Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday Meme: Kindle Kandy - May 29, 2015

Kindle Kandy is a Friday weekly bookish feature hosted by The Book Dame. We scan our shelves and e-readers to rediscover books we own that have not yet been read,  and have thus far been little more than shelf or Kindle Kandy. Too many books…too little time…..and all that jazz.  Please list one of your Kindle Kandy books below in the comments or leave a link to your Kindle Kandy post below.  Don’t forget to link up at The Book Dame so you can check out all of the Kindle Kandy participants. 

Fireflies in December
Jennifer Erin Valent
Pub: December 22, 2008

Jessilyn Lassiter never knew that hatred could lurk in the human heart until the summer of 1932 when she turned 13. When her best friend, Gemma, loses her parents in a tragic fire, Jessilyn's father vows to care for her as one of his own, despite the fact that Gemma is black and prejudice is prevalent in their southern Virginia town. Violence springs up as a ragtag band of Ku Klux Klan members unite and decide to take matters into their own hands. As tensions mount in the small community, loyalties are tested and Jessilyn is forced to say good-bye to the carefree days of her youth. Fireflies in December is the 2007 winner of the Christian Writers Guild's Operation First Novel contest, and a 2010 Christy Award winner.

I got this as a kindle freebie back in 2009 and had forgotten I even had it till I started looking at the list of books I have on the kindle that I haven’t read.  I think I might try squeeze it into my reading this weekend.  

Dying Scream
Mary Burton
Pub: May 1, 2011

Mary Burton's crime novel "Dying Scream" gives new meaning to the word suspense.

No One Will Find You - An aspiring artist. A high-school senior. A stripper. Three women who seemed to have nothing in common except for their sudden disappearance. But one man knew them all. Wealthy, privileged Craig Thornton even claimed to love them. And for that, they paid the ultimate price.

No One Will Hear You - When Adrianna Barrington receives an anniversary card from her husband Craig, she assumes it's a sick joke. After all, Craig is dead. But then come the whispered phone calls and beautiful flowers, all reminding her how much Craig misses her. While Adrianna begins to doubt her sanity, grisly remains are found on the Thornton estate. Detective Gage Hudson is convinced the bodies are linked to Craig. But the biggest shocks are yet to come.

No One Will Save You - A psychopath has taken up his chilling work again, each death a prelude to the moment when Adrianna is under his control at last. And the only way for Gage and Adrianna to stop him is to uncover the truth about a family's dark past and a twisted love that someone will kill for again and again...

Another classic from the American Queen of crime. Fans of Tess Gerritsen, Kathy Reichs, and Karin Slaughter will love Mary Burton's "Dying Scream". Much like "The Seventh Victim" and "Before She Dies", "Dying Scream" will have its readers in horrified suspense. Praise for Mary Burton: "A twisted tale...I couldn't put it down!". (Lisa Jackson). "Stieg Larsson fans will find a lot to like in Burton's taut, well-paced novel". ("Publishers Weekly"). Mary Burton is the critically acclaimed author of "I'm Watching You", "Dead Ringer", "Dying Scream", "Merciless and Senseless" - all set in Virginia, USA, where Mary lives with her family.
I bought this back in 2009 too and had forgotten I even had it till I started looking at the list of books I have on the kindle that I haven’t read.

Have you read either of these books?  If so, what did you think? 

Don't forget to list your Kindle Kandy and link up!

Virtual Tour w/Guest Post for Hurricane Kingdom by Herbert L. Smith

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Book Tour, presented by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, for Hurricane Kingdom by Herbert L. Smith.  Please leave a comment or question for Herbert to let him know you stopped by.  You can follow all of the stops on his tour by clicking on the banner above.  

Simply put, I hated school. I started kindergarten at age four. That was too young for me, and I tried to get revenge for that injustice until I was in my third year of high school.

My mother, who shouldn’t be blamed for it now, had five children at the time, and was expecting the sixth in late September of 1943. That meant she would have three at home after her newest baby was born, one four, and one almost two. She went to work on the problem.

I know why she made the decision to send me to school early, but I don’t know how she worked it out. My legal birth certificate says that I was born in 1938, a year earlier than church records (I have a copy of both) stated. She must have gotten the doctor to sign a retroactive certificate (the document was required for school entrance), but I was legally considered to be five, so off to school I went.

The good thing was that I was able to read. My oldest sister had ‘taught’ me, in a way. She always read the comics to me in the afternoon, and I followed as she read. Through some kind of osmosis I learned to read. When she started working after school, I picked up the comics and read them for myself. It was a perfectly normal thing to do, or so it seemed to me.

School was one disaster after another. The first thing I tired was to run away. I left one morning when we were let out at recess, running down the road toward home as fast as I could. The next day I tried it again, but Jessie and mother loaded me into Jessie’s car and pushed me into the school building, all the way down the long hallway and into the kindergarten classroom. I gave up on running away, but got my revenge anyway; I refused to do any of the classwork or activities. I simply stayed at the table in the place I was assigned and read books and made pictures with crayons. The teacher hadn’t met that before, and despite her attempts, I resisted successfully.

Then came the little ‘tonettes,’ the name they gave the soprano recorders (similar to a flute and a tiny clarinet combined) we were to learn to play. I hated them passionately. They didn’t even have proper keys to push down, like pianos. I tootled along, playing the thing in any haphazard way I wanted, and soon was taken out of the ‘tonette band’ and placed at a table to continue my personal reading and drawing as I pleased, along with two or three other students who couldn’t seem to learn how to play those things, either. It is an interesting fact that out of the entire group of kindergartners who went through the tonette experience, I became the only professional musician.

Even in high school I drifted along, never doing assignments, refusing homework, and all the other classwork students were (and still are) required to do. The only way I passed each semester was my ability to do well on tests and ‘quizes’ – a misnomer for a shortened test. I listened  enough in class to do that. But mostly I read. I went through the selection of plays and dramas from the local library; everything from ancient Greek tragedies to Shakespeare to O’Neil and other contemporaries. Then I started reading encyclopedias in the school library, then some novels and other kinds of literature. I learned a great deal, but not from any textbook or any teacher, which was my own fault, and a rather immature way of dealing with life.

At last I met my nemesis. Latin. I enrolled in Latin one, and I faced the first test realizing that I didn’t know the first thing about Latin. So, for the first time, I took a book home to study. It was a revelation. I worked for a few hours, memorizing the conjugations of Latin verbs, and all the rest of the material that was in the first test, and I passed the test with a decent grade. And I learned a tremendous lesson. Studying at home paid off! Books went home regularly after that, and grades climbed accordingly. Nobody ever knew what had happened to make the change, but I was on my way, and happy to be in school and learning at last.

The moral: You really can’t learn everything you need in life in Kindergarten.
Hurricane Kingdom
By Herbert L. Smith
A Starfire Mystery, Volume 3

Publisher:  Herbert L. Smith
Release Date:  October 14, 2014
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Length:  166 Pages
Format: Print
ISBN: 978-1502527431

Buy Links:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the book:

The Hog Ranch near Hillville, Iowa, is a notorious place. All kinds of illegal ‘business’ prospers there. It’s a known hideout for the criminal element, and its proximity to Omaha is a major plus for the goings-on inside – and outside as well. The sturdy old log structure sits along the shoreline of the Missouri River; that mighty waterway flows just steps outside the back door and provides a good place to dispose of dead bodies. Set in the middle of the 1950’s, the tale of Hurricane Kingdom – who seems (at first) a minor character in the entire scheme of things – twists and forks along the muddy trails of the riverbank behind the Hog Ranch with its gambling Cellar, gigantic barroom, and a well-populated House on the top floor.

The quiet and somewhat dull town of Hillville is nearby but also a world away, exactly as the town and the Ranch both want it to be. Guy LeFevere and Caleb Starfire, the men who shoulder the burdens of the Starfire Detective agency, share the responsibilities of policing the town as well as all of Bogger County with an inept, portly and rather absurd sheriff, Fred Baylor. It’s a mixed match-up, but despite all the fuming and fumbling of the dull-witted sheriff, the detectives prevail, and more often than not the criminal element is subdued or eventually rendered harmless – and sometimes actually imprisoned. Frequently, however, the criminals inflict their deadly punishments upon each other. The 1950’s shine through the novel and offer a fun-filled romp through Hillville and its environs, creating renewed memories for those who survived that time, and a lesson in human history for those who missed all the fun.

About This Author

Herb Smith, the author of eight books and counting, is a native of Glenwood, Iowa, the town that is the prototype for Hillville, which is featured in the Starfire Mystery Series. He has memories of people and events that stretch back to the 1940’s, and his memory is not only long, but detailed as well.

He has recreated the Iowa of his youth in the Starfire Mystery Series. (This is the third book in the series.) The stories are all set in the 1950’s, something of an American Golden Age, and the joys and struggles of life, along with the murders, are evident as the reader becomes ever more beguiled by that world.

Smith’s own life has included places far flung from Southwestern Iowa: Egypt and the Middle East, Argentina, Idaho, and even exotic central California, where he spent thirty five years (except for the time he was working outside the U. S.)

He is a musician – mostly church music – and has worked in all kinds of churches as organist, sometimes doubling as choir master as well. He also taught English as a Foreign Language in California Universities and other schools around the world. Currently, he lives the retired life in Eugene, Oregon, with his wife, Glenda. Their daughter Melanie and her husband William live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area. Theirs is a small but closely linked family, and they spend holidays and many other times together. They don’t have dogs, but Pippa, the colossal cat, reigns unquestionably in her California home.
Smith’s future remains bright. A new series, called the Quest Samson Mystery Series (based in Eugene), is in the works, as well as other  unusual but interesting book projects, and he is considering some musical compositions that will add to his artistic credentials.

Author Links:


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Virtual Tour & #Giveaway for Hope by Sam Rook

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Tour, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, for Hope by Sam Rook.  Please leave a comment or question for Sam to let her know you stopped by.  You can enter her tour wide giveaway, for a $10 Amazon/B&N GC, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can also follow all of the stops on her tour by clicking on the banner above, the more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning

By Sam Rook
The Knights of Av’Lor, Book 1

Publisher:  Sam Rook
Release Date: June 12, 2013
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal
Length:  302 Pages
ISBN: 978-1484906224

Buy Links:  Amazon  *  B&N 

About the book: 

The winged knights—magically altered humans—are the only ones defending the portal from Av'lor to Earth. With defeat imminent, they find an unlikely source of hope in software engineer, Kathryn.

Kathryn doubts her life could get any worse after the death of her mother and daughter. She realizes her mistake after she arrives on Av'lor with only part of her house and hungry creatures looking for their next meal. Once the knights bring her under their protection, she discovers their angry commander is far from welcoming.

Sir Lanclor, Commander of the Knighthood, lives with the curse of betrayal. While the treachery occurred lifetimes before, few see past his guarded shell to the grim man beneath. Barely holding the Knighthood together, his grip tightens when Kathryn joins their ranks. Her stubbornness and surprising strength not only energizes the knights, but also makes Sir Lanclor question his self-imposed isolation.

With the approach of an invading army, Kathryn and Sir Lanclor must find a way to end centuries of war and save two worlds.


"Just leave it alone, Lord Alextor." Lanclor didn’t glance away from the window.

"Don’t you ‘Lord Alextor’ me, Lan." Alextor grabbed his shoulder and swung him around. "Tell me what’s going on." Alextor looked him in the eye, unwavering.

Lanclor glared at him, but knew Alextor was too stubborn to let it rest. He looked down at Alextor’s hand upon his shoulder. His friend quickly removed it. Lanclor walked over to his desk and sat down, placing his elbows upon the desk and clenching his hands together. "Yes, I had some luck."


"And what?"

"Do you know who she was?" Alextor gave him an irritated look.

"Yeah. Someone I should never have gotten involved with."

"She was that bad, huh? You’ll regroup next time, find someone better."

Lanclor looked away, clenching his jaw. "Yeah." He felt Alextor’s stare boring into the side of his head.

"By the Goddess."

"What?" Lanclor looked up with an innocent expression that didn’t quite meet his eyes.

"You pursued someone you cared for."

"I have no idea what you’re talking about." Lanclor rose from his chair. "I have reports to do. We’ll have to talk later."

"Bullshit. You write those reports for me, so if I don’t care about them right now, you shouldn’t either. Who was it, Lan?" Alextor leaned with both hands upon Lanclor’s desk, glaring at him.

Lanclor gave the window a momentary glance, then returned Alextor’s glare. "It’s not any of your business." He cursed the despair in his voice. 

 AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Sam Rook lives in Vermont with her husband and two children. Her passion for fantasy novels began in high school with her desire to write following shortly thereafter. Software engineer by day, fantasy author by night, she strives to give her readers a chance to enjoy worlds that transport them away from the stress of everyday life.

Author Central page:

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Virtual Tour & #Giveaway for The Devil's Music by Pearl R. Meaker

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Book Tour, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, for The Devil’s Music by Pearl R. Meaker.  Please leave a comment or question for Pearl to let her know you stopped by.  You can enter her tour wide giveaway, for a $25 Amazon/B&N GC, by filing out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can also follow all of the stops on her tour by clicking on the banner above. The more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.

The Devil’s Music
By Pearl R. Meaker
Emory Crawford Mysteries, Book 1

Publisher:  Promontory Press
Release Date:  April 30, 2015
Genre:  Mystery/Female Sleuth
Length:  176 Pages
Format: Print/eBook
ISBN:  978-1927559642

Buy Links:  Amazon | Nook | Kobo | Publisher

About the book: 

Emory Crawford doesn't do martial arts nor is she an athletic, leggy woman who is built like a model. She's a wife, grandmother, and empty nest lover of crafts, reading, birding and bluegrass music.

When an acclaimed scholar, best-selling author and fellow bluegrass musician is found murdered on the Twombly College campus where her husband teaches chemistry and forensics, Emory takes up her knitting caddy, to help her channel the spirit of Miss Marple, and heads off to help solve the crime.


Stars shone in a sky hazed with moonlight from a half- moon. The fountain played its merry music. The smell of late spring flowers wafted on the cooling air. Soft lights in the fountain made the area cozy while keeping it from being scary-dark. But our playful mood faded as we saw the silhouette of someone sleeping on one of the backless benches near the fountain.

“Drat! I was looking forward to some romance.” At forty-seven I still sound like a
sulky child when I’m disappointed.

“So was I.” Jebbin didn’t sound it though. He was too busy squinting at the figure on the bench. He nodded his head toward the figure. “Something’s odd there, Emory.”

I looked closer. The figure’s arms both dangled down, hands resting on the ground. The legs were straight, hanging off either side of the bench in an uncomfortable looking position. We edged closer until we could see, lit by the light of the fountain, the body of a man splayed lengthwise on the bench. Several pouches and odd amulets rested on his chest. On the ground, the hand nearest us was holding a fiddle with no strings.

Jebbin grabbed my shoulders, turning me toward the fountain and away from the bench.

“He’s been strangled.” Jebbin’s body was tight, his voice tense. “It’s Archie and he’s been strangled.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Pearl R. Meaker is an upper-middle-aged, short, pudgy homemaker, mother, and grandmother who in 2002 became a writer. Initially writing fanfiction she soon tried original fiction at the encouragement of her regular readers. She has been a life-long lover of mystery stories and automatically went to that genre for her first book, The Devil’s Music. She and her husband of nearly 40 years live in central Illinois. They both love bluegrass music, playing fiddle and banjo and singing. Pearl also does many crafts – when she’s not reading or writing - knitting, crochet, origami, needlepoint, and cross-stitch among them. She also enjoys birding and photography and is a former fencer.

Visit Pearl here:      


A mystery written in classic Agatha Christie style, The Devil’s Music by Pearl R. Meaker features a middle aged, married female sleuth whose penchant for knitting and reading mysteries helps her solve a local murder.  Set in a college setting in a small town in her home state of Illinois, Ms. Meaker’s story features colorful characters, a clear love of food and a good, solid mystery.  A good pace, a touch of snarky dialogue and a heroine you can’t help but like make this a book mystery lovers will want to read. 

Ms. Meaker does an excellent job developing the primary characters in this story; I easily connected with Emory Crawford, a middle aged homemaker whose college professor husband works at Twombly College.   A wife, grandmother and lover of crafts and books, Emory is still deeply in love with her husband, loves her children and enjoys volunteering at the college library.  She’s bright, well-mannered and loves to eat.  I also enjoyed getting to know her husband, Dr. Jebbin Crawford, who teaches both chemistry and forensic science.  His involvement with solving the case quickly and quietly, at the behest of the college president, helps Emory conduct her own simultaneous investigation, which of course leads to her making several significant discoveries.

The mystery itself is well written and takes several twists and turns.  The pace is good and the secondary characters are also well developed and colorful.  I especially enjoyed getting to compare Emory’s quiet intelligence at work compared to some of the more flamboyant and highly educated/regarded characters.  Following Miss Marple’s footsteps, so to speak, Emory is quite the detective as she uses her “knitting” hobby to make “the suspects” comfortable and easy to question.

Will Emory be able to solve who killed the visiting professor before her husband and the other “authorities” solve the case themselves?  Will the killer feel threatened enough by Emory’s investigation to threaten her life?  You’ll have to read The Devil’s Music to find out.  I enjoyed it and look forward to reading the next book in this series.

My Rating:  4.5 out of 5 Crowns

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Virtual Tour & #Giveaway for Clearer in the Night by Rebecca Croteau

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Book Tour, presented by Pen & Ink Book Tours, for Clearer in the Night by Rebecca Croteau.  Please leave a comment or question for Rebecca to let her know you stopped by.  You can enter her tour wide giveaway, for a $10 Amazon Gift Card and Three Digital Copies of Clearer in the Night), by filing out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can also follow all of the stops on her tour by clicking on the banner above. 

Clearer in the Night
By Rebecca Croteau
A Meredith Falls Novel, Book 1 

Publisher:  Penner Publishing
Release Date:  May 11, 2015
Genre:  New Adult Paranormal Romance
Length:  261 Pages
Format: ebook
ISBN:  9781940811208

Buy Links:  Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iBooks  Google Play

About the book:

Cait’s used to being an outsider. The odd girl out, the one with the alcoholic mother. The one whose sister and father died. The one who might just have telepathy. These things she could manage, could hide just enough to get by. Now a werewolf’s bite forced her outside the whole human race.

Two men -- the one night hook-up who shows up at her hospital bed, and the rescuer worker who may be following her -- seem to know more about her condition than she doe … and about this strange world of magic she’s pulled into. As Cait plunges into this darker reality, painful secrets of her past are churned up and she’s forced to confront her new identity. Torn between the between the sweet and too-hot-to-be-true Eli and possessive, darkly sensual Wes, Cait must decide whom to trust and which side to choose... before it’s too late.


I kept my gaze low, focusing on the step in front of me, and then the one after that, and then the one after that. Just the next step, Cait. Don’t worry about what happens when your lungs tighten up again, and just run. Just keep moving.

That’s probably why I ran straight into someone. When running, remember to keep your eyes up. At least every once in a while. When you stare at your own feet, you smack straight into someone, hitting them with a huge oof of force, and the both of you go down in an unattractive and painful tangle of limbs and elbows. He must have seen me coming, though; he wrapped his arms around me, and managed to roll us both towards the grass, instead of landing on the sidewalk, and take the worst of the fall. We ended up side by side, and I looked up as I caught my breath—then lost it again as I met Eli’s deep blue eyes and slight, almost teasing, smile.

“Well,” he said, without loosening the circle of his arms. “I wasn’t expecting that.”

I almost relaxed. For no reason, for no sane reason, I almost let him hold me. And then I forced a laugh and pushed myself away. “Hey, sorry about that, I was—”

He let me go, still smiling that secret smile. “It happens.”

I sat up, collecting my arms and legs and detangling them from his. “Do you regularly get knocked over by girls who can’t be bothered to see where they’re going?”

“Okay, it’s not an everyday occurrence.”

“What are you doing here, anyway?” My tone was more accusatory than I’d meant it to be, but I let it stand. Because I was curious.

Author Bio

Rebecca, Ree to her friends, lives with her family in the wilds of New England. She is owned by two cats, and enjoys discovering the various ways that one can enjoy string. She is fueled by coffee, and strong autumn breezes.

Author Links
Pinterest: ReeCroteau
Google+: ReeCroteau
Twitter: @ReeCroteau

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Virtual Tour & #Giveaway for The Missing Planets by Hawk MacKinney

Welcome to my stop on the Blurb Blitz Tour, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, for The Missing Planets: The Cairns of Sanctuarie Volume 2 by Hawk MacKinney.  Please leave a comment or question for Hawk to let him know you stopped by.  You can enter his tour wide giveaway, for a $25 Amazon/B&N GC, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can also follow all of the stops on Hawk’s tour by clicking on the tour banner above.  The more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning. 

The Missing Planets
By Hawk MacKinney
The Cairns of Sainctuarie, Volume 2

Publisher:  Sage Words Publishing
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Genre: Science Fiction/Military
Length:  260 Pages
ISBN: 9780991501458


About the book: 

Planet Terato has become a member of the assembly of the Confederated League of Allied Star Systems. The Murian Outpost Terato once commanded by His Imperial Majesty’s Lord High Chamberlain Herklo Korvo XXXIV is now Teratoan staffed and under the command of Teratoan Eklam a’Qoc.

From the uncharted reaches between galaxies, attacks of extraordinary weaponry come against Terato and the Myr worlds of the Murians. Terminus Terato’s expanded link-portals and converter power modules are virtually useless. Power loss, defenses, communications and travel are totally disrupted. High Chamberlain Korvo’s unexpected return to Terminus on a mission for His Imperial Majesty leaves him stranded on Terato. Attacks grow more massive, more unpredictable; spread across the worlds of the League, as an isolated Terminus struggles among the shattered rubble and whispering remains of an ancient Polity of star-walkers.

Family and friends are lost, empires and civilizations in disarray, Terminus and Planet Terato almost defenseless. Desperate for answers,  their worlds being overwhelmed by this remorseless aggressor, Eklam and Korvo reach across unexplored space in a despairing gamble and the last reserves of converter star-substrate, seeking one insignificant star system of gas giants and rocky inner planets for possible relics of the elusive Lantaraan Polity.


Korvo’s assigned portal coordinates designating outlink Myraa City with inlink Terminus Terato were already active by the time Ek arrived at the portal terminal. A background sibilance of hisses spewed with a number of active portals, the thrums somewhere between hearing and feeling them at the same time. Brilliant pinpoints condensed in the portal fields. Between their portal frames the fields, smaller than the tip of Klara’s sewing needles, more intense than Terato’s two suns, expanded into shapeless undulating masses, growing more solid and taking shape. In adjacent cargo portals enormous crates and objects took form on antigrav platforms. Immense power supplies to several portals snapped off. Heavy-duty servmos moved bulk industrial-size crates, equipment, provisions and materiel toward the service radials and sublevel storage bays. The active portals reminded him of the slow-roll boil of the sweet, dark, ground-bark syrup in the shallow pot his mother used to make candy. Recalled other kitchen smells; oven-warm bread smeared with churned cream.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

With postgraduate degrees and faculty appointments in several medical universities, Hawk MacKinney has taught graduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem. In addition to professional articles and texts on chordate neuroembryology, Hawk has authored several works of fiction.

Hawk began writing mysteries for his school newspaper. His works of fiction, historical love stories, science fiction and mystery-thrillers are not genre-centered, but plot-character driven, and reflect his southwest upbringing in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award, details the family bloodlines of his serial protagonist in the Craige Ingram Mystery Series. Vault of Secrets, the first book in the Ingram series, was followed by Nymrod Resurrection, Blood and Gold, and The Lady of Corpsewood Manor. All have received national attention.  Walking the Pet is Hawk’s latest release in the Ingram series. The first book in another mystery-thriller series is scheduled for release in 2015. The Bleikovat Event, the first volume in The Cairns of Sainctuarie science fiction series, was released in 2012. Its sequel, The Missing Planets, has just been released.

Book Videos:

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Virtual Tour & #Giveaway for Natural Attraction by Catherine Haustein

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Tour, presented by Pen & Ink Book Tours, for Natural Attraction by Catherine Haustein.  Please leave a comment or question for Catherine to let her know you stopped by. You can follow all of the tour stops by clicking on the banner above.  

Natural Attraction
By Catherine Haustein

Publisher:  Penner Publishing
Release Date:  May 11, 2015
Genre: Sweet Historical Western Romance
Length:  276 Pages
ISBN: 978-1940811215


About the book:

To get ahead she’ll have to become a man -- and a man, she always thought, never lets love get in the way…

Clementine dreams of being a naturalist -- a career that leaves no time for romance. To sneak on an adventurous prospecting expedition, Clementine will have to convince everyone she’s a man. A mysterious tonic offers her just that disguise. But “Calvin”, as she calls herself now, had no idea what she was giving up.

When Wesley, the expedition’s gentle preacher, catches her eye, she can’t get him out of her head; not his lush lips, wide brown eyes … or broad chest. Dare she reveal her secret to him, and can she keep her career if she does?

Among run-ins with cowboys, natural disasters, and traveling shows, Wesley’s most fascinating adventure is meeting Calvin. Though Wesley’s betrothed, the cute, clever naturalist threatens to make him fall into temptation…


“This is no way for a man to act.” He said the callous words tenderly and wiped my tears with his hand.

The elevation and my bawling were giving me a nosebleed. I dabbed at the blood with my handkerchief. My nose was large, like a man’s.

“I must look a mess,” I said.

“Ah, you’re a fine looking gentleman. But you must gather up your emotions as men do.” He looked nervously towards the camp, hoping no one had witnessed our tenderness together.

“What would the Himalayan hymn writer think?”

At this mention I seized his arm and let my tears fall onto his dark coat.

He shifted away as I kept him in my grasp.

“Another reason not to head back. That arranged marriage. What a disaster.” I was more emotional as a man than I’d ever been as a woman. My expectations for happiness were higher.

He stroked my back, hesitantly. “Ah. I understand. But, my good fellow, straighten up and tell me something that a proper naturalist would say.”

“I’ll not be cowed. I’ll study nature wherever I go. I’ll prove myself and blaze a trail for others like me. I’ll show them they need not hold back their ambitions.” I was thinking of other women at this point although I wasn’t sure what I would prove to them other than the need to be fake to advance yourself.

“That’s the spirit. You make it sound like a hero’s quest. I’m humbled by you. Just let go of my arm if you please. If you get any closer to this candle, you’ll be singed.”

I sat back. “Wesley, we will both be successful.”

Footsteps crunched across the rocks as figures with a lantern approached. It was Madame Blu and Cyrus.

“What o’clock do you think it is? Don’t be dilatory. Tomorrow the curtain will rise. We’ll be celebrated. Bless my soul, yes.”  

Author Bio
A graduate of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Catherine Haustein is a chemistry and English professor at Central College in Iowa. Her ancestors lived in the famous ghost town of Singapore on the shores of Lake Michigan. Natural Attraction is her first novel.

Author Links
Twitter: @hausteinc1

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Virtual Tour & #Giveaway for Adding Lib by Kathryn Elliott

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Tour, presented by Goddess Fish Promotions, for the Adding Lib by Kathryn Elliott.  Please leave a comment or question for Kathryn to let her know you stopped by.  You can enter her tour wide giveaway, for a $25 Amazon/B&M GC, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can follow all of Kathryn’s tour stops by clicking on the banner above.  The more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.  

Adding Lib
By Kathryn Elliott
The McGinn Series, Book 1

Publisher:  The Wild Rose Press
Release Date: December 19, 2014
Genre:  Romantic Comedy
Length:  346 Pages
ISBN: 978-1628306408


About the book:

Libby O'Rourke has a short fuse. Her mother, Mae, carries a big match. Engulfed in the never-ending life-juggling of suburbia, Libby fails to notice Mae's emerging dementia symptoms until a kitchen fire puts the problem on the front burner.

Proficient in the art of denial, Mae brushes the shattering diagnosis aside and sets her sights on a matchmaking crusade for her eldest son. After all, if her lucid days are numbered, Mae’s going to make damned sure he makes it down the aisle while she still recognizes the groom.

It’s going to take a razor wit and an iron stomach to handle Mae's diagnosis. Thankfully, just like her mother Libby has both.


Libby felt the weight of the coming conversation bear down on her shoulders like a lead blanket and struggled to find the right words.

“It’s all right, Libby,” Mae said, interrupting her thoughts. “Say what you need to. We’re here for a reason. We both know it.”

Shocked by her mother’s perception, Libby stared at Mae.

The older woman’s eyes were moist but holding back. She continued. “Spit it out, honey. I won’t have a public tantrum. It’s obvious you have something important to talk to me about, and I think you’ve delayed long enough.”

Libby’s shoulders slumped. “How’d you know?”

“Well, let’s examine the facts...” Mae grinned despite the gravity of the moment. “You took me to church, plied me with brunch, and now you’re standing there biting your bottom lip raw. Daddy used to call that your tell. We always knew something was wrong if your bottom lip looked like it had a run-in with a cheese grater.”

“Huh?” Libby ran her tongue over her bottom lip. “I never noticed.”

“In your teens, we were pretty sure you were going to bite clean through it,” Mae joked. “At least your nervous habit isn’t offensive; whenever Kevin lies, he grabs his testicles. Since the day he was born that boy treated his penis like an accessory. It’s terribly inappropriate, especially at parties.”

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Kathryn Elliott is a lifetime journalist with awards in political satire, human interest, and commentary. A Connecticut native, she is a happily married mother of two sons with high hopes one of them will pay for a delightful rest home.

A true believer in laughter's healing power, Kathryn writes characters whose flaws resonate with readers long after "The End."

ADDING LIB is her debut novel, and the first in The McGinn Series.

TWITTER: @CandidKathryn

Dealing with everyday life and family dilemmas, Adding Lib by Kathryn Elliott, the first book in the McGinn series, is filled with colorful characters, funny dialogue and a light romance.  From the first page to the last, Ms. Elliott’s story grabbed my attention, made me laugh and even brought tears to my eyes.  Reminding us what’s best, and worst about family, everyday life and dealing with sometimes difficult and serious situations, Ms. Elliott’s debut novel is a genuine delight.  She’s definitely going to be an author to watch.

Ms. Elliott does a good job developing all of the characters in her story and I found myself easily connecting with Elizabeth “Libby” O’Rourke and her colorful family.  I especially liked her husband Bob, a public defender, and enjoyed their sweet relationship and how they dealt with their children and gastronomically challenged dog.  I also enjoyed getting to know Caroline, Libby’s best friend from childhood, and her older brother Sean, who secretly has a crush on Caroline.  One of the best characters of all though was Mae McGinn, Libby’s mom, who is a force to be reckoned with.  She actually reminded me a little bit of the title character in “Auntie Mame” with her eccentric behavior and sharp wit.

Tackling family dynamics with humor and realism, Ms. Elliott addresses peer pressure, teenage angst, getting older, and even Alzheimers.  She even reminds us that we need to get yearly checkups and that watching what we eat, exercising and just generally taking care of ourselves is important from childhood to the end. 

Will Libby be able to get her mother to deal with her impending health issues?  Will Mae find her son a wife before it’s too late for her to remember?  And how will Libby’s family deal with everything that’s going on all at once?  You’ll have to read Adding Lib to find out.  I loved it and can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

My Rating:  5 out of 5 Crowns 

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