Saturday, November 28, 2015

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

by:  Robert Galbraith
published by:  Mulholland Books
publish date:  October 20, 2015

When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg.

Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them….

This is the 3rd book in the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling).  I really liked the first book, The Cuckoo's Calling.  The second book, The Silkworm, was good as well.  I was looking forward to reading this book, I hoped it was as good as the first two.  I wasn't disappointed.  While I thought it was a bit overly long, it was a good story.

Robin, Cormoran's assistant, is delivered a severed leg.  Strike has an idea of who might have done it.  Instead of it being just one person, he actually has a list of a few suspects.  Career of Evil tells the story of Robin and Strike investigating the leads into who is delivering body parts to Robin and why.  

What I like best about these books is the relationship between Robin and Cormoran.  Robin's shaky relationship with her fiance gets even worse in this book, and it looks like Cormoran might actually make a move.  There's the whole question of will he or won't he and if he does what will happen?  It's so nerve wracking!!  

After the way this book ended I suspect there will be a #4 in this series.  I'm sure I will be reading it because I can't let the question go unanswered.  If you're a mystery fan and haven't started this series, I recommend it.  They're well written with great characters.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Blog Tour: The Christmas Bridge by Elyse Douglas

Author: Elyse Douglas
Date of publication: September 2015

A First Love. A Second Chance.

A young widow travels to New York on business a few days before Christmas. She has reluctantly made a date with a lover she hasn’t seen in 20 years, and she is nervous and apprehensive. Twenty years before, she made a difficult decision that has both troubled and haunted her ever since. She knows she’s about to come face-to-face with her past and she’s hoping for some redemption and resolution. She also wonders if she can somehow pick up where she left off 20 years ago and start again.

An exciting chance encounter changes everything. Now, not only will she face the past with hope to rekindle an old romance, but there is the possibility that this chance meeting will bring her love and happiness she never thought possible.

Once again, she will have to choose. She will have to make the right decision. She will have to believe that Christmas miracles can still happen.

Christmas time is a great season for love stories involving second chances and new hope.  In the Christmas Bridge, Olivia has been a widow for a year.  She decides to try to meet up with an old flame while traveling on business on New York City.  While there, she visits a bridge in Central Park that she had always loved during college.  There she meets someone unexpected and her life once again changes.

I thought this was a cute story.  It was well written and made me want to read it in one sitting.  I liked both Olivia and Bret.  They made a cute couple.  Brett was a breath of fresh air.  While the romance was fast, it felt like it was believable.  As it says in the book, sometimes there is that one moment or one chance meeting that changes your life forever.    The only thing that drove me nuts was how everyone kept bringing up the fact that she was older than 4 years. I didn't understand what the big deal was to be honest.  The difference between 35 and 39 is nothing.  Despite that, it was an enjoyable read and one that can put you in the mood for the upcoming holiday season!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the author:

Elyse Douglas is the pen name for the married writing team Elyse Parmentier and Douglas Pennington. Elyse grew up near the sea, roaming the beaches, reading and writing stories and poetry, receiving a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Columbia University.  She has enjoyed careers as an English teacher, an actress and a  speech-language pathologist.  She and her husband, Douglas Pennington, have completed five novels: The Astrologer’s Daughter, Christmas for Juliet, Wanting Rita, Christmas Ever After, The Christmas Town and The Christmas Diary.

Douglas grew up in a family where music and astrology were second and third languages.  He attended the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and played the piano professionally for many years. His two detective books include Death is Lookin’ for Elvis and Death is a TapDancer. His great great grandfather lived to be 132 years old, and was the oldest man in the world when he died in 1928.

Connect with Elyse Douglas

Elyse Douglas’ TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, November 16th: Majorly Delicious
Tuesday, November 17th: Book Nerd
Thursday, November 19th: I Wish I Lived in a Library
Monday, November 23rd: Bibliotica
Wednesday, November 25th: Read Love Blog
Friday, November 27th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, November 30th: Mom in Love with Fiction
Wednesday, December 2nd: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, December 3rd: Romance Novels for the Beach
Monday, December 7th: Bewitched Bookworms
Thursday, December 10th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Monday, December 14th: Written Love Reviews
Monday, December 14th: A Night’s Dream of Books 
Tuesday, December 15th: FictionZeal
Wednesday, December 16th: The Romance Dish
Friday, December 18th: A Splendid Messy Life

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our authors and readers.  We are so thankful for you all!  We're taking the day off to spend with our families. We'll be back tomorrow with more great books to share with you!

Autumn & Kari

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Blog Tour: Whistling Women by Kelly Romo

Author: Kelly Romo
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Date of publication:

A buried secret keeps two sisters apart.

Life went terribly wrong for Addie Bates in San Diego, and she’s been running from those memories ever since. For fifteen years, the Sleepy Valley Nudist Colony has provided a safe haven for Addie to hide from the crime she committed. But when the residents pack up to go on exhibit at the 1935 world’s fair in San Diego, Addie returns and must face the thrilling yet terrifying prospect of reuniting with her estranged sister, Wavey.

Addie isn’t the only one interested in a reunion. When her niece, Rumor, discovers she has an aunt, Rumor is determined to bring her family together. But it’s not so easy when the women are forced to confront family secrets, past and present.

Set against the backdrop of the 1935 world’s fair, Whistling Women explores the complex relationships between sisters, the sacrifices required to protect family, and the lasting consequences of a single impulsive act.

Whistling Women looked to be an enjoyable book about family dynamics.  It's pretty long and normally I don't mind that.  But when I book is long and doesn't suck me right in, that is when I have a problem.  I'm going to chalk this one up as not for me.  I found myself putting it down several times and that is never a good sign.  I just couldn't get into the story.  By the time I got to about 30%, I no longer cared about the characters.  I know other people loved this book, so give it a try and see for yourself.

About Kelly Romo

Kelly A. Romo currently lives in Oregon with her three children where she teaches writing, literature, and social studies. She loves the outdoors; hiking, kayaking, and camping. Kelly grew up in California running around with all her thrill-seeking cousins and siblings; jumping off cliffs into the Colorado River, exploring caves on the beaches of Mexico, riding dirt bikes, water skiing, and snow skiing.

Connect with Kelly

Kelly Romo’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, November 16th: BookNAround
Tuesday, November 17th: 100 Pages a Day
Tuesday, November 17th: Kritter’s Ramblings
Wednesday, November 18th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Thursday, November 19th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Friday, November 20th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, November 23rd: Guiltless Reading
Tuesday, November 24th: Kahakai Kitchen
Wednesday, November 25th: From the TBR Pile
Friday, November 27th: Life is Story
Monday, November 30th: Kimberly’s Bookshelf
Tuesday, December 1st: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Wednesday, December 2nd: Birdhouse Books
Thursday, December 3rd: Patricia’s Wisdom
Monday, December 7th: I’m Shelfish
Tuesday, December 8th: Raven Haired Girl
Wednesday, December 9th: Time 2 Read

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Blog Tour: Charlotte's Story by Laura Benedict

Author: Laura Benedict
Publisher: Pegasus 
Date of publication: October 15, 2015

The fall of 1957 was a seemingly idyllic, even prosperous, time down in southern Virginia. A young housewife, Charlotte Bliss, lives with her husband, “Press” Bliss, and their two young children, Eva Grace and Michael, in the gorgeous Bliss family home. On the surface, theirs seems a calm, picturesque life, but soon tragedy befalls them: four deaths, with seemingly simple explanations.
But nothing is simple if Bliss House is involved.

Charlotte, nearly crippled with grief, feels more and more isolated from everyone around her. The only thing that brings her solace is going through the old photos and curiosities left behind by her mother-in-law. Then she makes a startling discovery that points not to tragedy, but to murder. How far will Charlotte go to discover the truth? And how far will she get without knowing who her real enemy is?

Not for the faint of heart, or those disturbed by sexual situations and violence, Charlotte’s Story injects new levels of horror into the classic Southern gothic.

I reviewed Bliss House last month and did end up enjoying it.  Charlotte's Story is the second book in the series.  The story actually takes place before the events of Bliss House.  In this installment, Charlotte has married into the Bliss family.  Soon after her mother in law Olivia dies, her young daughter Eva dies tragically.  Lost in her grief, Charlotte begins to see Olivia and Eva in the house. Olivia begins to show her events that happened years before.  Charlotte begins to suspect she and her son Michael aren't safe.

I can't say that I liked this one as much as the first book.  It ended up just being an OK story for me.  I felt like it was more confusing than the first one.  It was as though Charlotte was being gas-lighted throughout the entire book. I'm still not sure as to the reason behind some of the events, like the seance. The reveals in the end weren't too shocking.  I kind of guessed at a couple of them early on.  I'm also not sure that the reverse timeline between the two books worked well for me.  In a way, this story felt a bit recycled from the first one.  

I'm wondering if the last book in the series goes back to tell Randolph Bliss's story.  I'll probably check it out to see how everything began. I think that each one so far can be read as a stand alone as they don't really rely on the others.  Check out what others on the tour are saying in the list below.

About Laura Benedict

Laura Benedict is the author of Charlotte’s Story and Bliss House, the first two novels in the Bliss House trilogy, as well as several other novels of dark suspense. Her work has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and numerous anthologies. She lives with her family in Southern Illinois. 

Connect with Laura on Facebook and Twitter.

Purchase Links

Laura’s Tour Stops
Sunday, October 25th: Open Book Society
Tuesday, October 27th: The Reader’s Hollow
Wednesday, October 28th: It’s a Mad Mad World
Thursday, November 12th: No More Grumpy Bookseller – guest post
Wednesday, November 18th: Buried Under Books
Monday, November 23rd: October Country
Tuesday, November 24th: Read-Love-Blog
Tuesday, November 24th: A Chick Who Reads
Tuesday, November 24th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, November 30th: Bibliophilia, Please
Tuesday, December 1st: Booked on a Feeling

Monday, November 23, 2015

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

by:  Laura Ruby
published by:  Balzer + Bray
publish date:  March 3, 2015

Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps—gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren’t surprised. After all, it wasn’t the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O’Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That’s just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame?

Finn knows that’s not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.

This was another book I picked up because it was a Goodreads 2015 Choice Finalist.  While I've been very disappointed with the books that have been picked to be voted on this year, I was not disappointed in this book and I believe this one is worth voting for.  I haven't totally decided on my feelings on this book and I find that interesting, so this one is making me think.

Roza left her country and came to the United States to learn.  She wanted to learn how to farm.  Sean and Finn O'Sullivan are just trying to get by after their mother left them.  One day Roza appeared in their barn bloodied and broken.  Sean and Finn, took her in and let her live with them.  Then, Roza just disappeared.  Finn, insisted that she was kidnapped as he witnessed the entire event, but was unable to provide any details to the police.  Months later, Sean is angry and Finn is the only one still looking for Roza.  

This book tells an excellent story.  I liked the way the story was parceled out.  There were some fantasy elements to this story that I had trouble with.  In the end, it made a little more sense I suppose, but when it first started showing up I didn't know what to make of it.  I still don't know if I like that aspect of the book.  However, the rest of it was very good and I would definitely encourage anyone to read this book.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

by:  Nicola Yoon
published by:  Delacourte Books for Young Readers
publish date:  September 1, 2015

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

I picked up this audiobook because it was one of the Goodreads Choice Books Finalists for 2015.   When I looked it up, it had like 12,000 ratings.  I was surprised that I hadn't heard of it.  

Maddie is allergic to everything.  Her mother is a doctor and her mother has explained to her that she has to live in their specially made house so that she won't get sick.  She never ever leaves their house and the only people that ever see her are her mother and her nurse Carla.  Maddie has accepted this existence and seems happy.  Until Olly moves next door.  Olly and Maddie begin chatting online and take their friendship to the next level by convincing Carla to let Olly come to the house.  After they fall in love, then the real craziness happens.  

I found this book to be extremely predictable.  The big "twist" at the ending, I called from like the very beginning.  There were too many inconsistencies I guess.  The thing that annoyed me the most about this book was Maddie's books.  So you have this disease where you're allergic to stuff and you get books mailed to you?  Why not get ebooks?  or audiobooks?  That way you could have a ton more and they're totally hypoallergenic.  It was something that aggravated me from the get go.  Anyway...... Read at your own risk.  It wasn't my favorite.  I'm not seeing why so many people are loving it.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Paperweight by Meg Haston

by:  Meg Haston
published by:  HarperTeen
publish date:  July 7, 2015

Seventeen-year-old Stevie is trapped. In her life.  And now in an eating-disorder treatment center on the dusty outskirts of the New Mexico desert.  Life in the center is regimented and intrusive, a nightmare come true. Nurses and therapists watch Stevie at mealtime, accompany her to the bathroom, and challenge her to eat the foods she’s worked so hard to avoid.

Her dad has signed her up for sixty days of treatment. But what no one knows is that Stevie doesn't plan to stay that long. There are only twenty-seven days until the anniversary of her brother Josh’s death—the death she
 caused. And if Stevie gets her way, there are only twenty-seven days until she too will end her life.

Sometimes I wonder about books like these.  Are they really realistic?  Do they actually do justice to the challenges that people with these conditions are facing?  I've been, as a nursing student, in some in patient facilities and they aren't anything like these YA books portray.  So I just wonder do these book really help the people they are intended to help?  Is that the intent of books like this?  
Stevie is proud of her eating disorder.  She has worked hard to become an anorexic.  After her brother's death, she's working even harder on her eating goals.  She knows that if she can just get down to a certain weight, she can die just like her brother did.  Before that can happen, her dad admits her into a treatment center and her beliefs are challenged.  Everything she thought she knew about herself gets called into question.

I thought this book was ok.  Did I love it?  Parts of it were pretty good, but over all I was just kind of "eh" about it.  It did make me feel sad for kids in treatment centers.  It made me feel like I should start writing to some of these kids because the part when they got mail made me feel bad.  Stevie got one postcard.  How lonely must that be?  Anyway, I guess I would cautiously recommend this book, but only to people that like to read these kinds of books.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Spotlight: Bash Trilogy by Candace Blevins

Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club
Bash, Vol 1
Publisher: Excessica
Date of publication: October 16, 2015 

Angelica was raised not only as a biker’s daughter, but as Bud’s daughter — the president of the Atlanta RTMC, which meant she also had dozens of ‘uncles’ who made sure she was safe, happy, loved, secure.

Needless to say, her virginity was still solidly intact when she left for college.

She goes to school up north, where no one knows she’s a biker’s daughter at heart, and thoroughly enjoys her time as a civilian. She gets rid of her pesky virginity right away, but is mostly a good girl while she buckles down to get her degree, staying at school even during the summers to take as many classes as she can fit in.

She’s a different person when she comes home with her Master’s degree, and in spite of her intention to remain a civilian, some of the bikers don’t seem so much like uncles, anymore.

Warning: Lots of hot sex, a touch of BDSM, and an abundance of bad-ass werewolf bikers who are used to getting their way.

Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club

Bash, Vol 2
Publisher: Excessica
Date of publication: November 9, 2015

Will Bud want to tear Bash to pieces? How is Dawg going to fit into all of this? Will the Disciples retaliate? And now that the District Attorney is in Angelica’s life, can she get him out?

Bash may have claimed her in both wolf and human form, but Angelica isn't likely to just roll over and show him her belly every time he gives her an order. One night of incredible sex doesn’t mean the relationship will be smooth sailing. They both want it to work, though, and they’re both used to getting what they want. 

Warning: A touch more BDSM, tons of raw kink, blazing hot sex, danger, intrigue, and there might even be a sexy ménage.

Publisher: Excessica
Date of publication: November 20, 2015

Will Angelica save herself, or will she have to be saved? Either way, knowing what Bud and Bash are capable of, do we want to know the repercussions?

Follow Bash, Angelica, and the rest of the MC for the exciting conclusion.

Warning: BDSM activities, intense kink, blazing hot ménage sex, smoldering couple’s sex, danger, intrigue, and more alpha werewolf bad-asses than you’d want to shake a stick at.

This is the final installment of a three book story, with a happy ending and no cliffhangers.

Excerpt from Volume III
Eight years ago

Kayla met me in the bathroom after last period, and watched as I changed out of my super tiny mini-skirt into jeans. God, if my dad saw me in this skirt he’d have an aneurism.
“I can’t believe you lost Brain. God, Ang, he’s the best biker-bitch you’ve had yet.”
Speaking of aneurisms, my dad nearly had one when he found out Kayla called me Ang. He calls me Angel, but says no one else is allowed to shorten my name. One of the reasons I love Kayla is she isn’t afraid of my dad, or any of the other bikers, and she just kept calling me what she wanted.
I shrugged as I buttoned my jeans and stowed the skirt in my backpack. “I got one of the new guys, I’ve only met him a couple of times. He looks like he’s pissed at the world, and I seriously doubt he’s going to be any fucking help at all with my calculus or chemistry homework.”
“He have a cool name?” she asked as we left the bathroom.
“Bash, and best I can tell, it isn’t ‘cause he’s bashful. And damn, the boy is beautiful.” And he’d be so fucking pissed if he knew I’d called him a boy.
“How you gonna break him in?”
I shook my head. “Haven’t decided. He’s actually kinda scary, even for one of my dad’s men. Also, I don’t think he’s that much older than us. I know when he first came, he couldn’t have even the prospect patch yet, ’cause he wasn’t old enough. They treated him like one, which had to suck, but he didn’t get his first patch until a few weeks ago, so I think he just turned eighteen.”
“You know his story?”
I shook my head. “He has a fucked up accent though. He isn’t from around here.”
Kayla showed the assistant principal the note from her mom saying she could ride home with me, and he waved us to the RTMC vehicle waiting in the car line.
I got into the front passenger seat and settled my backpack at my feet as I put my seatbelt on and told him, “Bash, meet Kayla. She’s my BFF and you’re her ride now, too. Not just mine.”
He breathed deep, and I assumed he’d just realized she’s human and not wolf, and I added, “We have a problem, you take care of her first, then me. I can handle myself a few minutes, but she isn’t a fighter. Get me?”
He pulled forward and glanced in his rear view mirror at Kayla before looking forward again. “My orders are to keep you safe, Princess.”
I sighed and leaned my head back, looking at the road instead of him. “Those are your orders from my dad. Thing is, I can make your life a living hell if I want, or I can help make this a cushy assignment until you get your patch. I’ve grown up in the club, I know the drill. When Kayla and I became best friends in the fourth grade, our dads had a talk. Their agreement was she’d come to the house, but never to the club, and there’d be no parties at our house when she’s over. She hasn’t been around ya’ll much at all. Her parents have met my prospect chauffeurs over the years, and they’re mostly chilled about it now, but they’ll need to meet you sometime this week.”
“Basically,” Kayla said from the backseat, “you’re our bitch now. You’re our ride when we need one, and you go get stuff we need, even if it’s tampons at two in the morning. You’ll carry our packages for us when we go shopping at the mall, and if we ask if our ass looks fat when we try on clothes, you’ll be honest and tell it to us straight from a guy’s perspective.”
“And not,” I added, my voice low and deep, “from my father’s viewpoint.” I held my wolf in, so I didn’t growl at him in front of Kayla. “I know you’re supposed to cock-block us, but I also know you can’t actually hurt any of the guys.” He held his hand up, thinking he could silence me, and I said, “Fuck you, asshole. I’ll talk when I fuckin’ want to.”

About the Author:
Candace Blevins is a southern girl who loves to travel the world. She lives with her husband of 17 years and their two daughters. When not working or driving kids all over the place she can be found reading, writing, meditating, or swimming.

Candace writes BDSM Romance, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and is currently writing a kick-ass Motorcycle Club series.

Her Safeword Series gives us characters who happen to have some extreme kinks. Relationships can be difficult enough without throwing power exchange into the mix, and her books show characters who care enough about each other to fight to make the relationship work. Each book in the Safeword series highlights a couple with a different BDSM issue to resolve.

Her urban fantasy series, Only Human, gives us a world where weredragons, werewolves, werelions, three different species of vampires, as well as a variety of other mythological beings exist.

Candace's two paranormal romance series, The Chattanooga Supernaturals and The Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club, are both sister series to the Only Human series, and give some secondary characters their happily ever after.

Author links:


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts

Author: Nora Roberts
First published in 1999 by Jove

Determining to reevaluate her life, Jude Murray flees America to take refugee in Faerie Hill Cottage, immersing herself in the study of Irish Folk and discovers hope for the future of the magical past.

Finally back home in Ireland after years of traveling, Aidan Gallagher possesses an uncommon understanding of his country's haunting myths. Although he's devoted to managing the family pub, a hint of wildness still glints in his stormy eyes--and in Jude, he sees a woman who can both soothe his heart and stir his blood. And he begins to share the legends of the land with her--while they create a passionate history of their own...

Jewels of the Sun is the first in the Gallaghers of Ardmore series. Back when I was reading and not enjoying The Dark Witch from the Cousins O'Dwyer series, I had read a few reviews that compared that series to this one.  I can definitely see where the two series are very similar, especially in this first book.  An American woman comes to Ireland for a new life and falls for one of the local Irishmen.  

In a way, I liked this book better that The Dark Witch.  It was more of a romance and less paranormal. There are a couple of ghosts, but no witches and evil warlocks.  I bought into the romance between Aidan and Jude a lot more.  That was after I got over Jude personality.  She was so wishy-washy.  I was happy to see that she was able to find more of a spine towards the end.  This is a great start to what I hope will be a great series.  I look forward to the next one, Tears of the Moon.