heart, Katherine finds the pull of the familiar is stronger than she thought. An unexpected meeting with her ex, the first time since his cruel departure, and a stunning declaration of love from an old flame spur her introspection. With sunlit backdrops and plot twists as breathtaking as the beaches of Côte d’Azur, author Patricia Sands brings her trilogy about second chances to a provocative and satisfying close that proves that a new life just might be possible—if you’re willing to let your heart lead you home.

My Review

It's an extraordinary romance about the second chance in life and the difficulties and fears to pursue happiness. Breathtaking landscapes, great characters, brilliant dialogue and a strong plot: this book is a real treat.
Kat has left her beloved Toronto to start a new life in Provence with the man she loves. Her friend Molly has had a bad accident and she returns home to help her. Being back in her homeland brings good memories to mind and she is tormented by doubts. Has she made the right choice to go to live in Provence? The love she feels for Philippe will be so strong that it can overcome all adversity?
Kat is a generous woman, unselfish, a great friend but also fragile and insecure. She was really hurt in the past and is afraid to suffer again.
I love Provence and was delighted by the wonderful descriptions of Antibes that the author has done in this book, it really seemed to be there.
It's the third book in a series, can be read as stand alone but for a more engaging reading I recommend reading the series in order.
Highly recommended for those who love romantic stories and Provence


BOOK TRAILER [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYnCA72Iz8U]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I Promise You This Patricia Sands A confessed travel-addict, best-selling author Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada, when she isn’t somewhere else, and calls the south of France her second home. I Promise You This, is Book 3 in her award-winning Love in Provence series. Find Patricia on Facebook, on Twitter on Instagram at her Amazon Author Page or her website Subscribe to her mailing list and get information about new releases. Buy the book : Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.fr | available on Barnes & Noble on May 17

***

CLICK ON THE BANNER TO READ REVIEWS AND EXCERPTS

I Promise You This Banner

Review & Giveaway: Falling for Heroes Box Set by Eryn LaPlant


Falling for Heroes Box Set
by Eryn LaPlant

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GENRE: Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

Falling for Shock 


Oliver Hannel, England’s sexiest new star, has finally moved from the television screen to the silver screen, playing comic book hero The Shock in Hollywood’s upcoming blockbuster. While filming one summer night in the midwestern town of Greenfield, Indiana, Oliver finds himself witnessing a crime in progress. Will he embrace his inner superhero and save the day? Or will he remember he isn’t invincible and call for help? 

Layla Brooks is a small town girl with a big spirited heart, especially when it comes to her twin sister, Lucy. She’ll rest at nothing to protect her from a casino mogul’s henchman bent on collecting a debt… even if that includes taking her sister’s punishment. But a strange suited man out from the shadows isn’t about to let that happen. 

Oliver and Layla’s opposite worlds collide with a Bam! But are either of them ready for the lies, truth and lust that comes along with a relationship born of shock? Or will their love come and go as fast as a bolt of lightning? 

Falling for Freedom 

FBI Special Agent Cara Giosino is ballsy and relentless when it comes to justice. When she finds herself in London in furious pursuit of the notorious casino mogul and crime lord Feng Khai, she must give up her solo act and rely upon the fearless Interpol agent who caught Khai the first time. 

Edward Hannel is not the man he once was. Tragedy has struck him down, leaving him a shell of his former self. He wants nothing to do with Interpol or the sexy Agent Giosino and her plan to take down the criminal who extorted his brother two years prior. That is until he discovers the madman’s vengeance is still focused on his family. 

As they race to capture Khai and protect Edward’s family, neither Cara nor Edward realizes the depth to which this case will take them or how fast their partnership will bloom. And they certainly don’t expect to find such bliss in each other's arms when they finally give in to letting go and being free.


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My Review:

Falling for Shock

It 's a romantic story very sweet but also very exciting, full of suspense and twists. The author takes you deep inside the story and leaves you on the edge of your seat. I was excited each time I got to turn the page. She was also very good at making the plot very realistic and it wasn't easy: a famous actor who falls for a simple and  ordinary girl.
Oliver is a famous actor but is above all a humble and generous man. In the fiction he plays a superhero. While filming he sees a girl in danger and intervenes to save her. She is Layla, a sweet waitress, was attacked because mistaken for her twin sister Lucy. Oliver and Layla fall in love. The chemistry between them is really strong but their history is full of obstacles.
The story was well written, the characters were amazing, and the dialogue was well constructed.
Highly recommended


Falling for Freedom
It 's a romantic novel but also very touching. The author is very good at making us partakers of the pain and the torment of the protagonist.
After the tragedy that struck him, Edward is no longer the same man. He's an Interpol Agent but he has lost the passion for his work and also the desire to love. FBI Agent Cara tries to get back the old Edward.
Eryn's books are lovely. Her characters are down to earth, and completely lovable. It's such a relief to read about real people, the sort that might live in your neighborhood.
This book is very well written with strong character development, a dramatic plot with twists and turns that were unexpected. It is amazing and I loved every page.


.




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EXCERPT:

Falling for Shock

CHAPTER
ONE

“CUT!” the director called.

Oliver breathed a sigh of relief. He was in dire need of finding a bathroom; the straps of his flying harness were cutting into his full bladder. On the street below, the crew wasted no time disassembling set dressings and props. The cameramen turned off their equipment and congratulated themselves on a good day, while the dolly grips trudged the cameras down aluminum tracks. A twinge tightened in his groin and Oliver shifted, trying to redistribute the pressure. It was no use.

“Come on guys,” he grumbled, but he was thirty-feet in the air, who could hear him?

The more hustle and bustle beneath his booted feet, the more he was convinced they’d forgotten their superhero…again. With his thumb and forefinger in his mouth, he blew a shrill whistle. “Hey! Will someone get me down?”

Dean Clemens, the movie director, lifted his head to the sky. “Sorry, pal! Mike, let Ollie down.”

“Thank you!” Oliver called out and the rigging creaked and groaned as he slowly descended.





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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Eryn LaPlant grew up wishing she could have lived in the books she read, living through characters and their romantic adventures. Now she writes romances of her own to share with readers like you.
When not writing, she spends her time with her loving husband, their handsome son and fluffy new Pomeranian puppy, Marley, in the Land of Lincoln

For more information on Eryn, please visit her website:


Buy Links:

Price is $0.99




Other works by Eryn include:

Beneath the Wall
The Blue Lute

Falling for Heroes series:
Falling for Shock
Falling for Freedom
and
upcoming Falling for Phoenix (2016)


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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE


Eryn will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

martedì 24 maggio 2016

Review & Giveaway: The Madness of Mercury by Connie di Marco


The Madness of Mercury
by Connie di Marco

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GENRE: Mystery

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

BLURB:

Astrologer Julia Bonatti never thought her chosen profession would bring danger into her life, but her outspoken advice in her newspaper column, AskZodia, makes her the target of San Francisco’s recently-arrived cult leader, Reverend Roy of the Prophet’s Tabernacle.  The followers of the power hungry preacher will stop at nothing to quell the voices of those who would stand in his way and Julia’s at the top of his list.  She’s willing to bet the charismatic Reverend is a Mercury-ruled individual, and she knows all too well that Mercury wasn’t just the messenger of the gods, he was a trickster and a liar as well. 
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My Review:

It's a truly engrossing mystery, captured me from the first page and I couldn't put it down. I was attracted by the cover but the story has not disappointed me.
Julia Bonatti is a famous astrologer, she tries to help people solve their daily problems with the help of stars and planets. But Reverend Roy of the Prophet's Tabernacle thinks she's a witch and her adivce demonic His followers try to hinder her activities, even threatening to kill her. In addition to defense herself, Julia tries to help her friend Dorothy who's taking care of her elderly aunts. One  of them accuses Dorothy of wanting to kill her and the other one wants to become a follower of Reverend Roy. Things get even more complicated when their old gardener is found dead and a strange guy comes to town claiming to be their nephew.
The plot is well developed and intriguing, full of twists, the pace is fast and the characters are believable.
For lovers of astrology and cozy mystery this is a must read but it's a really pleasant reading even for people like me who doesn't know this discipline. I really enjoyed it and I was curious to read the responses that Julia gave to her customers. This is a fascinating world. I look forward to reading a new adventure of Julia.

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EXCERPT:


Wizard had curled into a fetal position on top of a fuzzy throw close to the fireplace.  The wind was buffeting the windows so hard the rain sounded like gravel being thrown against the glass.  The logs were blazing and I thanked my stars I could snuggle inside tonight with Wizard and work. 

Samantha had forwarded about fifty emails from the newspaper to my own AskZodia email address.  As a weekly column, there was space for only three or four questions and answers, but now, the editor was considering running it as a daily feature.  To keep the column interesting to as large a group of readers as possible, I like to pick a range of ages and problems. 

Dear Zodia

I’ve worked as a bookkeeper in the corporate world my entire life.  I’m 65 and my company forced me to retire.  I’m in decent shape financially.  I have a good  pension and savings, but I don’t know what to do with myself.  I’ve tried to find part-time work but no luck.  I’ve never felt so lost and useless.  Do you see any kind of work on the horizon for me?  My birth date is May 4, 1944 at 10:43 PM in Baltimore.
                   ~ Discarded

Poor guy.  Worked his whole life and now shoved aside.  The man’s birth chart showed Venus as the oriental planet, that is, the planet rising first before the Sun, a position that can sometimes offer a strong clue to the profession.  This man was a natural artist, perhaps a craftsman, with his Mars in Virgo.  He was someone with artistic yearnings and capable of patient, detailed work. 

Dear Discarded:

Your true artistic abilities have never been recognized, much less nourished.  A whole new world can open up for you if you would pursue some form of craftsmanship to produce beautiful things.  Jewelry design, working in precious metals, is just one possibility that comes to mind.  Please take some classes, perhaps at a local university extension and try your hand.  I think you’ll be amazed at your abilities and imagination.  Believe me, you won’t look back. 
                        ~ Zodia

I worked through several more questions and responses and then saved them all.  This was hardly a perfect way to practice astrology, but hopefully, my quick judgments and answers would be spot on and help someone head in the right direction.  I clicked back to the inbox and realized three more emails had arrived while I had been working. 

I didn’t recognize the various senders.  My AskZodia address had been set up only for Samantha, but these new emails weren’t from her.  My private clients use Julia.Bonatti and my friends use JuliaB.  None of them would even know of my AskZodia address.  I hesitated.  I’m a hopeless non-techie person and rely on my computer for business so I’m very fearful of viruses.  I clicked on the button to open the reading pane and scrolled down.  A jolt of fear shot through me.  The message read, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” 


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Connie di Marco is the author of the upcoming Zodiac Mystery series from Midnight Ink featuring San Francisco astrologer, Julia Bonatti.  The Madness of Mercury, first in the series, will be released on June 8, 2016.  Writing as Connie Archer, she’s also the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime.  You can find her excerpts and recipes in both The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook.  She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime.  You can visit her at her website:  www.conniedimarco.com, or Facebook.com/ConniediMarco (Author) and Twitter: @askzodia. 


Buy links for The Madness of Mercury:


Barnes & Noble: bit.ly/1UapU0B

Indie Bound: bit.ly/1SBPKeq

Goodreads: bit.ly/1ou4EXV 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Mercury by Connie di Marco will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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